Location: Deck 4 - Captain's Quarters
Vox walked along the corridor with a solemn look which differed from his usual smile. The ending of this mission and the return to known space minus one officer had struck a chord with most of the crew. He arrived at his destination and pressed the chime, hoping that his best friend would be around.
From inside her quarters Edra paced around the main living area, picking up a 3-year-old's toys. She looked up from the far side of the sofa at the sound of the chime. She hadn't been expecting anyone. "Um, enter...?"
Vox entered her doorway and stopped short of letting the sensor decide to shut the door behind him. He looked tentatively around the room and pursed his lips in a thin smile. "I can see I caught you at a bad time. I can come back....?"
Her face lit up. "Vox! No...come in. I just..." She stood up looking around. "Trying to keep up with a 3-year old is not what it used to be. What's up?"
He smiled at her excitement to see him. The selfish part of the corners of his ego got warm because of who it was. It was always great to see Edra, even if times were trying. "I missed that part of Kevin growing up, unfortunately. You do it so well, though." He paused before adding, "You and Henry were meant to have kids." He stepped further into the room as the door hissed shut. "How have you been handling things lately? I know it's been a lot..."
She gave him time to pick up where he'd trailed off, coming around the couch, but he remained silent. So she continued, "...of a roller coaster? It's definitely been up and down. There had started to be some bit of acceptance that we were gonna be there for a long time, if not indefinitely, although the hope of return never left. Then when Hartsfield gave us the news, it was hard to put all our faith in it, given the risk, and that meant emotions were up and down. Now we actually made it back, which is still hard to believe, but we lost the officer who made it possible." She leaned on the back of the couch. "It's hard to be entirely happy about it." She looked back at Vox, the one person she'd actually known the longest on this ship. "What about you?"
His face took on a thoughtful look as he considered the dangers of the mission they faced. "Never making it back home is always a danger to consider... I guess I just don't think about it until after we get back to a safe situation."
She looked at the floor for a moment before looking back to him and asking, "What about making it back home? Are you going to go back?"
Vox seriously considered the question for a moment as he tried to form the words that would adequately express that he wanted to see Kevin but the divorce with Stacey was a complication. He was leaning toward just staying near the ship until their next mission came through. The Mercutio was transferring to Ninth Fleet and would be going into a new region. "I uh... maybe. We'll see." He tried to change the subject. "Are you excited about going back home to Earth?"
Edra knew what he was doing. Prophets, she'd perfected the move herself in the past. But she didn't like the sound of it and stepped toward him, ignoring his last question. "Vox, is everything okay? You know you can talk to me if you need to, and it won't leave here." And while her curiosity got the best of her, she still realized this was probably something difficult. "Or, if you don't want to, you don't have to. But you've got a willing ear, either way."
"Of anyone on this ship, I know I can talk to you about it." He shifted in his stance and scratched behind his ear. "Stacey and I are uh... getting a divorce." He let that bomb sink in and hoped she didn't fall over.
She was sure the look of shock was written all over her face, but she couldn't help it. She put a hand on his arm. "I'm sorry. How are you doing?"
He placed his hand on hers and gave her a faint smile. "It's alright, Edra. It was a mutual decision. Between her wanting to stay on Alpha Centauri and my career clearly not being over... We grew apart." He looked out at the stars, wondering which ones were visible. "We still care for each other and for Kevin very much. It will be okay in the end. I have to believe that..."
She nodded. "Okay. I hate to see it, especially remembering how it used to be, but if you're both happy, then that's most important." She'd known the both of them as one for so long, even when he was missing, that it would be strange to undo that. But she pushed that back. "So does that mean you're staying with us?"
Vox nodded slowly. "Yes. The Merc is my home. And with the upcoming reflagging to Ninth Fleet, our missions will become even more important." He looked past her at the stars outside the window. So many places to see... "The important thing is that I'll still have you and Henry here to pester from time to time." He offered a faint smile to ease the mood.
Edra grinned. "I will gladly take that, and probably repay you with the same, just for good measure. The question is, can you work with Ms. Banks?"
"So far, so good. She can be testy but I know how to handle that personality without too much trouble." He folded his arms and chuckled softly. "I think I'm growing on her."
She nodded. "That sounds promising." She glanced at a chronometer and noted the time and stood. "Oh, I should go get Marcus. You are welcome to come by anytime."
He smiled and turned toward the door to head out. "Don't worry, Edra. I'll keep you in the loop."
She smiled as she joined him at the door, but moved in the opposite direction from there. "You'd better, Mister!" With a grin she disappeared around the next corner.
Cmdr. Vox Templar
Chief Intelligence Officer
Cmdr. Edra Crow