Surprise! It's a girl!
2,441 words; about a 12 minute read
Welcome Home Stanger
Location: Hunter Quarters - Starbase 135
Timeline: Day after Alec's return
Accompanying her newly found father back across to Starbase 135, Danica hoped that she'd make a good impression on his wife and First Officer. For all intents and purposes Marissa Hunter was her step-mother, as Human's called it. That in itself would be odd, to have two mother's instead of one would take some getting used to.
As Alec walked beside Danica, he glanced at her, "Nervous about meeting Marissa? Don't be. You will like her and she will like you. You two will get along famously."
Dani nodded. "I certainly hope so! There's nothing like bringing home a daughter you didn't know you had. It's a lot to take in."
"Relax." Alec replied as he keyed the door lock and called out, "Mari! I'm home and I brought a guest." He turned to Danica, "Figured best to warn her." He left the rest unspoken.
With some ship undergoing some last minute upgrades Alec and Mari had opted to stay in their quarters on the station. Mari had been working out of their quarters most of the morning. She'd just told the Merchant organization that the station would be undergoing several weeks of maintenance and that power would be shut down to the promenade in two days. She highly suggested that they take this time and leave the station for vacation. It was a lie, they were trying to get as many non essential personnel off the station as possible and soon.
Mari was diligently working on her recommendations for shuffling around both ship and station crew. With Alec back, things were a bit of a confusing mess. She retained command of the station, so she didn't need his approval for anyone that was getting promotions or shifting positions for station only personnel. But if they were moving to or leaving the ship, she needed his final ok. The whole thing was giving her a headache. The door buzzed and when Alec spoke she was a bit confused as to why he was announcing himself.
"Umm...last I checked we were married so you live here. You don't need to ask. Come in."
Alec chuckled. "I know we're married. I was alerting you that I brought a guest with me." As he and Danica entered the cabin. "Have a seat Danica." Alec suggested.
Mari stood up from a table filled with various padds filled with info on new and transferring personnel. "Yes please come in! Can I get anything for either of you? Something to drink? An analgesic for a headache perhaps? Oh wait that's for me. The merchants aren't too happy about being asked to leave for awhile." She smiled. "It's been a long morning."
"They will get used to the idea Mari. I'm sorry for the headache you are getting but I do have a bit of good news, well happy at any rate." As he turned to Danica.
Danica offered a polite smile. "Hi, I'm Danica, Dani for short. I'm the new Chief Counsellor for the Ares, and I'm also..." she paused and looked at Alec wondering if she should tell Mari, or whether he should.
Alec saw Dani's hesitation, so he stepped in. "Mari, Dani.... is my daughter that I didn't know I had and fact that I didn't know about until a short time ago." He finished and waited for Mari's reaction.
Mari looked at Dani and then looked at Alec. "Um...know doubt from your fighter pilot days? Must have been right out of the academy."
She extended her hand to Dani. "But then again, my perception of age is different than most. Forgive me. I've only known your father for a few years and his duties separated us before we really discussed a lot of details about our lives before we met. Danica...yes, I think I saw you on the list of new crew."
"All true Mari. However, I couldn't discuss this with you as I did not know about it." He nodded, "Yes, right out of the academy. So, I didn't cheat on you." Alec replied somewhat defensively.
“It was a long time ago” Dani was quick to jump in. “I may only be half Drax, but I still age at the Drax rate. I may look 17 but I’m actually 28 years old. The Drax look younger than they actually are.”
"Good grief Alec, were you 10 when you graduated from the academy?" See smiled. "Just kidding."
She reached into her pile of PaDDs on the table. "Here you are. Drax academy instead of Starfleet Academy, but all of your credentials transferred over. Very nice."
Her face saddened for a moment. Her very long past life wasn't something she had been given time to discuss with Alec much either. I don't think she'd ever discussed the fact that she had children too, long ago.
"It's been a long time since I've had a daughter. It will be nice to get to know you."
She sat down. "I'm a Lanthanite. I was born on Earth though in old Earth year 1655. I've lived most of my life with humans. My children were all half human and had very long lives themselves. My last child passed away about 50 years ago now. "
"Eleven." Alec replies without missing a beat and then goes silent as Mari talks to Dani.
"I'm so sorry" Dani offered an understanding smile, her skills as a Counsellor shining through. "I can only imagine what it must be like to outlive your children. I will do my best to be a good step-daughter. I'd very much like to get to know both of you."
"It is a bit of a curse of my existence, outliving my half human children that is. I suppose if I had been raised on our homeworld I would be more inclined towards my own kind, but there are not many of us that have chosen to leave our home system. I lived my life pretending to be an Earth human until about 100 years ago when we revealed ourselves during the early days of the Federation. Long story short I like humans. All of my children were half human. Most of them lived twice the human life span. We pure blood Lanthanites...our aging process is very slow. Some think us immortal because our our long life span and healing ability. But as your father reminded me during the earlier days of our relationship, we are not. But we do tend to keep going until something kills us."
She looked over at Alec. "Your father and I literally had no time to consider starting a family. He was sent away shortly after he married on a mission. He just got back."
"True enough." Alec replied simply.
"Well there's no reason why you couldn't have children, is there?" Dani looked between Alec and Mari. "I'm good with kids of all ages, I'd be more than happy to babysit." she smiled warmly.
"Listen to her." Alec joked. "Just showed up and already trying to get into our good graces. Don't worry Dani, we'll let you know whatever we decide."
Dani shook her head. "No, you don't have to tell me anything, unless you want to of course. Anything said in my office, or in my capacity as Counsellor, will of course, stay in strictest confidence."
" It better be in the strictest confidence for if i find that confidence has been violated. I know a counselor who will be on a trip to Breen space." Alec said firmly before his space split in a huge grin. "Relax Dani. I'm teasing you." Alec answered with a grin.
Dani grinned. "I sensed that much father. My abilities are comparable to that of a Betazoid, just a little more powerful. As with all telepath's I will not read anyone's thoughts without their permission, it's considered to be a crime of the highest order on Drax."
"Good to know. I'll have to watch myself around Christmas and birthdays." Alec joked.
"You'll find he's pretty good about keeping secrets. " Mari replied. "Anyway we will for sure keep you in mind if and when we need a baby sitter. My mother has been on my case about it for years. I'm still under 2000...plenty of time for more grand babies."
She rolled her eyes. "Anyway...speaking of family you should go meet Amanda. She was doing double duty both here and on the ship, but we should be receiving a new doctor for the station soon so she will be the CMO for the Ares. Technically that makes her your department head, but you are our senior most officer of the counseling staff so we do consider you senior staff as well."
"Amanda...Ohh Doctor Hunter-Corelli. She's your sister isn't she?" she looked at Alec. "So that would make her my aunt." she smiled. "I make a point of going through crew files on my way to a new assignment, just so I know who I'm dealing with. On the point of being senior staff, I'm not your usual Counsellor who spends all her time in her office, I like to spend some time on the bridge as well."
"My younger sister." Alec replied. "As for spending some time on the bridge, I think that can be arranged."
"Wonderful" Dani smiled warmly. "As Chief, and currently only Counsellor, onboard ship I'll have to go the extra hog to prove to Starfleet that I can conduct your evaluations without personal bias. Generally it's considered a conflict of interest to deal with family members."
"I am sure you can pull it off Dani." Alec replied.
"Mandy does also have a minor in psychiatry. But she would have the same bias issue as you would. There are a couple of civilian counselors on the station if you ever need an unbiased consult. Its just then certain security concerns could come into play." Mari shrugged. "It is a bit odd that they have assigned so many members of the same family group to this station and ship. That's not normal."
"Alec shrugged. "It isn't standard fleet assignments but there have been cases of it being done before. In World War II, the old United States Navy had five brothers assigned to one ship. Captain April had his wife serve with him as well. Maybe their just trying to put us all in one place to keep a better eye on us." He teased.
Dani offered a wry smile. "Anything is possible, but unless someone has a serious grudge against this family and has arranged this, then I don't think it's anything we need to worry about."
"I wasn't worried about it Dani. I take it as a compliment. That we are all together." Alec replied.
Dani nodded. "I am extremely grateful to Starfleet for letting me be here. This is a dream come true!" she smiled warmly. "Anyway, I should be checking in with medical, and getting my office aboard ship sorted out as well." She looked at Alec. "When do you officially take Command?"
"We're glad to have you here." Alec replied. "Sounds good." He continued. "As far as when I take command the answer is short and brief and I believe to the point. That answer is soon."
Mari laughed. "I've been trying to hand him the keys to the car since he got back yesterday. If he doesn't take them soon I might just decide to keep them."
Danica couldn't help but laugh at that. "I'm guessing our first mission would just be to give the ship a shakedown? That is what they call it isn't it?" she gave them both a curious look. "I'm learning just about everything from scratch right now, I've travelled with my mother but never really gotten to spend enough time anywhere to learn."
Alec looked between his wife and daughter, "What's the rush? I said I would take command soon and I will. I just wanted a couple of days to relax at least a little bit."
Danica gave her father a worried glance. “Sorry father. “I was just curious, and excited at the same time that’s all. Maybe I should leave the two of you to talk?”
"Nothing to be sorry about Dani. Obviously, I am not going to get any peace on this subject until I do assume command. So, I assume command now. Everybody happy?"
“Actually, no Sir!” Dani gave her father a stern look. “As ship’s Counsellor I am hereby instructing you to take the couple of days rest that you need. A Captain whose rested is better than an exhausted one. If I have to I’ll note it in my log.” She stood arms folded across her chest.
"Which is what I wanted to begin with." Alec replied with a smile. "Thank you for agreeing with me counselor."
Dani nodded. “I never disagreed with it in the first place Captain” She offered a respectful smile. “Anyway if you’ll excuse me, I have my office and quarters to sort out.” She offered Mari a warm smile. “I’ll give you a call, we’ll arrange to go shopping or something.” With that she offered her father another smile and headed for the door.
"Nice to meet you Dani. Mari said as she left." She then turned back to Alec.
"You take command now." She mocked as she swatted him on the shoulder. "That's not how it works and you know it. If it did we'd have daily mutanties. Last I checked you actually needed to be onboard the ship for starters."
Alec recoiled in mock pain as he chuckled at Mari. "Of course, I know it, Mari. Its starship command 101." He said still chuckling. "But it sounded good at got me a few more hours of relaxation."
"Um hmm...your daughter is your counselor, your sister is your doctor. I'm not sure if that all is going to work for you or against you. But if it's relaxation you want..."
She walked around behind him and starting massaging his neck. "I think we can afford just a few minutes away from crew transfers and reports."
"Oh yes Mari, that does the trick. If all else fails you can give neck massages." He joked.
"Well I've had a lot of practice. I was worked as a spy for the CIA during the mid 20th century. I was quite good at extracting information."
Alec smiled. “Is that so? Then perhaps we should work on the extracting.” He gave her a flash of his smile, he knew just how much Mari liked that. He pulled her close, they had time together and he wasn’t planning on wasting it.