Consequences of Discoveries

Fiona eyes them both. "A strange coincidence, that the two of you should meet in Chaos, at this time." She observes. "If I were a romantic, this would please me."

"Yes, it would seem I planned my death and my subsequent freezing, all so I might be found — what was it? — Fifty thousand years later by the Wife I believed to be long dead." Julian replies in his patient manner, enunciating each word. "Or, by some nefarious means, another hand did so, placing me in the path of a woman that only two others ever knew I loved." He tilts his head to one side, regarding an aged and somehow more worn Fiona, and asks, "Should I fear for my kidney or after all these millenia, have we learned to cooperate?"

Fiona listens. "We have learned that our petty family squabbles can potentially destroy our universe." She says. "Which is not the same."

"A pity we were such slow learners." Julian replies, and inclined his head to Fiona slightly.

"Well, I am a romantic, and it is strange," Aurora opines. "I would like to know who stashed him in our family's Ways because I'm curious, but I'm just happy it was so." She glances up at Julian and squeezes his hand before she turns back to Fiona. "We had a son," she informs her grandmother hesitantly. "I… he was seventeen when he died in 1104. Is there some way to find out if he was picked up somehow?" Julian does not interrupt Aurora when she asks about Alexander. He does not wish to get his hopes up; to find Aurora and Alexander? Alive and whole. It is too much to ask for, far too much to expect.

"A. great grand-son?" Fiona says. She is silent for many heartbeats. "I will consult the records. You two are headed for decontamination and quarantine. Now."

He nods a Fiona's question, and without thinking, adds, "He was a beautiful boy, with his Mother's curls and —" Julian falls silent, and gives Aurora's hand a slight squeeze.

"Yes ma'am," Aurora nods agreeably. "But shouldn't decontamination do away with the need for quarantine?" She smiles up at Julian again. "Not that I mind being stuck in quarantine with you, beloved."

He smiles at her, though only just, his eyes brightening at the prospect of being quarantined together. "Well, that is a brier patch I would not mind being thrown into." Julian smiles at Aurora, this time like the man she remembers.

His wife made to move then suddenly stopped herself. No doubt Fiona had no great desire to watch her granddaughter jump her husband's bones right there in the landing bay. She settled for a smitten smile and hugged his arm. "Come on. The sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can get cleaned up and on to other things." But she didn't get two steps before she stopped.

"Oh," she gave Fiona her attention again. "Avarya and Ghostwheel both did flyovers of Mandorways. They can give you a more complete overview. I'd like to go back, but we'll need to take more people with better weapons and equipment. There's some big, nasty things in there. Ghostwheel was damaged and shut down for a bit. He's back up but needs to recharge."

Julian meets Aurora's eyes when she hugs his arm and smiles at him. He allows himself a small gesture, as he reaches up to to touch her face, and gently runs his fingers along her jawline. His hand drops when they turn to go, and he waits for her to give Fiona the final update, before moving off with her "How long will we be in decontamination?"

"I have no idea," his wife admits. "I've never had to go through it before. But Tis can give us anything we need while we're in there. Which reminds me.."

"Tis? We're going to need a table and chairs and a couch in decontamination, and we're both starving. So if you can a whip up that venison stew I programmed in the recipe for, some cornbread and a bottle of red wine, chocolate cake and coffee for us, that would be amazingly wonderful."

Julian eyes her for a moment, his eyes warm, and then he scoops her up into his arms. "You had my full attention at 'cornbread'." He smiled, and looks ahead. "Will we be alone for a time?" He looks into her eyes for a moment as he walks, his eyebrows rising. "You know, I did not realize how hungry I was until you mentioned venison stew." Julian smiles at her, "You remembered." He stops for a moment, and gives her a kiss, before asking, "Which way?"

Her surprise laughter when he sweeps her up echoes through the hanger. Her arms go around him and she smiles with that glazzy look in her eyes after he kisses her. She points him towards the doors that weren't there when she left and then turns to nuzzle his neck. Her fingers card through his hair as she whispers in his ear. "I remember everything, mon Julian, and I plan on taking my time proving it."

As these things occur, a leonine redhead appears in the door of the shuttle that Aurora and Julian had left, leopard-fur still in evidence. Avarya proceeds down the walkway, carrying the Ghostwheel in her paws/hands, and follows her mistress. Fiona sighs slightly, and from the expression on her face, she may have a headache of her own. She stamps her ivory cane upon the crystal floor, a wave of rainbow energies occurs, and all areā€¦ somewhere else.

The chamber is massive and white. It is divided in two by an enormous translucent wall that gleams with energies. On this side, there are Julian, Aurora, Fiona, Avarya, and the Ghostwheel. On the other side, a broken and crumpled craft of black crystal rests, beside a table and two chairs. Kieran is there in a suit identical to that worn by Fiona, and there is also an unknown brunette women. A crystal cocoon rests on the floor in front of the broken black craft. Fiona limps toward the translucent wall of energies.

Julian senses the shift in the environment before Aurora does. That alone was a tad bit bothersome, as he had never been one to enjoy either magical transit or the vagaries of Trump, that he had trusted Aurora with his molecules was more a testament to his trust and affection than a waning of his concerns. "Aurora. We've been moved." He whispers softly, his annoyance felt in the set of his body, as he lowers her to her feet.

Aurora had been busy whispering in his ear while he carried her and hadn't noticed until he said something. She turns with surprise to look around their new location. She starts to say something about the black craft until she spots the other two people across the barrier. "Oh, hell," she breathes, her hand reaching to wrap around his. "I might need to have a word with my grandmother about her sense of humor."

Julian had been enjoying that whispering. When she reaches for his hand, his glance flicks to Fiona, his blue eyes hard, as he also holds her hand. "I might discuss this with my sister." He replies, and then says the next in the same calm tone, "Or kick the cane out from under her." His lips press together slightly, and softly he asks. "That is your Kieran, I take it?"

She nods and sighs softly. "Oui. I don't know who the brunette is though. That must be the Sleeper Tis spoke of. So much for stealing some alone time, huh?" Aurora runs her free hand through the riot of red-gold curls that hangs past her shoulders. There's a pause and her black and purple catsuit shifts, the purple changes from its geometric design to a stylized white hawk in flight. "This is not how I wanted to tell him."

Aunna had stopped at the shimmering, watched the arrivals without a hint of emotion (her eyes moved from one face to the next without hint of recognition, concern, or surprise), slipped her hands into her back pockets and leaned one shoulder against the broken shuttle. She looked back toward the table and chairs, and let out a small sigh as her long-awaited sandwich and pint appeared beside her resting sword.

As the two behind her whisper to each other, Fiona pauses, and her shoulders become tense. She continues to limp toward the wall of translucent energies that divides one quarantine chamber from the other. "Kieran, I have approximately 10 hours left to complete the trump-drive development before the event horizon of the Logrus penetrates our shielding and begins to devour us." She says in a harsh and severe voice. She looks and sounds ill, as though only stubborn willpower is keeping her on her feet: there is frost in her fiery hair, her normally pale skin is sallow, and dull pain is graven in the lines about her moist green eyes. Eyes which shift momentarily to the brunette woman without recognition then back to Kieran. "Can I trust you to handle these quarantine situations in a mature fashion?"

Aunna quirked an eyebrow. She looked at Fiona again, jaw set hardening slightly before she turned and disappeared into the craft.

"Absolutely, Aunt." Kieran replies after several moments. The crystal near to Aurora and Julian begins to rise upwards, reforming itself into furniture, and a dome to cover it.

"Good." Fiona says harshly. "Good. Megarea, decontamination transport for me to the bridge. Execute." She vanishes into rainbow light, gone like the flame of the candle.

Aurora has a faint frown on her face as she watches and listens. Her grandmother did not look good, and sounded worse. She looks over her shoulder at the sound of displaced air caused by the forming furniture. she clicks her teeth thoughtfully as she ponders the situation.

"Tis? Is the dome for our decontamination?"

"Negative." The lilting soprano voice of the AI replies from thin air. "As ordered by Princess Fiona, decontamination occurred during your trump transportation to quarantine."

Aurora looks impressed. "Thank her for us, would you? Food status?" Green eyes turn to take in Kieran and stranger once more before she turns to Julian while waiting on a reply.

"I suspect the dome was her idea too, you know."

"If we are decontaminated, what precisely is the dome for? It sounds as if this room is quarantine." Julian looks around, "Can they see us then?"

"Yes, it stands to reason that they can, and I am going to go out on a limb and say the dome's for privacy," Aurora replies. "She may claim to not be a romantic, but Grandmere knows how long we've been separated, and she did witness us barely managing to not jump each other since we docked. She also seems to like Kieran, who will not be wanting to watch our continuing reunion."

"If she likes him, then her sense of humor has not improved over the long millenia." Julian observes.

She turns her eyes to the black ship on the other side. "Scales and Fangs, how did that thing stay together long enough to be found?" She shakes her head in wonderment. "It must be named Enterprise, because Fate protects fools, little children and ships named Enterprise."

Julian turns to her, his head tilting to one side slightly, "I have so much to learn apparently." He straightens, "So what are we supposed to do now? Will you talk to him, or will that keep?"

"He's busy with the other Sleeper right now," Aurora shrugs. "It'll keep. I would rather not do this in here - in quarantine. This room is so — sterile."

She sighs and takes his hand. "Why don't we go see what Tis has produced for us? I really want to eat and then just stretch out and snuggle. A shower would be nice, but we may have to wait on that."

Kieran eyes them both from afar, on the other side of the wall of translucent energies. He draws breath as though to speak, then does not, and follows the brunette woman into the profoundly damaged shuttle of black crystal. The leopard-woman Avarya and the silvery Ghostwheel that she holds in her paws both wait for orders off to the side.

Aurora sighs and leads Julian to investigate the dome. She needs to sit down before she falls down at least while they wait for food.

"Avarya, tell Tis what you need to make quarantine comfortable for you in whatever form you wish take for it." Aurora lifts her head slightly so she's addressing the far ceiling. "Tis, Ghostwheel needs to recharge. Can you help with that?"

"Affirmative." Thin air replied with the soprano tones of Tisiphone. Avarya released the silvery sphere, which promptly vanishes into rainbow light. The leopard-woman begins to change again as Aurora and Julian depart the outer area, her form shifting and flowing.. Beneath the White Dome, Aurora and Julian find precisely what Aurora ordered on the way. No less and no more.

"Thank you, Tis. We're starved." Aurora goes to the table and pours a glass of wine, which she promptly drains before silently refilling her glass, and pouring for Julian. She sighs as she takes her seat and serves them both from the pot (which is the only way Aurora told Tis stew should be served) of steaming and fragrant stew. The smells may tickle at Julian's memory; it's exactly the way Aurora used to make whenever she cooked for him back in Huntingdon. She had liked it that way, so saw no reason to change it over the centuries.

Julian tilts his head to one side, and sits with Aurora. "Is that — you know, I heard you say it, but I did not think…" He accepts hs bowl of stew, and closes his eyes to inhale the scent. "Aurora, its just like it used to be. I did not think it would be exactly the same." He almost does not want to eat it, the scent of it taking him back to Huntingdon in the span of a breath. He opens his eyes, and regards Aurora for a long moment, before having his first taste of the stew. "Just as good as ever."

She smiles across the space of the table. "The science of cooking, the quality of the ingredients, methods — they all changed over the span of the years. But I just adjusted and went on with what worked. If it was good enough for the Lord Longbow, it was good enough any one else that ever sat at my table."

Aurora went about serving him the cornbread that was different from what he remembered. It was finer meal, better texture, sweeter. Huntingdon's bread was better then anyone else's, but even they hadn't been able to grind flour and meal to the degree of fineness that more modern producers could. She had taken a few bites herself, when she looked at him again, and set her spoon down carefully. "I still can't believe you're here," she says softly. "With me. Alive, and whole, and —," she had to stop to regain control of herself before she started crying again at this not so small miracle. "My Julian."


TOCEmergency Battlestations

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