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Posted on Fri Jun 2nd, 2017 @ 8:38am by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Biynah
Edited on on Fri Jun 2nd, 2017 @ 8:43am

Mission: S2E1 - Secrets
Location: Deck 4; Room 402 (XO's quarters)
Timeline: MD 87; 0730


Apparitions of blind terror faded like after-images of bright light against the eyes. Akiva found himself standing atop his bed, sweating profusely despite wearing naught but his underthings, heaving away the burst of adrenaline coursing through him. Clarity trickled into his mind slowly but surely.

It was just a dream. He was safe and alone in his room. Everything was...

Alone. The thought struck him as odd. Events of the prior evening had promised to change his life forever. Though he had preserved Laena's honor, they had gone to bed together in the first step toward uniting their lives in the eventual consummation of marriage.

Yet she was not here. He tapped his commbadge. "Computer, where is Petty Officer Laena?"

The computer warbled in response. "Petty Officer Laena is on Deck 8, room 802."

Akiva frowned. That was unusual; her quarters were on Deck 14.

"Computer, who is assigned to those quarters?"

"Room 802 is assigned to Lieutenant Zuzan."

The blood drained from Akiva's face, which he quickly buried in his hands. Whatever Laena was doing, it could not possibly be good. But, at this moment, he had to focus on slowing his rapid-fire breaths before he passed out.

"Abba, what is the matter?"

Akiva wiped his face from brow to chin before he lowered his hands. At the door stood Biynah, looking both cross and concerned.

"I, uh, had a bad dream, yediydah." He made to cover himself with a blanket.

"Was it about Laena?" Biynah turned her head at an angle. "I heard you asking Yael about her."

Yael. Biynah's personal name for the ship's computer.

"Something like that," Akiva admitted. The truth was far more complicated than he cared to explain at the moment. "I'm sorry for disturbing you."

Biynah walked into the room, though she turned away from the bed and opened the closet. She rifled through multiple uniforms, pressed and hanging in a row. The one in the middle stood slightly apart, and she chose it for its random deviation.

"Here, abba." She tossed it onto the foot of the bed and returned to the doorway, allowing enough time for Akiva to slide into the uniform and tuck in all the right places.

"Thank you, Biynah." Akiva smiled at the progress she had made. Only a couple months old, and already she had grasped so many nuances of social interactions.

"Why did Laena stay here last night?" Biynah asked the question as she slowly turned around. The look on her face was incisive.

Akiva gulped. So many nuances...

"She... we... did not fornicate, if that is what you are asking." He smoothed over his uniform, his hands bursting with nervous energy. "Besides, this is not an appropriate father-daughter conversation."

"Oh." Biynah blinked, then narrowed her eyes. "Then if someone asks me to stay the night with them, shall we revisit this conversation at that time?"

Akiva sighed and sat down. "Point made." He patted next to him. "Come and sit."

Biynah beamed from ear to ear. "Yes, abba." She all but pranced and then plopped next to him, taking his arm in both of hers and leaning against his shoulder.

"So, tell me everything."

~I'd rather not~ he thought to himself, and he did not doubt his face said as much. But, as he looked down at Biynah nuzzling him with her eyes closed, his heart melted toward her.

"As you know, I have been engaged in a courtship with Amber, but what you may not have known is that Laena and I have had a similar... relationship." Akiva smiled at the mention of her name.

"No, but that explains a lot." Biynah's eyes popped open. Her last interaction with Laena while studying in the Stellar Cartography lab had been unusual. She had suspected her words had upset Laena, despite the woman's protest to the contrary. All of the pieces fell together with her father's admission.

Akiva furled his brow at her unexplained conclusions. "At any rate, I have been struggling with the correct means of resolving my courting dilemma. Last night, I decided to forego the conventional route and return to what I know."

He paused long enough to turn Biynah's face toward his with his hand.

"Biynah, as of last night, Laena and I have become betrothed. As soon as we are able, we will be married. We aren't fully husband and wife yet, but it's as good as done."

The synthetic humanoid regarded her father with a quantum-powered wisdom that belied her petite frame and appearance. "And you are happy, abba?"

Akiva felt his grin fade, as the question had caught him off guard. "Happy? Of course I'm happy, yediydah. I have finally taken a wife."

"And what about Amber?"

The question was innocent enough, but Akiva could not shake the feeling that it was a loaded one.

"I will have to be honest with her. I owe her that much. She is... a wonderful person. I hate that I have put her in this position."

"She is my friend," Biynah said plainly.

"As she is mine," Akiva was quick to add. "She will always hold a special place in my heart."

"What is my role in this?" Biynah asked.

Akiva looked away to stare at the wall. So that's what this was about. Biynah felt a genuine conflict of interest between his happiness and loyalty to her friend, Amber. Arguably her first friend outside of those she thought of as family.

"As it always is: to love me and to learn. I ask nothing else." He leaned forward to kiss her forehead. "Ani ohev otach, yediydah." I love you, dear one.

"Ani ohevet otcha, abba," she said. I love you, daddy.

Akiva gave her a loving squeeze, then clapped her shoulder. "Good, good. Now let's get a move on. We have places to be, people to see, and things to do."

"Yes. I'm due in Environmental Control for today's work study. I'll meet with Grace afterward."

Biynah stood up and made to go, but her parting look carried an unspoken word of caution. Akiva watched her hurry off, wondering when it happened that his daughter dispensed wisdom rather than himself in their relationship.

What had he gotten himself into?


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