Star Crossed on AO3
Star Crossed on TWCS
“Captain, you have a hail from Admiral Cullen,” said the communications officer, Lt. Riley. “He says it’s urgent and delicate, sir.”
“Send it to my ready room,” I responded curtly. “I’ll speak with him there.”
“Understood,” Lt. Riley nodded.
I got up from my chair on the bridge of my ship, the starship, Volvo. I nodded to my first officer, Commander Jasper Whitlock. He barely acknowledged me, but then again, he never did. I knew he was bitter about being passed over for the command of his own ship and under my leadership. Striding across the bridge, I used my thumb to open the door of my ready room, the office just off the bridge. Walking a little slower, I sat down at my desk and turned on the terminal. The waiting communiqué was blinking on the screen. Pressing the screen, I saw the face of my father appear. “Admiral?”
“I just received your report on the last mission we sent you on,” my father said, looking at the tablet in front of him. “You’re building yourself quite a reputation as a negotiator and a diplomat, Edward.”
“I’m only following the guidelines and rules from my Galaxy Fleet training,” I said, blushing slightly. “It was tough, but the reward was worth it. Seeing the smiles of the refugees from the war as they exited their prison cells, it made me so proud to say that I had a hand in that.”
“You should be proud, Edward. I know I am,” Carlisle, my father, the admiral, said while he gave me a beaming grin. “Anyhow, we have another mission for you.”
“Sir, I mean no disrespect, but my crew is desperate need for some rest and relaxation. The negotiations with the Mesans and Phoenicians was taxing on them and my ship. I was heading to one of the space stations to get the Volvo overhauled,” I said.
“You can still go to the space station, located off the outskirts of Cygnari space. They are quite good at what they do and you’ll be able to spend some time as you prepare for your mission,” Carlisle explained. My tablet beeped and I saw a classified file appear. “Your reputation is going to be your biggest asset, Edward.”
“Did you say Cygnari space?” I asked, looking at our orders. “They have been at war with the Alphans for millennia. They aren’t also a part of the Federation.”
“But they want to be. They’ve been denied because of their ongoing war with the Alphans. Their leader, Emperor Charel, wanted to see it happen before his death. Unfortunately, the war snuffed that idea quickly. He was killed about six months ago in a border skirmish.”
“How do you know all this? The Cygnarians are a very private species,” I said, skimming the information.
“Charel reached out to the Federation. He wanted to end this interstellar war. He wanted a better future for his children, Nirabelle and Charanel. He died before his wish came true. His daughter, Nirabelle, is now the Empress of her people. She wants to see her father’s dying wish come true. Working with our team here on Earth, we’ve devised a plan for her. But there are some very specific rules, per the Cygnarian Council of Elders,” Carlisle said.
“What are these rules?” I asked.
“Empress Nirabelle cannot have any contact with any male member of your crew,” Carlisle stated firmly.