Walking into the building that housed the Government offices, Nyx felt another piece of her identity slip back into place. Not much had changed as far as she could tell, but the woman who sat in the outer office of the Governor was a surprise. They’d spoken on the phone once or twice and Kenzo had listed her attributes during a video chat, but secretly, she’d found herself hoping Dorma Fen would be ordinary looking. Instead, the woman was quite attractive and despite herself, Nyx felt a twinge of jealously.
“Hello, Miss Fen?”
The woman behind the desk smiled a friendly smile. She was indeed striking in appearance: a human with obvious Asian ancestry and vivid red hair. She stood up and said “And you are Sinayda Nyx. The Governor made sure I would know you on sight.” She looked at the large double doors that led into the Governor’s office. “He is on a conference call at the moment.” and she looked at Nyx. “I take it this a surprise visit?” and she smiled slightly.
Dorma Fen, Governor’s Aide
Nyx smiled. “Yes, a long overdue surprise. I returned as soon as I felt comfortable leaving everything in my brothers’ hands. There are five of them and they can’t agree on a single thing if left on their own.” Knowing how the position of Governor worked (as far as calls, meetings and appearances) there was nothing she could do except wait for a break in his schedule. “Would it be alright if I sit out here and wait?”
Fen smiled and said “Wait just a moment, Ms. Nyx.” and Fen tapped an icon on her desk interface. =/\= Governor, my apologies for the interruption. The Orbital Platform Directorship is waiting for your decision.=/\= There was a pause and then a familiar voice said =/\= Of course. Two minutes please, Ms. Fen.=/\= Dorma looked up at Nyx and said “A small phrase to indicate he is needed elsewhere.
A few moments later the doors swung out and open into the Governor’s office.
The interior had not changed since her last moments in the place, nor had the person behind the desk. Hyrushi was dressed in a deep burgundy silk suit with a charcoal gray vest and matching burgundy tie over a dark gray shirt. His long black hair hung straight down his back, and he stood as the doors opened.
Nyx felt the thrill Kenzo inspired within her, but she didn’t think she let it show. He looked wonderful—elegant and proper.
It took only a moment for recognition to play across his face and he gave a small, reserved smile. “Sin… it is so good to see you. I was beginning to think our paths had finally diverged. I am very pleased that is not the case. Please, sit.” and he indicated a chair in front of the desk. “Tell me…” he said as he took his seat, “… is this a visit? Or have you returned to grace Oed with your presence permanently?”
She walked across the floor and gracefully folded herself into the indicated chair, crossing one leg over the other demurely. “Unless there is another catastrophe, I believe I am here permanently. I made arrangements moths ago to keep the penthouse—which is where I stayed last night.” She let her gaze familiarize itself with the furnishing and decor before looking back at Hyrushi. “And you? How are you, Kenzo? Is life still good here on OED?”
“Life is busy.” Kenzo responded with a smile. “Many, many changes since you left. Have you kept abreast of the happenings here? And I will take no offense if your familial needs took precedence over matter so far from your home. And I do remember your brothers having been… problematic… in the past.”
Sin shook her head and pushed dark bangs out of the way. “I would love to say I’ve kept up on everything having to do with OED but the truth is I haven’t. My father had a lot of secrets no one knew about and figuring all that out and taking care of of the fallout took most of my attention.” He hadn’t embraced her, nor offered her tea. It made her wonder about the careful dance they were doing to get reacquainted with each other.
“I didn’t know if you had plans for the rest of the day or not, but I was hoping we might be able to get lunch?”
Kenzo nodded and said “Let me check my calendar.” and he tapped a few times on his desk. “I’m sure I can shuffle a few things around. Do you want to here, or go somewhere?” he asked as he sent apologies and rescheduled his mid-afternoon appointments. “There has been quite a bit of growth since you were last here. Many new restaurants and cafes.”
Very pleased that he was able to make time for her suggestion, Nyx smiled. “Why don’t I leave the where to you? I am happy to simply have time together face to face. Despite having the last year with family, I’ve missed you, Kenzo, and would almost be content to eat gagh…almost.” Chuckling, she rose from the chair and began walking slowly around the office to expel a little nervous energy.
Kenzo made and sent notes and, without looking up, said “I have missed you as well, Sin. You pace now? The Nyx I knew a year ago did not let nervousness show like that.” He then looked up and smiled and added “The slider will meet us downstairs. There has been some recent excitement, so you will have to be comfortable with some added security.” He stood up and walked around the desk towards her, stopping near but not close. “It is very pleasing to see you again.”
“For the last year I’ve been able to strike out, physically, whenever emotions rose. My brothers were more than happy to spar with me. One of them even cracked my rib.” She gave an aside as if she were sharing a secret. “It was a lucky shot and I paid him back during our next go round.”
“Anyway, finding myself traveling several days to get here and coming back to a situation I am unsure of…I find myself without an outlet for adrenaline and anxiety. So, yes, I pace until I establish a schedule again that includes working out.” Sin was aware of the distance between them and wondered if it was for his benefit or hers. “The extra security is no bother but what is the cause for it?”
Hyrushi nodded and said “Wal with me.” and he led her out of the office. He stopped at the desk and said “I’m going to lunch. Make sure that I am not disturbed unless its an emergency.” Dorma nodded and said “Absolutely, Governor. Enjoy your lunch.” She looked at Sinayda and said “A pleasure, Ms. Nyx. I hope to see you again soon.”
“Thank you, I hope so too.”
As Hyrushi and Nyx stepped into the turbolift, Hyrushi hit several buttons before the ground floor one. “We had an attack about a week ago. Lucas Holloway of Holloway Heavy Industries was the target we believe, but riding in his shuttle with him was General Calvin Harris, the Commanding General of the new Colonial Customs and Defense Agency. The shuttle was struck by a missile launched from a nearby building. So far, we have not identified the shooter. But a few days after the attack, protests out of nowhere popped up all over the city… almost simultaneously.” The lift stopped, the doors opened, and Hyrushi waited for them to close again. “There was one here at the Tower. I addressed the crowd, and between the Oed Police and the CIA, they managed to capture a suspect that they feel was there inciting the crowd. An empath, if the reports are correct.” Again a stop and pause until the doors closed. “But until we know what is happening and why, all Senior Government officials have extra security in place.”
Well, she certainly had timing it seemed. She’d gotten called away during an especially tense time on OED and it appeared she’d returned during another incident. “How many casualties and has anyone claimed responsibility for the attack?” Cognac eye glanced at the floor indicator panel. “Was there a reason you pressed so many buttons? It this some new protocol?”
Hyrushi looked down, hands held behind his back, and shook his head. “No. No claim of responsibility that is credible. The only casualties were General Harris and Mr. Holloway… thankfully. And the buttons delayed our arrival on the ground long enough so I could tell you what was happening. I try not to speak of such matters around the security personnel. There are so many now, I do not have a level of comfort with them.”
His words indicated that he did still have a level of comfort with her—that was good to know. “Well, I appreciate you filling me in as I can only learn so much from the media. I will mind what I say in front of the security people I don’t know until this thing is sorted out.”
Nyx walked next to Hyrushi to the slider and carefully got in, minding the good china. “I didn’t realize all that was going on. Are you sure you can take off for lunch? I’m kind of surprised you gave in so quickly.”
Hyrushi smiled at her and then nodded to the driver and passenger in the front and the slider began to move as the window that divided the rear from the front slid up. “Nothing to give in about, Ms. Nyx. You have been gone a long time, and I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to find out what has been happening with you the past year.” The car moved effortlessly through the mid-afternoon traffic. All around the city had changed dramatically since Nyx’s last time on Oed. New buildings were up and many more under construction. There was a marked increase in the sheer amount of people as well. But perhaps most dramatic was the lack of the ever-present dome far above them. Now, sunlight fell unhindered on the city and her growing population.
Well, he wasn’t giving her any clues as to how he felt about her return so it was time for her to readjust too. Nyx consciously pulled in her emotions and settled on conversation that didn’t deal with them. “My father’s sudden death didn’t give him time to prepare things for the family. We were all confused to find out he had many investments and several bank accounts. In all the years we knew him, he never let on about his other interests. It’s like I knew him but I didn’t know him too.”
“Death has a way of showing us the true nature of the deceased. Be that for good or ill.” Hyrushi said softly.
She rubbed at a place on one shapely leg before folding her hands in her lap again. “He had connections and deals with people from several different planets and they all wanted to settle when word of his death got out.”
“Nothing complicated, I hope?” Kenzo asked. “But if there is anything still outstanding that you or your family needs assistance with, I am happy to help if I can.”
“I don’t believe I’ll be hearing from the people my father was in business with. I settled his part in those ventures and made it very clear I wanted no further contact with them.”
Just then, the slider slowed and stopped in front of a small café in a non-descript building. The Security officer from the front seat got out and two more joined him from a following car. One went inside and the other two waited for a minute before the other one came out and gave an all-clear signal. At that, the Security officer opened the rear door and Hyrushi slid out to a standing position and held his hand out to Nyx.
Nyx slid across the seat and accepted Kenzo’s hand in assisting her to exit the vehicle. Taking her cues from him, she severed the touch as soon as she was standing again and giving the building the once over. The outside of the eatery didn’t look like anything special, but he had surprised her before with restaurants that held more on the inside than their outer areas implied. “So, the business with my father should be settled and done. However, I have no idea what my brothers might stir up now that I’m back here.”
They approached the cafe, “What kind of food do they serve here?”
Hyrushi smiled and said “Oh, they have a very diverse menu. But I requested something special.” as they walked through the door.
The café was small and completely empty of people save for the staff. Small tables with comfortable looking chairs filled most of the space, but at the far back was a corner booth the Kenzo led them to. On there way, a woman stepped out of the kitchen and smiled at them. “Governor. Madame Nyx. Welcome to the Café Grill. We are honored to have you with us.” Kenzo bowed slightly to the woman and said “The honor is ours. Thank you for making the time and efforts to have us.” He led Sinayda to the booth and gestured for her to be seated.
Taking a seat himself, he slid closer to Nyx and picked up one of the two glasses filled with a sweet-smelling, deep red liquid. He held it up to her and smiled and said “So? What should we toast to?”
It would be better to say something nonchalant, with a broad meaning, but Sin was already growing weary of not knowing where she stood with Hyrushi. Were they still a thing? Did she still have a job? Was it time to forge ahead on her own? She lifted a glass and looked hard at the handsome man beside her. “I don’t know what to offer up as a toast. I feel very unsure about a lot of things at the moment in several different areas, so how about something simple? To our long awaited reunion?”
She held the glass out to see if he would clink crystal with her or if he had a toast of his own.
He tapped his glass to hers and smiled as he took a sip. Setting the glass aside, he looked at her and said “What areas are you unsure of?” and he looked at her for a long moment before he said “Are you sure you are alright? I’m feeling that something drastic has changed in you over the past year, Sinayda. You are not the same person you were.” The server began to walk over but Hyrushi waved them off and turned his full attention to Sin.
That was an interesting observation—one she hadn’t expected. Swallowing, Sin set the goblet back onto the table and let her gaze follow it. “Actually, I am the same person I was when I left, but I’ve spent too much time dealing with disappointments and secrets, trying to work out deals with questionable people my father was involved with and keep my brothers on the right track for the best results from it. They are all about a quick credit instead of turning a real profit in a few years.” She took another drink. “I’m still me, Kenzo, I’m just a little rusty at presenting myself as an individual instead of the spokesperson for a group.”
Kenzo watched her for a long moment and then did something he rarely did… he smiled. Broadly. “Sin… you should have called. This is something I could have helped you… and your brothers… with. You were and are my wakagashira. And as you do for me, I am to do for you. And in this? Sinayda… you forgot that as individuals we are formidable. But together…” and he put his hand on her shoulder and looked hard into her eyes, “… together we have stood against the Dominion. And The Federation. And Star Fleet. And assassins and traitors and spies and saboteurs and how many others wishing to bring us down? And yet here we are. Still working. Still building. Still fighting. And they are gone. And we still live. No matter what has been thrown at us, we have weathered the storm. Your brothers and your father’s estate is not even a rain drop in that storm.”
When he said she was his wakagashira, Nyx inclined her head at the title. It was an honorable one that they filled for each other. “You’re probably right. You might have been able to help with my predicament but I felt it was my duty to handle it within the family. I am not proud of the things I found out about my father. I always thought he was more honorable than it turned out and it was disturbing to find out I’d been played so well. None of us suspected a thing–not even my mother.”
Beneath the table she crossed her legs and turned her body a little more toward Kenzo. “I just want to resume my own life, but after a year, I’m not sure if all of it will be available to me now.”
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