Mighty Orbots: The Shadow Mirror Saga
Chapter 5: Ria
By: Jo Ann/Dia
"You did well on your first mission, Hoshi," Rob said, the pride in his voice evident even over sub-space radio.
"Thank you, Daddy!" the youth replied, his exuberance making him sound like the child he was, instead of the young man he seemed to be.
Side-by-side, two robot giants flew through space. One was the multi-colored Mighty Orbots, while the other was the newly-repainted Tobor. Once, Tobor was dark blue and black –the colors of Shadow. But now, the double of Mighty Orbots was almost all white, with purple for sleeves, and purple around the collar. With black "hair", the huge robot looked to be a robotic version of Hoshi in his uniform.
The mission had been a simple one: Help with repairs to a space station orbiting Urbanos. Rob had a lot of memories concerning that over-populated planet. A lot of those memories, oddly enough, involved Belladonna.
The first time he met her, Rob was a newly-trained and untested Orbots' Commander, and had been sent as a bodyguard to a wealthy woman named "Belladonna". Upon arrival, he found her to be of the Aoi, the blue-skinned people of Aoila, a planet close to the area ruled by Umbra. She seemed gracious; welcoming him like a queen would a knightly prince.
While the Orbots investigated the mystery of who was after Belladonna, Rob was convinced to serve as her "personal" bodyguard. He soon discovered that there was more to the "personal" part than he was led to believe.
At first, she simply engaged him in conversation, mostly about the Galactic Patrol, and the Orbots' role in the intergalactic police organization. Soon, however, the talk had turned to the Orbots' Commander, himself. Before long, the beautiful and sexy woman was coming on to him, attempting to seduce him. If the Orbots had not arrived in time, she might have gotten secret information from him. It was then that he had learned what the Orbots had found out: Belladonna was a Shadow Agent!
Stunned by the new information, the inexperienced Orbots' Commander let her escape. Rondu later calmed an embarrassed Rob that anyone could have made the same mistake, and that there will be another time to capture Belladonna.
It would take quite awhile to capture Belladonna. Rob and the Orbots would have several run-ins with the beautiful blue woman, before finally capturing her on Urbanos after she tried to steal a pod of protogen for Umbra.
Rob's next encounter with Belladonna would be one that he would rather forget. It had been weeks before the nightmares had finally ceased to torture him. When next they had met on New Kenya, the young man had wanted so very badly to hurt her for what she had done to him…
But Rob was a man of peace, not a killer. He had listened to what the blue-skinned woman had to say, and found out he had a son. In the end, it was Dia's words that had driven the hatred from him.
Now, Belladonna was a good friend, mother to his son, Hoshi Me.
"Daddy," Hoshi's voice came over the radio. "Can we stop at the ice cream planet and get some ice cream?"
"It's not, 'Can we', Hoshi," Rob gently corrected, "it's 'May we'. And I'm afraid not. Your mother is fixing supper for Dia and me tonight, and we can't be spoiling our dinners, right?"
"I guess not," Hoshi admitted, pouting.
"That's my boy," Rob grinned. "And the planet is called, 'Sweet Snow'."
"Whatever," Hoshi shrugged. "I just like the ice cream they have there." Rob chuckled at the boy's words. The teenaged body could not hide the infant inside!
"Let's head home, son," Rob said. Together, the two huge robots continued their journey to Earth.
"I've been wondering, Belladonna," Rob said as he ate a forkful of steak. "Why does Hoshi look exactly like me? I mean, on Earth, children can have traits of both parents, or even other relatives. But I've never heard of a child whose features were identical to a parent before."
"It has to do with a genetic condition of my people, Commander," she answered. "If an Aoi mates with an off-worlder, then the child that is born to them will have the facial features of the off-worlder parent. But only if the child is the same gender as the off-worlder parent. Had Hoshi been born a girl, instead of a boy, she would have had her own, individual facial features, based on both of her parents. But since Hoshi is a boy, he looks like you."
"Except for the hair, and the eyes," Dia put in. Dia sat on one side of Rob, while Hoshi sat on the other. Belladonna was on the other side of Hoshi, and Rondu sat on the other side of Belladonna. Between Rondu and Dia was Lenore. The Orbots –including Oh-No—were in their recharge chambers.
"Yes," Rondu agreed. "But why does he have black hair? The Commander's hair is blonde, and Belladonna's hair is red."
"Hmmm…" Rob thought aloud. "Maybe it's because my dad's hair was black…"
"As was my father's hair," Belladonna put in. "Maybe Hoshi got his black hair from his grandfathers."
Suddenly, Dia dropped her fork on her plate and clutched at her abdomen. At her gasp, everyone turned toward her.
"Dia!" Rob was the first to see to his wife. "Are you alright?"
"There is no pain," she said when she caught her breath. "Elvadorians don't feel pain during pregnancy or childbirth."
"Lucky," Belladonna commented, remembering how much giving birth to Hoshi had hurt.
"But we still know when it begins," Dia went on. "And it has begun. The baby's coming…NOW!"
"Dr. Langton," Rondu spoke into his wrist communicator. "Dia has gone into labor. We're bringing her to the medic bay."
"We'll be ready, Commander," Dr. Langton answered.
Hoshi concentrated hard. As quickly as he could, he constructed a working wheelchair. When it was done, Dia was eased into it. The entire group made their way to the medical bay of the Galactic Patrol Headquarters.
"Breathe, Dia," Rob encouraged his wife. Also in the birthing room was Belladonna, Rose, Dr. Langton, and two nurses. Rob held one of Dia's hand, while Belladonna held the other. Rose stood by in case Dia would need her. Rondu, Hoshi, and Lenore waited in the waiting area for news of the new baby.
At some point between Belladonna's quarters and the medical bay, Rob had managed to call for the Orbots. The six robots –along with Azora—waited with the humans. Hoshi had reabsorbed the wheelchair he created as soon as it was safe to do so. That was hours ago.
As the Orbots quietly wondered if the new baby would be a boy or a girl, Hoshi was curled up on a sofa, asleep. His head was laying on Lenore's leg as she calmly knitted a blue blanket for him. A blanket for the new baby had already been made, and was waiting for him –or her—at Rob's house. The one for Hoshi was already quite large, and would soon be finished.
"Boy or girl," Bo was saying, "we'll all have to help care for it."
"I wouldn't mind," Boo put in. "We'll be its big brothers and sisters."
"D…d…don't you think we'll b…b…be a bit much?" Bort asked nervously.
"Nah," Tor dismissed his friend's concern. "We won't be in the way."
"And, of course, Dia has Rose to help her," Azora said. "Plus, Belladonna will be ready to help. Dia will have plenty to aid her."
"I hope so…" Bo started. Everyone was startled by another –loud—sound.
"WAAAAHHHHHHH…." was heard from the other room.
"Ohhhh…" Boo could barely conceal her excitement. They all knew what the sound was, and what it meant.
A few moments later, Rob came into the waiting area, a bundle wrapped in a small, hospital blanket in his arms. The expression on his face was a mix of uncontained joy, wonder, and pride. The emotions threatened to overwhelm him, rendering the young hero temporarily unable to speak. He just stood there, his eyes conveying the happiness he felt.
"Easy, Rob," Rondu put his hand on the youth's shoulder. "Take a few deep breaths and calm yourself."
Rob closed his eyes and did so. After a few breaths, his eyes opened –still filled with happiness—and he spoke, his voice soft, as if still trying to regain control of the wonderful feelings he was having.
"It's a girl," he announced. "Dia wants to name her, 'Ria'. I've agreed to the name." He showed them the new baby.
Ria was wrapped warmly in the blanket, her tiny fists covered with little mittens to prevent her from accidentally scratching herself. Her skin –a deep pink now, just after birth—would be the Caucasian of her father and mother, while the slight tilt of the eyes, the tiny pointed ears, and the overall "pixie-look" was inherited from her mother. But instead of the moon-silver of Dia's hair –like all Elvadorians— the wisps of hair Ria had showed to be that of the sun-gold of her father.
"She's beautiful!" Lenore exclaimed softly. "What color is her eyes?"
"Blue," Rob answered. "Like Dia's and mine." Just then, the baby started to get fussy.
"Oh, no!" little Oh-No exclaimed.
"I think she's hungry," Rob said, trying to comfort his new daughter. "I'll take her back to Dia." Gently, he carried the precious bundle back into the birthing room.
"That…was…amazing…" Boo breathed.
"Mother and baby are in excellent health," Dr. Langton said to the group. Dia and Ria had been moved to a regular room, and everyone was either in the room, or just outside of it. Rob stood beside his wife's bed, more in control of himself than he was before. Rose stood nearby, on the other side of the bed, in case she was needed. Hoshi was standing beside Rob, and Lenore and Belladonna were sitting in chairs at the foot of the bed.
"I'd like to keep them here for a couple of days," the doctor went on. "Just for observation. After that, they need to be nearby for a few months."
"They can stay at my quarters," Belladonna said. "I have an extra room besides my room and Hoshi's."
"You'd like that, wouldn't you, Hoshi?" Dia grinned at the boy. "Daddy staying in the same apartment as you?"
"Yes!" Hoshi grinned back.
"We'll need a few things from home," Rob stated. "The bassinet, the blanket Mom made, diapers…that sort of thing."
"You go get the items," Belladonna said. "I'll let you into the room."
"Okay," Rob agreed. "Hoshi, will you come with Oh-No and me to get the stuff?"
"Sure, Daddy!" Anything to share some time with his father.
"Alright; come on," Rob smiled. "See you later, love," he whispered to Dia, giving her a kiss.
"And I'll go and open the apartment," Belladonna added, also moving toward the exit.
"Great," Rob smiled. "See you guys later." The four of them left the room for their tasks.
"Everything is going to be alright, dear," Lenore said to Dia, getting up from her chair and going to stand by her side.
"I know," Dia smiled wearily, holding her new baby close.
But was everything alright? Something was brewing in a long-forgotten cave, on a forgotten planet. Something that would be trouble for our heroes.
"Sweet Snow", the planet, is named for what the character of Hiei calls ice cream in YuYu Hakusho fanfics.
Chapter 6: The Return of Kage Kagami. But how? By the return of an enemy, THAT'S how!