o

Blue Drop: Seeds of Hope Chapter 10

Graduation

The Next day on Blue's bridge... "Admiral on the bridge.", Announced Blue as Ekaril entered with with a surprisingly serious and determined look on her face.

"Good to see you up an about Ekaril.", said Azanael.

"Good afternoon Admiral.", said Anzinel.

"Blue, please open a new audio file. I'd like to record a message to the fleet.", said Ekaril without even acknowledging Azanael, or Anzinel.

"Audio file opened. Recording now.", said Blue.

"To all Commanders and Fleet Commanders, This is Admiral Ekaril. In the last few days I've had contact with seven of our ships. Of those seven only one was cooperative and followed instructions. The other six fired upon my ship. Of those six a total of ONE was lucky enough to be sent back to Arume to face court-martial for treason. The other five were sent to a watery grave right here on this planet. Now I am flat out of patience and quite frankly I'm pissed off. Now I'm going to issue an instruction and I expect it to be followed to the letter and followed immediately. Any one wishing to challenge my authority will meet one of the fates of those six ships mentioned. Now I want all of you to load any and all thought condensing weapons into cargo ships and send those cargo ships to the following coordinates. That is all. Admiral Ekaril out."

"End recording and close file please."

"Recording stopped." said Blue. "File closed."

"Please attach our current coordinates and send.", said Ekaril.

"Coordinates attached and sent." replied Blue.

"Wow", said Azanael "That'll certainly get their attention."

"Yes, it'll be interesting to see how many actually comply.", said Ekaril.

"Commander on the bridge", Blue announced as Tsubael entered.

"Ekaril. Glad to see you're feeling better.", said Tsubael.

"Thank you Tsubael.", said Ekaril.

"You missed it Tsubael, Ekaril just sent a rather sternly worded message to the fleet. She actually used the phrase 'pissed off'. It was great.", said Azanael.

"Really? I'm sorry I missed that.", said Tsubael.

"Tsubael, hows the work going? Any progress?", said Ekaril.

"Well yes. Sort of... The thought condensing weapons seem to make use of a residue that produces the same psycho-reactive waves produced by an emil force drive all be it only in trace amounts. Now Blues sensors can detect this but the problem is since the emil force drives give off the same signature only much stronger it's difficult to detect them when they're on a ship that has an emil force drive. So the trick now is to find some characteristic that is unique to the emil force drives. When I find that I'll be able to filter out the signatures of the drives leaving only the weapons. So in short... We're still working on it.", said Tsubael.

"Multiple inbound contacts detected.", said Blue.

"Oh great, Let me guess they're declaring war on us and ganging up on us again.", said Azanael.

"No wait... These are too small. They're cargo ships. A lot of them.", said Anzinel.

Tsubael jumped in the Commander's chair and started rapidly hitting keys the way she does and said, "Those cargo ships don't have any emil force drives so we can detect the thought condensing weapons without any special modification to Blue's sensors."

"Thought condensing weapons detected.", said Blue.

"All security personnel to the hangar bays at once. And all maintenance personnel to the hangar bays to offload and inspect the cargo of all cargo ships that dock.", said Tsubael.

"Blue open a channel to all inbound cargo ships please.", said Tsubael. "Attention all cargo ships. Enter a holding pattern around Blue and wait until you are called for docking please."

"Whew, Looks like we're sure going to be busy around here for a few days at least.", Tsubael said.

"Well, it seems you have things well under control. I think I'll take a fighter and go pay Mari a visit.", said Ekaril.

"Yes. Good idea. You do that.", Tsubael said.

"Call me if you need me." Ekaril said on her way out the door.

-71-

Having stashed her fighter in the woods behind the school Hagino walked over to Blue Sea Dorm in some of her civilian clothes, the ones resembling jeans and a T-shirt.

The dinning room is full of girls eating lunch and of course the groupies are waiting on Mari hand and foot. "Is there any thing else we can get you Miss Waketake?"

As tempted as Mari was to put them right to work on something she thought about what Michiko had said the other day, "What would Hagino think," and said, "No thanks."

Michiko sitting across from her was happy to see Mari changing her ways in that regard.

Just then Hagino walked in the door and said, "Uhm... Hi everybody. I just came for a little visit."

The whole dinning room started cheering, "Hi Miss Senkoji. Welcome back. Have some lunch with us."

The groupies of course swarmed Hagino. "Welcome back Miss Senkoji. We missed you so much. Have you been? Can we get you some lunch?"

Mari looked over at Hagino being swarmed by the groupies and smiled and then just continued eating.

"Don't you want to... go say high to Hagino?", said a confused Michiko.

"Well, yeah of course...", said Mari looking back at the groupie encased Hagino. "But right now I think I'm just going to enjoy the fact that she's running interference for me."

Hagino eventually made her way over to where Mari was sitting and sat down next to her while the groupies were getting her some lunch and said, "Hi, Mari."

"Hi Hagino. Welcome back.", said Mari and not wanting to get overly affectionate in the dinning room in front of everybody but needing some form of contact just leans over bumping her shoulder into Hagino's grinning and blushing.

Hagino then immediately bumped back also grinning and blushing.

"So how long will you be staying?", Asked Mari almost afraid to hear the answer as their time together always seems too short.

"Well, today is Friday, right? I was thinking I'd like to stay the whole weekend if Miss Funatsumaru is okay with that."

"The whole weekend?", said Mari with her eyes widened in disbelief.

"Yup.", said Hagino with a giggle.

Mari made a fist with her right hand and made a motion as if pulling down on some invisible handle said, "YES."

"If it's okay I'll wait in your room till your finished with classes?", asked Hagino.

"Well, yeah sure but won't you be board sitting there for hours?", asked Mari.

"No I'll use your tern to chat with Tsubael and Azanael while I wait.", said Hagino.

"Okay, cool. Well I have to get back to class so I'll see you in a few hours.", said Mari and unable to leave with out at least one kiss snuck a quick peck on the cheek hoping nobody was looking and then hastily left the dinning room.

-72-

Later in Mari's room Hagino is talking to Tsubael through the tern. "So how is the collection going.", Hagino said.

"Well, collecting them is going really well, Literally thousands of cargo ships have shown up. There are lines of them stretching for miles in every direction. I think they're finally taking you seriously. Where we're having trouble is disposing of them. Most of the parts are easy enough to recycle but all the residue with the psycho-reactive properties we've been collecting in drums and that stuff is far to dangerous to just dump any where and we don't quite know how to render it inert. I can have crew members double up in their quarters so we can use crew quarters as extra storage room if need be but eventually we're going to run out of room.", said Tsubael.

"hmmmm, That does seem a problem. Okay forget about finding a way to detect them on on other ships for the time being and make finding a way to render that residue inert your top priority. I'll be back Sunday morning.", said Hagino.

"Of course Ekaril. I'll be in touch.", said Tsubael.

Just then Mari entered with, "Honey I'm home!" and the two ran to each other wrapping their arms around each other.

"Oh my god I've missed you so much Mari."

"I know. I've missed you too."

The two had held each other for several minutes when Hiroko appeared in the still open doorway with Akane and Michiko right behind her.

"Uhh... Should we... come back later?", asked Hiroko.

"No... no... Come on in.", said Mari. "Hey Hiroko, Is there any way that maybe... Could Hagino stay here for the weekend?", asked Mari blushing beat red.

"Yeah sure. As long as Director Maiyama doesn't find out and I sure as hell won't tell her.", said Hiroko.

"Yes! Thank you so much Hiroko.", said a very grateful Mari.

With that the five of them sat and chatted for hours catching up, joking around and doing impersonations of Director Maiyama.

Later that night Hagino and Mari got in their pajamas and curled up in bed together like they used to.

"Goodnight Hagino."

"Goodnight Mari."

Neither one really felt sleepy yet but nothing else need be said as the two just lay there cuddle up close reveling in the physical contact they had both gone without for so long.

-73-

Sunday morning back on Blue's bridge... "Admiral on the bridge." announced Blue as a smiling Ekaril entered.

"Good morning Azanael. Good morning Anzinel.", said a cheerful Ekaril.

"Welcome back Admiral.", said Anzinel.

"My, Your little weekend getaway seems to have done you a world of good.", said Azanael.

"Yes it has... It certainly has.", said Ekaril blushing.

"Is Tsubael not awake yet?", asked Ekaril.

"Oh no, she's awake. She got up bright and early and headed straight to engineering. She's been working like a dog all weekend.", said Azanael.

"She is a hard worker. She always has been. I'll have to order her to take some time off soon.", said Ekaril.

"And I should really apologize to her for all those times I gave her a hard time calling her a second rate gunner. She's obviously far more capable than I ever gave her credit for.", said Azanael.

"Bridge to Commander Tsubael.", said Ekaril.

Just then Tsubael appeared on the main screen. "Ekaril, Welcome back. How was your weekend? Never mind I can see by your face it went quite well."

"Yes it was very nice. Thank you Tsubael. Have you found a way to render the residue inert?", asked Ekaril.

"Actually yes I have. I had completely given up. I was totally at my wits end and had completely resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to apologize for letting you down when it hit me. Opposing like waves cancel each other out. So just as a test I took one of the small canisters from a freshly dismantled weapon and attached it to the end of a long pole and inserted it into our emil force drive. Not all the way in mind you, just in past the shielding to expose it to the psycho-ractive waves inside and held it there for a few seconds and when I pulled it out, Completely inert. So now I'm working on a way to expand the shielding of the drive so it can encompass a whole drum of it. That way we can set each drum at the end of the emil force drive one at a time and just expand the shielding around it to render it inert. Once all the drums are inert we can drop them in trench 8, I believe the forime call it the Mariana Trench It's the deepest trench on the planet and it's close by."

"Excellent Tsubael. How are we doing on space?", asked Ekaril.

"Well we're packed I'm afraid. And there's still several hundred more cargo ships out there waiting. I've told them to hold position and await further orders."

"I have an idea. Blue Open a channel to the Shuvaal.", said Ekaril.

"Channel open.", said Blue.

"Commander Keloriel, This is Admiral Ekaril on ship Blue. I need a favor. We've been collecting thought condensing weapons to dispose of them but we've run out of room on Blue and there are still several hundred more cargo ships to unload. I'll need to use your ship as overflow storage for the time being. Please come to these coordinates and begin taking on the remaining weapons. We'll need a couple of days to finish disposing of what we have and I'm sure all those cargo ship crews would like to get back to there home ships.", said Ekaril.

"Of course Admiral. I'll head there right away.", said Commander Keloriel.

-74-

A week later over the Mariana Trench Ekaril and Tsubael are both in the hangar bay overseeing the disposal of the last of the now inert residue.

"Well, that's the last of what we got from the Shuvaal. You think we got all of them?", asked Tsubael.

"I really doubt it. In fact I wouldn't be a bit surprised if some Commander out there has her crew working on backward engineering one to make plans to make more so I'll need you to get back to work on finding a way to detect them Tsubael. But before you do that I hereby order you to take some time off. Take a weekend and go have some fun some where or even just stay in bed for a weekend but I absolutely forbid you from doing any work for an entire weekend.", said Ekaril.

"Thank you Ekaril. I will.", said a grateful Tsubael.

-75-

FAST FOWARD ABOUT A YEAR AND A HALF...

At the Kaiho Academmy Graduation ceremony Hagino, Azanael, Tsubael (in their forime disguises) and Miss Sugawara are sitting in the audience with Hiroko, having graduated the previous year, and the rest of the parents with Anzinel watching through a tern siting on Hagino's shoulder.

Michiko and Akane having already received their diplomas are waiting near where Hagino and the others are sitting for Mari to get hers.

Up on the stage Headmaster Fukamachi just having sent one girl off with her diploma then said, "And this year's valedictorian Miss Mari Waketake."

Mari then walked up on stage to receive here diploma.

Headmaster Fukamachi handed her the diploma and said, "so do you have a few words you'd like to share as valedictorian?"

Mari stepped up to the mic and never having been much of a public speaker said, "uh... Thanks... I guess."

Headmaster Fukamachi leaned over a bit and said, "uhm... Is... that all you got?"

"Yeah, sorry.", replied Mari before walking off the stage to join her friends.

And so ends Mari's time at Kaiho Academy in much the same way it started on that first day when she had to introduce herself to the class.

"Hey, great speech failure face.", said Akane.

"Shut up Akane.", said Mari.

"I'm just kidding. Everybody hates long speeches anyway so you just did everyone a huge favor.", said Akane rubbing Mari's head messing up her hair.

"So is everybody ready to start their new jobs on Blue?", asked Hagino.

"Well, shouldn't we go celebrate first?", asked Michiko.

"YES! PARTY! PARTY!", shouted Mari.

"Well let's at least get your bags from your rooms and I'll show you to you're quarter's on Blue so you can put your stuff away and get settled in since none of you will be staying at the dorm anymore.", said Hagino. I've rearranged crew assignments a bit so I could give you all quarters near mine."

"Okay, sure let's go.", said Akane.

-76-

Onboard Blue in the residential deck Hagino is pointing to doors to point out who's quarters are who's. "This one on the end is mine, this one across from it is Azanael's, The one next to hers is Anzinel's and Hiroko is in the next one so Miss Sugawara you get the one after that...", said Hagino before being interrupted.

"Uhm, I'm nobodies teacher anymore. Do you think we could drop the whole 'Miss Sugawara' thing and just go with Yuko please?", said Yuko.

"Oh, sure of course. and thank you Yuko.", said Hagino before continuing. "And Michiko you get the one across from Yuko and Akane you get the one next to Michiko.", said Hagino.

"Uhm... What about me?", said Mari.

"Oh... I'm sorry perhaps I was a bit presumptuous... I assumed you would be sharing my quarters with me.", said Hagino.

Mari leaped into Hagino's arms and said, "Works for me. I just didn't want to be the presumptuous one." with a very happy smile on her face.

"You got to admit they make an adorable couple don't they.", said Akane.

"Yeah.", said Michiko.

"Okay, well let's everybody get all your stuff put away so we can go have some fun.", said Hagino.

-77-

A few days later they're all partied out and settled in. At Akane's request Yuko, Mari, Michiko and Hiroko, who had spent the previous year helping out in maintenance, are all helping Akane in the kitchen as she has to prepare meals for a little over two hundred people on a daily basis.

"Come on! Come on! If we don't hurry up this will be dinner not breakfast! That's no way to run a kitchen! Chop! Chop! Let's go!", barked Akane.

Michiko, stirring something in a mixing bowl leans over toward Hiroko and whispers, "Didn't this use to be our punishment for breaking rules back in the dorm?"

"Yeah and now we have to do this every day. I'm wondering what we've gotten ourselves into.", said Hiroko.

Right outside the kitchen there are a few Arume crew members waiting for breakfast. One said to the other, "Weren't we always told that the forimes were all... well... lazy?"

The other replied, "Well certainly not this bunch and the foods been great too. I''m starting to wonder if everything we've been told hasn't been... complete rubbish."

-78-

Later that night Mari and Hagino are cuddled up in Hagino's nice big Arume bed with plenty of room to sprawl out meaning no danger of Hagino finding herself on the floor in the morning.

"Mari...", whispered Hagino with her chin resting on Mari's shoulder.

"Yeah?", said Mari.

"There's been something I've been wanting to ask you.", said Hagino.

"What is it?", asked Mari.

"Would you... uhm... would you please be my wife?", asked Hagino surprised out how difficult that was to ask even being so sure Mari felt the same way.

Mari, now in total shock because while she's thrilled at the prospect is pretty sure it's just not possible. "Girls can't marry girls". she thinks. "But.. how? We can't. On our planet only men can marry women.", she said.

"Well, you know how out at sea a ships captain can legally perform weddings and marry people?", said Hagino.

"Yeah but even then it has to be a man and a woman.", said Mari.

"Well, yeah under your laws but under Arume laws women marry women all the time. And Tsubael as commander of this ship can perform that ceremony. And even though it wouldn't be recognized by your legal system I just so want to be able to call you my wife that..."

Mary cut her off there by flipping over and showering her with kisses and in between each kiss saying, "Yes... yes... yes... yes... yes...yes... I so want to be your wife."

Hagino held onto Mari as tight as she could and said, "Oh my god Mari you've just made me so so happy... I love you so much."

"I love you too Hagino. My wife.", said Mari.

"We're not married yet Mari.", said Hagino.

"I know I just wanted to try it out.", said a blushing Mari. "So how soon can we do it?"

"Well, I guess before we can answer that question we have decide what we want it to be like so we can figure out how much prep time we need.", said Hagino.

"I vote for small and simple. I just want to pick out a nice wedding dress and I guess we can get you one too although to be honest I'd like you in your Admiral's uniform.", said Mari.

"Wow, you really like the uniform that much?", said Hagino.

"Yeah." said Mari blushing. "And i want to have it out on the observation tower at sunset.", said Mari.

"Okay, Only thing is I don't have any forime money to buy a dress with.", said Hagino.

"That's okay, I've got plenty. My Grandma left me quite a bit when she died. I mean, I'm not rich but I can sure afford a dress. And since I'm only going to use it once I'll probably just rent one.", said Mari.

"Okay then. We can go pick out a dress tomorrow.", said Hagino "You know, There's another option available to us that you might not be aware of either."

"What's that?", asked Mari.

"We don't have to think about it right away but I just want you to be aware of the possibility that we can have a child.", said Hagino.

"You mean adopt?"

"No I mean really our own child having genes from both of us, Our child. I mean not by ourselves the way a man and woman can. It would require a few doctor visits but if we decide to have one we basically just have to decide which one of us wants to carry it and we have a doctor onboard who can do that too."

"Oh my god that is pretty awesome. But I don't know. I'm not sure I'd be a good mother.", said Mari.

"I think you'd be a great mother. You remember that summer break we spent at Hiroko's family's old place? And you brought Hiroko's niece in to me to give her a bath. That was when I first started considering the possibility of having a baby myself and when I saw you with her in the living room holding her and feeding her and carrying her around, I knew then that if I ever have a baby I would want it to be with you."

"awww... I love you so much Hagino."

"I love you too Mari."

-79-

A couple days later, in the evening just after their ceremony Hagino and Mari retreat to their quarters where Hagino set their new wedding hologram on the desk and turned it on showing the two with arms linked. Mari in her wedding dress and Hagino in her Admiral's uniform.

Then Hagino returned to the arms of her new wife and said, "Oh Mari, I never in a million years would have thought I'd ever be this happy."

"Why not?" asked Mari.

"I've told you this before... I've been a workaholic all my life. That's why there's nothing for me back on Arume. I never made any time for socializing of any kind let alone love. I would never have guessed that I would meet the love of my life here on this planet and that she would love me back. It all seems too good to be true.", said Hagino.

"Wait... Does this mean... I'll be your first..."

"Yup", said a blushing Hagino.

"Oh my god.", said Mari squeezing Hagino even tighter. "And all this time I was worried about not quite knowing what to do and not being good enough and..."

"Well, I'm not quite sure either but I'm sure we'll have fun figuring it out together.", said a giggling blushing Hagino.

-80-

The next morning on the bridge, "Admiral's wife on the bridge.", Blue announced as Mari walked in grinning ear to ear, arms waving around.

"Good Morning Tsubael, Good Morning Azanael, Good Morning Anzinel and Good Morning to you too Blue.", said Mari.

"Good morning Mari Waketake." said, Blue.

Azanael and Tsubael both looked at each other with dropped jaws and wide eyes and noticing this Mari said, "What?" kind of suspiciously.

Azanael looked at Mari and said, "Can you say... Glowing?"

Tsubael corrected Azanael with, "Glowing hell. She's bloody Beaming!"

"Well, I guess you two sure had a good time last night.", said Anzinel.

Mari turned beat red realizing what they were all talking about said, "Yeah, we sure did."

"Wow, I can't wait to see what Ekaril looks like when she gets here.", said Azanael.

"Oh by the way how'd you like that little introduction Blue gave you when you walked in. I told her to say that.", Tsubael said with a smile.

"Admiral on the bridge.", said Blue as Hagino walked in.

"Good morning Blue, Good morning Tsubael, Good morning Azanael, Good morning Anzinel and good morning to you too honey." she said kissing Mari on the cheek.

Mari turned beat red again not even having fully recovered from the last blush and said, "Good morning honey."

"So Admiral... How are you feeling this morning?", asked Azanael.

Now it's Hagino's turn to turn beat red as she said, "Better than ever."

"So, back to work?" asked Tsubael.

"Yup, Back to work." said Hagino.

And with that Hagino and Mari and the rest of the Kaiho Krew headed out on their quest to bring peace between the forime and Arume.

THE END


Author's Note: Well, That's it. I see some reviews that have discovered my major weakness and quite frankly, thank you for putting it so kindly. To be honest my Narrative is near non-existent and consist largely of "meanwhile on the bridge..." and then I'm right into dialog. I have no trouble imagining conversations unfold so the dialog comes easy but I really struggle when it come to narrative. Sorry about that.