Letting Go (PG)
Disclaimer: Henson and Co. own Farscape. Anything they don't own I borrowed from JJ.
My answer to SC62: Write a Sequel to JJ's SC61.
Word count about 6,800.
Age and heppil oil were taking their toll on Vice Chancellor Mele-On Grayza. She could feel her body sagging. New wrinkle lines appeared every year. Time was running out. She had climbed as far politically as she could. Now she looked to her daughter to fulfill her ambition. One day Greshyn would lead all Peacekeepers. Grayza would see to it.
It was time her daughter began her destiny, it was tea time.
Greshyn walked away from tea with her mother. How weird was that? She'd never met her before and if it hadn't been for the last name factor, she'd never have known who the woman was. It wasn't like she'd ever shown an interest in her before. In fact, she'd always been told to avoid her mother at all costs.
Mele-On Grayza was not a trusted person. Many despised her for what they believed to be the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of Peacekeepers at the Battle of Quajarga. Her daughter had learned at an early age to avoid identifying herself. The hate many had for her mother rolled over to her. A nice person would suddenly become the meanest enemy when they realized who she was.
Walking down the hall, Greshyn heard a noise. She looked over her shoulder, but the hall was deserted. That was unusual, normally there was someone rushing to get somewhere who would pass her. She always took it as a good sign when they would ignore her. Lost in her thoughts, she didn't hear the person come up behind her. The blow to her head was the first indication that she wasn't alone. She tried to look at her attacker. He landed blows to her stomach. Before she could bring any of her training into the situation, the second blow to her head made the world go black.
Hours later she awoke in the med bay to find Olpin standing next to her. It was the first time she'd ever seen her friend disarrayed. Olpin's blue eyes were damp with unshed tears.
"What happened?" Greshyn asked.
"I was hoping you knew. We were leaving the Vice Chancellor's tea when Ssezin and I got delayed by the instructor. We were about fifty microts behind you and found you in the hall unconscious and bleeding. That was three arns ago. Ssezzin was here for a little while. She just went to talk to her grandfather. The Grand Chancellor was worried about you."
Greshyn tried to sit up. "I'll be fine." The world started spinning a little.
Olpin pushed her down. "Stop that. You are not getting up until the nurse clears you. They are concerned about swelling. That blow you took to the head was bad. They had to stitch it up. It's going to scar," she paused. "This is just so unfair."
"You have your first battle scar before the rest of us are even allowed to fight. That's kind of selfish of you." Olpin tried to smile.
"How bad is it?"
"They only had to use five sutures. They had to shave your hair a little. It will grow back and cover most of it. You also have a cracked rib and severe bruising."
Greshyn closed her eyes. "Why did she invite us to tea? Why did she have to bring attention onto us? She's left me alone for all these years and now she wants to claim me?"
"Is that what this was about?" Olpin asked.
"I think so. It was what he said before he hit me again." She flinched. "He said it was payback for what she did."
Ssezzin came running into the room. "Has she woken up yet?"
"Yeah, I'm awake."
"Oh thank goodness. I was worried about you."
"I'll be okay. It only hurts when I move," she smiled.
"Then don't move," Ssezzin said, exasperated.
"Fine! I won't!" She shouted, irritated.
"Grandfather wanted to know if you knew who attacked you."
"I don't. I'm not even sure where they came from. I was alone in the hall, and then I wasn't."
"She thinks whoever attacked her did it to hurt her mother."
"Why would they think that woman would care?"
Olpin looked around; no one was paying attention to them. "Quiet! We don't want anyone overhearing us. Some people fear her enough to report to her."
"You're right. I'll speak to Grandfather. He should know what's going on."
Greshyn would tell her not to, but she knew there was no point. Ssezzin was worried about her and wouldn't keep secrets where her friends' safety was concerned.
The nurse came over and shooed the girls out. "Cadet Grayza needs to sleep. You can come back tomorrow."
When Greshyn awoke the next morning, she was informed that she would have a personal guard from that moment forward. The Grand Chancellor felt that her life was in danger and until they could find the person responsible, she would go nowhere alone. Olpin and Ssezzin were assigned to be with her whenever possible. If there was a time when one of the girls couldn't be with her, the guard would accompany her.
Greshyn resented her mother's influence on her life. If she had been anyone else, then there would be no need to fear for her safety.
Three years had passed since the attack. The three girls had become a unit. They had each other's backs and were on watch for any outside attack. Most Peacekeepers frowned on their unit. Relationships were discouraged, usually by High Command. An exception had been made in this case. Grand Chancellor Felko presented it as an experiment. He believed their unit would be stronger for the emotional attachments. High Command went along with this 'experiment' because they didn't want to put the peace in jeopardy.
Although Grayza was not trusted and unwelcome in many diplomatic situations, High Command could not show their dislike of her. Her name graced their treasured peace treaty and any crack among the higher ranks could be seen as weakness. High Command provided special protection for Grayza's daughter because they needed to safe guard the 'child of peace'. It was rumored that Grayza only agreed to the peace treaty for her daughter. They could not afford to lose her.
The Grand Chancellor had come up with an idea to end the stalemate between High Command and Grayza. It would foster a better image for the Peacekeepers who were trying to rebuild their powers after the war. Felko had broken the cardinal rule of Peacekeepers; he'd gotten attached to the girls. He looked out for them. Greshyn's attack had scared him. His granddaughter was important to him, all the family he had left. He realized her friends had come to mean as much to him, too.
Now all they had to do was convince the crew of Moya. Felko was pretty sure he could do that. Moya's Captain had become a friend; she understood the peace and wanted to maintain it as much as anyone. She also had a soft spot for children. Felko had earned the respect of those aboard Moya when he had come to her rescue when she was attacked by bounty hunters that didn't get the message that the reward was revoked. If he had to, he would call in that favor.
With a shake of his head, he put the finishing touches on his formal uniform and left to greet Moya and her crew.
The fifteenth anniversary of the Treaty of Moya was underway. Besides the usual festivities, standard renegotiating occurs at such events. Delegates from all over Peacekeeper Space, the Uncharted territories and the Scarran Empire would join this meeting. The Hynerian Empire and the Luxon Territories were also represented by, Dominar Rygel the 16th and Ambassador Tosko.
Moya had a special place at these meetings. Through Stark and Rygel's efforts, the Leviathan had been accorded special distinctions and protections. She was considered her own neutral country. Those aboard her were afforded diplomatic status. Moya's leader was Captain Aeryn Sun, former Peacekeeper. Her second officer, Commander John Crichton was not what most would expect. He looked sebacean but was physically unassuming. As a result of the peace treaty, the both held ranks and respect among Peacekeepers and Scarrans.
Every five cycles the treaty was renegotiated and reaffirmed. It had become tradition for final negotiations to occur in the maintenance bay where the first treaty was signed. The event was celebrated with festivities and games. This was a tradition of Crichton's people and he suggested it as a way of promoting the peace. He called it the Olympics. Since there was no translation for the word in most languages, the word was adopted into the other languages.
Each delegation sent their own athletes to the games. The events were made up of competitions from different parts of the galaxy. This anniversary was special. For the first time Moya was sending her own delegate. He was a talented pilot and a good Tadek player.
A different territory hosted the games and this cycle they would be held on Hyneria with the Dominar acting as the master of ceremonies.
Scorpious was frustrated. His project had finally stalled and his Interion scientist needed to be replaced. He should just space her and make his life easier. The child stopped him. There was something special about the brat. Having endured 9 cycles aboard a command carrier with his inferior genes, he had shown remarkable resiliency.
As much as he despised the child's parents, he liked the brat.
A decision had to be made. The scientist had to go, but her child shouldn't be punished. He had an idea and a favor to call in.
"Captain Sun, Commander Crichton," the Chancellor said as he was greeted in the docking bay of Moya.
"Chancellor Felko, it is good to see you again," John said with sincerity. Grand Chancellor Felko was one of the few Peacekeepers he liked. After the Battle of Quajarga and the peace treaty was signed, Vice Chancellor Felko arrived to take over command from Grayza. At Stark and Rygel's request, all future peace treaty facilitations were to be handled by him. Moya's crew had welcomed many Peacekeeper delegates through the years, but Grayza had been banned from ever boarding the Leviathan again.
Captain Sun and Commander Crichton had agreed to a small Peacekeeper contingent aboard Moya. The team answered to the Captain of Moya, and not High Command. Over the last fifteen cycles it had become one of the most coveted postings. Every member of the team had to take crew assignments aboard the leviathan. Each posting was for five years. Most soldiers reapplied. Currently there were 15 soldiers, five techs and seven cadets aboard.
Felko nodded at Aeryn. "Captain, Commander, can I have a word in private, perhaps in the center chamber?"
"Of course, Chancellor." As they made their way to the center chamber, they got caught up on the latest news since the last time they had seen each other. The door to the center chamber had barely closed when the chancellor spoke. "I know you will be selecting the Peacekeeper delegation for Moya soon and I have a personal request. There are three cadets I would like included with your team. The girls are the best of their class and would be an asset to any squad they end up with."
John waved the Chancellor to a seat. He poured drinks and sat down. "If they are so full of potential, why send them with us? I tend to be directly responsible for contaminating peacekeepers."
"You know that it is not the position of the current High Command. They feel that duty aboard Moya strengthens a soldier. They learn more survival skills aboard this vessel than they ever could in standard Peacekeeper detail."
"So why these three cadets?" Aeryn asked.
"They are the strongest cadets in their class. High Command and I are in agreement with this placement. We want them to have time to grow and learn. Aboard Moya they would be guided well."
"What aren't you telling us?" John asked.
"The current Vice Chancellor has taken an unusual interest in them."
"Yes. This concerns us. We are worried about what this means. Grayza is losing power and control. There is concern about what her motives are. If they serve on Moya, they would be protected and guided well."
"I see." John looked at Aeryn and shrugged. While they wouldn't wish Grayza on anyone, they weren't sure they would want anyone she was interested in on Moya. "How about we meet them first, then we'll see."
"That's fair," Felko took a thoughtful sip of his drink. "In the meantime, I have arranged for security for your delegate to this convention's games. It will be an honor to finally meet your son."
Aeryn exchanged a look with John. "We appreciate the security. He's too much like his father."
"If you agree to the posting, High Command is willing to allow the cadets to compete on Moya's team."
"Are the cadets in agreement with this idea?" Aeryn asked.
"I wanted to make sure they would be welcome before I offer the posting to them. They could still refuse. Perhaps they could join us at dinner tonight."
"That would be acceptable," Aeryn replied.
D'Argo Sun-Crichton sat in the corner of his cell, leaning against the wall. He was assembling a modified transponder coil for Moya. It wasn't needed but he was sure he could devise a more efficient system. And it gave him something to do. At his feet sat a brown DRD. Its name was Toto and followed him around everywhere. His father said ever kid should have a dog and this was as close as Moya could get.
The boy looked so much like his parents. He stood the same height as his mother and was growing fast. Over the last few cycles he had become a talented pilot.
A sound at his door brought his head up. "Dad."
"Hey Deke, got a microt?"
"Sure," he said. "What's up?"
"Your mother and I are having dinner with Grand Chancellor Felko and a few members of his Peacekeeper detail. We'd like you to come to dinner too."
D'Argo looked up in surprise. "Mom's okay with that?"
"Yeah. With you joining the festivities this cycle, we thought it might be a good idea for you to meet the chancellor in relaxed settings. He is responsible for your security during the games."
"Do you trust him, Dad?"
John harrumphed. "More than most. There is no other Peacekeeper I would trust with your safety." He tilted his head as he rubbed his lip with his thumb. "The chancellor has never given me any reason to doubt his sincerity. He wants to maintain the peace as much as we do. He even saved our lives once."
The three girls sitting across from him were all very pretty. Deke found it almost impossible to keep from staring at them. He had been told that the cadets were applying for training posts on Moya. Since he would be training with any cadets aboard the ship, his dad told him the final decision rested with him. The cadets would be training with him for the next five cycles., he should be able to get along with them.
He studied them closely. They were obviously comfortable with each other. The tallest one, Olpin Chatto seemed to be the spokesman for the group. She had her long blond hair pulled back into a smooth knot. Her formal uniform had regulation creases perfectly spotless. Obviously little details were important to her. She seemed to keep a vigilant eye on her friends, especially the quiet one. His father said she reminded him of her aunt.
Her aunt, Jenavia Chatto was a respected Peacekeeper operative that always looked out for those she was assigned to protect. His father said he owed his life to her. One day Deke hoped to get the full story, but neither of his parents ever talked about it.
Ssezzin Felko was Olpin's exact opposite. She didn't seem to care about her appearance. Her short brown hair was shoved behind her ears as if she got impatient with it. Her uniform looked like it had been thrown on in a hurry without the use of an iron. The only time she participated in the conversations around her was when they involved a technical issue she could contribute to.
The girl in the middle was quiet. She seemed to be sheltered by her friends. The meal was half over before she said anything. She wore her black hair down to her mid-back, parted on the right side. The hair on the left side draped over her pale blue eyes. Deke tried not to stare at the thin shock of white hair that threaded through the black. When she did speak, her voice was quiet and hesitant. She didn't make eye contact with anyone at the table. In fact, Greshyn Grayza seemed uncomfortable in her own skin.
Although Olpin was the spokesperson for the group, she seemed to be speaking for Greshyn who appeared to be their silent leader. If addressed directly, she would almost flinch before answering. There was an unconscious fear in her eyes. Her body was tense, as if waiting for a blow to fall.
The girls were so formal; Deke figured some time on Moya might help them relax. It would be nice to have someone his age onboard. It was kind of lonely being the only teenager on the boat.
The next morning, during breakfast, Pilot commed, "Commander Crichton, there is a marauder on route to Moya."
"Scorpious. He is asking permission to dock."
"Great. Pilot I'm on my way." He took off at a run.
"Hello John!" Scorpious said as they met in transport bay.
"Grasshopper, what brings you aboard?"
"Just… saying… hello, for old times' sake."
"I see. Well don't let the door hit you on the way out," John turned to leave.
"Is that anyway to treat an old friend?"
John turned back to face him. Absence did not make the heart grow fonder, as evidenced by five cycles of absence and he still didn't like him.
"You are looking well, John. Why, you've hardly aged at all."
"Yeah, Scorpy, so?"
"Aren't you going to thank me?"
"Thank you for what?"
"My neural clone's parting gift to you when he left. He extended your life span by at least 100 cycles."
John's face scrunched up, but he didn't argue. "I see. Fine. Thank you. Now what?" he asked impatiently.
"You owe me John. I have come to collect."
John grunted, "I owe you?"
"Yes. You see, you will now live almost as long as Aeryn. That should be worth something. And this is more of a gift, than a favor, if you will, for Moya."
"I have a scientist who has shown herself to be an asset to my team. She is very knowledgeable about leviathans. I would like to transfer her to your ship."
"If she is so wonderful, why don't you keep her?" he asked impatiently.
"She's not fitting in with my team. Peacekeepers do not like outsiders. Especially those who marry sebaceans."
"So who is she?"
"Her name is Lanet. She's an Interion married to my senior officer in charge of my main prowler wing. He and their son would have to transfer with her. The boy, Taluk, is 9 cycles old and learning very quickly. He would benefit from living on Moya."
"Great. So to fulfill my debt, which I didn't ask for, I have to take a senior officer on board?" John asked. Scorpious nodded. "I will think about it. Aeryn would have to meet them and agree. It's her boat, her decision. Why did Harvey extend my life? I can't imagine that it was something you would wish."
"After you were caught in the Center Halo, my clone discovered how short the human lifespan was. He worked to lengthen it to extend his life. Harvey feared you would die before we got the wormhole information from you.
"The Center Halo? We never entered it. We went around it."
"Not the first time. You and Aeryn Sun got stranded in the halo for over 55 cycles. Backing Moya out of it reversed its effect. So you have never remembered, but my clone did."
John thought back almost 20 cycles. "So that is what Stark meant when he said I was young. I always wondered about that." He thought for a moment. "I'll ask Aeryn. She'll want to meet them. We seem to be bringing a lot of new people on board this cycle."
There was a special dinner for all the prospective athletes. It was mandatory that they all attend.
Greshyn walked into the hall by herself. She would leave the dinner with Olpin and Ssezzin so her guard left as soon as she entered. Social functions such as these left her brittle and uncomfortable; she wished she could hide in the corner.
Although she was pretty, her dark looks and brown eyes would never bring the admiring glances her mother had enjoyed. This was not a bad thing. Her mother was not a nice person. She used her body like a weapon and expected everyone else to follow her lead. The Vice Chancellor was mean hearted and controlling, she enjoyed her power. Her mother was feared, not respected. There were times Greshyn would hear the rumors of her father's death and wonder at the truth.
She was the opposite of her mother in every way that mattered. Greshyn had precious friendships that had withstood the complications of being the daughter of the Vice Chancellor brought.
Shaking off these thoughts, Greshyn looked around her. D'Argo was sitting in the corner fidgeting with his drink glass. She took a moment to observe him. Although she had had dinner with him the night before on Moya, she had been too nervous to look at him.
If she didn't know he wasn't pure sebacean, she never would have guessed. He looked like her classmates. He was getting strange looks from the other athletes. Many of the faces were openly hostile or over interested. As he was certainly not unattractive, a few were admiring looks from some of the female competitors.
He was sitting in the most defensible space. She wasn't sure how intentional that was, but he didn't look too comfortable with the crowd. Here was someone else just as lonely and lost as she was. As his was the only face in the crowd, she knew, she made her way over to him. "Mind if I join you?"
"Please. It's nice to see a friendly face," he smiled at her. "Where are your friends?"
"They are running late. They should be here soon."
"Ah. So you're going to be competing?"
"Yeah. They are still waiting to figure out which team we are going to be on. If your Captain approves our transfer, we'll be competing with you."
"That would be nice. I can't compete in team events alone," he smiled.
"What's it like living on Moya?" she asked eagerly.
"You mean what's it like to live on a living ship?" She nodded. "It's amazing. At night when everything is quiet, you can hear her breathe. Sometimes if you listen carefully you can hear her humming. Moya is so peaceful and nurturing, I've always felt safe aboard her. The best place is the terrace. From there it feels like you can almost reach out and touch the stars."
"It sounds so different."
"It is. Your ship is so loud. You can hear the engines from any location. The bulkheads vibrate rapidly and it's such a mechanical sound." He looked at her. "So are you transferring to Moya?"
She looked lost. "I want to, but I don't think the Vice Chancellor would never let me accept a posting away from her carrier."
She looked hard at him. Was he teasing her? "She's my mother. She won't let me go anywhere without her approval."
"How do you feel about that?"
"She doesn't want me. I am just a possession. When I was twelve cycles old, she started trotting me out when she wants to show off. It's not about me; it's about what it can bring her."
There was a commotion at the door and the woman in question slithered up behind her and laid a heavy hand on her shoulder. "Greshyn, my dear, you must introduce me to your friend."
She froze with her drink half way to her mouth. Looking like a mouse caught in a trap, she said, "Vice Chancellor Mele-On Grayza this is D'Argo Crichton of Moya."
"Crichton," she paused. I know your parents. How are they doing?"
Deke caught Greshyn's eye. She seemed to be warning him. He looked up. "They are well."
"Where are they now?" The woman moved closer to him coming alongside Greshyn. She started to reach out to him when Olpin arrived.
"Vice Chancellor!" she said loudly. Grayza turned to her glaring. "Can I get you anything to drink?"
Greshyn waved Deke to the side, blocking him from her mother's view. Ssezzin came up to him and laced her arm through his. "Deke, there's someone I want you to meet." She pulled him away to the corner. "You have to be careful around her, she's dangerous. No matter what happens, it's never a good idea to be alone when she's around."
"Got it." He looked over at the Vice Chancellor. She wasn't an attractive woman. Her body seemed to be thin to the point of wasting away. Her once black hair was thinning and gray. She seemed incredibly old. "Stay in groups when wraith like women are around."
"Be serious. She really is very dangerous."
"I got that. Everyone in this room went quiet when she walked in. It was like all the energy in here got sucked out at once. There isn't a person here who isn't watching her carefully."
"Just stay away from her. Whatever you do, don't let her get close to you physically," she said deadly serious.
He responded back, just as serious. "I promise to stay away from her. That's Greshyn's mother, right?"
"Yes. And if you know what's good for you, I wouldn't mention it. Greshyn doesn't like to be reminded of the relationship. She's not very rational where that woman is concerned."
A commotion at the door brought their heads up. Captain Sun and Commander Crichton entered the room, followed by Dominar Rygel the 16th and Chiana. The Vice Chancellor sneered as she made eye contact with them. They walked over to join them. "Officer Sun, Commander Crichton, so good of you to join us."
"It's Captain, not Officer," Crichton corrected.
"Right. My apologies, Captain. I just had the pleasure of meeting your son. He's such a handsome young man, so much like his father."
John moved to step forward, but a light touch to his arm stopped him. "Thank you Chancellor. We are very proud of him," Aeryn said.
"Forgive us for not staying," Rygel interjected. "It's been a long night and the crew is heading back to Moya."
"Please don't let me stop you," Grayza replied.
John answered, "We won't." He nodded to Deke.
"I'll see you guys tomorrow."
Deke was half under a strange ship when Greshyn came into the maintence bay. He was banging on something and muttering under his breath.
"Everything alright?" she asked.
"Yeah, it's fine." He pulled himself out from under the ship. "The modulator doesn't fit, that's all. I shouldn't be surprised. Nothing fits the first time."
"What kind of ship is it?"
"It's a cross between my dad's module, my mom's prowler and one of Moya's transport pods. Dad and I are trying to adapt the gliding flight style of his ship with the prowler's defenses. We want better maneuverability and protection."
"Why the leviathan parts?"
"Dad likes the material better. He says biomechanoid materials are better than prowler shielding. I'm not sure I understand completely but it has to do with ambient magnetic radiation given off during flight."
"That's the field that distorts energy targeting scanners. It keeps Scarrans from being able to lock onto our ships."
"Dad just says it's bad and he doesn't want me turned into goo. He says Crichton's have bad enough luck without tempting fate. I don't know what he means though."
A different voice entered the conversation. "I mean that with our luck travelling this galaxy, I don't want you flying a craft that can generate dangerous magnetic in the wrong environment. It's better safe than sorry," John said as he came in.
"Hey," he nodded and turned to the young girl. "Hi Greshyn. Good to see you on board. Where are your friends?"
"They are on their way. I came early. I didn't want to get delayed."
Crichton nodded. "While you're waiting for them, why don't you have Deke give you the tour?"
"Yes, sir." They turned and left the bay.
Crichton commed Pilot and asked him to keep an eye on their guest.
"So your mother is the Vice Chancellor?" Deke asked.
"Yes," she answered shortly.
"You aren't close?"
"No. Until recently, Peacekeeper Command has frowned on close familial relationships. It's only been in the last few cycles that they've started to allow it. Ssezzin is close with her grandfather, but the rest of us, not so much. My mother never noticed me until I started doing well in my prowler training. That was about 3 cycles ago. Now she wants me to transfer to her command."
"You don't sound happy about that."
"It's certainly not what I want. Whenever she helps anyone, she expects something in return. Being in her command is not what I want."
"I wanted to thank you guys were running interference for me last night. Ssezzin said I should stay away from her."
"Grayza is not to be trusted. She is ambitious and will do anything, use anyone to get what she wants. I know there is bad blood between her and Moya's crew. I think she would use you to hurt them."
"I won't go near her. My parents won't let me leave the ship alone again. Dad says I have to take a DRD with me wherever I go. He and mom were really tense after we left the hall last night. They didn't like me talking to your mother either."
A pained expression crossed her face. "Please don't call her that. I don't like to be reminded of that fact."
"No problem. I can forget the relationship. You must take after your father, you're not like her at all."
"I'll never know. He died before I was born. I would have liked to have met him. Ssezzin's grandfather was his best friend. He said my dad was a great man and would be very proud of me. Many people believe my mother killed him."
Deke looked at her. "What do you think?"
"She is capable of it. His death put her in command so it's possible. The chancellor is cold hearted enough to destroy anything in her path. A little thing like love would never get in her way. I'm not even sure she knows what love is."
Waiting in the center chamber, Aeryn was pacing. They were getting ready to meet Scorpious and three additions to their crew. Aeryn knew she was going to agree to the transfer. She dodn't want the half-breed to think they owed him one. Besides, Moya could benefit from having another researcher on board.
John sat patiently watching her. "Honey, settle down. I'm sure they will get along on the boat."
"Superior attitude, headache inducing screams."
"Jool," she whispered.
"I know," John whispered back.
"Maybe this won't be so bad."
Greshyn wandered the halls with her assigned DRD. If she stayed on board she was going to have to learn her way around. She made her way toward the maintenance bay where she could hear raised voices. She peered in the room and saw the Captain and Commander talking to a floating green slug.
"Are you farbot?"
"Rygel calm down," Aeryn said.
"Nothing good can come from bring that woman's child on board this ship."
"Sparky, it's not fair to judge someone by their parents. Each person makes their own mistakes. She hasn't given us any reason not to trust her," John responded.
"Perhaps, but there is no need for her to be on Moya. You are just inviting trouble."
Not waiting to hear anymore, Greshyn took off. She wandered aimlessly until she found herself on Moya's terrace.
Greshyn sat on the floor leaning against the wall, her knees pulled up to her chest, alone on Moya's terrace. It had been a long day. She had a decision to make. Her friends were transferring to Moya. She had to decide if she would too.
There was pressure from her friends to go. He mother had forbidden it. If she did this, she would lose her only tie to everything she knew. She would have to start over.
For the first time in her life, she had her own dreams. She wanted to see the stars, not stare at the same grey walls. The atmosphere on Moya was contagious. There was a familiarity among the crew that made one feel like they belonged.
She reflected on the conversation she had overheard. It was the first time Greshyn had been made aware of just how hated her mother was on this ship. Apparently the crew had good cause to hate the Vice Chancellor. Why didn't they tell her? How could she commit to Moya when everyone might despise her?
It came as a surprise to her, since the crew of Moya had never shown her any dislike. They had seemed to accept her for who she was and not what she was. She didn't have to look over her shoulder for an ambush waiting to happen.
Shaking off the thoughts, Greshyn looked out at space. The view was amazing, starlight shining through blue green gasses of a nearby nebula. Sights like these were impossible to see on a command carrier, and she wanted to see many more of them. She put her head down on her knees, curling in on herself. Lost in her thoughts, she didn't hear anyone come in.
"May I join you?" Captain Sun said as she came into the terrace.
"Yes," she replied quietly.
"We didn't see you at dinner."
"I wasn't hungry."
Aeryn looked over at the girl. "I saw you earlier when I was talking to Rygel. How much did you hear?"
"Enough to wonder why I'm here. Why did you welcome me on board? All of you should despise me."
"Why? You are not responsible for her actions. All of those events happened before you were even born."
"She is a part of me. Nothing I do will ever change that."
"No it won't. Yet you are your own person. She may be a part of you, but she isn't who you are. You can accept that and move on or wallow in your self-pity."
"Captain you don't understand. All of my life, people have been comparing me to her. I'm not trusted because she is not to be trusted. They blame me for many of her actions. There are rumors that she killed my father. How do I get past that?"
Aeryn glanced at her, and then looked out across space. "I was born a Peacekeeper, like you. My mother was a soldier who followed orders. One of those orders was to kill my father or me. She made the choice to kill my father. "I didn't know what happened until the Peacekeepers sent her after me, to kill me." She paused, "We all have choices to make, those choices shape who we become."
"How did you get past it?"
"I didn't take responsibility for my mother's choices or actions. She made her life. I can't control what she did, just what I do. It's not easy. I blamed myself for a long time. Then one day I realized her choices weren't mine. I refused to make her mistakes." She paused. "Don't take responsibility for what she does. You aren't your mother; don't take responsibility for her actions. Make the decision that is right for you."
"Have you ever made such a choice?"
"My life, this life, began the day I spoke up for someone else. It cost me my home, my commission, everything I knew, but it was the right choice."
"Commander Crichton?" Greshyn guessed.
Aeryn smiled, "It's always Crichton. I learned something about myself along the way. There is more to life than being a Peacekeeper, mindlessly completing orders. My life began that day. I wouldn't change it. The day I met John Crichton, he told me I could be more. I am that. This life aboard Moya is wonderful. I made the right choice for me. You have to make yours."
Greshyn studied her hands. "So it's my decision to stay on Moya?"
"Yes. Moya, John and I are in agreement on this. You and your friends are welcome on board, but this decision is one only you can make."
Greshyn looked up at Aeryn. She had tears flashing in her eyes. Aeryn reached out and pulled her into a hug. It was the first one she had ever experienced. For the first time in her life, Greshyn felt accepted for herself, she felt home.
She could feel the vibrations in Moya's hull, humming gently. It was such a comforting sound.
Greshyn stood next to her rack. This was home. Well not home, but all she'd known; a room of sterile grey walls that surround a hundred uniformed bunks.
This was it, time to say goodbye. She was leaving everything she knew, for what? Was she even making the right decision? Ssezzin and Olpin were going and they were the only two people on this boat who understood her. If she stayed she wouldn't have anyone to talk to. She would be alone. The decision made, she finished packing and set her bag on the bed. She sat down and absorbed the her last look at the only home she'd ever known.
A sound at the door made her look up. She stood at attention as the Vice Chancellor walked in.
"So it's true. You are deserting the Peacekeepers to join those criminals. I forbid it. No child of mine will join our enemies."
"Your enemies not mine- Mother," she added defiantly.
"Don't you talk to me that way! I am your commanding officer!" Grayza shouted almost hysterically.
"No you are not. High Command and the Grand Chancellor have both approved my transfer. I answer to Captain Sun and the crew of Moya, not you."
"How dare you! You will refuse this post, you will not betray me. You can rise in the ranks, maybe one day hold my rank. You will have power. I have done everything for you."
"The all-powerful Vice Chancellor Mele-On Grayza does nothing for anyone but herself. I am not your trophy. Find someone else." Greshyn pushed back her hair from her face, exposing the small scar on her left temple. With anger in her eyes, she stood up and whispered succinctly, "Good bye, Mother." She grabbed her bag and started to walk out the door. As she passed Grayza, she could feel her mother's eyes on her back. Her voice made her stop. "Greshyn, if you do this, you will be dead to me."
Without looking back at her, Greshyn replied, "Vice Chancellor Grayza, I have never been alive to you. Why would I wish to start now?"
Grayza puffed out her chest, "I have done everything for you. I have made so many sacrifices; I ended the war for you."
Greshyn started shaking, turning slightly red in the face. She turned and made eye contact. "Not for me. For you; it has always been about you. I do this for me. This is my life; I don't live it for you."
"You will throw it all away. This will destroy your career. You have a promising future. Why give that up?"
"Because it's not what I want. I can be more." She turned away, straightened her shoulders and marched out the door with her head held high. It felt like a huge weight was leaving her shoulders. Down the corridor she met D'Argo where he stood waiting for her. Without a word, he grabbed her bag and guided her toward the transport bay. They both ignored the silent tears that fell.