Just some quick background information; while in-story explained as being a persona created by the Forerunner AI Offensive Bias as a means of interacting with humans more easily, the inspiration for the character Edward is taken from John, one of the so-called 'Beings Of Light' in the original Battlestar Galactica.
Given the fact that we already have a character named John in the story, I changed his name to Edward, after Edward Mulhare, who played him in the episode Experiment in Terra.
A Life More Ordinary
Chapter 5: Acceptance
"Are you sure?" Kendra asked after a moments silence, "Have you taken a test? Or seen a doctor?"
"Don't need to: I just know. It was the same with Miranda and Sam." Beth shrugged, swatting a few loose strands of hair away from her face, "It must be something to do with being a Cylon, because I just woke up one morning two weeks ago and knew; not suspected, but knew, that I was pregnant again."
"Sharon Agathon said something very similar when she was pregnant with Karl Jr." Kendra picked up her data-pad, "Don't worry; there's a few gigs of photos, videos and text here to catch you up on everything that's happened on Kobol since you 'died'. I picked this one up at the local mall after Edward let me in on the big secret. Figured you'd want to keep a copy."
A commotion from inside the house indicated that John had almost finished getting dinner ready. Given the amount of stress everyone had been put under, it had been decided to forgo cooking anything, and instead order in a pizza. But even then, the former Spartan had flat out refused to simply eat it out of the box as his wife and children had suggested. Just why someone who had spent more than half their life eating cold field rations whenever and wherever he could had become so fastidious over preparing a meal was a mystery to all who truly knew him.
"Does he know?" Kendra asked, glancing at her friends abdomen, as if she half-expected it to be growing already.
"He's not said anything just yet, but he has already switched us over to the decaffeinated coffee without having to be asked, something I know my mother is going to hate when she gets back." Beth signed, "For someone who's seen me go through the birth of two children and three bouts of stomach-flu, he can be a little... squeamish at times."
"Nice to know that even a demigod has his Achilles Heel." Shaw laughed at the mental image of the stoic Spartan turning green around the gills over something a simple as a pregnant wife. "If you don't mind me asking, was it planned?
"Sort of. There's not exactly a lot of hard data as to just how long a Cylon remains healthy and fertile, and there's not anyone I could just go ask." Beth cocked her head to the side and rested it against one hand, "So the last time my implant was due for renewal, after some deliberation, we decided to let it lapse and see what nature had in mind. There is a definite psychological aspect to Cylon reproduction; if what Sharon told me is true, you need to truly love the other person. That said, I'm sure that if there wasn't a part of me that liked the idea of more children, then we probably wouldn't be having this conversation right now." She closed her eyes and shrugged, "I guess at least part of me wanted this."
"Dinner's ready." John called from the doorway as he made his way out, carrying a large plate in one hand and five smaller ones in the other, putting a premature end to the conversation.
"Are you sure you're okay with the couch?" Beth asked for the fifth time, "I'm sure mother wouldn't mind you using her bed for the night."
"One of the first things I learnt about the esteemed Dr Catherine Halsey was just how private a person she is, and I doubt that time has changed that." Kendra shook her head as she spread a thick blanket out across the perfectly comfortable looking couch in the lounge. "Anyway, I've slept in far, far worse."
"Well, we have plenty of fresh sheets and warm blankets." Beth placed an armful of linen down on a nearby chair, "As well as a new set of pyjamas I was saving for winter. Hope they're not too warm."
"I'll survive." Kendra put a hand on her friends shoulder, "You need to get some sleep; you've had a very stressful day."
"Tell me about it." Beth grimaced, "But before I go to bed I've got to explain a few things to Miranda while John has a father/son conversation with Sam."
"Oh!" It was Kendra's turn to grimace, "That'll be... fun."
Three hours later, and Kendra still couldn't sleep. The time difference between Wolf Lake and Elysium City was almost five hours, and Fraser's World had a rotational period of just over 26 standard hours, unlike the very Earth-like 24 and a quarter hours she was used to back home on Kobol. Even the wine she'd had with dinner was refusing to help her drift off. Instead she sat under the blankets, reading a book on a small data pad she kept for non-classified work. Even through the thickly pained windows, she could hear the sounds of the woods just outside, along with the soft creaking of the timbers in the roof as they shed the warmth of the day. She was also keenly aware of the person standing on the other side of the door leading to the hallway, the soft, almost inaudible sound of their feet on the thick carpet as they shifted their weight from one leg to the other.
"You might was well come in." She spoke softly, "If nothing else, to rescue me from this truly tedious book."
The door opened almost silently, and Miranda slipped through, hugging a worn, pink robe around her slender frame.
"Couldn't sleep." She whispered, crossing the room to one of the armchairs and curling up in it with her legs folded beneath her, "Too much to think about."
"That's... one way of putting it, I guess." Kendra nodded as she shut off her data-pad and put it down in her lap, "Something you want to talk about?"
"It's just... too much to take in." The younger woman admitted, her gaze locked on a patch of carpet midway between the two of them, "I mean, you think you know your parents, right? They're there, every single day of your life, a constant point of reference. Unchanging. Then, all of a sudden and without any warning, bam, everything you thought you knew is a lie!"
"Not all of it's a lie; they're still your parents, and they still love you totally and unconditionally." Kendra insisted, keeping her voice low and her tone soft, "Yes, there are , aspects, that they may have lied to you about, but only for your own protection. I've spent the last two decades working in military intelligence, so I know better than most the danger they would have been in had they returned to their old lives. And that's not to mention the danger you and your bother would have been in; there are people, some of whom I consider good, close, personal friends, who would have taken one look at the two of you and seen the next generation of SPARTAN's."
"But I've never been..."
"You've spent your entire life having your natural abilities artificially suppressed to help hide who and what you are. Yes, there are other human/Cylon hybrids out there, but to the best of my considerable knowledge, there has never been a Spartan/Cylon hybrid, until you and your brother came along. None of the argumentations your father underwent were genetic, but the fact remains that he was selected because he was stronger, faster and more intelligent than most humans. You wouldn't think it to look at him, but he's probably got the equivalent of two Masters Degrees and a genius level intelligence to back it up. What little I've seen of you and your brother indicates that you've inherited at least that much from him. As for you mother, well, you're going to find that you're even stronger and faster than you were before. Smarter too, most likely, especially when it comes to computers and electronics. And that's not even touching on other, inherited traits."
"Don't remind me." Miranda buried her head in her hands, "That was the single most uncomfortable conversation of my life!"
"I remember when Sharon Agathon had to have a very similar conversation with her eldest, Hera." Kendra chuckled at the memory, "Never seen her so drunk as she was after that little discussion." She looked at her young companion, "So, do we know if...?"
"No! I mean... no... I don't know... yet." Miranda looked almost physically sickened, "And it's going to be a very, very long time before I recover from the conversation enough to find out."
"How do you think your boyfriend will take that?"
"We haven't... gotten into a situation where he'd find out, yet. Part of that is he's too scared of what dad would do to him, not even knowing just who and what he is, and part of it is... we've not felt ready to take things that far. I have not felt ready to take things that far."
"Well, I would advice that you make sure you are ready before you do anything you might later regret. As for the rest? I'm not the person you need to talk to. Yes, I know plenty of people whose kids have had to grow up under the shadow of their parents. I was there myself, once. But the fact remains that this is something you're going to have to deal with by yourself. Just remember one thing: they're still your parents, and they still love you unconditionally. Gods know, there isn't anything I wouldn't do to keep my children safe."
"I guess you're right." Miranda admitted, "It's just a lot to take in."
"No one said it was going to be easy, but you don't have to go through it alone: that's what family is for." Kendra looked at the clock on the mantelpiece, "Now, off to bed with you; it might not be a school night, but you still need at least some sleep."
"Yes, mom." Miranda managed a faint smile, "Thanks for listening."
"I'm a spy-master; listening to what other people have to say is what I do best."
To Be Continued...