Alien Relations: Epilogue

October 2942
Idris Frigate 'Celestial Unity'
Horus System

Matthius sat on the bridge looking over the sensor data, his hand clinching the command chair arm to the point of turning white. Subconsciously, he pulled his hands together and rubbed the inflammation away.

"Sir" Initiate Smith interrupted his thoughts. "Sir, the 'Scry' and 'Clarity' have reported back, no sign of the 'Midnight Bargain'" The Initiate awaited a response.

Matthius' hand immediately went back to clinching the chair's arm. Lexi had somehow single handedly bested all of XSO and escaped using their only Caterpillar. Matthius didn't care about the ship so much, as it had been the one they had liberated from Gedion's father, but Liz had been put into harms way, locked into a prison cell and several XSO personnel killed. He knew what must be done, he just didn't want to do it.

"Initiate." He paused. "Put a bounty on her head. She's a fugitive of the law. Also, get the star system data to the UEE and register it ASAP. It might help bounty hunters to find her." He stood up and turned to the comms officer. "Instruct Tatiana to return the search and rescue fleet. We've spent enough time in this God forsaken system." Deep down, Matthius knew he'd lost Lexi for real this time and it stung. He'd thought she was dead, but now to know she was alive and had fled his care. It hurt deep.

** That Evening **

Matthius and Liz sat at the table eating dinner in mostly silence. Matthius a million star systems away, Liz toying with food on the plate and humming a tune as if the events of the past few days hadn't occurred.

"Daddy." Liz broke Matthius' trance like state.

"Yes Liz." He feigned a smile.

"Will you start teaching me about space ships and guns?" She said innocently.

"What..." Matthius mustered. The girl hadn't really shown a lot of interest in life as a soldier previously.

"I need to protect people like you, next time someone points a gun at them." Matthius confused set his fork down.

"Liz what?" He looked Liz into the eyes, as if to tell a lie or fable from truth.

"I want to fight bad people, like you Daddy. That way when bad people, like Lexi,want to hurt folks, I can defend them." She took a bite of her food.

Matthius sat for a few minutes contemplating the loss of Lexi, the lost innocence of Liz and the situation. While sad at the loss of youth and innocence, he couldn't help but feel a sense of pride.

"Sure Liz." He got up and walked over to her chair. As he approached, he put his hands on her shoulders and leaned over to kiss her cheek. "Liz, I'll teach you everything you want to know and if your interested, maybe you can serve in XSO as well."