Chapter 22: Unexpected Allies

Six POV

"She's a friendly!"

"She's a Covenant!"

"She left that life behind her!"

"How do you know we can trust her?!"

Six groaned inwardly as he sat back down in his seat, facing the desk where Rear Admiral Lynch was seated. Lynch wore a look of apprehension, probably in fear of what the Spartan could do to him for disagreeing with him.

Six looked away from the officer and out the small window. He saw other Orbital Platforms and UNSC shuttles as they lazily drift through space.

It had been a week since he and Shress made it to Earth and the officer in charge, Admiral Lynch, could not believe - no, refused to believe - that any Sangheili was willing to turn on the Covenant. A year ago Six would have resolutely supported Lynch for his decision, but now, after watching Shress be put in a holding cell right after their mutual admission of feelings, after their show of affection…Six now understood why Spartans were ordered to control their emotions; he's agitated enough to be violent, something that could have very costly consequences.

He breathed slowly before looking back at the Admiral and asked, "What does she have to do to earn your trust?"

Lynch tried to look intimidating as he sat up and ordered, "Help us win the war."

"That's hard for her to do considering she's locked up," Six pointed out patiently.

The Admiral glared at the Spartan. "This is why I prefer II's," He said more to himself than Six. "They don't question orders."

"They do when the lives of their fellow Spartans or human lives are at risk." Six said, but considering he had little contact with II's himself, he wasn't really confident with his claim.

The Admiral leaned back, muttering to himself for a while; the Spartan looked down at his lap and watch as his hands squeezed his knees in irritation.

Finally, the Admiral spoke, but with a startling question, "How do you know this Elite is female?"

Six felt as if all the air was suddenly sucked out of his system, and he tried his hardest not to blush. He didn't really wonder about gender when they first met, but he knew she was different because her voice was lighter than what a regular Sangheili would possess. It wasn't until later on that he noticed her curvy body, her smooth leather skin, and how wonderful she made him feel.

He brought his mind out of his thoughts and simply said, "She told me." Which was partially true; she never admitted it, but the small references to being a mother and all were enough for Six to piece the puzzle together.

The Admiral didn't seem convinced and remained silent.

Six knew he was probably giving the Spartans a bad name by now, but he didn't care. He just wanted to have Shress back; he needed her. "Sir, please, who do I have to speak to in order to get my companion released?"

The Admiral's eyes widened slightly in surprise. It was most unusual for a Spartan to make a request or even start a conversation. Then again, he only had experience with II's; this was his first time speaking to a III.

Lynch thought for a moment before crossing his arms sternly and said, "I'll release the elite, but only if Lord Hood gives me the order to do so."

"Well, where is Hood, sir?" Six asks.

The Admiral shrugged, "Here, Sydney, the damn moon? I don't know, he's been moving around lately."

Six bit back his irritation before saying, "Any idea when I can contact him, sir?"

"None."

"You can't find your commanding officer?"

"Are you back-talking me sailor?" Demanded Lynch through gritted teeth.

"Negative, sir, I was just observing the situation," Six replied tediously, "And I'm a soldier sir. The II's are sailors."

The Admiral grumbled angrily to himself before stating, "Hood will be here by the end of the week. He wants to debrief you personally about your escape from Reach. Then you can ask him to get your alien girlfriend out of the slammer."

Six hoped that his face wasn't as red as it felt it was. He was sure people were unaware of his and Shress's relationship; however, he hoped he didn't look apprehensive as he asked, "Can I at least see her, sir?"

Lynch didn't miss a beat, "Negative, until I get word from HIGHCOM, she's all ONIs."

Six appeared to be calm, but his mind was in a state of panic. Shress was alone, probably afraid, and all she had for company were ONI spooks who would interrogate her through means short of torture. In fact, the more Six thought about it, torture probably wasn't off the table.

A silence now filled the quarters as Lynch was oblivious to the fear in the Spartan's mind. Finally, the Admiral waved his hand in the air, "You're dismissed."

Six snapped a professional salute, hid his stormy expression behind a mask of somberness, and turned on his heels before walking out of the door.

He walked a few paces until he heard the door slide shut behind him. He then released an agitated sigh, the only emotional response he, a Spartan, would give.

He was now starting to long for the days on the Prowler. He hadn't realized it at the time, but the days he spent onboard the ship were the first time he was able to express himself since he was a kid, before he was a Spartan. There were no gawking Marines, no high-ranking officers, no moody med doctors. For once, he actually felt relaxed. He didn't have to stand proudly or be as taut as a string for any imminent attack from the Covenant. He wasn't a Spartan on that ship; he was something else, someone else. And he wasn't alone.

Six felt his mood sour in a heart beat at the thought of what happened. They took Shress and him to an interrogation room; it wasn't long before they were able to ID Six. The fact that he was somehow able to travel from Reach to Earth within a few days appeared suspicious, seeing as only the Covenant had that form of capability, which Six guiltily understood. He felt for a moment everything was going to go smoothly, but then he heard about Shress; they weren't letting her go.

According to Protocol F-Alpha 9102, created a year after first contact on Harvest, any and all personnel who are not human in nature are to be taken as a threat. That was the Navy's excuse for holding Shress.

These gloomy thoughts continued to go through his head as he walked by stunned Marines and Sailors alike. He wasn't wearing his MJOLNIR armor; the technicians in the bay confirmed it was now broken beyond repair, but standard gray military coveralls. However, this did nothing to hide his large frame and bulging muscles; he was without a doubt an intimidating sight.

As he walked, he looked out a nearby window and saw into the darkness of space. Six had always viewed the dark void as a threat, hiding many dangers to the human race. However, after being caught up in the intimacy with Shress, he began to view the universe in a different light. Now he saw bright stars, newly born galaxies, and a beauty that he couldn't believe he had missed.

He tore his gaze away from the window and entered an elevator, beginning his descent down. He closed his eyes to shield the world from his pain. He missed Shress, deeply. It wasn't until now that she wasn't here with him that he realized how much of an impact she had on him. He wasn't so reserved around her; he could walk by her and she wouldn't flinch. She saw him as someone special, not just because of his combat prowess, but because of who he was.

He opened his eyes when the door opened and stepped out. He was now in the living quarters of the station, row after row of rooms running down the corridor. Though he was fine and well-rested, the doctors had prescribed that he needed some sleep, so for the moment, he was excused from duty. But he wished he had something to do, something to keep his mind off his current miserable state.

He finally reached his room, entered the code, and stepped in. It was quite plain, with one desk, two chairs, and two bunks on opposite sides of the walls. There was also a small closet and a porthole looking out into space in the direction of the moon. Six swept the room clear of any threats before walking over to the cot on the right and collapsing right then and there. He let out a sleepy sigh as he thought of Shress once more before closing his eyes; wondering where she was, what she was doing, and if she missed him as much as he was missing her.

Shress POV

'This is demeaning,' Shress thought to herself as she stared blankly at the human seated in front of her.

"What about this?" The human asked as he held up another small piece of plastic with an image on it. "Do you know what this is?"

Dully, her eyes flickered to the image: a picture of a shuttle, the Prowler if she remembered correctly.

She knew all this; she knew every image in the stack that the human had been showing her for the past few units. However, she remained silent. This being was treating her as nothing more than a youngling.

She switched her gaze from the paper to the human in question. She didn't like him. She knew humans came in a variety of shapes and sizes, but this male appeared to be quite short, yet nonetheless was quite large, particularly in the middle of his body. He emitted a foul odor, he always seemed to be scowling, and he looked at her as if she were nothing more than an insect. He didn't wear body armor or the strange clothing she had seen most of the humans on board wearing; he wore black-colored clothing with the strange pyramid emblem on the front.

His companion was a guard, that much was obvious. He leaned against the door frame, wearing the standard green armor that she had seen worn by human warriors. He had a weapon in hand and something orange covered his eyes; she wondered if he could even see out of it.

"Well?" The large human's voice brought Shress to look at the male once more. "Did you know it?"

Shress looked down at the table she was sitting at.

"What are we even doing here? This is a waste of time." The guard suddenly said in a loathing voice. "For all we know this thing is a vegetable."

Shress didn't know what food had to do with the matter, but judging from the tone in the human's voice, it wasn't a compliment. She did her best not to growl; to growl would show the males that she understood them.

The agent turned around and glared at the green-clad human behind him. "Well, ONI had a science team examine the prowler that the Spartan and this one," he pointed over his shoulder at Shress, giving her another whiff of his pungent musk, "Arrived in. My higher-ups were all over my ass ever since they took the damn thing for a test run and it made it to Io in less than two seconds."

The guard snorted in disgust as he looked at Shress. "Well, obviously, this freak wasn't going to tell us anything. Damn hinge head didn't even talk."

Shress curled her fists underneath the metal table between the two of them, internally furious at the comment. She wished more than anything to leap over the table and use the energy daggers hidden within her gauntlets to stab the human for the insult, but she remained as stoic as she could knowing that if they knew she could talk, they would never leave her alone.

Finally, the large male stood up and pocketed the small pieces of paper. "Well, then we'll come back later," he said to the guard. "I had already requested the use of either translation tech, or even better, someone who knows their language to be assigned here. The doctor really wanted to know what it did to the prowler."

The guard pushed himself off the door and hefted his gun. "Well, if you need some extra… convincing, let me know. These freaks are going to get what's coming to them, and I'm happy to start early with this one. Not like I got anything else to lose."

That didn't sound good, but Shress kept her mandibles closed.

With one last glare, the two humans turned and left the room. As the door slid shut, Shress heard the sound of a click. She got up and walked to the door as was routine and pressed against it. Sure enough, like all the times before, it was locked.

She released a small growl as she looked around her room. It was all made of cold steel, two chairs, one table, and a small bed of sorts. It wasn't as comfortable as the one on the ship, far from it; it was just a small mat on a raised metal platform that she could barely fit on, with one small sheet that could hardly cover her body and a single hard cushion.

She walked over to the bed and virtually collapsed on top of it. She let out a heavy sigh as she closed her eyes, but this didn't keep her mind from wandering, particularly about a certain male.

She rolled over, bringing herself close to the edge as she thought about him. The past few days have been wonderful to her. She finally found a male who accepted her odd ways, a male who desired her and vice versa and loved her in an almost spoiled way. More than that, he gave her confidence, advice, and comfort, things that were hardly ever available to her for most of her life.

She should have known their time on the ship wouldn't last, but she still felt surprised by what had happened. The humans had taken her as a prisoner rather than a guest. They were interrogating her and sounded close to becoming violent. Her hand formed into a fist. Michael had told her everything was going to be alright, so where was he now? Why did he lead her into this mess?

Just as that thought went through her head, it disappeared. She had known the Spartan for cycles now, she had come to know his personality and feelings, and she knew, deep down, that he never intended for this to happen. The care she often saw in his eyes was never exaggerated while they were alone together on that ship. Her brief anger at the human disappeared just as soon as it came, but it didn't soothe her the way he would have if he was here. He would hold her, talk to her, and kiss her, something she was starting to miss terribly. Never before had she longed for somebody this badly.

'Michael where are you?'

—UA—

A light banging brought Shress out of her slumber as she opened her eyes.

It was the human who had been bringing her food while she remained in her confinement. For some reason, the human always knocked on the door and peered inside through a hatch that could only be opened from the other side. There was another much larger hatch in the middle of the door; usually, the human would push the hatch down and push her food in.

Shress thought about just staying in bed and skipping the meal, but her stomach said otherwise. Grumbling some curses, she got up from the small, miserable excuse of furniture and headed to the door to receive her food.

The larger hatch opened and the human on the other side carefully inserted the meal. The tray was shaking and, as she grabbed the plate, the human almost dropped her food in shock. The human had a shaved head, bright eyes and light skin. He was short, she supposed, wearing the usual wear of one of the human warriors. He was incredibly young. It reminded her of the youngling she slayed on the planet Reach; the one who showed her through his sacrifice that the Covenant was waging an unjust war.

The human's fear filled eyes eased as he peered curiously at her. Shress took the food and walked to the table, not wanting the human to see her so unnerved. She sat down and eyed her meal. It was a slab of uncooked meat. Although she was used to it, she did not like eating alone, but she put that in the back of her mind as she began to eat her human cuisine.

When she was halfway done, she looked over to the door and was surprised to see the middle slot was still open. She leaned to a better angle to see out. All she saw was another door that looked similar to hers and the human guard, who, judging by the way he was standing, was unaware that the hatch was open.

She crawled out of her seat, careful not to make a sound, and moved forward to better observe the outside. She looked at different angles, but all that she could see was a long hallway stretching as far as she could see with metal doors similar to hers lining both sides of it. The only living being she could see was the human who brought her meal.

She sighed and returned to her food, quickly devouring it within a few units before picking the plate up and returning to the door. As she approached, she could see that the human was looking at something in his hands, a black pad with the human language on it. She paused and watched as the human scanned the words before putting his finger to the screen and scrolled down a bit before scanning a new set of words all over again.

Shress watched for a few more units before moving forward and lightly knocking the door.

The human jumped and fumbled with the pad when he saw the open hatch. Shress waited patiently before holding her plate out. The human seemed amazed at how fast she had eaten her food.

He took the plate in his hand and for the first time he spoke. "I take it that the meal was to your liking."

He turned as if to walk away while getting ready to close the hatch when Shress answered, "More or less."

She jumped when she heard the sound of fragile dishes crashing onto the floor. She looked out of the hatch at the human who looked stunned, as if he couldn't believe what he had just heard. Slowly his eyes found hers, they were wide and full of wonder.

"You…You can talk?"

Shress didn't know why, but this made her growl, causing the soldier to stumble back a step. That was when she noticed he was limping. Upon seeing his weakened form, she stopped snarling and said, "I'm not a mute mindless savage if that's what you are thinking."

His eyes bulged as he held up his hands.

"No! No! Of course not!" He said quickly, "It's just that… well… I heard you weren't speaking to the ONI investigator and you never said anything before, so I just assumed you didn't know our language."

She eyed the youngling before her, searching for the strange pyramid symbol that she had come to recognize, as she asked, "So are you ONI as well?"

The young human stared at her before breaking into fits of laughter. Shress felt her own mandibles starting to spread in a smile as she listened to the human's strange fit of hysterics.

Finally, the young man looked up at her and wiped away a tear, saying, "Nope, not me!" He began to chuckle again, "ONI is full of smart, spooky people, and I'm not spooky or even smart," he said as he ended with another chortle.

"You must be smart. The Sangheili certainly don't let halfwits stay on a station, so humans must not either."

The youngling was quiet before looking at her a bit strangely, "What about the grunts? You let them onto the battlefield, but they always run around screaming with their hands over their heads."

She blinked for a few moments, the words sinking in before she let slip a light chuckle, realizing the hypocrisy of her earlier statement. Taking a moment, she looked through the hatch to see Lin smiling lightly at her, and she smiled back in return.

"Well, I can see you are more competent than some of the Unggoy that have served under me, as most of them do not even know how to speak properly."

He chuckled himself as he watched her laugh before he looked down and appeared startled, as if he just now noticed the pile of broken dishes he had dropped earlier. He bent down, letting out a small groan as he did so, and started picking up the fragments. Shress observed to see what was ailing the human; she couldn't see any damage, but then she noticed his right knee was pointing in a strange direction and his back was as stiff as a board.

"You are hurt?" She finally said, more of a statement rather than a question.

The youngling looked up at her before letting out a sigh as he nodded and went back to cleaning the mess, "Yeah… doc says I'm lucky to be walking, but I'm out of the war."

She couldn't help but feel sympathy. He is so young and already injured–far too badly to enter battle, a great shame among her people.

"I am sorry," She said and hoped he could see how sincere she was. He did glance at her, looking a bit startled as he did so, but then he concentrated as he slowly picked himself up. With his hands full, the human put his weight against the wall and slid himself up, wheezing as he did.

He let out another heavy breath before saying, "It's alright… it isn't your fault anyway."

"Yes it is." She said sadly, "I… my people… We could have stopped it if only we could see the truth, to see how much damage we are doing."

He gave her a weary look before saying, "Well this is the first time I've ever heard an Elite say that."

She hissed, "I'm a Sangheili."

"Sorry, sorry, I didn't mean to offend you."

She was silent as she looked down, feeling guilt and shame build up once again. How many young had been crippled because of this forsaken war?

"Can I ask a question?" He queried, with a slight look of curiosity in his eyes.

"Only if I can ask you a question as well."

The youngling looked unsure of himself as he peered over his shoulder again and said, "Uh…Ok."

She then nodded and gestured for him to continue.

The youngling thought for a moment before asking, "Why are you speaking to me? Why not anyone else?"

That wasn't too hard for her as she replied, "So far, you are the only person on this station to treat me as another living being, and don't see yourself as anything higher than me. The others are…" She thought for a moment for the correct word before she remembered a word Michael had taught her back on Reach which fit all too well, "Jerks."

The young human nodded his understanding before licking his dried lips and saying, "Alright, what's your question?"

Shress ponders her enigma carefully before asking, "Do you know how Mi– the Spartan Noble Six is feeling?"

"Noble Six?" the youngling finally asked. Shress nodded, so he continued, "Well, he's walking around and doesn't look hurt. I mean, that's what people are saying. I haven't seen him yet." He then eyed her with a strange look and spoke quickly, "Is it true what they are saying? Did the two of you come here together?"

Shress nodded her head, unsure how this young human would react.

He was quiet, appearing to be deep in thought before he eventually asked, "Is he your friend?"

'He's my suitor,' Shress had no idea why, but she wanted to tell this young human that she wished for the Spartan, for the one known as Michael, but instead she just nodded and said quietly, "He's a good and caring person." She looked down as she felt sadness creeping up on her, "He saved me from the Covenant and has been there when I needed him the most."

"Yeah that sounds like him."

Now it was her turn to look startled, "You know him?"

He chuckled again, "Well not on a personal level, but he's the one who saved me on Reach, when this happened." He gestured to his damaged body.

'Reach.' Shress thought, 'Could it have been possible that I was the one who injured this young one?'

Something in the human's leggings beeped, forcing the youngling to hold all the shards of the dishes in one arm as he reached into his pocket. He pulled out a small black device and activated it. He looked at a miniature screen on top, and his eyes widened a bit.

"Listen," He said suddenly urgently, "I need to go. No offense, but I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be talking to you." He said with a sheepish look on his face.

She nodded her understanding before pausing and asking, "Can we talk next time you bring the meal?"

He must have heard the desperation in her voice because he stopped and looked into her pleading eyes before nodding, "Sure, but only briefly."

Shress felt like humming now that she had someone far more friendly to speak with, but before she could, the human slammed the hatch shut in her face.

She tried not to take this as a rude gesture as she turned away from the door, but just as suddenly, the hatch reopened, and there stood the nervous-looking human once more.

"By the way," He blurted, "My name is Jaka. Jaka Lin, what's yours?"

"Shress La'Vdam."

The human, now dubbed Jaka, smiled and nodded his head before closing the hatch slowly again.

Shress turned to head back to her bed when she heard a loud clang as the hatch was thrown open yet again, with Jaka's surprised face filling the small hole.

"Shress?" He questioned, "Your name is Shress?!"

She gave the human an odd look before saying, "Yes."

His jaw dropped open as he stared at her and he began talking, "But you… Reach, I… Noble Six, he…" Jaka shook his head. "What?"

Shress was uncertain of what to make of the human's behavior, but suddenly she heard what sounded like footsteps coming in their direction.

Jaka looked to his right before looking back at her and quickly said, "Got to go," before slamming the hatch shut.

Shress stood in the middle of her prison, unsure of what had just occurred. She merely shook her head as she turned to her bed and lied down. She felt her eyes growing heavy, her head and body now full of food and knowledge. She was about to fall asleep when a loud tapping got her attention.

She sat up and looked to the door just as it opened, and the strange guard with orange eyes entered. Following him was the same large human, who was casually flipping the same small pile of plastic papers together.

"Shall we try again?" He asked with his usual superior voice.

Shress leaned her head back and groaned.

Six POV

Six stared at his feet as he waited in the examination room.

This was the ninth time he had visited the med bay in a week, more times than any Spartan should visit.

Hopefully, this would be the last checkup he had. He just wanted to… he wasn't really sure what he wanted to do. He wanted to get back to fighting the Covenant, but then again he didn't want to leave. To leave would mean to leave Shress behind, and for some reason that was just not an option for him.

He looked around the room in an attempt to get his mind off things. He was sitting on an examination table with nothing but his underwear on. The table was freezing cold, the walls were covered with posters of the human body, the skeletal system, and a single small poster showing a Spartan giving first aid to a wounded Marine.

Six duly noted that the Spartan was a II. So far, the existence of the IIIs had remained a secret for years; most likely no civilian would ever know of them or the great sacrifices that they had made.

Suddenly, the door opened and a female doctor stepped in. She appeared to be in her mid-thirties. Her tag read Waters, and her white coat looked to be brand new. She had tongue depressors, a small flashlight, and bandages resting in her pocket as she strolled in confidently. Her blonde locks were pulled into a ponytail.

Her eyes briefly looked over Six's body before she walked in. However, before the hatch closed, Six spied three women nurses who were all looking at his large muscular body with huge eyes before the door blocked their view.

Six couldn't help but smirk, if Shress was here she probably would have torn the women apart. If she was here.

"Well Mr. Michael," the doctor said dryly, gaining the Spartan's attention. "It appears you are in perfect shape—remarkably so." She said and bit her lip. Six found this amusing. It never failed; doctors, nurses, and corpsmen were always confused and frustrated when a Spartan's body didn't follow the natural ways of the human body.

"Any lasting damage?" Six finally asked. He knew he was fine physically, but he had no idea if the battle on Reach had done any internal damage to his body.

Dr. Waters scrolled down the pad before shaking her head. "None that I can see. I think this is it, Lieutenant. I believe you are now ready to be reinserted into combat."

Six felt thrilled, excited, but yet also miserable. He was a Spartan; he was literally raised to be in combat, to be in the middle of the fight. Yet this meant since he was now considered eligible for active duty, then he would most certainly be transported to another location, maybe into another system entirely, keeping him far away from Shress.

Suddenly, there was a light beeping noise that caused the doctor to look at her data pad. She arched an eyebrow before looking up at him and asked, "Lieutenant, are you feeling alright? Your vitals just spiked."

Feeling his nerves starting to get to him, Six stood and began to put his coveralls back on. "I'm fine, ma'am."

The doctor just shook her head. "I doubt that. You Spartans always give us medical personnel grief. We usually have to strap you down and give you a full examination to see whatever it is that's bothering you."

Six offered her a rare smile. "Well, we were trained to ignore the pain."

She just shook her head and turned to leave. Six was zipping his suit up when a sudden thought popped into his head. Before he could stop himself, he turned and said, "Ma'am, can I ask a question?"

"Yes?"

Six suddenly felt himself grow hot and wished he could take back the request, but it was too late now. "You know Spartans have been genetically altered, right?" Waters nodded her head, so Six continued, "Is it possible, that is if you can- Is there any way for you to see how much my body has changed?"

"That's an awfully big request, Spartan." Whether she realized it or not, she started to circle Six and looked him over with a critical eye. "It doesn't take a professor with a PhD to know you have changed greatly; skeletal structure, muscle density, skin repair..." She paused in front of the Spartan. "To read through the whole list will take at least an hour. Is there anything specific you're looking for?"

Six felt his cheeks starting to flush, and he did his best to contain it. If this doctor knew about the augmentation, then she also knew that Spartans weren't allowed to… reproduce.

Waters waited for Six to answer. When none was forthcoming, she glanced down at her watch and sighed, "Are we done, Spartan? I still have work to do."

Six remembered Shress. He did promise that he would ask.

He takes a deep breath before asking, "Do you know if it's alright, in my case, to try?" He started to choke.

"Try what?"

"Try reproducing?"

Waters dipped her head to the side and gave the Spartan a strange look before asking, "Are you talking about sex Spartan?"

He felt terribly exposed at the moment.

Waters just shook her head, "Well, are you or aren't you, Spartan?"

Finally, Six forced himself to bob his head up and down in reply.

Waters tsked a little before saying, "I'm sorry, but I just don't know. I know IIIs are different from IIs when it comes to genetics, but I wouldn't know. You would need to see a doctor who specializes in the field of genetics if you want an answer."

"Right," Six said quietly. "Thank you for your time, doctor." He gave her a nod before edging around her and heading to the door. His hand was about to activate the 'open' button when Waters spoke again, "Do you really want to know?"

Six turned to the doctor, who was quietly observing him. "Do you really want to know, Spartan?" She repeated herself.

There was no stopping it now; heat had finally made its way to his face, and he hoped he wasn't as red as he felt he was. He felt as if he had been struck dumb by the question, but he again thought of Shress, and he nodded again, feeling more foolish by the second.

Waters smiled at the Spartan's embarrassment as she said, "I have a friend who works in genetics. If you want, I can send the person a blood sample, and he can tell us."

Six pondered this for a while, wondering if it would be worth it. Then again, he didn't really have anything to lose. This way they would know if he could or not. He sighed inwardly; if he couldn't, he wondered if she would stay with him if she was ever given the choice.

He shook his head. It didn't really matter unless he could find a way of getting her out of the brig.

"Alright," Six finally said, "You can do that."

"Are you sure? I can tell you are uncomfortable."

"I'm uncomfortable just talking about it."

Waters started to type on her data pad and said, "Alright then, it may take a while to receive a reply, but I'll inform you when it comes in."

"Thank you."

"Of course." The doctor said.

—UA—

Six opened the door and stepped out of the room, intent on heading to the station's galley to get some food. His muscles tensed at the noise of the intercom buzzing to life on a speaker above him. Despite his nonchalance, old habits died hard, and he unconsciously found himself scanning for the closest weapons platform. Despite the low quality of the speakers, the clear chimes of a bell rang through the air.

'Six… Seven… Eight.'

The traditional navy announcement indicated that a high-ranking officer had arrived. In the ensuing silence, a voice resounded through the air, although Six had a bit of trouble hearing the words over the swelling of emotions within him.

"Fleet Admiral Hood, arriving."

-AUTHORS NOTE-

We hope you enjoy another chapter! Sorry it is so slow - we got busy lives to live. I'm back from holiday now, so hopefully more will get done. That's what they all say though… - C-Dog346

Thanks for sticking with us! -WR