Cast No Shadows - Part Five
Mission 98: Building Our New Home
Location: Various Locations - Starbase Vanguard
Timeline: 1830Hrs - August 14th, 2393
Ma'haat Dvald-Vaxx sighed softly. "No computer, that's not right. Two to the Eighteen power light years is three hundred and sixty thousand light-years." he paused. "That's well beyond our galaxy..." he commented evenly. "That number doesn't add up..." he added as he tapped the display of the PADD with his fingers.
Dvald-Vaxx regarded her son for a moment, her chocolate brown eyes betraying nothing as she replicated herself something to drink. "Ma'haat, you thirsty?"
"No thanks, mom. I'm good." the teenager answered her as he nodded, it was at that point when Dvald-Vaxx noted the large pitcher of juice near him with a half-empty glass as well. Yamaguchi-Cullen was sitting on the sofa, dozing lightly when suddenly the com system beeped. "Com center to Yamaguchi-Cullen. your call is ready for you."
Yamaguchi-Cullens eyes snapped open, her right hand gently tapped her combadge. "Confirmed, thank you com center. I'll take it at my present location. Please route it here."
Dvald-Vaxx nodded as she tapped the large wall display where she was located as Yamaguchi-Cullen came over. "Ma'haat, its time," she commented to the teenaged Bolian male as she passed by him. He rose to his feet and followed the taller woman into the next room. Dvald-Vaxx sat down in a chair as the screen activated. Ennis Cullen was seated behind his desk and he had Saki with him. "Aunt Siaxx!." Saki greeted her with her usual brand of enthusiasm. "Mom!" Saki cheered as she spotted her mother. "Ma'haat..." Saki added a moment later as she regarded him with her dark brown eyes. Ennis was content to hold his silence for a few minutes, to let Saki talk to the people she missed.
"Hey, sweetie." Yamaguchi-Cullen greeted the two people before her with a wide smile on her lips, she was addressing both her spouse and her child. "How things going you two?" she addressed her husband and her child.
"Wel nobody's tried to kill me today, so I guess that's good," Saki answered, her sense of humor clearly was a work in progress. Cullen only snickered at Saki's statement but he gently rubbed his shoulder.
Dvald-Vaxx chuckled. "Yeah, Rachael. I see why you have grey hairs already," she commented to the taller woman who was only now sitting down next to her.
Ma'haat regarded Saki but he said nothing, he only nodded to her. Saki regarded the three people as she shifted her attention to Ma'haat. "Hey big guy, what's happening?" she addressed Ma'haat directly.
"Just homework," Ma'haat answered. "More math homework, it's fun." he tried to smile at the ten-year-old girl before him.
"You are the only person I know who could argue with the teacher over measurement lengths," Saki answered with a smile. "Personally I think you enjoy it," she added. "Are you still doing the martial arts?" she asked of him.
"No. It's..." he paused a moment. "It's just not the same without you around, you make it fun in a way the teachers never do," Ma'haat admitted, for those who knew him, this was a deeply personal admission to make.
"Oh." Saki wasn't expecting the response and the look on her face said as much. Dvald-Vaxx gently touched her son on the shoulder. "Why don't you give us a few minutes, Rachael here wants to talk to her husband and she's not got long to do so." she only said that to give Ma'haat an out, she knew he would need a few moments alone after he had admitted to stopping the martial arts training.
"Yeah, mom." and with that, Ma'haat made his farewells and departed, heading back to the kitchen. Saki also made her goodbyes and she likewise departed. Rachael and Ennis chatted for a few minutes, while Dvald-Vaxx followed her son into the kitchen. "Are you okay Ma'haat?" she asked, with a mothers concern.
"I didn't mean to tell her like that... Not in front of everyone." Ma'haat answered quietly. If it was one thing that Dvald-Vaxx could be thankful for, it was the fact that her second son didn't lose his temper in an explosive fashion, he tended to seethe and let out his anger quietly.
Dvald-Vaxx took a seat at the kitchen table as she indicated a chair next to her. "Have a seat son... Let me share a few things with you." as Ma'haat did so, Dvald-Vaxx regarded her son. "You needn't worry. Rachael knows how you feel about Saki." Dvald-Vaxx explained. "In fact, Saki knows... I know you can connect with her on a truly visceral level. to her, you mean a great deal. I saw it in her eyes."
"What?" Ma'haat paused, clearly unsure of what to say so Dvald-Vaxx continued. "Sweetie. Saki is as much my child as she is Rachael's. Rachael understands this and that's how she and I have this weird dynamic. I know how Saki thinks as well as Saki does... I helped to raise her. I was her second mother and I was around just as much as Rachael was... Saki's sense of humor comes from me. Her work ethic comes from her mother." Dvald-Vaxx knew she needed to be gentle on the subject as it would not take much to cause Ma'haat to clam up and get angry with everyone.
"Oh... I umm... I didn't know.." the teenager answered.
"That's okay, you're a teenager and that's a good thing. Its just means that you don't have all of the answers. Do you remember what I told you about tests of character?" as Dvald-Vaxx gently rubbed her sons' shoulder.
"I... I forgot." Ma'haat admitted.
Dvald-Vaxx nodded her head in understanding. "We're not always going to be ready for everything that comes our way, how we meet the unknown and how we face the trials of life is what defines us. You and Saki will have other chances... She does know that you care about her. If she didn't before, she sure does now." she paused. "Saki is not the easiest to deal with. She is frequently misunderstood and people have even told me as much, last year when we went off to fight the Klingons, Saki managed to scare one of her minders when she said that both of her parents were off fighting the Klingons and that death was so permanent whereas life was so full of possibilities."
"Saki making a joke to help process what she was dealing with." Ma'haat paused before he huffed a sigh.
"To you and me, yes but to others. no." Dvald-Vaxx answered lightly as she gently rubbed her son's left shoulder. "Ma'haat. I raised the two of you. I know enough about Saki to know that she does care, she's not always going to know how to understand it or interpret her own feelings. But she does care..."