The door opened after a moment, and a tall, lanky blonde entered. Mira rubbed her eyes briefly then looked at her. She watched as the woman looked around, then smiled as she rested her eyes on her. "Good afternoon Commander, are you well?"
Mira noticed that the woman was dressed in civilian clothing, she wondered if it was her choice or if it was what the planet natives were wearing? "I'm fine." Mira answered.
"Allow me to introduce myself." She walked further into the room, "I am Lilandra Ardane and will be your contact if you should need anything."
Mira looked around then down at the pant suit she had chosen to wear. "You will find I'm not a picky person Lilandra." Mira motioned for her to take a set. "Make yourself comfortable if you wish."
Lil sat down on the couch, choosing a corner from Mira's previous seated position, "Thank you." she looked at Mira, studing her. "Is there anything you need at the moment?"
Mira leaned back in her chair, "If possible some plants, that is about the only thing missing here." Mira raised her hand, "I promise not to mutate them."
Lilandra laughed easily, her voice slightly musical. "That will good then."
"Why were you chosen to be my contact? did you break some rule or something?" Mira's tone is tired but not challenging
Lil laughed again, both times were quite genuine, "This is hardly a punishment if you seem to think it is."
"I'm sorry that was rude." Mira apologized. "I just figured you would have more important things to do."
"More important? Why do you discount yourself like that?" Lil questioned.
Mira smiled slightly. "I'm a threat that has been neutralized, so to speak. There are other more pressing issues. People to safe guard."
"There are always pressing issues in this world. But that does not mean you should discount yourself."
"I'm a realist Lilandra, and the facts are the facts, I'm a murderer. " Mira pushed the data pad off to the side. "I can't offer much but can I offer you some juice, water?"
Lil smiles, "Sure some water would be great."
Mira rose and poured Lilandra a glass then herself. "Here you are."
"Thank you." Lil accepted it. "Yes you are responsible for the deaths of many, do you intend to do again?" She shrugged.
"No." Mira hissed as she retook her seat. "I will never create a killing drug or poison again." She tried to keep her hands from shaking.
"Then you will go forward and you and I shall come to know one another undoubtedly." she smiled at Mira.
"You can tell your superiors, they have nothing to fear from me on that subject." Mira stated flatly as she pinched the bridge of her nose. "I'm not someone you would like to get to know Lilandra."
"That doesn't matter...it happens when people interact, they come to know one another...but if you wish your privacy." She set her glass down and made ready to stand.
"No, please." Mira said a little too quickly. "I ... I didn't mean to give you the impression I wished to be alone."
Lilandra sat back down. "If you are certain. I really do not wish to intrude."
"You re not intruding, to be honest, I don't wish to be alone right now."
"I understand." She shrugs, "Well I appreciate you do not want to be alone."
"It's a bit selfish on my part." Mira looked at her. "I should get use to it I guess."
"I'm afraid you will not have many visitors. There will be a few of us in and out." She nods to the terminal in the corner of the room, "You can leave messages for me and we can talk through the terminal and depending upon what you desire to do with your time, other arrangements can be made in time."
Mira nodded. "I wasn't complaining, just realizing how it will be."
"You can complain, no one likes to be left utterly alone."
Mira nodded. "I thought I would never miss having company, especially after ..." Mira shook her head, "Forgive me."
Lilandra sipped her water, "Go ahead if you like ... it helps to talk sometimes."
"After Tate's death, I wanted to be alone, to make the world pay for." she chuckled bitterly. "It seems I have succeed in that, people have paid for my hatred."
Lil smiled apologetically, "I'm sorry I don't actually know what happened."
Mira swallowed. "Tate was my husband, you see Lilandra, my rightful name is Magellan. After his death I went back to using Lexor."
"Ahh. I am sorry for his loss." She finishes her water, "May I ask how did he die?"
"We were in the lab working on how to keep the hot springs of Telos free of contaminates. Then there was an attack, by the Alliance." Mira took a sip of water. "Chemicals ... covered his body, he didn't have a chance." Mira closed her eyes blocking out the scene. "I suffered a broken ankle and a miscarriage."
"Oh I am sorry." Lilandra meant her words. "That's not easy."
"So am I." Mira whispered. "No it's not, it took time but I filled my time well, I buried myself in my work."
"That is what so many do....bury themselves in their work." Lilandra sighed thinking of her brothers death, "It is a natural way to escape."
Mira pushed the ghosts back, why was she telling this stranger things about her life? She was losing control of her ability to control her emotions. "Very natural." Mira stated. "I took it a step further, I became obsessed with it all in a way to make the Alliance pay for my pain, the pain that Telos was in."
Lil listened quietly, "It must be very hard."
Mira smiled ruefully. "It was, though I never thought of what I was doing, to be honest I didn't care."
"I lost my brother several years ago." She replied quietly.
"How?" Mira asked.
She gives a half hearted smile, "Killed in an Imperial Prison Camp." She shakes her head, "I don't know any of the details."
Mira lowered her head. "You are better off not knowing," she had heard of some of the rumors about the camps. What was she doing? she was having a conversation with the enemy of the Empire ... no she corrected herself she was having a conversation with another person.
"I don't know, imagination is worse than reality...and the things.....the things I have seen....." She shook her head, "I'm sorry I don't mean to be going on about my losses."
"No, that is fine. After all you did say we would learn about each other."
Lilandra laughed again, "Yes I did."
Mira nodded slowly. "Do you ever have nightmares of your brother?"
Lilandra nodded and sank back into her chair, "I've been on missions into the Empire, I've seen the things they do to their prisoners....." She shudders, "I've had the dreams where the faces of those I don't know are replaced by his."
Mira nods slowly. "I can, sympathize."
"Yes....except you know exactly how it happened. For me..." She shook her head, "But there is nothing we can do to change the past."
Mira only could hope that none of her drugs had been used on Lilandra's brother. Mira glanced at the data pad she had pushed off to the side. "No the past is done and unforgiving."
"The past is neither demanding, forgiving, accusatory, merciful, or any other adjective...it is our nature that is unforgiving or merciful." Lil winked at her.
Mira was silent for a while then she reached for the data pad and handed it to Lilandra. "It's not much, but here is some of the poisons I had finished , you will find the antidotes as well as the reactions to look for. For what it's worth." Mira rose and walked over to the window wrapping her arms around her. Was she getting soft? Sentimental? What was wrong with her?
Lil accepted the pad and read glanced through it, "Thank you. I will pass it on." She really didn't understand what she was reading.
"I'm sure any of your scientists will understand the information that is there." Mira stated softly. Maybe some of the ghosts of her mind would now leave her alone. "I don't know why I'm giving you that information Lilandra, I swore I would never let anyone outside the Empire know about any of my projects."
Lil nod, "It is appreciated." She watched Mira. "You know if you ever want to talk...you're welcome to reach me."
Mira nodded. "I appreciate that. What is the weather like here?"
Lil shook her head, "It's not bad. Warm cycles, cold cycles. Best of all the seasons." She chuckled.
Mira smiled. "Thank you for listening."
"No problem." Lilandra raised the padd, "I'll make sure this gets into the right hands."
"Thank you, I know there are drugs that I've helped create for interrogation purposes. " Mira shook her head, "So many years of damage."
Lil watched her, "You must really have hated us." Her voice was low.
"I do ... did." Mira turned to look at Lilandra. "It gave me satisfaction every time I heard of an Alliance Base falling or the Empire making advances." Mira raised her hand to cover her mouth. "You can't stay around me, the Empire will find where I am sooner or later even with this force null implant. If not them then Xanatos, he has a connection to me."
"We are fine Mira. Do not worry about it ... do you know why the alliance attacked your world and your location?"
Mira shook her head, "It was never found out. The labs took most of the damage," Mira tried to think back. "At the time, they were doing legitimate research, how to refresh soil to allow things to grow."
"I'll see what I can learn."
Mira rubbed the back of her neck. 'Your loyalty is to me and to no one else?' the Emperors question came back to her mind. He had asked that of her two years ago, she had sworn it was. Mira nodded sitting down on the floor by the window. "The labs didn't' change until after I joined the Empire."
"The empire is cruel, they will twist good things...and quite often they will have their hands in before it is official....the emperor uses people and then tosses them aside."
"That is why I have to get as much down for you as I can, before they ... he finds out."
Lil picked up her comm unit and typed something into it. Lilandra sent an encrypted communiqué to Che and sent her Mira's concern of being found out by Xanatos.
Encrypted Communiqué to Che.
Mira Is very concerned about Xanatos finding her, she is not aware of his capture by the Alliance. Do I have the clearance to tell her?
Encrypted Reply to Lilandra.
Use your best judgment, you have clearance if you need it."
Lilandra read the reply from Che then looked back at Mira. "You are worried about Xanatos finding you?"
Mira looked at her. "He swore that if I ever betrayed him, he'd kill me. He means it." Mira stated. "He ... he's dangerous. He won't give up." Mira stated. Damn she was starting to sound like a green recruit. "You haven't met him."
"No I have not ... yet, but it will be difficult for him to find you when he is sitting in an Alliance cell."
Mira turned and looked at her in shock. "C ... cell?"
"Yes...he was captured on Telos." Lil breath was shallow, hoping it was the right thing.
Mira seemed to relax. "It won't hold him for long." Mira shook her head. "Off World will help him." Mira's eyes widen. "He .. he has something." Her voice became uncertain, she found herself stuttering.
"What does he have?" Lilandra asked.
Mira shook her head. "I don't know, he just said he had something he wanted me to ... " Mira frowned. "He wanted me to work on something, but he never told me."
Lil nodded, "Well you don't have to worry about that now."
Mira shook her head, "I ... guess not." she looked at Lilandra. "You are sure he's in a cell ... a force damp cell."
"Yes. I am. He is in a force damped cell."
Mira seemed to relax a little. "I hope he rots there." Mira was surprised at how sincere her statement was.
Lil nodded. Not really have anything to say in response.
Mira rose to her feet and walked back to her seat. "It's my fault, he's alive. I found him and helped save his life."
"You couldn't have known." Lilandra said softly.
"I didn't take the precautions that a scientist would have, and when I saw him choking my assistant, I never protested." Mira leaned back in the chair.
Lil's eye's go a little wide. "I see."
Mira looked at her. "I've rambled on, I'm sorry."
"It's alright." She smiled, "Ramble all you like."
Mira chucked in good humor. "Confession is good for the soul?"
Lil laughed with her, "I wouldn't consider it that...but you seem to have a lot on your mind." She shrugs, "I may not have much to say but I can listen. Maybe it will help."
"Maybe it will." Mira mused. "I've never been known to write things down, but I did start keeping a journal as I recall things. If anything does happen to me, it might help. Lt. Colonel Sari'jek ... will you apologize to her for me? It seems I played on her sympathies to try to escape."
"I'm afraid the Lt. Col is not aware you are alive."
Mira nodded, then looked at Lilandra. "I'm believed to be dead? ... I don't remember being told that ..." Mira shook her head. "I must have not been paying attention."
"My apologies...but yes you died two days ago now."
"Two days ... I feel all right for a corpse." Mira stated. "May I ask how I died?"
"I believe your antidote wore off."
"Impossible, it can't wear off." Mira snapped out of reflex. "ANY Antidote I make is long lasting, there is no flaws!" Mira was furious, then it dawn on her they needed something was needed. "Sorry."
Lil just smiled.
"I won't ask the details." Mira stated. "I guess, I have a little time then, don't I ... to correct ..." Mira stopped, did she really want to say what she was about to? Was she really going to offer to help? "To correct some of my mistakes."
"If that is what you want..." Lil wondered if actions through guilt were not as bad as actions borne of anger.
Mira nodded. "It is something I need to think on, before I go any further."
"Well you have time." She said encouragingly.
Mira needed to think on what she was doing, what it would mean for her, she was safe ... she was dead. She could just sit here and do nothing and die in solitude, safely tucked away until she died or the Empire tripped upon her. Mira nodded at her. "Guess I do have that at lest for a while."
Lil nodded and rose. "Well I must go for now."
Mira nodded, "Thank you for coming." Mira rose. "I'd walk you to the door, but wouldn't want to give the wrong impression."
"Of course. I will stop in again tomorrow. " She chuckles. "I understand."
"I think I'll lay down for a while. will you tell the guards I'm not hungry."
"I will rest well."
"Thank you." Mira walked away and entered the bedroom and laid down. Part of her felt sick, she had betrayed the Emperor's trust, had just handed over secrets to the Alliance, yet another part of her was happy, she was free. 'It's only an illusion, you are a prisoner of theirs, only in the Empire were you free.' A voice said inside her. Mira pushed it down and tried to get some sleep.
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