“Problems with Hypatia?” Orlen asked, a smile curving his full lips. Orlen’s ongoing battle to convince Hypatia men were as smart as women amused Alexa.
“Something like that. Ship wouldn’t let her help him dock,” Alexa replied, her gaze fixed on the overseer’s ship as it touched down. “Sometimes, when she gets like this, you have to wonder if we did a good thing.”
Nathaniel joined the conversation. “But as a sentient, she’s more than just a computer, Alexa. She’s life itself—just with a metal body. Just like those ancient fiction stories you used to read when you were small. You’ve actually succeeded in making it a reality.” He walked past her to stand next to Orlen. “Now stop thinking of disassembling her because she’s showing emotions. She’s still a teenager in many ways, and she’s prone to emotional outbursts.” Nathaniel’s darker hair and shorter body made Orlen seem that much taller and skinnier. Two men from the same quadrant but different planets. She loved the galaxy’s diversity.
“Yeah, but we don’t want them to know about her just yet, remember?” Alexa sighed, realizing she couldn’t disassemble Hypatia any more than she could stop being the pirate queen of Gamma Quadrant. It was part of her, just as Hypatia was like her daughter.
Nathaniel patted her arm in a reassuring manner. “I know, but sometimes shock is good for the soul, especially for our guests, who are truly ignorant.” He paused. “Looks like the docking procedure is done. Let’s go greet our new arrivals.”
Alexa and her politicos moved toward the ship’s door lowering onto the space station. She stepped forward as a tall, redheaded man emerged, his people walking a couple steps behind him. His self-possessed stride gave him away. Overseer Alan Robertson, Jackass of the Universe.
“Welcome to Hypatia, Overseer Alan Robertson,” Alexa said, raising one closed fist to her heart, then to her lips as she tried not to snicker. She stretched out her hand, palm upward in front of her in the traditional greeting of the Federated Planets.
Sir Alan repeated the gesture. In the tradition of her people, he knelt and bowed. “Thank you for having me and my retinue, Lady Alexa. It’s wonderful to meet you in person after our many conversations.” He stood, then beckoned his people forward. “This is Master Tremont, my third in command. Next to him are Masters Hildebrand and Jameson, security and political advisors in that order. With what Master Tremont told me, I figured I should bring someone who might be able to help you.”
Alexa lifted a brow but said nothing. Oh, he thought to help her when she asked for none. What an alpha male, to be so damn protective when it was his own ass he should look to. She gestured to her staff. “To my left is Mistress Carrie, my head of security.” She nodded to her right. “These are the true overseers of Hypatia. From the extreme end are Orlen, then Tara, Tish, and Nathaniel. You’ll notice during your stay women outnumber the men by six to one.”
“I’ve heard,” Alan said, taking Alexa’s hand in his. Looking around, he asked, “Where can we change our clothes so we can talk? I think we’re a bit underdressed for tonight’s reception.” He pointed to the plain hunter-green traveling garb.
Alexa smiled at him. Releasing his hand, she pointed toward the nearest lift. “Please grab your bags and follow my staff. For your pleasure, we arranged for a suite of rooms linked together to a main area. It’s known as the Carousel Suite. I think you’ll find it more than adequate for your needs.” Alexa guided them to the lift. “Once you’re situated, you’ll be cared for by handpickedheitara.”
Master Tremont’s mouth dropped open. “You mean you have true heitara on Hypatia? How did you get permission? They’re not allowed off their home world without special FP permits.”
Alexa tapped the small pin attached to her tunic. “My family are members of the FP trade council, Master Tremont. My grandfather served on the Outer Council on Antarra. Furthermore, I trained at Genseo in my youth. These heitara have chosen to serve this space station. They are, in fact, a new clan within the Heitar.”
“Amazing, Lady Alexa. I had no idea we would have heitara here for our pleasure. Their sexual prowess and ability to heal emotions through sex is well-known and rarely experienced in this galaxy,” Alan stated. “We’re honored.”
“Just as we are honored by your first visit to Hypatia. Now go relax. I must visit the sick bay. When you’re ready, we’ll talk over a lovely meal. Your men are invited to join us, or they may eat with the others in the main dining hall.” Alexa used her latent telepathic abilities to nudge the idea of a private dinner into the overseer’s mind. As Dria Von Carnelian, she found him compelling and maddening. Over the last two days, she’d scoured documents that hinted at Alan’s personality. The other side of him—the one not hell-bent on destroying her—was fascinating.
Deep within, her sex drive revved higher. She hoped to engage in heitara activities she hadn’t indulged for a long time. She tamped down the feelings and promised herself if nothing happened with the overseer, she would seek out a heitara to let off some steam.
“My men can eat where they wish. Our talk tonight is private. They may join us in the morning for updated information.” Alan looked at his men, who smiled broadly. “Thank you once again for your hospitality.”
They would enjoy their times with the heitara. In return, Alexa’s staff would gather intelligence to help their cause. “You’re welcome. I’m sorry it took so long for us to meet like this.” Alexa smiled at him as her staff escorted him to another lift, and then waited for the doors of her lift to close. She leaned against the cool metal and swore. “How come no one warned me he was gorgeous?”
Hypatia piped up. “Do you wish Kell to take care of him for you?
“No, don’t you dare. Kell will kill him before I can have my fun. But do me a favor. Tell her I need her to ready the feeds into your security center, the ship, and our personal accounts too. We’ll need all the information we can get over the next few hours.” Alexa pressed the button for the correct floor. She spoke into her comm-unit. “Sick bay, Hypatia.”
The AI hummed her compliance before speaking. “Aye, Mistress. The doctor is waiting impatiently.
“Thank you. You can modify their ship’s AI, Hypatia, but do not do anything that can be traced back to us, okay?” Alexa looked toward Hypatia’s eyes, a small, movable camera in the corner of the lift.
Hypatia sighed as if Alexa burdened her. “Yes, Alexa. I won’t kill the fucker. Just make him better and more amendable to our needs.
The lift opened in sick bay. “Thank you, Hypatia.”
“Now that you’re finally here, Alexa, we need to talk.” Jess stepped forward, her medical equipment in hand. The auburn-haired woman looked determined not to let Alexa escape.
“Talk. It’s better than a painful injection.” She glimpsed the hypo-spray in Jess’s hand. “Okay, talk first; injection full of pain, second.”