* Eighteen *
The Orion as well as the Kalaketvia Tawn were now both en-route to the Glammadren system. The bridge of the Orion was now manned by the noon shift change and Tori Buckingham hurried to med-bay to check about Robert Jackson's health and well being before she went on to the galley to eat lunch.
"Doctor Henderson, I'm---
"Victoria Dawn Buckingham." Henderson said interrupting her.
"I'm here to see and find out about the admiral's condition," Tori continued to finish what she really meant to say.
"And yes, I'm Tori Buckingham." she added as she stood in front of Henderson's desk.
"Young lady, if it weren't for the plain and simple fact that the admiral thinks very highly of you, I would send you packing yourself right out of my office and to the brig for the way you burst in here without an invitation." Doctor Henderson explained as she eyed Tori Buckingham up and down for the first time.
"I'm on noonday chow time," Tori explained. I'm really in a hurry and---
"He's resting peacefully, as long as he's not bothered, and I intend to see to it that he's not disturbed until he's had the proper---
"Are you always this bitchy, Doctor?" Tori asked, as she fired both barrels at her.
"No, not always, Cadet Buckingham." Henderson answered, closing her right hand into a tight fist.
"After I slapped Robert, he ... I mean, after I slapped the admiral, he still thinks very highly of me?" Tori asked as she looked around in Henderson's office.
"You also fought with Captain Sathrana Celane." Henderson reminded her without answering her question. "And don't touch anything."
"Did Robert ... I mean, did the admiral himself tell you that he thinks very highly of me or---
"No," Doctor Henderson answered quickly. "He didn't come right out and directly tell me that he did, I can tell."
"I'm really sorry about ... how can you tell?" Tori asked.
"Anyone else would be stewing in the brig right now, facing a court martial, and perhaps even the death penalty." Henderson explained as she tried to read Buckingham. "If not for the plain and simple fact that the galactic fleet admiral is thought of very highly aboard this ship, you would probably be dead, or somewhere else, wishing that you were dead."
"How can you tell that he thinks highly about me?" Tori asked, as if she hadn't heard a word of what Doctor Henderson was telling her.
"He told me that you were his festive fun filled friend, and that you were a free spirited, fiery, feverish, flirtatious, feline, that reminds him of a beautiful spring flower on miracle grow, that's blossomed fully into life at such a fastidious and foolhardy, farsighted pace, that the summer sunshine of life is going to cause you to wilt and die prematurely, before your time, and oh yes, I almost forgot that he also told me that you were very forgiving," Henderson explained to her but not quiet in the same way that Jackson had explained to her.
"What did he really tell you about me, Doctor?" Tori asked, as she tried to reading the doctor, who began fiddling with some touch pad controls on her desk.
"Then there's Victoria Dawn Buckingham," said the voice of Robert Jackson over the vid-com recorder.
"I can't wait to hear you explain that red headed bomb shell." said the voice of Barbara Henderson over the vid-com recorder as Tori now listened with the utmost interest.
"I take it that you don't like her." he said.
"I don't know how to take her." she replied in answer to his question, over the recorder just as a female friend of Tori's burst into Henderson's office.
"Tori, hurry it up, or we'll be in big trouble girl!" her friend explained at the same time that Henderson stopped the recording.
"Doctor, you will take care of him, wont you?" Tori asked as she turned to leave. "I'd be lost out here in space without knowing that he was here with me, because we've managed to look out for each another in our greatest times of need, if you should happen to know what I mean."
"If you should happen to know the answer to that yourself. Tori." Henderson stated, effectively stopping Tori Buckingham in her tracks.
"And just what the hell did you mean by that statement, Doctor Henderson?" Tori thundered as Valakadria Tawn stepped once again into Henderson's main office.
"Doctor Henderson, play the last portion of the recording, before she tears you limb from limb!" Valakadria commanded.
"I don't know how to take her." said the voice of Doctor Henderson over the vid-com recorder as the doctor restarted the recording.
"To me, my festive, feverish, forgiving, fun filled friend is a foolhardy, farsighted, fastidious, free spirited, fiery, flirtatious, feline flower, on miracle grow, that's wilting fast without a future." proclaimed the voice of Galactic Fleet Admiral Jackson over the vid- com recorder just before the doctor stopped it from continuing. Tori listened to her friend's words and pondered over the last portion of his statement.
"What did the admiral mean when he stated that you are wilting fast, without a future ahead of you?" Henderson asked.
"I believe, that that's between her, and the admiral, Doctor." Valakadria replied in answer to her question.
"And just who the devil are you?" Tori Buckingham asked as her friend decided that they had waited to long for comfort so she, herself, split the scene.
"I am the daughter of King Jaeluken Adriakar, of the planet Delindria,who is also known as, Ambassador Iylerra Tawn, of the planet Dorkon." Valakadria explained as Tori stood there with a so what kind of expression on her face.
"I am also the daughter of Empress Kalaketvia Tawn, of the planet Zaleena, Commodora Valakadria Iylandra Adriakar Tawn, Commander and captain, of the Zaleen battle cruiser destroyer, Kalaketvia Tawn." Valakadria further explained to her, as she listened.
"Sister, do you ever have a messed up family life, that is, if you should ask me." Tori replied.
"I am but a small part of the reason that your future here with Robert Andrew Jackson from the planet Earth may be severed, as well as my own." Valakadria told her point blank.
"Just how well do you know Robert Andrew Jackson from the planet Earth?" Tori fired her question back as she took a seat in front of Henderson's desk.
"I don't have the time to explain this to you, except to say that I know him well enough." Valakadria Tawn answered before she turned and exited Henderson's cubicle."I'm going back to my sleep, I'm tired from my trip here to save you from the trap that your all going to get caught in any way."
"How dare she to leave me hang---
"Buckingham, of all the persons aboard this ship, no matter from what inhabited world they should call home, she, of all these persons, has every right to leave you hanging." Henderson stated to her. "She, of all these persons, thinks the highest of your Robert Andrew Jackson."
"He's never made mention of her, to me." Tori replied as she gazed into the darkness where Valakadria seemingly vanished.
"Would you, or anyone else that's never been here before, have believed him?" Henderson asked as her eyebrows raised.
"I see your point Doctor." Tori answered as she stood to leave.
"Tori, I'm going to save your bacon this time, so that your executive officer doesn't throw you out an open Starvette launch bay." Henderson told her.
"Thanks Doctor, for putting up with me." Tori said as she turned to exit med-bay, via Robert Jackson's room, providing that she could get away with it. She found that he was indeed asleep and decided to let him rest before she hurried off to find Candice Simmons.
Candy Jackson or Simmons had decided to wait just outside med-bay as was requested by Tori Buckingham.
"Goodness girl, what the hell took you so long in there anyhow?" Robert Jackson's sister asked in her normal manner.
"Candy, tell me what you know about this Valiant Pina Colada chick that Robert knows?" Tori asked as they stood in the corridor.
"Wow, don't tell me that you had a run in with Valakadria Tawn, girl." she said as she took a seat in the corridor near med bay.
"That's her, only her name was this long." Tori told her as she extended her arms out to full length. "It wasn't exactly a run in Candy, it was more of a run out on."
"Tori, if you've ever listened to my advice and acted upon it in the past, please dear sister, don't hesitate to do so now, in the present." Candy said as serious as she could possibly be.
"So, what's with this Zaleen chick that has got everybody kissing her booty?" Tori asked in a huff.
"My God girl, have you even seen a small portion of the red vid-com disk in your quarters?" Candy boomed.
"A small portion, yes ... no, wait a minute," Tori answered, confusing Candy to no end. "It was a reason."
"What in the world are you talking about, Tori?" Candy asked, as she looked Tori Buckingham straight in the eyes.
"That witch said that she was but a small part of the reason that my future here with your brother might be severed, including her own," Tori explained.
"Girl, you have no knowledge what so ever in that cute little red haired head of yours about Commodora Valakadria Tawn, but I'll tell you this much," Candy thought a second or two before continuing. "Don't ever let my brother Robert hear you calling Val a witch, or your future with him, and us as a whole, may be severed sooner than you think."Candy explained to her friend.
"My sentiments exactly." Barbara Jane Henderson said unexpectedly, as she strolled down the corridor to stand with Candy and Tori.
"Valakadria and Robert have saved each others bacon far more times than can be accounted for out here in the cold and endless depths of space, and our bacon is by far, more than thankful to the both of them." she said as she stood in front of the two girls. "Together, they have attempted to save the lives of family, friends and fellow crew members of the Orion and the inhabited worlds in and out of the Consortium."
"Then perhaps I should be thankful and go back in there and kiss her booty as well." Tori said as her exec and counselor walked down the corridor towards them.
"Perhaps you should start with mine." Henderson said as she went to head off an oncoming disaster while Candy and Tori looked on.