Arsha and those who pursued Dr. Borg were taken in for treatment. It was touch and go for a while, but their bodies no longer opened any fresh wounds nor did they lose too much blood. They still needed blood transfusions, but the virus was purged and they were properly vaccinated. Arsha, Rellmeer, and Baltar were the last ones to be given a clean bill of health. “You have my thanks, Doctor,” bid Rellmeer. “Now, there is something I need to take care of. As many can tell you, cross a Fae and you enter their Circle of Vengeance. Arsha, Senator Baltar, if you would please join me.”
“Yes, My Empress,” replied Baltar.
“What’s going on?” quizzed Arsha, fearing the worst.
“We’re closing the Circle of Vengeance,” answered Rellmeer.
“Mistress, respond!” urged General Remsey, a portly, green-skinned, male Sprite in military regalia, over the radio. “Come on! I need new wings!”
“You’ve been doing that for an hour,” sighed another male, violet skinned Sprite, his brother, Mortor. “She’s most likely expired.”
“The family’s not very pleased with you, Father!” shouted a voice outside the door. It then disappeared in a flash of fire to reveal Arsha, Baltar, and Rellmeer. Rellmeer threw a coil of rope at Remsey and it wrapped itself around him. Baltar then caught sight of Mortor. “Oh, for the love of…WHO ELSE IN MY FAMILY IS DR. BORG’S SLAVE?!” he wailed in frustration. As he fell to the ground, Remsey realized he was caught.
“My Empress, it’s not my fault!” he pleaded. “Mortor made me do it! It was all his idea to join Dr. Borg! Forgive me!”
“Throw me under the carriage, why don’t you!” protested Mortor.
“If I were any of my ancestors,” hissed Rellmeer, “I’d take you to the top of the palace, display your bound, whimpering frame to the crowd below, then SHOVE YOU OFF, TRAITOR! Children would bet on where you would land and your spattered remains would be sold as mulch for a gardener’s flowerbed!”
“Spare me!” begged Remsey. “I’m old! I’m fragile!”
“You’re biologically immortal,” argued Baltar. “You CAN’T get fragile from age.”
“I thought you said you weren’t afraid of Rellmeer!” snarled Mortor.
“I lied!” wailed Remsey.
“Well, don’t let her intimidate you!” snapped Mortor. “She’s NONE of her ancestors.”
“Lucky for you!” hissed Rellmeer. “Unlike my ancestors, I understand that Dr. Borg has corrupted you. You’ve been tempted by her delusions of power, exposed to her twisted ideas of dominance! In light of this, I am willing to forgive.” She snapped her fingers, causing the rope binding Remsey to vanish. He knelt down and clasped his hands with a relieved smile on his face.
“My Empress, I swear to you…!” he began.
“Do NOT confuse my mercy for weakness!” snarled Rellmeer. “If I do not hear from Dr. Belshay that your addiction is being treated nor see a single T from you donated towards reconstruction in Midiriki’s forced attack, your assets will be seized and liquidated, your position will go to someone else, and you will be banished from the Fae Republic and its borders! You will be a pariah! An unwanted outcast severed from our hive! Am I understood?” As Remsey whimpered, he nodded. Mortor growled but nodded all the same. “Good. I thought so,” answered Rellmeer. “Remsey, don’t bother getting up until Dr. Belshay gets here. Mortor, stay with him and begin efforts to make considerable donations to fix property damage.” She took Arsha and Baltar with her and reforged the door with a wave of her hand.
“Well, that was…militant,” muttered Arsha.
“You don’t become ruler without letting those who crossed you know,” replied Rellmeer, “that mercy is neither weakness nor infinite.” At that moment, Midiriki and Hanako approached them.
“Aunt Midiriki!” cheered Arsha. The two hugged before Midiriki broke off the embrace.
“A fine command of the situation,” she praised.
“I must agree,” supplied Rellmeer.
“Thank you,” replied Arsha, “both of you.”
“You seem a little more jovial, all things considered,” observed Rellmeer.
“My dwelling on the past wasn’t doing anyone any favors,” answered Arsha. “The events with Reb are still in the back of my mind, but I can better honor those that died by continuing with my job of protecting the Realms as they did. I will admit, after they died, I wasn’t feeling like much of a Captain. Now that my crew and I managed to avert a plague and stop a psycho scientist, I know exactly what kind of Captain I’ll be.”
“Good to know that,” praised Hanako.
“Need a lift home, Mom?” asked Arsha.
“I came here in the family shuttle,” replied Hanako. “No need to go out of your way to drop little ol’ me off.”
“Empress Rellmeer,” interjected Midiriki, “I DID have a motive for coming to the Drelda Forest in the first place before Dr. Borg kidnapped and hypnotized me.”
“Oh?” quizzed Rellmeer.
“I’d very much like to add Fae honey to Mystic Tails’ inventory,” explained Midiriki. “I came here to negotiate a deal. I can certainly start a fundraiser to help repair any damage I have caused while under Dr. Borg’s influence on top of paying your price for honey.” Rellmeer stroked her chin in consideration.
“…Midiriki Rotano, let’s discuss this over lunch,” she declared as she led Midiriki away.
“That’s my sister,” sighed Hanako. “Always looking for a deal.”
“Fae honey IS tasty, from what I recall,” mused Arsha. “In any case, I must return to the Endeavor. See you around, Mom!”
“Farewell, my Precious One!” returned Hanako. Baltar escorted Arsha to the hangar where the Endeavor rested.
“The Fae Republic owes you a great debt of honor,” remarked Baltar. “If we can help you, you need merely call us.”
“If you need our help,” answered Arsha, “don’t hesitate to contact us.”
“I must also apologize for my stubbornness,” bid Baltar. “I didn’t think Dr. Borg could return like that.”
“The concept IS a little out there,” replied Arsha. “Your stubbornness was justified.”
“Do you think we’ll see her again?” mused Baltar.
“I hope not!” shuddered Arsha. “Once was more than enough for me! See you later!”
“Goodbye, Captain Royana!” bid Baltar. As Arsha entered the Endeavor, the ramp raised and sealed itself behind her. She made her way to the bridge and found Oak, Malak, Shalvey, and Nazay at their positions. Oak got up from the Captain’s chair and let Arsha sit in it.
“You’re looking well,” observed Oak.
“I’m FEELING well,” replied Arsha. “Shalvey, any new missions?”
“Just a minor delivery mission,” replied Shalvey. “Under-realm based. Mana crystals from the Greshkagh mountains to the Haldebor Drider Caves.”
“All right. Nazay,” directed Arsha, “lay in a course for the nearest Over to Under Realmgate, then to the Greshkagh Mountains.”
“Course laid in,” replied Nazay.
“Nice and easy,” answered Arsha. The Endeavor then left the hangar and grew to its normal size along with its crew. It proceeded on a nice, easy path to the Realmgate.