EPT For My Statue
Heart and Soul
Location: USS Hera Flight Deck
Today was not a normal day for the now obviously chubby and slightly pudgy middled Ashrevanian Malana. She had just come from sickbay where she received the most confusing news. She wanted to feel exhilarated and fearful at the same time for what it meant, however she knew she had to share these test results with the person that was likely to be the other party involved as soon as possible.
Therefore, she had gotten in contact with Ensign MacNielle and cleared a bit of time with Ensign Weiaex's schedule in order to speak with her on the matter. This was how she found herself stepping into one of the Hera's Type 9 shuttles, the deck plating groaning just the slightest as she stepped aboard.
"Weiaex... I have news that I must share with you," Malana began, now suddenly unsure of how to proceed as she held up a small PaDD. "May we speak a moment?"
Sitting at the helm of the shuttle, the orange-shelled, Edosian pilot flipped her silver hair over her shoulder as she looked up at the screens in front of her, and not yet back at her friend. The usually chatty, six-limbed pilot had been extremely quiet of late and even more distant with her stone friend. "Yeah, just hold on onnnneeeee second. Just need to finish running this diagnostic."
"The L-C has us updating the operating systems with some new interfaces that should increase the ship's reaction times based on some new tech they're playing with upstairs in R&D. We're gonna test it out on this girl before going system-wide, but I need to run some diagnostics and systems checks before we can start sim tests and eventually, field tests, ya' know." Even distracted, the talkative three-armed woman could talk most individual's ears off. "So, what's.... up?"
Turning around in the seat, Weiaex paused for a moment, instantly noticing the physical change in the stone woman she had been trying to avoid for a couple of weeks.
Rather than immediately explaining the situation, Malana handed over the small PaDD, which included pregnancy scans as well as several imaging scans which showed a definite life form growing within her. "My people normally procreate by meditating like we did over a compatible open rock face and imbuing it with our life energies. The new life is then born whole from the rock face at a later date. For one of my kind to bear life as a biological..."
Were it possible for her orange carapace to show such things, it would have gone white at Weiaex looked at the PaDD and listened to Malana speak. Swallowing deep, she began rambling slightly. "Wait, 'like we', Is that what? Meditating... makes little... you's?"
Pausing for the slightest of breaths, She ran one of her three hands through her hair while she began fanning herself with the PaDD with another while gesticulating wildly with the third. "You're... PHYSICALLY pregnant?! I mean... we... we TALKED about... like... DATING? And I've been freaking out since then... But... you're PREGNANT? With an ACTUAL kid growing in you? How is... you just said... are you okay?!"
"Yeah, I mean..." Malana paused a moment and was motionless as she looked down at her hands before she looked back up at Weiaex. "It should have been impossible. The only possible conclusion I can come to is that when I was mended on Meroset, they used compatible life stone and when we meditated and shared our life forces in that expanded moment..."
The literal stone-faced woman nodded slowly, her eyes looking like they wanted to cry out of either fear or joy - perhaps both.
Looking at her friend, Weiaex scrunched her face as she tried processing what she was seeing and hearing. An act that represented itself as it usually did for the talkative pilot, with words. In this case, a very select few.
"W... We? Mal... what... what are you sayin'?"
"There is... an Ashrevanian formed of our life forces..." Malana was doing her best to remain stoic as she rested her hands on her midsection. "Growing within me."
Slumping back in her seat at the helm, the Edosian pilot's head wobbled slightly as she began to get faint. "We... we didn't... do... this is heavy."
Pressing a hand against her forehead, Weiaex's voice dropped. "This is... for us... for Edosian's... it's... such a massive process. There's... like... eggs and finding a spot for 'em back home and... it takes forever and... and... and..."
"And it wasn't... anything I ever wanted. I mean..." Casting her eyes down at her own feet, the anxious pilot squirmed in her seat. "I LIKE you. You're like... my best friend. But... We're... that's... that's mine... because we... meditated? I... I don't understand."
"I'm sorry, I never expected this either. I didn't even expect it to work, but I care about you so much. Should I not have told you?" Now Malana definitely looked like she was about to cry, if her people could.
"What? No." Weiaex said, waving all three of her hands in the air. "Look, just... sit down. All the seats in here are rated for about 6 times your weight. No, I'm glad you told me, I am. I'm just... I'm just me. I'm... I'm freaking out. It's what I do."
Without a word, Malana took a seat next to her dearest friend and nodded, doing her best to remain strong.
"I mean... I just screwed myself out of the assistant chief position because I freaked out. I'm not sayin' it's good or right or anything. But it's the truth. I'm freaking out. I'm... gonna probably KEEP freaking out here for a bit." Weiaex said, talking with her hands like she usually did. "And I don't understand... any of this. I mean. People think I don't pay attention 'cuz I talk this much, but I do. I know you said this isn't something that has EVER happened before to your people. So... I don't know what to do. I admit it. I'm freaking out."
"I like you. You're my best friend. Probably ever. And I know we were talking about, like, maybe trying dating, and that... honestly... it freaked me out too. Because... I just honestly don't know how I feel. I don't know if I feel... that way. About anybody. But... if this is... somehow... our kid in there... wow... I mean... that's just." Pulling her hands down to her sides, Weiaex took a breath and finished. "We'll... we'll figure it out, right?"
"Yes. We can and will figure it out. You are my best friend as well. You are the one that taught me what true friendship and love are and I wouldn't trade anything for that." Reaching out, the stone woman took one of her friend's hands and held it tenderly. "And whatever happens, I would like to experience it with you, if you are willing. After all, she is as much you as she is me."
"What?" Weiaex said incredulously. "Look, Mal. Whatever else, I'm not gonna just cut and run, okay. But what about your people? I mean, I know you're exiled from them, but is there anything out there we can find that might help us figure out... this?"
"Thank you," Malana replied, relief evident across her face as she finally relaxed. "As for my people... There is one that may help. One that inspired me to follow the path that I have. They now live in exile upon the world of Risa as a six meter tall Horga'hn. The locals climb a mountain trail to seek blessings from her."
"One of your people is a six meter tall sex idol? Wow." Weiaex said with wide eyes as she nodded approvingly. "You, I... can see how they might have a bit more... enlightened trains of thought from the rest of those stiff. Maybe when shore leave comes up, we can pull something off."
"Thank you, Wei," Malana replied, cracking a soft smile. "You have no idea how much this means to me. Especially since the birthing process of the fully grown Ashrevanian from the solid rock face... It is not kind to the rock. I do not know if our child will be within me that long or how it will be born."
"Well... we got some pretty smart doctors here on the ship, so they should be able to figure something out. Still, some inside info on if there's some precedent for this can't hurt, I figure. I mean, whatever we can find out from whereever is probably a good thing, right?" Weiaex said, rambling a bit more that was normal even for HER. But in this case her anxiety was shooting through the top of the shuttlecraft as she tried processing how meditation on what was essentially a first date to see how it would go had lead to this. "And hopefully, you being a biologist will come in handy, ya' know?"
"I do have an extensive fount of knowledge and experience from which to draw upon," Malana confirmed with a soft not and grin, her confidence starting to return. "I have witnessed the mating and procreation of hundreds of species. Coupled with the knowledge and expertise with those aboard this vessel, anything is possible. You are quite correct."
"There you go. That's a starting point. We figure out the physical specifics, like, ya' know, if this is dangerous for you since it's not how it's supposed to work for your people. Then we can figure out just... how this happened." Weiaex said, anxiety clear in her voice as she paused slightly in her words. "So... we can get together after shift, ya' know, and talk some more and start, ya' know... figuring everything out."
"And perhaps after work we may speak more of our relationship and intimacy?" Malana prompted, looking hopeful. Her people rarely dreamed but when they did, it often prompted life-changing events and for her, it led her to declare a love she harbored deep inside of her for the orange carapaced Edosian.
"Uh... yeah. Yeah." Weiaex said, nodding with a smile. It wasn't exactly forced as much as it was uncomfortable. The truth was she was still extremely confused over her feelings, no knowing if she shared the same depth of emotions for her stone best friend. "We can talk about everything after shift. I promise."
"Thank you, Wei. I look forward to our time together once our duties are complete." Certain of her own feelings, yet starting to get the feeling that perhaps her friend either didn't share those feelings or wasn't sure of her own feelings, Malana stood and slowly headed for the door of the shuttle, pausing to glance back once she reached it. "I will be thinking of you as I study the current batch of bio-samples being processed."
"Yeah." Weiaex smiled and nodded. "I'll meet you at your office when you're off shift and we can... go to Ten-Forward or... whatever. And we can talk some more." The response had a bit of anxiety in it, and the anxious pilot knew it was coming out.
"I'm okay, Mal. I am. I'm just a little freaked out. But it's... okay. It'll be okay. Okay?" Weiaex answered the question she imagined looking at Malana's face, which was far more expressive than usual.
"Okay. We will get through this. We just need time." The literal stone woman then smiled almost in slow motion, pausing for a moment with the brightest, warmest smile she'd ever given off, then turned to leave the shuttle bay.