With the brief exposition of some things about Minerva, the plot shows up again, and the android does her best to get a-hold of things before the come to a head.
God, I’m awful.
Anyway, it is obvious that Minerva is fond of Laszlo Hartmann as he played such a role in her becoming an independent entity. My mental model for this are those animals who hatch or are born and “imprint” on the first living thing they see, loving it unconditionally. The dual problems here are one, Les has been a practicing homosexual for the past six years, at least, and is not attracted to young women; two, even if he were, his mother the empress would not allow her Crown Prince eldest son to marry an android.
Now, technically, I don’t know something yet. We know her skin is organic and she speaks to “other modules,” but I simply do not believe that the tech has reached the level of a mobile womb. So to be honest, I don’t know where this will go for them.
Not quite two hours later, she stood and went up, returning a moment later in new coveralls. She sat.
“It is my watch. I relieve you,” she announced.
Les just grunted and released his restraint belt before standing. She knows this ship as well as I do so I can rest content we are safe. Just up the ladder to the crew deck, he realized how much he trusted her; possibly more than anyone ever before, even from his own family. As the first born male, I thought I had a duty to the family. When, after St. Louis, I found I didn’t like girls… Liz and Caillie never said anything but Ed and Rob called me a fag to my face, God, how many times did we fight? Looking back, mother must have known but let it all happen, undoubtedly for her own reasons.
Laszlo lay down, set himself to wake up in four hours, and shut down most of his mind, allowing just enough to dream, something he did not often do.
As always, things were confusing; one of the reasons he dislike dreaming. Probably due to his thoughts before resting, he recalled crying during the army’s withdrawal from the St. Louis area. Not so much at his mother’s decision to use a fusion weapon in anger for the first time in history but because his eighteen-year-old cousin, Aurelia, had agreed with her and helped her. At what few social events his mother demanded he attend as a teen, he never talked to the girls, only boys, especially the handsome ones. Laszlo sighed aloud when his inner eye finally settled on Crown Prince Nikita of the Russian Empire… once the love of his life.
He was vaguely aware of the sexual response of his body in meatspace, perhaps so powerful was his dream. In fact, he suddenly realized he was going to…
Kneeling next to his bed, Les was surprised to see that Minerva had pulled his briefs down a little and rhythmically sliding her left hand up and down him. Aware he was awake, her speed increased.
“Min… Minerva! What are…! The bridge!” he cried, almost there.
“I can fly this ship from anywhere,” she replied softly, with only the second smile he’d seen on her. “Even outside. I came up here to watch your sleeping face. Your need was obvious.”
“You need… need to stop! I’m…!”
At that, his moment of release came. Her hand, now sticky and slippery, slowed but did not stop.
“Minerva…” he breathed.
“When I was still Reina, this form observed you and Prince Nikita. You two kissed while doing this.” She blinked and the smile was gone. “Did I do well, Les?”
“I need to get cleaned up; my watch is in minutes.” He avoided the question. They both stood and went to separate sinks.
“This is an interesting smell,” she observed. “I would like more of it.”
He pulled his coveralls back on. Do I don’t I? No, not today.
Laszlo hooked his feet around the rails of the ship’s ladder and slid down.
“You’re relieved!” he called back up.
“No,” she whispered for the first time. “You are.”