A World Without Love

Start from the beginning

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In 2192, on the other side of the pond – that is, the mirror universe, the Empress Hoshi Sato was being wooed by a new lover. The guy was Milton Walker, a former Eligian Order monk who had been the leader of the Perfectionists, although she did not know that particular detail about him.

All she cared about was the fact that he had a time ship. He and his daughter, Helen – who he had placed in charge of the Perfectionists prior to heading over to the mirror – the two of them had stolen a Commission ship known as the Flux Capacitor. The ship was running a little hot and was supposed to be in for service. But there was a mole in the engineering department and so the ship was left unsecured and they took what they wanted.

Helen returned to our universe and was hiding out on Callisto in 3110. Her death had been faked as well – allegedly it was a shuttle crash on Berren One, with the body lost to that tiny orb's benzene-soaked flaming atmosphere. From her lair, she directed her own temporal operatives or conducted her own missions.

But in the mirror, Milton was in a bit of a bind. He was enjoying Hoshi – even in her sixties, she was still far out of his league – but she wanted to know everything about the time ship. And he didn't know much, but he'd be damned if he'd let her know that. He knew he needed to be cautious. What he did not know was that she was planning on killing him once she had gotten the last of what she wanted from him.

To that end, she had her usual dagger and phase pistol on her person at all times. And her Chief Medical Officer, Doctor Mark Stone, had thoughtfully provided hyposprays in all sorts of locations around the Defiant. About five together would kill anyone, and one was useful for knocking a man out for quite a while. Hoshi preferred knives but was mindful of how messy they could be. But, truly, she didn't much care how Milton met his end, long as he met it. He did bore her so. Even the mice that infested the Jeffries tubes and boldly raced around the kitchen and the mess hall and the Bridge were better conversationalists.

The Defiant had just gone to its own version of the Lafa System. Her biggest problem was not Milton. Rather, it was that there were contraband Constitution class star ship parts coming out of that system. It was only a matter of time before someone, somewhere, put together a fully-loaded ship. And then she would lose her tactical advantage and, perhaps, the Empire. Too much was at stake to let that happen.

She had already threatened the Calafan government and was prepared to act, and nip the nascent movement in the bud.

And she knew that there were humans on Lafa II – assuming they were still alive – who could very well be responsible for the contraband. Tripp Tucker and Beth Cutler Tucker had departed in 2157. Jennifer Crossman had left as well, but she was presumed dead. Doug Hayes was also presumed dead that year. Then, in 2161, Chip Masterson and Lucy Stone Masterson had departed. Theirs was a more crushing blow, as they took Takara and Takeo – the Empress's twin children with Chip.

For Jun was not the only one. Kira was Tactical Officer Aidan MacKenzie's boy. Arashi was, well, it was unclear who Arashi's father was – the lucky fellow was either deceased Security Ensign José Torres or Chief Engineer, and now First Officer Frank Ramirez. They were the only real candidates. Then came the twins. The last one was Izo, the son of the late pilot, Travis Mayweather.

But when the twins were taken, the Empress completely disowned them. So far as she was concerned, she only had four sons. She had never had a fifth son, and had never had a daughter.

And, unknown to her, the Lafa System was home not only to the Tuckers and the Mastersons, Jennifer and the twins, but it was also home to Takara's son, Chuck, who was also the son of Charlie Tucker, who was Tripp and Beth's eldest. Plus the Mastersons had a son, Ken, who had taken up with Betsy Tucker, Tripp and Beth's other child. Their daughter was Denise. And Denise and Chuck were old enough to be beginning to think a little bit about such things.

Hoshi did not know that Denise and Chuck would have a son – at least, in the correct timeline. And then, after her death, there would be a tandem government of Jun and Kira. But then their successor would be Denise and Chuck's son, Charles Tucker VI – the Emperor Charles I.

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Doug Hayes was, indeed, dead, but it had not been in 2157 and it had not been in the mirror. He had been the first person ever to cross over from the mirror to our universe, and he had done it all for love.

He had married Lili O'Day, and they had lived happily and had had children together, plus she had a son with Malcolm Reed and Doug had three other sons with Melissa Madden. The marriage had been an open one but it was loving. Rick was a descendant of all four of them.

After Doug died in 2182, Lili married Malcolm, and it was they who Rick had been visiting in 2192 when a major change happened that had, apparently, wiped him from existence.

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Secret agent man

Secret agent man

They've given you a number,

and taken away your name.

– Johnny Rivers (Secret Agent Man)    

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