Title: A Minor Detour, Part 19
Character/s: Morgana, Uther, Arthur
Summary: By the time he died, even though Morgana had never held an official title in the Wander, no one doubted her place as his heir.
Warnings: Past minor character death
Word Count: 1,000
Prompt: #264: Promotion
Author's Notes: Part 1|10|15|16|17|18||All Parts on AO3
Growing up on the Wayfarers’ Wander gave a person a certain outlook on life that was unique in the galaxy. Morgana had met hundreds if not thousands of people in her time on the outpost, even conversed with many of them, and she’d never encountered anyone who viewed life the same way she and the other Wayfarers did.
The people she lived among viewed morality as a more flexible spectrum than the forces of Camelot or Tir-Mor that passed through, but unlike the scavengers and pirates who also passed through, they knew there was more to life than self-preservation and wealth. There was community, and nothing was more important than that.
The Wander was founded by a group of refugees sick of constant interstellar war, and what started as a sixty capacity ferry carrying eighty people grew as others joined them, ships from all over the galaxy. The first few vessels were jury-rigged to the original ferry, the Catha. But after that, the Wayfarers built out a proper station with the fused group of ships remaining at its center, acting as its heart.
The Wander survived wars and sieges and kept its pride and its neutrality through them all, adhering to one purpose over all else.
The Wander took care of its own. The Wander was family.
That suited Morgana just fine, because she’d learned over the years that her own blood family left quite a lot to be desired.
She hadn’t actually been born on the Wander. She was the child of the wife of a Camelot officer, Vivienne, who lived one of their colonized planets while her husband Gorlois roamed the void. When Gorlois was killed in battle, with Vivienne already dead of a blood plague, Uther Pendragon himself came for Morgana.
Despite only being a child of five, Morgana knew about Uther; everyone in Camelot knew about Uther. Even back then he was the pride of the fleet, an inspiration to all. When he told her that he’d promised her father that he’d take care of her, of course she’d thought he meant it.
“The Albion is no place for a child, dear Morgana,” was his excuse for leaving her at the Wander instead, in the care of a stranger. Though she’d come to love Alator as the most genuine father she had, his perpetual scowl had scared her when she was so small and alone. Now she knew it was the only thing, other than her very existence, that she could thank Uther for.
He visited, yes, but often he brought with him a boy even younger than Morgana, his own son who she quickly understood did have a place on the Albion. Much as she’d come to love the Wander, she grew bitter at having been so callously discarded by a man she looked up to even before she learned that Gorlois was not her true father.
Some worried that Morgana, Camelot-born, wouldn’t settle in among the Wayfarers. That she’d be too soft, or too sympathetic to her supposed father’s loyalties. But Alator raised her well, and he told her the truth of her parentage when she was of age. By the time he died, even though Morgana had never held an official title in the Wander, no one doubted her place as his heir.
Apparently news of her new position hadn’t reached Uther, or he wouldn’t have dared to set foot on the Wander. He hadn’t been back since their bitter fight when Morgana told him she knew the truth and wanted to be recognized. Whatever was going on with the child he’d decided he wanted—his son, her brother—must have been serious to draw him back to the outpost.
Her brother. Arthur. He’d grown so much since she last saw him; he’d been so young, it was little wonder he didn’t seem to remember her. He’d had his share of promotions since then, too, was the new rising star of Camelot just as his father had been. He was an exceptionally young captain, but he hadn’t earned it just on Uther’s name.
She’d kept track of him, partly out of jealousy and partly because he was family, and Wayfarers didn’t turn their back on family until they’d earned it. Uther had, but she would give Arthur his own chance.
Judging by his reaction when she introduced herself and the way he kept staring at her, broken only by unanswered questioning looks at Uther, he had no idea who she was. Their father had never told him about her. It shouldn’t have stung—she knew what sort of man Uther was—but it did. She wished briefly for Alator’s calming presence, the manner he had of speaking the truth with bluntness and affection in equal measures, and mourning him hurt much more deeply than Uther’s continued rejection of her.
Alator couldn’t be there to guide her anymore, but she knew what he’d say if he could: She wanted this confrontation enough to seek it out, and she couldn’t flee from it now or else everyone in the Wander would think less of her. Did she want them to think her weak and forgiving of Camelot after all?
She did not.
She’d engineered this meeting when she got news that Uther was trying to dock on her outpost under an assumed name. She could have refused him, but instead she let him aboard and had her people pretend they didn’t know who he was. She let him and Arthur meet and resolve their business before swooping down on the two of them.
She would hold her head high and stand in judgment of the two Pendragon men who had put themselves at her mercy by coming to her territory.
She was the Commissioner of the Wayfarers’ Wander, and if she decided that she wanted to shove her father into an escape pod to let the ultimate neutrality of the void do with him as it would, no one would stop her.
The Wander protected its own.