Is "TGIF" still a thing? Am I carbon dating myself? Do I need to be worried about it, really, if I am? You all know at this point I'm not young, so I guess I'm good with self carbon dating lol. Happy Friday! And thank goodness it is!
It was a fairly good week. Testing out writing and editing sessions on short stories or in time-limited windows has been working okay this week. Frustrating, but working. I was able to inch ahead on some editing, draft up a short story, and then inch ahead on a bit more editing. At this point I really need a USB connection in my temple so I can plug in and think directly into my manuscripts and stories.
Outside of writing, the kids finally broke me. My six-year-old was playing a Roblox game that was simply... happy. That's it. It's just a happy game. There's zero competition, players can go as fast or slow as they want, the levels are all fun and/or pretty to look at, and the controls are so easy that even my dinosaur-level brain could understand them. I'd been on the fence about making an account for a few games, but Be A Bee is the one that put me over. I have a Roblox account, now, and I'm not even sorry lol.
Captain was either still in the bridgeside or had gone back in there when she’d received their short report. Trevor and Leo waited impatiently, working hard to keep the sweep results from showing all over their faces as they were side-eyed by the rest of the bridge crew members on Captain’s shift. It wasn’t odd for people to come in to talk to Captain when they were off shift, but it wasn’t normal for them to come twice, not be requested as present by Captain and yet arriving at a run the second time, and then wait despite being told by lead crew members they wouldn’t be seen because Captain was having an important vid.
It was also really, really not normal to hear Captain’s voice elevate past the privacy sound dampening built into every bridgeside. Leo and Trevor were the closest to the door and couldn’t make out any of the specific phrases she was yelling, but definitely heard the words “survivors”, “no” and “twin star” quite clearly.
They glanced at each other for the last one. Usually in the tone Captain was using, someone’s ears were being referred to as the two stars orbiting the empty space at the center of a bistar solar system. The door to the private slid open. Captain was on her feet and leaning on her fists on top of her desk, poised to yell. Her inhalation paused as her eyes flicked between Leo and Trevor already standing there and staring across at her.
“You two get in here,” Captain barked. She shoved up to a straight posture and squared off with the same Senior Coalition member Leo and Trevor had seen earlier. They hurried inside and the door swished closed behind them.
“Analysts?” he demanded, incredulous, stabbing a finger toward them as they stopped nearby Captain’s desk. “This is a secure meeting between senior staff members of –”
The sound of his voice blinked out a split second after his image did. Captain tore off her smart and slammed it onto her desk.
“Arrogant! Ignorant! Greedy!” Her clipped tirade of elevating insults stopped at the tone of her smart synchronizing with her desk panel. “Annise,” she said. Her voice was nearly calm. The chiming of the outgoing vid request lasted only a second.
“Hi! I…” the finely-dressed woman appearing in Captain’s office glanced at her smart. “I’ll have to vid you back, this is –”
“Because of me,” Captain interrupted. The woman paused in the motion of disconnecting the holovid. “That rotted bolt is trying to vid you before I do. He still hasn’t figured out I have you as an instant contact.”
“Oh, for the love of Tallix! Why am I being brought into another one of your arguments with that petty and greedy little…” Her exasperated voice trailed off as Captain expanded the width of the holovid field to include Leo and Trevor. “Whoops. Please, excuse my language,” she said, her entire presentation of self almost instantly transforming to the same demeanor as on all of the public vids and images of her. As in the images, her skin was a luminous dark brown, her hair silver, and her clothes were as full of color and current fashion as any other member of Senior Coalition, just completely without fringe or decoration. It struck both Leo and Trevor at the same moment that, seeing her here on Dockland, her looks and fashion choices complimented Captain’s sparse bridgeside rather than clashing with it.
Trevor tried to clear her throat and instead made a strangled, squeaking noise. Leo marvelled about her having enough spit left to make an attempt at clearing her throat. He was pretty sure even his stomach acid had dried up.
“You can drop the publicity vid pose, Annise,” Captain said, not even looking up as she continued manipulating her desk panel. “These two are the ones who’ve provided me with the information I’m vidding you about right now, and that – because he’s this exploration’s Reporting Member – Ahonnon is attempting to block getting to you uncorrupted.”
“First off, Tallishen, I need to actually receive the information you’re –” she was interrupted by her smart chiming.
Trevor and Leo watched as the woman Captain called only ‘Annise’ brushed her fingers above her smart and lifted them, transferring the file from her smart onto a holloscreen in front of her. It looked like the summary they had written for Captain. Trevor’s breathing got ragged and Leo felt her fingers slide across his palm and then grip tightly to his hand. He squeezed back just as hard. The impatient pinching at Annise’s lips relaxed as she quickly scanned the summary, and then her eyes widened as she read the sweep results.
“This can’t be right,” Annise whispered. Captain remained silent as Public Face Annise Lillan – the highest member of Senior Coalition – re-read each word of the summary and then scrutinized the sweep results. “This has to be a mistake,” she added at the end of the second time reading through the information.
“It’s a satellite sweep from Dockland’s below decks control room. You and I both know those results can’t be tampered,” Captain stated.
“I’m allowed to say I’m shocked your paranoia paid off for once?” Public Face asked, a very un-Public Face smirk turning up the edge of her lips.
“You can say whatever you want as long as you take this seriously,” Captain replied. “I sent this as an unmarked file within this holovid because of the corruption mentioned in the summary these two wrote.” She nodded toward Trevor and Leo. Public Face glanced at them, the smirk she’d given Captain softening to a polite smile. “I guarantee that Ahonnon scrubbed Dockland’s name from the summary and sweep while I was vidding with him,” Captain continued, “and I know he added his own words into it because I watched him try to look like he wasn’t typing.”
“You two authored this report?” Public Face asked. Trevor and Leo managed to nod agreement. “Is the copy I’m holding accurate?” She twisted the display on her smart and her holovid image was replaced with a large version of the summary and sweep results. The Analysts read the files completely.
“That is our reporting to the letter, Public Face,” Trevor confirmed.
“You both say so?” the voice of Public Face asked.
“That is our reporting, Public Face.” Leo surprised himself by being able to speak a full sentence.
“You know Dockland’s below decks control room is only going to give you facts from the satellite sweep,” Captain stated.
“Of course I do. I sat beside you learning those systems. Or are you failing to recall that far back?” Public Face replied.
A weekly blog updating on Fridays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!