Summer seems to have officially arrived. Finally! We've been able to turn off the furnace for most of the past week, even with it being cooler and rainy since Wednesday, because our house is awful for air circulation and refuses to release any captured heat. (Unless it's winter, then the house is chronically cold and completely unable to fully warm up. It's really annoying for a house built only 14 years ago.)
The weeds are growing strong in the gardens... and the lawn lol. I don't complain about clover in the grass at all – I like clover a lot better as it's lower maintenance, and the blooms are awesome for bees – but the grass in the garden is frustrating. Probably the beds will have to be completely dug out to get rid of the invasive grass roots in the next year or two. This year I'll just keep pulling and digging.
Leo watched Trevor inhale a shaky breath and hold the clunky, antique microphone in front of her mouth. “You already trust me, Charlotte, and as your sister I’m telling you to trust Captain and her requests and orders to Dockland’s crew,” she said. “Captain’s word is as honest as mine.”
“Trevor?” the voice asked, incredulous.
“Charlotte, please…” Her voice broke before she could continue. “Is this the news you and Mom were waiting to tell me until after I was done my contract?”
A sigh almost as heavy as Captain’s came through the speakers. “Surprise?” Charlotte said. Trevor’s brother turned the single word up at the end so his voice made it a question.
“You can trust Captain. You can trust Dockland to help make this world a home for our people again,” she said. Tears rolled down her cheeks.
“Trevor! What are you doing on that ship?” a new voice demanded.
“I’m fine, Mom. This ship is that standard year contract job I told you about. The Analyst job on explorations, remember?”
Dods, lead bridge crew Chief Navigator, excused himself through the people crowding the door and walked in from the hallway. He settled one hand onto Trevor’s shoulder while holding out the other for the microphone. Trevor handed it to him, her dark brown eyes holding the same roiling emotions as his light blue ones.
“Shelly Dods. I know you’re in the operations room down there, too, little brother,” he said.
“Abagail?” A new voice who must be Shelly replied after a moment.
“It’s me, Shelly,” Dods confirmed. “You need to tell people down there that Captain – that Dockland – really is here to help. That some of us up here just want our Central World back, too. That Captain will do everything she can to help us.”
Leo watched the scene with his heart pounding. Dods and Trevor stood shoulder to shoulder and both looked to Captain, tears freely rolling down Dods’ cheeks as Trevor wiped hers away with her sleeves. Captain looked between her two crew members, both publicly admitting to being Daion without having to, volunteering to speak up and support her in spite of the personal ramifications and without any promise of their actions having success later.
“To the ends of space, Dockland will defend this world,” Captain vowed to the two descendants of the survivors in front of her.
Leo jumped in his seat as a burst of static sounded over the antique InterStel.
“Captain of Dockland,” Charlotte’s voice returned to the speakers, “Daions accept your offer of Coalition cooperation.”
Dods handed the microphone back to Captain.
“Confirmed,” Captain said into the device. “Dockland awaits your initial requests for assistance. And, from me personally, thank you for your trust in us.”
“They’ve closed out of the channel,” InterStel Officer announced after the expected delay.
Leo watched Captain nod and hand back the microphone to set into its charging dock. He had a split second to wonder if now would be a good time to discretely check on Trevor, but the opportunity passed in a blink the moment Captain started talking again.
“Maintain channel monitoring in case Daion’s initiate formal communications again on this system,” Captain told InterStel Officer. “Until then, you two” –she pointed a finger at Trevor and Dods– “come with me. We need faster communication than this crater aged InterStel and I want to believe the people you know who are landside have smarts you can vid and save to.” She led the two crew members out of the below decks control room, barely slowing as the small crowd in the hall quickly parted to let them pass. “Vid your family members and any friends. Get me the dedicated surface contact who speaks for all Daions.” Her voice quieted below easy listening volumes as the trio walked away toward the nearest lift.
One of the crew members from the hall, someone Leo had spoken to maybe once during their entire time on Dockland, came to stand behind Leo’s seat at NavCom and thumped a heavy hand onto his shoulder.
“That is rusty, my friend. I can’t even imagine how bad you’re feeling right now,” the crew member said. Loudly. A quick glance confirmed every person in the room and hallway looked to where he was standing over Leo. Leo felt the center of his chest start to shrink and tighten, but he kept his shoulders square and stared at the screens in front of him.
“What is it I’m supposed to feel bad about?” Leo asked, keeping his tone innocently curious while still matching the crew member’s volume, surprising the guy into pulling his hand back.
“Well, I mean, your relationship,” he stammered. “It’ll be over now you know what Trevor is. I mean, plus the lying for, what, this whole standard year? Pretending she was Coalition? You… you must feel…?” his voice got quieter and his bearing twitched out of confident posturing as Leo starting laughing hard enough to fold forward over NavCom to the point he almost bonked his head on a screen.
“Yeah, okay,” Leo said between chuckles as he sat up to keep watching the screens he was on shift to monitor. “Because in this whole standard year together we never once talked about our families,” he said in a mockingly sarcastic tone.
Across the room at the short range weapon console, Mollin snorted a laugh. “Grab a broken single-suit and crawl outside the hull to record some nova readings on a handheld, Trecker,” Mollin said, shaking his head as he stood up. “Even better,” he added, walking toward Leo and shining a perfect holocinema star smile at Trecker as if he’d just had a wonderful thought. “You should go and repeat what you just said to Captain. After her formal upholding of the Daion-Coalition Agreement, I’d bet you she loves hearing about Daion harassment and Coalition ‘rightful supremacy’ conversations.”
Mollin said it with air quotes and a tone of voice as if he was excited about the idea, but his face had turned deadly serious when he stopped close enough to touch Trecker. Mollin held silent eye contact with Trecker until the crew member became uncomfortable and shuffled out of the below decks control room. Leo held up a fist toward Mollin as he continued watching NavCom screens display the latest information for the high orbit being established from the bridge. Mollin knocked a fist up into the bottom of Leo’s before turning to walk back to his station’s screens.
“Aren’t you two supposed to be deadlocked rivals bordering on enemies?” Lastin asked from NavScan, a few consoles away from Mollin.
“Of course,” Leo said. His chest started to loosen up as most of the observers found something more interesting than him to look at: Trecker’s retreating back.
“But that rivalry is a private, between-us sort of thing,” Mollin added. “Not something for outsiders to infringe on.”
“Kind of like an unspoken and deeply buried affection, but with hate at the core instead of love,” Leo continued.
“I think that sums it up nicely,” Mollin agreed. Leo shared a smile with Mollin and, for the first time since being assigned to Dockland, realized that over the months the holocinema star looking Analyst had become his friend.
Lastin and the rest of the below decks control room lead crew members laughed, almost all of them turning to their smarts to save quick, personal messages to Captain about Trecker’s verbal misdemeanor. Leo saved his own messages, one about Trekker to the Captain’s shared file for crew members and one to Trevor just to check in if she was all right. He didn’t expect and answer from either message sent, and didn’t receive one.
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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!