I got my second COVID shot on Wednesday! Yay! Only two weeks to maximum inoculation! I also got the reassurance that my immune system, although having had a bit of a break the past year and a half, is still reared up and ready for action. Thursday's immuno-response was impressive in how dedicated my body was to the cause. I felt like I had mono again. Thankfully I could sleep through most of the day because my kids are old enough they don't need mom. A lot of extra cookies were eaten, but the oldest made sure the youngest also got some fruits and veggies and toast for lunch. Today I'm feeling a lot better, but the sleepy brain fog is lingering so... we'll see how it goes.
This week has been a little on the "too busy" side, but my husband and I are in the final push to be ready to pedal our freeze dried wares at a trade market next weekend. "Too busy" is to be expected when preparing stock. Any time asked, in my opinion anyway, freeze dried foods prep will beat out fresh foods prep for markets; freeze dried can be prepped weeks in advance :)
Aside from food things, over in vinyl and heat transfer decal things (and on a really fun note), a local artist has been working with us to put his graphics onto shirts. It's been amazing to see the creativity, and absolutely awesome to watch our products turn into his first sales. He's been drawing for years, but hadn't ventured into selling his works until a few weeks ago. Now he's got us excited for him and what the coming years will bring. I feel like this will become a story of "oh yeah, he had us put some of his first graphics on shirts a few years ago..." as we look at his latest artwork adorning expensive walls or gracing high profile clothing.
Teal moved seats to the empty one in front of P.O.R.A. Her motions on the controls were accompanied with the ticks, beeps and tones everyone working in the below decks control room had gotten used to hearing.
Leo leaned his elbows onto the edge of the P.D.E.W. console and opened a news page. Head articles were all about Coalition Games now, and he had to scroll down to find anything about the full probe into Senior Coalition.
Sitting like this put his smart’s holoscreen in front of the rotating, short range weapon display. The live updating of world medal counts and game scores looked like a weird, slow parody against the background of rapidly scrolling numbers.
“Captain, this is Teal.” Leo stopped scrolling medal counts to listen. “Buccaneer and Oscareous’s courses remain unchanged from previous sweeps. I’m saving the updated course for Shiner to your shared file now,” Teal reported to Captain through her smart.
After the expected amount of time, everyone’s smarts chimed for the received report from Captain. Leo swiped into the report and scrolled over it to see Shiner’s updated arrival time. The course info didn’t really mean anything to him, modern navigation still wasn’t one of his strengths, but Captain wanted everyone on board to know when to expect the ship that was currently registered as Coalition but appeared to be operating under the orders of a disbanded Advisory Chair. By this new course, Shiner was fourteen hours and thirty-seven minutes away.
Twenty minutes before the shift ended, Teal initiated the scheduled, all-direction sweep and then saved the updated report into Captain’s shared file. The longer report gave a complete listing of all manned ships within an eight cycle radius, so took longer to read before Captain saved it into everyone’s smarts. Leo spent the last few minutes of the shift first confirming the countdown until the three other Coalition ships arrived, and then scrolling through the list of people the report was sent to. It felt affirming to him about the no-fault decision made by people on the lifeboat to see all of their names, and affirming of the Agreement of One Cause to see all the names of contacts Captain had curated on the planet’s surface.
Leo smiled at his crossover when she came in, chuckling at her blinking surprise because he was supposed to be relieving her at the start of the next shift. It was a quick matter to assure her nothing was wrong; he was only there due to boredom because of the changes made to the bridge lead crew, and due to his own nervousness about Shiner’s expected arrival during his next shift.
Leo left at the same time as the rest of this below decks control room shift and, as agreed before leaving him on the bridge, he met Lissa at the galley for a meal together. The conversation was surprisingly good, and the stories about Trevor were just as great as Leo had expected. Leo provided his own family stories, enjoying immensely how honestly Lissa laughed at the funny bits and sympathized with the struggles. It was easy to see the family resemblance about Trevor’s humor, wit, and intelligence. When Leo mentioned the similarities as a compliment, Lissa had grinned and quickly stated Trevor got her mean streak from her grandmother. Leo made the older man smile widely by raising a poly cup in honor of what sounded – to him – like a wonderful woman’s memory.
Later, vidding with Trevor from their shared personal cabin, they each chatted about how the first few hours had gone since parting. Trevor was almost bursting with excitement. Charlotte had stepped away from organizing the evacuation to give her a very quick tour of the city before coming back to the landside headquarters. After this vid Leo was planning to try and rest before starting on his regular shift cycle in a few hours, and Trevor was taking over her grandfather’s position with the other installers in the assembly yard working on the small evacuation fleet. Plus, Captain had upgraded her security in alignment with her duties, so now Trevor was reporting progress for her team directly to Charlotte and Captain.
She looked positively smug that the upgraded security was – technically – a promotion. “See, educated boy? I told you that me being this much smarter than you would get me a promotion before your fancy Academy learning,” she said, almost singing.
“It’s only a promotion if it’s permanent,” he reminded her.
“You keep telling yourself that. Meanwhile, I won our little wager.”
Leo considered – in detail – the favors required of him if he conceded. He looked up the bookmarks she’d saved on his personal comp with the screen turned so she could see the images. He had to admit, conceding the wager looked pretty good from every angle detailed on the page.
“Okay, I think I can be convinced to agree to having lost,” he said. “But only on one condition.”
“You are in no way, in a position where you can add conditions now. You lost,” she argued.
“I did. But you’re in no way in a position where you can collect any winnings,” he reminded her. “So I’ll agree to having lost as long as I can add cycly interest to what I owe you.”
She chuckled and then smiled at him. “Fine. But I won so I get to pick what the interest adds up to,” she said with a wink. He tapped the rarely used icon he still kept on his smart and the sound of a bicycle bell rang. “I love you. Go to sleep,” she said while laughing, and then she disconnected the vid before he could answer.
I love you two, too, he replied in writing. He added a hug holo image around the words, modifying it to shift back and forth with a heart, before sending it to her. She replied with only the usual holo image alternating between a blushing smile and a vomiting face. It was her favorite reply whenever he sent her anything blatantly romantic which had the potential – he knew – to make her feel too flustered to be mean. He swiped off the lights, smiling at the alternating holo image she’d sent him as it dimly reflected on her empty pillow.
Five hours later Leo rolled off his bunk up to his feet, swiping his smart to both turn off his waking alarm and set his saved messages, updates, reports and orders to autoscroll slowly on the mirror in the clean as he stumbled through his regular washing routine to start the cycle. He hadn’t slept well, but the autoscroll dumped enough adrenaline into his system that he didn’t feel like he needed any caffeine. (He still picked up Dockland’s version of a coffee along with his breakfast, though.)
Lissa was already in the galley when Leo arrived. Trevor’s grandfather was sitting at an otherwise empty table with a mostly empty plate in front of him, frowning at the poly mug containing tea he was attempting to drink. His hopeful look toward the poly cup, wishing for the second tasting to improve the flavor, had disintegrated into resigned disappointment as Leo carried his own breakfast between tables toward Lissa.
“Do you think Shiner really found a course that shortened their arrival radius by four hours?” Leo asked the older man as he sat down across from Lissa.
“If Dockland’s all-direction sweeps say they did, then they did,” Lissa replied with a shrug.
“That means the evacuation fleet won’t be ready,” Leo said. He expected an emotional response from Lissa, but Trevor’s grandfather only nodded and scraped a final bite of his breakfast onto his fork.
“They weren’t going to be ready even with the four hours,” Lissa said. “Don’t look at me like you didn’t already know that. Nothing goes perfect in assembly, even when it goes well. How much you hope won’t make perfect happen. Now eat. You’ll want a full stomach for today.” He punctuated his point by eating the forkful he’d loaded and then stabbing the now empty fork toward Leo’s full plate when Leo didn’t immediately start in on breakfast.
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!