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Where Do People Like Us Float Chapter 2

Chapter 2:  Jim

“Time to go to sleep, kiddo.”

His mother hovered in the doorway of his room as Jim looked up from his PADD. He had the lights off but the lights from his game still lit up his bedroom.

“Mom, I’m not a kid any longer.” He made a face. “And I’m almost to the boss of this level.”

“The doctors recommend you get a lot of rest, Jim. You’ve been overtaxing yourself. You don’t want to have a relapse.”

“Just a little longer? Okay?”

She leaned against the door frame, arms folded across her chest. “Okay but like fifteen minutes and then put it away. Please.”

Jim nodded, “Okay.”

“Don’t forget your appointment is tomorrow.”

Like he could forget.

“Yeah.”

“Honey, she just wants to help you. They all do.” She came into the room and sat on his bed. “We came to this planet because she was here and she comes highly recommended. She specializes in your condition.”

He shrugged.

His mother sighed heavily. “You could actually cooperate, you know. Doctor Cassadine is an expert in dealing with trauma as well as eating disorders.”

“I don’t have an ‘eating disorder’.” He did air quotes. “I was poisoned by the fungus making it pretty much hard to eat most food.” His bottom lip trembled. “And all she wants to know is how it makes me feel.”

“I know you saw terrible things. She’s concerned about the long lasting mental damage.”

He set the PADD aside. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“I’m worried, Jim.”

“Don’t be. I’m fine.”

“You barely touched your dinner.”

“It upset my stomach.”

Mom frowned. “I used the additive that’s supposed to make it more edible for you.”

“I don’t like stew anyway.”

She reached over and smoothed out his hair. “Because of the meat?”

He lowered his gaze. “Even the smell is sickening. I told that asshole.”

“James Tiberius.”

He rolled his eyes. “Fine. I told your husband and he made it anyway.”

She shook her head. “I don’t have that much of the additive left, Jim. The new shipment hasn’t reached us here. You can’t afford to waste food with it in it now. You’re not eating enough as it is. You don’t want to go back to the hospital, do you?”

“No,” he whispered.

“I’ll make you pancakes in the morning before I leave for work. Frank will take you to your appointment.”

“I can get there myself you know.”

“We don’t have enough hover cars for all three of us and he needs to go into work to pick something up. You can right with him. I’d let you come with me but I’ll be there all day tomorrow. Once your appointment is done, you can both come back here as he’ll be working from home.”

He nodded.

“And try to do some studying, okay? I know you’re almost caught up with your online school work but you missed so much that there’s still more.”

“I know.”

“Frank is trying, you know. You could try too.”

“Is he? Like he did with Sam?” Jim couldn’t keep the note of defiance out of his voice.

“He made mistakes. He knows that. We all did. I’m sorry you ever got sent to that awful place.” She touched his cheeks. “But we decided we’d work on trying to be a family when we came here. Frank knows you’re my priority. You could meet him half way.”

Jim didn’t really think Frank was trying at all and he wanted him to leave him and his mom alone and go back to Earth or Hell or wherever he belonged. But he made himself nod.

She leaned in and kissed his cheek. “Please go to sleep. Pancakes in the morning.”

After she closed the door after him, Jim rose from his bed and went to the window in his room. He sat on the ledge, looking up at the stars. He wondered where Sam was. Was he on one of those distant planets he could see? Did he ever think of Jim?

Probably not.

Out of sight, out of mind.

But he’d met someone today.

A Vulcan.

****

“Are you ready for this?”

Jim stared at Frank as he stood outside the hover car. He pointed to the earbuds firmly shoved into his ears. He could still hear but he sure as hell didn’t want Frank to know.

Frank glared at him, pointing at the door. “Get in the car. I ain’t got all day.”

Jim almost corrected his grammar but that meant admitting he could hear, so he got in and turned away from Frank.

“Damn kid. I should rip those things out of your ears. But you’d just cry to your mother.”

Frank didn’t say anything after that as he sped into the main city of Eldred. The place was a dump but it was better than Tarsus, anyway.

Jim hiked his feet up on the dashboard.

“Feet down!” Frank screamed, turning beet red.

Jim almost said fuck you but he let it go and moved his feet down a fraction.

Frank pulled up in front of the office building that housed Dr. Cassadine’s office. One thing Jim could say was that she was cute anyway. Not as cute as the Vulcan boy he’d met. Spock. Jim was having trouble not thinking about it. And when he got home later, he planned to sneak over to see Spock and the kitten. He had a feeling Spock was going to keep her.

“I’ll be back to get you so don’t fucking going anywhere, you shit.”

Jim flung open the door and got out, not at all surprised when his mother’s husband sped away immediately. Jim flipped him the bird as he turned to look at the building. He had half a mind to just skip the whole thing. But then Dr. Cassadine would call Winona and then she’d give him hell and make him reschedule anyway.

Soon as he turned eighteen in a few months he was out of there and he’d kiss them both goodbye. All he had to do was bide his time.

He pushed open the door and then went to the elevator, pushing the button for the eleventh floor. Dr. Cassadine was the only office on this floor so the elevator doors opened up onto her receptionist.

An older woman eyed him as he approached her desk.

“Sally.”

“You’re two minutes late. She’s waiting.”

Dr. Cassadine had her dark hair pulled up into a tight bun perched on top of her head. And she wore glasses, the old fashioned kind that made her look kind of bookish. She sat behind her desk, hands folded in front of her.

She smiled in welcome. “Good morning, James.”

She insisted on calling him James even though the first few sessions he’d had with her he had repeatedly told her he preferred Jim. He gave up mentioning it because clearly she wasn’t going to bother listening to him.

He sat in the big plush leather chair situated directly in front of her desk.

“Water?” she asked.

“No.”

“Very well. Tell me about your morning.”

“I don’t see how that’s relevant. And it was boring.”

Her smile widened. “How about you give me a few more details?”

Jim leaned back in the chair. He was tempted to put his feet up on her desk just to see her reaction, but he resisted. “Woke up. Brushed my teeth. Had pancakes for breakfast. Took a shower. Got dressed. Got in the hover car with Frank. Came here.”

“Pancakes. Your mom used the additive?”

“Uh-huh.”

“And did it change their taste?”

“I guess. I mean, sure, I can taste it. But I couldn’t eat them at all otherwise.” He shrugged.

“Did you want to eat them?”

“Listen, I don’t have a disorder. None of this is psychological. You can check my records. I was poisoned by the fungus.”

“I know that, James. Did you want to eat them?”

“I guess so.”

“Do you get hungry?”

“Not this again.”

“One of the side effects of the fungal poisoning is loss of appetite. It’s a legitimate question.”

He looked at his feet. “I don’t really get much enjoyment out of eating now. I eat to live. So, no, I guess I didn’t really get hungry.”

“And that’s what we’re going to work on. There’s some evidence that trauma such as you suffered can contribute to your condition. I can’t fix you physically but we can work on the trauma to perhaps help with your appetite.”

“I don’t know what you want me to say.”

“The truth. James, I know how unhappy you are. And I know about your suicide attempt in the hospital. Your mom said you agreed to come here and get treatment. We decided to start with outpatient, but if I feel it’s in your best interest to check you into my facility—”

“I don’t need that.”

“Then maybe you can start cooperating with me here. Tell me about your distaste for meat.”

“Tastes change.”

“So, it’s not about Tarsus?”

“No.”

“You flinched when I said that word, you know.”

Jim’s jaw locked. He said nothing.

She tapped something into her PADD.

“How are your studies coming along?”

“Good. I’m almost done with the years I missed.”

“Do you think you’ll make friends here, James?”

“Maybe.” He thought of the Vulcan.

Spock.

“I met my neighbor.”

****

“Get in.’ Frank barked as he pulled up to where Jim was standing outside the building waiting. “I’ve got work to do and the sooner we’re back home the better.”

Jim got in and had barely closed the door before he was off again.

“I won’t ask you how it went because I can only imagine the smartass answer,” Frank said snidely.

Jim said nothing.

“Your mama wants me to take anger management classes if you can believe that.”

Jim glanced at him. “Are you going to do it?”

“Yeah right.’ Frank belched. “There’s nothing wrong with me. Your brother was a little prick. Fuck, even you know that. He would have made anyone lose it. And I was totally justified in sending you off planet after all those stunts you pulled. You were a little punk. I didn’t know what was going to happen. Nobody did.”

Jim could blame Frank for a lot of things. Like sending him there in the first place, but yeah, as much as he fucking hated Frank, and he did, he knew Frank hadn’t known what would happen. How it would change Jim forever.

Frank pulled up in front of the house. It was much smaller than their farmhouse back in Riverside. And Jim hated to admit it, but he missed it there. This house only had three bedrooms. His, theirs and a room his mom had put exercise equipment as well as office stuff in. It was one of those manufactured houses that went up in like a day and took even less time to tear down.

Frank went immediately into the room with the office equipment and shut the door. Was fine by Jim. He hoped he stayed in there all the rest of the damn day.

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WDPLUF (An Old Story, a New Beginning)

Earlier this year for personal reasons I will not go into, I deleted a story from AO3 called Keep Forgetting.

I have decided to rewrite this story significantly and post it here. When it is finished, I will be making a PDF copy with artwork, probably, to give to anyone who wants the full copy. I anticipate posting a chapter once a week (Thursdays) here until finished. I do not know if it will ever get posted on AO3, so I warn you now, this is probably the place to come to read it.

I have changed the title since I don’t believe ‘Keep Forgetting’ works for the new version of this story. Some of the things I am changing are Jim’s and Spock’s ages. They both have been aged up by quite a bit. Spock will be almost 21 and Jim about 18 or so. Spock, like his Mother, will be teaching in this version, rather than being a student himself. Some elements will be the same, but you will have to see as I am re-writing it as I go.

This is very clearly an alternate universe/version.

Where Do People Like Us Float

Chapter 1: The Meet

As a young Vulcan, Spock had certain chores he was expected to do to assist his parents. In this case, specifically his mother, who was actually Human.

His assigned chore on that night was to take out the garbage, including the parts that could be recycled.

According to legend, family legend only, his mother, Amanda Grayson, had met his father, Sarek, when Sarek had been visiting Earth, where she was from. Sarek was a number of years older than Amanda when they met, and in fact had already had a son with a previous wife, that one Vulcan. They were not to talk about that though. Any of it. Father’s previous wife was gone and his son…well. Spock was not sure.

Since Vulcans had longer life spans than Humans did, their age difference did not seem to matter overly much.

Mother advised Spock that she had dated Father for three months. She had been surprised when he had asked her out during their first meeting at a park. Though they had little in common, initially, they had, according to Mother, “hit it off”, and three months later, Father asked her to be his wife and accept the ways of Vulcan and to move there with him. Mother said yes. And eventually, after some scientific assistance, Spock had been born.

That was twenty-three years ago now. And Spock, himself, had reached the age of twenty. And would be twenty-one in the not too distant future.

Presently, he and his mother, were on the planet Eltron II, which had a very similar atmosphere and surface to Earth. Father, being a diplomat of some importance, the Vulcan ambassador to Earth, and some other duties both Mother and Father kept from Spock, was away. Spock had taken a temporary teaching position on Eltron II because there was a pressing need and though his ultimate intention for his future was not to teach children, Mother had convinced him. Mother had also taken a teaching position as she had done quite a bit of teaching while on Earth. She had agreed to their temporary residence on Eltron II for two years. Once he had completed his teaching assignment, Spock’s intent was to apply to and attend the Vulcan Science Academy. He had no doubts at all that he would be accepted.

As Spock turned away from the recycling mechanism, he heard the tiny cry of “mew”.  He narrowed his eyes, trying to see in the darkness. Though he had very good eyesight, he did could not see particularly well in pitch black. Their house was outside the main city where the school Mother and he would teach, once the summer passed. The view of the stars was quite impressive but there were few neighbors and not many lights.

“Who is there?” he asked.

Predictably he got no response. He went to turn back to go into the house when the tiny cry sounded again, this time sounding closer to “meow.”

Spock stepped away from the trash and recycler area further into the yard and past his mother’s garden.

It was then that he saw a blond Human boy, perhaps seventeen or eighteen, crouched down next to a very small orange ball of fur. Spock suspected it was a kitten.

“Hello.”

The boy started, glancing quickly up at Spock, blue eyes wide. And they were bluer than any eyes Spock had ever seen. It was true Spock had a greater experience with Vulcans who all had brown eyes. But even at this distance the large blue eyes startled him.

“Uh, sorry. I, um, followed the kitten.”

“It is quite all right.” Spock came forward and knelt next to the boy and the kitten. “What is his name?”

“I think it’s a girl. But she doesn’t have a name. She’s not actually mine.”

“Who does she belong to?” Spock asked as the kitten rubbed up against his hand, purring.

“No one. She’s a stray. Her mama got killed. I feed her sometimes.” He lowered his gaze. “I’d take her in, but we can’t have any pets.”

To Spock’s surprise, the kitten crawled up his leg.

The boy laughed. “She likes you. Maybe you could take her?”

“I do not know. I would have to check with my mother before assuming the care of a living being.”

“You’re a Vulcan, right?”

Spock nodded. “I am Spock.”

“Oh.” The boy licked his lips. “Hi. Um, Jim. I’m Jim Kirk.”

“Hello Jim.”

Jim smiled just a little. “Hello Spock. Are you here with your mom then?”

“Yes, we are to be teachers at the school when it begins. And you?”

“I’m here with my mom and stepfather. They both work at the institute in the city. Mom’s an engineer and my stepdad is a chemist.” Jim shrugged his rather bony shoulders. He seemed very thin and just a little frail. “I’m, uh, I’m recovering.”

“How long have you been on Eltron II?” Spock surveyed the boy closer. Besides being very thin, he was very pale, though also very attractive, at least to Spock.

“Only a couple of weeks. I came from somewhere else first.”

“Earth?”

“That too,” Jim said softly.  His eyes went vacant for a moment. Then he smiled a little. “Mom was in Starfleet, but she left and took the job here. We’re supposed to be ‘starting over’.” Jim moved his fingers in an odd way that Spock thought was supposed to be quotation marks.

Spock wanted to ask starting over from what, but suspected that was the sort of information one did not ask on the first meeting.

There was a loud banging noise coming from the direction Jim came from that caused the kitten to scurry under Spock’s shirt, digging his claws into Spock’s flesh, and Jim to jump ten feet.

“James Tiberius Kirk!” a man shouted. “Get your ass home! And leave that damn cat alone.”

Jim bit his lip. “I have to go. It was nice to meet you, Spock.”

He rose from the ground and sped away into the darkness, leaving Spock with the kitten still clawing into him.

Spock carefully removed it from under his shirt and stared at the little creature, who tried to swat at his nose.

“I suppose it will do no harm to ask Mother if we may keep you.” Spock rose, cradling the tiny thing and brought it into the house to show Mother.

Mother was cleaning their dinner dishes when Spock came inside with the kitten. She turned to him with a smile as she dried her hands on a towel.

“What have you got, Spock?”

“A boy who lives nearby brought a kitten over who has no home. He is unable to care for her. I wondered if I would be able to keep her.”

Mother approached the tiny orange ball Spock held in his hands. “Oh, she is a tiny thing. I’d forgotten the colonists brought domestic animals with them from Earth. But to abandon one who has kittens? I’ll never understand people.” She rubbed the chin of the purring kitten.

“Then may we keep her?”

Mother smiled. “I don’t see why not. But she’ll need to be cared for carefully, Spock. She’ll need food and a litter box. We’ll have to clean up after her. And we should have her checked out in the city by a veterinarian.”

“Yes, I understand.”

“Very well.  Tomorrow we’ll go and get what we need for her. What will you name her?”

“I do not know.”

Mother took the squirming kitten from Spock’s hands and held her up in front of her. “She looks like a Butterscotch to me.”

Spock nodded. “That is acceptable.”

“A boy you said?”

“Yes. Perhaps slightly younger than me. It is hard to tell his age for he appears to be…ill.” Which Spock found unsettling for some reason. “A Human boy.”

“A friend?”

“I am uncertain. Perhaps.” In truth, Spock didn’t make many friends. Back on Vulcan he had a somewhat adversarial relationship with his peers. They did not like his Human half. In his limited interactions with other species, they did not like his Vulcan half. Since Spock could change neither, he was uncertain what he was supposed to do about it.

“Well, you certainly have a new friend in Butterscotch, Spock.” She handed him the kitten, which he took to his room and placed her on the bed while he took out his PADD to write in the journal he had decided to keep when he arrived on Eltron II.

Today I met a Human named Jim.

And I obtained a pet. Her name is Butterscotch.

New One-Shot

Sleeping With Spock is live

Rambles September 20, 2018

So this sticker came in something M got for his birthday. I think it looks like Lil Spock. Of course M says that us Trekkies see Spock everywhere. HA.

LilSpock

I got my updates done for When I Loved You and Didn’t We Almost Have it All. I thought Where MY Demons Hide was next but it’s actually The Ties That Bind. Huh. Wonder if I forgot to put that on my spreadsheet. Okay, I might go ahead and get that done in the next few days. I did get a lot of progress done on the Christmas story so yay!

It’s supposed to be in the low 90s the rest of this month, sigh. I was hoping it would stay in the 80s. It still stays fairly cool at night at least.

Don’t really have anything else to say. Just wanted to share the picture 🙂

Anything Finished

Just now I finished Anything.

After nearly two years, even I think it’s about time!

Ramblings of the Week, August 27, 2018

This past week has been quite nice weather wise. Been in the 80s during the day and 60s at night. Considering it’s August, this is fantastic weather for us. Last year during this same time period we were in the middle of one of those most horrendous heatwaves I have ever experienced and our AC was broken. What a difference a year makes! I think it’s supposed to steam up a bit come the first week of September but for now I am absolutely loving this weather. I’ll keep you posted on my chances for September lol.

This coming weekend is Labor Day of course and I decided to take an extra day off so I have a four day weekend as I took the Tuesday after as well. I am greatly looking forward to it.

We are on the stalled season for movies so I haven’t seen any in a few weeks. Last one I saw was Mission Impossible. Most of what’s out there now we will probably wait for netflix or something. I thought we might see The Meg this week but then M volunteered to work at an event for his community garden so that’s happening instead. Next week? Who knows. You know M just turned 54 and his dad died at 55 so he says to me, I have only one year left. Yes, I wanted to choke him for that. Sigh.

Funny how his birthday is around the same time as CP. CP’s being the 26th and M’s the 27th.

Last night after we returned from a celebratory dinner, I bought two more Christmas decorations! HA.

I posted the first chapter of Hello Darkness, My Old Friend on Sunday. As you know if you’ve read it, it took a very dark turn at the end, and I am afraid that will stay that way for now. My goal is to get it done by the end of the year and take them into the fall and holiday season in the story too.

I’m in the mood for my Starfleet Academy stuff so it’s likely I will work on Idiots in Love and The Experiment this week instead of The Sight or any of the rest. I intend to finish everything eventually that I have going. I guess as long as one or two of you stick with me, that’s all that matters.

I was at Target Saturday and saw that they had these television series figures from the 60s on an end cap of the toy section. I stopped when I noticed these guys from Mirror Mirror, The Original Series (suck that Discovery and Enterprise etc, TOS still comes first despite your BS, but I digress, lol).

mirroru

My excitement at seeing them included in the figures soon subsided as I picked up the package to look at the dolls/figures. I don’t know who they were supposed to be because they certainly weren’t Shatner and Nimoy. Sorry, guys, but I think my 2 and half year old great niece could have done a better job getting them to actually look like Kirk and Spock. Ugh. Needless to say it went right back on the shelf. What a shame!

 

 

 

The Love of a Lifetime, August 24, 2018

It was only Sa-Mekh who came out a few minutes later.

“He’s resting. I put him down for a nap,” Sa-Mekh said. “He should be better when he awakens.”

Suvoc had no doubt that when Sa-Mekh said he put Father down, much like a parent does for a child, he helped Father ease into sleep. Fear and uncertainty curled in his stomach.

Sa-Mekh looked to Ronan, who remained as cool and calm as he ever was. “Which of your parent was human?”

“My mother, actually,” Ronan replied, taking the tea Suvoc handed him, with an easy smile that served to melt some of Suvoc’s unease. “My father was Romulan and Vulcan. His father was Vulcan and his mother Romulan. It was she who raised me.”

“You were raised by your Romulan grandmother,” Sa-Mekh said with a stiff nod.

“Yes. She was a former commander in the Romulan forces.”

Suvoc decided it was time to direct Sa-Mekh away from the inquisition. He opened his mouth to speak.

“How did you two meet?”

“Sa-Mekh—”

Ronan held up his hand. “All is well, e’lev. Were my grandmother alive, you would be subjected to similar inquiry. My people are gone, all of them, and I went to the colony to help with rebuilding all that I could with New Vulcan. I am only a quarter so I was rejected as a sperm donor, but I am involved with implementing native plants and species onto the colony. This is how I met Suvoc.” Ronan smiled in Suvoc’s direction. Being only a quarter Vulcan, Ronan smiled easily, showed his affection easily, and yes, his wisdom. “After our initial acquaintance, your son found that it was his time. We decided I would assist him with that.”

Suvoc felt himself color but did not add anything to Ronan’s words. Indeed, what else was there to say? Sa-Mekh could fill in the blanks.

“And you are well…suited?”

It was the closest Sa-Mekh would come to asking if there was affection between them. Suvoc nodded. “Yes. I wish to speak of Father. When can I talk to him of the healers on New Vulcan?”

“I made him aware of your intention to speak, but whether he recalls that, at this point, I cannot say.”

Rambles, August 15, 2018 Edition

I’ve been thinking about the past for the last day or so. It’s been twenty-three years since I went to Ireland now. One of my most fondest memories of my lifetime and it was so long ago. Kind of sad in a way.

Twenty-one years ago I had my gallbladder surgery, right after I came back from Disney World. Ha. Well, almost. We went in July (and don’t even talk about being in Florida in July, ugh) and my surgery was in September. It’s also hard to believe it was so long ago for Disney World.

For that matter, it’s been seventeen years since I went to Austria and Germany.

Where does the time go? I really don’t know. There’s a song by Five for Fighting that is called 100 Years and it talks about having 100 years to live (which of course we don’t, most of us) but what really strikes me is the line I’m fifteen for a moment. Because, really, that’s how it is for us. Life goes so fast.

Anyway, in a couple of days I am off for San Diego for three days. Before I know it that will be done as well. And then August will fall right behind it and it will be September again.

I’ll be working on All I Ever Wanted, next, I think. Not sure when I will have it up, or if I will, before I leave. I am also working on the Professor Spock sequel and at the moment I am actually leaning toward concentrating on that for a bit. I also worked on my Christmas story a bit, yesterday, creating a new beginning for it which will need to be tied together with what I have already written.

I did get the next part of The Love of a Lifetime up for publication here on Friday.

I am going to leave it here, that if another ST movie is made without CP (which I don’t think it will be but you never really know), I will be finishing the stories I have going and then quit writing for the fandom. I’m not interested in a new Kirk and I’m not interested in a movie without the AOS cast. I suspect either a deal will be made or they won’t make the movie, which if Paramount is against putting in any real effort to it, is frankly for the best.

On to other things. Don’t know if I mentioned it or not but my job is moving locations in 2019. There was all kinds of speculation as to where we would be moved (basically our building was sold, our lease is up next year, so we are being booted out), but they have made the decision and it’s literally down the street from where we are now. But ack, moving sucks, and I am not looking forward to it. Yeah it’s not for a year, but, gah. I’ve been in this building for years.

Anyway, that’s the rambles for now.  I leave you with a picture of where we are staying in San Diego.

HR_Exterior

The Love of a Lifetime, August 11, 2018

Suvoc walked nervously forward. Now he doubted the wisdom of keeping the important information from his parents. He felt the comfort and security from Ronan and was gratified.

“Father,” Suvoc said as he stopped before them. He pulled Father into an embrace, pleased when arms came around to hold him back. He released Father to turn to Sa-Mekh, preparing his fingers for the ta’al, but Sa-Mekh pulled him close as well.

“Who is this?” Sa-Mekh asked next to Suvoc’s ear.

Suvoc stepped back and next to Ronan. “This is Ronan, my mate.”

“Mate?” Sa-Mekh’s eyebrow shot up. “You are bonded?”

“Affirmative.”

“Sirs,” Ronan spoke up. “It is my honor to meet you.”

Father eyed Suvoc’s mate. “You are Human?”

Ronan smiled. “Yes and no. I am half.”

Sa-Mekh’s brows furrowed. “You are not Vulcan.”

“Also yes and no. I am quarter Vulcan.”

“And the other?”

“Sa-Mekh.”

“Romulan, actually.” Ronan continued to smile. Suvoc liked his smile.

“Why were we not alerted to your intention to bond?” Sa-Mekh demanded.

“Spock,” Father said, softly. Spock immediately seemed to relax the ire he had been directing toward Suvoc and Ronan. “Why don’t we head home and you can conduct the Inquisition there?”

“I…yes. Very well.” Sa-Mekh turned. He gestured. “The hover car is this way.”

As Sa-Mekh moved to head in that direction, Suvoc mouthed the word, “Thank you” at Father, who smiled.

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