Posted by Captain Rende Asam (Captain) in To Parley of Yore
Rende stepped off the turbolift and walked down the short corridor to their quarters. Home for now. She missed the estate on Earth. She missed the tiny town, and the people who lived there. But she loved serving. Eldorin did too, or he wouldn’t keep coming back with her. These newer ships had so much luxury to them. The quarters were more like a small apartment than a simple berth. She remembered serving on an old Bonaventure class ship, back when the Federation was just a new born. Couples didn’t serve together then, but she and Eldorin had. She’d had a bunk with the fellow marines and Eldorin had had a single. Eventually they’d been given a double. That mean bunk beds, both twins. Eldorin had converted the top bunk into a work space for tinkering with odds and ends, and for her to keep her weapons cleaned and maintained. They’d shared the remaining twin, but back then they didn’t have to contend with old joints and injuries.
As she entered she stopped at the shelf of pictures, fingers trailing over the same face as they moved from one to the next, like she did every time she passed by them. She picked up one: a much younger Rende with a young boy, about 10 digging in the dirt with small tools and brushes. “Counselor says I should talk to you even though you aren’t here.” She carries the picture into the kitchen with her setting it down on the counter. She turns away, old habits and begins to clean the coffee mug. “Do you remember making this? You wouldn’t have been old enough in that picture. You made these in high school. Home economics. You loved it, cooking, sewing, interior design. You spent weeks learning how to use the loom to weave these fabric swatches. Then you got so frustrated because the loom was so big and you’d never have time to make the fabric swatch. You and Dad spent four days locked in his work shed building a smaller loom from scratch.” Rende set the cleaned cup aside on a towel to dry.
She opened the small fridge and pulled out what looked like a glass beer bottle. It was Cidona, a sweet and frizzy apple soda. Tabris’ favorite drink. “You took both those swatches and put them inside of travel mugs for us because of how much Dad likes his coffee. He still does. He can’t function until he’s had at least one cup. I have crates in the cargo bay of his favorite blend.” She twists the top off the bottle and sips at it a bitter sweet smile crossing her face. “Then that summer you spent every day with old Maggie on her sheep farm. You wanted to know how thread was made and dyed. You learned to sheer sheep. That poor ram, his wool never did grow back right after that. But you learned to card and spin and dye the wool.” She picked up the picture and carried it with her drink to the couch and sat down with a soft laugh. “Do you remember when you were trying to make green thread? You slipped near the vat and fell in, and came out totally green and burned. The burns healed fairly quickly, they were gone before the green was.”
Eldorin was heading back to their quarters, a veritable mansion compared to the good old days it seemed. Was it nicer than the estate? No, nothing was. Even if the floorboards creaked and he promised Rende he would re-do the flooring… 200 years ago… Then there was the paint that was older than generations of their neighbors, that one cockeyed wall that was due for a fixing back when they bought the house in the late 2100’s and so on and so forth. These new ships were just perfect… too perfect. If anything though it annoyed Eldorin because he didn’t have anything to tinker with and fix. Oh he’d be annoying engineering soon with some changes that blew relays or similar. But for now he was eager to get back ‘home’ to spend time with Rende as her husband and not the Chief of Security. It was about 10 minutes after Rende had started to talk with Tabris when Eldorin walked into their quarters quietly, just a long day really when he heard her talking about old memories and days gone past. He stood in the doorway to the kitchen as Rende had her back towards him while he listened. This was good, and it had been many many years of just putting those pictures up and using the things he had made. It wasn’t about moving on, no it was about coming to a more true sense of peace. Eldorin walked in and put his hands gently on her shoulders, “If I remember correctly the ‘dye incident’ was a few days before your freshman spring dance. You were taking… oh what was her name.... Jasmine Morrison, that’s right, and you were mortified that all of your friends, and hers, were going to just have a hay day making fun. Your 14 year old brain was racing on how to cover it up, and I’m pretty sure you used about 3 pounds of concealer before giving up on that idea. Then you thought to just lean into it. You had your mother and me make up and piece together this leprechaun outfit to go with the green skin and were the talk of the party. You went from shy awkward teenager to the class clown and stayed that way till you graduated.”
He squeezed Rende’s shoulder a time or two before stepping back and over to grab a snack and leaned on the counter, looking at that picture of the two of them working in the dirt. “It was a much simpler time back then wasn’t it?” Eldorin remarked as he munched on potato chips, “Was that picture when you two where gardening or was that when you took him to the dig site? Either way he had a knack of getting dirt everywhere. And I mean everywhere. The amount of times the boy would kick off his shoes and socks and they’d be full of dirt, followed by his shirt and pockets and hair and ears and nose too which were of course all full of dirt. Even at that age! You think he’d have been at least a little cleaner in late childhood....” Eldorin chuckled as he set the bag down.
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