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Governor Snippet #5

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Governor Snippet #5
Post by GraysonLady   » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:16 pm


Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:34 am

Chapter Five:

Callum stuffed a pair of scuffed boots into a beige space bag with the Harriman Academy emblem, then flung open a drawer and packed the rest of the bag full of socks and undergarments.

“Shirts! Dress shirts. . . utilities I think I got those. Is it black shoes or brown on a carrier? What time is . . . ah hell,” he opened a closet and lifted a full non-military suitcase.

“At least you’ve got your head screwed on,” a feminine voice said from behind.

Callum spun around and wiped sweat from his brow, his younger sister, Reagan, stood in the doorway to his room.

“You want to help or gloat?” Callum went back to ransacking his dresser.

“You know Uncle Harry sent you a packing list like a week ago?” Reagan asked.

“Was busy. Had to fit two years’ worth of living into the time I had left. Do I need a pillow? The bunks on the ship should have pillows.”

“And then Mom sent the list to the printers and had all new clothes and gear made up for you?”

“She what?” Callum dropped his bag.

Reagan went to a hallway closet and opened it with a swipe of her hand over a reader. Three vacuum-packed olive green bags were nestled next to racks of fluffy towels.

“She mentioned something about going to war in clean underwear.” Reagan rolled her eyes.

“Why didn’t you—I mean she—”

“Because you’ve got nineteen minutes until the car comes to take you to Port Olympia,” she said. “She’ll meet us there and embarrass you with hugs and kisses before you cross the gates.” Her eyes welled up and she turned away.

“Reagan. . . don’t be like that,” Callum said. “It’s New Dublin! Two years holding down the orbital platforms and maybe light customs work." He put an arm around her shoulder. “And you know who’s in charge? Our dad. The man doesn’t go looking for trouble. He’s a politician at heart, not a fighter.”

Reagan sniffed hard and pulled away.

“It’s just that my friend Susan lost her brother in Beta Cygni, and now you and Dad are leaving and I don’t want you to—”

“Stopppp,” Callum pulled her into a hug. “This isn’t like that time Dad was out at Steelman’s. That was a total fluke. This is a nothing deployment. Heck, you and Mom can even come visit us.”

Reagan pushed him away.

“And spend weeks in a star liner listening to her complain about the food? I’ll pass,” she said.

“You can come by yourself. Crann Bethadh has skiing. . . and bears. Giant terrifying bears.”

"What's Cran . . . Cranny . . . what you just said?" she asked suspiciously. "You're going to New Dublin."

"True," Callum said. "But the only inhabited planet's called Crann Bethadh." His tone was more than slightly smug, that of an older brother impressing a younger sister, and she rolled her eyes.

"What language is that?" she challenged.

"I don't know," he admitted after a moment in a somewhat less smug tone. "But it's something about a tree. And they do have skiing! I know how much you enjoy that."

“No promises from me. You just do what you can to stay away from farmer’s daughters or getting all weird and deciding to live on the frontier selling organic candles or something,” she said.

“I like girls with a bit of culture. I won’t settle for anything less than a spoiled Heart World brat. So you just keep tabs on any of your friends from finishing school that— Ow! I need that foot.”

“Get your stuff, spacer!” Reagan thrust a finger at the closet. “And don’t you dare make Mom cry when she sees you off, because then I’ll start crying and—”

“New Dublin,” Callum picked up a bag under each arm. “Get that one for me, please. And it’s New Dublin! I might as well be posted to Centauri or Pluto for all the danger I’ll be in. It’ll be fine.”

* * * * * * * * * *

The Murphy family limo stopped in an outer lane of the Port Olympia military terminal. Shuttle busses meandered along the curb to the main building, dropping off young men and women in midnight blue navy coveralls and digital pattern Marine uniforms.

Callum was the first out of the limo and he felt something in the early evening air, an almost palatable sense of dread. He slipped on a dark blue beret and adjusted it while looking in a window. The shape wouldn’t hold no matter how hard he tugged, and the head gear looked more like an Italian chef’s hat than the perfect slant and peak that his father sported. He gave up, comforting himself with the reflection that he only had to wear it through the lot and could remove it once inside the terminal.

A low chant carried on a breeze from one side of the fenced-in lot. Protestors in all black and with veils over their faces held up sticks with moving digital projections of anti-war slogans. One held a counter, displaying a number well over three billion and increasing by several dozen at irregular intervals.

“Ugh.” Simron, dressed for a boardroom meeting, got out behind Callum and straightened out the top of her pants suit. She shook her head at the protestors. “How unpatriotic. Don’t they know doing this gets them on hiring blacklists?”

“Maybe that’s why they wear the veils.” Callum went to the trunk and slapped it twice to signal the robot driver to pop it open.

“They think that will do them any good?” Simron sniffed as Callum hauled his space bags out of the limo. “Adorable. Callum, what are you doing? Don’t they have someone to carry that for you?”

“No, Mom, that’s not how the Navy works,” Callum hefted one bag onto a shoulder. “Reagan? You coming out?” He bent over to look inside the passenger compartment. His sister had tucked herself against the far side, knees drawn up to her chest and hair covering her face.

“Reagan. . . come on.”

“She did this when your father left too.” Simron gave Callum a quick hug. “Two years. Take care of your father. Don’t go looking for trouble and don’t come back with any medals. You understand? No medals.”

“I think I get one just for showing up today. Republic Defense Service or something.”

“Don’t get the one your grandfather had. Purple Heart, I think it was. And none like your father has for being brave when he shouldn’t have been.”

“Valor, Mom. Those are for valor.”

“Not a single one.” She wagged a finger at him. “Now. . .” Her face held firm but Callum could see emotion building behind her eyes. “Now go on and muster or whatever it is you do in the Navy. Sorry Vyom couldn’t be here, but he’s at a critical design meeting on Luna and I’m due for a telecom at the office soon. I love you.”

“Love you too,” Callum gave her another hug and lifted his other bag onto his back. He went to the window where Reagan was huddled and rapped on the glass. “I’m off. Can I have a hug?”

“No!” came her muffled reply.

“No boys while I’m gone. Vyom will back me up on this. Mom?” He looked up just as the opposite side door shut and the limo rolled away.

He watched it go for a moment, then inhaled deeply.
Re: Governor Snippet #5
Post by Fox2!   » Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:50 am


Posts: 763
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:34 am
Location: Huntsville, AL

GraysonLady wrote:Chapter Five:

Callum stuffed a pair of scuffed boots into a beige space bag with the Harriman Academy emblem, then flung open a drawer and packed the rest of the bag full of socks and undergarments.

Delos D. Harriman?

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