Interlude 2, drafted. Time for second breakfast. When I write, I am very hobbit-like. Write for an hour, eat something. Write for another hour, eat something else. Not usually very big things, and I do mix in some exercise too, or I would regret it. Today, leftovers from last night of rice and Vietnamese shaking beef, I think.
(For those of you who remember my original “Jump Space” story, look, there’s more!)
Interlude: The Grains of Sand had five years of safe traveling. Long enough for Amara to show symptoms of a rare genetic condition, fierce shooting pains in arms and legs that had the little girl tumbling to the metal floor of the ship. Treatable, thank the gods, though it would be long and slow. They took her to Kriti, to the University of All Worlds and the hospital there. Best in the galaxy, so everyone said, at least for treating humans.
“Two years!” The adults had gathered around the low dinner table, cross-legged on woven mats. Kate’s brow furrowed, the creases deep and looking to become permanent. The last few months had been hard on all of them. “We can’t just stay here – we’d lose the ship.”
Uma, Sarita’s younger sister, glanced at her husband Dayan, head pandit of the local temple, then turned back to the family. “Leave her with us. Our three would enjoy her company.”
Joshua frowned. “It’s too much – you’d have to shuttle her back and forth to the hospital for treatments, and you have your own work to handle.”
Dayan said firmly, “Nonsense! The whole congregation will help if need be. She has family here, and community. And surely, one of you can stay some of the time?”
Cho reached out to take Kate’s hand in his large furred one, wrapping fingers carefully around hers. “I know it’ll be hard for you, leaving her, and we need you to pilot. But we can stretch the breaks between trading runs, maximize the time on planet here, minimize it elsewhere. You can do this, love.”
Sarita was one who said it, hard-headed as always, dropping the words into the silence. “It’s not as if we have any choice.”