Excerpt from Moving The Pieces

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Copyright 2021 Dan Melson. All Rights Reserved.

It suddenly hit us: Whatever else happened, this phase of our life was coming to an end. We'd both been barely adult when we'd met - I'd been twenty-two, Earth age, and close as we could figure, she'd been a little younger. Four assignments here on Calmena with a break to raise a family on Earth - just over 150 Earth years since we met - and once the war was over, we'd be done with our mission on Calmena, too. She was the first to say it. Any ideas what you want to do when this is over?

A vacation. Our contracts had been good to us. We had enough money to last us at least twenty years, more likely sixty. Given the income from renting our service points, we might never have to work again if we didn't want to.

I meant longer-term. Our next professions.

I hadn't thought about it, babe. Visit the kids, do some touristy stuff. I gave her a mental leer Maybe take a year and just rut like crazed weasels.
That was intended as a joke, but even cosmetically aged, Asina was a petite fox. Let her go back to young adult in appearance like everyone else in the Empire, and I could spend a year in bed - a real Imperial sleeping field - just working off the urge. We're both Guardians; we have time and choices. Did you have something in mind?

Not yet. But you know me.

Yes I did. You like vacations, but you can't really enjoy them unless you have a plan for what comes next. A legacy of a childhood spent cold and starving. If money is what's driving you, Tia Grace has made it clear there's damned good money in piloting. Sixty years of that, and work becomes something we do because we want to.


I know. It wasn't really money. Or it was, but it was the thought of having more money going out than coming in that made her uncomfortable. Or more money going out than reliably coming in under our control. There would always be a little daimon in the back of her mind worrying about enough. It may have been a legacy from an abused and impoverished childhood that was now close to two centuries in the past, but changing that would mean she was no longer Asina. Besides, her need and drive kicked my lazy butt into action and made me a better person that I'd have been without her. I understand the idea of not working for a period of years is something you're not comfortable with. I will give it some thought. We certainly have the money for any training we might need.

Thank you. But you should know that 'lazy' is not a word anyone should use in describing you, Joe.
That little bit of encouragement from her made my day.
A quick smooch and we went about our tasks for the day.

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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on November 29, 2021 9:19 AM.

What Comes Next was the previous entry in this blog.

Excerpt from The End Of Childhood is the next entry in this blog.

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