First Draft Excerpt from Measure Of Adulthood

| | Comments (0)

"Esteban Scimtar Juarez, you have passed the threshold of adulthood. There is no return to childhood in this life."

The ceremony was pure show. My eldest had wielded most of the trappings of adulthood for years. The few deficiencies had already been rectified within a second of his passing the final formal test, Implied Responsibility. But Scimtar was a believer in the power of such ceremonies, and he was head of the family. So we were all standing around the family dinner table.

My part was simple. "You have unlimited access to your money." Most of what Esteban owned, he'd earned himself. Legal children weren't prohibited from working; it merely required parental concurrence because the child could not be responsible.

"You have unlimited access to public data and public spaces." That was Asto's splinter, standing in for Asto himself.

"You have an adult's access to family resources." That was Scimtar again.

"You have an adult's tools and weapons." Amras, the family heir and current commercial head, buckled on belt with holster and sheath, Asto's splinter presented Esteban with a blaster for the holster and I handed him a bondsteel sword for the sheath. Esteban had better - these were family heirlooms from Scimtar's youth, and would be returned before the end of the evening. These days, most hand weapons were lasers or antimatter needlers, charged bondsteel for swords. Esteban carried all three to my certain knowledge, in kored 'pockets' hidden from casual sight.

"Use them responsibly," the entire family chorused, ending the ceremony.

Really, the major change for Esteban was that henceforth, his family's consent would not be required for what he'd already been doing, and he would be solely responsible for his deeds. When he returned from a planned visit to his cousins on Earth, he would begin his first adult job, as an assistant to Amras, expediting and troubleshooting issues facing House Scimtar's commercial interests. It was far and away the most important of the family's activities - only the commercial operations head and assistants focused solely upon a single sector of House Scimtar's activities. Everyone else timeshared with commercial, even Scimtar himself. Assistant to Operations was the traditional first job for the family's new adults. These days, it was a minimum of two of the youngest generation. Esteban's majority would likely release Urona immediately, and perhaps Anosha as well once Esteban was up to speed on the job. Urona wasn't quite useless on the scale of the rest of the family, but she lacked dedication to anything except her own immediate gratification. I was sincerely grateful that none of my five had her issues.

Brief ceremony over, the rest of the family moved to sit at the table. Nightly family dinners were a tradition among the members of House Scimtar, going back to the end of the Interregnum at least. The table sat close to forty; it said we were a prosperous and growing family. It was important to Helene that we were a family; daily attendance was mandatory for all blood members, either in person or by splinter. Spouses, not being able to generate splinters, could be absent if they had a conflict, but I tried to attend every night. I hadn't yet discussed when I transitioned to Sixth Order - but at four point fiftytwo in reality, I'd accepted it was probably a matter of time rather than a question of 'if'. Like my transition to Fourth Order, we'd likely pretend I hadn't transitioned as long as possible.

Official Imperial Time had nothing to do with planetary cycles. Right now, family dinnertime was in the predawn hours for Sumabad, and the wide band of Indra Habitat One stretched across the sky, barely two seconds distant, shining with a light that exceeded thirty full moons on Earth. Indra's planetary day was slightly shorter than the Standard Imperial Day, so every official day was a little more advanced in terms of planetary day than the one before it. People who needed to synchronize with planetary day were few; I'd be getting ready for work about the time the sun came up, but that was just coincidence. The angle of the window was wrong to see the almost equally bright arch of Indra Habitat Two - we'd had a crossing just four days previous and the best view was on the other side of Residence Arcology. But ten ithirds below, the lights of private water-going ships dotted the Strait of Sumabad, once the busiest commercial artery on Indra, now simply a place for people who liked watercraft to sail. Goods traveled by portal or by starship now. The massive spherical bulk of a size six capital hull reflected lights off its dark gray hull descending in the greenbelt between arcologies off to my right as I took my place next to Asto's splinter at the table. Fortyfive ifourths in radius - call it three and a half Earth kilometers diameter - it was nonetheless dwarfed by the arcologies that towered over the greenbelt. From my previous profession as a pilot, I knew more than most about the intricate dance that kept goods flowing into and out of imperial planets.

But for the past twentyfour imperial years, I'd been an Imperial Investigator. These days, my warrant came from Scimtar himself as I was strong enough to hunt most noble-caste enemy on my own. I still didn't want to face any basileus, and I stepped carefully around jopas as well, but the two top castes together were only a tiny fraction of contacts. Even spraxos were less than four iprime of the total and these days I didn't hesitate to take on two of those at once. The fractal demons were hard pressed, most of their agents had always been nephraim, and they'd begun using even terostes.

Delicious Bookmark this on Delicious StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!
Please be civil. Avoid profanity - I will delete the vast majority of it, usually by deleting the entire comment. To avoid comment spam, a comments account is required. They are freely available, and you can post comments immediately. Alternatively, you may use your Type Key registration, or sign up for one (They work at most Movable Type sites). All comments made are licensed to the site, but the fact that a comment has been allowed to remain should not be taken as an endorsement from me or the site. There is no point in attempting to foster discussion if only my own viewpoint is to be permitted. If you believe you see something damaging to you or some third party, I will most likely delete it upon request.
Logical failures (straw man, ad hominem, red herring, etcetera) will be pointed out - and I hope you'll point out any such errors I make as well. If there's something you don't understand, ask.
Nonetheless, the idea of comments should be constructive. Aim them at the issue, not the individual. Consider it a challenge to make your criticism constructive. Try to be respectful. Those who make a habit of trollish behavior will be banned.

Leave a comment

 



Buy My Science Fiction Novels!
Dan Melson Amazon Author Page
Dan Melson Author Page Books2Read

Links to free samples here

The Man From Empire
Man From Empire Cover
Man From Empire Books2Read link

A Guardian From Earth
Guardian From Earth Cover
Guardian From Earth Books2Read link

Empire and Earth
Empire and Earth Cover
Empire and Earth Books2Read link

Working The Trenches
Working The Trenches Cover
Working the Trenches Books2Read link

Rediscovery 4 novel set
Rediscovery set cover
Rediscovery 4 novel set Books2Read link

Preparing The Ground
Preparing The Ground Cover
Preparing the Ground Books2Read link

Building the People
Building the People Cover
Building the People Books2Read link

Setting The Board

Setting The Board Cover
Setting The Board Books2Read link



Moving The Pieces

Moving The Pieces Cover
Moving The Pieces Books2Read link


The Invention of Motherhood
Invention of Motherhood Cover
Invention of Motherhood Books2Read link

The Price of Power
Price of Power Cover
Price of Power Books2Read link

The End Of Childhood
End Of Childhood cover
The End of Childhood Books2Read link

The Fountains of Aescalon
Fountains of Aescalon Cover
The Fountains of Aescalon Books2Read link

The Monad Trap
Monad Trap Cover
The Monad Trap Books2Read link

The Gates To Faerie
Gates To Faerie cover
The Gates To Faerie Books2Read link

Gifts Of The Mother
Gifts Of The Mother cover
Gifts Of The Mother Books2Read link

The Book on Mortgages Everyone Should Have!
What Consumers Need To Know About Mortgages
What Consumers Need To Know About Mortgages Cover
What Consumers Need to Know About Mortgages Books2Read

The Book on Buying Real Estate Everyone Should Have
What Consumers Need To Know About Buying Real Estate
What Consumers Need To Know About Buying Real Estate Cover
What Consumers Need to Know About Buying Real Estate Books2Read

Dan Melson's San Diego Real Estate and Mortgage Website

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on December 5, 2022 7:00 AM.

Author News was the previous entry in this blog.

Wherein the Author Pleads Illness. Excerpt from Working The Trenches is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 4.21-en
******

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


Copyright 2005-2023 Dan Melson. All Rights Reserved