Thursday, May 30, 2013

October 6, late



Boy, is it ever quiet in my dorm without Mom’s chatter.  I am really not good with all this silence.  It’s wearing on me.

Dinner started off almost as bad.  With all the excitement Dusa and Esak are working extra hours, so I sat all by myself.  Then who walks in but Matt King.  His eyes lit up when he saw me, as if he’d come in just to speak to me.

He headed right to my table.  “May I join you?” he asked, as smooth and friendly as before.

“Sure,” I said.  “I’m solo tonight.”

Matt settled in a chair right next to me, not distant in the least.  “Let me start off by saying how sorry I am to hear about your mother’s illness,” he said, his smile dropping away.  “It is hard to see someone who has already had a time of it suffering even more.”

“Thank you,” I answered.  “It really does feel like a case of adding insult to injury.  Fortunately, she’s expected to get much better, especially after she gets treatment on Kalquor.”

“The aliens have been such a welcome surprise.”  Matt punched in his dinner order at the table computer, a mix of Kalquorian and Earther food.  He really wasn’t just giving our needed partnership lip service. 

“A lot of Earthers would beg to differ with you on that score,” I muttered.

“I have to admit that I was deeply suspicious of the Kalquorians at first.  After all that propaganda we were fed about their evil, and then Armageddon hit ... well, I let the government and Church think for me.”

“As they wanted you to.  As we all did, to some extent.  In a way, life is easier letting others make all the decisions, even when you know it’s wrong.”  It was nice to be able to talk to someone of my own species about how things had been.  I appreciated the freedom of openness and not have to worry about being hurt.

Matt sighed.  “Now we’re coming under attack here at the Academy, Earther and Kalquorian alike.  I’m really worried about how many angry people are out there, eager to kill not only our former enemies but also those of us they no doubt believe are traitors.”

“Commander Nang is concerned too,” I said.  “The soonest reinforcements are still three months away.”

“Really?”  Matt’s eyes widened.  “That’s a bit frightening.  What is his plan in the meantime?”

“He’s got squads out there trying to track down the attackers.  He’s hoping to find out their numbers and strengths.  Then he can figure out the next move.”

“Smart man.”  He gave me another one of his approving smiles.  “You are doing such good work with the Kalquorians, Shalia.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.  Others do too, though they are too afraid of our disapproving few to say so.”

Well, that was good to hear.  I’d thought everyone pretty much hated me.  Was it true that I had more friends than I was aware of?  That simple fear kept would-be allies from approaching me?

The rest of dinner was nice.  Matt and I traded a little of our histories.  It turned out he actually had been a politician before Armageddon, but only a local commissioner who worried more about keeping his jurisdiction under budget than ruling his fellow man.  And I, Shalia Monroe, hater of all things political, actually like this guy.  The other Earthers were smart to make him their spokesman. 

So, it turned out to be a pretty good end to a pretty crappy day.  Okay, so maybe it wasn’t so crappy.  Mom’s getting better, the attack didn’t get any of us killed, Nang was nice without trying to climb in my pants, and I found out I’m not the most despised Earther ever.  I’m missing Dusa and Esak tonight, of course, and still thinking we don’t have nearly enough time together before I have to leave.  But overall, I think I can count on some decent rest tonight ... aw, please tell me I didn’t just jinx myself by writing that!


9 comments:

  1. Oh, Shalia honey, you need to learn about OPSEC. Lose Lips sink ships.

    I do not trust this guy :/

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  2. My thoughts exactly! She just gave him the opening he needed if he is a traitor :/

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  3. I'm with you ladies. Everything you say can and will be used against you by a politician.

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  4. I don't trust him too and she gave him to much information of nang plan, she shouldn't have done that. He could be a traitor looking information, to attack.

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  5. I think he'll turn out to be the attackers' inside guy.

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  6. No she didn't.....oh yes she did!! I agree with you ladies this guy is smarmy up the wazoo! Now I am cringing waiting for the other shoe to drop when he sticks it to all of them.

    Crap, I hope they don't turn things around on Shalia to make it seem like she is purposely leaking info to the opposition.

    Evil, evil Tracy making us wait on this suspenseful stuff. I have a hard enough time in one of your books when I only have to read a chapter or two to get to the info and now I may need to wait weeks to find out. I don't think I like this whole 'learning to be patient' BS, man, I need a Valium or maybe a good stiff drink. lol

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  7. I agree with everyone so far. If you shake a politician's hand, you'd better check it to make sure you still have all your fingers!! Just because Matt ordered Kalquorian food doesn't mean he's actually gonna eat it. It could have been ordered for show...

    I really, really have mixed feelings about Shalia leaving Earth so soon, and leaving Dusa and Esak. Never thought I'd feel this way. But then then I guess I assumed Dusa and Esak would be going on the ship with the refugees when it arrived. Shalia needs peace and happiness in her life!



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  8. I'm with all of u. As much as I like Nang, I want Shalia to end up with Dusa and Esak.
    Tracy, why have u not published all these posts as a book?

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  9. Oh I knew it, Matt's in on the attacks!!

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