Thursday, June 23, 2016
We are in orbit around Kalquor. After slightly more than nine months, an abduction, a hostile body takeover, a baby, and a couple of Tragoom boarding parties, we are here.
I’ve been packing, reselling things to Acquisitions, saying goodbyes, and banging Betra and Oses as much as humanly possible (when Anrel’s nap times allow). I’m sure I’d be freaking out, except I will be spending much of the next couple of weeks with my favorite shipmates. Betra and Oses are spending their leave with me. Betra, our eternal event planner, says he is putting together a wonderful vacation for the three of us. The long goodbye continues, and I’m not sorry. I hope to pack in as many good memories as humanly possible in the next two weeks.
While we play, the good old Pussy ‘Porter is to be overhauled. Repairs will be finished and outfitted with extra weaponry. After all we went through, our humble transport isn’t going back out without some serious hardware. Plus the fleet will be sending six destroyers to accompany the old girl to and from Earth this time.
Everyone is caught between joy at seeing the end of the journey – particularly the crew, which is more than due a break – and sadness to be saying goodbye. I’ve heard a lot of laughing and an equal amount of sobs in the last few hours.
The atmosphere is one of a going away or retirement party. The dining hall has been open all this last day, serving up food and drink nonstop. Katrina said at one point, “I’d hoped we could have one final big dance party, but this is nicer. This way we can all talk without music blaring the conversations dead.” Being nonessential, the dance club wasn’t repaired. However, several of the crew has vowed to get it put back together in time for the next batch of Earther gals. I can tell the men are ready to make some more naughty memories.
Katrina is right though. The informal get-together in the dining hall is perfect for our final goodbyes. We eat, drink, and come and go as we please. The women often duck out with their favorite fellows or those they’d not gotten around to trying out yet. Not me. Oses and Betra are busy with wrapping up their duties before heading out on leave. When I take a break from the party, it’s because Anrel needs her naps and such. The breaks also give me a chance to shed some private tears in my quarters. Goodbyes to Tep and Feru have been particularly heartbreaking. I am going to miss that pair.
I’m looking around now, stunned to see how empty my quarters look. My travel bins are packed, leaving only the bare essentials for one more night on board. This has been my place, my sanctuary. My home. I’ve been through so much within these walls, some things that weren’t so good, but I’m mostly thinking of the nights spent with Betra and Oses. Of bringing Anrel here when she was at last healthy enough to leave Medical.
Sweet prophets, I’m tired of saying goodbyes. Who knew letting go of a pair of rooms … or a ship … would be so hard?