An Old Friend

First watch day 0 to early morning day 1

Jaisa

So guard shift last night was interesting. Sinopa happened to be on the same shift as I. Of course she had noticed us by now, but we had still been avoiding each other. I think we were both a little ashamed that we were here instead of back on Earth, fighting. Oh well. That was a bridge we could never cross back over. I went over and tapped her on the shoulder.

“You still lugging that old thing around Sin?” I asked, gesturing towards the rebel leader’s .50 Alaskan. Teasing her about her grandfather’s rifle was as good a way as I could think of to break the ice.

Jai? Is that really you?” she exclaimed, throwing her arms around me. “Dear lord, I never thought I’d see you again. How come you didn’t say anything earlier?”

I guess maybe she hadn’t noticed us. How could that be? This woman was sharper than a serpent’s tooth, and she hadn’t noticed us out of a ship of less than 200 people? And she was acting like a schoolgirl. The hell was going on?

“I thought you were just avoiding us. Never mind that though. How have you been? And what the frack are you doing here?” Figuring out what was wrong with her would have to wait. “I figured you’d still be back with Gabe fighting the good fight.”

“Oh, you know me. Always want to see what’s over the next hill.” She smiled wanly. I definitely got the feeling that I wasn’t hearing the whole story. “How could I pass this up? What about you? Your old man here with the twins too?”

“Oh yeah, we’re all here. Dad wanted to give us a new life, away from all that. An open rebellion isn’t the exactly best place to raise children, right?” I grinned wryly. I had spent the first half of my life in the middle of a peaceful rebellion against the UNWG and the rest taking part in open guerilla warfare. Not exactly your typical childhood.

“You must be excited about all this; new land to explore, new plants and herbs just waiting to be discovered and understood. No human has had an opportunity like this in hundreds and hundreds of years,” she said.

“And now Dad and you and I will have the chance to explore it together. We’ll have an opportunity to truly use the old ways with the new, to do things the right way and not frack it up like we did to Earth,” I said, although part of me was already beginning to wonder if that would be possible. As we were finding out, there are parasites in human form even here.

“You sound like grandfather,” she laughed. “He really rubbed off on you a lot over the time you were with us.” She sighed.

I had really missed her. She was like an older sister, a cool aunt and some sort of mystic warrior guide all at the same time. There really was something about her that just made you want to follow her into battle. Not even Gabe had that quality in quite the same way. There was more than one reason she had become the infamous, semi-public face of the rebellion, but her odd charisma certainly had something to do with it.

We talked late into the night, long past when our guard shift was over. It was good to have her here, both for myself and for the colony. If our technology ever failed no one would have a better chance at pulling us through than she would. And lord knows she’ll be an asset when the goonies come after us.

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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Probably.

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Copyright (C) 2006 - 2011 by Jeff Soyer. All rights reserved.