Tanta Arrives

***pure character stuff, no real eve, move along move along**

Not all ships are armed to the teeth or massive industrial vessels that eat through belts of a thousand star systems. Some are simple hulls that protect their delicate cargo as they move it from planet to planet, system to system. They do not have a godling wired into the nervous system of the vessel, they have a captain who is awake, walks around his ship. A man or woman who knows the crew by name and helped load the last manifest. These ships are the ‘tramps’. They are so far below the notice of capsuleers that most do not even allow tramps to sully the pristine nature of their overviews.

The station in the Cat system used a separate docking area for the tramps and the one just settling in with a thud and grown was not different than a thousand others that had passed through in the previous weeks. No different unless you considered the the Docking Supervisor was hurrying to meet said vessel in person. Then it would be obvious that there was something special about this particular tramp.

Dee looked nervous. The text message had merely informed her that Tanta and ‘some of the family’ were coming to visit. She had relayed the information to Mike but he was all caught up in the Sansha ‘incursions’ and had not yet arrived back in the station. So Dee hurried and yet, by the time she had arrived, a small group of people had already disembarked and were milling about and drifting towards the access ways to the main concourse. How could she find his family in this mess?

“Ruis? Jacques? You two be goin on ahead, eh? But if you go breakin anything other than a few ‘earts you betta pray that the jail be strong enough to keep me from getting to you. This be Emé’s home and you no be an embarrassment, sav?”

“Oui, Tanta.” The two young men looked like they were strong and mean enough to give a detachment of station security pause and yet they nodded and bowed their heads to the ancient lady who was reminding them of their manners. “We ‘ave the communications tings, you call . . . we come a runnin. Right Ruis?”

The larger one with raven black hair had been considering Dee as she approached. “Runnin, oui, nuttin bu’ ‘earts. We know Tanta, we knows.”

“Den no be a fool makin eyes at this one, oaf.” The woman was a sparrow berating a bear and yet it was the bear that backed away. “I know you see no further than the skin but I taught you betta than this. This be Dee, lessen I be mistaken.”

Dee stopped and smiled and came very close to trying a curtsy but the confusion was apparent on her face. “Did Mike send a holo of me?”

Tanta laughed. “That boy never even thought of that sort o ting. No. There be clues for folks who know what to be looking for.” The woman nodded to station personnel who had been watching closely when Ruis had started moving towards Dee.

Dee smiled and nodded to her ‘volunteer guardians’. She knew better than to try to convince them not to watch over her. In a very important way, she didn’t want them to. “Mike sent some instruction along for the family accommodations. He has set aside a ship for the family to stay in . . . but he specified you were to stay in his suite.”

“Sweet? Lawsy, dat boy beginnin ta put on airs.” Tanta clucked her tongue. “Well, let me get my tings an we go now. Maybe it be a good idea for us women folk to have a chat afore the boy get back and confuse tings. He be a good boy but always scattered.”

It did not take long for the rest of the family to be guided to the Party Boat II and Tanta and Dee to be having a cup of tea in Mikes apartment. Tanta had taken over the kitchen as soon as she arrived and clucked her tongue if something was not right where she looked for it the first time. This happened less often than one might expect and Dee realized that this was someone who knew Mike far better than anyone else might.

“Mike doesn’t talk much about his life before, other than to tell stories about things he learned from you and someone named Remé.”

“Remé and I raised Emé after his parents died.”

“Why do you call him that, Emé?”

Tanta smiled and smoothed her long dress. “They were almost inseparable. Remé and Mike so we took his initials, M.A, and made it into a pet name for him. Remé and Emé. He is a good boy and always trying something different . . . that was how he got his position in the Federation Forces.”

“Position?”

“Liaison to foreign services. He would travel and train with armies of the other Races. He spent time with Caldari, Minmatar, yea, even Amarr. Always with a quick smile and a joke he managed to make friends in every service. We thought for sure he be working towards becoming a diplomat when he leave the service after his 20.”

“20?” Dee had heard the term before but was having a hard time applying it in this case.

The elderly woman looked at Dee with clear blue eyes and smiled softly. “You know him as a young man because dat be the body he is wearing, now. He may have the body but he has been around a long time. It was at then end of his 20 that they tested and offered him a chance to become a capsuleer. His first clone body reset the outside but it did not change his age. You love the man you know but, ma petite, do you know the man you love?” The elderly woman leaned forward and shadows obscured all but her nose and glints of her eyes. “He be a good man but he has his dark side . . . it be a part of who we are. He will be nice till it time to fight an den he will not play nice, not play fair . . . “ She leaned back and beamed at Dee “What does he call you, when he tired or distracted.”

“Well he called me . . . love and once he used a name like Coo?” The change of subject had caught Dee off guard.

“Couer. Ah, den you be his angel. I thought so but it be good to check. You know the old cartoon wit da little angel and devil on the shoulder? Gallente men be like dat wit their women. Sometimes dey find an angel an sometimes dey find a devil. Most times dey find one o’ each.”

Dee’s eyes widened in shock.

“Oho! I see Emé found one o’ each and you know who de other be, no?”

“There is a woman, she sometimes comes and breaks into his apartment. He told security to ignore her because he didn’t want them to get hurt.”

“Her, he most likely calls ‘cher’. She be his devil.”

“What were you, with Remé?”

“I was both . . . I be too much woman to be juss one ting to a man. Sometimes I was his angel and other times he knew that he be in a warmer place.” She smiled wickedly. “Sometimes a man wants ta be in a warmer place, no?”

Laughing nervously Dee looked to her tea. “With your people, how does it end? Does he choose or . . . “

“Who say it have to end? Couer, dat mean heart. Emé, Michael, he love you. I teach him better than to use that word for anything else. He may wander but he come home to you . . .because if he love you this be where his home is. Question be, can you live with him being who he is . . . the light and the dark?”

*******

Lessons

How old is your character. We are immortal but we were born, had childhoods. Does anybody alive remember yours?
We shoot the little red crosses and end hundreds or thousands of lives. Sure, the pod lives or is cloned but what about the crews? Are we all a bit of light and dark?
Next post will be on target for more game stuff, this was a character piece I promised a few folks . . . sorry to waste the rest of your time if you got this far.

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