She woke up in darkness . . .
She knew that she could call out and someone would come but it was the middle of the night and she was not ‘there’ yet. So she lifted herself out of the bed, steadied herself for a moment and then walked down the hall to the kitchen to make some tea.
The kettle was already on and Cory sat at the table working on a video of some sort, frowning and playing an piece back and forth. He looked up when she stepped into the light and rose to silently hold out a chair for her and then started preparing the tea.
She sat and squinted at him for a moment. “You is up late, boy.”
“It is quieter and I can get things done.” Cory shrugged. “And you are up as well, Madam. Should I call someone?”
“No. I juss wants some tea and then I will go back to bed.”
He smiled and nodded, he had already touched the button that put the staff on alert but not called them in, yet. He frowned at the image before him and played it back one more time. “Chains.” He went to close the work but she held up a hand.
“Whatchoo workin on that has you so riled?”
He sighed. “I think Boro challenged me to make a true film from the footage we made while hunting the dealer.”
“Boro no challenged you, he set a task before you, for you to pick up or set aside. For all his ego he does see others in lights that they may not see themselves. He saw something in you, the choices you made.”
“But I never said a word to him, just took the shots and backed up Free.”
“But where you stood, how you chose lighting. He noted each thing. Finish the piece . . . ” She paused for a moment. “You can show it to him when he comes here.”
Cory stopped for a moment, frozen. “He is coming here? When did that happen?”
“In about 5 minutes from now, give me a comm.”
The comm was answered by a flunkie but in the background Boro could be heard.
“Boro, you dere hun?”
*Madam, hearing from you again is a boon I did not expect so soon. Am I to expect another ‘student’ or are you going to dance for me yourself?*
“The latter, I am afraid. I must do it soon, before I cannot. You will have to come here, of course.”
There was a long pause. *Madam, you know if there is ANYTHING I can . . . *
“All dances end, the music always stops. Can you make it soon, Boro?”
*-sigh- as soon as possible Madam, nothing could keep me from this project, nothing at all. Should I bring anything? Anyone?*
“It is your project, Boro. I will dance. Bring what and who you need.”
*Your student who visited me and her assistant, could you give me their contact?*
“They are here with me, now. Do you want them for this?”
*Yes, Madam, I do. I have much to do but I will see you soon, we will contact when in orbit. Again Madam, anything at all . . . *
“I will see you soon, Boro, it be like old times again.” She closed the connection and handed the comm back to Cory.
“There, you have a deadline now. He WILL want to see that piece. He remembers you and Free and he is not one to remember folks lightly.” She nodded to herself. “So, you and Free ever more than just colleagues?”
Cory blushed. “No Madam, I am fairly sure that how some of my predecessors died.”
“Most likely. But I has to ask. You has been a perfect gentleman around my students but is that because . . . ”
“If anything I believe I would die even faster than by making a move on Free. Ruis has explained what ‘guest’ means, here. I took it to heart.”
Madam chuckled. “Of all the people to chose to learn manners from, he is not the first choice, he is not.”
“Just the same, I am still here, breathing.” Cory shrugged.
“Let us keep it that way. This is a Gallente thing and I know you are not used to our ways, yet. If the person is of age and he, she, or they are willing? No words will be said, no actions taken by the house. Below age or forced and we will not have words. We will have a funeral. That clear?”
Cory swallowed and nodded, fairly sure that he now understood what Mike once said when describing Tanta.
“Close your eyes for a moment and imagine Free alive in the future and still working, having done this for 50 years or more. She is dangerous now so what will she be then?”
The tech shuddered. “Why would you want me to imagine that?”
“Because that is who she is going to meet.” 1
She smiled and finished her tea. “You is a good boy. You finish that piece and let me have a look at it in the next day or two. I think I is ready to try ta sleep again.”Cory jumped to his feet to help her up but she waved him back. “Thank you boy but I no needs that much help, not yet.”
She walked slowly back to her room to find the bedding changed, pain killers and a glass of water at her bedside. She smiled and took one before climbing back into bed. Now she could sleep some more.
Changes are coming, Not everybody is happy with them but they will come, just the same. Dunk is starting to chat with folks about industry. Mining changes are around the corner and they may be something I have asked for for a while, dynamic mining, take too much and the cupboard does not fully restock.
As for me, personally? I am waiting on a biopsy but it looks like my cancer is back . . but I am still dancing., just in some pain, now.
fly it like you won it.