Growing up on-planet has it’s disadvantages. Not many, I’ll grant you but if you’re a normal sort, it kinda blows not to see your old man that often. Mine being a trader and all, ship not outfitted for atmospheric flight and ferry charges being what they were back then I guess I saw him one week in every six or so. Not that I saw him all that much even then – he reckoned schooling needed to take place in an actual school ‘so’s you can learn to take your knocks’. Thanks Dad. Still, I’ll never forget that one holiday when he took me and Mom up to the orbital – Townshend Hub – and showed me around his ship. Heh. Back then I thought it was enormous, that hauler. Battered old thing it was too – I don’t guess you could get a more battered one without going around and whaling on every last hull-plate with a sledgehammer. Wouldn’t take me out though. Said I’d need to be older before I could take zero-gee….
Back on good ol’ Beethree maybe three weeks later Mom got this vid-com from ‘the family lawyer’. She swore to her last days that we never did have no family lawyer.
And Dad never came back.
It’s been a long while since I last thought of the old man. Decades. And now, lumbering out of the mists of time like one of those legendary ‘lost ships’, here comes old Tige. Some things he says just don’t add up arights. I’m gonna have to ask him straight out I guess, but I’m beginning to suspect he knew the old man, and his sudden appearance in my life ain’t no coincidence.
Maybe after a few more beers…