Welcome back to Xenobia Legacy! It's been way too
long since I've updated the main story. Unfortunately
between the BC, an...
I was taking a break from packing when I saw my
friend Rose heading up the stairs.
“Hi hon! I thought I'd come by and say ...
“Hugs!”
“Always, hugs, Rose.”
“But why are we moving?”
“Long story, have a seat, and I'll get started.”
“Okay, I'm sitting, what's up?”
“Rafe Xenobia was poisoned by the Delanthenians.”
“What? When? Is he all right?”
“Three da...
“Because Terra's dad ran into the poisoner as he
was heading toward Phoebe and Gavin's house.
We found their bodies the ne...
“Bodies? Her dad's dead then?”
“Yeah.”
“Oh boy, how is she handling it?”
“About as well as can be expected. But that's why...
“Jack will be taking Mitchell, Ari, Jason, Sephy, Miny,
and Nicholas on a freighter this evening. They'll be
arriving at t...
“So you figure that the emperor knows they're
here?”
“He's sent two different waves of assassins, Rose.
He knows.”
“If he ...
“Probably. But we're nowhere near ready to fight
them yet. I know Jason has plans to get ready, but
at this point we could...
“I suppose that's true. It's just sad that things had to
come to this. Who's leaving with us?”
“All the Xenobias, Gavin's ...
“The youngest two are coming with us. The others
are staying. I...they...they chose to stay. They want
to help hold off th...
I didn't have to, Rose got up and wrapped her arms
around me in a quiet hug.
I was glad to have friends near at this time. My
mind was spinning with thoughts and fears. Were
we making the wrong decis...
“Thanks for coming, Komei,”
“No problem, Mitchell, I love beating you at chess.”
“I beat you from time to time.”
“When I l...
“So why did you call me? Why aren't you at the
hospital with your daughter and son-in-law?”
Mitchell waited a few minutes ...
“Yes,” Mitchell studied his pieces trying not to get
over emotional.
“Damn.”
Mitchell couldn't say anything.
“Then I guess there's something you should know.”
Mitchell raised an eyebrow, and waited, Komei
wasn't usually one to drag things out.
“I've been talking to the preacher,” he began, “That
Mr. Parsons.”
Mitchell nodded. Pastor Parsons had been
preaching in t...
Once again Mitchell turned his eyes on the pieces.
Not that he could really see anything at the moment.
He should say some...
Komei figured as much and just made his next
move. “Shit, you have me in ten moves.”
“Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
your heart is true you're a pal and a confidant.”
“And...
“I'm not ashamed to say,
I hope it always will stay this way.
My hat is off, won't you stand up and take a bow.”
“And when...
“And when we die and float away,
Into the night, the Milky Way.
You'll hear me call, as we ascend.
I'll see you there, the...
Later that evening they were aboard the space ship
that would take them to their new home. Ari and
Sephy were being taken ...
“Forgive me if I am being rude,” Sephy began, “but
you all seem to look very much alike, even your
clothing.”
“And I thoug...
“Oh how interesting! Do you find it confining? Does it
itch? Do you think you might wear it again sometime,
or do you hope...
“There go the lights again. Does it happen like that a
lot.”
“Unfortunately yes. Our computer systems are old,
and are in ...
Back in Mitchell and Ari's private quarters, Mitchell was
talking with the boys.
“Jason, Michael, you are both adults now,...
“Go ahead, Grandpa.” Jason said smiling a bit.
Mitchell tended to listen more than he talked, but he
always seem to have a...
Mitchell nodded. “Jason, you told your grandmother
and I earlier that the three of you decided Sephy would
be heir.”
“Righ...
“Your job will be to watch over Sephy, and the rest of
the family as well, but Sephy particularly.”
“Grandpa, Sephy's a pr...
Nicholas looked over at Jason. “Isn't that pretty much
what we would do anyway?”
“Yeah probably. Of course we can't let he...
“I knew I could count on you boys,” he smiled a bit, but
quickly sobered, “Now for the hard part of the
conversation.”
“Go...
He paused a long moment before speaking again.
“I haven't spoken about what happened that day to
anyone until now. I went ...
“Wait a minute you knew it?”
Mitchell sighed, “I'm afraid so, Nicholas. Before I met
your grandmother, before I even becam...
“She was hit wasn't she? And killed?” Jason asked.
“Yes,” Mitchell's tone was matter of fact, but laced with
a tinge of gu...
“Nick, I remember how it was to be young. And I still
know how it feels to be attracted to a woman. I know
you're going to...
“I,” he started but then stopped. This wasn't just pat
advice coming from his parents or the pastor. This
was his grandfat...
“Wait a minute,” Jason blurted out. “Then what your
saying is that the spirit that attacked grandmother...?”
“Was the spir...
“I drove her from the house. I sincerely doubt I
destroyed the spirit.”
“Could she come back?” Nick asked. “Could she even...
After their tour, Ari and Sephy came back to Ari's
room, seeing the boys had left, Ari asked her
granddaughter to join her...
“Have you thought about what it means being heir?”
her grandmother asked in her familiar gentle voice.
“Well, it means I'l...
“Well, I know that you and Mom and Grandpa are sort
of the head of the family. And so people come to you
for advice and st...
“Don't say that.”
“What? That your grandfather and I are going to die?
Dear we're nearly 150 years old. That's quite a goo...
“I know it's hard for you to understand now, but I feel
my age, and I'm reaching a point where I want to go
on. I want to ...
“Or is it not really me you're worried about dying?”
“I'm scared, Gramma. What if they didn't get it all, and
Dad gets ill...
“I guess not. Guess I should pray about it?”
“Much better than worrying.”
“Gramma, do you think I'll be a good heir?”
“Sep...
About the same time Sephy and Ari were talking a
large group had met in my living room to discuss our
evacuation plans.
“Thank you all for coming. You all know why we're
here and what we'll be covering. I'm guessing you've
noticed a few absen...
“Cait, you, Jeremy, and your kids will be going with
Phoebe and her family. Your escort leaves tomorrow.
They're expected ...
“Good. Your transports are probably in better
condition than the one Mitchell and Ari are in, so you
should arrive at your...
“Rose, Gin, Fire, Jenn, the four of you will be on that one
with Penny and her family.”
“Lauri, remember I have to deliver that package to
Nicholas.”
“I haven't forgotten, Fire. You'll get in system before he
d...
I consulted my notes and then looked up again. “The next
ship will arrive at noon, and will be escorting Stephen and
Terra...
“Di, you, Indy, and the kids will be going with Raynie and
Jay. That will be the fourth day at 8 pm.”
“We'll be ready.”
“That leaves Callie and Rafe on the last day. Prof, your
family will be joining Kento and I with them. How many of
you sho...
“What time, does our ship leave, Lauri?”
“11 am.”
“Will you be ready?”
“Who knows. I'll do my best.”
“I just want to add, that we don't know how smoothly this is
going to go down. The emperor might get wind of our
plans and...
The next morning, after breakfast, Sephy, Miny, and Jason
sat down to talk. They'd invited Nicholas, but he declined
to go...
“So basically what you're saying is that on top of an
emperor that seems willing to stop at nothing to kill us, the
spirit...
“That's what he told me and Nick.”
“If it was anyone but Grandpa saying it,” Miny put in.
“Come on, Miny, we know that the...
“Yes, Sephy, I do know. But I also know that just because
a person says it's a spirit, and that they know who it is,
doesn...
“Okay, you do have a point there, but it was Granpa that
said that, so I do believe it. But believe it or not, there's not...
“Well for one thing, Miny, after we talked about me being
heir, Gramma said you and I were going to go to college
with Nic...
“Miny, it's not my decision! I'm just telling you what
Gramma said!”
“Well it's not fair!”
Sephy closed her eyes she knew ...
“Yep. And Paul and Anna too. Only Rhea and Rhodes are
still children. Oh and Darin, he's a toddler.”
“Well Aunt Raynie's t...
The mention of their mother got them all quiet for a while, it
was Miny that broke the silence.
“I guess that's part of wh...
“He'll be all right.”
“Yeah, but he was about to retire. I was looking forward to
spending some time with him. Real time.”...
“Neither will I, Miny.”
“And doesn't that bother you, Jason? Doesn't it bother you
that even though they loved us, and I k...
“I just wish things had been different. Sephy, promise me.”
“Kids?”
“Yeah.”
“I promise.”
“Umm, did I just miss out on the ...
The world is never perfect.
But then neither are we.
The world is seldom fair.
Even when it ought to be.
We dream of a world were all is right.
Where childhood lingers for a nightcap
And adulthood never shows up unexpected.
We yearn for a world where all the answers
Come easy without pain.
Where decisions made with the best of intentions
Never ...
But the world is never perfect and we'll never make it so.
We learn to make the most of this imperfect world we
know.*
* “...
Several hours later Jason returned to their quarters and
saw Miny sitting deep in thought.
“Miny, what's wrong?”
She didn't answer and just kept staring at her hands.
“Miny, come on, talk to me, what's wrong?”
“I...Did we make the right decision, Jason?”
“About what?”
She swallowed but di...
He moved over to the chair opposite her and pulled it out.
“What decision, Miny?”
“Did we do it the right way? Did we make...
“Miny, I love you, and I want to help you, but I'm not Sephy.
I'm not able to just know what you mean. You have to tell
me...
“You mean deciding which of us was heir.” It wasn't a
question as soon as she said straws he knew. “We didn't
just draw st...
Miny just looked out away from him. “I know, Jason. But
was it right?”
“Honestly, Sephy? I don't really know. But it's don...
“A lot I guess. They either come over, or gramma and
granpa go to see them.”
“Exactly. Do you think it will be any differe...
“And, Miny, if you really really want to be heiress, you could
always talk to Sephy about it. Remember the reason we
drew ...
“No it isn't. Miny, you would be a good heir, just like Sephy,
but part of being heir is doing what is best for the family...
“Aristide, do you remember that day when you woke up
and I was waiting in your kitchen?”
“Of course I do. How could I forg...
“We were together, dear, and starting our life, how could it
not seem hopeful and new.”
“I never thought to be running aga...
“Are you truly dear?”
“Aren't you, Ari?”
“Not at all. Callie is a strong leader, and the others will fall
behind her willi...
“You're right, I suppose. I shouldn't fret over things beyond
my power.”
“It's easy to do, Mitchell. Very easy. I have to ...
“Two minutes after we woke up, but thank you, dear. I
don't suppose I've told you that you're as handsome today
as the day...
“You don't have too, Ari, your eyes tell me ever time I look
at your face.
“Aristidellanthe, I love you. I always will.”
“As do I, my Mitchellnikan.”
“Sephy?”
“Sephy?”
“Sephy.”
“Oh, Jack. I'm sorry, I didn't hear you.”
“It's all right, but are you?”
“Just thinking about my parents. Did you want to talk to
me?”
“Oh, yes. There are some thin...
“You know that we're sending you and Miny to college
early because we think it will be safer.”
“Yes, although I'm not quit...
“Well both have their advantages, which is why I'm here.
Sephy you will not be staying with your brother and sister
at col...
“I can see where that would have some advantages, but
if I'm alone I'm rather vulnerable as well.”
“You won't be alone, I'...
“You'll be there with me? For four years?”
“Four years. You're the heir, Sephy, we have to keep you
safe.”
“Am I really al...
“Thank you, Jack.”
“You're welcome, Sephy. Now why don't you tell me
what's bothering you?”
“I'm worried. And it's all wel...
“Sometimes talking about it helps. What worries you?”
“I'm worried that I won't see my parent's again. I'm
worried that I'...
“That you what?”
“That I won't find someone to love like my parents and
grandparents. That I'll keep comparing every man I...
“Thanks, Jack.”
“Of course. And about your parents, they'll be fine.
You'll see them soon. In fact they'll be there before...
“I do trust you, Jack.”
“You'll be fine, and so will your parents. You're strong,
Sephy, never forget that.” And with thos...
“Jamie, dear, you told me you'd explain what those funny boxes behind us were.”
“Not now, Will!
Okay well that's the end o...
Xenobia Interlude: Part One
Xenobia Interlude: Part One
Xenobia Interlude: Part One
Xenobia Interlude: Part One
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Xenobia Interlude: Part One

  1. 1. Welcome back to Xenobia Legacy! It's been way too long since I've updated the main story. Unfortunately between the BC, and winter blues, and my hard drive collapsing before I could back up, it's been one thing after another slowing me up. I lost sims, hoods, skins, pictures, you name it. So I've been rebuilding, luckily I had most of the sims, but I lost the hood and the houses. So rather than try to rebuild them, I decided to move the Xenobias. Please forgive me if some of this story seems rushed or forced, I had planned to stage several scenes that I'm now going to have to present as exposition. I do hope I make it understandable, and that you enjoy.
  2. 2. I was taking a break from packing when I saw my friend Rose heading up the stairs. “Hi hon! I thought I'd come by and say hi before I unpack,” she said as she approached. “Good idea, because you won't want to unpack, we're leaving in a few days.”
  3. 3. “Hugs!” “Always, hugs, Rose.” “But why are we moving?” “Long story, have a seat, and I'll get started.”
  4. 4. “Okay, I'm sitting, what's up?” “Rafe Xenobia was poisoned by the Delanthenians.” “What? When? Is he all right?” “Three days ago. They managed to get him to the hospital in time. He's recovering.” “Well then, how do you know it was the Delanthenians? Couldn't it be the criminals he was spying on?”
  5. 5. “Because Terra's dad ran into the poisoner as he was heading toward Phoebe and Gavin's house. We found their bodies the next morning. He was definitely Delanthenian.”
  6. 6. “Bodies? Her dad's dead then?” “Yeah.” “Oh boy, how is she handling it?” “About as well as can be expected. But that's why you won't need to unpack. We're moving the family.”
  7. 7. “Jack will be taking Mitchell, Ari, Jason, Sephy, Miny, and Nicholas on a freighter this evening. They'll be arriving at their new home in a week or so.” “What about the others?” “Daris Vertasian, Penny's husband, asked people from his planet to help. They're coming soon, and we'll escort the rest of the Xenobias out then.”
  8. 8. “So you figure that the emperor knows they're here?” “He's sent two different waves of assassins, Rose. He knows.” “If he found us here, don't you think he'll be able to track us to wherever we're going?”
  9. 9. “Probably. But we're nowhere near ready to fight them yet. I know Jason has plans to get ready, but at this point we couldn't stand up to him. As much as I don't like it, strategic retreat seems our best option.”
  10. 10. “I suppose that's true. It's just sad that things had to come to this. Who's leaving with us?” “All the Xenobias, Gavin's youngest brother and sister, Garrett and Georgia, and a few visitors from other 'verses.” “What about your kids?”
  11. 11. “The youngest two are coming with us. The others are staying. I...they...they chose to stay. They want to help hold off the emperor's troops if they come. I...” I couldn't say any more.
  12. 12. I didn't have to, Rose got up and wrapped her arms around me in a quiet hug.
  13. 13. I was glad to have friends near at this time. My mind was spinning with thoughts and fears. Were we making the wrong decisions? Only time would tell.
  14. 14. “Thanks for coming, Komei,” “No problem, Mitchell, I love beating you at chess.” “I beat you from time to time.” “When I let you.” Mitchell snorted, “Mmhmm.”
  15. 15. “So why did you call me? Why aren't you at the hospital with your daughter and son-in-law?” Mitchell waited a few minutes before he answered. “We're leaving.” Komei studied his friend closely, “The planet?” “Yes.” “So this is goodbye?”
  16. 16. “Yes,” Mitchell studied his pieces trying not to get over emotional. “Damn.” Mitchell couldn't say anything.
  17. 17. “Then I guess there's something you should know.”
  18. 18. Mitchell raised an eyebrow, and waited, Komei wasn't usually one to drag things out.
  19. 19. “I've been talking to the preacher,” he began, “That Mr. Parsons.” Mitchell nodded. Pastor Parsons had been preaching in the neighborhood for years now. “And what you and he have been saying finally made sense. So, I guess, even if this is good bye for now, I'll be seeing you in life after this.”
  20. 20. Once again Mitchell turned his eyes on the pieces. Not that he could really see anything at the moment. He should say something, he knew it, but his head wasn't coming up with anything. He'd been waiting for this news for so long he has almost given up on it. Now it had happened and mere words couldn't begin to describe how he felt.
  21. 21. Komei figured as much and just made his next move. “Shit, you have me in ten moves.”
  22. 22. “Thank you for being a friend Traveled down the road and back again your heart is true you're a pal and a confidant.” “And if you threw a party, Invited everyone you knew. You would see, the biggest gift would be from me, and the card attached would say, 'Thank you for being a friend.'” “Thank you for being a friend. Thank you for being a friend. Thank you for being a friend.”
  23. 23. “I'm not ashamed to say, I hope it always will stay this way. My hat is off, won't you stand up and take a bow.” “And when we both get older, With walking canes and hair of gray, Have no fear, even though it's hard to hear, I will stand real close and say, 'Thank you for being a friend.'”
  24. 24. “And when we die and float away, Into the night, the Milky Way. You'll hear me call, as we ascend. I'll see you there, then once again, Thank you for being a friend.” “(I wanna tell you right now, and tell you again.) Thank you for being a friend. (I wanna thank you, thank you, for being a friend.) Thank you for being a friend.”* *Lyrics extracted from “Thank You for Being a Friend” by Andrew Gold.
  25. 25. Later that evening they were aboard the space ship that would take them to their new home. Ari and Sephy were being taken around for a tour. Miny had been invited but was instead deep in a conversation with the navigator that promised to last hours. Mitchell was talking to Jason and Nicholas in his private quarters. So, for now it was just the two of them.
  26. 26. “Forgive me if I am being rude,” Sephy began, “but you all seem to look very much alike, even your clothing.” “And I thought it strange how different you looked from your grandfather. But no you do not offend. We are not born like your species, and there is very little genetic variation among our kind. As for our clothes, it is not normal for us, we wear it for your comfort.”
  27. 27. “Oh how interesting! Do you find it confining? Does it itch? Do you think you might wear it again sometime, or do you hope to never see them again?” “So many questions,” she said with a gentle smile. “It does not itch, and perhaps it is a bit confining, but the feel of the cloth on my skin is quite fascinating and pleasant as well. I do not think I will often wear clothing, but I might put it on again in my free time.”
  28. 28. “There go the lights again. Does it happen like that a lot.” “Unfortunately yes. Our computer systems are old, and are in constant need of repair. However, as the critical systems are functioning, most of us do not complain much about the lights.” “I guess I can understand that.” And with that the tour continued.
  29. 29. Back in Mitchell and Ari's private quarters, Mitchell was talking with the boys. “Jason, Michael, you are both adults now, young still but adults. We haven't had a great many talks through the years. And that's probably as much because of me as anything else. But, the time has come that I need to say some things. And as my oldest grandsons, I want you to hear them.”
  30. 30. “Go ahead, Grandpa.” Jason said smiling a bit. Mitchell tended to listen more than he talked, but he always seem to have a story or a gentle lesson that he would share, almost in passing. Jason had learned a lot from this man and he was sure Nick and the others had too.
  31. 31. Mitchell nodded. “Jason, you told your grandmother and I earlier that the three of you decided Sephy would be heir.” “Right. We all agreed to it.” “All right. You know that your mother has been helping your grandmother and I head the family since she came back from college.” When Jason nodded he went on, “When Sephy comes back she'll be helping your mother and father do the same. But I giving the two of you a job as well.”
  32. 32. “Your job will be to watch over Sephy, and the rest of the family as well, but Sephy particularly.” “Grandpa, Sephy's a pretty strong girl, she can watch out for herself.” “I don't doubt it, Jason. But you don't quite understand, part of being a good head of the family is that at times you put the family's over all well being even above your own. What I'm asking of you is that while she's looking after everyone else's welfare you two look out for her's.
  33. 33. Nicholas looked over at Jason. “Isn't that pretty much what we would do anyway?” “Yeah probably. Of course we can't let her know we're doing it. At least not all the time.” “Well, of course not, she'd just get irritated and that would cause her more stress. We have to be subtle about this.” “Don't you mean sneaky?” “Eh, same difference.”
  34. 34. “I knew I could count on you boys,” he smiled a bit, but quickly sobered, “Now for the hard part of the conversation.” “Go ahead,” Nicholas wondering what else Mitchell had on his mind. “You both remember the attack on your grandmother a few years ago?” When they nodded he went on, “Your grandmother insisted it was a spiritual attack, and I believed her, so I went to the house to get rid of whatever attacked her.”
  35. 35. He paused a long moment before speaking again. “I haven't spoken about what happened that day to anyone until now. I went into the house, and I could feel the spirit as soon as I entered. It didn't attack me like it did your grandmother. Instead it taunted me. It spoke to me of old hurts, of pain, loss, and revenge. “I knew the spirit you see. From a time even before I met your grandmother.”
  36. 36. “Wait a minute you knew it?” Mitchell sighed, “I'm afraid so, Nicholas. Before I met your grandmother, before I even became a follower of Yeshmanuel, I had a lover. Her name was Beladissianke. And she was quite beautiful. When I became a believer, we had an argument when I told her our relationship would have to change. She stormed out of our rooms in a rage. She ran out into the street....”
  37. 37. “She was hit wasn't she? And killed?” Jason asked. “Yes,” Mitchell's tone was matter of fact, but laced with a tinge of guilt that rang through the decades. “That was also when I found out she was expecting our child.”
  38. 38. “Nick, I remember how it was to be young. And I still know how it feels to be attracted to a woman. I know you're going to be away at college and that there will be a lot of exploring you're going to want to do. I can't tell you what to do, or how to behave. But I want you to always remember your actions have consequences. All of them, not just sex, not just drugs. Every action has a consequence. And you have to live with them.
  39. 39. “I,” he started but then stopped. This wasn't just pat advice coming from his parents or the pastor. This was his grandfather, who had lived through something he never wanted to have to experience. “Grandpa, I hear what your saying. I won't forget.” “Fair enough.”
  40. 40. “Wait a minute,” Jason blurted out. “Then what your saying is that the spirit that attacked grandmother...?” “Was the spirit of Beladissianke, yes.” “And she wanted revenge?” “Yes.” “But you got rid of her right, I mean she hasn't attacked again.”
  41. 41. “I drove her from the house. I sincerely doubt I destroyed the spirit.” “Could she come back?” Nick asked. “Could she even follow us through space to this new place?” Mitchell gave him a significant look, “She did once already.” Nicholas looked to Jason, “Oh shit.”
  42. 42. After their tour, Ari and Sephy came back to Ari's room, seeing the boys had left, Ari asked her granddaughter to join her for a little chat. Sephy smiled, her grandmother was famous for her chats. “So you're going to be your mother's heir, Sephy.” “Looks like it.” Sephy's smile faded a bit, she really didn't want to talk about this.
  43. 43. “Have you thought about what it means being heir?” her grandmother asked in her familiar gentle voice. “Well, it means I'll move back into,” no she would never move back into her home again, “Well I'll move into the new house after college right? And one of my kids will do the same.” “Yes, anything else?”
  44. 44. “Well, I know that you and Mom and Grandpa are sort of the head of the family. And so people come to you for advice and stuff. And that you try to help the community too.” “Yes, and when your grandfather and I are gone, you'll help your father and mother.”
  45. 45. “Don't say that.” “What? That your grandfather and I are going to die? Dear we're nearly 150 years old. That's quite a good life really. I find myself actually wanting Jack to come for me sometimes.” “Don't. I don't want to lose you.” “Sephy, baby. You won't lose me. I will always be with you.”
  46. 46. “I know it's hard for you to understand now, but I feel my age, and I'm reaching a point where I want to go on. I want to see my maker. I want to rest. One day you'll feel the same. You'll want to see Jack as much as I do.”
  47. 47. “Or is it not really me you're worried about dying?” “I'm scared, Gramma. What if they didn't get it all, and Dad gets ill again? What if the emperor's troops get there before everyone leaves?” “What if they find us instead, Sephy?” “I....” “Sephy, those are all possibilities, but does your worrying about them make it less likely to happen?”
  48. 48. “I guess not. Guess I should pray about it?” “Much better than worrying.” “Gramma, do you think I'll be a good heir?” “Sephy, I think you'll make a fine heir. I think all my grandchildren would have done fine. Don't worry about that. I'm very sure that this family is in good hands.” “Thanks.” “Thank you, sweetheart.”
  49. 49. About the same time Sephy and Ari were talking a large group had met in my living room to discuss our evacuation plans.
  50. 50. “Thank you all for coming. You all know why we're here and what we'll be covering. I'm guessing you've noticed a few absences. Michelle and Cel have decided to stay here. They're going to keep in touch, and let us know anything they find out about the emperor's movements. Daris got word this evening, the escorts will begin to arrive tomorrow, one at a time, one per day.”
  51. 51. “Cait, you, Jeremy, and your kids will be going with Phoebe and her family. Your escort leaves tomorrow. They're expected to arrive at 6 pm.” “We'll be ready.”
  52. 52. “Good. Your transports are probably in better condition than the one Mitchell and Ari are in, so you should arrive at your destination a bit earlier. That will give the kids time to get settled into college as well. “Okay, the second transport will arrive the next day at 6 am.”
  53. 53. “Rose, Gin, Fire, Jenn, the four of you will be on that one with Penny and her family.”
  54. 54. “Lauri, remember I have to deliver that package to Nicholas.” “I haven't forgotten, Fire. You'll get in system before he does, so you'll have plenty of chances to deliver the package before he heads to college.” “Good.”
  55. 55. I consulted my notes and then looked up again. “The next ship will arrive at noon, and will be escorting Stephen and Terra's family.” “Jamie, Will, Lark, and Frank, you'll be on that one and you'll have Anne, Cay, and Elisha with you as well, right?” “Yeah, we'll be there,” Jamie said. “Another one of those flying machines, Lark?” “Yes, Frank, shush.”
  56. 56. “Di, you, Indy, and the kids will be going with Raynie and Jay. That will be the fourth day at 8 pm.” “We'll be ready.”
  57. 57. “That leaves Callie and Rafe on the last day. Prof, your family will be joining Kento and I with them. How many of you should we plan for?” “Just Flavius and I. The children are staying, and the cats as well. They just couldn't handle the trip.” “I understand.”
  58. 58. “What time, does our ship leave, Lauri?” “11 am.” “Will you be ready?” “Who knows. I'll do my best.”
  59. 59. “I just want to add, that we don't know how smoothly this is going to go down. The emperor might get wind of our plans and attack us. They might arrive here earlier than we expect them before we can leave. Anything can happen. We all have certain powers because of who we are. But that's no guarantee. If anyone wants to back out now, I'll understand. But if not, I want to thank each and everyone of you for your help. And I know you'll do your best. And how the hell do I end this silly speech?”
  60. 60. The next morning, after breakfast, Sephy, Miny, and Jason sat down to talk. They'd invited Nicholas, but he declined to go flirt with one of the female engineers.
  61. 61. “So basically what you're saying is that on top of an emperor that seems willing to stop at nothing to kill us, the spirit of grandpa's dead lover is out looking for revenge?”
  62. 62. “That's what he told me and Nick.” “If it was anyone but Grandpa saying it,” Miny put in. “Come on, Miny, we know that there's a whole lot more out there we can't see than what we can. And that unseen spirits have a great deal of power.”
  63. 63. “Yes, Sephy, I do know. But I also know that just because a person says it's a spirit, and that they know who it is, doesn't mean they're right. There's a lot of spiritual mumbo jumbo out there as well as truth.”
  64. 64. “Okay, you do have a point there, but it was Granpa that said that, so I do believe it. But believe it or not, there's not much more we can do than we're already doing to deal with that or with the emperor.” “So what else did you want to talk about?” Jason asked.
  65. 65. “Well for one thing, Miny, after we talked about me being heir, Gramma said you and I were going to go to college with Nick and Jason.” “Wait, you mean right away? I thought you were going to next year and me the year after that. Isn't that early enough?” “That was the plan, but the attacks changed things. They think it will be safer if we all go together.” “I've barely gotten used to being a teenager, Sephy!”
  66. 66. “Miny, it's not my decision! I'm just telling you what Gramma said!” “Well it's not fair!” Sephy closed her eyes she knew it wasn't fair, but it wasn't her fault, is this what being heir was going to be like? “Miny, it's not fair, but it's not Sephy's fault. And think about it, you'll be there with me, and Nick, and I wouldn't be surprised if Michael, Chris, and Stasey came next year.” “Stasey did just have her birthday didn't she.”
  67. 67. “Yep. And Paul and Anna too. Only Rhea and Rhodes are still children. Oh and Darin, he's a toddler.” “Well Aunt Raynie's their mother and she was the youngest. And Mom says Aunt Penny aged differently because she was off planet for so long.”
  68. 68. The mention of their mother got them all quiet for a while, it was Miny that broke the silence. “I guess that's part of why I don't want to go to college right away.” “Mom?” “Dad.”
  69. 69. “He'll be all right.” “Yeah, but he was about to retire. I was looking forward to spending some time with him. Real time.” “And you think I wasn't?” Sephy asked. “You'll get to when you move back. I'm never going to live with him again. Ever.”
  70. 70. “Neither will I, Miny.” “And doesn't that bother you, Jason? Doesn't it bother you that even though they loved us, and I know they did, the number of birthdays, and ball games, and awards ceremonies that got missed because of their work?” “Yeah it bothers me, but you say loved like it's over and done. They still love us, Miny. And they tried, to make it Miny, they did.”
  71. 71. “I just wish things had been different. Sephy, promise me.” “Kids?” “Yeah.” “I promise.” “Umm, did I just miss out on the conversation again?” Jason asked. Sephy smiled at him. “We just promised that we'd do better by our kids.” He nodded, “Include me in that promise.”
  72. 72. The world is never perfect. But then neither are we. The world is seldom fair. Even when it ought to be.
  73. 73. We dream of a world were all is right. Where childhood lingers for a nightcap And adulthood never shows up unexpected.
  74. 74. We yearn for a world where all the answers Come easy without pain. Where decisions made with the best of intentions Never lead to shame.
  75. 75. But the world is never perfect and we'll never make it so. We learn to make the most of this imperfect world we know.* * “World” by LauriEmpress
  76. 76. Several hours later Jason returned to their quarters and saw Miny sitting deep in thought.
  77. 77. “Miny, what's wrong?” She didn't answer and just kept staring at her hands.
  78. 78. “Miny, come on, talk to me, what's wrong?” “I...Did we make the right decision, Jason?” “About what?” She swallowed but didn't answer.
  79. 79. He moved over to the chair opposite her and pulled it out. “What decision, Miny?” “Did we do it the right way? Did we make a mistake?”
  80. 80. “Miny, I love you, and I want to help you, but I'm not Sephy. I'm not able to just know what you mean. You have to tell me more.” “I just wonder, Jason. We drew straws. Is that really the best way.”
  81. 81. “You mean deciding which of us was heir.” It wasn't a question as soon as she said straws he knew. “We didn't just draw straws, Miny. We talked about it, we prayed long and hard about it, and we still weren't sure, so we asked Him to make the right person grab the short straw. Sephy did.”
  82. 82. Miny just looked out away from him. “I know, Jason. But was it right?” “Honestly, Sephy? I don't really know. But it's done. I thought you didn't really care about it?” “I didn't, but that was before.” “Before you knew about college?” “Yeah.” “Miny. How often do our aunts and uncles see Gramma and Grandpa?”
  83. 83. “A lot I guess. They either come over, or gramma and granpa go to see them.” “Exactly. Do you think it will be any different with us? Especially with Mom and Dad both retiring? “Mom is too?” “If Dad is, I'm sure of it.” “I guess that's true.”
  84. 84. “And, Miny, if you really really want to be heiress, you could always talk to Sephy about it. Remember the reason we drew straws was because none of us was sure we wanted it. So if you do decide you want it, I'm sure Sephy would let you have it.” “Yeah. It's just that, the only reason I would want it would be to be with Daddy more. That's not a good reason to want it.”
  85. 85. “No it isn't. Miny, you would be a good heir, just like Sephy, but part of being heir is doing what is best for the family as a whole. Putting others needs before your own, I guess. So if that's ever why you want it, go for it. Just make sure you're ready for it.” “Thanks, Jason.” “Anytime, Squirt.”
  86. 86. “Aristide, do you remember that day when you woke up and I was waiting in your kitchen?” “Of course I do. How could I forget our wedding day?” “I was just thinking of how everything looked so hopeful and new that day.”
  87. 87. “We were together, dear, and starting our life, how could it not seem hopeful and new.” “I never thought to be running again.” “Neither did I, but here we are.” “I guess what I'm trying to get at is, things are so uncertain, so unpredictable. I'm worried about the children.”
  88. 88. “Are you truly dear?” “Aren't you, Ari?” “Not at all. Callie is a strong leader, and the others will fall behind her willingly. And Sephy is as stubborn as Penny was. There's very little that will break her. Beyond that I can't see, but we've been blessed, Mitchell. We raised our children the way we thought was right, and they've taken root and grown strong. They've raised their children the same way, and they're growing strong. We have to have faith as to the rest.”
  89. 89. “You're right, I suppose. I shouldn't fret over things beyond my power.” “It's easy to do, Mitchell. Very easy. I have to remind myself not to fret quite often.” “Ari, have I told you today, how very beautiful you are?”
  90. 90. “Two minutes after we woke up, but thank you, dear. I don't suppose I've told you that you're as handsome today as the day we got married.”
  91. 91. “You don't have too, Ari, your eyes tell me ever time I look at your face. “Aristidellanthe, I love you. I always will.”
  92. 92. “As do I, my Mitchellnikan.”
  93. 93. “Sephy?”
  94. 94. “Sephy?”
  95. 95. “Sephy.” “Oh, Jack. I'm sorry, I didn't hear you.”
  96. 96. “It's all right, but are you?” “Just thinking about my parents. Did you want to talk to me?” “Oh, yes. There are some things I need to tell you.”
  97. 97. “You know that we're sending you and Miny to college early because we think it will be safer.” “Yes, although I'm not quite sure why it will be safer. I would think separating us would make more sense.”
  98. 98. “Well both have their advantages, which is why I'm here. Sephy you will not be staying with your brother and sister at college.” “Where will I be staying then?” “In a small secluded house at the edge of the campus, most students, even most faculty don't realize it's there.”
  99. 99. “I can see where that would have some advantages, but if I'm alone I'm rather vulnerable as well.” “You won't be alone, I'll be staying there with you.”
  100. 100. “You'll be there with me? For four years?” “Four years. You're the heir, Sephy, we have to keep you safe.” “Am I really all that important?” “You are to me.”
  101. 101. “Thank you, Jack.” “You're welcome, Sephy. Now why don't you tell me what's bothering you?” “I'm worried. And it's all well and good to say don't worry, but it's not really all that easy.”
  102. 102. “Sometimes talking about it helps. What worries you?” “I'm worried that I won't see my parent's again. I'm worried that I'll be a bad head of the family and let my gramma down. I'm worried that I won't be as good a mother as I want to be. I'm worried that I....”
  103. 103. “That you what?” “That I won't find someone to love like my parents and grandparents. That I'll keep comparing every man I meet to a man I've dreamed of for a very long time.” “You'll find someone, Sephy. Someone that will make you happy, I'm sure of it. I hope he's worthy of you.”
  104. 104. “Thanks, Jack.” “Of course. And about your parents, they'll be fine. You'll see them soon. In fact they'll be there before you will, so you can call them as soon as you get settled into school. “Now as for messing up as heir? Maybe, but letting your parents and grandparents down, no, they love you too much, and you've got too much of them in you to let them down. Trust me.”
  105. 105. “I do trust you, Jack.” “You'll be fine, and so will your parents. You're strong, Sephy, never forget that.” And with those words he gently brushed his hand against her cheek to comfort her. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  106. 106. “Jamie, dear, you told me you'd explain what those funny boxes behind us were.” “Not now, Will! Okay well that's the end of Part 1. I'm not sure how long it will take to get Part 2 up and running, but surely not over a year again. I wanted to thank all my friends for cheering me on to do this, for lending me their simselves and legacy sims, and generally just being great friends. Professor Butters author of Squeaky Clean Legacy, Rosefyre author of A Buffyverse Apocalypse, Dicreasy author of Victorian Legacy, Charis/Cee author of the Regacy (and for her husband's simself), Gintasticnecat author of Science of a Legacy, DocGirlP/Jamie author of Bohemian Legacy, LadyLarkLune author of Yakko's World (among others) OWBC, TheEternalFire author of The Absolutely Crazy Matriarchy, Ndainye/Jenn author of Familiar Faces Legacy, Bilte/Ben author of Ten Caesars Legacy, DocSupremeNerd author of Vetinari Duellegacy. And if I left anyone out, I apologize, nudge me and I'll add you!
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