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Posted on Sun Jan 12th, 2020 @ 11:36pm by Lieutenant Mica Rue

"Ma'am, we'll be within transporter range in ten."

Mica looked from where she sat hunched over, her elbows on her knees, fingers wringing together. She nodded to the helm of the shuttle. This journey had taken long enough, but another half hour wouldn't make much of a difference.

Three days it had been since she had gotten the message. It had been brief, almost too short to impress upon her the severity of the situation. Six words:

Mother is sick. Return home. Now.

Six words. As if that would have made anyone pack up and leave. But she had, knowing her brothers wouldn't call her home for anything short of a mortal wound.

And it was. At least, she thought so. When she had finally gotten a hold of Selin, his eyes were swollen, his face pale.

Mica had slumped into the chair at her desk. "Selin, what happened?"

He wiped his nose with the back of one hand. "Mom...she was working with the excavation team to clear one of the caves. It had been secured with trusses and everything was perfect. She was just there to evaluate the pool, to see if it could be restored for symbionts..." he broke off, momentarily moving from the transmission. Mica heard him breathe in a raspy breath.

"Selin, is she alive?" Mica had been afraid to ask the question, but she knew he wouldn't tell her unless she asked.

Her brother came back into view. "Just come home, Mikey. She's hanging in. We've got the best doctors treating her and they say there's a good chance they can save her and the symbiont, but..."

"Selin," Mica wrapped one arm around her middle. "What aren't you telling me? If they can treat her, why do I need to come home?"

The man looked over the top of his screen, nodding. "Mica, I've got to go. Just please, we need you here. We all need you."

"Selin. SELIN!" Mica leaned close into the screen, "I've requested leave but I need to know what's going on." She was irritated at her brother and the fact that he was keeping something from her. He had been crying, something he rarely did. And he was lying to Mica. He never did that.

"SELIN!" She tried one last time, aware that her raised voice could probably be heard in engineering.

Her brother wiped his nose again. "I'm sorry, Mikey, I can't get into it now. Ask for leave, beg a shuttle. Get home. Please. As for how long..." he bit his lip. He wasn't meeting her eyes anymore. "It'll be a while til you get back."

Mica sat back. Her brother was acting nervous. In turn, the woman's skin crawled. Something was wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong. He wouldn't ask her to leave her job if it wasn't. Not when he knew she had just been promoted... Sitting straight, Mica made a decision then and there. "Selin, I've already got a ride on the way. I'll be there as soon as I can but by's going to take time."

The man finally looked at her. "Just get home, Mica. I love you."

The connection was cut and all Mica Rue could hear was her brother's last words.

Get home, Mica. I love you.

He never called her Mica. Not unless it mattered...


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