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The Goodbye

Posted on Fri Jan 24th, 2020 @ 12:20am by Lieutenant Mica Rue

The rain beat down in steady sheets, covering the grassy earth in puddles. Mica stared at one, watching the droplets creating ripples in the water, the liquid slowly rising.

Around her, the soft mumbles of men and woman began, shuffling feet disturbing the silence of the rainshower.

"Mikey," the soft voice interrupted her concentration on the puddle. "We should go. You're getting soaked."

She shook her head softly, the rim of the black hat flopping. "I'm fine, we can stay."

"No, we can't" another male voice piped in. "We're holding a reception at the house. We have to go."

Mica looked up at her brothers. Selin's face was etched in worry, his hand brushing her back, rubbing in small circles. Yolan was wringing his own hat in his hands, his wet hair plastered against his temple. Batan, only two years her elder, was quiet, staring at the puddle she had been ripped away from.

"Let's go, Mikey, it wouldn't do if you got sick..." the words seemed trivial, although given the situation, were immensely important.

The siblings got into the same vehicle together, riding to the estate that had once housed their entire family. Mica remembered what Yolan had said, about the reception. Interesting that he hadn't called it "their house"; although none of the children had lived there for years, it was where almost all of them had been born, where all had been raised until each had left for their own adventures.

When they entered, there were some maids mulling around, a cook already laying out a feast for the many people who were expected to show up. Selin stood taller, taking his new place as the patriarch, giving orders to the staff to make ready, telling his brothers and sister to do the same.

His siblings took notice and followed the order, drying off and changing out of their soaked clothes into dryer, but still mournful, new attire.

Thankful for the peace finally Mica took longer than she normally would, glancing around her room at the childhood treasures still residing there. She let her fingers drift over the musical instruments in the corner, the building blocks that would occupy all her time in later years. Models of engines, wooden composite kits of machines hung from every corner of the ceiling, impeding the flow of the room, but lending to its magic.

On the bench by the window, where the rain still pounded, Mica's uniform has been freshly washed and pressed, her pips and badge carefully laid on top. She picked up the badge, holding it between gentle fingers, wondering how she would be able to show her face after merely disappearing, and so soon after she had taken over her new post. She wondered how the captain had explained it to the engineering staff, and how this would impact the trust her CO had on her when she returned.

If she returned.

The events from the last few days had taken their toll on the youngest member of the Rue family, although she knew the exhausting part was still to come. This was the first time Mica Rue had been back on Trill since she had discovered her true origin. The first time she had been back since she had stopped using the generator to make her look trill.

Noises below indicated the guests were arriving. By the sound of it, a lot of them.

Mica glanced across the room to the standing mirror, seeing herself in her true form for the first time in her room. She wondered what the guests would see. These were people who had seen Mica grow up. These were family and friends and colleagues of her parents. These were government officials. The woman tightened her fingers around the badge, the points digging in.

The thought that members of the senate would be present, in her home, made her stomach clench. They probably didn't know what Mica's parents had done. They didn't know that she wasn't really trill. And she wondered if it would make a difference in any way.

A knock at the door brought her back to the realization that the points of her badge were bruising her skin. She winced.

"Selin wanted to know when you were coming down, Mikey." the soft tones of Batan were heartbreaking, as Mica realized he had been the closest to both of their parents and was probably hurting the worst.

She stood. "In a minute. Come help me, Batan."

He entered, dressed in black slacks and a black shirt, buttoned to the top. His hair had been dried and brushed to one side. If it hadn't been for the puffiness around his eyes, Mica could have sworn he was dressed for a date.

Mica turned, exposing her back. She pulled her hair over her shoulder. "Zip me up."

He did, one hand resting on her arm after.

She faced him slowly.

"Do we really have to do this?"

Mica was surprised that she wasn't the one asking. In response, she nodded, then gave him a forced small smile.

By the time they went down the stairs, the house was filled with a sea of black, The only color in the varying shades of hair and the bright snacks that filled the plates.

The people looked up as the pair descended, and Mica was grateful for her brothers hand on her elbow, guiding her forward as many of the stares rested on her. Her cheeks flushed and she wondered why she hadn't just made herself look trill again.

Batan squeezed her arm. They continued on.

Across the room the people moved to either side, letting Batan and Mica through as Selin raised a glass, tapping the side with a small knife.

"Ladies and Gentlemen," he began. "I would like to express my gratitude that you are all here to celebrate the lives of Koran Rue and Mari Bin alongside myself and my siblings." He paused as Mica and Batan came to a stop beside him and Yolan. "We never expected to have to mourn both our mother and father at the same time. It was a freak accident that turned into a double tragedy." he smiled through the obvious pain that shone in his eyes. "But they'll always live on, through us. Through you." He raised his glass. Mica took a drink from a travelling server and raised hers as well.

"To Koran and Mari, our father and mother."

The chant was repeated through the crowd as glasses were raised and sips were taken. It was a break that was just long enough for Selin to shoot a sympathetic gaze to his younger siblings before the crowd oozed closer, begging each of the children for conversation they would have rather done without.

When it was over, the house was left showing the signs of too many visitors, plates of food and glasses on every surface, pillows cockeyed on the couches, the entrance way dirty from all the shoes.

The four Rue children, oblivious to the milling around of the staff as they tried to clean, melted onto the couches, one by one, and sat in silence...


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