There are going to be A LOT of people packed into this story. I’m off DayJob tomorrow but my priority shall be getting the “Regent” MS to my copyeditor and a series of descriptions of what I think might work on a cover to my designer. Once all that is finished, I’ll turn back to what’s happening with this poor kid.
The sequences are shorter as this is supposed to be a short story, right?
Empress or no, she would not lie to her old friend, Faustina.
She watched the empress’ eyes flair turquoise as she used her mind to access data from the Void, as they called it, faster than any human could.
“Death is not an acceptable outcome,” Faustina announced. “We shall move Lem to an Oak Ridge reactor at once. I want Dorina’s input.”
“Understood, Empress,” Tamera said with a nod. “I’ll handle this myself.”
She made to step past her sovereign but was stopped by her arm across her chest.
“If there is anyone who can fix this, it will be you,” Faustina whispered into her ear. “I trust you completely.”
“Thank you, Fussy,” Keynes replied. “Give me twenty minutes.”
Roads cleared by Faustina’s order, their ambulance had its lights on but no siren. Rather than taking them past the old Hartmann place, they went east on the highway followed by turning northwest toward the Labs.
“I’m sorry to be a bother, Granpa,” Lem said softly, blinking behind his glasses, elevated on the stretcher in the back.
“You are nothing of the sort, Lem,” Gary gently corrected. “Family is never a bother.”
“But I heard the other men talking,” the boy went on, “that even Her Majesty is worried. I… I do want mommy and daddy. Is that wrong?”
Sitting across from Doctor Hartmann, Keynes thought her heart was going to break.
“No,” his grandfather said, willing his tears away. “Your mommy will meet us. Your daddy…”
Tamera saw his coal-black eyes get an odd look.
“…will be home in just a few hours. From the Moon! He loves you that much, my grandson!”
“That’s good.” He closed his eyes. “I’ve played with Aunt Dorina before. She’s funny.”
“Yes, she is,” his grandfather agreed, giving a look to Tamera.
“All vitals nominal,” she said softly, as they turned into the facility. “We should all know more in a few minutes.
Wheeled to what was little more than a closet close to the core of Reactor Four, Tamera was surprised by a ghost waiting for them as they entered.