On Behalf of the Company (Skipping Stones)

‘Verse: Skipping Stones
Length/Rating: 264 words, PG, Gen
Pairings/Warnings: None
Summary: Skip, skip, skip, … skip, skip, skip

Skip, skip, skip, … skip, skip, skip

There was no alarm that sounded when a ship was lost, just a pause in the steady beat of the incoming traffic. Short enough that no one in the terminal noticed, unless they were looking. In the control room, emergency protocols kicked in, time loss was calculated, and the ship’s arrival was slid neatly back into the programmed pattern… twelve years, four days, fifty-nine minutes and three seconds late.

~*~*~*~*~

It was the part of the job he liked least, made all the more painful in its rarity. Company policy was spelled out on the crisp blue paper, neat and tidy in company protocols and legal platitudes. But grief was never easily contained.

“How could you let this happen? How?”

He could show her the statistics, the charts and complex calculations that showed just how rare her daughter’s loss had been. He could pull out the waiver that had been signed, spelling out in crisp detail the risks, however minor. He could try and drown her grief in paper and words, but this wasn’t his first parent, or spouse, or friend and he knew nothing he could offer would help.

So he took her hands and looked her in the eye and told her how sorry he was, truly sorry, for her loss and that he would do everything he could to help her. And she wept and she yelled and she filled the room with a thick black grief that only the loved of the Lost could carry.

Because no one was meant to live forever.

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. nmdrkangl

    yes, yes you do. Or i shall steal it! and… do nothing with it for a period of no less that 7 years and the fitfully start writing on it again.

    1. Martha Bechtel

      Alright, if I promise to write it will you promise to beta it? ^_~

      1. nmdrkangl

        I think i can manage that

        1. Martha Bechtel

          Then it goes on the burner for this weekend! ^_^ Well, that and the Stargate Atlantis/Jurassic Park crossover. ^_^;;

    1. Martha Bechtel

      Re: YES!

      Alright, if I promise to write it will you promise to beta it? ^_~

      1. westward_joe

        Re: YES!

        yes, though I said that about the last thing you sent me and that went the way of all mortals things. Ugh. Seriously need to get better at the whole procrastinating thing.

        Give me a few weeks though cause work is absolutely hellish right now. ๐Ÿ™

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