Wednesday, March 27

Captain's Quarters, Teppoyuri, 115.3.27 - Checking In

Morwen spoke quietly as the holocomm connected. “Hi, Mom.”

Mirelle’s face appeared on the projector in front of her, smiling. “Hello, dear. How are you holding up?"

“I'm fine, I think. Very tired.” 

“You look it,” her mother responded, eyes flicking from one part of her daughter's face to another. “How are things up there?” 

“Tense. Everyone's wishing they would lift the no-fly restrictions so we could get down there already.” 

“Your project is going well, then?” 

Morwen took a small breath, then nodded. “Yeah, I guess you could say that. We've almost got two Charons' worth of supplies so far. And that convoy from Ishukone arrived in one piece.” 

“That's quite a lot. You must be pleased.” 

Morwen nodded again, a little more energetically. “Yeah. The leader of the convoy even said he would accept the supplies when it's time to take things to the surface. I'm surprised by how eager people were to donate, and how quickly and how much. It's nice to see other capsuleers displaying more than just a shred of humanity once in a while.” 

“... But?” Mirelle looked at her expectantly. 

“... But I'm worried it won't be enough.” Morwen sighed heavily. “Mom, the place is in such a mess I can't even begin to describe it. How could even ten or a hundred times the amount we have now be enough for these people?” 

“The people who live there are strong, dear. Every one of them. They will work hard, they will rebuild and they will survive. You are helping them get back onto their feet that much faster, and you should be proud of yourself for doing that, and of everyone else who is chipping in to help you. You've even got the direct attention of people in Ishukone, sweetie, I know how happy that must make you after all these years.” 

“I guess so.” Morwen sighed again, brushing a strand of hair out of her face. “I'm, um... sorry about not spending your birthday with you. Things have been so busy I forgot to get you something.” 

Mirelle smiled and waved dismissively. “Don't apologize for that. You made the right choice, sweetie. You know your father would be so proud of you right now.” 

Morwen's expression darkened. “I think he'd have been happier if I'd been able to put a few hundred salvos of antimatter charges into the Shiigeru like I'd planned on doing, Mom.” 

“No, Morwen, he wouldn't.” Mirelle picked up a steaming mug and took a sip from it, then continued. “You did exactly what we taught you to do. Given the choice between causing harm and helping protect people from harm, you chose to help people who really, truly needed you.” 

“That wasn't my choice, Mom. I wanted to get out there and fight, I really did. The station docking controllers wouldn't queue me for departure.” 

Mirelle chided her gently. “But instead of trying over and over, you gave up and did something else to help.” 

“That's not the point, Mom!” 

“Then what is?” 

“I wanted to go out there and fight. I wanted to shoot that thing out of the sky. I would have if they had just put me in the damn undocking queue! I didn't want to be stuck on the station sitting on my ass!” 

“So?” Mirelle briefly eyed her daughter’s fists, which had become clenched during her frustrated outburst. “Dear, you didn't fight with them when they told you you couldn't. You found another way to help. And then I hear you did even more later that night, working to get people off the surface, away from the fighting.” 

“... Yes, I did. Most of them are still here on the station. Naoko's crew is taking care of them. I've ... gone and hung around, to help out. Between dealing with donations.” 

“How are they doing?” 

“Most are out of critical condition at this point. Everyone wants to go back home. It feels horrible, not being able to tell them when they’ll be able to do that.” 

Morwen went silent, tears starting to well in her eyes. Mirelle frowned slightly. 

“Are you sure you’re okay, dear?” 

“No, Mom. No, I'm not. I can't stop worrying about whether I'm doing enough to help these people, if there isn't more I can do. I hate this. I hate the fighting, I want it to stop. It's why I changed my mind about joining the FDU after I graduated from the training program. I just saw senseless death and pain and suffering and didn't want to be part of it.” 

Mirelle remained quiet, listening to her daughter vent. 

“But as much as I hated it then, I still wasn't any better myself. And the sick part is I’m still proud of the places I went and who I was able to fly with. Even the two years as a pirate.” 

“Well, you know full well your father and I didn't care. You're our daughter and we love you unconditionally. I'm sure your lovely partner feels the same way, and there are several other wonderful people I've met here who I know love you very dearly as well.” 

Morwen took a deep breath, then exhaled quietly, wiping her eyes. “Sorry, Mom. Thanks. I just... I think I need to go lie down for a bit.” 

“Go right ahead. I won't keep you.” Mirelle paused, then as Morwen reached over to turn off the camera drone, she spoke up again. “And Morwen, dear...” 


“You did give me a birthday present, sweetie, one of the best I could have asked for. I am so happy for you both, you know that, right?” 

Morwen sat there for a moment, then nodded slowly. “Yeah.” 

“Knowing you are happy, doing things that make you happy, with someone who makes you happy, that is all the present I need.” 

Morwen cracked a small smile, wiping tears from her cheeks. “Thanks, Mom. I just... I wish Dad had been there.” 

Mirelle smiled gently. “I know you do, dear. Wherever he is, he feels just the same as I do.” 

Morwen nodded. 

“Some grandkids wouldn't hurt, mind,” Mirelle added with a playful wink. “When you get around to it, of course.” 

Morwen laughed a little, then with a small sniffle reached over to turn off the camera. 

“Good night, Mom.”

“Good night, dear. Rest well.”

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