More from Onyx Sun, a science fiction novel currently in second round edits, which are sort of on hold while I do Camp NaNoWriMo with a goal of 62,000 words this month.
Taliya is back in her HoverWing, studying the gift her grandmother had left for her.
The usual creative punctuation warnings apply and I probably went over a bit (more than usual).
It seemed to be a normal recording device and she smiled as she pressed her thumb against the sensor in the center of it. Hearing a slight hum she slid the disk into the player in her vehicle, remembering the day that her grandmother had handed her the key-disc to the craft.
“I know you’ll take care of it,” she had said, “but promise me you will keep it until after I’m dead. You will need it then.”
Taliya had assured her that she would be owning it for a long time in that case, but Ardelia had insisted, and less than a year later she had been diagnosed with a death sentence from a disease that she had picked up on an alien planet decades before.
Taking a deep breath, Taliya activated the player in her craft, and her grandmother’s face appeared on the screen.
“Your friend Josul encoded this for me and added something special to the player in your HoverWing. This disc will only play on this device, so Maureena and Aelind have no idea what is on it. I don’t have much time to explain on here – something about the amount of space taken by the encryption. Go to Starborne Fiduciary and tell them who you are, they will be expecting you. I love you, child.”
Taliya was sobbing as the recording finished. She had known. She had to have known that she was dying long before she had announced the diagnosis. And she had taken steps to arrange something for her, something that she didn’t want Maureena and Aelind to know about in any detail.
Slowly she regained her composure but remained sitting in the HoverWing, too worn out on too many levels to do more than stare blindly at the controls. She wanted to run back to Belyn, to tell him what was going on, and to hide in his tissue-laden guest room for the rest of her life.
She sighed and shook it off, reaching to start the craft: she might as well get it all over and done with so she knew where she stood, and once it was all out of the way she would have the afternoon free to get in touch with her father and talk to him. She wasn’t entirely sure what sort of reception she would get from him but she was relatively certain that if Maureena tried to find her for any reason that would be the last place she would look.
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