1 April 5115 (Earth Standard Date)
Boeshane Peninsula, Planet Maker’s World
Samara turned to see Anwyn standing just inside the room, a small, pleasant smile on her face. “Sorry if Tad’s comment shocked you,” she said, taking a step closer. “He doesn’t usually have such a sense of melodrama.” She chuckled. “We normally leave that to Dad.”
She couldn’t help but return the laugh. “I’m not sure I can imagine that level of melodrama!”
She couldn’t help but look at the woman with her, examining her for any outward sign of her race. But no, Anwyn Harkness-Jones resembled a normal human being of about twenty standard years of age, her hair escaping its braid, seemingly capable in a way that made Samara feel strangely safe and endangered at the same time.
Anwyn grinned. “You haven’t met Dad. I sometimes think he and Tad were meant to balance out each other.”
“Are you really…?” She couldn’t say it; she wasn’t sure why. A bit of being star-struck, maybe? It wasn’t every day a person met someone that was practically a legend.
Anwyn nodded. “I’m the one who sort of came up with the name, actually.” She looked vaguely proud and embarrassed in equal measure. “Tad and Dad are our parents.”
Samara frowned. “But I thought your father came from Boeshane?”
“He did. He was born and raised here. But something…happened. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but he’s as long-lived now as the rest of us are.” Anwyn leaned closer, her voice lowering. “You might have heard of the original immortal director of the Torchwood Institute?”
Alright, that was almost as big a surprise as Star Dragons.
Samara’s mouth fell open. “You…are you…?” She couldn’t get anything coherent out. First Star Dragons, and now Torchwood? What had she done to deserve this mess?
“That’s my Dad,” Anwyn went on as if Samara hadn’t said anything. “And my Tad is also called the Torchwood Dragon. They’re…kinda famous, in certain circles.”
‘Kinda’ famous? Was that how Anwyn was putting it?
“I think we’ve overwhelmed our guide,” Jones’ voice said, and there he was, standing beside Anwyn with a serious expression on his face. “Perhaps we could head out, and more conversation later? Let’s give Dr Wells a chance to un-bury herself from the pile of information we just dumped on her?” He turned to regard Samara. “I do apologise for all of that, but you did ask…”
“I did, yes,” she admitted. She had, and she’d been told.
“Come on, Anwyn,” Jones took his daughter by the arm, “I have something to talk to you about.”
She let her father draw her away and back down the steps. “Is this about Phillip’s call…?”
“Yes,” he said, ushering her away. “Your Dad is becoming a mite bit suspicious…”
Their voices faded out as they took the stairs, leaving Samara alone with her thoughts. Her hands moving by rote, she prepared to sail out even has she was completely distracted by what she’s been told, disengaging the landing ramp and taking in the tether.
She let out a deep breath, a grin sliding over her face as it hit her. She was in the presence of beings far greater than she’d ever imagined. A part of her was glad she hadn’t discovered all of this in the negligent background check she’d done. She had no idea what she’d done if she’d known in advance; probably refused the charter out of being star-struck or something equally silly. Samara felt a thrill pass through her, and she had to forcibly bring her attention back to her tasks.
Samara toggled on the radio. “This is the Day Dream, designation SWF391, departing pier 16.”
“SWF391, this is port authority. You are cleared for departure. Safe journey.”
“Thank you, Port Authority.” She flipped the radio off, consulting her charts once more before goosing the engines and steering her boat out past the end of the pier and into the bay.
Despite everything that had happened Samara loved Boeshane. It had been her home for over four decades, ever since she had listened to the siren call to the frontier, for adventure and discovery and the need to explore more than what had been on her own homeworld. It had been a hard life, but this was where she’d met her beloved Franklin, and they’d begun their own family.
Now, that family was gone. She was alone, but in spite of that she still held a fierce affection for the Boeshane Peninsula. It was where she’d found her greatest happiness…and her most terrible sorrow.
Samara sighed, as she pushed the thoughts of her long lost family from her thoughts. It had been so long ago, but the pain of it was still as sharp as a knife in her chest. She had learned to live with it, and seeing how happy Jones and his daughter were had brought it all back. Still, it wasn’t all bad…she had such fond memories of her family during the times they’d been together, and Samara couldn’t help the small smile that the antics of her children had caused, and how it had felt to have Franklin hold her and how they had made love in their bedroom, in their cubicle in the colony block that had been built near the sea.
It was all gone now. Her family…their home…all gone.
Samara missed it horribly.
She expertly piloted her boat out into the bay and past the breakwater and into open sea. It really was going to a beautiful day; the sunlight glittered on the water, mid-sized waves rocking the Day Dream as Samara drove her farther and farther out and toward the reefs where she knew there would be reef stones. It was the same section of reef that she herself had explored; she’d gotten a reef stone there for Franklin once, one that had softly glowed green when he’d held it, the phosphorescence triggered by his body heat.
She couldn’t help but remember his pleased smile.
Once past the breakwater, Samara set the autopilot and made her way down the stairs, in search of her passengers. It would be about a planetary hour before arriving at the coordinates she’d chosen, and her curiosity was itching to ask more questions of her clients.