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A Mother's Love

Chapter Text


 27 April 5115

ISS Tintagel (Farpoint Station), Imperial Space


Imperial Space Station Tintagel – more popularly known as Farpoint Station – resembled a steel spider’s web that connected different sized sections, hanging against the backdrop of one of the Milky Way’s spiral arms, the light of millions of stars glittering along its silvery length and flashing on the myriad windows that dotted its surface.  It was large, and yet its spindly nature fooled the eye into thinking it was much smaller than it really was, and much more delicate.

It was one of the oldest space stations, having been built almost 2000 years ago; if Anwyn wasn’t pulling her leg – and there really wasn’t a reason why she should – then her son, Arthur, had been conceived on Farpoint.  It had explained that nostalgic expression that Samara had seen when Anwyn had first mentioned it, and it made her wonder just what had happened to Arthur’s father.  According to Anwyn, she didn’t know, having left the station before she’d even known she was pregnant.

Samara had never seen Farpoint, having never come out in this direction before.  Yes, she’d studied offworld but Maker’s World had been her home and she’s never thought to leave it.  Compared to Franklin, who’d come out to the fringes from galaxy centre, she might have been a bit parochial, but she hadn’t really cared all that much; she’d had her family and the thought of leaving had never even entered her mind.

And, after her family had gone, she’d stayed because of memories and regret.

Now, looking out at the spinning space station, she was once again glad that Ianto and Anwyn had come for her.  Seeing Jack was her primary goal, but now she was a witness to just how large and wonderful the Empire could be, and she wouldn’t have missed it for anything.

Tintagel Control,” Anwyn spoke over the comms, “this is Serpent’s Tooth, Earth registry TWV395, requesting permission to dock.”

“Permission granted, Serpent’s Tooth,” came the reply.  Control gave Anwyn the coordinates to an available docking port.

She expertly piloted the ship around the space station, dodging smaller satellites and other ships as she maneuvered them on their way to their destination.  Samara watched out of the cockpit window, feeling suddenly humbled by the immense construction outside, and she couldn’t help the awe that she just knew was on her face.

Their docking area was an extended gangway thrust out into space, and Anwyn steadily guided them in to dock.  There was a soft thump through the ship as it touched, and the unmistakable sound of pressurisation hissing as the airlocks engaged.  “I contacted Clint last night,” she said, climbing from the pilot’s seat and making her way through toward the airlock, Samara and Ianto right behind her, “and he said he’d meet us at the Halcyon Stars on the Promenade.”

Samara didn’t know what the Halcyon Stars was, but she figured she’d discover soon enough.

On their way to the lock, Anwyn stopped at a small cabinet near the ship’s hatch and removed her gun and holster from it, strapping it on and then checking the charge.  Samara wondered just how dangerous it was on the space station that Anwyn would want to be armed.

Ianto, however, was not, which didn’t exactly make her feel any safer.

She thought about her ancient plasma rifle, packed among the belongings she’d brought with her, and wished she had its comforting weight in her hands at that moment.

Anwyn charged the airlock and then they were stepping into the gangway.  It was cold, and Samara shivered in her flowing blouse and trousers, pulling the brightly coloured shawl about her shoulders.  She’d made it herself, one winter when boredom had had her researching projects she could do while cooped up within her tiny flat.  She’d discovered the joys of knitting that year, and she’d moved to making small things for her neighbours and for herself, and the shawl had been the first thing that had come from her hands and needles. 

She still knitted, and had made certain that her yarns and needles were brought with her.  She’d already started a scarf for Ianto, one that was close to the shades of the one that he’d worn that day when he’d stepped onto her boat.  She also planned on knitting a matching one for Jamys, and hoped to have them both done by the time they’d gotten to Earth.  And, once she had the proper colours for all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren she’d have something for each and every one of them.

The gangway led into the space station proper, although Samara was a bit disappointed by the undecorated corridor that lay beyond.  She’d been expecting something…what, she couldn’t have said, but the plain walls weren’t it.

As if sensing it, Anwyn turned and winked at her. “You haven’t seen anything yet, Gran.”

Ianto was smiling. “She’s right. This is just the embarkation area.  Wait until we get into the station proper and you’ll see.”

The corridor went both left and right; Anwyn went right, leading them on past several other airlocks, some of them open.  They were greeted a couple of times by beings coming to and from their ships, and Anwyn always nodded and smiled in return.  Ianto did as well, but his expression wasn’t nearly as large or effusive as his daughter’s.  This was something Samara had noticed about him; he was quieter and calmer than Anwyn was, and she had to wonder if Anwyn had gotten her personality from Jack.  If so, he’d changed quite a lot from the last time she’d seen him, but then she hadn’t really been paying attention to him.  It was yet another mistake she needed to make up for.

The corridor opened up into a nexus of half a dozen other hallways, exiting at a bank of three lifts.  Three red lines decorated the walls and the lift doors, and Anwyn explained that this meant they were in section Red Three of the base, for easy location of their ship. 

The lift moved upward smoothly.  The farther they rose from the dock, the more nervous Samara became.  She was about to meet more of her family, and she really wanted to make a good impression.  From what Anwyn had said, she would be meeting at least Clint and Rowena, and Rowena’s mate, Henry, and while she’d heard all about them – including Henry’s unfortunate form of immortality, which apparently the entire family felt was funny – they really didn’t know anything about her besides what Jack would have told them.  Her son’s last memories of her had been bad ones, and Samara couldn’t help but be worried. 

The lift actually changed directions twice, but eventually brought them to a halt.  The doors slid open, and Samara suddenly suffered the biggest case of culture shock ever.

Where the lift let them out was an enormous space, arcing over their heads in a dome.  It was multi-storeyed, with clear windows along the uppermost balcony that let in the light of the Milky Way to illuminate the area.  Lights were also at the individual kiosks and businesses that filled the space, voices calling out as wares were hawked, all in the Galactic Standard, accents of the various races almost like a strange form of music.  

And they were all aliens.

Samara had gone to a university offworld, but it hadn’t been this…cosmopolitan.  It had been a small campus with mostly humans, and only a few races that had been unfamiliar to her at that time.  Samara had considered herself inured to different races simply because of her education, but this…this was completely different from anything she’d ever thought she’d experience.

She had no idea how long she stood there, stunned into immobility, but she was pulled from her shock by an arm threading through hers.  Samara turned to look at Ianto, who was smiling at her encouragingly.  “This is Farpoint’s Promenade, where most of the races that come through the station meet to do business, or even if they’re simply visiting.  You can also buy pretty much anything you’re looking for here, and if it’s not here then it can be gotten.”

“And yet you came to Boeshane to get reef stones?” she asked incredulously.

The dragon shrugged.  “It was something I wanted to get from the source.  Besides, it was worth it.” He gave her a sunny smile, and Samara couldn’t help but return it.

Together the three of them entered into the ebb and flow of life that made up the populace of the Promenade.  Despite not having seen any of these beings in person before, Samara could identify most of them from her studies, and she found herself getting excited at finally being in the presence of so many of them.  The scientist inside was gleefully cataloguing each and every race, matching them to the impressions she’d carried about in her mind. 

There were a couple she didn’t recognise, and Anwyn was glad to answer her questions.  Samara was impressed by her knowledge, and the Star Dragon simply shrugged, saying that she’d travelled the Twelve Galaxies for centuries, and she’d come across many more than was there at Tintagel

Samara wished she could have travelled as much.

The variety of goods and services on display was almost dizzying.  Samara wanted to stop and browse through it all, especially the booth that had all different colours and types of yarn.  She actually pulled Ianto toward the open booth, her hands itching to touch the soft-looking strands and wanting nothing more than to buy out the entire stock.

She ended up with several skeins of the softest wool yarn she’d ever felt, in various shades of green and blue, along with purple, silver, red, and black.  Samara knew she’d have a lot of work ahead of her if she was going to be making crafts for her new family.  

Anwyn arranged to have it all delivered to her ship, even giving the trader a healthy tip after Samara had paid.  It occurred to her that the money she was using was what Ianto had paid to be taken out to the reefs, and felt that was oddly appropriate.

“We should get going,” Ianto said after her transaction was complete, “they’ll be expecting us at the Halcyon Stars.”