In His Image Prologue
Harry was repacking his baggage when he heard his personal comm buzz from its accustomed place on his belt. Dropping the notebook he was holding he reached for it, not bothering to check the frequency to see who was calling. Only two people would be calling him on this device. Either of them were important.
“Hello?” he answered, clamping the comm between his head and shoulder as he continued putting his belongings away.
“Harry! I’ve been trying to call for two days.”
Of the two people it could have been, this was the one he would have picked.
“I’m sorry, Dad. We’re on approach, so we’ve been out of range.”
There was silence, with a hint of crackling static for a moment.
Another bit of static. “How old were you the last time you were there?”
“I don’t remember. I think about thirteen.”
“More than twenty-five years ago.”
Harry let him ponder this while he finished loading his writing implements into the case.
“And I suppose you remember her stories about it?”
Harry nodded, though he knew his father couldn’t see him. “Every detail. I’m going to write it exactly the way she told it. I already finished the first story.”
“Did you send it off yet?”
“No. I’ll have to transcribe it first.” He dialed the security code into his case, then watched as it locked itself. “I met Kerwin on the transport.”
“Really? Kerwin Merritt?”
“Yes sir.” He picked up the case and started out of his cabin. “He filled me in on a few details she didn’t tell me.”
Holding the comm to his ear, he took a quick visual sweep of the cabin before leaving it.
A crackling voice mumbled over the comm and then his father called, “I’ll be there in a moment,” his mouth clearly pulled from the speaker. To Harry, he said, “I’m sorry, Harry, but I have to go.”
“It’s okay. Thanks for calling.”
One more moment of silence, then his warm voice came again. “Harry — you know she’s dead, don’t you?”
Harry closed his eyes and forced the pain under control. “Yes. I know.”
“I just wanted to make sure.”
Despite his best efforts, a tear squeezed out from under his tightly sealed eyelid.
“The explosion killed everyone on board…”
His father’s voice faltered when it came again. “I’m sorry. I just want you to find peace. I hope the writing helps you.”
Harry looked out the window at the horizon the transport was approaching. “It will,” I replied.
“I love you, son.”
“I love you too. I’ll let you know what he says about the manuscript. And I’ll call you when I take off again.”
After the call was finally cut off, he clipped the comm back to his belt, slowly, reluctantly. He kept looking out the window.
“Hello, Kainus Ge,” he said quietly.
He didn’t know how much actual writing time he’d find once they landed. They were only there for a week, and he had a lot of research he wanted to do.
Still, it couldn’t hurt to start replaying her stories in his mind. He remembered how she’d always started.
She’d started the adventure on a transport.
Just as he was.