20 years passed from the “First Contact” with the Malstari for Terra. The ship landed roughly four hours after jumping through HyperSpace and into the area above Terra. Many feared, for weeks, that the Malstari would follow suit. Actions were taken and the Admiral running the ship was dismissed, and the entire Terra Legacy was decommissioned. LTJG Rockett was promoted to LT and eventually to LTCDR and both he and his crew were transferred, along with all other pilots who had been on that mission, to the new ship, the _____________, flown under command of Admiral Kenzy.
When Rocketts son was born 8 years later he took the option to retire and go into the reserve pilot program. He still trained three days a week with Goldwing and the crew, but was no longer required to go off planet on missions unless they chose to. His crew took the opportunity to settle down and start making World bound families as well. All kept exceptionally close, especially after all they had been through together. It was common enough, the teams eventually evolving into families that almost never had “blood” ties, but they were families non the less.
“Thomas, tell me I’m not seeing you climbing over the fence again.” Rockett said to his son who was mid way through hoisting a leg over the thick brick fence that surrounded their property. The boy, all of 16 years grumbled audibly before defiantly climbing all the way up to sit on the top, only to turn around and hop down next to his father. “It’s easier. Direct line from point A to B.” It was logical thinking and not even Rockett could disagree with. What he could disagree with was setting a not great example for his young daughter Katarina who was playing in the yard. The girl was headed straight for being marked as a strategist. There wasn’t a puzzle she couldn’t solve, and quickly, a book she didn’t devour long before her age group should be able to, and was constantly pointing out the illogical fallacies in adult conversations. Something that made her both a joy and aggravation to be around at times.
“I can’t fault that. We can’t have Katarina climbing up there yet. She doesn’t know how to land.” Rockett tried to suggest to his son who had already stuffed his hands in his pockets. Meaning there was only a 50% chance that the lad was actually listening to anything he had to say.
At the mention of her voice, Katarina popped her head up from the “castle” she had started to set up in the yard, made out of a random smattering of toys, and other found objects. At the wise age of 8 she had already surpassed any of the schooling she had gotten at normal schools and was not yet allowed into an Academy and had the unfortunate status of needing to wait 4 years before she would be eligible to undergo the Adept test. In the meantime it left both Rockett and his wife Dastre, the pilot to the Sunspath, scrambling for enough material to give her access to. Eventually they both gave in and got her her own computer. Allowing her to access any information that wasn’t government protected or otherwise would be harmful to her. Mostly for the other parties safety. She grasped things all too easily and having too much information on certain topics could prove disastrous.
As a Strategist specialist she saw the most options and opportunities to strike, something that the 8 year old used often enough on her older brother. There wasn’t a prank that the Feeler could utilize on his baby sister that she didn’t figure out before the trap was sprung. The other could not be said in reverse. As Thomas grew older and started to get out of the house more, he was more often found at the SimBay.
The Simbay was a gaming house that the Academy utilized. While the kids didn’t yet have access to their own materials to build suits, until they were of legal age, it did give them the opportunities to fly simulators. He and two of his friends had become the top in the region and were often going on tournaments during the off seasons of their schooling to compete with other kids. They’d even made it to the international games not a couple of months back.
Reflecting on all of this as Rockett approached his home made his heart swell. He turned to his son, “Get out of here, just use the gate eh?” He said with a large smile on his face and mockingly cuffed his son on his shoulder. “Dastre will likely want you back before lights out.”
“Daaaaaaaaad,” his son chided before straightening his jacket with mock offense and turning heel, waving over his shoulder, “yah yah, I’ll be back. The Malstari aren’t coming back dad. It’s been my entire life and then some years.”
Even hearing the name of those blasted aliens still made the hair on the back of his neck stand up immediately and all of his senses go on alert. It had been too long. The Pilot thought to himself.
“DAD!” Katarina shouted running over and into her fathers arms. The man scooped her up and onto his hip and proceeded to head for the door again, “Nope. Gotta look at my castle first. I just got done installing the extra sensor rays on the rampart guns.”
“Oh did you now?” He asked his daughter who pushed back a bit to be let down and ran off towards her castle. “Yup!”
Rockett was delayed another 10 minutes getting in the door from the full explanation of the rampart guns and couldn’t have been happier to listen. Though it did leave him once again seriously thinking on what they could possibly do over the next four years to keep the girl entertained. Would it be unethical to take her down to the flight bay and have her start learning about the mechs now? Better yet, could he get away with it? He’d have to reach out to Ruffkin. The man was running the entire station these days, and was also still a very close family member.