From Darkness A Bright Future...
Posted on Sat Aug 10th, 2019 @ 12:02pm by Cadet Freshman Grade Ludmilla Brett
Mission 2: Heaven On Earth
Location: Milla's Cabin
“I’m sorry, Milla”, Jessica said. “I couldn’t be the life of the party that you wanted me to be. The truth is, I’m just not that comfortable with so many people around me, unless I’ve got a job to do which I can focus on.” She walked home with her, hoping Milla wasn’t too frustrated with her.
“It’s okay, sweetheart.” Milla reassured her, leaning her head against the taller woman’s shoulder, “We can have a good time by ourselves.”
“Certainly means that I’d feel much more at ease”, Jessica admitted. “I know, that’s no state to be in. I have to build confidence. I’m just not sure how.”
“Slowly.” Milla replied with genuine understanding, “I probably shouldn’t have expected as much from you as I did, that’s on me. But at least we still managed to have a good time and Blueberry had a great first birthday.”
“You’re not upset she overshadowed yours?” Jessica asked.
“Hell no!” Milla laughed, “Why would I be? This was her first birthday, you never get another first. Besides, my little Blueberry deserved to have the best first birthday ever. It made me feel good to see her get it.”
“I certainly don’t remember mine”, Jessica admitted. “And there are no recordings. Tayalas can watch herself when she grows up. She’ll be so happy.” Little did Jessica know that people usually hated images of themselves at that age.
“I hope so.” Milla laughed, “So I was a huge mess as a one year old. I mean, I stuck my face in the cake and everything. Mama has images, you can’t tell where the cake ends and Milla begins.” For years she had hated those pictures, but now seeing the event of a first birthday through Tayalas, she’d found a new love for them.”
“You do like to play with food, don’t you?” Jessica laughed. Until recently, she’d never have even thought about that. But she couldn’t blame people who grew up with replicators. It just wasn’t the same.
“Well, when you’re one, sure.” She giggled, “Though I didn’t know about calories and fat and carbs then. If I had the pictures would’ve been really boring.”
When they arrived at the door, Jessica said. “Well, if you invite me inside, I’ve got a little surprise for you that’s food-related.”
“You’re always welcome.” Milla answered, thumbing the door open and standing aside for Jessica to enter.
Walking in, there was a package waiting on the table. She had deposited earlier with the help of Estelle, who had an access code to all cabins. Inside were fried shrimp, which she had found out were one of Milla’s favourites, in an insulated pot so they remained warm and fresh and good to eat.
The smell of the shrimp hit Milla’s olfactory almost as soon as she entered the room, drawing her to the package, “This from you?”
“Yes, sent up from Earth this morning”, Jessica smiled. “I did a little digging, asked a few people.”
“Oh my God, thank you!” Milla replied sweetly, almost sing song, as she took a shrimp and crunched into it, “Oh, that is so good! Jess, you’ve got to try this!” She took out a shrimp and offered it to Jessica.
“I’m glad I got enough for two”, Jessica took one. It was good. Nowhere near orgasmic, but good. Definitely worth it. “Oh, and it’s goddess.” Milla being happy gave her the confidence for this joke.
“Yes, you are.” Milla joked back, leaning over and kissing Jessica’s cheek, gently stroking her shoulder, “Glad we met.”
“So am I” Jessica agreed. She was still undecided what to do. Anje’s recommendation was probably the best way to go. Despite what others might say, Anje still had a better record for situations like these. But now, she put her arm around Milla and hugged her. That couldn’t be wrong, could it?
“So, you want to help me eat these, maybe we can watch a movie?” Milla offered, she didn’t know what kind of movie to show Jessica, not wanting to trigger any old traumas, but she did have an idea...
“I’d love that”, Jessica agreed immediately. She walked to the replicator and started getting the ingredients for cocktails they could enjoy while watching.
“Tell me, how do you feel about animation?” Milla asked, she’d just dropped her hand on her favorite animated movie of all time, My Neighbor Totoro, and loved the idea of sharing it with Jessica.
“Are you saying I’m not animated enough?” Jessica teased.
“You’re just right.” Milla giggled, seeing that the lessening of the population did make things easier for Jessica, “I was actually talking about animated movies though. Thought we might plug in one of my favorites of all time.”
“Let’s do that”, Jessica said, moving over to the table with her tray. “I’ve never seen a film, ever.”
“Well, let’s have a look at a sweet film, something very cute and fun, that I’ve always loved.” Milla reached onto the shelf and found her holo-disk of ‘My Neighbor Totoro.’ The box was well worn with age and if one looked closely you could see the remains of the gift tag reading, ‘To Milla, love Anje.’ “I really hope you like it.”
“You’re sharing a piece of your childhood with me?” Jessica asked. “That alone is reason to like.” She started mixing the drinks.
Milla got comfortable, setting the shrimp down between where she and Jessica would sit and waiting for her date’s arrival to press start, “You’ll love this movie, I think.” She said, “There’s a giant cat…”
Almost as if on command Anje’s cat, Georgi, walked up and meowed loudly.
“Not you, Georgi.” Milla giggled, “One even bigger.” ~Kind of impressive actually since Georgi weighs about twenty pounds.~
Jessica sat down and handed Milla one of the drinks. Since they were docked, she hadn’t gone with the synthehol variety this time. “I like cats, they taste good.” She grinned. “No worries, your pet is safe.”
“Georgi actually belongs to Anje.” Milla smiled, “Though he came from me. I found him right before she went to Bozeman-A after graduation, he was the only survivor of his litter, I had to bottle feed him for weeks before he was good to go. He’s gone everywhere with her since.”
“So you didn’t feed him to this size for food?” Jessica smirked.
Milla stopped for a second and gave her date a strange look, which Georgi shared, “You’re not serious, I know, but you sound like this has, you know, happened to you or something…”
Jessica nodded. “Sure, good source of protein.” She looked at Milla and frowned. “You’re saying you’re okay with slug-o-cola and tube grubs, but disgusted at eating pussy?”
“Well, this kind, yes.” Milla giggled a little, then turned serious, “Though I can’t imagine the kind of desperation that leads someone to eat their pets…”
“We didn’t think of them as pets”, Jessica said. “Farm animals. You know, when you haven’t got replicators and abundance of energy, you turn to eating real animals. Though, meat was a luxury.”
“You poor baby.” Milla said, her eyes misty as she pulled Jessica close, “You’ll never have to go back to that.”
Jessica smiled and nodded. “I know. Though, those weren’t the bad parts. Those are some of the things I remember fondly because they’re family memories, with my parents and my brothers.” She missed them, had been four years, and now that she had found a better life, she was saddened they would never know.
“Well, let’s focus on making another good memory.” Milla suggested, pressing play and filling the room with a happy Japanese song as an old three wheeled truck zoomed down a country road, two girls in bright dresses in the back as their father rode alongside the moving man in the front: the older sister a short haired brunette, the younger a strawberry blonde with pigtails...
Jessica got comfortable, nibbling on a shrimp and sipping her fruity cocktail, letting the images work their magic. The film told its story, and what might have seemed completely fanciful to people back in the day, having seen and read about the really strange things in space, they didn’t break Jessica’s immersion, and after a time, she stopped noticing it was animated.
Seeing Jessica totally immersed in the film, Milla merely laid her head on the waitress’ shoulder, happily munching on a shrimp as she worked on the cocktail in a moment of complete contentment, Georgi napping at her feet on the other end of the couch.
“I think I know why you like the film”, Jessica said after a while. “Those girls, they’re like you and Anje, in a way. Except taller.”
“You do know Mei is only four, right?” Milla asked, adding, “Though probably still taller than Anje.”
“Don’t tell her I said that”, Jessica asked.
“Oh, she knows.” Milla laughed, “She always knew she was going to be short, why she picked short girls to be her best friends. Short girls who outgrew her anyway…”
“She had a real advantage in operations”, Jessica said. “Makes me wonder why she switched to diplomacy.”
“Probably Auntie Anje’s idea.” Milla shrugged, though even she had no idea how far her Aunt’s power truly stretched, “But Gallia will be good in Ops, Anje will help her when she needs her.”
“Of course, maintaining the family business”, Jessica said. “I should have guessed. Sorry, stupid question.”
“Not at all.” Milla reassured her, placing a comforting hand on Jessica’s shoulder, “It’s a logical question.”
“So I talked to Liorga earlier today”, Jessica said. “She’s agreed to let me into one of her classes so I can learn about damage control.”
“Nice!” Milla said happily, “So you’re wanting to be an engineer?”
“Well, do something useful in a crisis, to begin with”, Jessica said. “Liorga said bartenders are only useful after, not during.”
“Or sometimes before.” Milla giggled, turning serious, “I’m happy for you, very proud of you. You’re really going all in on this new life thing.”
“It’s finally a chance on the kind of life I want to have”, Jessica said. “I’d be stupid if I didn’t take it.”
“Well, I’m glad you are.” Milla nodded, “Also this means we could end up working together.”
“Are you scared yet?” Jessica grinned.
“Nah, Russians don’t scare easy.” She laughed. It was true, it was almost impossible to scare a Russian, it was a big part of the reason they did so much stupid shit, ~Or maybe that’s just my excuse…~
“At least here we won’t run into robbers who are after ill-gotten latinum”, Jessica remarked.
“I still say that latinum was not ill-gotten.” Milla protested, “That was just the fee for being a jackass. I’m sure he owes several others the same fee and is far in arrears, we just collected is all.”
Jessica laughed. “It is true, the other Ferengi I met were nicer than him.”
“He is a turd.” Milla laughed, “He deserved to lose his latinum.”
“And now it’s doing a much better job than before”, Jessica said. “It’s invested in a terraforming company.”
Milla hadn’t expected that, she didn’t know Jessica was the investing type, “I’m impressed.”
“Well, it’s useless lying around, and I wanted it do something that would help people”, Jessica reasoned. “And it’ll be more than it is now, by the time I need it to help whoever we can free from Turkana.”
“See, ill gotten gains from a terrible person used to help good people escape a bad situation.” Milla justified, “Win, win, baby!”
“Yes, you’re right”, Jessica agreed. “But while I’m waiting, I do want to enjoy myself, too. Which I am at the moment, so I’m not complaining.” She just hated having to wait and not be able to do anything to further her cause.
“It’s all going to pay off.” Milla said confidently, ~Auntie’s got something planned, she tends not to lose.~
“Did I mention Liorga allowed me to join her classes?” Jessica said, still excited about that.
“Yes, you did.” Milla giggled, “And I can tell you’re stoked about it. Can’t blame you.”
“Tomorrow”, Jessica grinned, rubbing her hands together gleefully.
“You’re going to be an awesome engineer.” Milla said with pride and confidence.
“Well, damage control technician”, Jessica qualified. “But that’s something, no?”
“That’s one of the most important parts of engineering, Jessica.” Milla reminded her, “And one of the toughest ones to master. So, yeah, that’s very definitely something.”
“I’ll just have to figure out a way to fit a flask with fresh coffee into my tool kit so I can still serve engineers in need with an additional power boost”, Jessica joked.
“See, you’re already multitasking.” Milla laughed, “Liorga’s going to love you.”
“That’s not going to bother Estelle, is it?” Jessica grinned.
“Not that way.” Milla shook her head, continuing to laugh, Jessica was one for the books.