[Prologue] A frustrating farewell

Recommended Posts

Shobuda entered the building slowly, brushing past the creepers and vines near the garden entrance. "Otousama," he called. "Otousama, are you at home?"


"Yes," came the reply, "I am over here, tending to the anthynia. I found some kuwagata larvae destroying the roots, and I..." The older man broke off as he stood and saw the young officer before him. "Why, Shobu-kun, have you been promoted?"


Shobuda beamed. "Yes, father. I am a captain now." The older man smiled as the young man continued, "and we are going back! At long last!"

The older man's smile faded instantly. "Going back? But...why? W-w-when?"


"Reports have come in saying the zone is safe. Our departure date has not been announced, but Octan is already preparing. Our forces have been commanded to be ready at a moment's notice. Your presence in Kawashita's science branch would mean much toward discovering new species and..." He trailed off, as the older man turned away wordlessly, squatting to perch himself at the edge of the small fountain in the center of the greenhouse.


"Are you not proud?" Shobuda asked.

"I am proud, but my pride is overshadowed by worry."

"You need not worry! The Kawashita High Command has assured us..."

"And that is my worry!" The younger man stood in surprised silence, interrupted only when the older man asked, "for what noble deed did they advance your rank, musuko? For bravery and honor in conflict and battle?"

"...Yes," Shobuda started, beaming again despite himself.

"What conflict? What battle?" Came the retort. His question answered by his son's resumed silence, the old man continued. "There has been no conflict since the Gates were locked, and armed competition has been outlawed in this solar system. Why reward you now when the conflict has been over for months?"

Again, the younger man remained silent, his proud grin becoming replaced with an angry scowl.

"I presume many of your compatriots have also been promoted?" Shobuda gave a sharp nod. "The danger is real my son. Not danger of war, of sabotage, or of any human creation, but of greed. I believe you worthy of your promotion, Shobu-kun, but I do not believe your superiors would grant it to you upon merit. I see that they would rather buy your allegiance, that they may use you to enrich themselves."


Incensed, Shobuda stood unflinching. His father slowly turned to face him, and when their eyes met, Shobuda could take it no longer.

"You are an old man, and know nothing!" he cried. "The world has changed much since your time! You will sit idly by and watch, with your old ways, while I will inherit a new future!"

"My son, please reconsider..."

"No. I am going. I will prove myself and you will see! You stay here and waste away, I have worlds and riches before me!"


Cursing under his breath, Shobuda turned and stormed out through the arbor. The older man sat silently, sadly, for several minutes.

When he came to himself, he stood up wearily and returned to his work, collecting the kuwagata grubs in a basket. He had a game of Go in the afternoon, against an old ex-marine friend from Mantis. He would be delighted at the gift.


C&C always welcome. Here are a few fig-less shots:




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovely atmospheric build. Well written story too. I just hope this doesn't mean we'll never find out what happened to Farrs... I liked him.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.