Violence Is a Marker Along the Path to Peace
Location: MIT, Earth
Timeline: October 2370
"They've switched my room assignment," the enigmatic-as-usual yellow-eyed Tandaran approached her at what had quickly became 'their bench' in the courtyard, speaking first in an unusual turn of events while he eased himself into a seated position beside her. In his hands, rather than a textbook, he held a small manila envelope out to her.
She looked up when he approached, becoming more and more familiar and comfortable with his particular emotional presence in her head. She smiled and waved. "Hey you." She looked at the envelope. "What's this?" She took it and started to open it.
He opened it, and slid out the old-fashioned paper form issued to him by the university. It contained his contact information as well as an occupancy clause which, rather than being empty, now had an addition: KATARINA O'HARA. "They put you with me."
She took the letter and read it and a small crease grew in her brow. "Really?" She had a smile teasing at her lips, but she wasn't sure if this was a good or bad thing. She didn't do well with roommates and she could only imagine that bunking with a 16 year old might 'cramp his style' as it were. "And you're--ok with that?"
Of anyone to not have a style to cramp, Jack was it. His singular friend, a guy Kat vaguely knew of as Farrell, constantly ribbed him about his lack of social engagement and his brusque temperament. More than once Kat had seen him turn down invites to parties, and on the rare occasion when someone would get up the nerve to ask him out (a coffee here or there, an exchange of numbers-clearly orchestrated by Farrell), they too received a polite negation. "Yeah," he nodded. "Cleared out some space."
She handed the letter back to him with a soft smile. "Well, alright then. I don't have much. I'll umm--" Her smile grew a little. Jack was her friend and maybe this meant she might have a roommate who sticks around for more than a couple weeks. He'll he was already used to her study schedule. "I'll bring my stuff by later."
"Got a car?"
She shook her head in the negative.
"Put your stuff in mine. I'll drive it over."
She nodded, smiling. "Ok. Thank you. It's not that much, like I said."
"Good. It'll fit."
That's what she said. >.> Kat beamed and nodded. "Yeah. I should go pack!"
"I'll meet you at our-at my place in an hour?"
Jack gave her a faint, though brief smile in return.
She nodded. "Uh. What kind of car do you have and where are you parked?" He offered to drive her stuff after all.
"Helios 780, number 67." He pointed at a sleek red aircar at the end of the parkade.
She repeated the numbers once before nodding. "Got. I'll meet you back here once I'm done packing up."
A little after her classes had ended, he rolled up to her old dorm!
She was already waiting at the stoop with a couple smallish boxes and her large, military standard duffel. She had a fabric brace on her knee which she hadn't been wearing that morning. "Hi!" She waved as she stood up and shouldered her duffel.
Jack glanced at her knee. "You're injured."
She reached down self consciously to rub at her knee a little and shook her head. "Old injury just flared up a little while I was packing." She shrugged. "Multiple trips up and down the stairs didn't agree with me, but I'm fine. Think you can--help me with this?" She indicated the last box on the ground by the steps.
Jack easily picked it up, and held out his hand for her duffel bag.
"Yeah, I'll get the rest."
She shrugged but didn't hand it over. "There is no rest. This is it." She gave him a smile and nodded her head toward the car.
And that was it. They loaded up and drove over! A new start. A fresh beginning. With someone who would become her mentor, her teacher, and then someone who would eventually fade into the distance as she came into her own. As Lilith came, he backed away, allowing her to blossom into the person she would become. A silent ghost.