Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lost Convoy, Part XVIII: Kim Jones

The people who had come together at this point would not have considered themselves to be young. Jim Brewer and Clive Lockwood were both in their sixties. Ray Patch was in his thirties, as was Gabriel Martinez. Kim Jones was in her forties. They had seen enough of life as it had been until recently where they were able to say they knew what it was like to adapt, because in one form or another they had been doing it for decades, through the expected changes growing older was supposed to bring, and the ones that weren't as predictable. No one would have said it, but they might even begin to view the destruction of the planet humanity had known as home from its birth was not as different, except by scale, from any other natural disaster.

Kim had lived through disasters of that kind. In her family's past, there had been floods and tornadoes and earthquakes, each of which caused significant damage, and the tales of these experiences had been sewn into the very fabric of its identity. Kim herself had volunteered for relief effort in the aftermaths of hurricanes and wildfires, almost out of a sense of obligation.

It was this sense, the more she enabled herself to draw from it, that gave Kim the strength to overcome her initial reactions to being placed in the very circumstances she had dreaded. What had been worse wasn't the loss of Earth, but her own sense of identity, which had been so important to her throughout her life. But the more time passed aboard that frigate, the more comfortable Kim became. These passengers didn't care who or what she was. Her training was more of an asset than anything, allowing her privileges few others seemed to have considered. She was a real authority for the first time in her life.

As Jim Brewer had been doing, and as apparently Gabriel Martinez as well, Kim had found herself passing some of the time playing around with the instruments, trying to calm what remained of her nerves, not because she expected anything to come of it, but if anyone ought to be investigating what the frigate itself could tell them, could do for them, Kim of all people should be on top of it, not just because she was in effect the only other person besides Ray Patch who could claim special privileges aboard it, but because she was feeling new conviction, determination. She had come this far and she wasn't about to sit idly while they floated toward nowhere.

She knew enough to identify when the satellites had picked something up, and that was all she needed. She fully intended that they would finally get back on track. She hadn't been thinking clearly before. She wasn't pleased that they were having trouble at all, and now she wanted desperately to make sure it didn't happen again.

But of all people to help make that happen, Gabriel Martinez?

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