Galaxy by Acid Paradox
“I’m sorry, young Master Kelp. The Commander is dead.”
You hold his hand. It is still warm. You blink back the tears in your eyes. Violet, like his.
I will make you proud… Father.
You run all the way from the hospital to the Academy.
I will make him proud.
Every hologram is one of the thugs that killed him. You fight on. Everyday, you think of his head, snapped at that angle, the snap of his spine, the knife in his belly.
His life… Decades too short.
He is watching me. I will do him proud.
You clutch the acorn on your lapels. You wish that he was here to see you graduate.
Father…. I wish you could see me here. You would have been proud.
You beam at your mother, and the empty spot beside her. Inwardly, you’re trying not to cry in public.
“I shall be Trouble. Trouble Kelp.”
“He’s dead, Captain Kelp. Captain Short killed him.”
Root… No… Dead….
Holly… Why? Why?
It was like losing Father again.
Another father, dead.
You watch her through the shuttle’s windows. You can’t decide.
Career… or truth?
“I choose Father, and my Commander,” you hear yourself say through clenched teeth.
You feel your fists balling up at your sides. Ark Sool… He could never call him Commander. His Commander will always, always be Commander Julius Root.
“Face it. Miss Short isn’t coming back.”
“Actually, she would come back. You are the one who isn’t coming back.”
She’s going to replace him as Commander of LEP.
Thank you, Vinyayá.
Somewhere inside, you feel that Father and Root had been looking out for you.
This whole mess, the whole Koboi mess, had been resolved. Her past self is back in the past, while her future self is locked up in maximum security. Finally.
You glance at the photograph of him. Root, and your father.
The two fathers whose lives were ended all too soon.
Thank you, Commander.