Have you ever had days where all you want to hear is the classics your mother used to listen to on 45s? Ballroom is great in those quiet lonely moments. I had some saved in Lucy’s memory. She was actually the one who wanted to keep them.
“It’s wasted space Luce,” I argued. “We could probably get more use out of current maps than some stupid music.”
As usual, she was right when she said, “You’ll need them later.” So that was that. She knew I wouldn’t go behind her and do it anyway.
So here I lay, on a rafter in her hangar, listening to I’ll Never Smile Again, letting my mind wander. This body is so overwhelming sometimes with all the chaotic sensory triggered impulses. I have to remember to stop and think.
I’m sure that Lucy warned Ata that I needed some alone time, but he must have conveniently forgot to tell Talix.
At least I can hear him coming now so it wasn’t a surprise to here his low harmonic voice below me. “Are you all right? He asked quietly.
“Yes” One word answers were best when my mind was drifting. I was prone to extreme reactions when I wasn’t careful. Not to mention, I was already in a bad mood.
“You haven’t come and hassled or threatened me in hours.” I could hear the smirk in his tone.
“And?” Did he honestly want me bouncing from the walls in front of him?
When he spoke again a few seconds later, his tone wasn‘t snide like I expected. He was genuinely curious. “What is this, and why are you playing it back over and over again?”
“I don’t understand.”
“Lucy” My lack of patience leaked into my tone.
She explained that my mother used to play it to calm me as a child whenever I was afraid or sad. I thought he was going to ask for more details, but he just wandered away slowly, probably deeply consumed by curiosity, but understanding my need to be alone.
A few minutes passed.
“Kayla?” Lucy asked gently.
“I thought you’d like to know that Ata is looking through your personal historical file for Talix.”
“To find your…”
I sat up and looked down at her. She’s never hesitated. “My what?” I asked purely confused.
“They disconnected the link, but copied the file before I could see what they were searching for.” She sounded more irritated than I felt. “What are they doing?”
I could see this was headed for a fight between her and Ata, and nobody can stand two stubborn A.I.’s not speaking to each other. It’s worse than little children.
“Lucy, I’ve looked into Talix before and you helped me. I’m sure it’s nothing.” Maybe she’d calm down with some sense talked into her.
Instantly my mind was back at one hundred percent. Wait a minute, how am I the level headed one and she has an attitude. What’s going on here?!
“Maybe you should listen to the music,” I suggested, “And I’ll go find out what’s going on.”
I had to search the ship to find Talix. He wasn’t in the control room like usual. I found him in the engine room with a portable display. He was reading in a corner. Hasn’t he heard me come in? I wondered as I moved to the rafters above his head. His display was laid in his lap so I could clearly see it from this angle. It wasn’t what I thought. Just a picture of me on my mom’s knee. I remembered it well. My dad was taking pictures of random moments because they’d just found out she was sick. I hadn’t been told yet. Why is he looking at that? I suddenly thought angrily. It’s just a picture of an ignorant kid and her dying mother! I could feel myself loosing it. The next thought to fly through my head was to rip it away from him and begin the beating. Questions would come later, if he was still alive or conscious. My better judgment kicked in before action was taken, so I slipped as quietly from the room as I could manage.
I went straight back to my perch above Lucy and we listened in silence. The soft horns always made me calm down. I wanted to scream, laugh, cry, and smile all at the same time. My mind was never a reason for this. Oldies was always my drastic measure when I couldn’t handle something exterior. Never inner turmoil.
It’s just today. I kept telling myself. It’s just because Mom died this day. I’ll be fine tomorrow. Somehow, I couldn’t seem to believe my own bullshit, so I just let my mind go blank as the music filled the hangar.