Universes Interlude

Admiral Vida Serrano and Lady Cecelia, sitting in one of the booths facing Universes wide starfield windows, are almost finished with their exchange of family news.   Cecelia would very much like to show the Admiral her images of her latest crop of performance foals, but is aware that the Admiral knows little and cares less about horses.  The Admiral, she feels, still thinks horses are a ridiculous occupation for a woman of Cecelia’s age.  There’s a little bustle at the entrance and both look over.

“Who is that?”  Cecelia’s brows have risen.

Vida queries the table.  “Ah.  She’s back again.”


“That Vatta woman.”  Vida does not think much of admirals who were, less than ten years ago, Academy rejects.

“She’d sit a horse well,” Cecelia says.

Vida sighs heavily.  “Do you ever see someone and not think of how they’d look on a horse?”

“Not usually.   But she would–oh, my goodness.”  Cecelia has caught sight of the tall blonde in the perfectly tailored suit following Ky Vatta into the area.  “That must be the cousin.  She is gorgeous.”

Vida cranes her neck to see.  “Quite nice.”  She starts to say something else, but a small rough-coated dog charges in, barking and trailing a leash. Out in the corridor, someone’s running.  Maybe two someones.

The maitre d’  tries to intercept the dog, but misses, and it leaps up and down on the blonde, yapping away.  “Madam!  No pets allowed here!”

“He’s not a pet.  He’s a character.”  That from an out-of-breath young man, perhaps eighteen or nineteen, with tousled brown hair.   “I have his contract here.”  And to the dog, “DOWN, Rascal!”

“He WAS a character; now he’s just an unnecessary intrusion.”  Ky shakes her head as the dog bounces off her legs, ignoring Toby’s command.

“I have the contract.”  Toby pulls out a crumpled piece of paper.  “Right here.  Signed by the author.”

“Oh, the author!” says everyone in the room, including those who simply appear out of the air for their line and then disappear again.

“Not in this book,” Stella says.  “For goodness sake, Toby, hang on to his leash and make him behave.  Is the author really bringing him back?  And why?”

“I don’t know, but she asked me how he was doing, and listened to me telling her all about things he’s done.  He’s been to a farm; he hunts rats; they still send someone to collect from him–”

Stella and Ky look at each other.  “Oh, well.  The author.”  They look around, notice Vida and Cecelia, who raise a glass to them.

“She’s a little crazy, you know,”  Vida calls out.  “Almost as nuts about horses as Cecelia here.”


9 thoughts on “Universes Interlude

  1. I was expecting a meeting of the aunts, which I’ve been thinking for a while would be fun. But this was great too.

    1. Cindy: Well, you had two of them. Both the others are busy with their own stuff and wouldn’t come out to play when invited. I was thinking of having them all, but when they don’t want to come, they won’t.

      I would love to get the aunts from both series into the same room…who would Grace Vatta get along with? Vida Serrano, probably; they might both roll their eyes at Cecelia and her horses. Helen Stamarkos Vatta is a sort of junior aunt, at this point; I expect the others would talk around her. I have aunts for Heris and other Serranos, Brun Meager, Ronnie and his wife, Ky and other Vattas, but no aunt for Esmay. Her uncle’s wife just kind of faded into the background, and the important senior woman was her great-grandmother, the Landbride. Rafe doesn’t have an aunt, MacRobert doesn’t have an aunt (living, anyway) and I have no idea what MSgt Pitt has, other than a teenage daughter. The Familias universe is richer in remarkable old aunts than the Vatta universe…so far. Grace has dominated a lot. And both are short of remarkable uncles, though both have some really good fathers.

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