SPOILERS AHEAD: RIGHTS OF USE
The following content takes place between Rights of Use and Laws Among Friends.
The immediate response to Vinnet Vignette #1 was:
? Nice!— Darren Radford (@InkyD) February 2, 2020
Vinnet is quite compassionate here. Was there ever any disharmony or regret on Vinnet’s part arising from Sarah spoiling her plan?
So, this has momentum and will continue for a bit. It’s also a ton of fun. As always, let me know what you think on Twitter or my Facebook page. (I think my blog comments were getting used as a strategic coded messaging platform, so I shut them all down.)
Disclaimers and Context
Sarah Anderson, 2002
This one might take a while. I might have to do it over more than one sitting, just to get in all the context. ‘Cause, look, Vinnet is good at being a symbiont. She’s been doing this for a really long time, and if I’m being honest, I suspect she’s one of the most sensitive Gertewet.
(She says she’s not, but thanks me for the compliment.)
I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. She’s fantastic. I wouldn’t trade her for anything. I might even do it all over again if I had to, just to make sure I got to keep her. She’s the best thing that ever happened to me.
So, when I say that, yeah, there were some rough moments over me spoiling her mission (maybe spoiling it, technically), don’t think less of her for it. It sunk in for me over time, what we’d done, what could have happened but didn’t.
I mean, think of it: we and ten other host-symbiont pairs could have just ordered the Kemtewet Empire to shut down… Little loss of life. No fuss. Just pull back all the Kemtewet to Sais and shut down the host supply chain.
That could have been it.
Vinnet says it wouldn’t have been that simple. There were dozens of ways it could have gone worse. Or Anjedet’s body double could have just killed us, and we wouldn’t be around to worry about it. And then the Kemtewet would know about Earth, because Maggie hosted one of their queens.
Anyway, here’s how it went down.
The Air Force came up with some thin cover story about where I’d been, with a side of “Oh no, we think your daughter might have adopted some violent tendencies,” because all anyone knew of the Gertewet was just Kitchell, and even Vinnet thinks he’s kinda gruff. Black Book was worried NFI-Com would find out about us and freak out that they’d let me go home. (After spending forever in red tape.)
Mom and Dad blew off Black Book’s warnings, of course, but they also blew off the Air Force’s offer of an “internship” without telling me. That was a wreck.
We’d talked about it before I even left Black Book. Vinnet and I both had to sign nondisclosure agreements and a ton of paperwork, and my parents had to later co-sign, because I was only fourteen then. They couldn’t know about Vinnet or aliens or anything, but the treaty said that Vinnet would be stationed on Earth to help Black Book learn everything out there in the rest of the galaxy.
We couldn’t tell my parents my classified alien symbiont needed to teach the Air Force about flying saucers, so for Vinnet to be the liaison, internship it was.
My dad said no.
He didn’t even talk to me.
My parents screened the calls to the house for months after everything started, so Black Book couldn’t reach me at all.
That did not go over well, especially when Katorin got back with the adjusted agreement from the Gertewet Coordinating Council. She was told she wasn’t allowed to contact her own liaison. I heard she and Major Patrick actually got in a fight over it. I don’t know how the Major won. Neither one would tell me.
(Vinnet thinks Setira isn’t in as good of health as she pretends, but she seems great to me, all in all. I can’t even tell how old she is. Granted, even she might not know. They say you lose track of ages when you’re hopping worlds all the time.)
In the end, Mr. Rockefeller visited my house and asked my parents to let me intern. (That’s when he proposed I attend a boarding school with Maggie, and I’d never heard anything more wonderful in my life.)
(Also, my mom is a news junkie. I thought she was going to swoon over having the Speaker of the House at her house. She did not.)
All that’s to say that it was a really long time before Vinnet and I ever made it back to her base. There were all those hoops to jump through: setting up the internship, getting the paperwork through, convincing the Air Force to let Vinnet and me take a kaxan by ourselves and, no, they couldn’t come with us.
Vinnet said we could take Major Patrick in a fight if we had to. We’d been working out. (Vinnet’s idea.)
So, we didn’t get to report in until spring break. Vinnet had kept her cool all that time, because that’s what she does, but when we got in the kaxan and lifted off, that’s when her cool started to crack.
Previously in Vinnet Vignettes: