Blue ball #29 "Traditions and other Good Things"


[Somewhere on the New England shoreline]

Kitty pulled the ground vehicle back into it's special space at her grandparents' house and climbed out, her arms full of bags. She hurried up the outside stone steps, past a few garden spots that her grandmother had dug out of the rock face into which their home had been built, and entered through the kitchen door. "I'm home!" she called brightly, and her grandmother answered her faintly from the lab, on the other side of the circular living room. The house was completely silent for a moment, then a familiar sound drifted through the entire building... a whale call. Kitty closed her eyes and listened, then picked up her bags again and hurried to stow them in her room. She peeked into the lab. "It's a love song," she told her grandmother, who was sitting at one of several consoles. "But the grammar is a little different. Did you write it?" The old woman chuckled cheerily, looking up at her granddaughter. "Yes, I did, for your grandfather. Do you think he'll like it?" Kitty smiled and nodded. "He'll love it, Grandma." Her voice caught a little. "Where is he now?" "He's checking a buoy that stopped transmitting information. He's out with the crew. They went out to retrieve it. They'll be back to the marina soon enough. The wind is picking up. I think a storm is blowing in. Oh, Kitty! You look lovely!" Her grandmother finally turned around in her chair. "I couldn't quite decide what to do. I wanted something different, but I didn't want to lose the length." Kitty twirled to show off. "So the hairdresser cut bangs shaped around my face and then layered the back a little bit so that I can still put it up. I just... well... it was time to try." "And impress that young man whose picture you showed me," her grandmother replied sagely, shutting down the terminal and wandering out of the lab into the living room. "Let me get some cookies. I can tell something is on your mind."

The sky had turned coldly grey by the time the two women were settled on the couch in the living area, with a plateful of cookies and two glasses of milk. "Now what's bothering you?" the older one asked kindly. "Grandpa isn't racing this year," Kitty said bluntly, getting right to the point. "There's Always been a Black registered in the race, Grandma." Her grandmother sighed softly, as if she had already guessed this could be a problem. "Hon... all good things, someday, come to an end," she said gently. "Yeah, that's what Grandpa said," Kitty replied, worried. "But if he's getting old, and you're getting old..." Her grandmother smiled. "I know what's bothering you now, sweetheart. We're not that old. We're still working, aren't we? You'll going to have us here for a long, long time yet. He's giving up a couple of the most strenuous work he used to do, and racing is for kids. Usually by now..." Her voice trailed off as she realized it would be imprudent to finish the sentence. But Kitty had already figured it out. "By now, he'd have handed off the job.. to the next Black in line. Me. But I'm in Starfleet... I left, just like my father did."

Her grandmother shook her head. "No, Kitty. We don't see it that way, and neither should you. You're living your dream! You're doing incredible things. And you visit every chance you get. We haven't been abandoned. Hon, things change over time. That's natural. You used to be a baby... And now you've got a boyfriend." Kitty blushed. "Oh, I wouldn't say Boyfriend," she said, heartily embarrassed. "I mean, it had barely been a day before we stopped here, and..." "And he's cute, and you went looking for a new hairstyle to impress him," her grandmother answered, chuckling merrily. "Kitty... Live your life. Tend your engines, go date, be happy. Don't worry about a single sailboat race way over here."

But Kitty had already made up her mind, though she said no more about it. When she got back, she would ask her captain if she could have vacation time in a few months, just long enough to sail in the race. And if she couldn't handle the boat herself, she'd just... well... find out if anyone in the crew knew how to sail. She'd ask if anyone wanted to learn. She knew who she'd ask first.


Causing trouble again:

Lt. j.g. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer, USS Pegasus