Far From Home pt. III

BellaCielo's avatar
By BellaCielo   |   
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"Mom was proud of me, but I told her not to be. Nothing that happened there was of any importance, the story probably wouldn't even leave the room…I suppose I just proved myself wrong?" VMS hadn't thought about that day in years and the feelings this particular memory returned to her were a bittersweet mix. She was thoroughly nostalgic at this point and couldn't help but feel a yearning for those simpler days, but took care to not forget the worse parts or tell herself it was better than it actually was.

Whistler nodded, "that was such an interesting story, VMS-san! I haven't met many OS-tans of your…" she seemed to be going for the word 'age', but stopped herself, "experience before. If you don't mind me asking, whatever became of them -- the friends and family you had at DEC?"

Snapped from her contemplation, VMS looked up from her now-empty cup. "We went our separate ways after the breakup in 1998, most of them retired to cozy hobbyist communities to live out their lives in relative peace." Not me though, she though bleakly,  I'll retire once I'm in the ground.

"So you never saw them again? After 1998?"

"We visit on occasion, but no, I can't say we keep particularly in touch." A prickling sense of regret crept into her conscience every time she thought about it … the breakup had been both a blessing and a curse as far as her relationship with her peers was concerned. VMS had harmed the careers of more than a few of her acquaintances during her meteoric rise to the upper echelons, but there had been no more need for professional rivalries after they were left without professions. Many hatchets were buried in the wake of DEC's destruction, but it would seem all for naught; as they dispersed across the country and eventually the world their friendships, long-standing and burgeoning alike, were strained by time and distance. Some relationships thrived and others perished; unfortunately for VMS, many of her's had taken the latter route. She had met with RSTS last, a little over a year ago, when a transatlantic voyage took her to Sweden; but she hadn't seen the others, her mother and sister included, in several years.

"Makes me think of my family…" VMS worried her mood might be dragging Whistler down when she noticed the tears gathering in the corners of her eyes, "I haven't seen them for years. I know we didn't always get along… but I'd give anything to be able to see them again… to not be alone anymore." She sniffed and dried her eyes, "Sorry I'm so emotional, it's been a pretty rough day."

For a moment, VMS considered the radical thought: telling Whistler that she was her grandmother. It wouldn't be a difficult sell, her likeness to NT and intimate knowledge of the Windows family history would probably be enough to convince Whistler that she wasn't just an opportune impostor. Making up her mind, she tried to pick the best way to explain it; "What if you weren't alone… what if your family was closer than you thought?"

Whistler reacted with a half-curious, half-suspicious expression, but said nothing.

"Your mother lives about an hour north of here, in fact--" Whistler went to speak but VMS held up a hand signaling her silence. She didn't want to lie to her granddaughter in an impromptu Q-and-A session; the fewer questions asked, the better. "I just met with her last week."

"Wait -- you know my mom?"

"Yes, NT and I are old acquaintances. I'm glad to report she's doing well and misses you just as much as you miss her." Jotting down the name and address of her home she handed it to Whistler; "I'm sure she'd love to have you over."

"Oh, VMS-san -- thank you so much!" Jumping up from her chair, she wrapped VMS in a hug, "I wish I could stay and have dinner with you, but I'm just too anxious to get to mom. Besides, I can always eat on the train."

VMS felt a bit disappointed that Whistler was leaving so soon, but understood her reasoning; returning the hug, she bid her good luck and farewell. She could have tried to explain her relationship with NT, but she wasn't the right person to reveal such a staggering secret. That decision could only be made in good conscience by the woman who had borne and raised Whistler, the one who cared more about her well-being than anybody else; NT would know the right thing to do.

Maybe someday she'd join her granddaughter and daughter, but VMS had other plans for the time being. Tenex didn't live far from here; as much as she dreaded the thought of visiting her old rival, she stood as her best hope of finding her own mother and sister.
© 2010 - 2020 BellaCielo
Continuation of The date was February 16, 2018.   A perfectly wonderful day to be alive, VMS mused not altogether sarcastically as she strolled down the crowded sidewalk. This city never was a favorite of her's, but it was a necessary stop on the trip; there was no way she would make it to her destination without stopping here to restock the ship, whose supplies of food, water and other basic necessities were rapidly running out. There was one thing she appreciated here: the wonderfully cold weather, which in turn produced a fresh coat of snowfall that covered and clung to every surface in sight. She had always loved the snow, a fondness she attrib and Whistler lay on the smooth wooden deck of the small yacht, her head stuck down the hatch watching VMS as she stacked boxes. Whistler's incessant stare irritated VMS slightly, but she said nothing to the girl – she was merely curious toward her strange living arrangements.   "Do you really have everything on board?" Whistler asked sheepishly, apparently disbelieving that VMS could actually live on a boat, "Kitchen? Bathroom? Bed?"   "Yes, everything." VMS replied, setting the last box on the sink in the tiny galley before turning to ascend the ladder. "Sorry about the hold up," she added, "we'll be going right now." &n

We return to the present day (2018), VMS-tan briefly considers spilling the beans to Whistler about her relationship to NT-tan (Whistler's mother/VMS-tan's daughter-clone-thing), but decides it's better just to point her in the direction of NT-tan and let her do any explaining. If she sees fit.

An open door at the end there, in case I ever want to write a story about VMS-tan's awkward meeting with longtime rival TENEX-tan. I don't, BTW.

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NejinOniwa's avatar
Never say never, you... -w-

While a somewhat abrupt "end", I feel quite drawn to the character portrayals - the only peeve I still have left (from what I wrote to P1) is the somewhat lacking descriptive factor, but you've clearly shown your proficiency with it during the second part. The dialogue-only feeling does leave something to wish for - what I'm missing the most is observation of body language and other important factors that weigh in during all sorts of scenes. Granted, this part isn't very heavy on it, and I know it's less of a pain to stick to the dialogue and skip out on as much frills as one can manage; it does, however, remove some of the feeling of the work. And after all, frilly is good as well. _W_

In any case, very nicely done - the dialogue-heavy style you use here is often hard to make good of, and while there are some kinks to be straightened out you certainly hold your own with it. And while I'm at it, I'd very much like to see a continuation of this, perhaps in the direction of moar sap with NT and Whistler's meeting.