I've had the pleasure of writing with a friend recently who has neatly filled a nasty little void I'd had for the past year and some change. She's lovely and she writes me things. Below is something she wrote for these two- a stormtrooper of mine (and brother of Talon's, if he looks familiar) and his adopted daughter.
Some other mentioned characters - Jaspar, former infiltrator and wife of Tarick, a rather patriotic Cadian and acolyte for a rather chill Ordos Xenos Inquisitor. Jaspar usually gets stuck behind with the youth of the cabal when they're out doing their thing. Spires is Regis's Fenksworld native and IG partner, Tarick is Regis's chubby-butt brother.
Now enjoy her delicious writing, as I so often dooo.
Jaspar frowned to herself as she made her way through the halls of the mansion, peeking down side-corridors and into hidey-holes as she went. She knew the girl couldn’t get anywhere that would really be of any danger to her; the labs were locked off, all of the children could swim and the aviary-servitors were set to alert for any signs of distress in the ponds. But it was still worrying that she’d slipped out of their hab in the night without managing to wake any of them. After all, Regis and Spires had left their daughter in Jaspar and Tarick’s care, and if something happened to her - even some freak accident - then the former infiltrator knew she would never be able to forgive herself: she was the light of their lives.
Aegis padded at her side, his blocky, grey-merled head held low as if ashamed for his lapse in letting one of his charges escape his protection. He snuffled at the floor occasionally, trying to give search for signs but the children all capered through the halls so frequently that traces of them overlaid traces, and the ageing hound soon gave up, giving a snorting whff that sounded almost humanly disappointed. She reached down to scruff his ears and smiled gently “It’s okay boy, she can’t have gone far…”
As she made her way down into the grand entrance hall, she paused for a second in thought. Tarick had received a vox transmission the night before, letting him know that the troops were on their way back and should be arriving within the next twelve hours. The girls had been in bed when he’d told her, but she wondered if little ears had overheard the adults talking when they should have been asleep…
Taking a smallish side-corridor that led off from the main hall, she made her way down a gently sloping hall toward the shuttle bays. Once she’d gotten the thought in mind, it didn’t take long to track down her quarry, spotting the small, huddled figure cuddled up against the wall across the hall from one of the shuttle bay exits, everpresent stuffed stormtrooper acting as a pillow for her coppery head. Jaspar smiled crookedly as she gave Aegis the hand gesture to sit and tiptoed gently toward the little girl.
Crystal blue eyes blinked sleepily open as the small head lifted from her toy. She raised a hand and rubbed at her eyes with the side of her fist, yawning “‘ntie Jazz?”
“Hey there honey…” Jaspar sat down on the carpet next to her niece and gestured for her to come over into her lap. The girl obliged, shuffling over and climbing into Jaspar’s arms, folding surprisingly delicate and lanky arms and legs in on herself as she nestled into the the slight curve of her Aunt’s newly-pregnant belly “What are you doing down here? You had your Uncle and I worried when we couldn’t find you, you know…”
There was a small noise and a moment of silence before the soft little voice piped up again “M’sorry Auntie Jazz. I… I had a dream that Daddy and Papa was coming home and I wanned to come see them… An I got here an’ I couldn’t see them an’ I din’t wanna miss them… an’ I was sleepy…”
Pushing the silky copper locks away from the girl’s pale face, Jaspar kept her voice light even as a small chill of discomfort trickled down her spine. It was probably a coincidence, she’d most likely overheard Tarick and Jaspar discussing Regis and Spires’ imminent return and in her sleepy state had attributed it to or incorporated it into a dream. That was all. “Well yes, your Daddy and your Papa are coming home, but you didn’t have to come down and wait for them. They’re coming home, so they’d be coming straight to you anyway, and they’re not due in for…”
As she spoke, Jaspar noticed that the indicator runes above the shuttle bay airlock had changed from red to amber, indicating that a shuttle had recently docked and that atmosphere exchange was occurring. She raised an eyebrow and keyed up the house’s automatic systems on the vox, querying what shuttle from what ship had arrived.
++Shuttle designation Triumphant Faithful from the Glory of Cadia completing atmosphere exchange and pressure equalisation++
The Glory was the ship that Tarick had purchased with Elle’s grace after his promotion to full Interrogator. It had been sent out with the troops to intercept an Ork Raider that was making a nuisance of itself around the Fydae system and had recently translated back in-system after the completion of that mission. The ship itself would have continued on to Port Wander with the bulk of the men, though the Lads would have returned immediately back to the Aerie - not least of all because Regis would have been champing at the bit to return to his little princess.
Almost as if summoning the gentle giant of a man, the runes above the airlock door flashed to green. The little girl wriggled from her Aunt’s arms and scrambled gracefully to her feet, clutching her stuffie to her chest as the airlock door slid open. The light from within the airlock momentarily occluded by the armoured form waiting as if he’d been pressed against the door.
Regis didn’t seem at all surprised to see Jaspar or his daughter there. Two swift strides had pulled him out from the airlock and nearly across the hall, where he dropped immediately into a kneel. He reached for his little girl as she stepped up to him and leaned into his embrace, pressing her forehead tightly to his. As the others filtered out behind him in a clatter of armour and weapons he simply smiled, closing his eyes as one armour-clad arm nestled around the tiny form before him.
“Hello Angel…” He rumbled gently “You were good for Auntie Jazz and Uncle Tarick?”
The tiny head nodded “Uh huh…”
“Did you brush your teeth and say your prayers?”
Another small nod and shy little smile “I prayed for you, Papa.”
“That’s my girl.”