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A Girl Named Sandy By Paul Kater Characters: 10936

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04


A baby at the university

Malcolm also sat down and started talking. "What we have recovered from the ship's information, Paul, is that the Old Race sent out ships like this one to over one hundred different places in their known universe. Think of that. More than a hundred planets where they knew of or at least suspected life where they could live too. Now suppose that from half of these one hundred places, ships come back to the home planet. Do you think that all these planets developed English? I mean, look at the earth and how many languages we have. So far we talked to people in fifty or so countries, and some of them don't even speak English."

That awareness cast a whole new light on things for Paul. The implication also carried much further than just the language. "So we need to learn the original language to be able to speak to potential other... uhm... descendants of the Old Race that come back?" Suddenly his skin itched. Suppose that was real. That they would fly to their original home planet and encounter thirty, fifty or even more species. Would they look human or even remotely humanoid?

"I suspect you are thinking in the right direction, " Malcolm remarked. "This is big, Paul. This is what astronomers and many other people in your field are dedicating their life to, and we shall have the opportunity to fly out and see this for ourselves."

"A bit daunting, isn't it?" Paul asked. "We don't know what kind of creatures we're going to meet. I mean, we can't assume that they all retained their original form, can we? Have you found any pictures of how the Old Race looked?"

"No. Unfortunately we haven't. It is as if they deliberately did not add any images. We did find sound-clips on how to pronounce the lettering system and what we suspect to be syllables."

Paul grinned. "So they expect us to learn a completely new language?"

"It appears so, indeed, " Malcolm said. "But I shan't bother you with that now, Paul. Isn't it amazing, all the progress that's been made so far?"

The astrophysicist had to agree. Everything was going very fast all of a sudden. On the way home he wondered about what was yet to come. The way that the exploration of the space ship now went, it would not be surprising if everything was prepared to leave within perhaps a year. And at that point Sandy and he would have to agree on whether to go or to stay here on earth.

That evening Sandy listened to Paul, as he told her what he had seen aboard the space ship. And what he had experienced in the chair. She sat on the settee, snuggled up with Angelo under a thin blanket, her face serious. "I'm glad your brain wasn't fried, Paul, " she said. "I feel troubled though. Troubled that you actually sat in that chair again and let that happen. How much has that changed you?"

"Have you noticed any change in me?" Paul asked. He knew she hadn't, the feelings they shared had already told him that.

"No. But still. Just that you did it. That you took that risk."

"Sandy, please. Samuel has done it and he was the same person afterwards."

"I am not married to Samuel and this is not his son, " Sandy countered. "We're a family, Paul, and I want us to be a happy and healthy family. A family that provides a good and safe place for Ang

fter a quick smile she ended what she was saying and then announced that it was time to take Angelo home. As the girls said good-bye to Angelo, Sandy looked at her husband. 'And you are that to us.' Then she put her son in his carrier and they left the building. As the weather was very nice they walked home. They even allowed themselves a hand-held dinner, buying some food from a stand in the street.

"You are thinking of that ship very often, " Sandy said casually as they walked along.

"I am. Does it bother you?" Paul held out a napkin as Sandy muttered about a splash of ketchup that found its way to her blouse.

"I'm not sure. Damn, that's one for the laundry. This isn't going well..." Sandy sighed as she gave up her cleaning effort, and tried to pull her jacket over the blemish. "I mean, you're still the man I married and I see nothing about you that worries me. And I feel nothing bad either."

"But?" Paul knew that it was coming.

"But there is something different about you. I can't explain it." Sandy shrugged. "Ever since you did that thing with the chair."

They had to wait for a light before they could cross the road, and there were lots of people around them, so they continued their conversation in silence.

'It did something to a part of my brain. The ship did, I mean, not the chair. It opened a part of my being, call it an extra bit of awareness that is amazing.'

'Yes. And the funny thing is - it's green - that you've become even better to Angelo and me than before, ' Sandy replied as they crossed the street. 'It almost makes me want to-' There she stopped, in hesitation.

Paul put a hand on her arm and stopped her from walking on. "I know what you are afraid to say, lovely woman." He wrapped her in his arms. "And believe me, I can only support you in whatever you decide."

Sandy looked into his eyes. "You want me to sit in that chair and do it too."

"What I want, " Paul said as he lifted her from her feet, "is you to be happy." Then he kissed her, and Sandy let him, until they both heard a scream of what could only be delight. Angelo was staring up at his parents and his expression was one of utter joy.

***

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