Jordan Reid sat on the porch of her home overlooking the beauty of the Montana sky, her hands wrapped around the steaming mug of black coffee. It was a mug from the Erigone, her first command. She had crawled out of the wallowing grief that had threatened to drown her and was sitting in the lawn chair, metaphorically drying her heart and soul in the growing sunshine. It had been under a month since the Devore Imperium murdered her boyfriend. She had crawled through the various stages of grief, soaked in emotion and tears. She took another sip and relished the bluntness of the medium roast as it slapped around her palette. Reid leaned back in her chair, closing her eyes. She wasn’t sure how much time had passed before she was gently woken up by the plodding feet of Natalie Harris, which she sleepily greeted with a wave.
“Morning, Jord.” Natalie had her cup of coffee doctored with one sugar and one cream. Reid scrunched up her nose as the young woman took a drink, and the two shared a gentle smile. Jordan was a purist.
“You don’t usually start with coffee. You want something.” Reid groaned as she pushed herself up in her chair and stretched. “What do you want, Nat?”
“I have a mission.” She explained the details as she intermittently downed her coffee. When she finished, she curled up her feed under her, “I talked to McKee on my way over here…she’s a go…but only if you go.” The three women all shared a connection with Ambrose. One was his sister, the other a former coworker, and the other was his love. To Natalie, it sounded like a setup for a joke.
Reid rolled her eyes, “Well if I say no, I’m the jackass.” She stared out over the Big Sky Country. Jordan admitted, “If I’m honest…I’ve missed it.” The doctor pulled the blanket she had tighter, “I looked at the calendar this morning…I met Ambrose on March 20th, a year ago, on the USS Erigone.” She searched the sparse clouds for the memories of their first meeting, “I wasn’t happy about it at first…or even at second…but eventually I figured out I was better off with Ambrose as my CO than anyone else. Even if the Raven was goddamned small.”
Natalie nodded, “They say being on a Raven builds character…or something.” She’d never had the pleasure but had heard plenty.
Jordan thought through the journey from Erigone to Edinburgh to Mackenzie. At each step, she had Ambrose with her to brace against the solar winds of life. That protection had been ripped from her, and she’d been struggling to understand her purpose in life without him. “He captured my everything…I couldn’t imagine a life without him…now I have to start building my life back again.” Natalie turned at her words, and Reid decided, “I think I need to find my way in the universe…literally and metaphorically. Maybe this mission will help.”
Harris put her hands up, “It’s going to be dangerous, Jord. We’re going into places we shouldn’t to find out the stuff they’re avoiding on FNN. It’s going to be….”
She let a half smile show as she suggested, “It sounds like the stuff we did on the Erigone or the Edinburgh…not to mention the Mackenzie…what is that saying…’Risk is our business’? Ambrose used to say it every so often.” She pushed herself out of the chair, “You’ve got your doctor.” She smelled her clothes, “Maybe a shower first…and some laundry.”
Natalie nodded emphatically, “McKee is coming over to help.” Jordan scowled at her, and she gestured to the messy house as they entered, “I’m not wrong, am I?”
Reid mumbled as she climbed the stairs to the master bath, “You may have a point. Give me twenty…and I’ll be down.”
Harris watched her reach the top of the stairs and muttered to herself, “Yea…this gonna be great. Just great.”