A Traveler

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Once Yimar had left, Lili told the kids that they'd be making empanadas for dinner later. The kids ended up calling them "Empy's Nachos" and ran around a bit. Normally, she could handle the rambunctiousness, but this was just not a good day for it. 

February fifth, 2161. She should've been in bed. With Malcolm. The kids should've been on Lafa IX with Yimar. At least Doug and Melissa were still hunting, and Norri was on her way with little Tommy. A little was right, but not everything. She sighed again, fighting to keep her patience. 

"Tell you what," she said to the kids, "let's go look at the video wall a bit. Okay?" 

They put their toys down and followed her to the hall. The video wall was not really a wall, more like a cutout in the wall. They couldn't afford a really, really large one but that was all right. Life-sized photographs and videos had always unnerved Lili a bit. But this size was fine. The wall scrolled through various pictures. There was Norri holding up the old-fashioned acceptance letter she'd gotten to graduate school. Melissa, Norri and Doug holding a newborn Tommy was the next picture in the group. Then there was the picture of Lili with Doug on a beach vacation for her fiftieth birthday – that had been a good time. She'd come back from that vacation pregnant with Marie Patrice. Then there was the picture of the Executive Level staff of the Enterprise accepting medals for leading a decisive battle that helped to bring about the end of the Earth-Romulan War. She touched the spot where you could stop the slide show for a moment. Hmm. A bit sticky – some little grape jelly-smeared hand had touched it fairly recently. 

She took a look at the picture. There was something about still pictures – Lili always liked to look at the group dynamics, frozen in time. From left to right, Hoshi, looking straight ahead; Malcolm, looking self-satisfied; Phlox, looking a little like he was unsure as to why he was being recognized; Jonathan, proud; T'Pol, calm; Tripp, looking over to the viewer's left; and Travis, wide-eyed and perhaps a tad flirtatious. She followed Tripp's eyes in the picture. He was looking at Hoshi. Ha, you're still thinking of her, Lili thought. And it's been over a year and a half. Still .... 

"Mommy! A ship!" Joss yelled, looking out the front window.

Lili wasn't expecting a ship and did not recognize the configuration. She picked up Marie Patrice and opened the front door, "Stay on the porch behind me, Joss. And let me talk," she cautioned. 

The ship was shaped a bit like an arrowhead. It was new and shiny and had USS HG Wells painted on the side. It was fairly quiet, and it landed right on top of her garden. 

Angrily, she rushed over as the hatch opened, "Who the hell are you, and why are you landing on my garden?!" She was normally more patient than that, but it had been a bad enough day as it was. Now her asparagus wouldn't come up in a few months, and her day lilies were probably toast. 

"Oh, oh, sorry," said the man in the ship, familiar and unfamiliar, "Wait, I'll move it. Over there okay?" He pointed to her backyard. 

"None of it's okay. But better," she conceded. 

"What kind of a ship is this, Mister?" Joss asked, right behind her. 

"Go back to the porch," Lili said. 

The ship was moved. The man got out, knelt over the garden a few seconds and then strode over.

"My husband will be back any minute now," Lili lied. Doug and Melissa weren't due back until the following day, "So I suggest you leave." 

"Don't you know who I am?" the man asked. 

Lili looked at him skeptically, "Danson?" 

"Daniels," he said. 

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