“Dolonis… Dolonis…” Farah muttered. “Found it! It’s a mourning planet.”
“Mourning planet?” Grace asked. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It looks like they have facilities designed to make you examine and come to terms with grief,” Farah answered. “In a traditional akumillian way.”
“So, people come visit this planet just to grieve,” Grace stated. “Certainly sounds akumillian. Maybe I’ll stay on the ship.”
“Well, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to try it,” Farah suggested. “Losing her hit us all hard. Maybe going through this will help ease the pain. Even if only a little.”
“That’s part of what I’m worried about,” Grace said. “Right now… it’s hard to explain.”
“Try me,” Farah said, gently taking Grace’s hand.
“Right now I feel like I should be in pain,” Grace said. “Like, it’s too soon to really be over it.”
“I understand,” Farah said. “But I don’t think it’s the right way to think. I mean, you’re seeing it as a betrayal of her memory to start feeling better. But I think she would prefer her memory to be surrounded by light and laughter, you know? That’s the kind of person she was.”
“I know that,” Grace said. “I know that Allison would probably be cracking some stupid joke or other and trying to make us all feel better, But, right now, I just feel like it’s better to be hurting. If that makes any sense.”
“I get it,” Farah said. “Then let’s stay behind together.”
“You don’t have to miss out for me,” Grace said.
“I know,” Farah said. “You wouldn’t complain or even be upset if I did go. But at times like this it’s better to be near the one you love.”
Grace studied her. “Fine, we’ll go.”
“I got your things all packed up,” Lucy said. “How long until we get there? Around an hour?”
“An hour and a quarter,” Ophelia answered. She looked over to Lucy. “You know, someone should stay with the ship. Maybe…”
“Don’t you dare suggest it,” Lucy said. “You are going.”
“Worth a shot,” Ophelia said. “So, what will they make us do?”
“They won’t make you do anything,” Lucy said. “They will make suggestions and we will be following those suggestions.”
“I’m surprised you’re going to be,” Ophelia said. “You usually don’t follow suggestions.”
“True,” Lucy admitted. “But we’re in it together. I wouldn’t tell you to do it if I wasn’t willing to.”
“I appreciate that about you,” Ophelia said. “So, what can I expect from this place?”
Lucy considered it for a moment. “They’ll get in your head and it won’t be easy for you,” Lucy said. “But it will be good for you.”
“Where are we going first?” Leon asked.
“It might be better if we each go on our own and meet up for meals and at the end of the day,” Paul said. He noticed the look on Leon’s face. “What?”
“We don’t get much time off duty without some mission or other on the horizon and you wanna spend it alone?”
“This isn’t leisure time, Fuzzy,” Paul said. “It’s time to sort through our emotions and thoughts… To come to terms. And there are aspects of that that need another person just like there are aspects that need solitude.”
“So, we can go together for the stuff that needs another person, right?” Leon asked.
Sure,” Paul answered. “I’d rather have you with me for that than anyone else. But, for the first few days at least, can’t we try to focus on the other stuff?”
“Hey, I’m not that needy,” Leon said. “What? I’m not!”
“Attention, Everyone.” Ophelia’s voice came over the ship’s intercom. “We’ll be landing in twenty minutes. If you’re going to be spending this time on Dolonis, Please get your bags and be ready near the door.”
Lucy turned to her. “Don’t be so anxious, Love. Trust me. This will be good for you.”