The Captain looks exhausted. He always does, Elrin notes, but this time he looks exceptionally enervated.
Esther’s death has been hard for everyone, especially for herself and the Captain. She misses Esther’s fire, her spunk, her bold risktaking. Elrin’s always taken the safe route. Esther didn’t, and that cost her her life. Is it bravery or recklessness?
The Captain motions for her to sit down. Elrin sinks in to the soft chair. Yesterday morning, Esther was here, giving her report to the Captain, possibly in this very chair. How everything has changed.
“I just ordered a beacon to be placed around Gamma XA-113.” He runs a wrinkled hand over his face. “No ship will ever run into that place again.” His voice breaks on the last word, but he composes himself. “I’m so sorry.”
Elrin doesn’t know how to respond. “I hope that Henry Paskal—will be rewarded for his—” Elrin chooses her words carefully. “—his considerate and creative actions.”
The Captain nods, almost imperceptibly. He gives a rueful smile. “Honestly, Elrin, I haven’t even written up anything yet. I will recognize Henry for his actions.” A blank look washes over his face. “I need to enter one last thing into Esther’s service log, and finish that situation report.”
Elrin nods. Grief takes time, but life goes on. Esther would hate it if she let herself spiral—she’ll keep going, if only for her sister’s memory.
Elrin gets up silently and smiles gently. “Captain, if you would like me to help with the situation report, I’ll gladly help.”
The Captain leans back in his chair. “I think that would be a good idea.”