After some hours of reading, the man slips out of his seat and wanders over to the large windows. He stares out of them, unseeing; his gaze is blank, his mind miles away. He keeps his back to the letters and the opened box, to his files upon files from work, to the experimental plasma orange juice from the science department (his friend had given it to him with a smirk, and said that it was going to be called Blood Orange if it passed all the tests). He keeps his back to what his life is like now, and remembers what his life was like then.
He hears her approach – of course he does. She’s not exactly subtle.
From the corner of his eye, he sees her hover behind him. She has all of his features; his hair, his eyes, his stubbornness, his unbending will. Not for the first time, he sees small glimpses of what he used to be like. Thankfully, they are very small.
“Why did you stop reading?” she asks, sounding put out. He looks over his shoulder at her and gives a fond smile.
“Why? Do you want to continue reading over my shoulder?”
She doesn’t so much as blush, and her stubborn refusal to be embarrassed makes him smile. She was definitely his daughter, for better or for worse.
“You didn’t know them, did you?”
There is silence for a long time. “No, I didn’t. I can’t help but wonder what they would have done, had they known.”
She steps forward and gazes out of the window too, if only to be closer to her father. “Known what?”
“What was coming.” He crosses his arms over his chest and frowns. “I wonder when the Council became aware of them.”
At the mention of their old enemy, the girl perks up with interest. “Do you think they knew, even then?”
“No,” he scoffs. “No, not even they could have known.” He thinks silently for a long time, calculating something in his head. “I must have been Turned by now,” he thinks aloud. “Everything was set in motion.”
The girl lets the silence sit for a while, but then she cannot resist the urge to burst it. “Will you send the letters to them?”
“Yes,” he says, without missing a beat. “But first… first I have to finish them. I’m dreading reading about what it was like, back then. What I was like.”
The girl bites her lip, and almost asks the question on the tip of her tongue – but she supposes that she will learn what he was like soon enough.