“Daddy, where do you work?”
“Far, far away honey.” Jim said as he sat on the edge of Cindy’s bed. He was tucking her in while Sasha waited for her turn.
Sasha said, “Is that were the giant spiders live?” slightly scared. Sasha didn’t really care for some of the aliens that the Empire was friends with. Then again, she was not happy with the little normal spiders either. Even miles underground hundreds of light years from Earth, those little guys found a way to make their presence known.
Looking at Sasha, “Sweetie, they are Murans and they are our friends.”
“I don’t care, they are yucky.”
Cindy rolled her eyes, “They are not big spiders, Sasha. They are arconods. Right daddy.”
“That is arachnids, honey.” Finally getting Cindy tucked in despite her constant moving around.
“See you are wrong too, they are achanids.” Sasha said with certain degree of finality. Cindy stuck out her tongue, which in turn garnered a stuck out tongue to her. Jim smiled and before the sticking tongues out escalated he bent down to kiss Cindy good night.
She wrapped her little arms around his head. “You didn’t answer my question” She said.
“You are right.” As he moved to Sasha’s bed to start tucking her in. “As you know we live on New Virginia and daddy works on old Earth.” Trapping Sasha’s arms under the covers.
“Earth is far away, daddy?” Sasha asked as she tried to find that comfortable position.
“Yes baby, very far away.”
“Hey, I am baby!” Cindy said getting her arms free and hitting the bed with them.
Jim suppressed a laugh and said, “Yes, baby you are. You both are, it is just my sweet name of you both.”
Slightly mollified, “Okay but I am baby, she can be honey.”
“I can be honey, daddy.” Sasha said, like she was granting a favor.
“Thank you honey and baby.” Jim said to both. Leaning down to kiss Sasha good night, Jim then stood up and through his MindNet connection, projected a map of the stars in the Empire, on their room viewer. That elicited ooohs and aaahhhs from the girls. “Ssssh, not too loud or mommy will come and stop our talk.” The girls quieted down immediately knowing they have a chance to stay up a little longer and watch daddy do some of his magic. Not really magic but since kids do not have a MindNet connection until high school, it was magic to them.
Bringing the image of a part of the map to the forefront, Jim zoomed in on New Virginia’s home system. “See, this is our home”. He zoomed out to the star and other locations in the system. “There is Roanoke, our sister colony and there is the JamesTown transfer station.” As Jim zoomed to the different parts of the system.
“Daddy, what are those stations?” Cindy asked as she pointed to a huge space station.
“That is an agricultural station. That is where we get our food, baby.” he said.
“Daddy, you are wrong, mommy doesn’t go there. She goes to the store to get it.” Sasha said.
“You are right bab– I mean honey. That is where she goes. But they get their food from the agricultural stations.”
“Are you sure?” Cindy asked.
“You eat chicken fingers and pork sausage sometimes, right?” he asked.
“I like sausages!” squealed Sasha.
Cindy sat up and shook her head, “I like chicken fingers with BBQ sauce.”
Jim realized that he got them too excited but was having fun anyway. As long as Tina did not hear the commotion. Shushing them back to being quiet. “Well do you see chickens or pigs around the store mommy goes to? They have to live somewhere right?”
Both of their faces lit up as they realized what he was saying. “So they live there??” “I want to go” “me too!” “can we feed them” It was hopeless, they were excited and it was his fault.
Just as he got them all quieted down, Tina came into the room. His attempt of acting like there was no commotion ended abruptly when both girls sat up and said they were going to the space station to see the chickens and pigs with Sasha saying “And I am going to feed them!”
Jim looked up at Tina, realizing there was no defense. Of course, Tina being a sweet lady looked at him with a “we will talk later” look then said. “Oh that sounds fun sweetie, let’s get you to bed so daddy can come tell me all about it.”
“Daddy you still didn’t answer my question.” Cindy protested.
Looking at Tina, who nodded with a “better be quick” look. Jim continued, “Okay, well daddy works on this planet.” He zoomed the map out from their star system to cross hundreds of light years to the Sol system. Here he zoomed in to the planet Earth, down to Hollywood in California.
“Wow, that is far away, how do you get there daddy?” Sasha asked.
“Well we use the ring network.” Jim replaced the image of Hollywood with a picture of a PT Ring in their local station. “I go through this to another one at the JamesTown Transfer station and then to another one on Earth.”
“Oh like when we go visit grandma?” Cindy asked.
“Yes, dear, just like that.” Tina replied.
“And you do that every day, daddy?” Sasha asked.
“Yes honey. We live in a wonderful time, where we can do things like that.” Jim said.
“So what do you do for work daddy?” Cindy asked, sensing that story time was over and soon she would have to go to bed.
“Yes honey what do you do?” Tina asked.
“Well I write stories baby. I make believe all the time.” Jim said with a grin of satisfaction.
“Like the stories you tell us, daddy?” Sasha asked.
“Yup, just like that.” Jim said. As Tina and Jim tucked the girls in for the night.