1. To Daniel
Thank you for finally telling us where you are. We have been worried about you – and I can hear your eyes rolling from here. I know you’re a mature, independent man now, but it’s still hard to think of you as anything other than my little baby.
I’m glad you’ve found work, though I wish you could tell me more about this ship you’re serving on. Is it because you’re embarrassed, or are you not allowed to talk about it? It’s not a military ship, is it? I’d hate to think of you getting swept up in this dreadful war.
The practice continues to do well, thank you for asking. Doctor Ryan at the hospital has just returned from maternity leave and was happy to take on several of your patients. Your father and I have also taken a few on ourselves. I saw Mr Filby this week, this time he was convinced that he had Delstry Syndrome – despite never even having visited Valornin Prime, let alone worked in one of the mines there. You weren’t exaggerating about him.
We’re actually turning away patients at the moment, so there’ll definitely be a place for you here when you return.
I saw Melissa the other day at the mall. She seemed well. I don’t know, maybe it doesn’t help to mention her, maybe the whole point to leaving was to forget about her. If so you are, as always, welcome to tell me to mind my own business.
I hope you find whatever it is you’re looking for out there, but I also hope you come home soon. We miss you.
2. To Larissa
I hope this message finds you well.
I must confess that news of your marriage came as something of a shock. It would have been polite to inform your mother and I of the wedding. Or the engagement. Even just mentioning that you had met someone would have gone some way to easing our shock.
Your mother has forbade me from lecturing you on Spacers, so I will simply remind you of what I told you before you left Antalya to become a pilot. If this Vaegyr ever does anything to hurt you, know that we are always ready to forgive and forget if you want to come home.
You must have seen the news about Radiant Industries’ acquisition of IGE Mining Inc. It took us six months of negotiation, but it was worth it. Mr Cooper has announced his retirement and I am now first in line to become CEO of all RI operations on Raheti. The takeover has done wonders to share values and your trust fund is more robust than ever, if you should choose to return home.
You have told us nothing of your husband’s history or family. We would very much like to learn more about him.
3. To Whisper
I’ve followed your instructions to the letter. It still looks to me like I’m sending this to an old man on Tau Ceti named Kenneth, but if you say it will reach you then I’m sure you know what you’re talking about. My wife keeps teasing me about secret agents and hidden ciphers, but ever since you reprogrammed the hospital mainframe to play canned laughter every time Doctor Madakbas spoke, I’ve known not to question your prowess with technology.
Agent Dau sends his greetings and wants to remind you that you’re welcome to get in touch with him at any time and tell him your new name and place of residence. However, for the most part, D-Sec have stopped snooping around here. They made some subtle threats, but the hospital has strict rules about patient confidentiality and I think Agent Dau is tired of us smiling politely while telling him to bugger off.
I’m mainly writing to tell you about yesterday’s events. Sandra and I were visited at home by a couple of your parents’ former business associates. It’s not the first time they’ve had words with me, but they’ve never done it at my home before. The biggest concern, however, is they asked whether the name “Whisper” means anything to me. I did my best to feign ignorance, but I’ve never been a good liar and I’ve a nasty feeling that something on my face gave me away.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you to be careful, but I’ve never been afraid of being redundant in my advice… so be careful. Someone scarier than D-Sec is looking for you, and they may have already found you.
Please send word at your earliest convenience to let me know you’re alright. As always, if there’s anything I can do to help, you only need to ask.