“A little over ninety-eight years ago, my great-aunt, Pamela Hudson, was born in an Earth place called New Hampshire,” said Treve, a young Calafan man. Like all young Calafans, he was completely bald and, like all of those from our universe, his extremities were solid silver in color. He looked over at the assemblage. Everyone was fanning themselves a little in the warm July weather on Lafa II.
There were humans, including his mother’s nighttime man, a fellow named Neil Digiorno-Madden, and Neil’s daylight family, who were human, a woman named Ines Ramirez and their two kids, Jenny Lee and Martin. They were, in a way, like additional siblings to Treve. The relationships were close, and it was all done out of affection, he knew.
Nearby were his biological mother – Yinora – who was Neil’s nighttime woman and her daylight husband, a Calafan named Fepwev. Fepwev had long, flowing milky-white hair and almost looked Efrosian in his appearance. Yinora had long silvery-blonde hair; part of it braided and piled high up in the new human style. She didn’t mind showing off her thick hair, a sure sign of aging if you were a Calafan. There were also Treve’s full siblings, Yimar and Chelben. The names repeated, and it could be confusing, but it also meant that the namesakes were dead. Treve was named for his own great-uncle; and Chelben for the other great-uncle. The first Yimar had been Yinora’s mother, their grandmother.
There were more humans, too, like Neil’s full brother, Tommy, in a full-dress Lieutenant Commander’s uniform, from the USS Kelvin. And there were Neil’s half-siblings, one of whom was a grandfather already, and even Declan Reed, with his family.
“Pamela was a bright and beautiful child, but her girlhood was troubled. She was so hurt, so badly, at such a young age,” Treve sighed. “I will tell this, because Auntie Pamela always said we should talk about the ugly, because it’s important, and we shouldn’t sweep it under the rug or forget about it. And so I shall tell you, that when she was five years of age, her father began to abuse her, both physically and sexually.”
The mourners all looked up as one. This had not exactly been the most public bit of information.
“I know; you would not know it to look at her, for she seemed so together. She was a surgeon, you know, and always ready with a joke. But there was much within her that was wrong and harsh and hardened. Her young adulthood, aside from school, was filled with meaningless encounters and foolish risks. She nearly died more than once and perhaps it was her subconscious wish. I don’t know. From what I gleaned from speaking with her near to the end of her life, I was led to believe that that wish wasn’t fully buried in her subconscious at that time.”
His mother looked him in the eye as if giving him a signal, telling him that he didn’t need to go on. But Treve smiled tightly and continued all the same. “In her mid-thirties, she came here to visit her own uncle, who had retired here. And it was also to visit an old flame, who had settled here on Lafa II with his family. She met the man I am named for, and they took a shine to each other. This was even when my great-grandmother, the High Priestess Yipran, still lived. It was not so conventional, a human and a Calafan marrying.” He smiled at Neil, who sat between his ladies and returned the expression.
“But they turned heads, you know, for she was so stunning, and my namesake, he treated her like a queen. For her part, it was that he was accepting of her, and he listened, and he wasn’t shocked at what she had done, or how she had felt, or what she had experienced. And for him, it was not just looks, but also her survivor’s spirit, that hooked him. They were together until 2199 – thirty-three years ago. Yes, she was a widow for that long. She never loved another.”
Ines rubbed her eyes, and her daughter put an arm around her to comfort her. There was a portrait of Pamela in younger days, sketched by Declan, of a knockout blonde with bedroom eyes. Jenny Lee focused her attention on it as she scootched a little closer to her mother.
“They did not have children, you know, for the chromosomes, they don’t line up properly. I suppose one day, science will catch up. So when I was born, Pamela decided that I would be hers in some ways. My mother, I suppose she had other plans, but she was generous and so very often, I would find myself whisked out of school to accompany Auntie Pamela on some adventure or another. We went to Andoria once, with nothing packed, and ate redbats until we almost burst, and skied until we dropped. We visited Nereid, too, where she had gone to Medical School, and even to Earth, and I got to see this New Hampshire place. It is very leafy.”
He paused and whisked a tear away from the corner of his eye. “For someone who was so badly treated and so wronged at the start, I hope that the last two-thirds of her life dominated her thoughts when it finally came to its end. I hope that her last moments were not spent remembering her father’s monstrosities, but instead my namesake’s gentleness and love. It was her last word, you see. I was there when she passed, and I heard it. And I know she did not mean me. She couldn’t have. I like to think that we here, we Calafans, both human and native species,” he smiled a little at Martin, who nodded back, “I like to think that we were the accepting new family that she needed. I feel that we were the love that she deserved, that had been perverted and withheld for far too long. My memories of Pamela are of a feisty, funny, brilliant, beautiful woman, a woman whose last word was Treve.”