As Reil and Cali dumped Lucrecia’s groceries on the kitchen counter, Virgil called to them from the living room.
“You’re late Zealos, we were expecting to be eating by now.”
Reil shrugged as he and Cali walked into the living room where Virgil and Lucrecia were sitting.
“I meant to be back earlier, but there was some drinking last night.”
Virgil didn’t look up from the data pad he was reading.
“I’m trying to look surprised for your mother’s benefit, but it just isn’t working.”
Lucrecia rolled her eyes.
“Don’t strain yourself overly much on my account dear, you might smile by accident, and hurt yourself.” Virgil looked up to retort, but then thought better of it. Lucrecia turned to Zealos, “Don’t worry about it; I’ll have dinner ready in no time. Where’s Stephen?”
Zealos looked at the floor.
“He’s in the speeder. . .”
“What’s he still doing in there?”
“Hiding. . .”
Lucrecia tilted her head in confusion.
“Why would he be hiding?”
“Uhmmm” Zealos paused as he tried to phrase his words carefully, “Cali and I won’t be staying for dinner.”
Virgil’s head bolted upright at this news, but Lucrecia’s smile never wavered.
“Don’t be silly dear, you’re under house arrest, we can’t let you can’t go out every night. Run and tell Stephen that you’re staying; he should stay for dinner too.”
Reil looked his mother in the eye.
“We’re leaving Cold Water. The last ferry before the freeze is running tonight, and Cali and I are gonna be on it.”
Lucrecia finally stopped smiling, as Virgil calmly rose to his feet.
“Ferry, eh? You’ll be heading to Mordin’s Harbour then.”
Reil shook his head.
“Ah.” Virgil nodded sagely, “You’ll be running off to Sunny then?”
“That’s the notion.” Reil turned to Cali. “Go upstairs and get our stuff, I’ll handle this.”
Virgil sneered as Cali left the room.
“You’ll handle this, will you? How, pray tell, will you handle running out on your mother and me; and violating the terms of your release?”
“By driving really fast?” Zealos offered.
“I am less than amused.”
“I’ll alert the media. Look Virgil, I appreciate that you came down and bailed me and Cali out-”
Zealos ignored him and pressed on.
“And I do feel bad for leaving you in a bind. . . Well bad is probably too strong a word.”
“Might I suggest giddy, or euphoric?”
“Anyway, the point is, I came here for a reason, and it wasn’t to trade barbs with you. I got places to be, and I can’t wait for the TAR to finish its investigation. I’m sorry that it worked out like this, but I didn’t do it to spite you. It’s just the way things had to be. . .”
Virgil shrugged and sat back down.
“Very well, go then.”
Virgil turned his attention back to his data pad.
“Go, leave, flee, abscond, run, move, vacate, fly, depart, and decamp even; just get out of my house.”
Reil eyed Virgil suspiciously.
“That’s it? We can go?”
Virgil grunted irritably.
“I suppose you’ll have to wait for Miss Bellum to finish packing. Then yes, go away. Why, were you hoping for more?”
“Nooo, but last time I ditched home, you were somewhat more emotional about it.”
“The last time you left home, you were an insolent sixteen year old brat who was intent on quitting school and throwing away his future. Now you’re an insipid twenty-four year old criminal who wants to keep on being a criminal. You’ll have to excuse my apathy, but I believe the damage is done.”
Zealos tilted his head.
“H-uh, well that’s fine then-”
“You’re letting him leave?”
Both Zealos and Virgil turned to Lucrecia, who was now standing, trembling with rage. Virgil put down his data pad.
“I am positive I just had this conversation with Zealos. If he wants to consort with criminals then that is his choi-”
“HE’S YOUR SON, VIRGIL!” Lucrecia exploded, “He’s our son, my baby boy, and you’re just going to let him walk out on us for another eight years!?”
Virgil didn’t flinch.
“He’s not a baby Lucrecia, he’s a grown man who is free to make his own decisions. It’s not like I told him to run away the first time!”
“And you didn’t ask him to come back either! Listen to yourself; Zealos is your son, he is your child, and you’re indifferent to if he lives or dies!”
Zealos tried to intercede.
“I’m not gonna die mom. . .”
Lucrecia rounded on Reil with a fury.
“Don’t even speak! You waltz into our lives after making a mess of yours and then as free as the breeze try and walk away again?! I will not let you tear this family apart a second time!”
“HEY!” Reil felt his anger flare up, “I didn’t tear this family apart, I left because there wasn’t a family to tear apart. And I’m sorry if our broken home embarrasses you in front of your socialite friends, but that isn’t my problem!”
The slap came before Zealos was ready for it, and he stumbled back in pain and surprise. He opened his mouth to say. . . something, but then he noticed the tears in his mother’s eyes.
“How dare you say that! I love you. You’re my son, I’ll always love you, so you don’t get to belittle that love and demean it. And you don’t get to punish me for loving your father either.”
“What are you talking about, I never-”
“You never write, you never call, and you never visit. For almost a decade you punished me by ignoring me, leaving me to wonder whether you were alive or dead. You could have been dead; you might as well have been for all I heard from you. You spent hours arguing with your father the night you left, but you couldn’t spare two words for me. You thought Virgil was a bad father, and he had his faults, but was I so terrible you couldn’t even say goodbye? And I tried to forgive that pain; I ignored the fact that you were in trouble with the law, or that you were running around with young girls; I was just happy to have you home. So no, you do not get to just leave and tear my heart out again. I won’t allow it.”
Zealos Reil thought he was hot
so he left the sim-pod cold
on his eighth mission he got shot
and that's all there is to be told.
Draw your own conclusions rookies.