Another snippet of Family Law #5 Friends in the Stars

Some more about Pam and Kirk…

Kirk Fuldheim got a hot chocolate in a thermo-mug and returned to his bunk. He’d had a bite of supper in the galley a couple hours ago. He suspected that the crew were under orders to take their meals elsewhere if there were passengers using the galley. No one said anything but it was a pattern he noticed. If there were two or three already there when he went for a meal they dispersed fairly quickly if he stayed. If he took his tray back to their cabin they stayed. Since it was one of the few places to get away from confining space he hated to impose on them that way. He didn’t mind returning to his bunk. It could be configured like a lounge chair, and he was free to watch video or wear earphones without feeling he looked like a jerk ignoring others present. It didn’t fit any social situation with which he was familiar. The crew wasn’t there to serve him yet they didn’t have any other well defined social relationship. They weren’t like co-customers sharing a restaurant. It was awkward – at least for him. Pamela hadn’t gone to eat at all as far as he could tell. He couldn’t see that as any of his business.

At the moment Kirk didn’t have any music playing and he was reading a book rather than having it read to him. He preferred that for non-fiction. If he let a narrator drone on he found he might drift off in a thought from something in the book triggered without stopping it, and before he knew it he had no idea how long it had been running without him listening. He had no sound canceling activated, just an obscuring privacy net of a dark soft cloth material pulled across his bunk opening. He suspected Pamela made comments aloud with the same unawareness with which he drifted off in thought. Just now she muttered an ugly string of expressions he was sure she never could have learned as a good girl in a religious school.

She might be pursuing the lines of inquiry he’s suggested this morning, but the angry outbursts didn’t really tell him if she was upset at the things revealed or upset with him for giving any credence to the ravings of foreign devils. It didn’t seem like a good idea to ask. He wondered if she could be heard outside the cabin or if the Fargoers ran surveillance on foreign nationals for their government? That was something he’d expect USNA carriers to do. If so they were getting an earful.

There was a high pitched sound the eyelets for the security curtain made when you whipped it back on the plastic track as Pamela exited her bunk.
“Are you awake in there you motherless bastard?”

Ignoring her would probably just make things worse, Kirk decided. It didn’t sound like this was going to be pleasant or avoidable.

“Yes, I’ve been reading. I was concerned when you didn’t have any supper.”

That produced a quiet pause. “It is late,” she admitted. She must have just checked the clock, unaware she’d been so engrossed she’d lost track of the time.

“I’m extremely unhappy with what I am reading,” Pamela said. “This is not just a difference of perspective or cultural bias.”

“Oh?” Kirk asked, neutrally, still not certain with whom she was unhappy.

“Do you realize the Spacers think we are funny?” Pamela asked.

“I’ve seen that on parody sites,” Kirk admitted. “Things like headlines that Spacers are stealing our irreplaceable water in secret by buying health drinks, that oceans will fall a meter in the next decade as they drain it away, a half liter at a time. One hopes even the most innumerate know that is tongue in cheek.”

“I wish that was the extent of it,” Pamela said. “It’s subtle and much, much worse. Like at the end of a serious news program they will quote something from a politician that implies what I told you, that Spacers depend on Earth for the necessities of life. But after making the quote with a straight face they will look off in the air like something is flying by or outright roll their eyes and sigh, like it is beyond refuting.

“When I was a girl in school I had to deal with all the bullying and cliques anyone does. Girls are much nastier than the boys. What I absolutely hated though, was being made the object of humor, being laughed at. Now, I find not just my nation but my whole world is an object of snickering disbelief.”

“Well yeah, I wouldn’t expect the government to allow people to see that,” Kirk said.

“You realize I believed yesterday that if a Spacer sat down to a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast it was lifted from Earth somewhere? Not off on other worlds. I know you couldn’t ship that much interstellar, but in our own system. I was a fool,” Pamela said.

“Don’t be too hard on yourself,” Kirk said. “Those commodity numbers are a little harder to gather and analyze than how many cans of drink it would take to drop sea level. In fact a lot of them are classified now that used to be public.”

“I never thought to take a hard look at any numbers, because I couldn’t imagine they would lie to me,” Pamela said.

14 Responses to Another snippet of Family Law #5 Friends in the Stars

  1. Anonymous June 4, 2019 at 9:21 pm #

    “and now we return your to the original programming.”

    Thank you for the snippet.

  2. Jørgen June 5, 2019 at 6:09 am #

    Nice, love you books.

    This sort of thing happens even today across the world and because it is presented as news everyone, well mostly, believe it blindly., Most of the news we see to day has been filtered and through so many steps where agendas are tweaking things that at its best we are presented with something that is maybe 70 % true, the rest is propaganda or agenda bullshit.

    I never noticed it until I stopped watching TV., I’ve always know that you can’t trust the Internet so I’ always check my sources. But I didn’t do that with my news. So I started doing the same for my news instead of watching tv and to my horror found missing bits of news that should have been given to everyone, public information hidden behind pay services, news filtered and changed through an agenda.

    It even happens in my local paper every now and then, post something they don’t want known and you get censored in a public forum. (I’m talking about my local paper).

    Your news are owned by someone and are no longer objective free information that can be trusted. How bad will this become in 5-10 years if it is already happening.

    I was sort of planning to move to Mars in my fantasies, but I have realized that it isn’t far enough away from this insane playground and mess Earth has become. It will spreed if it can. For me it means not all that much as long as I have books to read and I’ll most likely be dead before I get to read them all.. but for future generations.. I can no longer even look at the news broadcast without shuddering in horror as I hear skewed news about things that happened months ago. And do not get me started on tech development, because it is clear someone is suppressing breakthroughs in the energy department.

  3. boballab June 5, 2019 at 6:53 am #

    You can also tell what kind of news night it will be by what they hype as the top story of the day. As an example before the Mueller report came out and there was those “leaks” that had something bad to say about Trump they were the lead story. When it got closer to the release date and the leaks started up that the report was going to say no collusion the lead story was of a private cessna plane crash with a nobody piloting it. Seriously? A private plane crash as the most important news story of the day, Yep, just so they wouldn’t lead with the news of Trump not colluding and there is a segment of the population that would of heard the talking head saying “our lead story is a private plane crash in…” and tune out thinking nothing actually important happened that day.

    • Mac June 16, 2019 at 9:00 am #

      Anybody who thinks the news isn’t managed needs to record all the news programs one evening and watch them ALL.
      They have the same stories – even in the same ORDER. If there was any shred of independence they would compete to have different and better stories instead of presenting everything in lock-step.
      There isn’t any more basic difference between the news organizations than the political parties.

  4. Margaret June 5, 2019 at 9:14 am #

    Eagerly waiting for both Family Law 5 and April 11 and anything else you are working on. I really enjoy all your books and have read each on several times. Sometimes I want to tell my favorite authors to “write faster”.

    • aimee hebert June 5, 2019 at 3:22 pm #

      more please

      • Mac June 5, 2019 at 3:37 pm #

        nearing end

  5. aimee hebert June 5, 2019 at 1:38 pm #

    faster faster faster

  6. Pseudo June 5, 2019 at 3:38 pm #

    She’s offended by being laughed at, but at the same time she’s starting to realize she and her planet really ARE funny. She wants so badly to hate the arrogant spacers, but now she’s in on the joke herself! She might have a really bad time of it when she gets home and starts spouting off-world propaganda to everyone she trusts and respects.

    Was worried when the site went down for so long, thought something happened to you yourself. Am certainly waiting for the rest of this book!

  7. Silke June 5, 2019 at 5:55 pm #

    Thanks for the snippet again!
    “Friends in the Stars” sounds really promising.

    I’m rereading FL4 at the moment and just read the part with Clare needing a change of scene and thought back to her family and Lee’s uncle and his family.
    Any chances we’ll hear of them again? 🙂

    • Silke June 20, 2019 at 5:29 am #

      Hm, her cousin not her uncle 🙂

      Though rereading brought just a lot more “wish to know whats going on with”-s…
      Lee’s old bodyguards and her friends studies, the hinth, the caterpillar, Gordan’s relatives (his dad we all know, but which first mother is it, are there brothers and sisters?) and his lovelife.
      Probably there will be hints to Lee’s other bloodrelatives going to space, who knows – would be funny if Lee is really distand family to Heather as I can’t remember what happended with Heather’s dad and there were 3 sons going to space of Lee’s fathers family.
      And I better just stop now, before I’m starting to rant about all my likes!

  8. Kevin Harrison June 7, 2019 at 9:31 pm #

    How close are we to fl5, want to know when I need to start reading 1-4 again before release. Once again want to say I love your books.

  9. Big Ben June 8, 2019 at 2:34 pm #

    Thanks for the snippet.
    I’ve found a good way to get true news about the ol’ US of A is to listen to the international news segments from other countries on satellite radio. The BBC, CBC, etc.
    When I read the newspaper I read the front page (of course) to see what the influencers and corporate media want us to focus on … and then check page three or four to see the less sensational news that’s often much more important. The inconvenient articles they want to bury but don’t dare exclude.
    And the comics, where the real news of the world is printed.
    I always look forward to your books, Mac. You have a wonderful way of inserting bits of our current world shenanigans into beautifully written future settings.
    Whaddya think … in 200 years will the libraries be filing your works in the historical nonfiction section?
    ….. I hope so. That would mean that both libraries and humanity are still around in 200 years.

  10. Ann June 10, 2019 at 10:34 pm #

    Thank you for the snippet

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