Derelict 5: Tighar

Birthday party scene with four children. Grace blows out the candles, while two boys blow horns. Samual is in the foreground with blond hair.

Grace Echo met her future husband on her eight birthday. Although they would not meet again for twenty years as Samuel’s father was transferred to Mialea station soon after. Grace got her degree in internal medicine and astrophysics which kept her busy during her teenage and early twenties. She had mostly forgotten about her childhood friend when she found herself on Mialea station awaiting her first placement. She wasn’t even thinking of Samuel when she visited the station’s shopping district.

Samuel and Grace are surprised to meet each other again so many years later.

When the attractive young chef introduced himself, they realized their shared past. It didn’t take a lot time to become something more than friends this time around.

Romance blooms between the two lovebirds. They stare deeply into each other's eyes, unaware of the world around them.

Grace was at the station to meet her new boss. She had taken a position as medic and chief scientist for the newly commissioned transport ship Tighar. The captain, Amy Arias, had visited Grace’s graduating class and the offer had been too tempting for Grace to pass up. Captain Arais had inherited the ship from her family and the dream of running her own shipping business from her husband.

Grace and Samuel check with the captain to see if there's a space for Samuel on board.

When the mechanics had finished retrofitting and upgrading the Tighar, the ship was ready for its first commission. That mean leaving the station they’d spend the last six months on. Now that Samual had refound Grace, he wasn’t going to let her escape again. He found a way to secure a berth. Although replicators could make the finest and most nutritious yogurt, able to keep anyone alive indefinitely, the Captain and her husband were grateful that he was able to turn the raw ingredients into an amazing range of food. Especially as Captain Arias was pregnant at the time.

Samuel gets to work immediately, cooking for the entire crew (of now-four!).

It didn’t take long for Grace to fall in love with Samual. They were out in deep space for months at a time and there was little to distract her from his attentions. They were married by the captain within the year.

Gracie, in her blue wedding gown, recites her vows to Samuel as the captain presides over the living room ceremony.

And the expecting their own child the next.

Yes, this is Amelia's room. There's a crib and bookcase. But no child yet.

The Tighar did quite well. Captain Arias had a head for the business, taking the best jobs, trading to advantage. It wasn’t long before the Captain was able to choose which jobs they’d take rather than being forced to take whatever came their way. They often picked jobs on the other side of Known Space. Fewer ships were willing to make such long runs, but the Tighar was well provisioned for deep space, and that meant the pay was better.

After plague hit the Captain’s small family station, her uncle, the only survivor, joined them as a general handyman and jack of all trades. His presence gave everyone the opportunity to take a day off here an there and they were all grateful.

George Winter talks to the captain at the bar. Grace goes to meet this new crew member.

With two families with small children on board, the Tighar was a family ship in the strictest sense. George was able to help out by watching the kids and teaching them while he wasn’t doing odd jobs. They rarely stopped on stations for longer than a couple months, only long enough to repair the ship. And those stops lessened when they took young Electra on board.

Electra enters the engine room. She is a cute little teenager at this time.

She’d pretty much talked her way onto the ship and refused to leave when they were ready to depart. Since she was a mechanical genius they agreed that the dully colony life she’d been born too would be a waste of her talent. Once Electra was on board to keep the engines in repair, their crew was complete.

For twelve years the Tighar flew the shipping lines of Known Space near and far. The cargo of gypsum bought by a new frontier colony was right up the Tighar’s alley. The colony was so new it still only had a single port city: Shenset. Tighar’s crew accepted the job eagerly, not realizing it would be their last.

A more recent snapshot of ship live. Amelia is sitting eating breakfast with her mother. Both the Captain and her husband are older now. Samuel and George are in the background. (Electra and Al not pictured).

Chapter 6: Waiting for Nothing >


    • This is the main backstory chapter. After this we’ll be back to dropping hints and brief memories (I think). Although now that I have it all built up…Who knows perhaps there’s a prequel in this story down the line.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It would be great if you wrote the prequel! I don’t think I’d be able to take it if you stopped giving the backstory and left us hanging, not knowing what exactly happened to the Tighar! D:

        Liked by 2 people

        • I’ll be keeping the idea in my back pocket. I don’t want to waste 5 hours of building an entire space station (okay okay, I just built the frame) but still. It looked cool and you can hardly tell in the two pictures.

          Don’t worry, you’ll learn what happened. Just not all at once. Wouldn’t want to have you stop reading.

          Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you like it. I have the whole thing built out and then the rooms saved individually just in case I need them. Putting it all together again was like playing legos. This room and that room, and a minuscule hallway in between. I’m kind of sad Amelia can’t use the whole ship, but I think all that emptiness would get to her anyway.

      The main issue I had was in making the “room” version of the Tighar still feel like the Tighar. I am guessing the greenway windows can be “turned off” – that’s the only reason I can think for why her room doens’t still have it. Has nothing to do with the fact I ran out of money building the small version.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. It’s so sad… I think I’ve mentioned that we’re in the middle of a massive Star Trek Next Gen summer festival, and I’m feeling the deep loneliness and solitude of space so acutely–we’re so tiny!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh, ominous! Especially since we know that things really have gone south. And it’s nice to know more of the people Amelia has lost, again. Makes them seem more like people and less like just names and also gives more weight to Amelia’s solitude.


    • Isn’t just? Such a cheerful chapter when you know it’s all about to go so terribly wrong. Planning when to put the flashbacks in was a challenge as I didn’t want to overload Amelia’s story, but I though seeing them before would help.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I just love this look into Amelia’s history and her family and how the Ship and crew came to be!!

    I love how you actually have the whole ship too! Amazing work!

    Liked by 1 person

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