“Mom, don’t you think you’re too old for this?”
She looked up at the three Dirrnyg’s and grimaced. How did he manage to duplicate himself? Oh crap, that’s right, I’m drunk.
“It’s okay,” each word came out slurred and barely understandable. “Go back on duty tomorrow…will be fine. Now, let’s go back…”
“Go back?? I don’t think so.” He looked at her and then shook his head. “You drank enough back there to make an Androsion proud.”
“Big battle in three days…need to blow off steam…”
Dirrnyg opened the door to a car and gently placed her on the back seat. This sucks, she thought. Methos is going to have a field day! Nothing like being fished out by your own son!
The first cramp hit gripped her stomach and Talia doubled over. “Ugh…”
He picked her up and then pulled her out of the car before helping her kneel on the sidewalk. It was just in time as the first strong urge to vomit hit and she couldn’t hold things back. Her throat burned as the mix of alcohol and food explosively exited her body.
The flow stopped and she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. A bitter taste filled her mouth for a moment before round two started. This time it was pure alcohol and it left a trail of fire as the bourbon raced upwards and out.
She fell forwards and caught herself with both hands and stayed on her hands and knees for several minutes and continued to vomit liquor. Oh boy, she thought, I really overdid it this time! If it weren’t for her souped up metabolism, she’d probably be deep into alcohol poisoning at the moment.
Dirrnyg knelt down beside her and ran a hand gently up and down her back. “Why do you do this to yourself? This happens every time you take leave.”
He looked pained. “Talk to me, Mom. What’s wrong?”
It wasn’t fair to hold things back from him, Talia thought, but sometimes he didn’t need to know the truth. Odds were none of them were going to survive, which made this night of drinking so important to her.
He could die in the battle while she was cursed to continue on and that broke her heart. How fair was it that she could spend hundreds of years with her son, only to watch him die? And as the War progressed more experiences would occur and they’d push the memories of him further and further away until she’d forget him totally. Maybe the damn Generals were right after all.
Which left her with the burning question of how to tell him about the life of a near immortal?
The last of the booze vacated the premises and the cramps died down. So did the anesthetic feeling of being drunk. Now the world was back into crisp focus and she could see things clearly again. Damn, why did reality have to return?
Dirrnyg helped her to stand up. “Ok, Mom, what’s eating you?”
“Wait ‘til we’re in the car, ok?”
He opened the door and helped her to sit down in the passenger seat. A throbbing started behind her forehead and Talia sighed. By the time they got back to the ship, it’d be a raging hangover. Maybe Dirrnyg was right. Perhaps she was too old for this.
He started the car up and then merged into traffic. “Ok, spit it out, what’s this about?”
Talia winced before covering her eyes with a hand. “Oh, my head…”
“That’s what you get for trying to drink yourself to death,” he scolded. “And you still haven’t answered the question.”
She sighed. “This mission, Dirrnyg, it’s basically a suicide run.”
“The politicians want a victory,” she explained. “So they’ve picked Veltron as the place. That planet’s going to be overrun in less than a week.”
“So, they’re sending us off to fight a losing battle?”
“The fools don’t see it that way. And there’s other issues…”
She looked over at him before running a hand down his cheek. “Sometimes I wish I could trade places with you. You have only one life…and me? I’ve seen more than I’ll ever be able to forget.”
“Yeah, but they created you to be reborn, as is Aunt Methos, and Crios and Dannae.”
“That’s the thing,” a tear ran down her cheek. “All of this…you and me…it’ll just become a memory, a footnote in my life. Something that I’ll have experienced and can never go back to,”
“It’s part of living, Mom.”
“Not like this, Dirrnyg,” she said softly. “This is the pitfalls of being nearly immortal. I watch those that I love die around me yet I don’t. One day I’ll watch you die and…and it’ll crush me. It’s not fair…I should not outlive you.”
“I’ve known that was going to happen from the moment you adopted me. Mom…I’m fine with it. Yes, you will live on after I’m gone and there’s nothing that can change that. But…I will always live on in your memories no matter how many years pass by.”
“I love you,”
He reached over and wiped away a tear. “I love you, Mom…”