The Family And The Home
rating: +6+x

After over 200 years of living one gets lonely. It is to be expected, of course. Life moves on even if you yourself do not. it’s a sorrowful type of loneliness, seeping into your bones and your skin. It follows you everywhere like a bad opinion. Now, there aren’t many ways to lift and throw away this metaphorical rock on your back. However finding a family may just be your solution.

In the eyes of many, family and the home is simply a social situation brought on by blood and ancestry, however this is often not the case. Think, even for a moment about the individuals you welcome into your home, human or otherwise. Are they not your family? Do you not share appreciation and respect for them as well as your familial group? It is quite often the case that yes, you do. Would you feel the same kindredness with someone in your blood family you have never met? It is unlikely you would.

Family in-of-it’s-self is a social group for social animals such as ourselves. It isn’t anchored down by shared blood or shared parental figures. Family is a bond created between two or more individuals to assist them in living life in a way that will most help them succeed.

For Mr. Michel Hobbs, who finds himself in the above predicament, finding a family or a home is much harder than it seems. You see, about 125 years ago Hobbs lost the majority of his family, both blood and not. It is an unfortunate fact that Hobbs has found himself in a rather awkward situation with his ability to die. Hobbs would like to, as he hopes for an afterlife. The issue is he simply cannot. It’s not as if the man is simply untouchable, he’s been hurt many times before. It is that he simply won’t die. This unfortunate fact has allowed for Hobbs to succeed but has also limited his ability to make friends or family.

He’d traveled far and wide, from Mars to Jupiter, from the deep jungles of an earth-like planet YTR-3 to the strangely calm ice planet of TAR-6. Hobbs has yet to find himself a family, and a friend that didn’t leave or die. His restlessness had found him back on earth after about 50 years of traveling known space. Earth was a sore spot for the old man, the graves of his children, their children, and so on, had been dug up for the world to advance. It was terrible, really, and such a shock. Hobbs had been off planet for half a century and went back to leave a bouquet of positively lovely Tagorian flowers. Much to his dismay. He had no trace of them left. His beautiful children had been torn from the memory of the soil and in turn the world. The individuals he’d raised for many many years had been forgettable apparently. As much as it angered him however, time passed, and he was the only one alive who still visited the graveyard to pay respects.

Hobbs sat in the cockpit of the Mark-9 Mars homestyle cruiser, a relatively small ship, and pondered. What could he do from here? There really wasn’t much he could do. He was lonely and generally there was nothing left to do that he hadn’t done before. Holovision shows never peaked his interest as the culture that surrounded them was so foreign. He felt completely comfortable in the universe and that wasn’t a good thing.

When one first enters the vast array of networks that hold the united galaxies together they are amazed. The exploration! The beauty! Triumphed by no other place known to sentience! Now however, after navigating the networks for so long the glory had left it. It seemed that after the treacherous waters of space were triumphed nothing seemed hard anymore. Nothing stole his attention away and made him chase it with wonder anymore.

Hobbs stared blankly at the terminal that welcomed people of all different shapes and sizes to earth. Quite literally all shapes and sizes, a small spacecraft containing little bean sized lizards zipped past. Another carried the beautiful Vilane creatures past in a water filled ship. One of them winked at him and his face flushed a deep red. He ducked down, hiding his face. He recognized that Vilane, their name was Liki. It had been a strange visit to their planet, and one that had tested his dedication to his (disappointingly dead) Husband. Hobbs had not entered a romantic relationship with another person besides his husband, who he missed dearly and could never replace.

He turned his gaze away from the captivating extraterrestrials. Oh, how he remembered visiting the luxurious “Los Vegas of the skies” all those years ago, the sights, the smells, the insane gambling that put him out a large chunk of money. It was all quite nice. Truly the only thing to make it nicer would be if his roommate (who was Liki, the winking extraterrestrial) understood that he didn’t have a romantic interest in anyone besides his very dead husband. Ah well, that awkward 6 months had created a fairly strong friendship that Hobbs hoped he would get to experience again before Liki died. He ducked his head up, and with a smile waved back at his friend.

Hobbs then focused on the lanes and lanes of spacecraft ahead of him. He had a job to do here on earth. A job he dreaded. There was a child that had been discovered, who lacked the ability to die like him. Hobbs tapped at the steering wheel, letting out a sigh. He wished another hadn’t been born. As bored as he was with life, he didn’t wish this fate upon anyone. The victims family had seemed nice, which made it all the more worse.

Security was tight, as usual. They checked his bags and raised an eyebrow at the admittedly falling apart spacecraft. However through convincing them he was at the planet to get a new one he was warily allowed to pass through. Much to his honest relief. He had done nothing wrong but the stinking anxiety made it like performing a tracheotomy on yourself in the middle of a crazy party. Not that he had experience doing that. At all. Never.

Maybe he wasn’t the best influence.

He pulled into the docking station and dropped off his ship, selling it to some shady guy with a creepy ass smile for quite a bit of money! He could buy a new ship and probably pay off the debt he had from buying that planet to recreate a forest from Earth on. A sizeable project, even for him. But it was well on its way to becoming something great. Hobbs had, maybe possibly, raided a few conservatories and stolen the materials he needed to do this. Granted not the most ethical thing, (He could practically feel his old friend roll over in his grave when he did that,) but he was dissatisfied with the lack of forests and nature. And the only way to solve it was to put on his big boy pants and utilize both samples from his youth and from stealing them.

It was really the only thing Hobbs had left.

Hobbs cleared his mind, handing the money to the used spacecraft salesman. It was a decent spacecraft for the amount of money he’d given the lady. He ran his hand over the hull, this would have enough space for his junk(which had accumulated and accumulated over the years, unfortunately) and the kids stuff. What would the kid want? Was there video- wait no. Hologames? Was that the term? He wasn’t sure. Maybe he was going senile. But that didn’t matter. He was going to buy a whole bunch of shit for this kid. Might as well make him comfortable.

So he “raided” multiple stores in an effort to get stuff that the kid would like. (which wasn’t an actual raid, but awkwardly asking what kids did for fun at and buying whatever they said.) apparently 5D VR was a thing and absolutely terrifying. He may have embarrassed himself in the large department store and left with a bright red face akin to a warbol fruit. Which was bright red and incredibly tasty. Hobbs was red. Not tasty, unless one was a cannibal. Fortunately Hobbs had never met a-. He was rambling again. Oh dear. He definitely shouldn’t ramble around the kid. That might make him uncomfortable and Hobbs didn’t want that.

After a bananza of shopping Hobbs dropped the large amount of bags off at his spacecraft and went to take a shuttle down to Earth. Which, unlike the movies, was quite slow and much like a train. He spent the time attempting to sleep. Cause hey, you couldn’t exactly sleep when piloting a spacecraft. That’d be like driving a car while sleeping. Granted cars didn’t exist so people never got his comparison but whatever. He found himself in that strange in-between of sleep where you can still hear everything but you can’t exactly move for a long while. However he apparently had fallen asleep because he woke to the sound of what always reminded him of the seatbelt airplane beep. Oh dear, it was time to disimbark. Now came the time to embarrass himself in front of the child he would care for, for presumably the rest of eternity. Oh boy.

As much as he missed the wonderful and stunning forests that used to cover most of the world he had to admit the cities were very scenic. Well, the forests still existed it was just that they were much smaller and Hobbs wasn’t allowed in so he considered them long gone. He gazed up at the disappointingly-not-neon signs guiding you into weird and wonderous boutiques and nick-nack stores. It really was quite a wonder here. Hobbs was disappointed he couldn’t visit them. Or rather that he personally chose not to spend money there. Oh well, he’d have time when he took the kid on visits.

Hobbs made his way up the elegant steps that met with a very large and very tall apartment complex. Oh wow, this kids parents were loaded as hell. Hobbs hoped that his scraggly appearance and fairly long hair didn’t make him look bad. He brushed off the dust and awkwardly greeted the AI teller, who welcomed “Master Hobbs (that sounded VERY weird to him) into the Williamson condos and suites.” He nodded with slight anxiety and made his way to the elegant 2 doored elevators leading to the kids apartment.

After a harrowing ride in a high speed elevator Hobbs found himself outside the door of Mister and Missus Amani. They welcomed him in with wide eyes and quick glances around the hall. Probably to insure that none of their few neighbors had seen such a dirty figure interacting with them.

They guided him to a large living room, in which they sat him down on a chair. They sat across from him next to their two children. A boy and a girl. Hobbs smiled politely, attempting to look less menacing and more like Gandalf or something. He didn’t know, he just wanted to look kind.

They had apparently found out Thrasus was afflicted by this disease (could it be called that?) when he’d been crushed by a falling shelf and had not died, much to their happy surprise. And they’d shared the same concerns that Hobbs did. Well, a fair amount less gruesome and more optimistic but Hobbs wouldn’t fault them for that. They’d contacted Hobbs after they met with a doctor, who sent them up, and up, and up until the Canadian government had informed them the fact there was another like their child. They’d given the family Hobbs contact information and boom. Here they were.

Hobbs nodded along, and accepted with a firm handshake as a promise to care for their kid.

It didn’t take long for both Hobbs and Thrasus to be riding down on the elevator again. And it was rather awkward. The kid wore a backpack and Hobbs held the rest. Two rather sizeable suitcases and a duffle. Hobbs couldn’t blame him, he’d take just as much of not more.

“I’m sorry you have to carry so much,” Thrasus said.

“No! No, it’s fine. Don’t worry about me.” He responded cheerfully, smiling at Thrasus.

It may have taken the two a little while to get to the shuttle terminal in the dark, but they did make it. And with minimal injuries! (Hobbs had to admit he had been a bit clumsy and missed the curb. Which had resulted in loud giggling from Thrasus.) They made it in time for the last shuttle of the day, and boy was Hobbs glad to sit back and relax. Not sleep. He had to keep Thrasus safe. (Like seriously, who names their kid that?) it had been very convenient however when the kid had fallen asleep. He didn’t want him to have to experience what sleeping in an actual spacecraft was like.

Hobbs was just dozing off when the beep went off. Damn, why did it have to happen at the worst times? He groaned, gently waking up the kid and collecting their vast array of bags. Thrasus looked really sleepy, and Hobbs sure as hell didn’t like that. But he had to do what he had to do. He couldn’t carry all of the bags by himself, plus a kid. He could drop something important, or hell even the kid! So he tried to casual talk but ended up sounding like one of those deadbeat dads in the old Christmas movies.

“So uh, Thrasus-“

“Call me T. Please. Thrasus is a weird name.”

Very true, Hobbs was glad they could agree on that.

“T then, what do you like to do for fun?”

T paused, as if thinking.

“I like playing with my toy kitty, he is nice.”

“Oh? I didn’t know toy cats were a thing, I’ve only ever had real ones.”

“You’ve owned a real cat!!”

“Mhm, multiple! I’ve got a few at home in my barn waiting for me. Meaning you can have one.”

“Whoa!! I’ve never even seen a real cat! Is it true they always land on their feet?”

The long discussion on cats continued well into their trip. Apparently T was surprised that cats came from the lions and tigers he saw in the zoo. It was also apparent that T definitely needed help learning basic life skills and how to operate as a human being. Rich people, how the hell would they survive without money? (This disregarding the fact Hobbs bought himself his own planet and hasn’t worked for a long while. He himself is a rich person. He just refused to acknowledge it.)

Then the talking stopped. Hobbs turned his head confused only to see T zoinked out in his seat. Ah. Another one bites the dust. Hobbs smiled softly to himself, gently piloting his ship deep into the unknown reassess of space.

When T woke up, he woke up to green. Very bright green, many shades of green. And a very soft thing being placed on his chest. He opened his eyes only to be greeted by the face of something he’d only seen in pictures. A cat! It was true, they really were the softest things ever! He just wanted to hug it until he died, it was so brilliant! He was so glad Mr. Hobbs had brought him here.

“Morning sunshine, welcome to the land of the living.”

T didn’t understand a word of that but just nodded along. He looked around, utterly amazed. “Where are we? I’ve only ever seen stuff like this in documentaries!” T said excitedly, his eyes flicking around it seemed to try to see every tree.

“We’re home T,” Hobbs said, and T could hardly believe it.

T didn’t know what to think about family. For him? Family had always been through blood. Nothing else. But he found himself feeling strangely comfortable around Mr. Hobbs. It was very weird. He didn’t even feel this comfortable around his own parents! It just seemed that Hobbs was very excited to have him and clearly doing his best. He wasn’t uptight, he wasn’t scary. Hobbs was kind of dopey and weird but T really liked that.

So now, after getting to know Hobbs, T thought maybe, just maybe, that family isn’t centered in the Blood you share or the ancestors you have. Maybe it’s a social grouping made up of people who genuinely care for each other. And maybe he was starting to feel at home with Hobbs.

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