First draft is under way. Here we have a protective Nobek and an Earther Matara and her special needs son. Read on:
Jol gazed at the boy with open admiration before turning his cat-pupil eyes to Iris. “A brilliant mind for engineering is in there.”
Iris couldn’t help the pride that swelled in her voice. “He reads, too. I started teaching him letters and sounds when he was three, though he didn’t speak until he was four. When he did speak, he could already read his story books.” She knew she bragged, but it wasn’t often people looked beneath Thomas’ behavior issues to appreciate the feats he was capable of.
“You have been blessed, Matara.” Jol frowned then. “But his lack of impulse control worries me greatly. My biggest concern is how he ended up in the middle of the travel lane. That would not have ended well for him if I hadn’t happened by, doing a routine check on the area.”
Iris swallowed. Thomas could have so easily died only minutes ago. The miracle of Jol’s rescue brought fresh tears to her eyes, which she resolutely blinked back.
She told the Nobek, “He doesn’t understand danger. He simply has no concept of it. I try to keep him close when we’re outside. This time when he panicked, he got away from me.” She shuddered. “I can usually catch him, but it only takes once to be too late, doesn’t it?”
Jol nodded, watching her carefully. “You need a boundary shield between your land and the lane.”
Iris bowed her head. “I’m only a homesteader, Nobek Jol. Because Thomas requires so much of my time, I farm just enough to keep us fed and clothed. I can’t take him to the community fields and work for extra funds because keeping after him doesn’t allow me to.” Not to mention Thomas had a bad habit of crashing through and wrecking crops. She’d end up owing Haven money rather than earning any.
“I see.” Jol glanced at Thomas and pursed his lips. The line between his eyebrows deepened. He nodded his head and stood.
Iris stood too. Jol eased his stern expression to offer her a small smile. “The safety and security of Haven and its colonists ultimately falls on my shoulders. I will see to getting you a boundary shield.”
Iris stared at him. She couldn’t afford it, but Thomas always came first. She’d find a way. “Do I make payments or is there work I can do to offset the cost?”
Jol shook his head. “That will not be required, Matara Iris. Should you leave this property or not need the shield any longer for whatever reason, simply give it back to us. This way, you will not have to worry about Thomas running into the lane anymore.”
He was giving them the shield? For free? Iris gaped at him and finally managed to blurt, “Thank you, Nobek Jol.”
The Kalquorian bowed to her and looked over at Thomas. “Goodbye, Thomas.”
Thomas didn’t look up, but he responded without any coaching from Iris. “Goodbye. Woo-woo!”
Jol’s smile trembled as if he held back laughter. He bowed to Iris again. “Good day, Matara.”