Everyone agreed it was a brave thing to do, a real act of courage. Everyone also agreed that Mr. Mason was perhaps the last one you’d expect to do something like that. Until that day, we just thought of him as a grumpy old man.
“Timothy Mason!” the man in the galactic pattern camouflage announced to the waiting room of young beings.
“Here, Sir.” Timothy said as he stood and walked toward the man holding what he assumed was his induction file. The man turned without a word and walked toward the guarded double doors, behind which all the other inductees went with there escorts after being called.
Later on, that month
“That is some pretty good foot work, been fighting long?” The instructor said from the floor of the training facility.
“Only what I’ve learned while in training Sir.” Timothy replied to Facilitator Bradrack, as he followed the instructional prompts for the solo evaluation.
A week after that.
“Seems you’re a natural at a number of things. Your standard testing is back, and you have several extraordinary scores. I do not see your name on the Soltair application request.
“Sir, my family is Quarstanian we are not invited to Soltair.”
“Ah, you don’t look Quar.”
A year later outside the Otrio Stellar System.
“That was some amazing flying Mr. Mason, I am even happier today, with the vices choice of replacements then I was yesterday. Keep the support teams focused on our Grounders advance.”
“Sir, yes, Sir.” Timothy responded to the commander of the Kaldartic, the Galactic Campaign Cruiser, that was the flag ship of the Toasian War Fleet.
17 years Later.
“Mr. Mason, you have been with fleet now for 17 years, typically someone with your skills and abilities might choose the Training facility as their end of tour purpose. I am told you are choosing to retire. We could use you at the facility.”
“Thank you sir, but I didn’t have a choice of purpose when I started with the Fleet, now that I do have a choice I will not be apart of War. Thank you though for your kind words.”
30 Years Later.
It was a cool day on Taos in the Quarstanian district of Flean. Timothy Mason sat reading a book, drinking a hot cup of tea. Then it happened, the faint cry for help, his ears perked he tilted his head, stood and slowly walked in the direction of the meowing. The distress in a cat’s meow is distinct and clear to a cat lover, Timothy didn’t really like cats.
A few moments later Timothy Mason arrived at the base of an extremely old, large, and tall tree in the park, several young folk gathered beneath, necks strained, heads tilted back eyes focused on a small kitten about 30 feet up. The distressed meow came in steady intervals.
“Won’t one of you young folks climb up there and get that cat?”
“We’re not allowed to climb the trees.”
“It’s too far up Mister.”
Timothy Mason looked about, stepped to the tree and climbed, in short order he had reached the Cat, stuck it on his shoulder and climbed back down to the cheers of the children and the smiles of several adults who had come over to see what was going on.
Everyone agreed, Mr. Mason the grumpy old man was quite the chap.
T. Mark Mangum, 7 May 2020
Published in Medium, 7 May 2020, https://medium.com/@tmarkmangum/mr-mason-44f9453caebf