Mail Call

A rare occurrence, that’s what it was. But why? Why had someone gone through all the trouble of sending her a handwritten letter by mail? Especially since the postal service in its old shape had ceased to exist 125 years ago. To send a letter nowadays was nearly impossible. Only one family still carried the torch. They still delivered mail, sure, but it was an exclusive service and only for those who could prove the more ordinary means were not fit for the mailed item.

Disclaimer: well, I used to own my muse, but she left/died – do you really think I want to be bothered with trivial things like Paramount?? *grin* guess again!

To KateF: chatroom buddy extraordinaire, keeper of the faith, and good friend :)

* ~ * ~ *

A rare occurrence, that’s what it was. But why? Why had someone gone through all the trouble of sending her a handwritten letter by mail? Especially since the postal service in its old shape had ceased to exist 125 years ago. To send a letter nowadays was nearly impossible. Only one family still carried the torch. They still delivered mail, sure, but it was an exclusive service and only for those who could prove the more ordinary means were not fit for the mailed item.

Rumor was that some of the most secretive dealings during the recent war were carried out via this means of communication.

The family never was one for ordinary messages, and convincing them of the importance of the letter was difficult. And tedious. And you could be sure that whatever you wrote would not be a secret to them. They held the exclusive right to read the letters when they sought fit to do so. Only very few people ever received a “hand”mailed letter, and those who did were usually the envy of the community. Whenever a letter was delivered, it meant the entire town would know even before dinnertime. And the receiver would have to get used to constant visitors all wanting to see this piece of evidence of times gone by.

Was she at all happy with the letter? After returning she had succesfully disappeared out of the public spotlight. She still received numerous requests for appearances, but she was certain they would forget her, even though it had only been six months since their arrival back in San Francisco.

* ~ * ~ *

“…and on your left you will see the old Burrough, placed on the man-made hill – the castle was built in the 1200-s under order of the viscounts…”

Of all the things she had imagined, this wasn’t one of them. For the past hour she’d been forced to listen to the Mayor and his guide. It wasn’t that she wasn’t interested but she had never envisioned having to parade around the Federation. But Starfleet had asked her, well they really almost ordered her to go, and in return they mostly left her alone.

A rare occurrence, that’s what it was. But why? Why had someone gone through all the trouble of sending her a handwritten letter by mail? Especially since the postal service in its old shape had ceased to exist 125 years ago. To send a letter nowadays was nearly impossible. Only one family still carried the torch. They still delivered mail, sure, but it was an exclusive service and only for those who could prove the more ordinary means were not fit for the mailed item.

The group made their way through the historic part of town.

“Captain, over there in the middle of the street you will see a blue stone: the Blue Stone actually. It’s an old remainder of a Roman road that marked the northern boundary of the ancient Roman Empire.”

The guide droned on about something and didn’t notice he had lost his audience.

The day after she had received the letter B’Elanna had stopped by. Of course she claimed she didn’t know about the letter, but her arrival was too much of a coincedence. Within 5 minutes of B’Elanna’s entrance, Kathryn’s mom called: all under the guise of seeing how her daughter was doing.

“…it later became a prison and it is presently still part of the Law School of the University. Many protestants were martyred here under the Inquisition. Captain, you have been quiet. Are there any questions you might want to ask at this point of the tour?”

Argh… questions, just when she hadn’t been paying attention. If only … no don’t go there. It’s no use, you are here alone trying to bluff your way through a tour that you’re not even interested in. Now what had the guide been saying? Yes, something about the Inquisition. All she needed now was a proverbial lightbulb and come up with an intelligent question.

In the past she wouldn’t have had to worry about planetary dignitaries and their questions. She’d always had her backup. Today however she was alone.

“Mr Jansen, was the Inquisition a real threat to the more liberal Republic?”

Well, she managed, somehow. Her guide went into a detailed description not noticing he had once again lost her.

He had promised never to leave her alone. He would always shoulder her burden. But he wasn’t here. Her mother would accuse her of pouting, Phoebe would say she was just being herself, B’Elanna would say she was feeling sorry for herself, Tuvok would say she was acting illogically, Tom would tell her to get her act together and do something about the fact that she was alone. She grinned to herself, hoping her hosts wouldn’t notice. She was alone, and she was damned if she was just gonna sit still and let it ruin her life.

“Excuse me, I don’t want to interrupt you, but I can remember you mentioning something about pigeons just now.”

“Why yes, Captain, indeed. I was saying that although it isn’t used anymore, the family who during the Siege in 1573-1574 used pigeons to send and bring messages between the people inside the town and the navy of William of Orange, are still on a very small scale using their services for very special mail calls only.”

Now for those of you who are interested, Kathryn is being taken on a tour of all the Pilgrim Fathers’ things that can be found in Leiden, the town I live in.