“So, what story shall Grandmama tell her poppets tonight?” the voice on the other end of the video call asked pleasantly.
The boy turned shyly away but spoke loudly, “The funny one!”
“Ah, a wise choice indeed, my little Tom. Now, where shall I begin?” The prim English didn’t match the slight Russian accent anymore than the youthful face fit the title grandmother, but neither child would have cared even if they could have noticed. “Best to start at the beginning…”
The girl shook her head, “We know that part!”
“Oh, do you now? Well, do tell.”
“You ran away from the evil queen and came here. ‘The big, sopping wet rock flinging around a dinky little star hiding in the outer spiral arm so no one would notice it’.”
“My, my, Tammy, you were paying attention. Alright then…” she cleared her throat slightly then picked up the story. “The pod’s AI, 1W-7, was a bit of what you would call ‘snarky’, but it was correct. I’d been to many worlds, but none like this one. So full of life and resources yet so far from civilization. 1W-7 hated it, but to me, it was perfect.”
“Tonight, I shan’t bore you with the trivial details of successfully landing a pod never intended to go dirt side – a fair bit of piloting and only a tiny crater if I do say so myself – stop wrinkling you nose, Tom…”
The children dutifully lay on their tummies, pillows under their chins and tucked in their little blankets. Tom smiled shyly and their grandmother continued.