Continued from Part Five
Jason Justice waited for his mother to pick up.
“Jason?” said his mother. “The Lords are in session. I don’t have long.”
His mother, a Baroness, had moved back to England after the Admiral’s death and gotten herself a peership.
“Mother, I’ve been thinking about coming out of retirement.”
She gasped. “You’re joking, aren’t you?” She paused. “You’re not joking. Jason, for God’s sake, you’re sixty-two years old.”
“I read a magazine article that said some urge taking mini-retirements. You know, take a few years off and then come back.”
“Sure, if you’re a museum curator or a clerk. Not taking on hoodlums a third your age on the streets of New York City.”
“Mom, why bring that up? You don’t look or feel eighty-six.”
“And I work hard to make sure I don’t.”
Mother tried to make people think she was forty, but without trying she’d pass for fifty-five. “Well, I don’t look sixty-two, either, and I certainly don’t feel it. By the way, what was that I read in the London Guardian about some super criminal stopped by an unknown middle-aged woman?”
A long space of silence.
“Son, it wasn’t anything big, really. Just some hoodlum who thought, with Lord History gone, London would be a personal playground. It’s not like I’m proposing going back into service as Britannia. I know my limits.”
“Well, I think I’ve got a little more fight in me.”
“The Admiral thought that, too. Son, haven’t we had enough grief? Haven’t we sacrificed enough?”
“Mom, I can’t just sit here if there’s something I can do about this craziness. Don’t worry. I won’t end up like Dad.”
“It was really unfair of him.”
“To leave me all alone for more than thirty years. Jane will live a long time, thanks to the treatment she received, and she deserves to have a husband. What did she say?”
“She wasn’t too hot with the idea, but said she’d support me if it was God’s will.”
“Oh, you are your father’s son. She doesn’t want you to do it, but she loves you so much, she’ll let you get yourself killed.”
“Mom, I’ve faced down some of the most dangerous men in the world. Did you never read about it?”
“I don’t read the New York papers. If I even imagined you doing the things that your father and I did back in our day . . . .” She sobbed softly. “I just hoped that, when I called, you were all right.”
Jason looked over on the wall at a picture of his son, the Commander. “You didn’t follow Dewey’s career, either, I assume.”
“It’s too bad. He was the best.” Better than him, but not as good as the Admiral. No one could be that good. “Mom, I know what happened with Dad hurt, but I need you to be proud of me, not so scared that you can’t find out what I’m doing.”
“You’re awfully old to still want your mother’s approval. You better be sure that this is the right thing to do, and if it is, don’t run out and start fighting the Expander or some nonsense. You’re in fine shape for a man your age, but you’ll need to train.”
“I love you, Mom.”
“I love you, too, Jason. And Son—”
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