|USF Personal Log|
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In the month leading up to Adelina’s arrival to the outpost, Lukas found comfort in nothing. He spent most of his time secluded in the shed that he hadn’t been able to finish and didn’t have the heart to work on. He didn’t figure he would have time once his niece arrived, so why bother completing the space? It was simply the only part of his life that hadn’t been touched by Jane. The constant reminder of her absence was almost as heartbreaking as his ongoing grief. The emotional roller coaster never stopped. Mostly it was sadness. There were moments that he was angry with himself, other moments he was angry at Jane. He struggled daily and work was a chore.
When he received word from Marius that his niece was at Farpoint Station and would board a shuttle for the outpost in the morning, Lukas knew he had to get his act together. Both his and Lina’s life had been turned upside down and they had to find strength in each other. It meant getting back into his routine, no matter how much his body and soul ached.
Lukas rose with the sun and went for a run along the rim of the crater lake. He showered and dressed for work before cooking breakfast. He couldn’t yet stand to consume much food, so a single sausage link was forced down his throat. After a few days, he noted that it was easier to eat though there was still no flavor on his tongue.
He’d noticed that Jane left the shuttle for him to use but never got a chance to ask why or how. He learned the hard way when he saw her step out of another shuttlecraft and a male voice bid her a good evening. The German assumed that she’d already moved on from him - and why wouldn’t she? It was how she worked, though a voice told him otherwise. He had been cruel to her when she was just trying to help. She had been there. The very thought took his breath away and the ache in his heart grew tenfold. It was true. She had been there and he had pushed her away.
After work he cooked a light dinner. There was always enough for two, but the packaged leftovers were never touched. He heard her moving around the house and knew that she saw him trying. He took her avoidance as the rejection he deserved. Jane was the first one up - which spoke volumes in itself - and the last one to come home. Lukas started taking the leftovers for his lunches at the outpost, though he often gave it to one of his coworkers.
The routine helped him to feel physically more like himself. Emotionally, there was simply no solace in anything. After two weeks, he requested to take some extra time and go out to meet Lina and the transport. It was carrying a light load, something he could transfer to one of the larger roundabouts and save the La Cetto the trip. Upon approval, he packed a bag, left a note for Jane, and took off toward Farpoint Station.
It took two weeks to rendezvous with the La Cetto and in that time, all of his routine had been abandoned. Lukas was nervous and scared and completely unprepared for the life-changing event. He landed the roundabout in the hangar of the larger cargo ship and stepped off to meet his niece. The girl was comfortable in VIP quarters and a security officer led the way. The German paused at the door but forced himself to step inside with a smile when it slid open. He saw the dirty blonde hair and ice green eyes and fell to his knees. Adelina looked just like his sister Rosine. The resemblance had him realizing that he still had family, they lived on in her and in him. His arms wrapped around the girl when she jumped against him and he held her tight, letting her hair absorb his tears. He felt moisture from her tears on his dress shirt and whispered reassurances into her hair.
The next morning, Lukas had a brief discussion with the captain of the La Cetto. They agreed that perhaps the larger ship was better suited to transporting the cargo to Phoenix and his roundabout remained parked in their hangar. The operations officer took advantage of the room to learn as much as he could about his niece. Gone was the bubbly girl he remembered. She asked constantly for her mother and it was difficult to try and explain all of her ‘why?’s. She threw tantrums and he had to learn really quick how to properly communicate with a four year old. Adelina pushed his limits - thought he hadn’t been aware that there were any - and he struggled to shift from fun uncle to father figure. There were times they sat down and had surprisingly deep and honest conversations about death and their pain, while others that they played hide and go seek, or learned about all the controls on the bridge.
During the two week journey back to Outpost Phoenix, he found a weight lifted from his shoulders, though another felt far heavier. Lukas was still concerned about his future and whether or not it would ever include Jane, but he couldn’t take the time to dwell on it. Adelina required his attention 24/7 and it thankfully left him little room for regret. It made it easier to ignore the crates that had been shipped along with the young girl, the things from his family’s estate that were left to him. He wondered if there would ever be a time he could stand to go through them.
Once they landed on Tahnna Whanna IV, he carried the young girl on his shoulders to the beach of the lake. They walked along the shore and he pointed out where he worked. On the way to the colony, Lukas brought her by the daycare facility that he had arranged for her to stay while he was on duty. Adelina got along famously with the Betazoid woman and it warmed his chest to know he’d done something right. The operations officer requested a ride to the island and to have the crates transported to his shed. They could be easily forgotten about there.