Associates and Partners

Chapter Seven

Associates and Partners

 

Worlds Collide

Val was ecstatic. Tim’s company had little choice but to deal with Colossus for processors, and he had been given the task of liaising with them. He was to contact a lady called Elaine to arrange for the shipment of test units to and from her lab. The plan was for her to get a processor, and him to get a module. Both companies, then, would investigate the connection of the two, and of the whole to the outside world. Tim and Val had finished Tim’s place, and Irene had arrived. The two who had spent so much time together were now both extremely busy, and other than quick phone calls had little time for one another. Elaine had excelled at the enhancement of the module software, and an older fellow named Ted had been hired to enhance the module hardware, especially concerning the interfaces permitted with the outside world of devices. The enhanced module was partially functional with the current processor, but full functionality required the latest processor to drive the extended interface completely.

Elaine was ecstatic.

 

<[——]>

New Pad, New Pal

After leaving her home on the island, Elaine had stayed with her grandparents. With her new job, she decided to move closer to the office.

Even as she was setting up her new place of residence, a sweet older neighbor appeared at the door with a meal for her. This seemed awfully nice on the Saturday she moved in, but when it went on for the Sunday, and then the Monday after work, Elaine was amazed. Tuesday found her knocking on this new “friend indeed’s” door where Millie quickly invited her in for a visit.

It was awesome how, regardless of the age difference, and the point of origin, they had so much in common. Both found comfort in the proximity of the other.

 

<[——]>

Home sort of

It was not Iceland or Heimaey, but it was so good to be with family! Magnus and Dora had come to Canada for a visit with her folks and contacted Val, hoping he could get away for a couple of days as well.

They had targeted a long weekend, and so, using a couple of days of vacation, Val could spend five days with them, minus travel time of course. Bill and Lily met him at the airport, and they were pulling into the driveway in no time. Dora’s tears showed the common open emotion of women… Magnus’ tight hug the more hidden, but the deep emotion of men. So good to see their son! And so much catching up to do.

 

<[——]>

Why?

WHAT IS THAT!, the alarm? No, red alert on an old episode of Star Trek? No. As the sleep fog cleared, it turned out to be the phone. “Elaine Olafsson?” Even in her drowsy state, the formality was severe.

“Yes, who is this please?” “Ma’am, this is Sargent Phillips with the police. Are you Elaine Olafsson?” “Yes, I am.” “I’m afraid there has been an accident. I believe you are related to Sarah and James Olafsson, is that correct?”. Oh, no! Not Gramma and Grampa! “Yes, I am their granddaughter.” “Ma’am, after years on the force, I still am no closer to finding a gentle way to say this. Your Grandmother was killed instantly by an oncoming vehicle. Your Grandfather was taken to the Hospital, but I’m sorry to report that he has also succumbed to his injuries. When you can, could you please go to Grace General Hospital. Their identification looks fine, but it would be more conclusive if you would verify their identity. Also, there are some papers to be signed. Ken Olafsson, I believe that would be your father, has also been notified. He and your mother will be here as soon as they can… Ma’am, are you still there?”. “Ah, yes, thank you, officer.” “Okay, sorry for your loss, if you need to reach me please ask for Olly Phillips, or badge number 547 at the No.4 precinct, goodbye Ma’am”. There was no attempt to be rude, but the phone was put down without another word, and she stood in shock for some time. But eventually, she was able to put one foot in front of the other, and get into some clothing for the trip to the hospital.

 

<[——]>

What Next!

In her daze, it took a while for her to notice the red-yellow flashes on the wall, which was just as well since when she did, she was fully dressed and able to spring into action instantly.

One quick look out the window confirmed her worst fear. Millie’s house was in flames! Her body was now moving faster than her mind it seemed. She was through the front door in an instant. Had it been locked? She didn’t know… up the steps to the bedroom, and on her way down the stairs before realizing the burning in her throat. She was half carrying, half dragging her friend, and exited the door to the wail of sirens, and the added confusion of flashing, and rotating lights pulling up to the curb. In no time the fire trucks were joined by an Ambulance into which Millie was quickly put to be rushed away to the Hospital.

It was Friday. Monday was a holiday. The long weekend was starting early for Elaine, but no joy there. She phoned work to update them but had no idea when she would next be in the lab.

After the terrible trip to Grace General, Elaine went to the little Cottage Hospital nearer her new home to check on Millie. She found her in good spirits. Other than a few superficial burns, Millie was fine.

Elaine’s burns were minor as well. Millie was soon laughing about the change the smoke inhalation had wrought in their voices. She quipped “I should sound like an old lady, but you sure do not look the part! And not only an old lady, but sounds like you were a heavy smoker for years!”. It was good to hear her laugh a little, but then Elaine had to update her on the rest of her life, and loss.

Millie was devastated. Their friendship ran deep. They cried together for some time. There would be more tears, but for now, it was time to moved on.

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