Jewel’s ability to broadcast calm made her no fun at parties but perfect for a life in peacekeeping. She volunteers and goes to the Nyal Imperium for duty as the forerunner of the peacekeeping force on a mining colony.
Taken by an unmanned ship, Jewel finds herself on an arena station, cruising through space. The medics use her skills for calm to keep a patient calm who cannot be sedated, and when their eyes meet across the crowded med bay, she finds herself pulled into a state of confusion. She has finally met a man who shakes her calm, and his slow smile says that he knows it.
She was in a room full of men who had just finished combat training, and while a few were giving her sly looks, the majority were relaxing and sitting back.
“Well done, Ms. Springs. Your sister was correct.”
Amanda was standing next to Recruiter Norz and smiling like a fool. “Told you.”
The men in the room were staring at Amanda, and she began to preen under all the attention.
Jewel stepped toward Amanda and the men calmed down. Her sister put her hands on her hips. “See?”
Jewel sighed. “Fine. I see. I understand and I will go.”
Amanda sighed. “I am not telling you to go. I am just saying that you actually have the ability to calm people down. That has to be good for something more important than Thanksgiving with the family.”
Jewel sighed and smiled. “If I leave, I will miss this year.”
“I look forward to the fistfights.” Amanda hugged her. “I mean it. Knowing that you are out there and using what you have been given is an amazing gift, but don’t think that I won’t be expecting something for Christmas or my birthday.”
Jewel looked at the Recruiter and he nodded.
She smiled and muttered. “I will try to send you something.”
Recruiter Norz called out, “Dismissed!”
The security detachment got up and filed out of the room. The recruiter herded them into the hall and down to a meeting room where Jewel signed away her right to her own world.
“You can return in three years, if you so wish, or stay out there if you find that you are doing well. It will be up to you, Jewel.” Norz’s voice was kind.
Amanda looked at him curiously, “What job do you think she could do?”
He looked at her and then Jewel with a slow smile. “I think she has a career in riot control ahead of her. The ability to calm folk is not a common one, or at least it is not as obvious as hers is.”
Jewel leaned back, “I always strive to be unobtrusive.”
“That is what makes you effective. Be at this address in ten days. Your future awaits.”
Jewel took the card and nodded.
Amanda snatched it. “She will be there.”
Her sister bustled her out and took her for a celebratory coffee to toast the new direction in her life.
Jewel blinked. “Why are you so excited about this?”
“Because it is exciting, Jewel. I know you can’t recognize it when you see it, but trust me, this is a good thing.”
Jewel sipped at her coffee and smiled. “I trust you, Amanda.”
Amanda looked at her and there was sadness behind her bright and determined eyes. “I know you do, so I am making this choice for you, but don’t trust anyone who hasn’t proved to have your best interests at heart.”
Jewel wrinkled her nose. “How can I figure that out?”
“You have to watch them and wait until they put themselves between you and trouble without asking for anything in return. Someone who does that, you can trust.”
Jewel nodded and finished her coffee. “You can tell Mom.”
“Talk about potentially hazardous duty.” Amanda grinned.