This excerpt is small but tasty: it’s a flashback from Kat’s teenage years, and shows the family dynamic of a multiple-parent family with polyamorous links.
from the Buckingham Lease (c) copyright 2010 Karin A. Robinson
It is an uncommon privilege to be allowed on the Red Sox playing field; certainly no one but the unofficial royal family of Luna would be able to stage their own impromptu game. Today, the Sandersen clan is the topic of a “lighter side” segment for some vidchat on Mercury, and the idea of playing an inning or two for the folks watching in Shatner has turned the chore of posing for vid into a rare treat.
Even more rare is seeing Wing in such a happy mood, unconcerned by the camera-droids unobtrusively zipping around the family. He’s actually wearing a Red Sox cap backwards, hunching over first base just like Carny Johnson, the Sox’s legendary baseman. “Hey battabattabatta,” he calls in a singsong voice.
“You can stop that any time you like,” Carlos laughs, shouldering the bat.
“Just getting into the mood,” Wing replies jauntily. “C’mon, Perce, are you going to stand there or are you going to pitch?”
“Just stand there,” Susan shouts from second base. “The view is fabulous.”
“Let the man pitch, Suze,” Reg calls, grinning from underneath the catcher’s mask. “You’ll have all night tonight to admire the view.”
“Yes,” Susan replies, “but I keep thinking: why did I ever leave that behind?”
“Because you married me,” Reg replies dryly. “Come on, Perce, what are you waiting for? A trans-Belt com window?”
Kat shakes her head. She’s proud that her parents have enough confidence in her athletic skills to have put her at shortstop, but she wishes they’d stop twizzing around and start playing some ball.
“Will everyone crash the chatter?” Percival mutters. “I’m trying to savor the moment here. This is New Fenway, after all.”
“The chatter is an integral part of the baseball experience,” Wing protests. “No batta, hey batta, hey battabatta …”
“Crash it, Wilma,” Percival growls.
“Just pitch the ball, Perce,” Carlos smiles. “I’m going to send it right out into the stands.”
“In your dreams, Ramirez,” Wing calls.
“Just watch me, Parkhurst,” Carlos answers. “That is, if my darling husband thinks he can still pitch.”
“I can still pitch, Ramirez. Can you still bat?”
“Throw the ball and you’ll find out.”
It’s wonderful to see Percival Sandersen in action. The Heir to the Buckingham Lease moves as gracefully as the cheetahs in the Luna City Carnivore Preserve as he slowly winds up, then shifts into a flurry of movement, sending a fastball right over the plate.
“Stee-rike one!” Sumi shouts.
“Heybatta, no batta …”
“Crash it, Parkhurst. All right, so I let that one through,” Carlos admits, shouldering the bat once more. “I’ll really clonk this one, watch me.”
“We’re watching, Ramirez,” Susan grins. “We’re just not impressed.”
“You can do it, Dad,” Serena calls from the on-deck circle.
“Nahh, my Dad can beat your Dad any day,” Hiroshi taunts from left field.
“Enough, pups,” Percival says, smiling. He winds up again.
“Had enough, Ramirez?” Percival shouts happily, as Reg tosses him the ball.
Carlos knocks the bat on the plate. “I’ve got one more chance, Sandersen.”
“One more chance to blow it,” Wing smirks.
“Ease, Parkhurst,” Sumi growls. “I might decide to call a technical foul.”
“That’s stadball, sweet,” Percival says.
“Actually, she is right,” Wing begins. “Although it’s not called a technical foul, the umpire may –”
“Shoot the rule book down the flipper, Wilma,” Percival replies, laughing. “I just wanna play some ball.”
Hear, hear, Kat thinks, as her father pitches again.
“Come on, Sandersen, is that all you’ve got?” Carlos calls. Kat has often heard people say that Stratos College on Io lost their best slugger when Carlos Ramirez graduated, but Percival Sandersen actually pitched for the Sox’s AA farm team for a year, before his diplomatic duties and Lady Carmen’s career forced him to give up professional sports.
Percival pitches again.
“Right into the stands, eh, Ramirez?”
“Crash it, Parkhurst. Come on, Sandersen, can’t you pitch better than that?”
“How d’you like this one, then?” Percival laughs.
“That was never –”
“Just throw the ball, Sandersen,” Sumi says sternly.
Percival pulls a comical face.
“And stop twizzing for the vid.”
Percival briefly centers himself, then throws a fastball directly over the plate. Carlos swings and the bat connects with a clean cracking sound, sending the ball straight between second and third. Without thinking, Kat steps forward and catches it neatly, just before it bounces.
“Yer’ OUT!” Sumi booms in her best umpire voice, jerking her thumb over her shoulder.
Kat throws the ball back to the pitcher’s mound, then blushes when all her parents – Wing included – break into applause.
“She’s got your gift, Perce,” Carlos grins, and takes a detour into the infield to hug Kat and ruffle her hair, before heading back to the dugout.
And here’s the accompanying art.
In this little universe, there’s only one major league baseball club whose charter goes back to the old days on Earth, although they’ve moved to a different city.
And just so y’all know, I’m a Yankees fan. The salute is intended as a gift to my husband, in grudging concession for the Unfortunate Events of October 2004.