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Epilogue: New Modern Love
Montana took to the Directorship as naturally as a duck to water. What she called her Command Team was a finely meshed unit. Stone handled combat skills training, meaning that the OutLook agents, already superior to the majority of their competitors, were soon incomparably better. Mac’s software and hardware skills, though harder to teach, still found fertile ground in a good number of agents. OutLook’s reputation as the premier organization for getting complex jobs done well blossomed.
Most of what became known as Team Montana returned to their positions with OutLook, spinning tales and collecting beers from anyone foolish enough to contradict their stories. Four stayed in Los Alamos, though, choosing to become the personal guards for Cass and Ken: Sanzari, Michael, Elle, and Alivia. To nobody’s surprise, Elle and Alivia finally admitted what had been apparent to everyone else. They moved in together, though they insisted that they wouldn’t get married.
Cass gave them three months.
Lisa’s life returned to something near normal. Eventually, she accepted a position at the venerable Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. There she designed a system to take advantage of the immense potential energy available in the oceans, providing power to ocean-going habitats. She returned to Los Alamos frequently, staying with Cass and Ken whenever she visited.
Kendra visited Dick often in Las Vegas, frequently with Aiyana, and he would embarrass Kendra no end by telling stories from their shared history. Kendra eventually persuaded him to take on an apprentice, arguing that his skills were too valuable to lose. Her choice? Joe Buckley. He agreed he really ought to get out of the field while he was still in more or less one piece.
As for Talbott, she made it out of New Orleans to collect her pay. After that, she lay low, unwilling to risk crossing Kendra and Aiyana again. She may have dreamed of revenge, but that’s all they were. She never worked in the business again.
Aiyana and Kendra eventually decided that trading last names was simply too confusing for everyone, including themselves. Aiyana dropped the “Foster-Briggs,” returning to Cassidy, which Kendra also retained. The Cassidy’s kept as low profile as their sudden wealth could manage and managed to live reasonably everyday lives. Much to the dismay of Archie Leach, they hired him to change the inheritance rules of the D.D. Harriman Trust.
“I refuse – refuse – to burden any child of mine with the name Delos!” insisted Aiyana, and Kendra supported her. As it happened, their first child, carried by Kendra, was a girl. Their second, carried by Aiyana, was also a girl. Mikki Cristina Cassidy and Lisa Amanda Cassidy never knew how fortunate they were.
Aiyana’s theory proved out in testing. The only limitation was power, as the energy requirements of the process grew geometrically with the distance. It meant her transporter could be used to get from one point to another anywhere on the planet and as far into space as geosynchronous orbit but couldn’t push farther than that.
There was blowback from all sides of the transportation industry, but she had the money to withstand the assaults. Cass demonstrated the safety and reliability of her design by sending herself through fourteen portals, scattered across the globe and in low Earth orbit, in five minutes. But she also emphasized that, for bulk transport, other, traditional methods – tube, train, semi-ballistic – were more cost-effective. That ended most of the opposition.
Kendra spent most of her time supervising the warp vessel Mac discovered in her cybersnooping. As promised, she named it Enterprise. Much to Kendra’s regret, she gave up her Hoosac hideaway. “Getting in and out of the People’s Republic is just too much of a pain in my ass,” she said after a particularly arduous border crossing. She turned it over to OutLook. Kendra flatly refused to give up the Bugatti, though. For years whenever they could, Kendra would take Aiyana out in it and drive and drive.
It was a blissful time.
In 2118, representatives of the United Earth government approached Aiyana. They needed help with a problem with the Artemis Colony on Luna.
But that’s another story.