Kimi ©2011 Gingezel
Briefly Meet the Tamaran Octagla Team


“What the -?!”

Dreen dropped the chip he was carefully inserting into an expansion slot as a high pitched wail reverberated through the room. This was a client’s office, not a Nemizcan Computing facility, but he figured Trevarr was used to profanity from the jocks at his Sports Medicine Clinic so he let himself swear as he straightened carefully. As CEO of Nemizcan Computing, he was getting too used to desk work. Easing his shoulders, Dreen noted that Trevarr didn’t seemed the least disturbed by the increasing racket.

“Kimi,” Trevarr said succinctly. Kimi was the infant daughter of his partner Mai.

To Dreen it looked like Trevarr wouldn’t mind putting his fingers in his ears. He had obviously clenched jaws. Dreen knew his own jaws were going to start aching in a minute. Kimi was the cutest little thing, half Oriental and tiny like her Oriental mother. So how did she make so much noise?

A smile suddenly spread across Trevarr’s handsome blond face. “This should be good.” Trevarr continued, “It’s the Tamaran Octagla team who will be heading there. That’s her ‘I want Tamara’ scream. Come watch.” He headed for the door.

Dreen followed at a slower pace. He was feeling the installation in his lower back as well as his shoulders. A grimace passed across his comfortable, lived in face, and he ran a hand through his salt and pepper hair.

“Mai is a good and responsible mother,” Trevarr said over his shoulder, “but this is her second child. When Kimi gets upset and starts crying, Mai looks on the monitors to see what’s wrong, then goes to her, but she doesn’t worry about setting a speed record doing it. She won’t this time - that’s the scream Kimi uses to attract the team.”

As Dreen stepped into the hall, he and Trevarr were passed by Tamara’s left wingers, brown haired fair Roban and blond haired black Larr, going at a good lope. Superstud, the small handsome brunette star center, was only a stride behind. Cocoa Mercan with his halo of frizzy hair and pretty boy blond Rundell, the right wingers, were converging from the opposite and of the hall.

Trevarr judged the distance. “Roban and Larr will get there first. Mercan and Rundell must have had to unwire from sensors.

“I know the developmental researchers will probably never settle the question of how much a baby knows and thinks at early stages, but I’d swear Kimi is starting to trade on attracting the guys to fuss over her. You see,” he explained, “if there is something really wrong - she’s hungry, or wet, or has to burp or whatever - she keeps crying until Mai gets there to see to it and the crying has a totally different sound. She doesn’t stop when the team arrives. And if she’s really outraged that the universe isn’t unfolding the way she thinks it should, she keeps it up for ten minutes or so. But lately there’s been this high-pitched squeal. I’m pretty tolerant,” Trevarr said, “but it puts my teeth on edge.”

Dreen nodded with total sympathy, remembering Jann’s baby parked on the end of her desk in the first crowded little Nemizcan Computing office. He’d been a good enough baby, but after three weeks of it there had been a collective negotiation with Jann on the until then nonexistent Nemizcan maternity policy - a home office for mommy. Trevarr didn’t have that option. Mai’s work was hands-on.

Roban and Larr were at the door. The more agile Roban made it through first. Dreen and Trevarr were two strides ahead of Mercan and Rundell. As they entered the room, Roban was hanging back slightly from the table Mai kept the baby carrier on. Larr was bent over Kimi smiling.

“Kimi! What’s wrong sweetie?” Roban’s voice was a concerned murmur and his farm boy face was worried.

“Hey kid!” Larr’s voice was loud and jovial, and there was a grin on his mahogany face framed by the incongruous blond hair he had inherited from his mother. As he tickled her ribs the shrieks subsided.

Mercan neatly elbowed Larr aside for his turn, his mobile face alternately grinning at Kimi and kissing the air with loud smacks as he tickled her under her chin. There was a happy gurgle, then Kimi grabbed unsuccessfully for Mercan’s hand.

“Let Roban try,” Trevarr said quietly.

Mercan stepped aside.

Roban moved closer to tickle Kimi with fingers protruding from the heavy bandaging of what they all hoped was the last round of surgery on his shattered hand.

“Hi Kimi,” he said in his usual soft diffident voice.

She grabbed for him, and Roban tried to help by moving his hand closer, but over compensated. She missed his extended finger. They tried again and missed. This time Kimi got poked. Her face started to bunch up, and there was another shriek.

Larr looked a question at Trevarr. Trevarr nodded. Roban’s fine coordination was still off then, when he wasn’t doing familiar exercises. He’d won them the championship game, but he’s paid.

Larr reached forward. “Hey, kid. You just want something to suck.” He traced the puckered mouth once with a finger, then again.

Kimi stopped shrieking and gave him a quizzical look.

“That’s right. Now open up.” Larr put the tip of a thick sweaty finger in her mouth and Kimi started sucking greedily.

Everyone in the room was smiles. Then suddenly both Kimi and Larr made faces.

“You stink! Did you just mess your diaper, Kimi? Well, I’m not changing it.”

Kimi now ignored Larr and his finger and started crying again, a totally different cry. Maras, the team enforcer, hobbled into the room, supported by his co-defenseman Big Luis who was taking on the role of cane. Between their black and blond bulks they took up the remaining space.

“Mai!” Maras’ voice was a warning growl, and his ugly black face was scowling. “You gonna take care of her?”

“If you get out of the way Maras!” Mai pushed Big Luis slightly closer to Maras and squeezed past as the volume rose. “Kimi, I’m here. I’m here. I just had to help Maras off the treadmill.”

“She hurt?” Maras tried to edge closer, his face concerned.

“Dirty diaper,” Larr said.

“Out, the lot of you!” Mai said. “It’s okay Kimi. Maras, I said Out!”