“Well, we could be hardwired to feel good while diving through a wormhole,” admitted Taggery, “and that would help us get over the sheer insanity of being the first into a newly discovered one. Or of going into any wormhole, really.”
“Your mother will be disappointed if don’t have children,” said her father gently.
“Why, so?” Taggery looked surprised. “She already has grandchildren and from what I read in the announcements archives this morning at least three of the others haven’t had kids yet.”
Tellin burst out with, “You read the all announcement archives since you were here last?”
At the same time his father started saying, “But she does want,” he paused to let Tellin finish then went on, “you to be happy. She thinks a family unit where you feel like you belong would make you happy and if it can’t be ours, then one with your own children would be the thing.”
Taggery pointed at her brother, “Tellin, yes, I did. Why not?” Then she turned to her father and went on, “The thing is diving through worm holes isn’t compatible with sustaining a pregnancy. I can explain the science to you, if Tellin’s squeamishness about biological processes doesn’t get in the way.” She flashed a smile at her brother who waved his hand in a way that either indicated ‘don’t mind me’ or ‘leave me out of this.’
“That could help explain why there are so few Pilots overall,” her father commented drily. “Not only do you have a recessive gene complex but half of you can’t have children.”
“It makes the traditional method inconvenient,” agreed Taggery, “but, as it happens, I’m currently considering a number of very interesting reproductive contracts being brokered by my current employer.”
Her father returned sharply, “Very interesting in what way?”
“In that I approve of all the proposed nurturing parents as people in whose care I would be prepared to leave my children.” She gave him a dry smile. “I’ve already rejected reproductive contracts because I didn’t approve of the nurturing parents or the mooted father.”
Tellin looked vaguely appalled and asked, “So have you ever actually entered into a reproductive contract? Do you have children that aren’t your children already?”
“No, to both questions,” Taggery told him as he gave a jerk that suggested their father had kicked him under the table, “and that’s not the legal relationship I would have with any of my children under one of the contracts I’m considering.”
“But if you’re giving up your eggs for donation-.“
Their father cut in warningly, “Tellin!”
“Not under this sort of reproductive contract,” added Taggery. “Really, Tellin, you should expand your horizons beyond maths, navigation and the tabloid newspapers.”
He looked surprised, “To what?”
“Law,” said Taggery.
“Manners,” added their father.
This is now followed by In The Face Of Disapproval.