by Nightlit

Disclaimer: If it is illegal for you to read this for any reason (such as your age or location) I cannot stop you but you do so at your own risk.  Also, if you show this story to anyone to whom it is illegal for any reason you also do so at your own risk.  This story is not a sex story, but that said it will have graphic erotic scenes including descriptions of nudity.  The people involved are (obviously, considering the setting) purely fictional and any similarities to any real people is purely coincidental.  I will not promise sex or even romance in every chapter, so if you are looking for a quick jack off story, you might want to check out the "Encounters" section.  If you are offended by this story, realize that you willingly read further at your own risk and may stop at any time.

One Landon: A Co-military Future

"This is the ship, the Arguile.  What do you think Landon?"  Really, Alex already knows the answer to that question.  I have been through the ship schematics more than once and have seen many visuals of the inside of the ship.  This is technically the first time I have actually physically seen it, but being an engineer, I already have a good idea what its like.

"I think you need a hobby," I say, sighing but smiling lightly, "And before you say anything, a hobby other than showing off to me." He lowers his head in mock disappointment as I say this then we both snicker our private laugh.

"Yeah, yeah, you always tell me that."  Alex drapes his arm over my shoulder as he says this, something he can do easily as my shoulder comes almost exactly up to his armpit.  I could tell you many stories about what has resulted from that over the years, but they are probably more than you want to know.  Alex is incredibly tall, has broad shoulders and visibly muscular but not outlandishly thick arms.  If his entire body were like that he might look like an Olympian from Earth, but his body slopes making his upper body look almost ridiculous on his slender frame.  It isn't that he isn't muscular, nor that he's out of shape, because in fact he's in far better shape than me and could even lift me up and toss me around if he wanted to.  No, he was always built like that even when we were kids.  Speaking of kids, looking like one is one thing he never lost, he looks almost the same as he did when he was thirteen just after he lost his baby fat.  Combine that with an almost complete lack of body hair and he looks like some oversized teenager.  I on the other hand am just skinny.  Its not that I'm short or overly small, Alex is taller than me but he's one of the tallest people I know.  My shoulders are small, my body is pretty much straight, with no hips to speak of and my muscles are more toned than large, making them mostly invisible unless I flex them.  I look a little older than him, but not much, my face doesn't look like a kid's but I never had much body hair either and my body never filled out, so I also tend to be mistaken for a teenager.  Alex hopes that I will grow some more, mostly so we can wrestle more evenly like we used to, though he does enjoy tossing me around, often to my dismay.  Alex and I have been best friends since we were kids, so that's nothing new.

As much as Alex had been jokingly bragging about the ship all morning, in truth it isn't all that impressive.  Not to say that the Arguile is a bad ship, not at all, she's fine as ships go.  But she is also a pretty typical design.  She's not a prototype or some special high end model, just a normal daring class military corvette.

I had always loved that the title "daring class."  At the time of its original design about fifty years ago, it was daring, hence its name.  A larger ship, though not a large ship by any means, built in a similar style to what at the time would have been a fighter for more combat maneuverability.  No one knew how effective it would be since it was based mostly on theory and previous ships had been built with armor more than maneuverability in mind.  The fact that we still use them today is a testament to their success.  Not that we are using the complete original specs of course, numerous upgrades and enhancements have been made to the ships since then.  But there is an old adage, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  Not that I necessarily agree with that adage, but in general it's a safe one to live by.  Incidentally, because people tended towards more aerodynamic designs for fighters (despite the fact being aerodynamic makes almost no difference in space) and its generally smaller size, the daring class also proved quite useful for planetary environments (though it is quite larger when compared to standard planetary vessels).  Thus daring class ships are probably the most commonly used ship both in the military and by civilians, making it about the least actually daring thing one could ever hope to find.

The Arguile was a co-military ship, meaning it has a military command crew and an almost entirely separate civilian medical and engineering staff.  Technically, the military captain is in command of the ship, but in practice the civilian staff is mostly autonomous from the command structure.  This is by design.  In the early days of real space travel and especially space combat most combat ready ships had entirely military crews.  While this worked as well as one might expect most of the time, there were a few disastrous incidents where the military commander, who had little to no knowledge of starship engineering, made some executive orders of his engineering staff which were not even outrageous, they were impossible.  As a result the military was out some very expensive ships and over a hundred thousand personnel, many of whom were cadets as one of the incidents wasn't during a mission but was during a training exercise.  The captain had wanted to keep to his schedule because he didn't want to look bad and because of that the engine went critical at the wrong moment do to what would have been a minor oversight had the engineers been allowed to finish their jobs.

One might have expected that the military would sweep all of this under the rug and blame it on negligence as they had with some previous incidents but instead someone realized that this was actually a major problem and it lead to a very different way of looking at space travel.  While in space, there is little to no margin for error as the only thing you have to rely on for survival is the ship itself since you can't exactly abandon ship in a vacuum and escape pods are pretty much useless as the amount of food and air they can hold is nothing compared to the amount of time generally takes a ship to scour an area even knowing generally where things are.  Add the fact that military escape pods need to run silent and have radar stealth to be useful in response to an attack and one realizes that they just aren't worth it.  Most military ships nowadays simply don't have any.  The only similar situation that exists on earth is a submarine below crush death, but the number of submersibles that were capable of that in the past was nothing compared to the number of starships that were run by the military even in those first few years of space travel, let alone today.  Rather than a special highly dangerous specialty job, it had become the norm.

Numerous things were tried but ultimately the problem was never with the ship or its crew, or at least not directly.  It was nearly always the inability of many military commanding officers to let things out of their control remain so.  The final decision, and the one still used, was the separation of the engineering and eventually also the medical staff from the military command structure.  Thus came about the co-military crews.  Most of the military engineers were then discharged, they had become a liability in the new times because of their adherence to military command structure, the exact thing that was the major problem and civilian engineers, who were often just as if not more capable than the original military ones were used in their place.  There was a long transitionary period where there was a lot of unrest on the ships, military officers didn't like the civilians lack of discipline (despite that this was the very reason they were hired) and especially their refusal to follow some orders and the civilians were similarly annoyed with the military officers treating them as lowly privates, when technically it was the civilians who had the most veto powers not the military.

Thankfully there was no major military conflict during this time and once everything settles down, it was found that this method worked really well.  It wasn't nearly as fast or "efficient" as a single command structure, but it kept the ships running safely and effectively and the mere presence of civilian personnel made the military more cautious and saved a lot of lives.  Callously throwing away soldiers was a thing of the past, not only was this a silly strategy in space warfare (after all, in space throwing away a soldier usually involves throwing away a resource intensive ship as well) but it also made the military a lot more likable and more people willingly joined it.  Many of these people were skilled individuals who shied away from it for ethical or idealistic reasons.

And so we get back to the present.  I am a civilian engineer and Alex is a private in the military.  Alex is actually the reason I'm there.  I was always training to be an engineer but I probably would have ended up in some R&D position considering my skills except that the Arguile, the ship Alex was assigned to, was in need of an emergency engineer (commonly referred to jokingly as a jury-rig officer) and he recommended me for the job.  The funny thing is, even though it's my first day, emergency engineer is a pretty high end job with a lot of duty, and in terms of the command structure I outrank Alex by a lot (well, technically I didn't have a rank).  I can even order the captain around if it's during an engineering emergency and I have good enough reason to, though any of the engineering or medical leaders can.  I am incredibly apprehensive as a result of this.  I am only twenty-one years old and I am not looking forward to being in a room with so many older individuals that I am supposedly equal in rank to.  It's actually not so uncommon for the emergency engineer to be younger than the rest of the crew, since a lot of them are picked from people who had a lot of promise with creative solutions that tended to work rather than people with a huge amount of experience.  It might have sounded odd, but this has been an effective strategy so far.  That fact doesn't really make me feel any better though do I do what I generally do when I'm nervous, survey the ship schematics in my head yet again in preparation for the meeting I have to go to.

The ship itself is relatively small, but it still has lodging for 132 permanent residents.  There are nine extra lodgings set aside for non permanent usage for a total of 141 lodgings altogether.  It's rare that a ship runs at full capacity however and the Arguile is no exception, so there are current more temporary lodgings available.  As a corvette the Arguile is built more for maneuverability and speed more than durability or power.  It also means that the black outer hull (all military daring class ships are black, to blend in with the surrounding space better) has a navy finish along the central edge of the ship to physically annotate its purpose.  It is long, slender and roughly triangular in shape and has wings that can unfold for atmospheric use, not so different in basic design from an old twenty-first century fighter jet, simply far larger.  The outer hull is armored, but the ship isn't built to take a beating and the Arguile in specific is more lightly armored even compared to other daring class ships because of its improved thermal plating.  Daring class ships are separated into five different decks with four smaller access decks between them in a semi-cylindrical (though not perfectly circular) fashion, the first and fifth decks completely surround the second and fourth decks which completely surrounded the third one.  The grav-em (stands for gravity emulation) system generally sets "down" towards the center of the ship. This means that you could walk through deck one directly to deck five and then around back to deck five again without changing direction.  The odd numerical delineation method comes from early space faring folk who couldn't get the idea of there not being an up through their heads, while still realizing the a cylindrical setup allows for better protection of key systems and personnel not to mention less complex grav-em systems.

The first deck, often referred to as the top buffer deck, is where extra non essential supplies such as cargo are stored.  It isn't very tall nor is it designed for transporting large objects, but there are no hallways or walls like on the personnel decks so there's actually quite a lot of storage space if one is efficient about it.  The only other thing of interest here is a docking bay for connecting with larger ships and stations.  The second deck is the military quarters.  The main weaponry hatch and external weapon ports are also easily accessible from this deck.  Built more for efficiency than comfort, the military deck consists essentially of long wide hallways with doors and smaller connecting hallways on both sides and a central railing made up of sequentially connected vertically opening gates to help organize foot traffic especially during alert situations.  The third deck is huge, so I make a note to think about it later.  The fourth deck is the civilian and guest quarters.  It's overall smaller than the military deck do to the lack of weaponry but has a similar design.  The main difference is that instead of smaller passageways connecting parallel larger walkways, the civilian section has a more block like setup, with rectangular sets of quarters surrounded on all sides by crisscrossing larger walkways with central railings.  The civilian area has a direct connection to the engineering section instead of the weaponry.  Both living sections have their own medical facilities in addition to direct connections to the central facility.  The areas where the hallways cross have an open area sectioned off by the same vertical gates which are used for various things such as study areas, play areas for younger passengers and the like.  Most people refer to decks two and four by number and instead refer to the decks communally as the "residential ring."  The fifth deck or bottom buffer deck is the launching bay where shuttles, fighters or other smaller ships are stored.  The lower hull is more fortified then the upper hull, both because there are less weapons on that side and it takes longer for the military personnel to man them.  Also to protect the ships stored there in case one has to abandon ship.  As I previously mentioned, there are no escape pods.  Instead each section of the ship can be sectioned off with airlocks.  General emergency principle is to eject the engine if there is trouble (the ejection system is, thankfully, vacuum based and only marginally linked to the on board systems) and then send a smaller vessel for help while trying to remain alive on the main vessel.

The third or control deck is the largest deck.  In fact, calling it a "deck" is somewhat misleading because it actually has multiple sections.  The control deck is where all the essential facilities are, medical, engineering, command and recreation.  To get an idea of exactly how large the ship is, the recreational facility has an athletics center with a large athletics field that can be used for most team sports such as foot ball (called soccer by some eccentric people) or bruiser ball (called foot ball by those eccentric Americans).  Though there are no stands as the stadium takes up almost the entire size of the deck, there are two adjacent passageways on either side of the field with windows, though it is generally considered bad form to completely block them off as they are the only way to get from one side of the deck to the other without going up or down a deck first or going through the bridge which is interestingly directly "below" the athletics field making it upside down in relation to the deck numbering.  A large arboretum as well as a training area (the training area is between the athletics field and the main medical bay), a viewing theater, a game room as well as a few other things that vary from ship to ship round out the deck.  The inside of the ship is not sterile or devoid of life as one might think, plants are strewn throughout almost every hallway.  Aside of making the place look nice, the plants serve the ever important functions of cycling air, both to keep it from becoming stagnant and to create a healthy flow of oxygen.  There are emergency oxygen stores, but the ship is meant to be mostly autonomous without them.  Water is filtered and reused, so that's a resource we rarely have to worry about.  Unfortunately the ship is not large enough to have its own internal farm (there are ships which do) and food is something we need to stock ourselves.

"Hey, what's going on in there?" Alex asks me.  Alex is a smart guy, but he's always had better instincts than book smarts and when I get contemplative he sometimes feels left out.

"Nothing interesting, just thinking about the ship schematics."  I respond.

"Oh..." He says.  His head drops in disappointment as he was obviously excited about showing me around the ship for the first time.

"No, I'm sorry.  I know this is your first major assignment and as an engineer I should be the first to say that a visual cannot possibly capture actually being somewhere.  So go ahead, show me around."  With that we continue our walk around the ship.  Luckily I had only spaced while we were walking through the cargo hold, which is most definitely the most boring part of the ship.  Alex's excitement was clearly due to my presence rather than the fact that he was showing me a large room that was mostly empty except for a few boxes.

The truth is I am actually quite happy with the aesthetic for the ship once we enter deck two.  Most of the visuals I had seen showed even symmetrical walkways and a silver color to all the walls, giving it a sterile same look despite the coloration.  The Arguile's walls are metallic and though the cargo bay had that shiny look, the walls here lack the sheen I was expecting.  That could simply be a sign of wear and tear, but the color is pretty uniform and looks intentional.  The plant life is also more varied and a lack of symmetry does a lot to remove the sterile feeling in the design visuals.  As we walk from deck two to deck four, I am immediately more amazed.  While deck two was a dull (but easy on the eyes) grey metallic color, deck four has nice earthen light brass coloring.  Not only is this a little more likable than the previous look, but it more importantly means that its immediately easy to tell which part of the residential ring one is in.  I have no idea what room is mine and Alex says he doesn't know either, so we take a little walk through the deck, which other than the color and generally better aesthetic is pretty much what I was expecting.

The launching bay continues the color coded theme by being a very light tan color, just barely enough darker than white to not hurt my eyes.  I do notice that the Arguile is equipped with three one-man fighters, two two-man fighters and two shuttles, which is more than the is generally assigned to such a ship and I don't know whether to be happy or not about this fact.  I was previously under the impression that the Arguile wasn't a combat heavy vessel and having this many obviously combat oriented ships in the bay is unsettling.

The command deck pushes those thoughts to the back of my mind.  The arboretum has forest green colored walls making it feel a lot more like I'm in the middle of a forest rather than a ship.  The athletics field has a sky blue coloring that gives a very good illusion of a cloudless day.  The medical bay is a similar blue color, but that doesn't surprise me.  I want to search the deck in more detail but I have a meeting to go to, so we head off towards the briefing room which is adjacent to the bridge though it has other entrances for non bridge personnel (such as myself).

The briefing room is full of people.  The captain, Vincent Baroque, is obvious to me.  He sits though still seems to have control over the entire room.  He is wearing a white rimmed hat bearing the insignia of the Earth Alliance military.  The upper portion of his uniform is black with a red trim with white mostly wrinkle free trousers.  His hair is graying though it looks distinguished on his stern features.  I think it's the small bit of grey stubble that balances his otherwise immaculate look, making him look simply serious rather than authoritarian.  A woman stands slightly to the left and behind Baroque's chair, probably the ships first officer I would guess.  She is wearing a similarly stern expression and has on an almost identical, though different size, uniform.  The civilian leaders were sitting next to each other to my left at the table.  I had already met the engineering leader, Gary Hamhilton.  He was a tall, broad man with hands that would seem tiny on his frame except for his long fingers.  He had quite a few scars, as was common for engineers, and was definitely a gruff no nonsense guy.  He wore the civilian engineering uniform which was a white jumpsuit with an orange stripe down the sides.  I had met and interviewed with him for the position as well as worked with him quite a bit in preparation for this, so at least he was a familiar if not exactly friendly face.  At least he seemed impressed with my abilities, which is amazing considering just watching him work showed a level cool and collectedness as well as mastery of his art that I couldn't fathom.  Perhaps in time, but at the moment my skill is nothing compared to what I have seen of his.  He has a full on beard and brown hair with a slight grey tinge.  The medical leader is a little younger, but still clearly middle aged.  His hair is jet black and his features are striking and angular but not necessarily attractive.  He is wearing the civilian medical uniform, which is identical to the engineering one aside of having sky blue sin the place of the orange.  I think he is trying for an easygoing smile, but with his facial features it comes off more as a knowing smirk.  But that could just be my nervousness talking.

Of course, I expect the ships main leaders to be here.  What surprises me is the three younger medical personnel standing, rather nervous and rigidly it seems, in a line facing the command crew.  I wonder if they are leaders too, but they don't seem it.  Their uniforms seem to be the basic technician's, like the one I am currently wearing as I hadn't yet got my leader pin yet.  Of course they could just be missing their pins like me, but that seemed unlikely to me.  There is generally less medical than engineering staff on a ship and there is little reason to select medical leaders from younger less experienced candidates. A few lower rank military personnel are also in the room, like Alex, but they seem less out of place somehow.

Gary meets my eyes for split second but Alex and my entry is otherwise un-reacted to.  Though I have no doubt that everyone in the room has noticed.  Captain Baroque is speaking with an officer next to him, which is probably the reason for the general silence in the room.

As soon as he is done, Baroque turns in my direction, "I was beginning to wonder whether you would make it on time.  I trust the tour of our facilities was uneventful?"

I am not sure whether he is addressing Alex or me, but it seems not to matter because Alex responds anyway.  "Yes sir.  And thank you sir."  Alex has no humor and seems in fact a bit nervous as he says this.  It's a side of him I have seen only a few times.

Captain Baroque nods, "I understand Mr. Gale and you are close friends.  It seemed prudent to allow you to help him get acquainted with the ship."  I am suddenly unsure whether to think that he is incredibly tactical, or shrewdly understanding despite his by the book demeanor.  While either should take down my nervousness, the uncertainty of it all instead just raises it yet another notch.  He then turns to me and speaks directly.  "Mr. Gale, I trust you will do your best aboard this ship."

I resist the urge to say, `yes sir' as it's not my place as a civilian to refer to him as my superior in the command structure and simply nod, probably a bit nervously.  I am not sure what to do at this point so I go stand in the line of younger medical staff in the room next to a jet black haired man slightly taller then me with a relatively average build.  I try not to look at him as I tend to look around when I'm nervous.  I don't really have time to do so anyway because Gary begins to speak almost immediately.  "Your rooms will be assigned to you by the end of the day.  You will each likely have a room mate.  But we have enough extra lodgings available as to allow for a few single occupants.  I cannot promise that you will be allowed one, but if you put in a request it will be considered.  What I can promise however, is that you may request to room with a specific other new recruit and I will definitely make that assignment.  So please take the next few minutes to discuss it among yourselves."

The black haired man standing next to me catches my eye instantly at this point.  I don't mean I notice him, because I am already quite aware of him.  It's more than that.  His eyes meet mine and I am suddenly unable to look away.  I wish I could say that he is the most beautiful person I have ever seen or something like that, but it is far more like the deer in headlights effect than anything else.  His eyes are just strikingly blue and intense.  His expression is nothing but nice and he has a wide friendly smile but his eyes tell a different story.  He wants something from me.

It quickly becomes obvious what it is, "Hey, you want to room together?"  He asks, though his eyes seem to have a pleading quality to them that I didn't notice before but was likely already there.

I am about to respond when Gary says, "Oh, I am sorry Damon but Landon here gets a room of his own."

I am suddenly the center of attention and I don't like a lot of what I am seeing.  Damon's face falls, though he seems more disappointed than anything.  The fact that Gary has given no explanation for my apparent special treatment only makes it worse.  One of the medical staff looks curious, a girl with red hair while the other one looks annoyed.  Looks of annoyance seem to be on most of the military officers as well and I am suddenly struck by the fact that I definitely look the youngest of anyone else in the room aside of possibly Alex.  "Its ok, I would rather have a roommate anyway."  Despite this concession, the damage seems to have been done.  Most of the people in the room still seem to be looking at me with the same expressions.

"If you're sure," Gary says.

"Yeah I am."  Gary nods and then notes it down on his pad.  Damon seems happy at least.  I can't see Alex because he is standing behind me, but I can't imagine he would care much as we both knew we wouldn't be roommates.  Civilians and Military officers never bunk in the same section let alone the same room.  Back when there was more conflict between the two different sets of personnel that had caused problems and after things settled down no one saw any reason to change the setup, as it was convenient in an emergency to have the military and civilian personnel separate, so they simply kept it like that.

Captain Baroque stands up at this point, "Ok then, on behalf of the crew of the Arguile, I welcome you aboard.  Now if you will please escort these young people to the residential ring so they can be assigned their quarters?"  He nods towards the military personnel as he says this.  It's phrased as a question, but it's clearly an order from how fast they react to it.  I again find myself unsure what to do.  I want to go with Alex and Damon but I am pretty certain that I am supposed to be a part of this meeting as a leader.  I don't really know if the meeting is over however, so I find myself standing in my spot while everyone else wanders around me.

Damon motions me to go with him but Baroque quickly turns towards me, I guess in response to this, and says.  "You may take your place at the command table now.  We will be starting the command meeting shortly."  That makes me blush more and get even more nervous.  I wonder if this is some sort of test, like to see if I have the mettle for the job.  Still no one bothers to mention why I'm suddenly of such importance and if anything the remaining non command staff in the room is getting more and more annoyed with this kid who is suddenly their superior no apparent reason.  Thankfully they still leave and soon I'm standing there with only the two leaders, the Captain and the first officer.

The other people in the room wait patiently as I nervously sit down next to Gary at the table.  "Oh, first things first, here is your leader pin."  Gary says as he hands me a small adhesive insignia pin.  It's not really a pin, it just adheres itself to a uniform using body heat.  With my status on the ship now visible for all to see, well everyone in the room anyway, Captain Baroque begins the starts the meeting with introductions.

"Mr. Gale, you have already met our chief engineer Mr. Hamhilton."  I nod and he frowns a little.  "I understand that your nervous, but please speak up.  As the emergency engineer your opinion is of absolute importance."

I swallow hard, "Yes, I have met Mr. Hamhilton."

Gary shakes his head at me, "Call me Gary, it's not as if I'm your superior or anything."  I am appalled at how Gary just interrupted Captain Baroque in the middle of a staff meeting but no one else seems to even note anything is amiss.

"But aren't you the chief engineer?" I ask

Captain Baroque turns to Gary at this point. "If I explain may Mr. Hamhilton?"  He asks quite politely.

"Go ahead."  Gary says, shrugging.

"All leaders are of the same effective rank in the civilian command structure.  While it is true that Gary has final say in normal circumstances, in emergencies you are within your right to countermand any order he makes.  It is of this reason that the two of you need to have absolute coordination.  That said, after reviewing your record and schooling, I have no doubt that you two will make an impeccable team."  Captain Baroque does not lose his serious tone as he says this and thus I can't really tell if the note about coordination or his praise of my skills is the heart of his point.  My guess is the former however, as he does not seem the sort of man to give praise based on paperwork alone.

Gary laughs though, "That we will."  He slaps me on the back and though it doesn't hurt it does knock the wind out of me.  Despite this though, his enthusiasm does help calm my nerves.

Captain Baroque waits for patiently again for Gary to stop before starting again.  "This is one of our medical leaders, Dr. Sales.  Unfortunately our chief medical leader had some things to attend to and could not make it too this meeting.  But you will definitely meet him at a future one."  I note that Gary scowls a bit at this.  The first officer seems to frown slightly as well.

"Last, but certainly not least, is my XO, Commander Jasmine Nero."  I nod at her in what I hope is a polite rather than nervous manner before looking at Captain Baroque signaling him to continue.

"Please do not defer to me unless you truly think I have the correct course of action."  He says.  Then he smiles sincerely for the first time during the meeting.  "You are probably nervous because you are so young.  Perhaps you think we look down upon you or even think you under qualified?"  It takes me a second to realize that his question is not in fact rhetorical before I nervously nod in response.  "While I cannot speak for everyone in the room, I assure you that I do not consider your age a major factor in how well you will function in your role.  I prefer to judge based on action rather than appearances.  My XO is the same way."

Gary smiles, "I can't say that I completely agree.  But I will say that you impressed me kid, its ok if I call you that right?"  There is a somewhat fatherly feel to the way he says that and so I smile and nod.

Captain Baroque's serious demeanor returns as if it had never left as he turns to Gary and Dr. Sales and I again wonder whether his smile was genuine or an act.  "Well, do you have anything to report?"

Gary nods, "Engines and weaponry is in tip top shape.  The hull still could use an overhaul, but for the moment it should be fine for non combat use."  Captain Baroque simply nods in response.

Dr. Sales starts up immediately, "Everyone seems to be in great health.  Aside of a few minor bumps and bruises I have nothing significant to report."

Another nod and then the captain speaks again, "Well then.  I have some military related things to discuss with Commander Nero.  You may of course say here and listen if you wish but I have no reason to detain you any longer."

Gary nods, "I'll be seeing ya then."  He says to the room in general as he casually walks out the door.

"I will be leaving as well."  Dr. Sales says.

I look around before saying, "I guess I should leave."

Captain Baroque looks at me, "If you wish.  I have nothing to hide from you, but I am only going to be discussing guard shifts.  If you wish to stay around feel free.  But I imagine you would rather not?"

I am not sure whether he is telling me he wants me to leave or not.  But he is right about one thing, I don't have any reason to discuss changes in the guard shifts.  "Ok then, you can contact me if you want anything."  I almost said "need" before correcting myself.  Something about Captain Baroque reminds me of my father, not fatherliness like Gary, but my father who is rather strict.

After the door closes behind me I sigh before heading off towards my room to get some sleep.


Well I hope you like it.  If you have any comments, questions you can e-mail me at dragonmasterronfar (@) yahoo (dot) com.  Useless flames will be ignored, constructive criticism, even rude constructive criticism will likely at least be considered so e-mail away even for things you don't like.