Flynn walked into Security Central, please to see Garibaldi back in the seat. “Chief, can I ask you for something?”
Garibaldi was paying more attention to the screen with a list of statistics on them. Probably the crime rate, Flynn thought.
“Yeah, what is it?”
“I’d like permission to borrow a shuttle.”
Garibaldi turned to Flynn, “Why?”
“I’ve been informed that Deuce has escaped to Proxima 3. I wanna go after him.”
Garibaldi skeptically stared at Flynn as a response.
“Chief, he hurt me. I hurt you in turn. I know you don’t trust me as much as you used to, but--”
“Fine, we’ll go.”
“I need an excuse of get off the station every once in a while.”
“Why am I suddenly getting flashbacks of Mars?”
Garibaldi looked at a piece of paper for a moment.
“Ok. Meet me in cargo bay eight in two hours and we’ll get aboard the starliner Asimov. It’s on its way to--” Garibaldi’s link bleeped. He a small button on it to receive, “Yeah, what is it?”
“Mr. Garibaldi,” the voice was undeniably Sheridan’s; “we need to talk to you about one of your deputies. Code Seven-R.”
“Would you excuse us Sean?”
“Of course chief.”
Flynn stepped out of the room. Garibaldi returned to his link, “What is it?”
“It’s about Sergeant Flynn.”
* * *
“How long until we reach Proxima 3?” Garibaldi asked.
Flynn checked a display on a small clock he had. “Just over an hour left now.”
Garibaldi lied back in the hard seat and looked up. “What did you mean when you mentioned Mars?”
“Back on the station. Just before we were interrupted.”
Flynn fixed his seatbelt so his could get a better angle of view on Garibaldi. “During the war, when we were stationed in Syria Planum. The time that two of our guys were attacked by Mars Resistance, and the two of us went after them.”
There was more silence.
“What’s a code Seven-R?”
“A special regulation for ambassadors and dignitaries.”
“Never heard of it.”
“It’s one of the newer regs.”
“And poor me still stuck in the past.”
“You’ll get used to them in time.”
“Hope so. I wouldn’t want to get kicked off the station for breaking a reg I’d never heard before.”
Another batch of silence spread throughout the cockpit.
“Chief, is there something wrong between us?”
“In what way?”
“Ever since that time with the dust, you haven’t really been the same around me as we used to be.”
Garibaldi looked down on the armband, “That.”
Flynn held onto the band tightly, “This? What’s wrong with it?”
“You know how they are back on Earth. I just… know somehow that there’s more to that symbol than appears at first. Come on, fifty credits a week just for doing your usual job. I doubt that very much.”
“If the Night Watch does get a little weird, then I’ll take the band off. But for now, I’m just enjoying those fifty credits.”
“And what if you had to choose between us and them?”
“We’re all on the side of Earth, aren’t we?”
“Yeah, but who would you choose between if there were a split: them or us?”
“You, of course. I’d never turn my back on you guys, and I’d take a PPG round for each and very one of you. Why?”
“I was just asking. I don’t trust the Night Watch as far as I could throw a Pak’Ma’Ra with one hand.”
“Let’s hope we’ll never have to bear that.”
At the furthest side of the chair from Flynn,
Garibaldi hit a button on the link in the palm of his hand to stop it recording.
PART ONE | PART TWO | PART THREE