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Zodiac Forces Serial: Part 72
Warning: Depression Dillon swung the truck into the depot and looked at Alex. "Back to it, then?" "Yeah..." Alex climbed out of the vehicle and slammed the door. Keta pushed him. Alex jumped. "Have you lost your mind?" She hissed at him, "Three days? Do you have any idea what kind of fit the Commander is in?" Alex heard Dillon calling for the Chief. He didn't want to be around when the man showed up. Alex fished his duffel bag out of the truck bed and jerked his head out the bay. "You can yell at me on the way. How did you know we'd be here, anyway?" "Lance sent me. He's been getting antsy, too." Alex slung the duffel over one shoulder and they jogged away from the depot. "I've never been away from him that long." "Why did you leave?" "I needed to get away for a bit. Things were intense." "If you'd said something I would have done a better job covering for you. The commander has been on my ass every day. That lady is scary." "Sorry." Alex looked away, "It was sudden." "You missed a lot, too. We're getting our mission control rooms soon. All the Aries. They want us set up and comfortable before your final test." Alex slowed at a junction of roads, debating if maybe a visit to Eve was in order before heading back to the apartment. "You better see the Commander." Alex winced. "You're right." He turned toward the admin building instead. "Is my Scorpio test going to be your Aries test, too?" "I think so." "Ok... I'll see you at home, Keta." "You better." Walking down the hall to Kimberly's office, more than one person slid out of Alex's way. He paused with a hand on the door, wondering if he had some sort of scowl on his face. He pushed her door open. Kimberly glanced up from her writing and didn't acknowledge him. Alex closed the door behind himself and waited to be recognized. He settled the duffle over his shoulder and didn't fidget. According to the clock on the wall she left him standing there for a full ten minutes. Kimberly set her pen down. "Approach." Alex slung the bag off his shoulder and dropped it next to the chair. "Don't sit." He straightened back up and stood at attention. Kimberly didn't even frown at him, just stared. "AWOL for three days." She said. "You're on restriction for a month." She didn't have to specify her disappointment. Alex could feel it permeating the room. "Yes, sir." "Pull another stunt like that and I'll reject your sponsorship." Alex sucked a breath. His father's sponsorship was the only reason he was here. Zodiac wouldn't have looked twice at the scrawny intellectual sheltered by his parent's money. She wouldn't just kick him out of Scorpio, he'd be out of Zodiac altogether. "I see we understand each other." "Yes, sir." "Dismissed." Alex retrieved his bag and turned around. What a welcome home.

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