Having caught Ash in the corridor I dragged him to Hanna’s place, “You are going to eat cuz. I am gonna drive you hard, but I’d prefer to keep you breathing!”
“OK OK, when did you become a mother hen?” He grinned.
I grinned, “Since you became the keeper of the keys. Think you can back up that brag back there?”
For once his face was serious, “If it’s the last thing I ever do!”
Reaching the bar it was, “Hi Hanna, food for this lug and two Bourbon on the rocks for me; Mariana’s on the way!” Leaving Ash to Hanna’s care I turned for the center of the room just as the New Lab Rats entered!
At the bar at last! Man I should have taken one of those silly little go-carts. I certainly don’t mind the exercise (though I’d hardly call it that), but it seems like everywhere you go in this place is a hike. I walked over to the bar and sat myself down.
“I’ll take a Jameson’s, on the rocks. The good stuff if you’ve got it.” I slapped the bar.
“Aren’t you a little young for that?” the barkeep asked. Hanna I think her name was.
I just looked at her. “I am.”
She stared back for a second. “Alright,” she sighed, “one 1780 coming up. I’ll save the real good stuff for later.”
“Thanks. I appreciate it.” I turned to my right. “Now, what are you looking at? Ash, isn’t it?”
“Me? Nothin’. Just admiring the view.”
“I’m 17. Or I was when we got in those damned contraptions.” I replied, grinning. “Now, if you want to talk about that XD you’ve got hidden in your jacket, that’s one thing. If you want to keep admiring the view, that I might just have to take offense to.”
“Well now. I get the feeling you’re the type of person I wouldn’t want to offend. Firearms it is. So you got .38’s or .357’s in that Python your wearing?”
“Oh you better believe it’s got mags. Ashcroft,” I laughed, slapping him on the back, “this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.”
We were just arriving at the Last Stop after a short but productive conversation on getting the Bio Lab prepped for our current and future animal companions. It looked like between Mariana, Sally, Linda and I we had most if not all of the bases covered as far as our medical needs went. Shame we only have a 2+ Lab to work with, but I have no doubt that with this team we can do a bang-up job.
As we entered the bar I pulled Mariana aside. “Linda, Sally, you go on ahead. I’ve got to talk to the boss here for a minute.” They went over to the bar, joining Jaisa and…Ash. Huh. That was a little worrisome, but it would have to wait. Andy was coming over as well.
“He’s your husband right? Word on the street is you were in SOCOM together.” I asked, quietly but intently.
“That’s right. What’s it to you?”
“What were your names? Your callsigns?” She gave me an inquisitive look.
“Well, I suppose it doesn’t much matter anymore, and a fair number of people on this boat already know. I was Magic. He’s Reaper.”
I looked at her gravely. “Come on, we need to talk. Andy too, if you don’t mind.” I started walking towards the private back room. “Jaisa, I need to borrow you for a second.” My tone was level; she knew I wasn’t joking around.