Stand Down Warrior, Stand Down

As Hanna’s message came in I was just starting to cut across the Network dead zone on my way to the Lancer dock. I was just starting to turn out of the area when I saw the robots hanging from the ceiling from chains and come-a-longs. “Damn theres gotta be a good story over that!” Exiting the dead zone I keyed the wristcomp, “Mariana Andy; hear the location of the bar” “Heard it and moving, Ash believe it or not might have just brought the price of a ticket. Show you when we get there! Mariana Out!”

Got to the correct corridor to see everyone’s luggage lined neatly up along the corridor walls. Digging up our rucks and cases, I pulled case 1 and the compact cleaning kit from my ruck. I quietly sat cleaning and stowing everything but the AMT. Just as I finished shucking the AMT in the sleeve rig Mariana showed up with Ash and his ruck and carry bag, plus a shipboard container! “You are not gonna believe what Hound Dog has in here!” Opening it she displayed 6 1.75 lt. bottles of Gentleman Jack Aged Reserve. Reaching into the carrier I grabbed two, “Ash, you are now forgiven. Why don’t you take those other 4 into the Bar and make some friends fast. You are sure to need them.” “Damn Cuz, that ain’t never been my problem” As he headed for the Bar door; Mariana growled under her breath, “Now as long as no one has a Daughter or a girl friend he’ll make it.” Mariana quickly cleaned her weapons and stowed the Randall’s back in the case. We ditched the silencers and the sub-sonic rounds; closing the case she looked at me and asked, “Can we really finally Stand Down?”

I had to stare at my boots for a moment as it was finally hitting me. “One more thing to do then, really we can finally Stand Down.” Hoisting the 2 bottles, “let’s find some ice and glasses and get it done!”

Moving into the Bar we saw Hanna and yelled “Glasses and Ice please, we bought our own.” Laughing she sat down 2 glasses with ice and we poured 2 drinks. Being my turn, the toast went up “To absent foes.” “May they find a seat at Fiddlers Green!” “And a cold beer close to hand.” We drained the glasses spun them and sat them mouth down. “Hanna, we hate to be a pain; but, could we get two more glasses?”

Hanna came over with 2 more glasses and a quizzical look. “Memorials, my Lady. Not to be used again this day!” Smiling she walked away. To Marianas ‘what now?’ look I said, “Have a couple of stiff ones and wait for Bart. Meanwhile, smile and answer questions!”

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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
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