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'Me neither,' agreed Chavez, almost inaudibly.

'See you then,' smiled Jeany. Four sets of eyes watched her walk away, ponytail bobbing jauntily against the back of her head.

'Corporal Vance.' A harsh male voice interrupted whatever lascivious thoughts reeled through the soldiers' heads. Vance turned, still wearing his doe-eyed expression. His grin melted at the sight of Sergeant Decker's battle-scarred face staring down at him. 'Major wants to see you in his office. Stat. Hop to it.'

Vance didn't finish his meal or ask the Sergeant the reason. You never questioned Sergeant Decker. He quickly emptied the remains of his meal into the swill bin and headed for Major Cleaver's office.

* * *

The solid oak door to Cleaver's office stood in stark contrast to the rest of the EarthForce base's harsh steel plating and rivets. Cleaver imported the door and hired an authentic carpenter to hang it the old fashioned way. Its unique design announced Cleaver's individuality in relation to the one-size-fits-all style of the rest of the complex. Rumour said Cleaver had the door put in just to give his office a real air of authority, and to make entering it a more intimidating experience. As Vance waited in front of the finely marbled wood, he had to agree.

'Enter,' a deep voice, as solid as the oak door, bellowed from within the Major's office. Taking a deep breath, Vance opened the intimidating door. The interior of the Major's office was as impressive as the entrance. Certificates of office decorated the walls alongside trophies awarded for the regiment's achievements, both socially and militarily. Various reprographs of the Major shaking hands with assorted dignitaries lined one side: one with President Santiago, an-other with a Centauri that Vance didn't recognise, several
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