' Vance sat motionless as Major Cleaver recited his orders. There was a pause, as though Cleaver was allowing him the chance to speak. 'Will that be all, Major Cleaver?' asked Vance.
'Yes, Corporal Vance. Dismissed.' Cleaver sounded disappointed, not with Vance, but with himself and what he'd been forced to do. Vance didn't resent the old man. He knew he acted out of loyalty to the Colonel. Vance knew from experience that his father always got what he wanted.
Vance stood, saluted, turned on his heel and marched towards the door. 'Oh, and Vance,' said the Major suddenly. Vance turned as he reached the door. 'Congratulations on your promotion. I'm sure you'll do well.'
'Thank you, Major,' replied Vance. 'I'll try not to let you down.' With that he opened the door and marched back to his quarters.
A hundred questions ran through his mind on the long walk from Major Cleaver's office. Surely his father wasn't simply interested in a reunion after all this time. Vance had made his feelings clear to his father years before. As far as he was concerned, his parental relationships died with his mother. He would neither ask nor expect anything from his father. So why the sudden interest?
Randell was waiting when Vance got back. As Vance entered, Randell's face brightened. 'Look,' he said, standing suddenly and shrugging his large shoulders, 'I've been thinking. Maybe Mars isn't such a bad idea. We could go together, just the two of us. The more I think about it, the more I think you're right. We'll have a-'
'We won't be going at all,' said Vance. Quashing Ran-dell's enthusiasm angered him more than the cancelled leave and heavy-handed tactics of his father. 'The only place I'm heading to is Babylon 5. I'm under orders to meet Colonel Vance there.'
'Your old man?