Keyop took a deep breath and shifted the backpack across his shoulders. For years he’d wanted to be like the other kids and attend school. Now that the war was over and he was getting his chance, he wasn’t as sure anymore. He stared at the door and swallowed hard as other teens walked briskly around him.
He’d faced Spectran mechs head-on before. Surely school couldn’t be that bad. He took a deep breath and stepped into the press of students as if he belonged there too.
Tiny waved at the four businessmen who were his first customers. They walked down the dock towards his new boat, The Flaming Owl, right on time. He was already booked up for the next month, taking people out deep sea fishing for eight hours five days a week.
He had to admit he missed flying the Phoenix, but being out on the water, doing what he loved, was almost as good. The men were quickly on the boat and Tiny took them out into the channel.
Princess cleaned off the main counter for the hundredth time, staring with pure joy at the front door of her sandwich shop, the Snack J. She couldn’t explain why she had chosen that name, other than she’d heard it somewhere and it had stuck in her mind for years.
She had wanted financial independence and research had led her to the conclusion a lunchtime sandwich place would be perfect for her. Her watch pinged at her and she called to the two employees in the back that it was time.
Jason squirmed in the seat of his stock car, waiting for his turn to go through tech for the time trials. He had spent most of the time on the Phoenix before and after their missions daydreaming of racing full time professionally. Now the dream was about to become a reality.
The NASCAR official waved at him and Jason pressed the gas pedal just enough to creep forward. His stomach was filled with butterflies. He was finally going to be in the Daytona 500.
Mark stood in the doorway, looking over the heads of the twenty young pilots as they faced the front of the room and listened to their classroom instructor. He was telling them about the men who would be their actual flight instructors and Mark couldn’t stop the smile from tugging at his lips as they were introduced.
He heard his name and bristled with pride, especially when the words ‘finest’ and ‘bravest’, were used, but it was the verbalization of his call sign that really sent s thrill through his blood as he stepped into the room and purposefully strode between the desks, all eyes on him. The Eagle.
Security Chief Matt Anderson logged off his computer and stared at the suddenly dark screen for several minutes. His children were all going about their new lives and it was time he did the same.
He looked up at the guard waiting to escort him to the front entrance of the ISO Headquarters. Once he stepped out the doors, he would never be permitted back in and that was fine by him.
He had a new job, just as his children did. He was going to be the head of the new John Hopkins Cerebonic Research Center. He was going to spend the rest of his life finding ways to have cerebonic implants help people with brain and spinal injuries recover.
It was truly a special day.