Adam came out of the lab building and was heading for the mess hall when he noticed Eve talking to an older man in a military uniform. Actually, Eve was the only one talking. The man was yelling his part of the conversation, and Adam could tell Eve was not happy to be on the receiving end. Adam decided food could wait and headed over to see if he could help bail Eve out.
Eve was definitely at a physical disadvantage. Not only was the man loud, he was tall, wide, and looked hard. That impressed Adam. Too often military lifers let themselves go. Admittedly not as much as Adam had let himself before coming here, but still for a military man a potbelly would slowly crawl out of its muscular cocoon and those arm muscles would begin to droop a bit to for the wings. This guy could still military press a platoon or two at once. As Adam got closer it was easier to make out what the man was yelling.
“You need to just follow orders and not think! No matter what your designation is, at the end this is a penal colony under my jurisdiction,” the man said trying to beat Eve back with the force of their delivery.
While Eve did cringe a bit, she did not give too much ground. “Your jurisdiction is on that side of the wall,” she said pointing at the offending wall. “Over here is FBC territory and I call the shots.”
That sounded like a perfect introduction for Adam. As he covered the remaining ground quickly and stuck out his hand in the direction of the man and put on his billion credit smile. “Adam Durst at your service, and you are?” Adam asked. Eve rolled her eyes so far back Adam was worried she was about to pass out. Mr. Military though never skipped a beat. As a matter of fact he even kicked his voice up a notch, which Adam didn’t think was humanly possible.
“Did I talk to you?” Mr. Military asked.
“Well, not exactly, but I thought” Adam began, but the man cut him off.
“Then shut the hell up and let me finish!” the man practically screamed at Adam. Mr. Military turned back to Eve. “You may think you have authority over here, but I still call the shots.”
Eve stood up a little straighter. “You can go visit your space on the other side of the wall, or you can go back through the portal, but I think this meeting is done.”
Mr. Military was obviously not done. “Did I say this meeting was done? You will sit your ass right here until I say this meeting is done. You FBC idiots need to realize this isn’t Federation space.”
Eve was about to speak, when Mr. Military cut her off. “Complain all you want, but this world is a penal colony in the end. That makes you being here a favor, and I can work to remove that problem sooner rather than later if you keep pushing me.”
Eve seemed to take this last threat as an almost physical blow. She started to slouch and divert her eyes. The man could sense her about to cave in. A smirk spread on his rugged face, and it was light of a sun coming over the horizon on some hellish asteroid spinning in the cold of space.
Adam didn’t like what he saw. “Or she can push how much this planet is a resource. As a matter of fact this place is one in a billion with respect to almost everything, including possible expansion in this galaxy. You know what that means? They’ll have to remove this piece of crap penal colony,” Adam said.
The man never too his eyes off of Eve. “Keep this idiot under control,” he said. “I won’t ask again.”
Adam shook his head in disbelief. “Did you just call me an idiot?” he asked.
“Adam,” Eve said with an edge to her tone.
“I most certainly did,” the man said as he turned to Adam. The sunlight in the man’s expression was gone and the darkest, coldest expression pummeled Adam. Mr. Military continued. “I almost had the men scatter your worthless atoms anyhow when you crossed over, but I was told I would pretty much lose the coordinates on the jump gate”.
Adam realized he was in big trouble now, but that never stopped him from going all the way. “That would have been the stupidest thing you ever had done. Good thing you have someone with some smarts around you, or else…”
Adam hadn’t even seen the man move, but Adam found himself on his behind in the grass, his jaw felt dislocated. The man towered over him, blocking out the sun. He looked like he was about to explode again when Eve placed a hand on the guy’s arm. That seemed to calm him down some. “If you ever disrespect me again I will kill you with my bare hands. You have rights lower than a piece of shit here, do you understand me?” Mr. Military said. He didn’t wait for an answer that wouldn’t have come anyway due to Adam’s dazed state. The man just turned and walked back towards the portal.
Eve bent down and gently touched the rising swelling in the shape of the man’s fist. “You fool! That’s General Haden Marks. You are technically his. He really could kill you, and there isn’t a thing I can do about it.”
Adam mumbled something along the line of thanks, or maybe I couldn’t let him treat you like that, or maybe the rain was purple with puppies last night. It was hard to tell from the fog of a concussion and the rapidly swelling shut right side of his face. Still Eve took it as a sign of some sort of encouragement. At least that’s how Adam took it as he laid back down on the grass.
Eve spoke into her comm link. “I need a medic in the common square by the gate. We have an idiot down.” Adam thought her words had such a nice ring to them.