Pairs by Frederick Foote

Victor_Juhasz_witness_art

Pairs
by Frederick Foote

“Our mission here is to open this backwater of civilization to the opportunity and promise of the free market world. We’re here to liberate a stunted and manipulated population from the oppression of warlords, autocrats, superstition and tribalism. The blood we spill here, theirs and ours, will water the trees of progress and freedom that will bear fruit for generations to come. Ours is a noble cause, and I am proud to be part of it with you.”

“Hurrraw, Hurrraw, Hurrraw!” The shouting from one thousand voices and the stamping of twice as many feet billows the tent and raises the dust from the dirt floor as the Commander in Chief steps back from the microphone.

The CIC stands there like a media star with muscles, medals and gold braid.

My partner, Oya, clicks out her irreverent interpretation of the CIC’s speech to all the troops on our network: “We are invading people who present no threat to us in order to open them up to exploitation by interstellar corporations. We will rape this planet and destroy its peoples and cultures. We will spill and shed blood in order to fill corporate coffers and in so doing, impoverish this planet. Ours are venial and vile causes that will leave us covered in shit and shame. A-fucking-men.”

Red Team One-Delta members are laughing and chuckling as they read the parody of the speech on their Pocket Communication Devices or PCDs. As other troops respond to their PCD alerts and read Oya’s message, there are whoops and loud and vulgar comments springing up from the assembled troops like mushrooms after the rains.

A major on the platform with the CIC quickly calls the assembly to attention. An attention that is a bit slow and raggedy in coming into focus.

What Oya has done is a capital offense here on the battle front. Oya and I are Paired. When she gets caught, we both pay the price. There are times when I want to slap Oya back into yesterday. But, we’re Paired, and I have done worse, far worse.

&&&

There are five-thousand troops in this dusty tent city, and another eight or nine-hundred arrive each day. Oya and I, I’m Kokou, are assigned to Red Team One-Delta. This is a Special Services Unit composed exclusively of Paired Troops or PTs.

We are the last Paired unit in the Western Liberation Army.

We PTs are special. The military spent billions of credits over five decades perfecting PTs as dynamic fighting duos. Alas, we have been a bit of a disappointment as weapons of war. After all of our conditioning, training and brain feeds we Pairs care far more about saving our own asses than any war. We consistently use our impressive array of training, talents and abilities to stay out of battle. The regular troops and the brass despise us for this and for our special status. At this stage in our existence, we PTs displease almost everyone and please no one. That makes us unique. We stand out. I think that is why Oya and I and the “Cute” Lieutenant, our unit commander, are standing at attention before Major “War Maker.”

“That broadcast today during the CIC greeting has a few people extremely angry. But not me. I know it was a prank done on the spur of the moment with no traitorous malice intended. Just youthful exuberance.”

Major War Maker is working on two display screens as she speaks. She’s not looking at us at all. That is a very bad sign.

The Cute Lieutenant is sweating. It’s dripping from his face and rolling down his neck dampening his collar.

Oya is very sharp in her tailored, pressed and creased uniform. A media model of a troop with her bright sunshine hair contrasting with her coal-black skin. She is cool and professional.

We wait as the Major works her screens. She finally, looks at the Lieutenant. “If any of your units cause me anymore distractions, you and I are over. Your career is over; your life will hang in the balance.” The Major stares. The Lieutenant sweats. We watch and wait.

“Do you have any questions Lieutenant?”

The Cute Lieutenant is smarter than he looks. He sounds off loud and clear. “No, Sir.”

“I see why they call you the Cute Lieutenant.” The Lieutenant’s face grows dark, his lips thin and his face is as tight as a drum head. “Take a step back Lieutenant.”

The Lieutenant takes a quick, sharp backward step.

“Now, I know you two want to talk about proof and legal standards and the Code of Military Justice and maybe about your wretched childhoods and misspent youths.” The Major removes a small silver old-fashioned powder projectile weapon from her hip holster and lays in on her desk. “But, you know and I know you are two of only a handful of troops on Alamo Military Transition Station that can trick out a broadcast like that, and that can hide the source of that broadcast. Child’s play for you two. And you are the only two that would risk your lives for the transient pleasure of this prank. So, after you leave this tent, I will eventually find you, and you will not survive that encounter. You now live at my pleasure – from moment to moment.”

The grandmotherly looking Major looks us in the eyes and smiles at us. She turns to the Lieutenant. “Lieutenant, when I come for them, I may well come for you also. Dismissed.”

&&&

The Cute Lieutenant has spent his rage at us and is paid in shrugs, pale smiles, and platitudes. He is so frustrated he is near tears.

“Why? Just tell me why. In the name of The Goddess tell me why. Why would you put your lives no, our lives, on the line…for…for bullshit?”

Oya shrugs.

“Lieutenant, may I make a statement?”

“Kokou, you should have made your statement to Major Stone.”

“Sir, I didn’t want to embarrass you in front of War Maker. Sir, I just want to say that you are even cuter when you’re angry.”

&&&

“Well, good friend Kokou, we have been on planet for less than four Earth Hours, and we have made new friends and renewed old acquaintances. Just our luck that War Maker is here. When did she get demoted from general?”

War Maker is a fucking anomaly. Stone has been demoted and promoted more times than any officer in the history of the Western military. She has held a field command and been busted back to boot. She’s still here because she is the best commander of troops in battle any of us has ever heard of. When we last served under her, she was a Flag General, but she ate all her meals in the field mess with the troops and shit in the common latrines.

She’s not an idle talker. If she says she’s coming for you, she is.

But, I’m only half-listening to Oya’s ramblings. I think we have fucked up real bad. When we were escorted, by MPs, to our meeting with the major, this section of tents was empty. Now, there are Marines, not just any war-crazed asshole Marines. No, the shoulder patches I see are unmistakable, a red crown on a black background, the Queen’s Guard.

We are now in more immediate deep shit. I elbow Oya and nod toward a Queen’s Guard passing on our right.

Without a word, we duck into a passage between tents. We don’t look back to see if we have been noticed. We pick up our pace a little.

We pass four rows of tents and are just about to step onto another main track when four Queen’s Guard troops step into our path.

I face them. Oya turns to cover our rear.

“Four Queen’s Rats coming our way – wait make that nine, ten, twelve.”

Oya’s voice trembles with sweet anticipation. Oya lives for this kind of shit, and she will die fighting overwhelming odds, but not me, hell no. That’s not me.

“Oya, I talk. You keep your fucking hands and feet to yourself, and your mouth shut. Copy that?”

Oya actually laughs. “You little pansy punk. Your tricks, traps, and word games will not save us this time. These troops want blood. They will settle for nothing less than our heads on sticks.”

Those troops under discussion are gathering in number in both ends of the alley between the tents. They’re not saying a word. The growing multitude just moves us back away from the main track. It is a bit disconcerting. These troops are often excessively emotional – and anger is their primary emotional fuel.

They just stand there in the middle of the alley in the evening heat a few meters away from us. I look into the eyes of the troops in the first few rows – they are angry – furious. I hope that whatever is holding them in check keeps holding.
There is a stir as two QGs push through the massed troops. The first to reach us is a tall, bony, bucktoothed, rawboned, red-headed Full Sergeant and the second is an absolutely gorgeous, dark haired Quartermaster Sergeant. I have never seen any military staff remotely comparable to the Q Sergeant, but it’s the Full Sergeant, who carries the weight here. I reluctantly turn my attention to the redhead speaking to the troops.

“Well, well look, look. All of you worthless fucks look here. Look at what The Goddess has sent our way, what she has delivered to us. Let us get an amen.”

There is a half-hearted murmur from the crowd.

“No! No! That will never do. Again.”

This time it is a full-throated roar repeated three times at the encouragement of the carrot-topped choir master.
The Full Sergeant quiets the crowd with a wave of her hand. “Now, I need our honored guests to introduce themselves. We have to be sure that we have the right ones in custody. We don’t want to fuck this up do we?”

The Sergeant points a bony finger at me. ”Trooper, sound off.”

I snap to attention. “Jump Sergeant Third Class Sudan Kokou of Pair Three of Red Team One-Delta. At your service Full Sergeant. Full Sergeant, introductions are mutual are they not?”

“Of course, of course, I’m Antioch of the Middle States and the Corporal of the Guard. It is my great pleasure to make your face-to-face acquaintance.”

I now understand why the troops are showing such remarkable restraint. The Corporal of the Guard has absolute authority over all enlisted staff on the front. In the war zone, the COG has summary power to punish including, to administer the death sentence.

The QG is one of only two military units that still allows the COG to terminate troops on their own without appeal or review. It is a prehistoric practice, but, for our sakes, I’m glad the practice is alive and well on this dry and dusty day.

The COG turns back to her troops. Now, is there any among us that can confirm this miscreant’s ID?”

About a dozen hands go up and Antioch points to a chunky private in the front row.

“Sergeant, Kokou is the son-of-a-bitch that set up Sergeant Sakamoto, and he masterminded the scam that cheated all of us.”

There is a rousing consent from the QGs.

The COG quiets the crowd and turns to Oya.

Oya takes a few steps toward the southern bank of troops. “I need no introduction. You know me and fear me. I’m the boogey man under your bed and the nightmare in your head.”

She crosses to the other troops. “I bested your mighty challenger in a fair-“There is a roar of outrage from the troops.” Oya waits for the noise to subside. “–fight. Now, you have found me in a good mood today, so I will spare you all.”

The crowd is now beside themselves with anger and hostility. The COG removes her sidearm and holds it above her head. The shouting stops almost instantly.

Oya crosses to the Q Sergeant and openly ogles her from head to foot. Oya moves on to the COG and speaks loudly so that all present can hear. “Bring forth your new champions. Bring those champions here and I will test them and best them here in your presence and, and I will do it in such a manner that the dullest mind and the half-blind will see and understand the simple superiority of my hand-to-hand skills. Or, or you can continue to excuse your inferiority with stories of magic and murder.”

The COG points to Oya. “Is this the murder of Sergeant Sakamoto?”

There is a resounding blast of affirmation.

The COG turns to the Q Sergeant. “Read the charges, read them loud and well.”

The raving beauty has a voice to match, powerful and clear and bright full of the honey of life. I could listen to her forever, except not to this particular speech.

“Charge One, conspiracy to commit murder in the pursuit of personal gain.” There is a roar of approval as the charge is read.

“Charge Two, conspiracy to defraud through deception, disguise or cunning.” Now the troops take up a “guilty” chant.

“Charge Three, the willful and premediated execution of Jump Sergeant Third Class Mattis A. Sakamoto of Alpha Company of our own decorated, honored and elite Queen’s Guard.” Now, foot stomping is added to the chant.

“Charge Four, bringing or seeking to bring disgrace on the uniform and the unit.” There is a solemn pause among the GQs as if this final charge is too serious and profound to desecrate with noise and fury.

The dust, the heat, the noise and the pure concentrated hatred are wilting me. I feel, feel a bit faint. I look at Oya. That she-devil is bright and shiny like a newly minted coin.

“As to the first charge I need a witness.” The COG chooses a Plum troop from among the eager hands. “Corporal Hiatt what can you tell us about the first charge?”

Hiatt clears her throat and faces me. “Sergeant Kokou was making calls to set up bets for the challenge between Oya and Sargent Sakamoto. I heard her say that the odds were right and that Oya had a secret weapon that she would use to destroy Sargent Sakamoto.”

“Corporal how did you come to be in a position to hear this conversation?”

Hiatt turns to the COG to answer his question. “We were lovers.” Hiatt turns back to me. “You told me the weapon never failed and that the match makers would never find it.”

“Well-spoken Corporal. Do you have anything else to add?” Hiatt turns back to me. “You lied to me. You Andro whore. You were sleeping with Bromberg, and I don’t how many others. You piece of shit!” Hiatt spits in my direction. I’m Androgynous and proud of it, but now is not the time to address that issue.

Oya whispers in my ear, “Sleeping with Plum people. How low can you sink?”

“Into the dead desert sands outside this camp if you don’t leash your ego.” I step closer to the COG and Hiatt. “By your leave, COG might I ask the witness a few quick questions?”

There is a lusty roar of opposition to my request, but the COG laughs loud and long before giving me a mock little bow and nodding for me to proceed.

“Corporal Hiatt, you claimed that I’m a liar, is that true?”

“A notorious and universal liar. I swear it by The Goddess.”

I wait for the crowd reaction to die down.

“So by your account, I was probably, no almost certainly, lying about a “secret weapon.”

The crowd is suddenly quieter. Corporal Hiatt turns a darker shade of her delicious plum color. She stutters and sputters in anger and confusion.

The COG puts a rough hand on Corporal Hiatt’s shoulder and sends her back into the crowd.

“As to the second charge conspiracy to defraud through deception, disguise or cunning do we have a witness?” This time the crop of volunteers is smaller and slower to raise their hands. The COG selects, First Sergeant Hans “Credit Line” St. Domingo. The QG unofficial bookie and loan shark.

The dapper First Sergeant steps forward, and exchanges admiring glances with the equally well tailored Oya. The First Sergeant nods to and smiles at me. I like Credit Line. He has always been good at his business and fair in his dealings with us. He turns to face the crowd. “Here is what I know. The Paired sergeants spread lies to promote the challenge between Oya and our champion. One lie was that Oya was a champion of Red Team One. That is a lie because the Paired do not engage in hand-to-hand for sport.” Credit line looks at me for confirmation. I acknowledge the truth of his statement.

“And Oya claimed to have killed six armed Mazden troops in one-on-six bare handed combat in less than sixty-seconds.” Oya loudly agrees that there was a bit of exaggeration to her claim.

“And they both claimed that Oya had invented the ‘Sly Dragon’ martial art form with over a million students. I don’t believe that there is any such martial art form and if does exist I doubt that either sergeant had a role in its creation.”

Oya has a quick response. “There is too such a school. However, to date, I’m the founder and sole practicing student. The Sly Dragon fight form is, in fact, my secret weapon.”

The COG motions for the Q Sergeant to continue the questioning.

She glides to face the now beaming Credit Line. Hell, I would outshine him if she were that close to me and giving me her full attention. “Sergeant St. Domingo why, if you know, were the defendants advertising these untruths?”
Credit Line breaks into a megawatt smile. “Of course, it would be my pleasure. It was all to build excitement for the bout and to increase betting – to build Oya into a worthy opponent. Sergeant Sakamoto was a two-time Western Military champion, and Oya was a complete unknown.”

“Would this increased betting benefit the defendants?”

“Well, they bet on Oya at excellent odds. They won over ten-million credits by my calculations.”

The inquisitor’s perfect eyes widen a bit, and there is a flash of color in her tan cheeks at the mention of the amount of our winnings.

The COG is left standing with her mouth hanging open.

The crowd astonished by the amount is full of “What the fucks!” “Bullshits!” and looks of disbelief. All faces are turned to Oya and me for confirmation. I give a sheepish grin, and my foolish partner indicates it was a bit more.
The Q Sergeant rushes in to clarify the obvious misstatement by Credit Line. “Incredible, Sergeant St. Domingo are you sure about the numbers here? I doubt the GQ troops have that kind of resources.”

“Oh, no you misunderstand. The betting was like a firestorm thought out the military and veteran’s communities. The sergeants did a masterful job of marketing this bout as a matchup between an evil, deceitful, unnatural, Paired outcast against the people’s champion, the universal bright and shinning hope of humankind. It was sensationally effective.”

“Sergeant St. Domingo would the prospect of this kind of windfall give one a motive for murder?”

“Oh, a ten credit windfall was motive for murder in my old neighborhood.”

“One last question. If you know, how did the defendants get the money to make these bets?”

“Yes, I know. They borrowed in the speculative lending market and paid fifty to seventy-five percent interest. They probably kept less than half of what they won.”

The troops are growing angry again and restless. The idea of that much money in the hands of Paired troops has made them a little crazier than usual.

I step in quickly to question Credit Line before things get out of hand or the Q Sergeant objects. “Credit Line did you help spread the mistruths that you attributed to us?”

“Of course.”

“Did you know that they were lies when you passed them on?”

“Yes, I mean, these are the standard kinds of activities to develop a gate or increase betting. Every major sports event engages in this kind of hyperbole.”

“Credit Line, did you make book on this fight and did you make money?”

“I made money on the fight and even more in the speculative lending market.”

“Last question. Were you part of a conspiracy to murder Sergeant Sakamoto or anyone else?”

“Absolutely and positively not. I was about the business. Fuck, I gave one-million credits to the QG Welfare Fund. Sakamoto was worth more to us alive. Why would any of us want to kill off the rematch?”

There is a growing unease in the crowd as Credit Line settles back in among the troops. The COG looks a little sour. The Q Sergeant, by contrast, is cool as she asks for a witness to the murder of Sakamoto. There are no volunteers. The Q Sergeant volunteers a medic, a tall black troop with orange hair and silver eyes.

Abdul Lee-Chang is a Fifth Level medic and an avid fight fan. I remember him from the fight. He was the Chief Medical Officer or CMO for the main event. He’s fidgeting and sweating as he waits for the first question from the Q Sergeant.
“Medic, were you in attendance at the fight between Sergeants Oya and Sakamoto?”

“Yes.” Abdul wipes his brow and braces himself for the next question.

“In what capacity were you at the fight?”

Abdul breathes a sigh of relief. “I was the CMO I provided and oversaw the medical services to both fighters.” Abdul pauses for a moment. “It was my sixth fight as a CMO.”

“And where were you situated at the time of the fight?”

“I was at ringside.” He gives a nervous giggle. “The best seats in the house.”

The Q Sergeant waits a beat and gives the edgy medic a sunburst smile of confidence and admiration. I would trade places with Abdul in a minute.

“Medic Fifth Class with Honors Abdul did you see the blow that killed Sergeant Sakamoto?”

The troops are leaning in to hear the response. The COG is at parade rest as she awaits the answer. The Q Sergeant is still relaxed and cool as a breeze off a lake. “Abdul looks terrified. He licks his lips, makes some kind of religious sign with his left hand.

Finally, he throws up his hands and gives a pleading answer. “I don’t know. I just don’t know… the blow… Traveled seven centimeters… so short… I mean it had to have so much power over such a short distance. Just the side of her hand…” Abdul demonstrates with a short downward chopping motion. “Snapped vertebrae… Sheared the spinal cord. Instant death. I don’t know. I have never seen such an efficient, effective short punch… so quick… Even on the tape… so quick.”

The Q Sergeant is a pro. She lets the silence linger. She places a tender hand on the medic’s shoulder. I hear weeping from the troops.

Someone yells, “Fucking Pairs black magic!”

I shout. “I have no questions for this witness, and I thank him for his honest testimony. I do have one small request, please, please-“I raise my voice to speak over the grumbling crowd. “Listen! Listen! Sergeant Oya will demonstrate the very same blow here and now. In front of everyone. See for yourselves. All I need is a volunteer, please and, and if you’re not satisfied with that demonstration. She will repeat it, as long as there are willing volunteers.”

There is a barrage of boos and hisses and other disgusting suggestions.

The COG steps forward with her weapon raised. “We have one more allegation.” She turns to the Q Sergeant.

The smooth beauty turns to me, gives me the most lovely smile with her lips and a bolt of lightning look of distain in her eyes. “Jump Sergeant Third Class with High Honors Sudan Kokou of Pair Three of the Red Team One-Delta was it your intention in part, or in whole, to belittle, shame and or disgrace the Queen’s Guard with your schemes?”

I do not hesitate. “Yes, with all my heart and soul.”

The troops are in a mixed confused state. The COG sets them straight.

“Attention!” The tense crowd stands at attention looking a bit bewildered.

“I find the Pair guilty on all charges. I sentence them to death within the next Earth Hour. Any objections or concerns.”
There are none. “This concludes this matter. Q Sergeant, well done. Select a three-person death squad to command.”

I step to the COG but speak to the whole assembly. “I would like to give our death statement here to the troops. I beg you to stay. It will be brief and consistent with the pattern of this inquiry.”

I don’t wait for permission. “Sergeant Oya did you want to kill Sergeant Sakamoto?”

“Yes, I did, at first, but this was not a death match. I would have won without killing.”

“Why did you initially want to kill the sergeant?”

“Reasons galore. We were assigned to the QG as technical support instead we were assigned to latrine duty. No high sergeant has ever been assigned to latrine duty.

Our other assignment was base security, guarding the ammunition dump. Again, no high sergeants were ever assigned to this duty.

And quarters, they gave us a tarp to stretch between tents because they claimed there were no available tents. There were five empty tents when they threw us that tarp.

And, of course, there was the assignment to scout the Smoke Storm Valley, a No-Go Zone. The only reason we are still here is because HQ alerted us to our endangered status, just as we were entering the Valley.

I have no love for the QG, and I never will.”

No one challenges any of these claims.

Oya steps to and faces the COG.

“We have been in other units that despised Paired troops, but nothing like this.”

Oya and COG are locked in a staring contest. I try to get back on track.

“So what changed this match to a death match?

“You have to ask the previous COG that question.” Oya steps away from the COG and turns to the troops. “Look, when I saw how big, this thing was getting – the money involved. I saw the business potential. I wanted a long bloody draw and a rematch. I talked to Sakamoto. We shook hands on it. It was a chance for us both to get good and get the hell out of the service.”

The boos and the curses and name calling are like a desert storm. I wait it out.

“When did it become a death match?”

“Three weeks before the match the COG insisted on a death match. Credit Line and some others tried to talk to the COG. He would not listen. He would not bend. Sakamoto was an honorable man. He did not have to die. I was the one who was supposed to die.”

The troops are in an angry, unstable mood. I fear for us.

I scream out. “Listen! Shut the fuck up and Listen. This is important. Your lives depend on it.” I have their attention now. “Sit down. You need to hear this.” I turn to Oya. “Oya, what is death insurance or revenge insurance?”

“It is a bond that ensures that if one dies in ‘unusual’ circumstances the insurer will revenge that death and collect the bond.”

“Did you seek such an insurance policy for us after your fight with Sakamoto?”

“Yes, I did. I did in vain. No one in that line of insurance wanted anything to do with exacting revenge on the Queen’s Guards. They laughed me out of their shops.”

“So we have no death insurance?”

“Well, I didn’t give up. There is only one other military unit that gives the COG death authority. I went to them, the Death Watch Marines. Their COG was eager to insure us. However, it cost over a million credits to get the unit aboard. They’re impatient to collect their bond money.”

The Q Sergeant shakes her head, dismissing our claim out of hand, but the COG is wondering about things, thinking this whole thing through again. There are no stupid COGs.

The COG dismisses the troops. The Q Sergeant, The COG, Oya and I meet in the COG’s tent. Alcohol drinks are provided. We move from tense to conciliatory. Our sentences are reduced to a fine in excess of what we have paid for our Death Watch Insurance. In return, the Queen’s Guard owes us a duty of protection and assistance.

The unit is notified of these decisions on the network.

I offer to walk the Q Sergeant to her tent. She accepts my offer.

Later in her tent in her bunk, she asks the question. “Lovely, sweet Andro do you really have death insurance with the Death Watch?” I find other activities to busy and occupy that beautiful mouth.

&&&

It is late morning when I return to our tent and a surprise guest. The War Maker is there having tea with Oya. Stone now has a General First Class symbol on her cap.

The general waves off my attempt to salute. I look at Oya, and she shrugs and pours me tea. I sit, and we sip tea for a moment. Finally, the general speaks.

“That insurance ploy was a clever idea. Yours I suspect.” The general nods in my direction. “I have a proposition for you. I will grant you an ‘in the interest of the military’ discharge after you send three untraceable messages for me. You can get out and keep your gambling winnings. You will find others to annoy and give me well-earned relief.”

Stone’s pupils are so pale they are almost lost in the white of her eyes. “Don’t mistake me for the QG. I will call your bluff.” We’re clearly not impressed with her offer. She plays her hole card. “Troops, if I wanted you dead I would not have alerted you to the Smoke Valley death trap you were about to enter.”

We agree. What better choices do we have? The general has one last message for us as she leaves. “Your Quartermaster playmate is dangerous in the extreme. Don’t let her interfere in our business affairs.”

We both sigh with relief when the general is gone. Oya turns to me. Do we have a deal with the Death Watch yet?”

“No, I canceled our proposal on the way over here. I explained that we had the protection of QG’s now.”

“Oh, shit. Dear partner, who is going revenge us when the general gives us a permanent discharge? The QG will not take out their own general will they? Stone will neutralize them somehow. I would bet good money on that.”

“Relax, the Black Watch will call back, and we will work out a sweeter deal. The greedy bastards smell the money. They can’t stand the idea of the QG making that kind of money. They want to outdo the QG in every activity. They will call back.”

I’m sitting outside the tent soaking up the sun and enjoying the morning breeze when the Black Watch COG calls. I’m soon working out a much better deal, but I wonder what the general means about the Quartermaster. And why did she rescue us? What is her real interest in us? And those messages she wants us to send; what is that old cow really up to? It is a lot to think about. Even with our death insurance I know we are still in the danger zone. However, those are questions for another time, for now I will appreciate this peaceful and calm morning.

* * * * THE END * * * *
Copyright Frederick Foote 2015
Image used from www.juhaszillustration.com

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