Jude gave Jesse a kiss when she came over as the 13th was preparing to leave. “I intend to come back and deliver on my promised dalliance,”
he told the pretty, redheaded barmaid. “Thank you for the hospitality.”
Jude took the matchbook and note from Rory with a frown. “She was with the Family?”
he said with a bit of surprise and disgust. “And to think I let her play with--”
Jude cut off and looked up. “Cantrell’s brain,”
Jude quickly amended.
Jude read the rest of the note with a frown. “Why does Camp Kander sound familiar?”
Jude sat on the desk in the office playing flirting with the secretary. He was wearing his uniform, and the starched black fabric and sharp creases draped nicely on the handsome young man. The secretary, Angel, seemed to appreciate it. She slipped him a card with her address on it.
Jude smiled handsomely.
Governor-General Beauregard snapped. “Get over here!”
Jude hopped to his feet quickly and straightened his uniform. “Yes, sir!”
he said, giving a quick raised hand salute before hurrying over to the impressively mustachioed old admiral. Jude caught a disapproving look from the other man with the general, Jude’s father Major James Maverick of Coalition Army Logistics.
“There was a mess hall back when we came in. Get us some coffee,”
Beauregard snapped to his underling.
the young protocol officer said. Jude spun on his heel and left the officers to their meeting with the head of Camp Kander as they were escorted into the commandant’s office.
Jude found the mess hall easily. However, the coffee pot was empty, so he started in on the process of making a new pot in the percolator. He leaned idly against the wall as he waited for it to brew. The commissary was mostly empty. Oddly, though, it seemed one of the prisoners was sitting in the corner, a red-haired and bespectacled young man about Jude’s age who was flipping through some paperwork or schematics of some kind and making notes.
While odd, the young man didn’t particularly interest Jude. In the bit of time he had away from the governor-general, Jude pulled out a small photograph of a beautiful redheaded woman with green eyes. It looked like it had been part of a larger picture and the left side had been cut out. The black arm of a military uniform could be seen along the cut.
Jude smiled at the woman in the picture, touching her face lightly, and sighed in longing. This was turning out to be a long and boring political visit. Jude wasn’t supposed to be here, but the governor-general’s normal attaché had taken ill, so he had snatched Jude out of his wife Michelle’s entourage.
Jude muttered, sensing his father’s hand behind the move. Did his father suspect his and Michelle’s relationship? Was this his way of discouraging it? Or was this just another attempt at giving Jude’s career a leg up?
came the governor-general’s bellicose voice over Jude’s comm, and the young man jumped, looked around, and quickly shoved the photo back into his jacket pocket. “Where the hell is that coffee?”
Jude slapped his comm and checked the percolator. “Coming right now, sir. Had to make a fresh pot, so it should be hot and good.”
The governor-general harrumphed. “It’s military coffee. It’s supposed to taste like shit.”
He closed the channel.
Jude quickly did up two cups of coffee just the way his father and the governor-general liked, adding a good dose of bourbon to the governor-general’s cup.
Jude nearly slipped on something he stepped on and looked down. Juggling the coffee, he reached down and picked up the pencil.
“Hey, Glasses, I think you dropped this,”
Jude told the redheaded young man in the prison jumpsuit, placing the pencil down beside the papers he was working on. Then he headed back to the camp offices to meet with Dr. Angriman and the Hero of Rochester, Colonel Frank Wolve.
“So did you take advantage of any of the nice...amenities of the inn, Sir Merikh?”
Jude asked with a wink as the cyber-knights joined them. “And Sir Hail, did you get that stick pulled from your ass yet?”
He grinned at Zee Hail.
Jude’s levity faltered as he saw someone messing around with around with their Zone Ranger. “Aw, man! Can’t we catch a break?”
Jude asked, readying his rifle and peeling off for a better angle to shoot the Coalition saboteur.