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Zodiac Forces Serial: Part 78
Part 78 Alex accepted a firm handshake as he introduced himself. He didn't have any kind of regular interaction with Pisces, but seeing this small group up close reminded him of Kimberly and Lance. The woman who kept his hand smiled broadly. "Mako." She said by way of introduction. "These two lugs behind me are Thresher and Lodon." Alex nodded to them. Mako gestured him toward a chair, "Commander says you're sitting in with us. Got a hankering to switch signs?" "No, sir, I'm enjoying Scorpio. I've been asking a lot of questions about how an operation is run and who gives what kinds of orders. My therapist and the Scorpio Commander thought a sit-in would help sort some things out." "Therapy, huh?" "With Yvonnette--" Lodon shoved his finger into the back of Mako's shoulder, "It's good for you." "No judgement." Mako said easily with a sliding hand, "Just curious." The beads in her hair clicked together. "So what--" Something thumped against the command room door. Alex heard a soft curse. Thresher leaned over and pulled the door in. A short woman nearly fell into the room, her arms full of paperwork, folders, and rolls of blueprints. She spat hair out of her mouth. "Sorry I'm late oh-toothy-ones, it's just been one thing after ano--" A cascade of paper slid across the floor. "Oh, bother." Alex and Mako shifted to assist. "Careful, keep those in order, please!" She dumped her supplies on one of the large desks and spent the most efficient thirty seconds Alex had ever seen sorting out what she had. He handed her the stack. "Thanks! I have-- oh! Who are you?" Mako smiled, "Dall, meet Alex. He'll be sitting in. Dall's our preferred Aries when we have an operation." "Cool." She stuck her hand out. "Just today?" "No, the whole thing, I think. I guess it depends on how long it takes?" She tucked hair out of her eyes. "Just a drug bust. Nothing that fancy." She wiggled her fingers over the stretch of her desk and selected several folders. She handed one to each of the Pisces who dutifully opened to the first page. Dall navigated the computer while she spoke. "I have quite a bit of groundwork already accomplished. Tahr already had topo maps so I didn't have to call out for those." Lodon and Thresher swapped folders. Mako dragged her chair around and indicated Alex should do so as well. Dall looked up abruptly, "I don't even know what I inturrupted. Do you guys need a second?" Lodon snorted. Mako waved her on. "Ok, so here's what we're looking at." She punctuated her sentence with a tap of the keyboard. A projector blinked on and warmed up the wall behind her. Dall snapped a pointer open and indicated a body of water on the topographical map displayed on the wall. "We've been assigned a small fire eyes farm up north in Lake Genevieve. The whole area is heavily forested but satilights are telling me there's nothing more than a big cabin on the lakeshore. Deepest point in the lake," She slid the pointer, "is right here, about fifty feet, but the majority of it is around twenty five feet with beach-entry around the whole thing. Sandy bottom." "Dall." Lodon interrupted, "Why do you have a pointer?" She smiled at him and hit the stick against the wall. "It makes a cool tappy-tap sound. Official." "I liked the laser better." "I have a green one!" She produced it from a pocket and scribbled on the wall. "Can blind a man at a hundred yards." Mako expressed amused tolerance at Lodon through a hooded look over her shoulder. "The drugs, please, Dall. What kind of volume do we have?" Alex smiled. These guys weren't any different than his friends. He'd seen more than a few Zodiac members closed off, irritated and angry about life. It wasn't an attractive sight. But if they could hold onto their humor like these guys did, maybe things would be ok.