“Locksmith. Tori. Come in, and close the hatch.”
Locksmith, in her pilot’s brown flight suit, smiled broadly. The flash of white teeth set off her olive-brown skin and emerald eyes. The other, wearing the black uniform of the Starfleet Marine Corps, was slightly shorter but muscular, and her blonde hair, like Locksmith’s pale blue, was done up in a braid down her back.
Kendra reached down then stopped, remembering it wasn’t her regular office.
The AI appeared.
“Whiskey. Three glasses. On the rocks. You know what I like.”
The replicator in the wall hummed and the three tumblers appeared. Kendra distributed the drinks before sitting down again. She saw Tori reaching for Leda, still asleep, and shook her head.
“I wouldn’t do that,” she advised.
“She knows me,” argued the blonde.
“You know what they say?”
“Never mess with a sleeping cat. Sooner or later, they wake up.”
That drew a grin from Monaco and she retracted her hand.
Kendra sombered as she lifted her glass, the other two following suit.
Both had been participants in the final battle against the Union of Artemis; Locksmith was one of a handful of survivors of the combined Direwolf squadrons, and Tori had been part of a platoon dropped into Artemis City to try to capture the Empress. Nine Marines had been extracted.