”Nice to meet you, miss ” Kyril and Solomon spoke in unison, standing up to shake her hand politely. The General began the briefing which to Solomons delight contained information well above his clearance. It involved an Alien species called The Gryph an advanced humanoid race with pale skin and dark oval eyes. Only these two distinctive differences could tell the two races apart. ”Shortly after the Gryph made first contact with us via Sub Light Communications, both human and Gryph councils have decided that to greater our understanding of each other, we are to allow colonisation of a shared planet. As a gesture of trust and goodwill, we have decided to do this on a single planet in both solar systems. We are designating Venus or as they will know it as ”Sol II ”. They are allowing us to settle on Merriden IV, their designation is unpronounceable for us so we are sticking with Merriden IV. ” Kyril and Solomon both allowed a small corner smile to appear on their face as they looked at the unreadable word and symbols that the Gryph use for the planet. As General Ken Spoke, his daughter, obviously now working as a secretary, made a transcript. ”Now Gentlemen, before I leave you, I must inform you by order of Emperor Syphodias that, we are not making plans to declare war or cause any harm to the Gryph, and want only peace at this moment in time, but however I am to advise you, that you do make your colonies as defensible as possible. They have some… ” General Ken paused trying to chose the correct words. ”some nasty bloody things down there that will tear your throat out if given even a glimmer of a chance. So then, on that note, cheerio and safe sailing boys. ” and with that, he shook their hands and left the room with folders left on the table for the two men to take with them.

The young Generals daughter finished typing on her dataslate and stood straightening her skirt with a soft smile, ”so, fellas, Im Sandra, nice to meet you at last. ” thrusting her hand forward as strong as her delicate arms could manage for the men to shake it once again. Kyril stood without hesitation and shook the hand with an introduction and greeting, Solomon slowly raised himself and softly shook her hand raising an eyebrow, ”At last? ” he enquired. The girl seemed taken aback and slightly hurt ”I – Im coming with you on your journey… hasn anyone spoken to you about me? Ive looked at the folders and everything, the creatures fascinated me thats why I requested this… ” trailing off as her hopes of leaving earth for adventure faded. Kyril stood by the door with a tense confused look. Solomon thought for a moment before remembered his morning memo. ”OH! ” he suddenly exclaimed, ”so you
e the V.I.P.? ” Sandras smile resumed to spread wide as Kyril raised an eyebrow and frowning the other, it was clear he was not aware of this action. The cold grey room almost felt warm from Sandras glow. ”Very well, then. Report to me in the Docking Bay holding The Evergreen, by thirteen hundred hours. ” said Solomon looking serious. ”Yes Sir! ” shouted Sandra clicking her heels together with an over excited salute before leaving with a spring in her step. Kyril and Solomon stood in the cold metal corridor discussing what use they could possibly find for the young miss Ken amongst their ship. As they strolled back to the mess hall making a ten minute walk onto thirty minute journey as they spoke and flipped through the folders. Approaching the open doors to the large room, laughter and loud voices could be heard as their men joked and fulfilled their appetites, the smells invaded nostrils providing the most pleasing scents. ”hmm. Apple pie.. I think, Ill be having that, then ” said Kyril as he deeply sniffed the air, Solomon still thinking deep into his folder, suddenly having an idea. ”What about Creature studies?…apple pie?… for breakfast? ” he asked half heartedly, not knowing Kyrils response. Sinderman raised his ever moving eyebrows and considered the option with a tense face. As they walked through the mess hall speaking how she could study the creatures on the planet both in theory and in the field, this would certainly keep her out off their way and satisfy her thirst for adventure, they came to an agreement on the terms that she was Solomons problem. ”Apple pie, aye, lad. Any day could be your last, Im closer to the end of the tunnel than you, age wise speaking. Im enjoying every second of it. ” laughed Sinderman.

Kyril left Solomon with a farewell to join the Base Command Table to discuss the assignment with General Ken who was already helping himself to his second helping of waffles and honey. Solomon shook his head, sweet things for breakfast… it must be an age thing. he thought to himself as he joined the line for the meals ahead. The Mess hall was large and wood panelled with long light wooden great tables each able to hold a company of soldiers. Each table was to house the specific companies assigned to that sector. The first company (Solomons Company) was sat at the far left of the room. As the line slowly moved forward, Solomon could make out the face of men he considered his friends, one of which was a new enlistment and he had only met once before, and had just thrown a hard lump of corn bread at the next table which held the ever too serious Second Company, Captain Lucius Deeph glared at the first Companies table from where the bread had been flung from, scowling at every man who met his hard muscular face, unable to decide who threw the bread, he broodingly began to slurp his protein cereal once more, keeping a watchful eye for more unwanted gifts from the first companies table. The floor was cold concrete but some of the base crew had gone into the villages and town near by and bought a wide variety of rugs some time ago now, most had been worn, the vibrant colours now dull and ripped edges. Still, this gave the room a warmer feeling. Solomons turn for food finally arrived. The server looked tired and old, his long greasy hair tied back in a scruffy bun, Solomon tried to recall if he had ever seen this sad man smile, but realised he was now taking too long to order his food, and began to think about the delicious breakfast of sausage and eggs he was about to consume. Finally reaching the table his men let out a quick cheer as he sat, welcoming their commander.

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