--donation bonus week (day 1/5, post 2/5)--
‘It is a little exciting,’ said Shenado, making Mariana open one eye to look at her. ‘I don’t think we have ever ignored orders like this before. I wonder if we are going to get in trouble.’
‘Probably.’ She shut her eye again and took a deep breath. ‘Whatever the punishment, I will take it.’
‘Maybe they didn’t realize that Zeff was out of town.’
‘They certainly know now that I have told them.’
‘Oddly sloppy on their part.’
‘Perhaps they don’t know you and I very well. Even after all these years in Lawrence’s division, I still feel like the oddball out, sometimes.’
‘There aren’t very many women in his division. I wonder if that has anything to do with it. Fifteen years, and they’ve assigned you a whole ten missions. Compare that to Zeff, who has had twenty-eight.’
She gave a slight nod. ‘It is a bit annoying.’
‘Maybe they think you are the “homemaker” type.’
‘I doubt I give anyone that impression. It is probably more to do with my ability. On paper, my simple destruction type isn’t as impressive as Zeff’s power.’
‘If they only knew.’
She smirked faintly.
‘I expect they’ll have Cisco go on his first mission soon,’ said Shenado.
‘They should. He has been ready for months.’
‘You aren’t worried?’
‘Of course I am.’
‘You don’t act like it. You didn’t act like it with Gema, either.’
‘You would rather I made a fuss?’
‘It would be interesting to see.’
‘I knew what I was signing up for when I joined the Vanguard. And I knew what having children with Zeff would mean. Our role is only to protect them until they can protect themselves.’
Shenado let Mariana return to meditating. After a little while, however, a call came in on the speaker box. The butler moved to answer it for her, but Mariana waved him off.
<“There are two men here to see you,”> said Nico’s voice. <“Say their names are Jonathan Flint and Charlie Day.”>
Mariana squinted, vaguely recognizing the names. She looked to Shenado.
‘I remember them,’ the reaper said. ‘Ask why they are here.’