How strange it was, looking at this man and seeing someone only slightly his elder. By appearance alone, Parson Miles could have quite easily passed for Dunstan’s brother. Dunstan could almost forget that he was staring at one of the most powerful Vanguardians alive today. But perhaps that was the whole point.
“Only one person, sir,” he said, swinging his chair around to point Miles in the proper direction. “Third street over on your right, behind the bushes, sir.”
‘He’s right,’ said Overra. ‘From here, I can sense someone there.’
Miles fished a pair of compact binoculars out of his coat and gave a look. “Hmm. Can’t see ‘em. Let’s wait ‘till they come a little closer, shall we?”
“Yes, sir.” And he realized that Reza was still blabbering on about one thing or another, so he interrupted and said, ‘Can’t talk right now, Reza.’
He fixated upon the location of the figure he’d seen with his binoculars. A thick silence fell as they waited, but Dunstan had recently come to learn that the Cpt. General didn’t much care for peace and quiet, and indeed, the man soon broke it.
“...So how are you doin’ up here?”
“Tedious work, isn’t it? I was a watchman myself once, you know. Surprisingly little has changed about the job. With how quickly tech develops, you’d think it’d be completely different by now.” He knocked a finger against the clear wall. “Armoring has gotten a bit better, I suppose.”
Dunstan wasn’t sure how to respond, so he just said, “Yes, sir.”
For some reason, that seemed to amuse the man. “Do you consider yourself a company man, Corporal?”
“A company man. A believer in the system. In the Vanguard’s mission to provide protection and justice.”
“Yes, sir. Of course.”
“Good. That’s good. That’ll take you far.” A beat passed. “What about your family? How do they feel about the Vanguard?”
Dunstan hesitated. “...I’ve never told them about it.”
“Ah, so they’re just nice and normal folk?”
“Yes, sir. Though, I wouldn’t call them nice, exactly.”
“Mm. What is it that they think you do, then?”
“I... don’t know.” He blinked. He hadn’t meant to say that. He’d meant to tell some insignificant lie. That was what he usually did when someone asked him about his family.
“You don’t know?” said Miles. “How can you not know?”