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The Last Ranger Ch. 4: Departure
Posted By: QuantumSheep<jasnash@optusnet.com.au>
Date: 16 July 2008, 2:08 am

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Sol Relative Time: September 19th, 2550

The spaceport was a large, open structure with high walls which contained the spaceport's facilities itself. There were a few smaller hangars, but Jeras was on the main landing pad, watching as the large blue-grey shuttle touched down, hovering about a foot off of the ground and remaining in place there.

He wasn't the only young Sangheili there. There had to be about thirty or forty others, waiting around for the appropriate shuttle to arrive. He was standing near Kenas who was sitting on the ground, his back against the wall.

Looking up, Kenas must have noticed the solemn look on Jeras' face.

"I'm sure she'll come," Kenas said, "she's probably just late."

Jeras nodded. She probably was, but he was getting impatient. They would be called up to board the shuttle soon enough and all he wanted to do was just say goodbye to her. He wouldn't be seeing her for a long time so he would make sure the goodbye was fulfilling.

"Take a look at all these young males like us," Kenas said, nodding towards one of the larger groups to their left, "some of them look respectable, unlike us two. We're the two slackers who couldn't get into the infantry…"

"They're not all male," Jeras said, stating an observation he had taken earlier.

Kenas looked up, a grin on his face.

"They're not?"

Jeras nodded towards the lone figure leaning against the wall about twenty metres to their right.

"She isn't," Jeras said, "I wonder why she's here…"

Kenas stood up and looked towards the lone female. She had her arms crossed and head down, as if she wasn't in the mood to talk. Body language like this didn't exactly stop Kenas but oddly enough he didn't try and make his move on her right now.

"On board the shuttle," Kenas began, "I'll sit next to her. You don't mind that, do you?"

Jeras shook his head. He didn't particularly care.

"Good," Kenas said.

"Just make sure no one else sits next to her," Jeras added, "you probably aren't the only one after her."

He paused and looked at the chronometer on the wristband on his left arm. It wasn't long before they would be called to board the shuttle and he hoped that Ariana would show up before then. Hopefully she wasn't caught up with her work or just stuck in traffic.

"What if she's taken?"

Jeras looked up.


Kenas frowned.

"You don't listen to other people much, do you?" He asked.

Jeras laughed.

"I probably don't," he replied, "but I'm still with Ariana so that must mean I do listen to some people."

Kenas nodded, still looking over at the female. Jeras realized he probably wouldn't get much out of him now, seeing that his mind was set on that female. Kenas was the type who tried his hardest with the opposite sex but never succeeded. Jeras had a feeling this would turn out the same way, although looking towards the female now, Jeras could sense that there was something about her which reminded him of Kenas. He guessed it was just the way she was standing, looking much like the way Kenas looked when he was bored.

Jeras tapped one hoof impatiently. He took a look around the spaceport in the hopes of seeing her but she wasn't anywhere near the landing pad. He was beginning to think she wouldn't show up.

As if on cue a door across the landing pad opened and from here Jeras could see that it was her. She was in her nurse's robes and she must have seen him since she started walking over to him. She caught a few looks from the other males waiting in the spaceport but she ignored them.

Jeras smiled as she approached. She stepped over to him and they embraced, Jeras looking into her eyes, his arms around her.

"This is it," he said, "I'll be leaving soon enough. I was beginning to think you wouldn't actually come."

Ariana grinned.

"I was a little held up, that's all," she said, putting a hand up to the side of his face. They stared into each other's eyes for a little while, Kenas looking on with some amusement.

"You do realize everyone here is watching?" He asked.

Jeras and Ariana took a look at the other recruits, many of which had their heads turned, watching them hug. Some were muttering quietly while others just stood watching with some kind of strange awe.

"So what?" Ariana replied.

She turned back to Jeras.

"I'm still worried about all of this," she said, "you can pull out now, although I doubt you'll do that…"

She was right. Jeras wasn't about to leave now, no matter what.

"I told you, I'm going," he said, "I'll be back, maybe not for a while, but I will return. You shouldn't be so worried about me. We've discussed this…"

Kenas tapped Jeras on the shoulder. Turning around, he saw that Kenas had his attention on the shuttle.

"I think we're boarding now," he said, "everyone else is going on board…"

Jeras took a glance at the shuttle. Some of the other recruits were stepping on bard the shuttle, a disgruntled looking flight officer standing at the top of the ramp that went to the door. He was waving the recruits on board and Jeras realized he ought to get going, otherwise they would be left here.

"I promise I'll come back," he said, "we'll be given time off, I'm sure of it…"

Ariana kept a neutral expression. Her eyes were a little watery but Jeras simply held her tight and leaned forwards, putting his mandibles with hers. They spent about half a minute kissing before Jeras took his head back and released Ariana from his embrace.

He picked up his pack and smiled.

"I'll be back," he said.

"I love you, Jeras," Ariana said.

Jeras started for the entry ramp, looking back at Ariana.

"I love you too," he said, starting up the ramp. He waved as he stepped on board, feeling more confident about this whole thing now than he had earlier. Kenas followed him on board and spotted the female from before, sitting himself down next to her. There was a seat to the left of Kenas and Jeras sat down. Taking a look around the interior of the shuttle, he noticed it was relatively new, probably having come into service just recently. The seats were comfortable and there was plenty of leg room. It was more luxurious than he had been expecting.

Across the narrow aisle from Jeras a young Sangheili, probably in his late teens and in orange armour, sat himself down. He looked to be deep in his own thoughts.

What did orange armour mean again? Jeras knew what it meant, but he couldn't remember…

Engineers. That was it. The dying breed of Sangheili engineers. This Sangheili was the only one on board the shuttle as far as Jeras could see.

Kenas was quiet and so was the female he was sitting with. As the doors on the shuttle closed up and the flight officer went back into the cockpit, the female turned to Kenas and was the one to start a conversation.

"So, who are you?" She asked, "I was thinking I should start making friends as soon as I can otherwise I'm going to have a hard time at the camp…"

Kenas looked a little taken aback at the fact she was speaking to him and not the other way around. Kenas quickly regained control of himself and smiled.

"I'm Kenas Krakonim," he replied, "I'm guessing that will soon be 'Krakonimee' since we're joining the military. What's your name?"

"Relina Heleness," the female replied, "I'm a medic…I heard that the Rangers needed medics so I joined, especially after I heard that females in the Rangers would be given a far more exciting role."

Kenas clicked his left mandibles.

"What do you mean?"

"Rather than be behind the frontlines at a safe distance, I'll be able to participate in combat itself," she said. A faint hum began as the shuttle's engines came into life, the ship buckling as it began to ascend.

"I think that's good," Kenas said. Jeras knew precisely what he was thinking: I'll have something good to look at while I fight.

"I'm sick of not being in battle," Relina continued, "helping the wounded is all well and good, but I actually want to kill something…"

She had a wild look in her eyes which reminded Jeras of the one he often saw in Kenas. It took him a moment to realize that maybe the pair had something in common…

"So, I'm guessing you know how to handle a weapon?" Kenas asked.

"Of course I do," Relina replied, "although looking at you, I'm thinking you aren't the weapon handling type…"

Kenas laughed, although Jeras knew that Kenas hadn't handled a firearm or energy blade in his entire life.

"Of course I've handled a weapon," Kenas lied, "although, I'm not sure if I'm any good or not…I haven't had much to compare myself to…"
Relina grinned.

"We'll see how good you are when we arrive at the camp," she said. She paused and looked towards Jeras. She seemed to examine him with her eyes from head to hoof.

"Who's your handsome friend over there?" She asked.
Kenas looked a little surprised by this question and took a glance at Jeras.

"He's Jeras Kallon," Kenas said, "Although I'm guessing that will be 'Kallonmee' soon enough…"

Relina continued her careful examination of Jeras.

"So, I'm guessing you two are friends?" She asked him.


"Are you two friends?"

Jeras paused. Of course they were, he just hadn't been listening…again.

"Yes, yes we are," he replied. He wasn't interested in Relina and quickly tried to think of a subtle way to get her off of him. She was obviously more interested in him than Kenas. He gently nudged Kenas, signalling him to get him out of this little fix.

Kenas got the idea and got turned to Jeras.

"How's that girlfriend of yours going, Jeras?" Kenas asked quite confidently, "she's a good looking thing, isn't she?"

Jeras decided to play along with this, after all, Ariana was good looking.

"Yes, yes she is," Jeras said. He noticed Relina change her grin to a frown and she sat back in her seat, having lost interest for the time.

"You gotten her in bed yet?" Kenas asked.

This was something Kenas seemed to ask him every time they met. Relina must have heard this since her attention was fixed on him again.

"I…I…" Jeras hesitated.

"You wild thing Jeras," Kenas said, a little too loudly, nudging Jeras in the side. Jeras' hearts were thumping and for a moment he thought that he wasn't the only one who could hear them.

"What was she like?" Kenas asked.


"Ariana. In bed. With you."

Jeras could see a few of the nearby recruits had their heads turned, not directly towards him but in a subtle manner so they could eavesdrop.

"How many times?"

"Could you just shut up, Kenas?" Jeras asked, although it probably wouldn't do any good.

"The one time, savouring the moment and enjoying it. Or twice, one time really hard and the next long and drawn out?"

"You're disgusting," Jeras replied. Kenas laughed and Relina snickered. Jeras could feel his face flushing purple.

"I'm right, aren't I?" Kenas said, "was it three times, and then when you woke up the next morning you did it again? I'm right…I know it, I can just tell…I know you well enough, Jeras. I can tell by the way your face is flushing…"

This was getting a little too much for Jeras to handle, especially since the three recruits sitting in front of them were obviously listening intently. Same went with the three sitting behind them and the engineer sitting to Jeras' left. They were all listening.

"It's not disgusting either, Jeras," Kenas said, "it's actually quite amusing…"

"I don't need to tell you anything," Jeras said, trying to keep his cool, "besides, it's not like you've done it…"

"Done what?"

"What do you think?"

Kenas fell silent. Jeras knew he had him there. If he said he hadn't, he would look like an idiot in front of Relina but if he said he had he would make Relina lose interest in him.

"I've done it," Kenas replied confidently.

Jeras clicked his left mandibles in surprise.

"Really now? With who?" Jeras asked.

Kenas hesitated. He obviously wasn't going to say.

"Did the night end with you saying something to your partner like…well, let me think…" Jeras paused for a moment. "Oh, I got it: how much do I owe you?"

Kenas frowned at this comment and when it dawned on him a second later with just what it was implying he suddenly looked angry. He clenched his right hand into a fist but wasn't prepared to hit his best friend over a petty argument.

"You two should just get along," Relina said, "no use squabbling over things like this. Although it is quite amusing to hear you two talk about it."

Kenas turned to Relina.

"Did you hear what he said?" He asked.

"Yes, and he certainly got you there," Relina replied. She turned to Jeras, who had fallen silent.

"So, you still want to do something together sometime…?" She asked him.

Jeras just shook his head. Relina looked disappointed and so sat back in her seat, silent as well.

He must have fallen asleep during the trip, since the next thing he knew was that his eyes were just opening and Kenas was shaking him with one hand.

"You've been asleep for hours," Kenas said as Jeras opened his eyes. Time had passed, Jeras could tell that. Some of the others sitting near them had fallen asleep as well. Jeras guessed there wasn't much to do on a shuttle like this although Kenas looked pleased with himself, not at all bored.

"Where's your girlfriend?" Jeras asked, sitting up in his seat. Kenas frowned by quickly went back to his usual grinning state.

"Toilet," Kenas replied simply, "you know, she's a nice female. She and I have a lot in common…"

Jeras nodded. He didn't think what Kenas was saying was all that true but he thought he would play along.

"Why did you wake me up?" Jeras asked.

"Apparently we're almost at this colony," Kenas said, "and I needed someone to talk to while Relina was off in the bathroom."

"Go on then." Jeras said, "tell me how you and Relina have so much in common."

"She and I share the same sense of humour," Kenas said, "we have the same sort of interests, although she seems more intent on entering combat than I do…"

"So, what did she say?" Jeras asked, "you told her earlier you could handle a weapon. I know you better than most others and I know you have never touched a melee weapon in your life, let alone a firearm."
Kenas looked around, as if to check if anyone was listening.

"Not so loud, Jeras," he said, looking back at him.


"Somebody else might hear you," Kenas said, "if she finds out I've no experience with any sort of weapon then I might just lose what I have going on with her."

Jeras sighed, not for any reason, more because he felt tired and that Kenas shouldn't try lying to get a female to like him.

"You're full of it, Kenas," Jeras said, "I don't lie to Ariana and things between her and I are fine…"

Jeras realized he was lying about not lying to Ariana. He lied to her almost all the time, no really serious lies, only when she asked him whether or not he would clean his apartment or if he was busy or not…

"They may be fine but I doubt you don't lie to her," Kenas said. He sat back in his chair, glancing at the back of the shuttle and seeing that Relina was on her way back.

"Now stay quiet," Kenas said bluntly, "don't say anything unless you really have to…"

Jeras nodded. He wasn't going to say anything and didn't feel like saying anything. Instead, he tried to will himself back to sleep as Relina sat back down next to Kenas. It took him a while to decide that it wasn't working and while Kenas was speaking with Relina about all manner of subjects, Jeras noticed that the young looking Sangheili sitting in the seat across the aisle to his left seemed nervous. He could tell by the way he was sitting and the nervous fidgety movements he was making with his hands.

"You alright?" Jeras asked.

The engineer turned to look at him.

"Yes, I'm fine," he replied. He paused and rested his hands on his lap. "I've just never been in a shuttle before…"

Jeras gave a surprised expression.


The engineer shrugged.

"I've never really needed to, I guess," he replied, "I've spent my whole life on High Charity, raised on a military base by the commander there."

Raised on a military base? Jeras couldn't figure out a reason why this would be the case and wasn't about to ask, he didn't want to intrude on this engineer's personal life.

"So, what's your name?" Jeras asked. The engineer seemed nice enough, more a quiet kind. Jeras doubted he would have much luck making friends amongst the others, he seemed the type who would get picked on.

"Sesha Qualemee," the engineer replied, "the reason I'm here is because my commander thought I might get a better chance in the Rangers…"

"I'm Jeras Kallon," Jeras said, "and…well…" He struggled to find something to say so the conversation could continue.

"Are you wondering why I've been raised on a military base?" Sesha asked, "a lot of people always want to know…"

"Yes, sure, go right ahead." Jeras shifted in his seat, was it just him or was it getting hot inside the shuttle?

"I was abandoned as a newborn," Sesha said, "left in a dingy alley in an empty supply crate. No indication of who left me there."

"You were abandoned?"

"Yes, yes I was," Sesha said, slightly irritated by the way Jeras stated an obvious question, "I never knew my parents. I was found by an off duty Minor who took me in as his own. He tried to track down my biological parents but wasn't successful…"

"I'm guessing he became the Commander of the military base you lived on?" Jeras asked.

"Yes, and he managed to teach me everything he knew about combat, how to handle a weapon, everything," Sesha said, "although I heard the training to become one of these 'Rangers' is quite difficult…"

That's what Jeras was hearing a lot lately and he was getting tired of hearing it. If the training was harder than it meant he would become a far stronger Sangheili than he already was.

"It was his decision to put you in the Rangers?" Jeras asked.

"He thought it would give me a better opportunity as a soldier," Sesha said, "better than any regular infantry unit. The 27th Rangers, has a good ring to it…"

Jeras nodded. He had no idea that they were going to train to become the "27th Rangers". Twenty-seven? So there were twenty-six other units as well or were they the first one?

"There are two other units apparently," Sesha said, "but we're starting training before any of them. I heard that if we do get through training, we'll become true Rangers in over one and a half year's time. It seems a long way away, but I doubt time will pass slowly…"

"You seem to know more about this than I do," Jeras said, "I wasn't told much at all when I joined up…Just the obvious stuff like high risk missions, possible high casualty rate…"

"I did some research before I left," Sesha said, "this is the first time there's been an actual separate unit. There have been outer space fighters before but they've always been regular infantry and never fared too well against the enemy."

Jeras sat listening as Sesha explained all of this. He seemed well educated on the subject which made Jeras feel a bit uneasy since he knew so little about what he was getting himself into…

"We're to become the first specialized unit," Sesha said, "for both space missions and ground missions. We'll be getting our own special armour, our own equipment. We'll be recognizable on the battlefield as probably the best soldiers there. We're to be an elite fighting unit according to the promotional datapad I read. It all sounds well and good, I guess…"

"It sure does," Jeras added.

The announcement system on the shuttle kicked into life, the pilot's deep voice filling the passenger section.

"Prepare for entry into the planet's atmosphere," the pilot announced, "return to your seats if you have not already done so and fasten your seatbelts."

Jeras simply slid the belt over him and clicked it into place. Sesha did the same and the other passengers done it as well.

"I'm guessing it'll be getting a little rough," Jeras said, noticing that Sesha had returned to his fidgety nervous state, "just sit tight. I've been in shuttles like this before. They weren't designed too well for entering the atmosphere of a planet…"

Sesha just sat quietly. Jeras turned to Kenas, who nodded in acknowledgement when they made eye contact. He had his right hand on Relina's thigh and looking at her, she didn't seem to mind.

"Her twin brother was meant to show up," Kenas said, nodding at Relina, "but he never made it to the spaceport. Caught in traffic, I guess."

Jeras nodded, noticing that Kenas was too preoccupied talking with the female now to take much notice of him.

The shuttle began to shake and the inside began to warm up noticeably as Jeras settled into his seat. There weren't any windows so he couldn't see what the planet below was like, but from what he had been hearing it was apparently barren and mostly desert. Which would make training all that much harder, he guessed. There was no turning back now, though.

About ten minutes later the shuttle began to slow down, obviously coming in for a landing. Kenas got Jeras' attention again by nudging him in the side.

"I forgot to mention," he said, "I talked to some of the officers on this shuttle while you were asleep. Seems they'll be looking for good leaders among us…"

"So what?"

"So, maybe you should show them how good a leader you are. Become a squad leader or something…" Kenas said, lowering his voice so anyone close by couldn't hear.

Jeras gave a surprised expression. Him a leader? He didn't think that would be possible. And he didn't particularly want to be a leader of anything…

"I don't know…" Jeras said with uncertainty, "I don't think I'll make much of a leader…"

"Sure you will," Kenas replied, "you said you wanted to amount to something so being a squad leader is that ideal something."

He was right about Jeras wanting to amount to "something", Jeras himself just wasn't sure what that something would be. Squad leader maybe, but he doubted he would fit the criteria for such a role…

The shuttle bumped upwards suddenly, quickly settling, the sound of the engines dimming. The entryway opened outwards steadily and sunlight streamed through the open doorway, filling the shuttle. Some tired Sangheili groaned, having been woken up by the light shining into their faces.

Jeras unbuckled his seatbelt and stood up, taking his pack from the bag rack above him. Kenas and Relina followed suit as did some of the others.

Jeras was first out of the shuttle, stepping down the exit ramp and onto a landing pad in the middle of a rocky, barren brown landscape. On all sides were mesas and cliffs, in the distance a large rocky hill. The entrance to the military installation was to his left, a fair walk but there was a road in between there and the landing pad.

Waiting for them on the landing pad were two Sangheili officers, both older than Jeras by a fair bit. One was in the white armour of a Special Operations Ultra and the other in the crimson armour of a Major. As the recruits filed out of the shuttle, the Special Operations Ultra stepped forward, looking at each of the recruits. He muttered something to the Major, who simply nodded in response. The Ultra turned back to the recruits, who were standing around with their packs, mostly quiet.

Jeras noticed the air was quite warm and it occurred to him that they must have purposely selected this planet for the training facility, the heat would make everything they did more difficult, test the limits of their endurance and so forth…

"Get in an orderly line!" The Ultra barked suddenly, "stand to attention!"

This seemed to catch the majority of the recruits unawares, most of them clueless as to what to do. Jeras knew what to do but it was hard to actually stand in a line since not many others were doing it. Jeras stood where he thought the line should be, standing up straight as
Kenas and Relina stepped into line next to him. Sesha came onto his other side. The Ultra just frowned at them and stood patiently as the others got the idea and stepped into line.

Kenas looked towards the rocky hill in the distance. It must have been a fair way above sea level, although Jeras couldn't tell from here.

"I'm guessing they chose this region because of that hill," Kenas said, "use it for the training. Make us run up it when we're all done…"
The Ultra suddenly began yelling again.

"That was pathetic!" He shouted simply, looking angry, "as soon as you sorry recruits came off of that shuttle I knew I would be facing the most pathetic bunch of recruits I have ever seen!" He paused for a second to catch his breath before continuing. "You'll never become Rangers with slack attitudes like that! You came here to be trained into killing machines and that's what will happen, but first you all have to get your act together!"

He paused, stepping towards the line of recruits.

"I am the Commander in charge of this military installation and will be in charge of training you recruits. Not all of you will make it through the training course, and those that don't will be transferred to the regular infantry. You're in the Rangers now but none of you are Rangers yet!

"My name is Strex Tershelee. The Major with me is Shasa Refulmee. He will also be training you," the Ultra said, lowering his voice to a more regular tone.

"For over one and a half years you will spend your life on this planet, living in the military base we have set up here. You will get used to early mornings and late nights. You will receive your standard issue armour which will become your second skin. You will learn how to clean it, put it on and so forth. You will sleep in it, eat in it and train in it.

"Your training with the Rangers equipment such as jetpacks and vacuum suits will not begin for a few months. First we will work on the basics such as firing a weapon, using an energy blade and working on improving strength, speed and hand-eye coordination."

The recruits stood silent as Tershelee explained all of this. Jeras could already tell it would be hard work, but he assured himself he would make it through all of it. He glanced at Kenas and Relina and he could tell that they were thinking the same thing. Sesha seemed to be as well.
Tershelee noticed Jeras' head movements and stepped towards him.

"Are you listening to me, recruit?" Tershelee asked, sounding a little annoyed.

"Yes sir," Jeras replied, looking straight at the Ultra.

"What is your name, recruit?" Tershelee asked. Jeras wasn't sure where this was going but he had no other choice but to play along.

"Jeras Kallon," he replied.

"How old are you?"


Tershelee nodded.

"You look promising," Tershelee said, taking a good look at Jeras, "but looks can be deceiving. You may have the muscle but do you have a strong will?"

Jeras was a little surprised at the question but stood his ground, answering truthfully.

"I wouldn't know for sure, sir," Jeras said. Tershelee seemed to give a bit of a grin and turned to the other recruits, noticing Sesha who was on Jeras' left.

"What about you?" Tershelee asked, "you wear the armour of an engineer, so maybe you may have a different answer?"

Sesha seemed uncertain about what to answer.

"I…I can say I have a strong will, sir," Sesha replied, a little hesitant. Tershelee must have noticed this but he didn't give much indication that he did.

"How old are you, engineer?" Tershelee asked.

"Nineteen, almost twenty," Sesha answered. Tershelee clicked his left mandibles, surprised at how young Sesha was.

"You must be the youngest one here," he said. Tershelee paused and then stepped back, looking at the line of recruits. He then nodded towards the hill in the distance.

"Do you see that hill behind me?" He asked. Most of the recruits nodded in response. "All of you are to leave your packs here and are to run up and down that hill. The Major will be running with you to ensure nobody cheats."

Jeras was surprised, just as everyone else was, at the fact they actually had to run up and down a hill like that in weather as hot as this. He heard some disapproving groans from some of the recruits but Tershelee seemed to smile.

"What are you all waiting for?" He asked, "the last four who return will miss out on dinner tonight and will be made to sleep outside. And it does get cold outside during the night, very cold…"

This seemed to be enough motivation for some of the recruits to get started. Jeras was feeling hot and he took off the vest he had on, picked up a canteen of water from his bag and started to run.

The hill must have been more than a kilometre away, Jeras and the others following a winding dirt track. The ground was hard and mostly gravel and thin layers of sand, not the easiest type of surface on his hooves or anyone else's. Sesha was ahead of everyone else, running close to Major Shasa, who kept trying to encourage these lagging behind everyone else.

Kenas came from behind Jeras, breathing heavily. Jeras was the same, already short of breath but he wouldn't be dropping out on his first day here. No way he would let that happen.

"I told you we would run up the hill," Kenas said, smiling in between breaths, "I just didn't think we would do it now…"

Jeras didn't reply, too intent on running to say anything. Kenas didn't look like he had been expecting an answer. Relina was jogging a metre or two behind him and every now and then Kenas would look back at her, there eyes would meet, they would both smile…

Major Shasa, Sesha, Jeras and a recruit named Lears were the first four to make it to the summit up top. As soon as Jeras worked out this was the top, he slumped against a rock in exhaustion and gulped down the contents of his water canteen. He was hot, bordering on spewing up whatever he had eaten last (he couldn't remember what that had been).
Kenas and Relina were next to the summit and the pair sat down on a rock together, looking out at the rather spectacular view of the surrounding barren, rocky wastes.

Shasa stood tall over them all, looking down towards the military base. He seemed to be thinking some far off thought but Sesha ended that by tapping him on the shoulder.

"Should we be starting our way back down, sir?" Sesha asked.
Shasa frowned and then looked back down towards the landing pad, the shuttle having taken off by now. He smiled and shook his head.

"Tershelee can wait for us," Shasa replied.

Kenas stepped over to where Jeras was sitting and sat down beside him. He looked exhausted by their hour long run (or it might have been longer, Jeras had lost track of time) but still seemed to have that usual grin on his face.

"I knew it would be like this," he said, "I can guarantee you we'll be doing this almost daily…"

"Great," Jeras replied sarcastically. He sat silent after that, with only one thought on his mind: what had he gotten himself into?