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Brian patiently stood in front of Chili’s as he waited for Zach to arrive.  Zach was the editor of Astro Base GO! and it was typical for him to be late to his own meetings.  Brian awkwardly tinkered with his ComCom in an effort to avoid conversation with others as he waited.  Zach finally showed up and the two made their way into the lobby.

“Hey guys, welcome to Chili’s!  2 this evening?”  The overly enthusiastic hostess said while pulling menus from behind the podium.

“Yep, the bar would be great” Zach replied and Brian nodded.

The hostess lead them to a corner booth in the bar area, holograms flashed above their heads recapping the days sporting highlights.  Chatter filled the room and tantalizing aromas made their stomachs’ rumble.

“Here you go, guys!  Mandy will be taking care of you tonight but don’t hesitate to ask any of us if you need anything!”

“Thanks!” Zach said as they took a seat.  Brian grinned as he pushed the menu aside, he already knew what he was going to order.

“So Brian,” Zach started right in, “what have you been up to?  How are things with Heart & Soul Radio?”

“Pretty good, we have a show coming up at Zytan’s.  There’s some promotion behind this one so it should be pretty good.”  Brian was happy he was able to plug the show that easily.

“That’s great, man.  I can’t believe you’re still playing Zytan’s though, figured you’d be selling out the Trantium over on Eagle by now…”  A long awkward silence followed Zach’s comment.  “I mean, you guys are great and deserve it- that’s all!” he tried to recover.

“Well, I guess I continue to disappoint everyone,” Brian smirked.  He knew why he was here and it wasn’t to talk about Heart & Soul Radio.  “Why are we here, Zach?”

“Haha, okay- cut to the chase…  We were in the middle of doing another comparison between you and Trevor Lightspeed when the news of 1 Alfa hit.  As you know, Trevor was the pilot of that ship and we wanted to know what your take on the situation was.”

“I’m concerned for him and everyone on that ship,” Brian replied very bluntly.

“Do you think it would have happened if you were piloting?” Zach prodded.

“That’s a ridiculous question, we have no idea what happened.”  Brian was sick of how journalism had become gossip and hearsay, there were no facts behind 1 Alfa’s disappearance and any assumptions at this point were preposterous.

“Hey guys!” an extremely attractive waitress interrupted, “my name is Mandy.  I’ll be taking care of you tonight- drinks?”

“Water,” Brian said very quickly, making it clear that tonight would not the night of in depth storytelling that Zach had hoped for.

“I’ll do the same…” Zach muttered.

“Okay…” Mandy could sense the tension, “are you guys ready to order-“

“Sure,” Brian said before she could finish her sentence, “I’ll have the boneless buffalo wings with extra ranch.”

Mandy punched in Brian’s order into a small device as Zach flipped through the pages trying to come up with a meal.  “I’ll have… that,” Zach said as he pointed to something on the menu.

“Great!  I’ll have it right out,” Mandy quickly removed herself from the table.

“Brian, relax man.   You know how this stuff goes…”

“I don’t get it, I’m not a story.  An Alfa has gone missing and GO!’s biggest priority is what I think about Trevor?  Here’s your quote ‘I’m scared and hope they’re okay so I can keep living in Trevor’s shadow.’”

“Haha,” Zach laughed as he tried ease the tension.

“This whole this is just out of control… Move on, you know?  I am who I am and I have my reasons.”  In the background a commotion had stirred up at the main entrance though the two were too involved with their conversation to take notice.

“See, if you ever gave the people your reasons, we might be able to put this to bed…” Zach pleaded.

“JOHANNSEN!” A loud voice shouted from across the restaurant.

Brian didn’t notice as his frustration with Zach grew.  “Just like last time?” Brian replied.

“There he is- Johannsen!”  A team full of Astro Base officials quickly filled the Chili’s bar.  The entire restaurant had become silent as everyone stopped their meals to see what was going on.  A uniformed man whipped out an ID badge, “sorry to interrupt, fellas, but Johannsen is needed at Astro Base Command.”

Brian blankly stared at the man having no idea what he was talking about.  “Now, son!” the official shouted.  Brian continued to sit there in disbelief until another uniformed man grabbed his arm and tried to pull him from the booth.

“Get off of me!”  Brian shouted as he shook the officer off, his eyes now filling with rage.  The men jumped back and placed their hands on their stun stick which were secured to their belt.

“Hey!  Easy, tough guy.  Orders straight from The Commodore!”  The badge flashing officer said.

“Okay, okay…” Brian said as he tried to make sense of it all.  He knew these guys weren’t messing around, especially if The Commodore was involved.  “Relax.  Now what’s going on here?”  He said as he stood from the booth.

Zach couldn’t believe his eyes, he seemed more shocked than Brian was.  The officials moved in and surrounded Brian, ignoring his question.  They pushed him against the table and began to restrain his hands behind his back.  “Really?” Brian said as he couldn’t believe he was really being handcuffed.

“Shut it.” The badge flashing official snapped back.  The men finished securing him and each grabbed an arm as they began to lead him out of the restaurant.

Brian struggled to turn his head back to Zach whose mouth was half open and said “well, it looks like you got your story…”

 

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