Chapter 1 – Once Again, Brave Warrior, Forth Into the Breach (page 3 of 7)

No, today my job was not to papally pontificate upon the facts, legends and opinions of the man who oversaw much of the galaxy, but to report for duty.

I showed up to the 34th floor of the Planetary Government and Social Protection Programs building, to the offices of the Solar System Security Force, colloquially known as the Galaxy Police. I had to go past the reception area, with its shiny chromium tricarbonate fixtures and holovidaudio screens explaining the layout of the building to tourists, through the busy public hallway, carefully avoiding the litter-sweeping custodimatomitons humming along their routes, into the restricted zone, past an ID card reader where I swiped my SSSF key card, and then past a different ID card reader, where I swiped my SSSF digital fingerprint tag, into a secure elevator, where a quick retinal and rectal scan and DNA screen activated my trip three floors up, past a cyberwire fence, which did another quick biometric scan before it opened, around a corner and through a door marked "Private: Elite Storage Only" into a storage closet where by pressing the reset button on the Fire Abatement Spray I would open the secret door into Alpha Squad Headquarters—my headquarters, run by the specta-steely efficiency and decisive femininity of Alpha Squad Commander Joanna Valentine.

If this seems to you like an unbelievable run-on, it's only because I had to convey to you how sophisticated the security measures are, no matter how simple they may be to a man like myself. That was tough, but tougher than that or even Neptunian nails was Joanna Valentine, the unassuming, assuming gatekeeper for all persons and information coming in or out of the 7th Alpha Squad.

When Valentine said "jump," the Squad Force asked, "in which hyper jump boots?" Her take-no-prisoners attitude and tough-as-screws exterior was only softened by her incredibly sexy voice, body, interpretive dance and flawless genetic composition.

I stepped through the triply-secret door into Alpha Squad HQ, cleverly disguised as an out-of-order drinking fountain booth, and saw Tracy, the beautiful, buxom, young Alpha Squad receptionist, sitting at her desk. She was dressed to the nines as usual in a form-fitting Lumi-silk dress that left just the right amount to the imagination, her nails painted with ten-hour coatings of Sino Lacquer and her hair locked in 63rd parallel sculptoform.

"Hi, Tracy." I declared warmly. "It's me. Tek Jansen."

“Tek,” she said, “you need never introduce yourself to this building.”

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