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The Galaxii Series Omnibus 1 By Christina Engela Characters: 5570

Updated: 2018-06-30 19:01


The man looked so young for the job – even though Lofflin had been about the same age when he moved up the promotional ladder seven years previously. Joe was thirty-seven now, approaching forty, and at the moment he felt his age pressing down on him again.

Lofflin spent most of the ceremony watching the Yard Master absentmindedly fiddling with the name-plate on his suit jacket, as though someone would have something to say about it if it weren't pinned on exactly straight. Frank Myburgh was his name. The ceremony was a pleasant touch, but totally unnecessary, Lofflin felt, and he'd had basically attended only as an invited guest. It was, he reflected, more of a political statement on the part of the local government than anything else. After a few quite dull speeches from the Planetary Governor, the Mayor of Tremaine's capital city, the Chief Administrator of Tremaine's Orbital Docking Station – and Mr. Myburgh, a snack table laden with assorted salty and sweet items presented a pleasant distraction for Joe.

A few people approached him as he stood at the buffet table – holding a paper plate of snacks, to make small talk – but Lofflin restricted himself to one or two word answers, which usually helped to keep people he didn't feel comfortable around, at a distance. It didn't work on Commander Carlson though – the younger officer approached him and stopped to attention to report to his new Captain.

"Captain Lofflin, " The man said, "I'm Commander Carlson, your new Exo."

"Good to meet you at last, " Lofflin nodded conversationally, wiping his fingers on a paper serviette before extending a hand in welcome. "At ease. Commander."

The

ay on the matter, even though he and the old man had sometimes butted heads over work issues – and sometimes, when personal disputes got heated, a person's sexuality could become a convenient target. To his credit, Blaine had never taken a swipe at him for being gay, and despite the man being an insufferable – though mostly fair martinet – Lofflin was grateful to him for that.

Dellon was there to welcome him back. His lover – Lofflin detested that word, it made their relationship sound so cheap and transient – was twenty-four years old, and an Ensign on the Mordrake. He was one of the helmsmen, as a matter of fact. He was definitely quite handsome in a slightly effeminate sort of way, just the sort of look that appealed to Lofflin. They'd been dating since just before arriving at Tremaine, so that made it two months… shouldn't they look at a better term to describe each other?

Their ship was ready, shore leave was drawing to a close, and their little holiday was all over now, bar the packing. In three days' time, the crew would return to the ship, and he would await his first assignment.

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