WorldBent

What Bends Must Break.
Panel 49
Kale

*AHEM*

Kale

Ma’am! Strike Operative 3S5 Kale Bauer reporting in. Subject has been escorted from site successfully.

AIMCOMM

Ah, operative Bauer. No, don't worry about knocking, just barge right in... *sigh*. Full report, please.

Kale

Yes Ms. Commandante. Arrival on location was unnoticed, and after alerting security in order to perform a Radcliffe maneuver, we made evac without sustaining any damage to ourselves or AIM project equipment. Uhh... But ma'am, if I can just break protocol real quick, there's some shit that you-

AIMCOMM

No.

Kale

No? The hell do you mean, no? Look, I just-

AIMCOMM

By ‘no’ I mean 'no, you may not break protocol simply to relay a report'. It exists for a reason, you know.

Kale

Can I just talk please!? I’m trying to make my damn report, and I would, if it weren’t for- Like, I just...

AIMCOMM

...

AIMCOMM

God, what am I going to do with you? Go ahead, just... Make it quick.

Kale

Great. So, how do I put this? We got away from site easy, but that's sorta the problem. It was WAY too easy. No AA fire, no fightercraft launched... Not even gunfire from the ground. I have my doubts if there were even any Unies in there to begin with, the place was a damn ghost town! I didn't see anything too weird on the flight back, but a SpringheeL or even a HaunT could've tailed us from a distance. This whole thing just FEELS like a trap... If we were traced back to HQ, we need to scramble security immediately, ma'am.

AIMCOMM

Mhm. Listen, Mister Bauer… I know you - I think - well enough to judge your intentions. You’re simple enough to read. You know... If I didn’t believe that you were suggesting that out of a place of genuine worry for our organization, I would reach into my desk, grasp around for a while until I could find my magnum, and then put a fine round through your teeth, nevermind your status as a program candidate. You would have made it easy for me to do so.

Kale

‘Kay well, cool! It’s a good thing that you know me then, Ms. Commandante! Hahah...

AIMCOMM

Do me a favor and stay quiet, would you? You, of all people, ought to have learned their place by now.

Kale

I... Uhh... Yes, ma'am. I'm sorry for stepping over my boundaries. I-

AIMCOMM

Are you incapable of shutting up, mister Bauer? Actually, may I call you Kale? Kale, you have something of a complex. Psychologically, of course. You burst into my office, defying both logic and protocol, just to tell me that you *might* have been followed by the UGSR? That’s a fine way to insult both my patience and my experience, Kale, because OF COURSE you were followed! The UGSR isn't run by IDIOTS, Kale! There's your question answered, now here's mine: Why should I care?

Kale

...

AIMCOMM

That's more like it, my friend! Silence is a virtue, after all. Oh, and that was a rhetorical question of course. As if you could respond! HahahaHA, oh, I crack myself up sometimes... *Sigh*... But regardless of that, we have a guest, don’t we? And what an adorable guest he is~

Sol

Ah! U-umm… Thanks? Sorry, I just didn’t want to interrupt. It sounded like you two were having a, umm… Pretty serious conversation.

AIMCOMM

Aha, well, a conversation is only as serious as you make it, my friend! What’s the old Unie saying? ‘Take in jest what you can't attest’? Ah, well… What’s your name, young man?