The Commander flips the folders closed and slides them to the side of his desk. Flicking off the lamp there, he sits back in his chair under the lower light of the room and stares t some point on the wall. A square glass sits near his right hand, the amber liquid taking on the lower glow of the room. Ambience.

His gaze shifts back to the folders. Titles. Ranks. What do they really mean or encompass? The glass is lifted and he takes a long drink before setting it down again.

Commander. Colonel. Major. Captain, and so on. A fleshy ladder to climb up or slide down.

Titles and Ranks don't matter, Tarik, only the people who hold them. An Ensign could have the heart of a Commander. An Admiral the heart of a Private.

The Commander leans back in the chair and closes his eyes as the words of his father drift through his mind.

She married me because of who I was and where I was going.

She also gave you a beautiful daughter.

It was the same arguement. Keep the marriage together. It is meant for life. You keep it together. You don't fail it. You don't fail your command.

You never ever fail your people.

Fail one. Fail the other.


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