Jugger was once again enveloped in heavy wafting Cuban cigar smoke emanating from the relic that he called sir, Colonel Greystain. This time however he had carefully preserved 645 year old Tequila in his hand.
Now that is some serious Anjeo he thought to himself. Where Greystain got this stuff was always a mystery.
All he knew was that every supply ship that docked no matter where they were in the USMED Operational Theater a special delivery was always headed to his quarters.
Right now Jugger did not give a fig about where it came from or how they had preserved the liquids. Plus he knew the dynamics of the space time continuum and space flight aboard the USS New Challenge meant that elapsed Earth time and local time were two very different things. So it was not really 645 years old!
All he cared about was the smooth silky heat sliding down his throat and the slight breath catch at the end that denoted a fine Tequila. He could sense flavors and complexity; if he was ever to survive to retire he wanted to learn all about these things then. Right now he had pressing business with his Colonel.
Now that Jugger had survived two missions, and returned with the 5 Scientists from Xargon IV (S002 modified), Greystain was spending more time with him. Jugger was a sponge without being an ass kisser like many of the other Lieutenants in the Brigade.
Greystain liked to entertain one on one old school style and instill the values of the Corps in his leaders from Major and Captain down to his level. He was always looking for raw talent that survived. He had other reasons also. Jugger had stumbled upon something. A something that led Graystain to keep Jugger close.
Greystain was asking in painstaking detail questions about his last 2 missions. Clearly attempting to puzzle out what was really going in the Galaxy.
The fact that Mercs from Blackwater Z (BWZ) who should have been taking care of business on Xargon IV opened up on USMED forces during Juggers first mission was a big deal.
No one knew this fact except the two of them. When Jugger was debriefed he was informed that mutants and possibly others attacked him and if not for the quick actions of the BWZ he would have died!
Posthumous citations for both BWZ and his squad, a Silver Star and a full double draftee annual bonus for him and the surviving JWZ redskin that shot him were dispensed.
“I was the lone survivor and thankfully you took my dataset when they cut me out of my suit. “ Murmured Jugger thru the large snifter of Tequila he was holding. He continued “Whereas on the second mission, we faced Cyber Drones who were attempting to thwart our capture of the 5 scientists who had fled the Labs while I was being medivac’ed.
It had taken weeks for Juggers recovery in the tanks, during that time the scientists had avoided capture, or so Jugger thought.
“Well Jugger they avoided capture because I led the missions astray. I needed you out there knowing what you know. “I had to find out why JWZ wanted to stop routine collection of data. Nabbing those scientists would have allowed a little look inside their minds.”
He continued while re lighting his cigar. “Only you would recognize the equipment that Meico was carrying that day she died, and I could keep the circle of people who knew that small.”
“However you running into Cyber Drones and BWZ fighting together was news if it got out. It means conspiracy Jugger”
It also meant they both knew something they should not. That shit got you dead fast.
The scientists captured by Jugger were whisked away by BWZ agents working for Old Texas Space Corp and their paying client before any debrief could transpire. Plus they had Meicos equipment.
If the importance of whatever she found at the site was significant enough to cause Mercs to fire on and kill almost an entire squad and then have 5 scientists evade capture for nearly a month in the Sands, something big resided on her gear.