3: Greetings and Simulations (2/4)

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Izzy Lanceville stood in the doorway to his new living quarters. His duffel bag hanging over a shoulder, he stepped in slowly to breathe in his new surroundings.

Both sides of the room were virtually identical with non-descript metal desks aligned along either side of the wall and the neatly made beds resting in the room's corners. His new living quarters, oriented to the south, always had sunlight during the daytime hours. The right side—clearly already occupied—would get most of the light in the as the day went on. That was fine by Izzy. He was a morning person anyway.

Red boxing gloves hung from a bed post at the foot of the occupied billet and flight gear had been bundled tightly on top of it. The desk on that side of the room was extremely cluttered. Resting atop the clutter was a hologram of his roommate and who he assumed to be his roommate's girlfriend.

Izzy walked over to his billet and dropped his bag at his feet. Looking out of the window, he decided there could be no better view on the Alloyo base than the one he had. A lush green forest with pointy tree tops extended beyond the horizon. Izzy found himself imagining the view from the air at five times the speed of sound.

He surveyed his new quarters one last time and fell backwards onto his bed.

"Home, sweet home," Izzy sighed.

The door to his quarters chimed. It could have been minutes later, but to Izzy it had felt like mere seconds. Lifting only his neck he looked at the door, "Come in."

Izzy kicked his legs over the side of the bed and stood as the door opened. In walked the brown-haired cadet from out on the paddock. There was a very genuine, welcoming smile on his face and Izzy felt completely at ease—quite the opposite of what he had expected.

"Hey. I just wanted to be the first to introduce myself and welcome you to Alloyo. I'm Antes."

Antes extended his hand and Izzy took it into a firm handshake.

"The name's Izzy Lanceville. A pleasure."

Izzy watched as Antes surveyed the room for himself.

"I see you haven't unpacked yet," Antes started, taking note of Izzy's still-full duffel bag. "Come on. Let me show you around."

Izzy held up forestalling hands. Suddenly Izzy found himself growing tense again, not quite sure of what to make of Antes' warmth.

"Hold on, man. Who put you up to this?" Izzy asked. "It was the cute red head wasn't it?"

A look of puzzlement from Antes caught both Izzy and Antes by surprise.

"You mean Dara?" Antes asked with a hint of incredulousness. "What are you talking about? It's called hospitality."

Izzy laughed openly. "This is a joke right? I mean, it's got to be. No one is this nice."

Antes simply smiled at Izzy. "You've got it wrong," Antes said jerking a thumb back over his shoulder. "The Commander here is a hard ass. I figure being a dick to you on your first day here won't help you get adjusted around here."

Izzy started to relax again.

"When you grow up in a military family, you figure out how to deal with hard asses pretty fast."

"Your dad's commander of the Titans right?"

"The good old VF-201. Yeah, he is. I see you've done your homework."

"Maybe just a little. So how about it, Izzy?" Antes asked earnestly. "Let me give you the grand tour of this place. I know you got in after chow, but I'm pretty sure we could score you something from the mess."

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