No one wanted to start the conversation on the trip back and they spent most of the trip lost in their own thoughts. Once again, Hans was the one who decided to break the silence and start the hard conversation. It was a simple statement that said more than he could put into words. “She’s in.”Duke nodded and turned to look at Honora. “You’ve got a new job as a pilot trainee. You have a lot of unofficial experience so we’ll probably be able to promote you to junior pilot pretty quickly.”
“I get the impression he meant more than just a job.” Honora looked at Hans, her eyes wide and somehow innocent.“Yeah.” Hans repeated most of what he had told Duke. It didn’t take long because Honora didn’t interrupt him at all. When he was done with his story she had a funny look on her face that he wasn’t able to place.
“I believe you.” She said after a few minutes of silence had placed. “My brother was in the Armed Forces. He just disappeared and when I tried to find him they told me that he had never enrolled. I mean, we weren’t close, but when I first got into trouble I tried to track him down and that was as far as I could trace him. That is where his trail didn’t just go cold it disappeared entirely; like he had never even existed.”Hans just nodded. He had heard rumours of things like that before. He had always written it off as rubbish, but the more he learned about the Armed Forces the more suspicious he was becoming. There were far more unanswered questions than he could dismiss. He hated to have to question his loyalty to something that he had once believed in so strongly, but there was nothing else left for him to do.
“So you’re in?” Duke gave a weak half smile. It had been too long of a journey to be able to give much more emotion than that.“I am. Maybe I can find out what this thing around my neck really is. I believe that there are others out there that the Armed Forces already know about. Things that they are hiding from people because they don’t think we can handle it. I’ve always been a bit of an anarchist, but this goes beyond that.” Honora held her hand out palm down.
Duke gave a real grin and put his hand on top of hers. “It ain’t gonna be easy, but I think this will be worth it. Truth for truth’s sake – that’s always been my motto.”Hans placed his hand on top of Duke’s. “All I’ve ever wanted to know is what really happened back on that planet. Now, this means more to me than just that. This goes beyond all our personal reasons and I have a feeling that we are going to be in this for the long haul. Are you both ready for that?”
Honora and Duke exchange a quick glance. “Yes.”They said it in unison and Hans looked them both in the eye to make sure that they really meant it. “This stays between us. No one else needs to know what we’re doing or why we’re doing it.”
His statement was greeted with terse nods.