I Won't Be Home for Christmas.

“Thompson, you’ll be on an away team to Abscido V.” John Michael held a smile that would have gotten him locked away in simpler times. Now, though, any expression of happiness was welcome.

“I’ve been waiting on you to say this. I swear to God if you give me a red uniform…”

“No, we’ll be giving that one to Clarke.” He paused, letting the silence hang in the air, just long enough for Thompson to begin to believe he was serious. “Anyway, we need volunteers to head off and scout the area. See if there is any unfriendly life, anything that could be a threat, and hopefully you won’t. If there’s anything, it’ll be ready to make allies. Clear?”

“Crystal,” Thompson lied. “When will this be?”

“All during December if all goes as planned.”

“Guess I won’t be home for Christmas…”

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