Office at the Point of Departure

Folders under one arm, and her helmet tucked under the other SSgt Strykes shuffled through the dark hallways. Drab cement walls met her on all sides, as no living soul would make eye contact.

She scrunched her eyes and nudged her office door open, a door never locked. Why bar entry to such a place? When she finally dared look the barely audible, “Doh,” flitted out in quiet futility. Two more body bags lay in front of her desk, and a third to the side. Only partially recovered from the sight, her body tensed painfully at the spluck of her boot hitting a dark, sticky puddle.

Lest she be allowed to pause, the phone rang, a tinny reminder of duties awaiting. Folders hit the desk sending up a puff of ubiquitous “moon dust”. Lights flickered to life hesitantly, wavering with a threat of darkness to go with the death. The receiver came up with an ominous clikt.

Her voice far closer to breaking than she would have liked she answered, “SSgt Strykes, mortuary affairs. How can I help you?”

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