“Here they come,” said Billy Gilroy, shading his eyes and pointing to the object in the distant sky.
Sergeant Mike Brackett put his field glasses up to his eyes and scanned the horizon.
“Pop smoke,” ordered Brackett his field glasses still locked onto the object in the sky.
Billy Gilroy popped an orange smoke flare and threw it into the landing zone. Brackett pressed the mic to his throat.
“We’ve popped smoke, Mister Miles.”
“Yes, we can see it,” Gordon Miles crackled back.
The freelancers spread out around the perimeter of the landing zone and watched as the transport ship loomed larger until it blocked out the sun and hovered above them.
“Put ‘er down, Mister Miles,” said Sergeant Brackett into his throat mic and watched as the big ship settled gently into the grass.
The freelancers gathered behind Mike Brackett as the transport engines whined down and the cargo bay ramp slowly started to lower. Gordon Miles, the first one down the ramp, looked around in wonderment.
“What a beautiful place,” he exclaimed as he stepped from the bottom of the ramp.
“I wouldn’t be so quick to say that,” whispered Doc and got a soft nudge in the ribs from Cortez.
Doc feigned a painful look at Cortez. “It’s true.”
Gordon spotted the new face in the group and walked over to where Cortez stood with her ward.. He leaned over and held out his hand.
“You must be Maia,” he said with a smile, “I’m Gordon Miles.”
Maia looked up at Renita Cortez who gave her a gentle prod with her finger. She looked back at Miles and shook his hand.
“Hi, Gordon,” she said, barely above a whisper.
“It’s nice to finally meet you. Welcome to our group,” replied Miles. He turned to Mike Brackett who was reuniting with Corporal Hodges and the rest of the freelancers.
“Sergeant, shall we get this show on the road?” asked Gordon.