Zero, Part Two

Continued from Part One

Snyder stood outside the airport ter-minal. He waited through two rings. Father Bernard’s voice came on. “Hello, Snyder.”

“I had a successful meeting.”

“And I assume their friends will be interested.”

“Oh, they’re gonna have an Empire-ware party.” Snyder paused. “Father, on another matter, I was hoping I’d get to see you. It’s been months since we’ve talked face to face.”

Father Bernard said, “I’ll do the best I can, but between the Tupperware parties, parish work, and your job, it’s quite a mat-ter to arrange schedules.”

“I get back into Vegas on Thursday Night. We could get some dessert before I go back to base.”

“I’m sorry, son. I already have an ap-pointment. Perhaps Father Rayburn can come and pick you up.”

“No thanks.” It wasn’t Father Ray-burn who’d helped him come back to the church and mentored him.

Snyder sighed. Was Bernard avoiding him? Why would he? “I hope to get into town in another month. Maybe I’ll catch you then.”

“Will do. Bless you, my son.”

“Talk to you later, Father.”

Snyder picked up his carryon bag and approached the security gate.

The guard said, “Private, you need to check your weapon.”

Snyder pulled the gun out handle first towards the guard. “Yeah, I know.”

The guard took the gun. “Step for-ward into the biometrics scanner.”

Snyder stepped into the plastic arch-way that protested if he carried on him any-thing even as sharp as a butter knife.

The scanner beeped. “Private First Class, A. L. Snyder, Imperial Army Intelli-gence. No warrants outstanding. No contra-band found.”

 “A few moments while the computer records your gun information.” The guard stared at Snyder’s uniform. “How long you been in?”

“Four years.”

The guard laughed. “Four years. When I did my hitch, I had been a corporal for a year. How do you stay so long and still just be a private?”

It doesn’t help when your commanding officer hates your guts and is disappointed you didn’t get hung during your first tour of duty. “How do you stay in your job for so many years without getting a promotion?”

The guard cleared his throat. “Your gun is checked, Private. You’re free to board.”

Continued Next Thursday

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