Remaking the Mold
A couple of hours later Sergeant Margery Blake walked through the front doors of the Mars Division of the Planetary Marine Headquarters with a swagger and a confidence that she had never known. She was dressed in the standard black and red uniform of the Marines. Her waistcoat was black with a red collar and lapels and red stripes indicating her rank on her upper arms. The garment covered a black shirt and full black tie. Her skirt was also black. It was a wraparound style and the edges were trimmed with a thin red rope. Her shoes were simple utilitarian black pumps. Her hair was pulled up in a stylish bun and her lips and fingernails both flashed red. She was beautiful by every definition of the word. But today it was her stride that turned everyone’s head.
Xena strode over to the elevator and accessed Margo’s memory so that she could press the appropriate button. Once inside the lift she couldn’t help but notice the lecherous look of a fellow Sergeant that was standing just off to her left and behind her. After enduring his drool for several floors she finally turned in the cramped elevator to address him. “If you got something on your mind spit it out.” She growled with a curled lip.
He was taken by surprise. This was not the reaction that he had expected from the demure woman that he knew as Margery. By the intake of breath from
several others it was not the reaction that many of them had expected. ‘Good.’ Xena thought to herself while she listened to Margo whine in fear.
“Well you got something to say?” The man remained mute. He was probably in shock. “Well, if you don’t have an excuse for your rude behavior then maybe you should shut your mouth, wipe the drool off and keep your thoughts and your eyes to yourself. Before somebody does the world a favor and plucks them out.”
The man swallowed hard and tried to step back away from her but with the crowd he was unable to move.
“Anyone else got something to say?” She glanced around the car. Nobody spoke up and very few met her eyes. “Good, this is a new day! Let’s get on with it shall we?” She said just before exiting the car.
The floor that she stepped out on was filled with little work cubicles. They hadn’t changed much since the last time that Xena was alive. The big difference was that the light from the windows now had a definite red tint to it. She was still having a bit of trouble reconciling the fact that she was now on Mars.
She strode across the floor towards the cubicle that she knew was hers. The other people that had been in the elevator with her were mingling quickly with the rest of the office staff and heads were turning everywhere. Voices raised in disbelief were heard from every direction and some people were even taking the time to leave their station to walk past her or just stand and watch. She reached her cubicle, sat down in the chair and crossed her legs.
After one last look at her audience she spun the chair around to face her computer screen. A bar at the bottom of the screen was blinking. Once again Xena accessed Margo’s memory to identify what it was that she was looking at.
“I have messages.” Margo said out loud, somehow bypassing Xena’s control of her body and mind.
‘I can see that, thank you.’ Xena said patiently in her head to Margo. ‘Keep quiet; let me do most of the talking. I’ll let you know when I need something. Don’t worry we’ll get through this.’ Xena reassured her host silently.
Xena touched the screen to access the messages and one by one she listened to them. She had one from her husband, curtly wishing her a good day and telling her what he wanted for dinner. “I hope he likes take-out.” Xena said quietly while beating down Margo’s protests. The next was from her son’s teacher reminding her of a conference later that day concerning his attitude. “Hmm, sounds like father / son time to me. Hope they both like take-out.” Margo prudently does not argue. The next was from her daughter. She was quite a bit younger than her older brother. She had dark hair, steel blue eyes and a cherubic face. She just wanted to wish her mommy a nice day and to tell her that she loved her. “Ahh, isn’t that sweet? Well one out of three ain’t too bad.” She felt Margo swell with pride at the compliment.
The next and final message was from someone named Colonel Rayne. Xena felt Margo go stiff inside. ‘What is there something that I should know about this Colonel Rayne?’ Xena asked with concern. She felt Margo squirm. Margo wasn’t afraid of the Colonel but she was afraid of something concerning the Colonel. But she wasn’t giving anything up and Xena was loath to search her memories for the answer. Margo wasn’t afraid of this Colonel so she decided to ignore Margo’s simpering. She opened the message.
The face of Gabrielle filled the screen and Xena’s face broke into a smile that was not entirely her own. “Sergeant Blake, I need to see you in my office the minute that you arrive.” That was it. The screen went blank but the image stayed in Xena’s mind. ‘Take me to her.’ She commanded Margo. They got up and without another word they headed for the lift.