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School's out

Well, for a week, anyway. The reading class wound up tonight, and while I still owe the instructor one journaling essay and my Special Project, I'm pretty sure she's not going to fail me in spite of the fact that she called the head of the program to whine about my lateness and my missing a couple of classes. You know, I'm paying for the damn class, you'd think it'd be my problem and mine alone that I'm missing some of the sessions I paid for, but nooooo...well, anyway, apparently I'm not the only one who had a case of the ass about her, since about half a dozen of us got together at O'Gara's (my first time, after being in this town for 20+ years, can you believe it?) for some brewskies and commiseration. I limited myself to one Guinness, draft. It's a long drive home from Selby & Snelling, after all. Got home at 11:30, checked e-mail, looked at what my friends had posted on LJ, and chatted a bit with an old droog back east before tending to this nonsense.

O'Gara's was actually the second Irish bar of the day for me. Kathy Haselton of Infobank was in town from Salt Lake City and so we got together with...ah, none of you people know these folks anyway, so I'll just cut to the chase. We had lunch at Kieran's Irish Pub downtown, a joint that would make most of my Irish ancestors & relatives rub their eyes in confusion since the menu is polluted with such terms as "aioli", "balsamic/honey tartar sauce", "basil mayo" "white wine dilled cream cheese" and other culinary perversions not normally found in an establishment where Irishmen go to get sloshed. At least the corned beef sandwich didn't have some haute cuisine crap afflicting it, though it was served on some sort of nine-grain rye bread, and was downright tasty, if a tad soggy on the bottom. No beer there - Wells doesn't like the troops to indulge during working hours.

Speaking of which, I'm supposed to brief New Guy Alex in on the month-end balancing procedure tomorrow so he can struggle with it next week while I look on in an avuncular way. That's assuming Bank Accounting allows me to pry him loose from their none-too-idle hands, of course. Got to drive in tomorrow so I can pick up the XXL cookies for the volunteer party, the pocky, and maybe some ramune before settling in at home for a quiet evening of laundry and room cleaning. We'll see how those plans work out.

Meanwhile, on the dimly lit hangar deck of the TDSS Ronald Reagan, Reiko Honjou takes a black paintstick and begins to cover the tail numbers on her Starfighter. When she is done obliterating the eight-digit number that identifies it, she turns off the black paintstick and turns on a white one. Carefully laying the stencils down on the fighter's matte black skin, she paints in the three numbers that will become her fighter's number. In careful Romanji, she paints the same number three times before turning off the paintstick and wiping down the stencils.

The next morning, her crew chief sees the new number and crosses himself nervously before he goes to report Honjou's change to the maintenance chief. Word percolates up the chain of command until it reaches Major Lucas, who finally goes to General Wayland. Wayland laughs until he cries, and looks at Lucas, shaking his head and wiping his eyes. Closing them, he quotes from a book he hasn't read in years.

"'Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number of the Beast. For it is a human number...That number is six hundred and sixty-six.' If it makes her happy, Major, I'd say leave it be - and find someone less superstitious to be her crew chief."