She led Daryl out of the room to another room with a long conference table. At the table sat his friends, plus an extra Poseidon. ‘Great,’ Daryl thought. ‘There was a decoy. Bet Gaines is pleased about that.’

Gaines looked bored as usual. staring at both Poseidon’s in front of him. Baranski, on the other hand, looked at Daryl, wide-eyed, mouthing ‘clones…’

Daryl smiled. It probably wasn’t clones but he hadn’t a better explanation to give. He sat next to Baranski; he didn’t feel like any ‘I told you so’s’ from Gaines. He leaned against the table, head in his hands, waiting for whatever explanation there was for this nonsense that befell them on this new assignment. All he wanted was a shower and his bed.

The female walked to the front of the conference table. She did not take a seat; Daryl hoped that meant they weren’t staying in there long. She looked at them solemnly, as if she pitied there very existence. This was almost worse that Drill Sergeant Brooks. He could feel Baranski’s uneasiness. She shifted in her chair, rubbing her elbows as if she was cold. But Gaines just stared straight back at her, like it was just another day at Grandpa Hank’s…

“Alright soldiers,” she spat out. “As you already know, this is your new home. We’ll be working together until you’re all locked up for insubordination. Judging by your performance today, I can’t imagine that being too far from now.”

“It’s late. Your first line-leader is out on assignment but should be back tomorrow. You’ll meet him then. What is expected? I expect no roaming around where you’re not supposed to. You have ID access to only certain parts of the building. Every scan is documented; we’ll know where you tried to go. For now, just stick to your rooms, chow hall, rec room, Hangar 21, garage, supply, and, of course, your section area, where you’ll meet the rest of your team.”

“I say team, but mostly you’ll be out on assignment. Teams of two. Rarely will we send a gaggle of you for one assignment. As monsters, we can’t have you blowing your cover.”

“I’m sure you’re all tired, and honestly you’ve all wasted enough of my time tonight. Laurel? Daphnae? transform back and show our newbies back to their rooms.”

The second Poseidon split from top to bottom and revealed two young ladies with pointed ears and long golden hair. They stood about 4 foot tall, clasping each other’s hands like sisters. “Ta-Dah!” they shouted in unison.

Poseidon giggled. “It’s nice to meet some other nymphs in this world.” She stooped to their level. They weren’t impressed by that and kicked her in the shin.

“Youch!” Poseidon yelped.

The commander laughed. “They hate anyone looking down on them. Treat them like adults.”

“Commander,” Gaines spoke up. “You haven’t introduced yourself to us.”

She stood in the doorway, regarding the statement. “There’s no need to be familiar with me. I expect to see you in a cell the next time we meet.”

She walked out the door.


“So Gaines,” said Poseidon. “You didn’t want to help me, huh?”

“Really? Right now?”

“How did you know?” asked Baranski.


“That’s disturbing,” said Daryl.

“Why didn’t you notice, Baranski? I know why Kerns didn’t notice.”

Baranski laughed. “I’ve been rattled since that elevator. Still a little disoriented.”

The twins kicked Poseidon in her other shin. “Youch!”

“Quit sqawking!” said Laurel.

“Start walking!” said Daphnae

“Honestly you’ve all wasted enough of my time tonight!” they said together.

“It’s like she’s still here,” said Daryl as he offered his hand to Poseidon. She hobbled up. “You little squirts! Do you know who I am? I’m the daughter of Poseidon! You should be bowing down to me!”

“The President is our king!”

“That’s so backwards…” said Gaines.

They followed the twins out of the room and down the hallway. Everything began to look familiar. Daryl did his best to memorize the path, but he knew he was going to forget by tomorrow.

“Here you are soldiers,” said the twins as they dropped them off at their doors. “No roaming! Commander O’Flynn will murder you.”

And with that, the twins skipped off down the hallway into the darkness.

Daryl shook his head. “What have we gotten ourselves into?”

“This wasn’t any of our idea.” Gaines sighed. “Commander O’Flynn… Well doesn’t do much good, but it’s something.”

“What difference does it make?” asked Baranski.

“Just curious…”

“She really hates us though,” said Daryl. “That’s the question I have. Why?”