Annette screamed in fury. Coming from someone more imposing it would have come across as a roar. Coming from such a small woman, it only made Quattras chuckle. This only served to anger her more.
“God, my parents were right about working for you!” She stormed into her quarters, stomping so that each step resounded off the bulkheads.
“Oh? And what were they right about?” Quattras followed her without stopping at the door.
“Mother said I would get myself killed. Do you know how many pods I’ve lost this month, Quat!?”
The older pilot shook his head and pulled a pack of Amarrian Spirit cigarettes from his pocket. “None in my employ. You wanted to run off and join the Crusade. Guess what? It’s dangerous work.”
“And Father told me that I would never get anywhere as long as I was working for you. Look at me now. You won’t even let me back in.”
“Look kid, it’s not like that. I’m not even part of Stay Frosty anymore. You and Robert are more useful to the new organization if you’re on a separate payroll.” He patted his jacket pockets, fishing for a lighter. Annette pulled out her own and offered Quattras a light. “That’s why Deuce and I set up this other corp. Besides, you already know most of the pilots there. How many members of 4TUNA have you even met?”
Annette returned the lighter to her pocket and turned away from Quattras, crossing her arms. “It’s not the same, boss. We all used to be a team. I know what’s going on. You’re going to keep us on reserve until you need us, and we’ll never see action. That’s not what I signed up for.”
“Annette, you’ve been a valuable member of my team from day one. I sponsored your training because I have faith in you. Whatever you want to do, I’ll support it as much as I can. You guys are family to me.”
He turned and walked silently away, then stopped at the door into the corp common area. “You’re still coming to my wedding, no matter what. That’s an order. Bring a date.”