NEW STAR HORIZON

WISDOM OF AN OLD MAN
Later in the hall there was a noise at the door. Matt opened and found Old Man Peters in the doorway.
“I’m here to introduce myself. I’m Peters.”
Matt laughed, and then saw he was serious. “You senile,”
“How do you mean?”
“We’ve already met.”
“I see, that explains a lot.” The old man walked by Matt and warmed himself by the fire. “Memory loss I suppose, the effects of advanced age. Quite annoying,” Peters then sat next to Matt at the table. “So, what have we talked about?”
Matt offered him a fresh cigar. The old man’s eyes widened. He smelled the cigar taking in the aroma. “As promised part of my own personal stash.” Matt dropped the carton on the table. “You were right; they take this prophecy nonsense seriously.”
“But you don’t?”
“Shouldn’t the Princess marry that Asim guy?”
“Hmm, you already know about Asim.”
“It’s pretty obvious they’re in love with each other.”
“Then you have no interest in Jihan?”
The question surprised Matt. “Look I’ve got more important things to worry about and shit. Like the Khad.”
“But how does she make you feel?”
“That’s a strange question,” Matt didn’t want to sound annoyed but the question was out of line. “How do you mean?”
Peters’ gave a befuddled look. “This is interesting?”
“Oh, you mean the outburst at the campfire.”
“I was referring to the wedding.”
“That make’s two of us.” Joseph added.
“I guess that did looked bad.”
“She is beautiful.” Joseph continued. “But duty comes first.”
“The colony comes first.” Matt said to stop him.
“I see.” The old man looked at Matt for a long silence.
“You okay?” Matt asked concerned.
“Few men could have resisted her charm.”
“You’re telling me.” Joseph couldn’t help himself.
“But I didn’t come to chitchat?”
Matt lit his cigar. “What’s on your mind?”
“Are you taking on the Khad?”
“We want to find a peaceful solution.”
“And if you fail?”
“Don’t worry old timer I don’t plan on failing.”
“That sounds more like it, that’s the Matt Stewart we know.” Joseph asserted.
“Giuseppe please. Make no mistake we will fight if we have too.”
LIVE AS IF YOU’RE LIVING FOR THE SECOND TIME AND AS IF YOU HAD ACTED THE FIRST TIME AS WRONGLY AS YOU ARE ABOUT TO ACT NOW!
“Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning.”
“Very Good, Major, and quite apropos don’t you think?”
“That’s it? You came to spout philosophy?”
“You keep expecting me to say more?”
“I couldn’t get you to shut up last time.”
“Very well let’s talk some more about The Princess.”
“Okay Peters, what about the princess?”
“You had better make sure Jihan is on your side.”
“Why wouldn’t she be?”
“Loyalty,” He shook hands with Matt. “Good day Major.” He puffed his cigar, “You’re much more disciplined than I thought you would be.” He picked up the carton of cigars and left.
“So, what’s the plan now?” Joseph asked.
“Find out who’s with us.”
“Especially find out if that Aurora girl is on our side.”
Matt gave him a stare as he walked out the hall.

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