The garage was, in no uncertain terms, a complete litter box. Dusty old manuals were scattered about on every surface, tools of all sizes and types lay discarded on the floor, and the entirety of the spacious workroom was well and thoroughly trashed. His father would have been absolutely livid, and that’s just the way Jax liked it.
Make no mistake, though: to the uninitiated the garage did indeed look a mess, but Jax was the master of his domain, and he knew where every single component, tool, and manual was right down to the centimeter.
Presently, the lord of the garage was leaning back in his work chair, snoring loudly, with a copy of Mechengineer Weekly draped haphazardly across his face. The garage was empty, and the sounds of gunfire blessedly distant.
Abruptly, the silence was shattered by the shrill buzzing of his commlink.
With a shriek, Jax jolted awake and staggered backward out of his chair into a pile of old greasy rags. A good four rings of the comm later, he had managed to disentangle himself and snatch up the receiver, still sprawled across the floor under his desk.
“Engineering, Section 27,” he said, hoping to conceal the sleep in his voice with an extra-chipper greeting.
“This is General Emitt. To whom am I speaking?”
Well, that did it. What little confidence Jax had managed to muster flew right out the window. A general? Calling him? Why? What could anyone that important need with someone all the way out in Section 27?
“Hello? Do you read me? Who is on this line?”
“M-m-mechengineer Jax, Sir! H-h-how can I be of service?” Jax swallowed, and scrambled back into his chair, unconsciously straightening his jumpsuit.
“Jax, good. You’re just the man I’ve been looking for. I understand you have a great deal of knowledge when it comes to outdated technology. Is this correct?” Jax frowned. Why would the General be asking about that? All anybody could talk about these days was whatever fancy nonsense ManuFatCat was pumping out lately.
“Yes, Sir. Old tech is something of a hobby of mine. Begging your pardon, Sir, but with the war on, why would someone of your station need to know about something like that?”
“I’m getting to that, soldier. One more question first. Are you familiar with a Sergeant Aspen? According to the records, you both attended the same academy.” Aspen? “The Ice Queen”?