The door chime tinkled, a quiet synthesized request for entry. Sarge looked thoughtfully at the softly glowing light of the panel located conveniently to the left of his desk. After a beat, he placed his hand over it, and the door of his chamber slid open with an almost imperceptible hiss.
It was a young man whom Sarge didn't recognize. He was dressed in the black and silver of recruits, and had his hair buzzed close to the scalp. He stood in the doorway, fidgeting nervously, until Sarge waved him in.
The recruit stepped gingerly up to Sarge's desk. "Pardon-" His voice came out in a decidedly unmanly squeak. He cleared his throat and tried again, obviously attempting to lower his voice into a confident bass. "Pardon me, sir. I am Private Hurst, of Platoon XIX -"
Sarge waved a hand at him. "Have a seat, young fella."
Private Hurst's face took on an expression of awe. He did not sit in the chair Sarge indicated as much as collapsed into it as his knees gave way.
They sat staring at each