"FEED THE PILOTS NOW!"
Jesus H, now who was bellowing? I took the last bowl out of the industrial-sized fridge and set it on the counter. This was the last damn time I let anyone trick me into making the food. Humming a few bars of "The Shortest Straw," I headed outside to ring the dinner bell. Well, more like pound on the pillars, as we didn't have a dinner bell per se. But whatever, so long as they heard me and stopped yelling.
Hm. Lot of people out here.
Lot of male people.
I knew there were male WAASers, but this was ridiculous. An orange-clad man walked past and winked at me. I decided not to complain.
No one looked up.
"Hey, soup's on!"
Feni walked up with another orange guy on her arm. "Great! In the kitchen, is it?" They trotted up the steps, oblivious to anything but each other. In the distance, I could see Paula walking with a man in a ... gray turban, I guess... that was wrapped partially around her shoulders. Hmph. No one told me we were bringing boyfriends. Not that I had one to bring, but anyway.
Dude, why were all the guys wearing orange? A show of solidarity?
A nice-looking guy with brown hair and brown eyes sauntered over, his arm around a woman I didn't know. Newbies? I smiled brightly.
"Welcome to WAAScon!"
"Um... thank you." The man looked confused. "What's going on here?"
"Look, just follow that orange suit; he's headed for the food. I don't think we have anything planned, it's pretty much a do your own thing sort of gathering. With pilot-worship, of course."
"Pilot worship?" the woman asked, glancing at her boyfriend. Dude, don't tell me we got normals here. What did they do, wash up on the beach? Shaking my head, I jumped up on the stair railing and shouted.
"HEY! GET INSIDE OR GO HUNGRY!"
What luck; a nice man caught me just as the rest of the group stampeded up the steps. I looked up at his faceplate and red eye and grinned. "Thanks, Ton."
The red eye blinked on and off. "How did you know...?"
I tapped the faceplate. "Who else could you be? Great costume, by the way... I guess all the guys dressed up?"
He just stared at me. I gave up. What was up with these people? Sighing, I followed the group inside.
Continued in 29