He went to Commodore General Honda's office after a brief, monotone orientation.

The walls seemed like they were closing in, and the people there, far older than him, regarded him with an air of disrespect and suspicion.

He disliked it. He disliked it immensely.

" William, come sit down," Robert said, motioning to the chair in front of his desk.

He did so.

" Why'd you call me in?" he asked.

" I wanted to talk to you about Kirie," he said.

" Why's that?"

Robert sighed, and leaned back in his chair.

" You're both going to be somewhere out of my reach now," he said. " And I won't be there to coddle you in the future."

William tipped his head slightly.

"But we're both in your fleet," he said. " Because you wanted to keep an eye on us."

" It's not as simple as that," Robert said. " I already have some of my colleagues getting onto me for nepotism."

" But I passed all the tests the right way and-"

" I know, William, but they don't quite understand that. So my hands are tied if either of you get into any sort of trouble."

" Ah, I won't cause you any trouble," William assured mildly. " I've been rereading the conduct manual and taking notes."

" Kirie is who I'm more worried about in terms of conduct," Robert replied.

" Ah? Kirie's such a nice girl, though," William said.

" She's too forward when she takes things to heart," Robert advised. " She doesn't back down from fights when she's at a disadvantage like you do. And she's honest to a fault. I'm afraid her principles might be taken advantage of."

" Those are all fairly good points," William conceded, thinking.

" I know how you two are, so I won't ask anything ridiculous of you," Robert said with a slight cough, a little embarrassed by the admission. " But William, in the very least, I would like you to take care of Kirie."