Klein rubbed his forehead, delighted and appalled. “Argo’s right. If they figure out you hacked their medical records-”
“They have to catch me first.” Kirito sent more information to the flash drive with a few keystrokes, then reopened some of the first files he’d looked at. “K’so. I read up on neurology when the NervGear first came out. I know some of these words.” He thumped a fist on the desk. “I just don’t know enough.”
Argo glanced at the clock. “Sooner or later somebody’s going to show up here. Klein? You’re the closest we’ve got to a military guy. What do you think?”
Klein swallowed dryly. “I hate to say it, but we need help,” he admitted. “It’s the Air Force. They should be the good guys.”
“I hear a but in there,” Kirito muttered.
Which would have been an okay but slightly weird phrase in Japanese, Klein reflected. Only it fit just fine in… whatever they were speaking. He was almost sure it was English, at the moment. Almost. “Yeah. But. I don’t know that much about how the JDF works, but the U.S. military runs on coffee and paperwork. There should be orders right by my bed; for me, and everyone else in Fuurinkazan. There should be paperwork saying we’re AWOL, or on involuntary medical leave, or something. Hell, there should have been a gunnery sergeant looming over my bed, tearing my head off about where has your lazy ass been, Marine?”
Damn. Just the thought made him feel a little homesick.
“Even if they were short of Gunnies, there should have been papers from Atsugi, transferring us here,” Klein got out. “That, and a number I could call for the current base commander. So I could check in and make sure that yes, Colonel Squinty-Eyes is your temporary commander, suck it up and deal, Marine. Even if they thought we were in comas, even if they thought we were never waking up, those papers should have been there. Because we do not leave our people behind.”
Asuna’s eyes narrowed. “And if Colonel O’Neill comes up with that paperwork?”
Damn. Damn, of course the Knights’ Vice-Commander would think that through. As Klein could see Kirito hadn’t even thought about it, black eyes going wide and almost as young as they should be at the possibility that one of the few people the Black Swordsman could trust would get yanked right out from under him.
Not happening. “Then I tell him to shove it.”