Categories > Cartoons > M.A.S.K. > First Impressions

School's Out

by Clutch 0 reviews

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and for Matt Trakker, those first impressions are going to be vital if he's going to form MASK!

Category: M.A.S.K. - Rating: PG - Genres: Action/Adventure - Published: 2006-11-16 - Updated: 2006-11-16 - 935 words

Disclaimer: All characters belong to Kenner and a bunch of animation studios. All I own is the situation, plot and backstory.

Author Note: First Impressions is a collection of one-shot vignettes which fit into my MASK universe at various different points. Each installment is a complete story. Each installment will say where, in the universe, it fits.

Story Note: This is a one-shot vignette which fits into my MASK universe during chapter two of What it Takes.

With many thanks to Angel and Nessa for editing, feedback and patient hand holding.

School's Out

Matt stared the flight arrivals screen in the Jeppesen Terminal building and tried not to look at his watch.

He had been waiting for the mid-morning flight from Washington DC for over an hour and it was beginning to grate on his nerves. By rights, he should have already been back in Boulder, helping Alex with Bruce and Buddy's introduction to the ins and outs of working for MASK. But no. Instead of that, he was stuck in Denver International Airport, waiting for a plane that, at this point, he was beginning to doubt had even so much as left the capital!

Beyond his general annoyance at the delay, Matt had another reason for feeling irritated by it all: The person he was supposed to be meeting was one of Duane's appointees to the MASK roster and no matter how well meaning Duane was, Matt detested the interference.

Matt knew it was an irrational feeling. He knew that without Duane's support, he would have been pushed onto the scrap heap as a discredited and washed up analyst. And, of course, without Duane, finding Dusty would have taken some doing. Nor could he argue about how invaluable Alex was, not just as a communications expert but also as a friend and a confident. But still, the interference rankled. Either MASK was his project, or it wasn't, and it particularly rankled this time because all Duane had said was: "Your tactical and weapons specialist will be arriving tomorrow, on the ten o'clock flight from Washington." No name, no details, no chance for Matt to try some last minute information fishing for information to see if this selection was going to fit in; just the bald implication that Matt would have to meet him or her in Denver.

"Now arrived, flight UA301 from Washington Dulles. United Airlines would like to apologise---"

Matt tuned the rest of the announcement out. Finally. It wouldn't be much longer now. Standing up, he took up a more visible position by the airside entry into the arrivals hall just as the first of the passengers from the heavily delayed flight appeared.

At the head of the rush was a large black man dressed in an obviously new suit. He was carrying a briefcase in one hand and had a suit bag draped over his other arm; he looked like any other businessman on the flight. Matt stared at him for a moment, then broke into a grin.


The black man stopped dead and grinned in return. "Good to see you, Matt."

"What are you doing here?" Matt asked as both he and Hondo moved out of the way of the other passengers.

"You're looking at U Colorado's newest member of the history faculty," Hondo answered, grinning widely.

"Really? Congratulations." Matt smiled. "I always said you'd been wasted in the Army."

"Thanks; I was sorta hoping I'd get the chance to look you up and catch up a bit," Hondo continued. "Then, as I was packing up last week, a friend of yours showed up on my door step."

Matt had been keeping half an eye on the other passengers for Duane's hire, but at Hondo's words, he gave his old friend a long look. "This friend of mine," he began. "He wouldn't happen to be the Secretary of Defence's top aid?"

Hondo chuckled. "That's him."

"I'll kill him."

Hondo laughed. "It was my idea not to tell you," he admitted. Matt stared. "Well; I gotta get my revenge in for you not even asking me if I wanted in." Hondo's smile faded into a sombre expression. "I owe our old friend for what went down in Al Abraq. I lost good friends because he sold his principles to the highest bidder."

Matt looked down. "I'm sorry; I should have thought." He shrugged a little. "You were still in rehab when this first started up, and then I heard you'd gone back to school. I didn't think you wanted any more to do with this sort of thing."

"I don't," Hondo agreed. "But for Mayhem? I'm prepared to make an exception. You can count on me, Matt."

Matt smiled. "Thanks, Hondo."

They started to head for the terminal's exit and parking lot.

"I gotta say," said Hondo conversationally, "that was one heck of a flight."

Matt lifted his eyebrows. "Oh?"

"We were nearly two hours late taking off from Dulles," came the reply. "Want to know the reason?"

Matt looked and saw the light of mischief in his friend's expression. "I'll bite; how come?"

"The plane needed 'precise technical adjustments to the nose wheel'," Hondo answered. He broke into a grin. "All you could hear in the departure lounge was this 'boing', 'bang', 'boing' as some mechanic hit the damn thing with a hammer!"

Matt laughed. "Well, at least they got it fixed and you got here."

"Eventually," said Hondo. "Man; it's good to be here. New job, new place to live and a chance to kick Miles Mayhem's ass from here to Christmas - what more does a guy need?"
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