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Drawn in by the smell of burnt confectionery, Zaeed wanders up to the the bar. Gardner beams from under an array of twinkle lights.

Zaeed exhales noisily at the scene. “What’s this god damned mess?”

“Holiday festivities.” Gardner slides a plate of cookies toward the grizzled mercenary. “Makes the kids happy.”

Sitting, Zaeed studies a snowflake shaped cookie. “You realize I’ve spent my life in space, where the cold is anything but cheery.”

“Pretend it’s a targeting reticule,” Gardner retorts, pouring a pair of drinks. “Makes shots easier.”

Zaeed cracks a grin. “Now you’re talking.”

“Happy holidays, you cranky bastard.”