As the summer solstice approached the weather turned warmer. The uniform wool tunics with their high stiff collars became unbearable to wear. When Keo thought they would begin to lose trainees to heat sickness they were informed they would be receiving their summer uniforms. The company looked like a completely new group of young people as they put their winter uniforms into wooden lockers with mothballs.
Crisp tan linen tunics replaced the sagging red, woolen ones and cool linen leggings replaced the hot and scratchy winter hose. Keo felt like he was back home at a summer solstice dance—when all the young girls showed up in their prettiest skirts and fresh linen blouses. He couldn't wait to see how Crystal looked in her new uniform.
He wasn't disappointed, either. The tan tunic was a much better contrast to her pale skin tones than the red wool had been, and the tucks in the blouse accentuated her petite female form.
Keo thought the rotting fraternization rules would probably kill him. They had already lost two from their company to remedial training, though other companies had lost more. How were young people supposed to live under such rules? Others their age, back in their homes, were dancing, holding hands under the moonlight and some were even marrying. But here, they were expected to live side by side, work side by side, but not develop any kind of emotional ties? Maybe after he got his tiger-hawk he would understand better.