The boy was awake.
He didn't ask for his parents, he didn't ask where he was.
But, he did ask for "Wakkles with sywup."
"Redbrook, get the boy some waffles," the Lieutenant shouted to the man in the neighboring room.
"On it, Lieut."
"Lu?" The boy asked.
The Lieutenant was a nickname that had carried over from high school more than an actual title. He lead a special ops team in a private army that didn't use formal rank. Charge and command was earned and understood, not questioned. Titles were unnecessary.
"Lu works just fine," he smiled. "What's your name?"
"Me? I'm just Alden," the boy introduced himself as he looked down at his feet.
"It's nice to meet you, Alden. How do you feel today?"
"I'm otay. I got a bump," he pointed to the noticeable bruise on his forehead.
"I see that. Does it hurt?"
Alden shook his head.
"Do you know how old you are?"
"Um, four, I think."
He didn't seem to be suffering any memory loss. He still hadn't asked for a relative, and he seemed oddly comfortable with his surroundings in the infirmary. Any other child would shrink away from the sterility. Little Alden seemed familiar with it. He seemed right at home.
Colin brought two toasted frozen waffles covered in syrup to the boy, who looked at them strangely.
"Are d'ese wakkles?" Alden asked, his eyes lighting up.
"Yeah?" Colin shot Lieut a look.
"I not seen 'em before," Alden took the plate and picked up the two waffles together in his little hand. "Rover told 'em to me. He said they tasty and sweet. He said I need'a eat 'em up someday."
He took a ferocious bite out of the two waffles, his face and hands dripping with the syrup. His eyes widened at he taste and his cheeks picked up in a smile as he chewed and chewed. He swallowed, then took another bite.
"Alden," Colin addressed him. "Do you have any parents?"
Alden looked confused.
"A mommy or daddy?" Colin clarified.
"Are d'em like wakkles?" Alden responded, asking for more clarification.
Colin dir cited another concerned look in the direction of the Lieutenant, who frowned back.
They were in trouble.