We pushed through the double doors and entered the DMV. Well, not the DMV, the line wasn't long enough but close enough for government work. The same model as the other building except I saw more people getting their photos taken and less talking. No one seemed stressed or really worried. They had security in here. Real soldiers this time. I should have asked Zane if they had security in the bathroom too. Woof and Zane were in a competition to see who could stare at the most stuff the fastest. Both their heads were swiveling back and forth checking everything out. They obviously hadn't mastered the smooth room pan a professional like myself used.
It was a nonevent almost to the end. We had almost finishing our processing. We had been told by at least four people that Woof was the biggest German Shepherd they had ever seen. Woof had been praised for not eating or even paying attention to the cat in a crate that a woman was carrying around. The damn cat, once it got a sniff of Woof, would not stop yowling but I didn't consider that my problem.
Each station had a different person, the fingerprint scanner, the question asking person, the sign this paperwork person, the let me cut off a tiny piece of your hair lady. All of them were pleasant, professional, and relaxed. If you had to wait because the station you had to go to next was busy you found a seat and waited until they called out your name. The people we waited with even looked like the typical DMV crowd if you squinted and didn't breath to deeply. People smelled and it wasn't cologne. I was used to that so it didn't bother me. The clothes were less than clean but not homeless nut job with an addiction problem dirty. What really stood out was everyone looked in fairly good shape. When then sat down the cheeks of their asses didn't hang over the side.
The last step was the photos. Zane and I took turns sitting in the chair to get our photo taken. I asked if Woof could get his picture taken and get a card too but since he refused to fill out the paperwork and I wasn't going to do it for him they said "No." Actually they would have said "No" anyway, which I knew, I just felt like jerking them around a bit.
The woman running the digital camera called my name. We walked over to her and I handed her the paperwork. She looked it over, looked me over, and dropped the paperwork in a box already filled with the previous passerby's. I returned the look over. She had a great rack.
"Okay gentlemen. This is how it works. You've made it this far without anything causing your application to come back negative. I saw on your form AZI-216 you are scheduled for the next class of Orientation and Acclimatization which starts tommorow morning at 07:30. When you finish your three day class you will be given your identification card and begin receiving the benefits of confirmed citizenship." She looked at Woof "Anyone tell you that is a big damn dog?"
Zane laughed and answered "He's not a dog. He's a pony."
She smiled. "Young man I think you might be right."
Turning back to me she continued "When I finish up you will leave here through the door to the right of me. Go down the hall way. The sign will say "Animal Care" and have an arrow. Follow it and drop your pony off. Someone will direct you to the transient barracks where you will pick up your clothes, take a shower, it might even be warm water, and you'll be assigned your room. Families stay together so you and the boy will share the same room. You will get briefed on what happens next during all that. Any questions?
Zane shook his head. Woof just stared at the woman.
"All right gentlemen. I'll start with the young man and follow with you Mr. Gardener."
When my turn came I stood up and got that feeling. Someone was watching me. I turned a bit so I could look in the direction I knew it was coming from. Behind the finger print scanner station a tall white guy wearing a fishing vest, clean dockers, and a polo shirt was watching me. He might as well have worn a sign saying "Fed Law Enforcement Here." I wasn't getting a bad vibe from him. He was just giving me the dead eyes look over. I heard "Please Mr. Gardener. There are people waiting." I walked the few steps, sat down, and smiled for the camera. Just as she triggered the flash the double doors swung open with a bang and I felt them enter.