sexta-feira, 14 de dezembro de 2012

In the Army VI

In a top classified meeting, Kane was asked to choose a hand of their best recruits for a very unique and unofficial mission.
- We have to get it back. So you must choose well. If something goes wrong of course they will be charged with that and we get off the hook. No one will believe this could even be a mission. Not for the target and certainly not for using recruits.
- Of course they are recruits and something may go wrong!
- I’m well aware of that. That’s why you must pick the best of them. And I’m sure right now we have in our hands some unique conditions to put up the perfect scheme.
- Unique conditions? – Kane asked.
- I believe our command sergeant major is referring to the one and only private we have that can enter the place without raising any suspicion. – Sergeant major replied.
- You mean private Tollman?
- Exactly.
- Tollman is a recruit, right? With excellent training results I may add. So it should be easy.
- …
- What do you say?
- Is there a plan?
- Well, you'll be in charge of that! And I Believe I don’t need to emphasize the delicacy of this subject. So share the information in a need to know basis, will you?
- Of course sir!
- Then it's settled! I don't need to know the plan, I trust your judgment! The least we know the better. As from now, you're on your own on this particular subject. And of course this conversation never happened. - he ended with a smile - Anyway, I hope to have good news from you soon. Now you have to go sort something out, right?
- Yes sir! Gentlemen! - he saluted them and left the room thinking that if something went wrong it could also burn his hands. He decided to share his ideas and the planning with sergeant Harris, in which he trusted completely.

- So, what do you think?
- I think we can get burned...
- Don't worry, you're out of it. I just need your help thinking about it.
- ...But it's doable! And I think they're right! The use of Tollman can be crucial to this venture' success!
- Yeah but... What can I tell them for them to do it without giving the truth away?
- You just have to give them the orders.
- You're right but I have to keep them silent about it.
- Have you thought about who will you need or use for this?
- It's not easy since the best of these guys are the two that can't stand each other!
- Tollman and Thorn.
Kane nodded his head.
- It's a fact that things got in control after that fight but they still don't like each other.
- Maybe you don't need both of them!...
- But I'm thinking that the official presence of one of our recruits can spice things up and make things easier to Tollman...!
- What are you thinking?
- I'm not sure yet. Let me refresh my ideas and I'll try to giv'em a form for you, ok?
- Right.
- Come on. Enough for today! I need a drink. Wanna go to that joint for a drink?
- Sure. - Harris replied.

Two days after they had a plan and a story to tell the recruits they picked for the so-called mission. And at the end of that same day Tollman and Thorn were called into the first sergeant's office, as well as Haley, Payton, and Myers. They thought the request was strange as well as the secrecy about it. They were specifically told not to tell anyone about that meeting.

Thorn and Tollman were called inside first while the other 3 sat down in the waiting room, trying to guess what that was all about. The two of them entered the room to meet Kane and Harris inside.
- Sirs!
- At ease, soldiers. We have some orders for the five of you but since there are some rules, before we speak with the others we have to be sure that you can set your differences aside and work together on a mission. After that you can get back to the same old story although we'd prefer you wouldn't.
- A mission, sir? - Thorn asked.
That was getting even stranger, they thought. A mission for recruits?
- You will only know what it is when and if you agree to work together.
- You can have my word on it, sir. - Tollman replied.
- And mine, sir. - Thorn followed.
They looked each other briefly and knew that yes, they could do it. They both wanted to excel in there.
- So can I have your word on it? From both of you?
- Yes, sir. - they both answered.
- Ok, then. Send the others in, will you Harris?
The other 3 recruits were sent in and the door closed.
- Privates, I have a very singular mission for you to complete. In some way, the success of your recruit will depend on the success of this mission. But this is absolutely top secret, do you understand that?
- Yes, sir.
- It's a delicate mission since it's about getting back something that belongs to us and it implies contact with soldiers from the air force.
They all showed some kind of negative affect on their faces when they heard about that last part but none of them said a word. Orders were orders and they couldn't even guess what was about to come.
- I must trust all of you on this one! Do you understand?
- Yes, sir. - they all replied once again.
- I need Thorn and Tollman to work together; I need to trust your silence and I need to trust your ability to succeed on this. I know you can!
- You can trust us, sir. - Haley answered.
- You have our word on that. - they all agreed.
- And do you give me your word you will do your best to succeed?
- Yes, sir!
- Ok. Although simple, it is a delicate plan that some of you may not like when you first hear it. So remember these are your orders! And have faith in the roles that were distributed according the potential and capabilities of each and every one of you, will you?!
That wasn't really a question but they all nodded either smiling or with a serious expression on their faces.
-There is something that was stolen from us - the Army and specifically our unit, and we want it back. Who took it from us was a specific unit from the Air Force. You know the differences that always existed between the two military corps right? In most ways just like the differences between Thorn and Tollman here!
They all smiled with that remark.

- We can't just go in there and tell them we want it back since it would probably give voice to a lot of hate from side to side and lead to unnecessary conflict and probably public complications. You know that right now we are doing our best to avoid any kind of scandal or complications - which got us into a unique position where we have Tollman in our unit! Yet this same unique position is one of the cards we have up our sleeve and now is the perfect time to act.

Hearing that left Kris feeling suspicious about it. She was almost sure he was talking about her when saying some of them may not like the plan. Something just smelled funny.

- May I ask something, sir? - Tollman said.
- Go ahead.
- Why us? If this mission is so delicate and its success is fundamental, why picking recruits to do it?
- Exactly. - he just had to get to the point - There are three main reasons for that. One of them is precisely that, who would think we would use recruits? Another reason is the fact that we will use an occasion that is coming in two days from now at their facilities - they're giving a party for the recruits that is open to all fellow militaries. They are also facing some problems inside due to some altercations with other companies so they're doing it as an act of good faith and to serve as an example to all the newborn soldiers.

Since the meeting was getting less and less formal, comments were surfacing while they heard the introduction to the plan. Those comments reflected some disgust and indignation, some curiosity and amusement, along with some enthusiasm for the whole purpose of that.

- And the third? - Haley asked.
- Well the third... the third is that for the first time we have a recruit which disguise, if you want it, won't raise any suspicion!
- Of course! - Kris promptly said - A woman.
She was looking into Kane's eyes as evaluating his knowledge of how that had just disturbed her. Everybody looked at her, no one was expecting that. Thorn couldn't help saying something even if wrapping it in gentle words and a preoccupied look to mask the smile on his face.
- I'm not sure Tollman will like the idea of playing the role of a woman in that mission!...
Kane disregarded his comment and looked at her waiting for her reply to that.
- We are counting on you to help us succeed in this. - sergeant Harris said feeling something like that would be necessary for her willingness to follow the orders - Not only for being a woman but also for your skills as a private! You know we have chosen you all precisely for being the best in trainings right?

What a move, she thought.
- I must say I'm not delighted with the idea, no! I understand your reasons though. You don't have to appeal to my pride for you must also know I have a high sense of duty. Besides, I know I don't have to like every order I have!
Sergeant Harris was surprised by her reply.

First sergeant Kane raised his eyebrow while looking at her and continued explaining.
- Now that this detail is out of the way we can work on the rest of the plan. Tollman, Thorn and Myers show up at the party together. Tollman is going to be Thorn' companion and Myers a friend and colleague. Of course he wouldn't show up alone. Thorn is a big guy, right? He will get attention for sure and you can give a little bit of voice to your animosity to have a little fight there. But behave yourselves; don't take your differences to the party! Don't forget you gave your word on it. You will only be stating Tollman and Thorn are no longer together. You will all stay in there though. And you can bet someone else will step forward and make a hit on her.
- Why are you so sure of that? - Kris broke the silence.
The others looked at her. She didn't get it?

- They will want to show Thorn they got their woman. Like a trophy, you know? - Payton answered.
Gosh!, she thought. It was getting better and better for everyone else but her, of course.
- And then? – she dared to ask while taking a long breath trying to keep herself calm.
- Then you have their trust. You only have to find where the target is and rescue it, with all the help you need.
- The target being...? – she continued.
- ... A trophy. - Kane replied looking at their faces.
- A trophy? - Kris asked.
- A trophy. A trophy that cannot be seen on their collection. A trophy that shouldn't have left our shelves. You may think it's something simple, and it is or we would need more qualified soldiers - I mean soldiers that would not still be in training!... But it's very important also because it could mean trouble for all of us.

There were silence in the room with the five of them looking at each other and specially at her.
- So... what exactly am I supposed to do in there?
- You enter as a woman, as Thorn girlfriend or something; win their trust, find its location and rescue it. That's all! It's simple and you can perfectly do it. Haley and Payton will back you up in a van. They will be on your ears all the time to coordinate efforts and take care of every need that may arise. Myers and Thorn will just state their presence and back you up in everything you need.

Even without a leading role in that plan, Thorn was just thrilled with all that. He was having the time of his life since he got in.
- Any doubts? - Kane asked.
- Will we have any more details on the facilities configuration, exits, etc.? - Payton asked.
- You will have all the information you need. It's not that much but since the party will happen in two days, we will start working right now. But for now, all you have to do is digest it, if you have to - he added looking at her - and tomorrow night we will meet again right here at 8pm for details. Is that clear?
- Yes sir.
- Good. You are dismissed.

They left first sergeant's office still not believing what had happened or what was about to happen.
- I guess the lottery ticket is yours! - Haley broke the silence.
Kris took a while to react and understand he was looking and talking at her.
- You mean me?! It must have been Thorn' day not mine.
- Hey! - Thorn reacted.
- What?! Think I don't know you are laughing about it since you first heard it? You don't have to mask it now. We're already outside!
- Well I have to admit it is funny! - he said.
- Come on guys! We have to split up before we get near the others. We won't get an excuse to be together at this time, specially the two of you! - Haley tried to keep it under control.
Kris was the first to split up since she wasn't even going to the same dorm. Besides she thought she could really us some exercise right then. So she went inside to change her clothes. Then it was the time for Payton and Haley to split up from Thorn and Myers just to arrive separately where the rest of the recruits were.

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