Thursday, February 15, 2007

Chapter Five

When Coollege entered the intell office, Monier was already there with the regimental chief of staff. Major Ralph Reynolds was standing at the console pointing out the controls. There was one document displayed on the center screen, the red top secret labels flashing brightly.

"Excuse me," said Coollege coolly, "but this is not authorized."

Reynolds completed what he was doing, punched the enter button and then said, "I am providing Lieutenant Monier with a rundown on the operation in here."

Coollege took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Major, this is a classified operation. The hatch is locked for a reason."

"I am cleared, as is Lieutenant Monier."

"That is not the point. And you may not be cleared for everything that we have in this office or to which we have access. Much of it concerns operations of the ship which is outside your area of ship operations. You are not supposed to be in here unless one of the people assigned to the office is present."

Reynolds turned around and stared at Coollege. "Lieutenant, I outrank you and I will thank you to remember that."

"Sir, you are in violation of a half dozen military regulations and security requirements. Not only those of this office but the regiment and the fleet. If you would like to push the matter, I'm sure the provost marshal would be interested in this. You left the hatch unlocked with top secret material prominantly displayed on the main screen and easily visible from the corridor."

Reynolds stood up and it looked as if he was in a rage. His face was red, eyes narrowed, and the veins throbbed in his forehead. And then he laughed. "Of course, Lieutenant. You are absolutely right and I apologize. I should have waited until you were here but the Colonel wanted to have Lieutenant Monier up to speed as quickly as possible."

"Yes, sir."

"If you'll take over."

"Yes, sir."

Reynolds moved to the hatch but stopped before it irised open. "Lieutenant Monier, the Colonel will meet with you for lunch. Please don't be late."

"No, sir."

When Reynolds disappeared, Coollege said, "I'm very sorry about that but the security regulations are very clear on the point."

"You are not sorry," said Monier.

"How would you know?"

"Trust me. I know."

"Just what in the hell are you doing here?" asked Coollege. "You don't seem to have the proper military training. I noticed last night that there are little things..."

"I have only been on active duty for a short period. I have some unique talents that were thought to have benefits in intelligence operation."

"Just what do you do?"

Monier sat down and scratched her head. "That is a question that I answer for only a few people...but I guess you'd be one of few."

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