Day 8 mid Afternoon
I had just left the Lab and was approaching our tent to change, when Walt Davis walked up.
“Lord almighty Boss who you trying to scare?” He looked over the rig really staring at the Robar sticking up over my back. “Do you really shoot that thing and if so at WHAT?”
“How about 26 feet of Slizzard too close to take a chance with?” I asked with a grin to soften it.
It was his turn to give a wry grimace. “Yeah, I think that would qualify as a serious firepower situation. Boss, I need to talk to you in private.”
“Well if you do not mind talking while I change outta ‘Scare the Sucker to Death mode’, our tent is private.” He just nodded while we went in the tent.
As I was changing into my social rig and putting a fast cleaning on the Robar he began to talk.
“Well Boss,” he started, “I am at the point Ash said to yell for help. Capt. Travis delivered in spades, I can get anything you want outta those pots; but I need you and Dr. Kellerman to do the final adjustments.”
I was a little startled, “So soon is a real plus. Ash is up on the Mayflower can you set the rig up in your tent tonight?”
He replied, “That’s where it’s at, it’s all I have been doing!”
“Good,” I said, “I have the perfect excuse to get Kurt off alone. I’ll pop it on Mariana tonight and we’ll use it as a cover. You Ok with that?’
“As long as I get 30 min. with the two of you I’m cool.”
“Oh you will get that at least and be patient that will be before I rock his world.”
I shrugged back into the Chameleon field jacket with only the AMT up my right sleeve and looked like a human again. “If tomorrow works, it will be up to Kurt when we want to spring this on Mariana.”
“How do you think she’s gonna take it?” he asked?
“If I live through the first ten minutes, I’ll let you know. Now I have to go observe some trainees. With any luck, they are going to be second assault squad.”
He looked confused, “Whose going to be first squad?
“Oh some people you know. Just a suggestion, you should get to know Joe Fortson socially. You guy’s just need to brush up to the standards we want. These kids, mostly I have to train from scratch. This stuff does not have to be done overnight. To start with, it’s mostly going to be logistics and predator defense. We have plenty of time to get into do or die combat training. Let’s keep it slow and low. Except of course, one case where I have to start now.”
He flat out laughed, “You have to mean that little firecracker Benjamin girl. If you are not going to make an Officer out of her, you are asleep at the switch.”
“Walt, she’s going to be a Company Commander before it’s over. We are going to have one SOCOM Battalion for the assault force. That’s all the manpower we have.”
Walt just stared, “Sixteen teams to your standards, what planet are you planning on taking over?”
My answer was as cold as ice. “None Walt, but as quick as Mariana can get Council approval for me to make this official, I damn well intend to defend one!”