Day 41 Local Noon
Jai Benjamin meet Summer Pierce at the start of the trail to the Stuart compound. “Uh Oh, the boss wants to see you also?”
Summer grimaced and asked, “What did we step in and when?”
Jai laughed and said , “Guess we will find out. Sin was no help, she just stood up slapped a fist into her chest and said We Who Are About To Die Salute You!”
Summer groaned, “Crap, if she knows what’s going on we are dead.”
“Lovely thought Summer. Oh well the COL can only kill us once I guess.”
“Here’s a lovely thought Jai. How long could Kurt and Mariana make it last?”
“Summer, were you born this damn fatalistic or did you have to work at it?”
We reached the door to see Sgt Nug standing guard. “I will inform the Colonel that you are here.”
Opening the door he announced, “Lieutenants Benjamin and Pierce are here Sir.” From inside came a booming voice, “Have them report Staff Sergeant.”
Summer almost tripped as she started in, SGT, whoops SSG Nug did not make mistakes. What the hell was going down.
The two entered the room to see Colonel Stuart sitting behind a desk with a link of the array propped up in front of him. As they snapped up their salutes and chimed “Reporting as Ordered Sir”, he looked up returned their salutes and began to speak.
“I am at a total loss to understand this report. It says here that two of my Officers slapped leather against the two Senior Members of the Liberty Guard. OODA Ladies sing it out in lockstep.”
Jai and Summer stated as one, “Observe, Orient, Decide and Act; Sir”
“So when did you two decide to turn it into Act then have a Brain Fart?
“Not to mention LT Pierce that, Gunnery Sergeant Joe Fortson could have taken that sidearm away from you and shoved where it’s dark and warm and the Sun never shines. He fortunately has a good sense of humor and knew you had fracked up by being too damn close to your target.
“He fortunately has chosen merely to remind you, that He will be teaching the Hand-to-Hand class next week and has cheerfully accepted you two volunteering to be the demonstration dummies. Of course there has been a change, LTC Andrews will be a bit busy so GSGT Fortson’s teaching assistant will be myself. Good Luck Ladies.
“Now let us proceed to your saving graces. A review of the tapes and statements by other personnel in the room, indicate that you two were in fact never told that the bar was in fact a Guard controlled crime scene and that Strike Force had been asked to provide assistance. That is why CPT Kellerman is having a long discussion with COL Stuart at the Lab as we speak. With luck and good pain medications he should be able to sit down by dinnertime.
“ However Ladies you also did not ask what the frack was going on.. That’s a dumbass on you!
“Your second saving grace is that according to Gunny Fortson, at no time did your trigger fingers ever enter the trigger guards. Nor, did the safety ever come off on your weapons.
“That cancels at least one Aw Shit; but you still have more Aw Shits than Atta Girls. Thus we are going to have a little exercise. As I stated this outfit is going to run under the old US Uniform Code of Military Justice or the UCMJ to you shavetail’s. A full copy of which is waiting in your e-mail. Receive it and send an acknowledgment NOW!”
I watched as they frantically punched at their wrist comps and two voices rang in the room; “Received and acknowledged Sir!”
“Very well Ladies, by this time tomorrow I want 2000 words from each of you on the proper conduct of a Joint Civil/ Military Criminal Investigation and God help your souls if I even think those papers might be a collaboration. On your own Ladies, on your own!
“Now Lieutenant Pierce, take these;’” as I tossed her the Rank pins of a 2LT, “and the next time I catch you out of Uniform give your heart to the Lord girl. Because your Ass will be mine!
“Now get out of my sight!” I was able to contain my laugh as two perfect Salutes ripped the air and I returned them with a casual wave as I said, “Dismissed.”
The door damn sure did not hit their ass on the way out when the back door of the room opened and Joe Fortson and Karl Nash came out with drinks in their hand.
“Oh Lord, Andy that was a vintage Ass Chewing if I ever heard one.” Joe laughed spitting up perfectly good booze.
“Somewhere at Fiddlers Green there is a Command Sergeant Major and a Chief Master Gunnery Sergeant that are toasting your performance right now. Those Girls are wondering why the wrath of God fell on them.”
Karl was kind of laughing also, but asked; “So why did you promote Pierce at the same time?”
Joe completely broke up then, “Karl, she completely got inside my OODA loop for sure or else that damn .45 would not have been stuck in my ear. Rule one in the care and feeding of young Lieutenants Karl. You kick their butts when they screw up; but never fail to tell them they done good. Those Girls may have gone over the line but, they done good!”
Karl laughed, “I think I am glad I’m the Sheriff and not a damn Warrior.”