Our hero knows he’s in serious trouble.
The problem is, there are familiar faces and a question of who is a friend and who is foe made all the more difficult because of the enemy, if it was the enemy, simply because it didn’t look or sound or act like the enemy.
Now, it appears, his problems stem from another operation he participated in.
The debriefing team were not quite what I expected, a man and a woman, one a Major, the other a Lieutenant, and it was apparent they had just met before coming into the room.
He was Major Lallo, Army intelligence, and the woman, Lieutenant Jill Monroe, a familiar name as I’m sure I’d heard it before.
Lallo was not a fighting soldier, he was a paperwork man. I suspect he was more at home with an order book, and filing communications though that didn’t explain the rank, which he would have to have front line experience to attain.
Monroe looked to me to be the sort of woman soldier that had to prove she was better than any man and had the muscular form to go with it. Not the sort of a woman to get into a fight over or against.
She stood at the end of the bed, and I suspect by her posture that she was there to make sure I didn’t run, which, by the way, was physically impossible.
Lallo sat in the chair beside the bed, tried to make himself comfortable. He was going to ask the questions. He had a small notebook he took out of his pocket with a list of questions. The small pencil that slotted into the binding was there to write down the answers if any. I was not sure I was up to answer any questions.
Settled, he started with, “You don’t have to answer, but I suggest you do. I think by now you are starting to realise that, no matter how strong you think you might be, you’re not. If you decided to be unforthcoming, then you can be assured that we will be interrogating you with a lot more, shall we say, enthusiasm than in the past.”
By the way he said it, I got the impression he would be the one. His tone had changed suddenly, to a man who enjoyed others discomfort, and he was looking forward to breaking me if it came to that.
“And if I don’t have the answers to your questions, or should I say, not the answers you are expecting, what then?”
“One step at a time. We’ll start with the easy questions first.”
I’m not quite sure what he classified as easy. I didn’t think there were any.
“How long have you been at this base?”
Maybe I was wrong. “Two months, three days.”
“How did your transfer to this specific base come about?”
“I don’t know. I was at a training base in Ohio one day, then being presented with orders to get the next transport out the next.”
“Did you, or someone else you know, request your transfer to a new base?”
I didn’t think that was possible. Someone of my rank went where they were told to go.
“No. I’m a Sergeant, not a General.”
But was it possible Colonel Bamfield arranged for me to be transferred. Given the fact he was here, now, it was not beyond the realms of possibility. But if so, why?
“What was your function at your last base?”
What had this to do with my current situation or anything else for that matter?
“Infiltration, covert operations.”
“And I’m assuming then you been involved in these, shall we say, covert operations?”
No use denying it. It was obvious he had seen my file, which all of a sudden had some very disturbing possibilities. Just how much information though.
“Yes, but they’re classified and I can’t tell you anything and that.”
“Normally that would be the case, but…” He left the sentence hanging there for a few seconds before adding, “There was a problem with your last operation, the reason, it appears, you were transferred to the training base in Ohio. Is that correct?”
A mission that I had been told never to mention, speak of to anyone, no matter how high their rank in the military or government, or even think about again.
A mission I was told had been buried so deep it would never see the light of day.
© Charles Heath 2019