It’s still a battle of wits, but 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 the enemy if it is the enemy, doesn’t look or sound or act like the enemy.
Nor does it help when his old mentor walks through the door.
I don’t like surprises. This dislike had started with a surprise birthday party about 10 years ago and since then I’ve assiduously tried to avoid them.
Of course, there are also surprises you have no control over, and I liked them even less.
Bluff and bravado would only carry me so far. These people whoever they were would not accept that I knew nothing about what had just happened.
Which I didn’t.
It was not the A interrogation team with a chest full of torture tools and dressed in hazmat suits, but when the harbinger of my fate walked into the room, it was something a lot scarier.
A man I knew well or thought I did until he walked in the door, I had the utmost respected for.
Colonel Bamfield. My first Commanding Officer, the man who cut me some slack, and made me into a soldier.
Now, all I had was questions, but I was on the wrong side of the table.
The first, what the hell was going on here?
My first inclination was to stand and salute a superior officer, but he was not wearing the uniform, not the proper uniform I was used to seeing him in. My second inclination was to ask him what he was doing in that room with me, but I didn’t.
Speak when spoken to, and don’t volunteer information.
He too tried the silent treatment, or maybe it was that he was as surprised to see me as I was to see him.
Then, still standing behind the table, looking down on me, he said, “That was some jump you made from a moving helicopter.” Was there a touch of admiration in his tone?
“Life or death. Anyone one else is that situation would do the same.”
“Less than you’d think.”
Establishing camaraderie. Or trying to. I waited for the next question.
It wasn’t a question but a statement, “We have a problem Alan, and it’s not just with you.”
© Charles Heath 2019