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.
If at first, you don’t succeed, try a few threats, or leverage
He took a deep breath, gave me a look a parent would give a miscreant child, and started again.
“What’s the deal with you and Commander Breeman?”
Yes, he does know about her proclivities, but he was hardly in a position to condemn her. He, too, had a ‘thing’ for the female trainees under his command, and one in particular.
“She has to eat, I have to eat, in the same mess as it happens.”
He gave me another of his penetrating glares.
“That would be against regulations, as I think you are fully aware.” I returned his glare but with more intensity.
“What did you discuss over the dinner table?”
Odd question. Not operational matters, if that was what he wanted to hear. But what we spoke about had little relevance to work.
It was true. She liked restoring old cars from the mid-war period, some of which had been used as props in period movies. I had an old Cadillac, the sort that would fail any fuel economy test.
I could see it was not the answer he was looking for. He would have to ask a specific question in order to get a specific answer one way or the other.
“Did she mention the no-fly zone?”
I thought about it for a moment, and then said, “No, there are no cars out there to speak of.”
“Flippancy doesn’t become you, Alan.”
Perhaps not, but it was all he was going to get.
And for added emphasis, I said, “Like I said to your predecessor, I don’t know how or why you would have to ask the pilot.”
He stood abruptly, nearly knocking the chair over. Angry.
“You know something, Alan, otherwise you would not have been on that helo. She threw you under the bus, and the quicker you realize that the better.”
Then he walked out, slamming the door behind him.
© Charles Heath 2019