Undisclosed Location, February 1, 2013/1448 Zulu
The entire reason for special operations is to be able to do things without any attention. When I first joined special operations, I looked up the definition of clandestine and it means needing to be concealed, usually because it is illegal or unauthorized. Many people make the mistake of thinking we’re a clandestine organization, we're not. But in the recent case of Bella Juarez we've had to become a little, creative. And in some instances maybe bend the rules, a little. This last incident demonstrated to me that clandestine was a K-Bar that cut both ways and we were the ones who got cut this time.
Clandestine was the nature of the project I was working on when all hell broke loose (see my previous post, hell, see all of them to get caught up). We were in a tight spot because we’d manage to break into Bella's computer and start downloading files. And, much to Rock’s dismay, we all snagged her latest book from BookStrand when it was released on Wednesday. Captain had ordered all of us not to download it but we did anyway. Captain was reading it and I could tell life was about to get very uncomfortable here. There’s an old saying in the Navy, shit rolls downhill. It wasn’t going roll, it was going to rain this time. After the last episode, I’d managed to escape with my life. After everyone calmed down and realized that I’d been trying to tell them all along, we weren’t ready to go after Bella the way they wanted. That’s where Senior Chief Walsh comes in handy.
Senior Chief Gavin Badass Walsh had been the victim of Bella’s second book. He was FBI and a reservist in our group. After he quit laughing his ass off at the fact that we ALL had books coming down the pipe, he was able to figure out that she may have crossed the line with this last incident. Badass decided to bring her in for questioning. We were all curious about seeing the woman who had turned our clandestine world upside down. Badass went to her job site and asked her to come in for a little chat. I was surprised when he informed us she’d be showing up this morning at ten.
“Did you hear the latest?” My dive buddy Shaq asked as he took his usual seat in my office.
I need to move those chairs out of my office. Here lately, more damn trouble has started in those chairs.
“Get out, Shaq. I’m busy!” I snapped.
I needed to get a new dive buddy, too. This one would get me killed. I loved him a like brother but Lieutenant JG Shaq Harman was pure trouble and a danger to my health after the last incident.
“Hey did you two here the latest?” Master Chief said taking the other chair.
Yes, sir. Those damn chairs need to go!
“No disrespect, Master Chief. But I really have a lot to do and a short deadline.” I said trying to kick them both out of my office.
I didn’t care if I pissed off Shaq. I cared about pissing off Master Chief, even though, technically, I out ranked him. I’m convinced he gave me PTSD while he was training me at Coronado.
“Ah, bullshit. I know what Rock asked you do and you’ve got until noon to get it done. Hell knowing you and your anal retentive ways, it’s already done and you’re just fucking around.” Master Chief growled.
Master Chief was right. I was done but I wasn’t fucking around. I needed to change all the security keys once Bella left the building this afternoon. We weren’t leaving anything to chance. I had the keys changed and ready to deploy but I was hooked on book four for Bella's series because it was a dozy! We'd manged to snag it and the Captain asked me to read it and then give him a report when I was done. I was looking forward to March. That evil bastard sitting across from me who’d made my first year as a SEAL pure hell was gonna get his.
“So what are you really doing?” Shaq asked.
“So what are you really doing?” Shaq asked.
“I’m changing the security keys for the building,” I said.
Senior Chief Alex “Doc” Richards, our senior medic, passed the office and stopped.
“What’s going on in here?” Doc asked as he came in.
“What the hell is this? The conference room is down the passageway and to the right. Get out of my office!” I snapped.
Apparently it was fill the Lieutenant’s office day because Friday, the Captain’s admin, poked his head in next. Shit! My office could hold any more. It was exceeding the maximum capacity for bullshit.
“Chill out man, you’ve been a little tense lately.” Doc said.
“I have work to do. All of you get the fuck out of my office!”
“What the hell are you really up to?” Master Chief asked narrowing his eyes at me.
“Shut the hell up all of you! She’s here! The front gate just called and she’s on her way.” Friday said.
It was amazing how fast my office emptied at that news. The word that Bella Juarez was about to make an appearance in our building spread like wildfire. Ever SEAL in the building found a reason to loiter around the passageway to see what she looked like. The Captain and Badass stepped into the front office of the command suite. Captain saw the crowd and frowned.
“This ain’t a fucking sideshow! Get back to work!” The captain ordered when he threw open the doors to the command suite.
Just as everyone was moving, the front doors to the building opened and a woman walked inside. It seemed as if the world stopped spinning because the entire building we were housed in went dead silent. There was only the sound of high heels tapping on the concrete floor as she walked toward the command suite. She was a lot shorter than I’d expected, but she looked a lot like her profile picture on Facebook. It was Bella. She ignored the attention she was getting in the passageway as she greeted the Captain.
“Captain O’Malley, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Bella said extending her hand.
“Ms. Juarez.” Captain said shortly as he took her hand and shook it. “This way.”
Captain opened the door to the command suite and she stepped inside. She extended the same greeting to Badass. I could tell both the Captain and Badass were a little uncomfortable with Bella. They walked into the Captain’s office and shut the door. When it closed it seemed as if life in the building started again. There was the familiar buzz of conversation and machines. Those of us still walking around glanced at each other. We were uneasy at having this enemy within our midst and Bella being so close was making me nervous.
“So that’s what trouble looks like?” Shaq joked.
“Pint sized ain’t she?” Master Chief quipped.
“Grenades are pint sized, too. But they’ll still fuck you up pretty bad.” Doc said staring at the command suite.
I needed to get back to my desk because I wasn’t even half way through her forth book and the security keys for the building needed to be changed once Bella left. We weren’t taking any chances this time.
“So what the hell are you really working on that’s got you almost running back to your office?” Master Chief asked.
“I told you, Master Chief. I have to get the security keys changed. Now that she’s here I really need to finish what I was doing.”
‘Uh-huh. I know you’re lying to me or at least only telling me part of the story. But I’ll find out.” Master Chief said as he went the opposite way.
I smirked on the way back to my office Oh yes you will – and prepared to bend over when you do! March 2013 would be the highlight of my year. In the meantime the Captain was getting his right now with Bella’s latest, Dominant Deception.
Karma is a beautiful thing!
See Bella's series at bookstrand.com