Author's Note: This is only the opening excerpt of an update I am taking forever to write, so here it is just for the sake of having SOMETHING posted.
'But you don't even-"
"I said she's an idiot, and I don't want her on my staff."
"Lieutenant-Colonel Anaconda, Ang-"
"Angie? She's a sweetie, and a crack shot, but a total air-head. No." Commodore Colby shot Molly a disgruntled look.
"Colonel, all these personnel are highly qualified officers. You need to choose a 2/1c."
"I know that, Colby. But I'm really not comfortable picking someone of this pay grade. I'm not USMC. I'm not Navy, I'm not Army, I'm not even a US officer, and now you're asking them to serve in an untried experiment, to a non-US officer who's fifty years older then they are. Screw chain of command, they're going to be resentful, and I don't want that."
"Well, what do you want me to do?"
"Pass me.... hmmm. Funghiguo, it's mostly jungle?"
"You'd think so, but the Italians did a big reforestation project to replace the native foliage with Italian trees. It worked. Sort of." He pointed out the vegetation on a map. Funghiguo was a odd misshapen lump at the bottom of China, right above a large inland lake. Molly and the Commodore had commandeered the office of the personnel officer at Subic Base, and had driven the poor man to distraction by throwing all his files into piles of disarray. The unfortunate fellow had gone to sulk in the corner. Molly addressed him now:
"You don't happen to have any files on... Rangers, and Intelligence and Security officers, do you?"
"I'm sorry, ma'am?"
"Get me people who were Ranger trained, and then made the switch to Intel." the man blinked and then, utilizing some obscure filing system, went about gathering various folders, which ended up in a small pile in front of her. She flipped through them absently, gazing on the unusual faces attached by paper clips or staples. She suddenly paused on one, gave the file a more detailed look through and said:
"That one." Colby reached over and looked it over."
"You can't be serious. He's so young."
"I want him."
"He's only a second lietena-"
"To Colonel? They'd tear me a new one if I asked for a Fantastic LT to be jumped five pay grades to Colonel, it's un-heard of!"
"But he's the one I want."
"Look, Moliere. The best I can do is a promotion to Captain. Once you're promoted, you could brevet him to Major, but anything past that and they'll eat you alive. They're going to bitch like crazy about the promotion as is, he's only served for three years. The other members of your staff are going to have conniptions, taking orders from a lower-ranking officer."
"Doesn't matter, Colby. They take my orders from me, and if he speaks with my voice, they're going to have to live with it."
"Why the hell do you want this kid? Do you know him or something?"
"I met him, once or twice. Long time ago. Never thought I'd find him again." She glanced at the picture, as a wave of memory crashed over her.
"Long time ago."