Countdown, Part Six

Continued from Part Five

After Morgan closed the HV connect-ion, Kendell turned to Snyder and frowned. “What was that all about?”

Something I would rather not explain.

“Why are we taking orders from a Colonel in Idaho? How are you even communicating?”

Snyder sighed. “I’m on to something big. Thousands, if not millions of lives are at stake and Colonel Morgan is helping me save them. As to the communication, it was the same way I was playing guitar.”

Kendell said, “What time is it?”

“About 0315.”

She repeated the time quite loudly. “It was just 2030. How did—you drugged me. You little weasel, you drugged me. You ought to be fast asleep with that codeine, but you’re not because you switched cups when I wasn’t looking.”

“Look, I’m sorry. I needed to access my files and didn’t think you’d let me.”

“I shouldn’t have. Like I shouldn’t have let you play a holo guitar. But I would have. Dread doesn’t know the first thing about intelligence and carries a lot of petty grudges. That’s why I’m here on guard duty.”

“What did you do?”

“He wanted me to entertain him and I told him no. He’s hated me ever since. Anyway, the Colonel said for you to get some rest, and I think I’ll get mine back at my quarters. Where’s Sergeant Monroe? She’s usually on time.”

“Your relief is Sergeant Mezzner at 0800.”

“So I’m stuck here for the next five hours.”

“On the bright side, you only have to work half a day, and you get to sleep in.”

“Don’t try to sound like you’re doing me a favor.”

“Like you said, Dread doesn’t know squat about intelligence, and there could be millions of lives at stake.”

“Remember, he told you to get some rest.”

“The operative word is ‘some.’ I’ve got more to piece together before morn-ing. I figure at 0500, I’ll be able to get a couple hours sleep before Colonel Morgan gets here.”

“You need more than two hours sleep.”

“With all due respect, Sarge, you’re not my mother.”

Kendell stepped back as if he’d slapped her. “No, I’m not anyone’s mother. I’m going back to sleep. Wake me at 0500.”

“Yes, Sergeant.”

Now to pinpoint their exact location.


“Yeah, Sarge?”

“I didn’t really have a date tonight.”

“Night, sarge.”

Continued Next Thursday

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