Here’s the next episode of the story, but as you can see I’ve gone with Part 2 of the chapter. Thought I’d give you something to think about. If you have missed any of the story you can get caught up by going over to the Emily Dahill, CID page.
“All right Cullen, here’s the problem. The sideband radio is down. There’s a heavy
squad out trying to locate a tank battalion. We need the radio up so we can
relay the coordinates to the Apaches. We can’t transmit but can receive.
There’s an enemy force, platoon size at least, approaching the squad from the
southwest. It’s predicted the men will be overrun in thirty mikes. We need to
get the radio working so the airstrike can be called in on the bad guys. You’re
got twenty to get the radio up and running. Starting now.”
Even before the Sergeant had finished with the briefing Jason was looking over the
antenna array sticking out from the van’s roof. The click of the stopwatch
broke through the silence and galvanized him into action.
He’d already spotted one potential problem. One of the wires from the radio, outside
the vehicle, was gently swaying in the breeze. Not wasting time, because time
was lives, he clambered up the vans side. With one hand holding on, he used his
other to tighten the connection. Done, he jumped down and slid inside.
As he settled into the operator’s seat, he flipped the computer on. Once active he
called up the diagnostics program. With practiced skill his eyes scanned the
different screens until he found what he was looking for.
He leaned back in the seat and saw the Sergeant standing at the side looking in.
“Hey Sarge. If it’s not too much trouble, start the damn van.”
As soon as the van was running Jason again looked over the trouble screens. As he
looked at the second display, he reached his hand up and turned a dial, then
flipped the switch below it. With a glance at the transmit dial, he keyed
the mic. The needle pegged to the top.
Finally, satisfied everything was in working order, he read over the script he had to
Keying the mic again he read the dialogue to whomever was on the other end.
Waiting a few seconds, he got ready to retransmit when a voice over the speaker
announced, “Congratulations Corporal Cullen. You just saved eight men from sure
death. Report back to your First Sergeant.”
With a smile he shut everything down. As he climbed from the van he was met by
Sergeant Bradbury who held the stopwatch up for him to see. Ten minutes,
“Good job Cullen. That’s the fastest time of anyone in the company. But, you’re going
to have to wait on seeing Top. He got called off base, and before you ask I’ve
got no idea why.”
Jason tried to hide his surprise but suspected it had something to do with who he’d
overheard the two MP’s talking about earlier.
“Cullen, it’s late so knock off for the day. We’ll see you tomorrow.”
He started back for the barracks but at the last minute changed his mind. He knew
one person who might know what was going on both with Carlyle and Top.
As he headed for the motor pool his thoughts drifted to Logan. Had the he been
found? Would he be recognizable? Had he made a mistake and left evidence
behind? All these and more whirled around in his mind.
Coming around the corner, his friend. The one whom he hoped would at least have some
kind of answer as to where the First Sergeant went. After all he had to sign
out the vehicle giving destination and approximate time he’d be back. In
regards to the prisoner transport van, that was a no brainer. He’d already
learned it was to bring Carlyle back. He let his lips curl slightly upward at the thought of her handcuffed and defenseless. Like he’d been once.
“Hey Joe, how’s it going.” They’d been friends for years. Always keeping in touch
one way or the other even when Joe had disappeared to Canada several years ago.
Only then to return with a new name.
When a civilian mechanic position opened up here on base Jason let him know about it
and was able to pull a few strings to make sure the position was his.
“Hey Jason. Not bad and you?”
“Passed the test today. Piece of cake.” He knew this was the perfect lead in to one of
his questions. “I was suppose to get the paperwork so I can buy my corporal
stripes but Top had to leave. Any idea why?”
“Let’s put it this way, from what I heard you’ll be looking for a new Master Sergeant
pretty damn soon. Carlyle’s been arrested and she requested her First Sergeant
to come to her house.”
So I was right. That was why the female MP was bitching.
“Did you hear what she’s been charged with?”
“Jas old boy, I may be good but I’m not that good. I heard one of the MP’s sent to
bring her in that she’d taken a swing at one of the techs. And you know how
they stick together since Dahill and her mutt showed up.”
“But if you’re asking if they found a stiff, that I can answer.” Joe jerked his thumb over his shoulder to the motor pool lot. “No, the Doc’s van is still here.”
Jason let out a sigh of relief.