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Misery Loves Company

Posted on Sunday June 2nd, 2019 @ 8:45pm by Field Commander Garrett Alder

Mission: A Fresh Start
Location: SDS HQ - Lubbock, Tx.

Field Commander Garrett Alder
Commanding Officer
&
Colonel Margo Vincent
Team Leader

ON:
Garrett took a sip of the amber liquid in the glass that had been sweating on his desk. He’d been looking over the personnel files for hours. Mr. Pearson wanted a replacement for the team leader now that he was out of action for a while. Alder wanted to promote Margo, but Pearson had his concerns when it finally came down to it, Garrett reminded his boss of their agreement when he was hired, his team, his choice. It was that, or he’d be happy to go home. He looked over at Shadow lying in the corner cleaning himself and almost wished his life was that simple. He tossed Margo’s file on his desk next to the ‘recommendation’ from Pearson, and took another sip.
-
Margo strode down the hallway of the Lubbock facility with purpose. The call from Alder had been brief but clear that the meeting he was requesting was of importance. She hadn’t hesitated on her response to heading to his office as requested. Stopping in front of the solid oak door, Margo rapt on the door with two quick knocks to signal she had arrived.
-
Garrett took another sip of the soothing liquid, and set the glass down next to the folders, “Enter!” he barked. He watched Margo enter the office, and he waved off any formalities she might have been considered. The sling supporting his left arm reminded him not to use it, and the bandage slightly visible by the collar of his shirt spoke volumes about his current condition, and by extension his current mode. With his good arm he motioned towards the cabinet in the corner, “Help yourself.” He said by way of greeting.
-
“Don’t mind if I do.” Margo said, her eyes glancing over his healing injuries, as if assessing his progress with his healing herself, before she moved over to the liquor cabinet he had graciously offered through his sweeping hand gesture. Grabbing a bottle of scotch and a glass from the shelf, she made herself a decent pour before setting the bottle back and crossing the room to the seat in front of Adler’s desk. “How’s the arm doing?” She asked curiously as she sat in the chair and took a sip from her glass, her eyes once again turning to his sling.
-
Garrett grunted. The collar bone was the worst of it. The round had shattered it. Not the first surgical pin he’d had in his body. But it might be the last. “I’ll eventually have full range of motion again.” He answered skeptically. “But it’s getting there… that’s why you’re here.” He said having purposefully left both folders open on his desk, both Margo and her competition. Though he wasn’t really sure she’d even want the job, he really wasn’t planning on giving her the option. “I’ve got 3 more months in the sling, then who knows how long in PT. Management wants Wraith back in the field.” He took another sip and poured himself another 2 fingers from the bottle on his desk. “Pearson wants Marston to lead the team.” he informed her, wanting to gauge her reaction.
-
“Marston is a fuck-tard who will get his team killed eventually. You and I both know it. I mean, look at what happened in Bandung. What the hell is Pearson thinking?” Margo scoffed, her eyes rolling as she lifted the glass to her lips again for another healthy chug of her drink.
-
Garrett agreed with her, he had no faith in Marston, but he did understand where Pearson was coming from. He knew when it came to it, she’d go after her target. He had no illusion to why she was here. But he also wanted her to realize that it did raise concerns about her stability, or loyalty. Garrett had come to trust her, had even opened a few new avenues for her to investigate in her personal mission. “He’s worried about you going Rogue, leaving the team without leadership in the middle of a mission cause you found a critical piece of intel.”
-
Margo’s expression hardened, her fingers tightened ever so slightly on the glass as she lowered it. “And you share that worry?” She questioned, her eyes narrowing slightly as she looked across the desk at Alder, searching his face for an answer. Damn, he was always so hard to read.
-
Garrett stared back for a moment, still impassive. “I do” he finally said, “and I think you do to.” He responded, “You’ve never hidden the fact that this job is a means to an end for you.” He said and closed Marston’s folder and tossed it in the trash, “But you’ve earned my respect.” He took another pull. “I told Pearson that you were the choice for the team leader, and I’d resign before I watched Marston take over.”

“Ever hear the expression misery loves company?” he asked with half a smile.
-
Margo nodded slowly, knowing full well Adler was right. This job was just that for her. A steady stream of money and a source to gather intel for her main objective, to find and kill her fiance’s murderer. She could understand the hesitancy to move her into a team lead position. But as it stood, she had yet to ever give Pearson an actual reason to doubt her intentions to stay with the team. She literally couldn’t afford to burn bridges here at SDS without being worse off than she was before she signed on. “This job doesn’t mean anything to me except a paycheck and my main line to the info I need. But I won’t have my team’s blood on my hands because of a selfish move on my part.” She said slowly, every word emphasized for importance. “So...does this mean I’m in or not?”
-
“I know. That’s why my first act as Field Commander is to promote you to Colonel and give Wraith team to you. Sarah should be able to cover you as Sniper until we find a replacement, but we don’t have time right now.” He said and pulled another file out of a desk drawer. “She’s finally ready.” He said passing it to her. Stamped on the cover was ‘EYES ONLY’ and ‘Project Red Sky Morning.’ He knew there had been rumors, but until now, as far as he was aware, he was one of only 2 people who knew exactly what the project was. Margo would make it 3, the rest would be briefed en-route. The DOD had insisted of tight secrecy around the project, and considering the cover, SDS had agreed two. All the details had been kept on system with no network access, and data passed on highly encrypted thumb drives that would format themselves if a login attempt was unsuccessful. Honestly it had been a royal pain in the ass. But Garrett couldn’t hide the fact that he was excited that she was finally going to set sail.
-
Taking the file, Margo took a peek inside, her eyebrows raising as she read the title. A smirky smile appeared at the corner of her mouth as she glanced up, meeting Garrett’s gaze. “I guess it’s time to go pack my bags and rally the troops.”
-
“We move out in 12 hours. However, you can’t share the details of what or where till we’re airborne.” He said matching her smile.
-
“Of course.” Margo nodded as she closed the file before lifting her glass once more, gulping down the rest of the scotch in one drink. “Hopefully they stock better scotch on the yacht.”
-
Garrett lifted his glass of Bourbon “Don’t know about the scotch, but the CO has ensured the Bourbon is top shelf.” He said and reclaimed the file. He technically wasn’t actually supposed to have showed it to her, but the effect had probably been better than just telling her about it. “Rooftop helipad in 12 hours. You’re allowed 2 duffle bags, pack the rest of your belongings with either ship or store on the boxes, and they’ll be sent along. We have limited space on the helicopter. Dismissed Colonel.”
-
“Aye aye Commander.” Margo replied as she stood up from the chair, setting the glass down on the edge of his desk. 12 hours was more than enough time to get things ready for departure. The handiness of never staying in one place a long time was limited personal belongings she couldn’t ship easily or take with her. “See you in twelve.” She said as she headed out the door.
-
Garrett turned to his computer and grabbed the mouse, clicking the confirm orders button on the screen. With that Margo was officially promoted, in both rank and position. It also sent the orders out to the rest of Wraith team informing them that they were being transferred out of Lubbock. Their new location was simply listed as “REDACTED” for the moment. He’d leave it to Margo to give the team more details, not that there was much she could say. He leaned back in his chair, all that was left for him to do hear was wait.
-
OFF:

 

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