A Little Deadly
Dust flying, I slid up to and nearly over my pack. Slipping to one knee, I jerked up the flap on the lower side pocket and pulled out an olive green wrapped brick. Ripping off part of the paper I pinched off a marble sized glob of explosive, all the while my other hand dug through the interior of the pack dragging out a metal cup. My first hand, almost of its own volition, formed the soft blob into a ball, which I now flattened, firmly against the bottom of the cup. Flipping the cup over, I placed it open end down on top of the rock my pack leaned against. I needed both hands to open my canteen.
"Hold on!" 'Forty-five seconds. That's all I need.' "Forty-five seconds. Can you hold them that long?"
'Kids! Can't get a straight answer. Ever!' I glance back at the frozen door. My newbies to either side of the opening, their guns lighting the interior of the building with their weapons fire. 'I need to do this fast. Those hinges are frozen. I need something hot and now!'
Ducking ineffectually at every staff blast as it whizzed through the doorway behind and to the left of me, I got the canteen open. That done, I snatched up the cup and filled it three quarters full, I was ready for the next step.
'Matches!' The fingers of my one free hand wiggling in exasperation and need. 'Where the hell are they?'
One handed I dug through my vest pockets. Finding and extracting a match. Two tries against the rock to get it alight before carefully and slowly introducing it to the explosive plastered to the bottom of the cup.
'Easy. Easy now. Don't want to blow nothing up. Just heat it up.'
My eyes slammed shut and I succeeded in not dropping the cup, which was suddenly enveloped in sizzling, popping flame. A flame that I knew should only last about thirty seconds, turning the cold water into boiling water.
'God. And guys used to heat their coffee this way! Shit! The damn handle's hot.'
As the cup flamed-out I stood and gingerly approached the door. Bolts of flaming energy thumped out from the dark interior of the building. I poured the hot liquid slowing onto the hinges of the door. I ordered, "Try the door. Rock it. This should free up the hinges. Put your backs into it. That's it. That's it." My urgent words clouding out into the frigid air.
With a scream the hinges freed up and the door began to move.
"Jenkins. Find something to wedge this mother shut. We don't want those Jaffa to get out, now do we?"
I leaned with the other four young men against the door. It took all of our strength to keep if from flying opening. There are at least a dozen Jaffa on the other side pushing to get out.
'Thank God that Jaffa are big. I betcha that only three can get to the door at a time.'
Suddenly grit dusted our group, as Jenkins slammed into us unable to stop in his haste. The kid dropped to his knees spilling sticks of all sizes, shapes and lengths.
"Okay, grab a stick and start wedging." I grunted through clenched teeth as I bore harder on the ice crusted door to give the youngsters a chance to grab a stick or two.
I had to give it to the kids, they were learning.
I watched them through the fog of their heavy exhalations as they jammed so many sticks around that door it reminded me of the candles around the edge of a birthday cake. I didn't think the door would ever be opened again short of explosives. Maybe not even then.
The Air Force Academy located in Colorado Springs, Colorado was well known for it's educational prowess. Producing top officers for the Air Force. What was not generally known was that a small satellite campus existed. Existed to produce a special crop of graduates. Graduates that entered America's most top-secret branch of the Military, the SGC, Stargate Command.
Graduates of this special program, if they were good enough, were stationed to SGC located under NORAD in a converted nuclear missile silo. From this location, some of those graduates stepped through an alien device, the Stargate, and unto worlds circling stars light years from Earth. They were Earth's first line of defense in a war that few knew about.
The classes at this campus were small, and very select. Only the best and brightest were chosen from the Academy's main student body, only the most promising of that group were invited to try out for something they weren't every told about until they qualified. Once qualified they were briefed. Not all believed what they were told.
Believing or not, if they agreed, and were selected, they would be scheduled be escorted to the base and unto a planet by a current SGC Team Leader. That Leader would evaluate each of the small group, usually numbering between three to six members, that evaluation would be their first test. Failure would drop them from the program; success would lead to the next test. It would also make believers of the 'doubting Thomas'.
This current group assembled for debrief after their first off-world journey learned that 'seeing is believing,' a phase known to be spoken by Colonel 'Jack' O'Neill, Second in Command (2IC) of the SGC under Major General George Hammond, and their escort of record for their recent trip.
Colonel O'Neill is responsible for base security, personnel safety and procuring the goals of the program. In fact this once he personally escorted this current group of students on their first off-world trip. Having returned them, none the worst for wear, they now face their permanent instructor, a man who will turn their minds back to their studies.
"I've read Colonel O'Neill's after-action report and spoken to him personally. He says, and I quote 'they are adequate... for now' end quote."
The small classroom at the SGC's training facility reverberated to the groans of the five young men seated before Sgt. Holliran.
"It's obvious from your reaction that you do not know the Colonel. For him those are words of high praise, very high." He pinned them with a steely glance and continued. "No trainer likes to deal with the kind of situation that awaited you in what was to us a safe area. What happened was just bad luck. But your training pulled you through. But even you must know that you have a long way to go before you can go out there alone, and survive."
"How can we train for something like that? We were just the grunts out there; we had nothing to do with saving our own skins. The Colonel did that." Jenkins intoned, defeat writ large across his young face.
"Oooh, but you did save yourselves. You did what you knew how to do, you obeyed orders." Holliran assured him... them, they all looked a little overwhelmed. All of them did after their first trip through the Stargate; they would get over it, he did.
"But to survive out there we need to think of solutions, not just 'obey orders.' Isn't that what being an officer is all about, using our heads?" Inserted Van Sickle with a 'never say die' attitude roiling off of him, he was favored by the staff to survive this course with honors.
"Yes, that is correct. You need to think for yourself. But you also must know when thinking for yourself is going to get you killed. Heed those with greater know how; learn from their example and increase you own store of knowledge in the process. Gather as much information as you can, a little info can get you killed fast, and you need the wisdom of experience to temper what you know. Then you can think for yourself safely or die thinking so." Sgt. Holliran rammed this home, he knew that this ability would separate the followers from the leaders.
The young men muttered among themselves over this revelation. The Sergeant decided they had discussed it enough and announced the content and location of their next rotation of instruction. This was just the beginning of their education; they still had nearly a year, if they survived the course, before they would be assigned to a SG Team and go off-world again.
Daniel glanced in from across the hallway. He could see O'Neill's hands supporting his forehead in the pool of light cast by the desk lamp positioned over the man's desktop in his dark office.
Jack O'Neill was his friend and he was hurting for some reason. Daniel wanted to go in and try to get Jack to talk about what was bothering him. But he knew from previous experience that it was too soon to discuss whatever it was. Jack was a very private man, revealing little or nothing of himself even to his friends. He knew that Jack had probably told him more about himself than any other person, correction 'person alive,' Frank Cromwell probably knew more than he did. And then there was Jack's ex-wife, Sara, she being 'alive' and probably knew more than anyone, period, but Daniel knew that Jack didn't talk to her, then or now.
He could get Jack to talk, but only when the man decided when and how much, usually not much and not often. All Daniel could do now is watch and hope that Jack would solve it soon, before he was consumed by his worry. He didn't like to see the man in pain, but Jack was almost masochistic that way, he took on the worries of the world.
Feeling a presence behind him he swiveled his head around to see Teal'c standing at the junction of the cross-corridor.
Teal'c. Teal'c was Jack's friend. Warrior brother. Disciple. Follower.
Teal'c was also a Jaffa. An alien warrior from the second world visited by he and Jack called Chulac. Teal'c was the 'Prime', kind of a general, of a being called Apohis, a self declared god. In actuality, a snake-like parasite in possession of a stolen human body and the second such being they had met. The first having been on the first world visited, during the Abydos Mission, the mission he and Jack became friends on, sort of.
There were more than just these two self proclaimed Gods, or Goa'uld. There were a great many of them and they subjugated a large potion of the world's reachable via the Stargates. And to hold that territory the Jaffa were created as ambulatory incubators for infant Goa'uld and troops to consolidate their power. The Jaffa carried the infants or died; implantation destroyed the Jaffa's immune system, which the parasites replaced, giving perfect health, long life and enhanced strength. Perfect control of the perfect slave.
Teal'c gestured for him to come. He nodded his head and quietly, reluctantly, turned his back on his friend's office and joined Teal'c. He stepped down the hallway Teal'c indicated, toward the commissary.
The commissary was dimly lighted this time of night, as was most of the SGC. Daniel spied Sam Carter at a back table with an unrestricted view of the entrance, her military training was showing, she could be as bad as Jack sometimes. He and Teal'c joined her.
He, Teal'c and Sam comprise three quarters of the SGC's best exploratory team, they are SG-1 and Jack O'Neill is their commander and friend. Sam Carter is Major Sam Carter, Jack's 2IC, Daniel, the civilian archaeologist and linguist, and Teal'c is Jack's strong military right arm and expert on the Goa'uld. But most of all they are all friends... family, and one of the family is in pain.
Daniel eyed Sam and then Teal'c.
"Well?" He raised his eyebrows above the top of this glasses in a questioning gesture. He also wanted to know why they were here.
"You are worried for O'Neill," stated Teal'c. A raising eyebrow momentarily forced the statement into a question.
"Yes... Something's wrong... He's been withdrawn for a couple of days now." Daniel frowned as he dropped his eyes to stare at the hands that he clenched atop the table before him, he felt guilty at not be able to help Jack. And worried.
"Something happened, Daniel. Teal'c can explain." Mummered Sam as she reached across the table to squeeze his hands in joint distress, she too felt guilt and recognized it in him also.
"Three days ago a member of SG-14 was injured off-world." Teal'c informed Daniel as Sam relaxed back into her seat.
"I had hear that someone was caught in an explosion," confirmed Daniel.
"It is this incident that worries O'Neill. As is often the case, I was included in the debriefing of SG-14 regarding...
Colonel O'Neill stalked from the conference room.
He couldn't believe what had been described to him during the debrief, what had happened. His questioning wrung every detail out of SG-14; now he had a good visual picture built of the incident. What confused him was why? Why did it happen? How did the kid know about it even? These answers SG-14 could not provide.
If SG-14 didn't have the answers maybe the Academy had them? He called the SGC Training campus to have the Lieutenant's classmates and instructor sequestered in one hour's time for him to question. Maybe the answer would be there. He still couldn't wrap his mind around the stupidly of it all, it just made him madder.
He stepped up his pace, now he was incensed.
'It was a kid's stunt. A stupid, dumb kid's stunt. C-4's not sterno. Heating up coffee! Dumb!'
Lithely dodging foot-traffic as he auto-piloted along his path to the surface his mind was occupied elsewhere. He saw once again the too, too young Lt. Van Sickle lying in the infirmary.
Saw the arm that ended in a mass of bandages that contained what was left of a right hand.
A useless, mangled, dead hand. Massive nerve damage... tissue loss. Thumb gone... fingers.
He had needed to look elsewhere, anywhere other than at that obscene disfigurement. His traitor eyes managed to fasten onto something far worse, the boy's face.
Only the lower part of boy's face could be seen, a red, peeling, bristly, swollen mass under the clear protective jelly. The rest of his head... his eyes... were swaddled in white bandages.
O'Neill's body steered itself into the first elevator towards the surface as the memories reeled on.
He remembered... Words, words telling him that Lt. Van Sickle had lost one eye totally to the closeness of the explosion it literally melted the eye from its socket. The other was badly burned; the words told him that new techniques might save that eye.
Might see light, dark, shapes. Shapes... Black smear trees, white blotch skies and featureless blobs for faces.
No more smiles, his own or anyone's.
His body shuttered, in memory and reality. The second elevator surged upwards with its heavy load.
The words resumed their platitudes. Vision would be indistinct. His visual world a morass of uncertainty. Nothing solid to anchor one's location to. Maybe not enough to even get around. Worse than the just plain darkness of the totally blind.
The words said that it is better than nothing.
Why would such a smart kid do such a dumb thing? It was insane! How did this promising, young officer learn about such a thing?
O'Neill didn't know, didn't care.
'But by God, I am going to find out and ream someone's ass.'
His body emerged into bright light of day and he staggered, momentarily blinded. The irony of it struck him cold as he ground to a startled defeated halt.
Shielding his eyes with a hand while the other groped for his sunglasses, his body already spinning around towards the voice. Recognition was slow, his mind stroked out of the depths of his thoughts towards reality.
"Teal'c... Teal'c, damn, I'm sorry, I forgot all about you." Slipping on his sunglasses, he tapped his now empty fingers against his forehead. 'Just where has my mind been? I completely forgot Teal'c.' Still that disfigured boy swam before his eyes. He blinked burning eyes, hidden behind his shades.
He reached out to, but did not quite touch, his silent friend. He covered his abortive move of comfort by throwing his hands upwards and shrugged. "I apologize. It was inconsiderate of me to bolt out like that without finding out what you wanted to do. You don't need to come if you have other plans." He offered up a slightly smiling, hopefully, hopeful expression of apology.
Teal'c could see that his friend was embarrassed by his lapse but understood it fully. O'Neill cared for everyone under his command and took it very much to heart when someone was injured unduly. At first, he had found the concept foreign, Jaffa were expendable in the eyes of the Goa'uld, each lived or died by their whim. No Jaffa cared for another when injured, their society was very much dog eat dog, advancement by death was not uncommon among them. But this man he held in such high regard was teaching him through example a better way. He now could understand his mentor's lapse, he too now felt the pain of others, especially this man's pain, his brother's pain.
"I have no pressing plans. If I may, I wish to follow and see what can be discovered." Inclining his head and hooding his eyes briefly hoping to assuage O'Neill's unnecessary chagrin. He could do nothing for his brother's pain but offer his physical presence as support.
"Ya sure?" O'Neill tilted his head in a questioningly way. Teal'c always make a bad situation better for him just by being there. His company is always welcome.
Jack O'Neill acknowledged his friend's affirmation with a quick nod as he climbed into his truck.
Together, they departed.
"Yes, Sir, Colonel Sir."
"He got the idea from me?"
"Yes, Sir, Colonel Sir."
"From that mission nearly a year ago?"
"Yes, Sir, Colonel Sir."
...this upset O'Neill greatly," as Teal'c concluded his explanation to Daniel Jackson and Sam Carter.
"How badly was Lt. Van Sickle injured," inquired Daniel. He knew that the greater the damage the greater Jack's guilt would be, unwarranted guilt, yes, but there nevertheless.
"Gravely. He lost the use of his dominant hand, one eye and possibly the other as well." Soberly informed Teal'c.
"Has the Colonel been to see him, Teal'c," asked Sam. If the Colonel had seen the damage firsthand, it could be eating him alive with anguish for the young man.
"Yes, he has. The young man was insensate." He confirmed.
"Probably sedated to protect that last eye," muttered Sam. 'Damn, even worst, his instincts to protect would kick to full seeing that.'
"Seeing that must have nearly destroyed Jack," whispered Daniel. He could never forget how O'Neill had been when he had first met him. So emotionally withdrawn as to be a wind-up soldier. Later he discovered that Jack had only weeks before lost his only son to an accident. It so devastated him that he wanted to die but was unable to so on Earth out of consideration to his wife. Thus the first Stargate mission to Abydos was his answer; to die in the nuclear explosion meant to destroy the Stargate and Ra, the false god who ruled there.
"That was probably nothing compared to how he felt later. When he found out that he was the inadvertent source of that little trick with the C-4." Sadly commented Sam she knew that Jack held himself responsible for his son's death. He believed himself negligent in allowing Charlie to find and shoot himself with Jack's own personal firearm in his parent's bedroom. Jack has never forgiven himself for Charlie's death. And this accident was so very close to this, Jack's greatest tragedy. He would take it badly, very badly.
"O'Neill has taken steps to insure that all trainees and all current members of the SGC are made aware of the danger inherent in the misuse of this explosive. He will also have it made clear that his actions were not in line with safety guide lines and that a reprimand has been placed into his own jacket."
Teal'c's face could have been icy stone; no emotive expression marred it. Clearly, he thought O'Neill's action excessive.
I knew I was brooding.
'But damn it, I have a right to brood. How I could have allowed this to happen.'
Slipping my beer down unto the decking of the telescope platform I sweep my feet up unto the railing and slouched back into the lawn chair. Locking my hands behind my neck, I gazed up into the beauty of the early morning night sky. I shivered a bit, it was spring. The daffodils below just starting to fade.
As in fade from sight. As in never seeing a daffodil again... ever.
That was Eric Van Sickle's future. Doc was now hedging on the possibility of sight in that damaged eye that the kid had left.
Eric had scored high in the tests. IQ. Weapons. Navigation. Computers. Logistics. Command. All across the boards. Bright, very bright future.
'I placed him on the Command track myself. And I removed him the hard way. Shit!'
'I should have thought of something else, but no. I had to use that old trick. I'm supposed to be smart. I'm only a little below Daniel on IQ scores. Look at how smart he is. But not me, no. Just on paper. Where it really counts my brain sucks. I'm too dangerous to be allowed around these young kids!'
'This is way too close to what I did to Charlie.'
I feel the tears gather in my eyes. I blink rapidly. 'I will not cry. I will not cry.'
'I have never earned the right to cry. I killed him, I...'
Shaking, I bolted out of the chair only to slide untidily onto the deck. I wedged myself into a corner, my back to the stunning sight of the night's majesty. I drew up my knees, wrapping my arms around them and let my head fall.
I tried not to think about what I had done. Yes, oh so innocently. I admit that, but I did show that promising young man something he was not ready for. I gave him just enough knowledge to end his bright, brilliant life in an instant of incandescent destruction.
My mind roamed through that mistake and many others, I weighed these mistakes against the good I had done. I found it hard to balance them out in my haze of justified recrimination. I drifted.
I don't know how long I sat there, but I heard the car from a long ways off. This was an out of the way and small neighborhood. I was the only nocturnal creature here, but I did draw others of my ilk; I called them teammates, friends, brother, sister.
'Damn. It stopped in my driveway.'
I remained still; I'm not in the mood to have someone insist that I change my mood. I listened to their progress. They tried the front door. Back door. They stopped at every window along the way around the house. Probably checking for bodies... eh, body, mine.
'Jacob! Why in the hell is he here. Hey! Maybe...'
Jacob, Ex-General Jacob Carter, was Sam Carter's father, but more importantly he was a Tok'ra, kinda a 'good' Goa'uld. He had become one because he was dying of cancer, those snakes can cure almost anything when hosted. And with the cure came the ability to handle Goa'uld technology... like a healing device!
I scrabble across the deck and barely touch the ladder in my haste to reach the man. I practically drop from the sky in front of him, my back to him; I hear him as he skips back a few steps, startled.
"Jacob!" I spin towards him. 'Looks like I startled him good.'
"Jack!" Hesitation rampant in his voice. "Are you okay!" He leans toward me, concern showing on his face.
"Hell no! But if you can answer my question correctly I could get better." I steer him back towards his car. "Do you have your healing device?" I held my breath as I swung him around in the pool of soft illumination below my driveway light and scrutinized his face.
"Maybe." More hesitation in that drawn out word.
"Damn it, 'maybe' will not do. Do you or do you not have it with you." I gripped his shoulders tightly with both hands. I leaned in closer to him. He leaned away. It was almost comical, not. 'Please. Please. Please.'
"No." Firmly said, too firmly. Also contritely cocky.
'What the hell?' I was stunned; this was not something to joke about. 'What's with Jacob?'
"Shit!" I let him go stepping back and I swung my back to him. 'I was screwed.'
//It's on the ship.//
The Goa'uld voice startled me badly. I staggered back around to face him. I clenched at him again, trapping his arms in my hands. 'Didn't he know how important this is?'
"Ship?" I cocked my head at him... them. Whatever.
//We were in the neighborhood.// Explained Selmac. With a head drop... "George told me about the reprimand. I came by to..."
"I don't give a shit about the reprimand. Will you use that device on an officer of mine?" I slightly shake him in my inpatient.
"Sure, if George says okay. Why not?"
'I'm pacing. I'm driving everybody nuts. And I don't care. I'm a colonel and entitled.'
Back in my driveway, I had turned Jacob right around and we both headed to the Mountain. He might be able to fix my screw-up.
I still find it strange to talk to two different people in one body, I always will. I don't trust the Tok'ra, they have never instilled it with their actions, but Jacob, him I trust, Tok'ra or not. At least I can tell one from the other, Selmac has that weird voice thing, kinda echo-y; and there is the physical head nod when they switch control of the body between them. Ugh, I will never grow used to that, never. Selmac's not too bad; he's a lot like Jacob, just older and wiser. Too bad the other Tok'ra aren't like him. I might grow to like them, trust, no, I don't do trust well.
Damn! I check my watch; Jacob and Frasier have been in the kid's room for almost an hour.
'This is killing me. Staff weapons fire have nothing on this waiting stuff.'
I knew the healing device's limitations. There had to be something there to be fixed. Something not too badly damaged. Huge amounts of missing tissue, severe nerve damage and pulverized bone were in the realm of a sarcophagus, another piece of Goa'uld technology and a whole 'nother story. And we didn't have one of those.
Frasier told me that the nerves in his one eye were okay, just tissue damage. Everything was there, just a little crispy. That should be within the power of a healing device to remedy.
One good eye, that would be a big improvement. There would be no more SGC. No more soldiering. But there would be daffodils, stars, smiles and distinct shapes in their stead.
'He could live with that, couldn't he?'
I know that for me that would never be enough. I could never forgive that if it were me and I will never forgive myself for what happened to him, but he might be able to find some happiness, something to live for... someone to live for.
'God, give him something to live for.'
My head pops up from my study of the floor tiles as the door opens, Jacob steps out into the hall. I stand and step towards him; I find my answer in his smile.
'I don't want to go in there.'
Jacob was able to fix the eye. 'Almost as good as new.' He said. I hope so.
'I still don't want to go in there.'
'Stop it, just stop it. Just go in there and get it over with. It's not like I have a choice.'
I step into the room. Lt. Eric Van Sickle looks alive, not much like the last time I saw him. I hesitantly step further into the room. He hears me; there aren't as many bandages now to block sound. His head swings in my direction. One eye is uncovered.
His lone eye is clearly focused on me.
"Lieutenant, I came by to see how you were doing." I'm shaking in my boots. I'm scared to death of this kid's reaction to me. After all, I'm the one that started the chain of events that led to the destruction of his world. I sit down on the edge of the chair next to his bed. I'm ready to bolt.
"I'm fine, Sir."
' 'Fine.' I know what that means. Shit! I blew it.' I drop my eyes to my very fascinating boots. I can't think of anything to say. I feel the silence gestating into the pause from Hell. I almost miss his next words in my preoccupation in avoidance.
"Sir, I understand you are responsible for this." I don't look up at this just accusation.
"Yes, I'm afraid that I am." I shuffle my still fascinating feet. 'Might as well own up to it now.'
"Thank you, Colonel Sir."
I'm frozen. Still looking at those fascinating boots. But frozen just the same. 'Thank you! What the Hell for?'
My eyes betray me by suddenly snapping up to his eyes... err, eye. He is studying me, reading my reactions. My self anger notches up, 'He's good and he could have been in my Command.'
My mouth has yet to catch up to my brain and the kid knows it. He speaks.
"General Carter told me that you arranged for him to fix my eye. He also told me that you feel responsible for my injuries. I want you to know that what I did, I did. Not you. I have to live with the consequences of my own actions." He says all that is such a fatherly tone, so calm, so in control, unlike me.
"But, you learned that trick from me..."
"That's true. But I should have known that seeing it and duplicating it are two very different things. I didn't. But I will survive my mistake thanks to you. I have good sight in one eye and one good hand. And thanks to the air force I have many skills. I will survive." Eric's gaze bores into me, his chin high, head erect. Damanged in body but not in spirit.
"Shit!" My stunned countenance must have scared him.
"Sir!" Confusion thy name is Eric.
"Yes. Shit! You just keep proving what I've lost."
I shake my head in misery, boy have I lost big. This kid could be colonel to my general. I can't be a colonel forever. If I don't die first the higher-ups will chain me to a desk and write 'general' on my uniform. Oh, woe. My attention snaps back at the kid's next words.
"Yes, me. You have the makings of a great officer. An officer I would be proud to have in my Command. Honored to serve with. You are lost to me and I mourn it. I will always feel your loss."
Jacob found me in my office; he seems to have no trouble tracking me down wherever I am. 'Why is that? Is it a Tok'ra thing? God, I hope not!'
For the last couple of hours I had been mulling over my conversation with Eric. He told me that I might feel I had lost a good officer. But he pointed out that he had made a very fundamental mistake. He had been unable to tell that he didn't know enough to think for himself 'safely' as Sgt. Holliran explained it. It was better that his flaw be found now. He was the only one to pay the price. Later it could have been worse. I reluctantly conceded this point, but...
'I think that he just proved my premise that I had lost a very good future officer. He learned from his mistake. Unlike me.'
I also found that 'fine' can mean just that, I'm sure that Eric will be fine. He is a better man than I am I could never find the courage to go on after something like that. I will have to keep tabs on him, help if I can, if he lets me.
"Jack." Jacob plopped down into the chair in front of my desk. "I never did finish what I wanted to tell you."
"Tell me?" I was confused. 'Oh yeah, why he was at my house in the middle of the night.' I tiredly forced my attention unto his next words.
"I didn't want you chewing yourself up over that C-4 trick. Did you realize that there are at least five mentions of that little trick in the required reading for Command Track training alone." Jacob eyed me.
He thought that I was being too tough on myself. 'Hell, everybody thinks that. But they aren't me.' I answered him.
"Yeah, I knew. I usually don't forget what I read Jacob. But reading is not showing. You came all the way out to my house with that. Kinda lame Jacob." I leaned back and pushed my fingers through my hair massaging my scalp, trying to rub awareness into my head.
"I felt a little responsible since one of those mentions was in my book." He looked a little chagrined; he was being a little tough on himself.
"Yeah, one in yours and one in mine."
Join the campaign. Dates.
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Title: Little Deadly