My Private Global War, Part Six

Updated on October 17, 2019
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Mike is a long-time supporter of procrastination and enjoys doing as often as he can.

See Yea

See yea, General…… I wonder what would have happened if I had said that and ran for the door. Now, I’m not some narcissist that thinks the world would have ended if I hadn’t been there, but I think at the very least someone else would have been in that chair, and just maybe it would have been someone a little less……let’s say self-preserving. Yes, I ran instead of waiting to see if the shot hit the target. I knew there would only be one shot, and either it hit, and the building fell in or it missed, and they destroy the weapon. Self-preservation can be seen as cowardly, but that is something usually said by the people outside of the events. You might call them Monday morning, Armageddonist. Are you getting this? Sorry.

I told the General I would stay, but I had a few conditions. First and most importantly, I was not going back to that cell. If I was in on all this, then I was in and not just a convenience tool to be locked away when not in use. He told me he would do whatever he needs to do to save us all, including locking me in the same cell with that reporter if necessary. He then handed me a keycard that would grant me access to Diana’s lab as well as a room set aside for us. Yes, us as in he thinks that we should keep up our pretend relationship. Looking back on it, I wonder why I didn’t say anything……… No, I know why I don’t think I can say it. I’m never going to see her again. If I have regrets that would be at or near the top. I know she got out, I made sure she did.

A Stick Shift

I stepped out of the General’s office to find my tour guides were gone. At first, that felt great until I realized I had no idea where Diana’s lab was. This base was huge, and I was lost. I stepped out of the General’s building to find Goody sitting behind the wheel of a black Humvee. He was leaning back in the seat with a baseball cap on turned backward and a pair of Ray-ban sunglasses on. He asked, “so am I taking you to the gate or the girl?” I asked him if he had ever heard the Weird Al song, White and Nerdy. I think he understood. He took the hat off and sat up. I got on the other side and said, “the girl.” He leaned over with a smile and said, “OK, but I think you might have to drive. I have no idea how to drive this thing. I mean, how many gearshifts do you need, and where’s the start button?”

Twenty minutes later, we were on our way. Why twenty minutes? I spent fifteen minutes trying to put the Humvee in gear and five minutes looking for an airman to drive us to where we needed to go. Goody and I sat in the back as Airman, or should it be Airwoman, or does it matter Jordon drove us over to the warehouse of a lab they gave Diana. I felt useless while Goody just enjoyed the ride. At some point, when we were waiting for traffic to clear, Goody asked me, “so, are you going to tell her they know or not?” He and I got out, and the Air-person took the Humvee, which was for the best. I had no answer because I didn’t know what I was going to do.

A Lie

Inside I saw her. Let me say that again; I saw her there at her standing desk staring at her laptop. Sitting here typing this, I can see her in my mind on that day just before she saw me. I hope I didn’t hurt her with how all this ended. Unlike most movies, I never promised I would be coming back. The mission was more important than her or me, but more on that later. Yes, she was at a standing desk sitting on a stool. Diana turned around and saw me. She looked weary. The General tasked her with the impossible job of rebuilding her life’s work in less than a month. She walked over to me and…... well…… we kissed like before I knew everyone knew. The thought of not saying anything came across my mind again. She whispered, “good job; it’s like we’re a couple.” For some reason, what she said hurt. I knew then we couldn’t keep going like this, our lie was becoming my lie, and she deserved better.

I told Diana what the General said and how he didn’t care. She backed a little away, looking at the floor then the door. She asked if I was staying, then she said I shouldn’t stay just in case the General changed his mind, and to add to the confusion, she said I should stay with no reason. In a very Bogart, Bacall maneuver, I put my hand just below her chin and lightly lifted her head. I said, “I’m not going anywhere without you.” We connected with our eyes and stared for what felt like forever before she broke out in laughter. I was cool for maybe ten seconds. She kissed me again and whispered, “yeah, I already knew. I liked having something with another person, even if it's a lie.” Diana told me how she had a hard time being taken seriously as a scientist and romantically as a woman. She said, “some think I’m too hot to be smart and too smart to be hot.” I didn’t know what to say. She was the kind of woman I would have never approached being both hot and smart.

Rebuilding A Lifetimes Worth of Work

With everything up in the air, Diana went about talking about what she needed to do. Her first telescope took her most the last ten years, but she did that on her own both physically and financially. The General found her twenty of the best engineers he could find on such short notice. While she called this a telescope, it didn’t have any lenses. It somehow used radiation and radio waves in a science thing that, as a delivery driver, I don’t understand. A component of her device needed to be grown. The crystal would take two weeks to develop. She hoped they would have most of it ready when the crystal thingy finish I kept my mouth shut and let her talk. From what I could tell while the others would take her orders, none of them would speak to her, and she needed someone to listen. I needed and energy drink, but we can’t always get what we want.

© 2019 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron


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