Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chapter 47: INT OPS

Bettina was subdued the during the rest of the tour of the facilities, but Lisa bounced right back and got into everything. I noticed more than one fond grin directed her way by the guys, and figured out that Lisa would probably have more than one father-figure in her life. All good in my opinion. I noticed that Daise and Alina seemed to be very intimidated by the high obstacles on the obstacle course, looking up at the wooden structure with some trepidation. Well, not to worry, the whole idea of the course was to build confidence in their ability to handle themselves as well as in the team to look after each other. Once we had toured all the various facilities close to the barracks, we returned to the Lodge for lunch. The food was excellent as usual, the conversation mostly light. Just as we were finishing, I got a call from Gill, Roy's ex-wife, to tell me that the doctors had given permission for Roy to leave the hospital as long as he promised to spend time in bed recovering at home. I was very happy to hear this and immediately told Gill that I would prefer her to bring him and their daughter out to the Lodge to stay for as long as necessary. Gill seemed relieved by the offer, and said she would discuss it with Roy. I felt pretty confident that they would be out to stay in a couple of days. When I got off the phone, Daise and Alina made noises about spending some time hanging around the pool, and a lot of the rest decided that was a good idea. It wasn't long before we were changed and lying on loungers at the pool-side. I made no bones about the fact that I thought this was a fantastic opportunity to admire the sleek, sexy forms of the females in their bikinis. We'd been there about an hour and a half when Gerrie arrived. I noticed his Harley arriving, no-one could have missed the noise, and knew he'd be out to join us once he was settled. "What was that?" Alina asked in response to the noise. "Gerrie is a Harley Davidson Motorbike fanatic," I told her. "There are lots of people who buy new bikes now and think that they are some kind of heroes because they own one. Gerrie is different. He really knows and loves the bikes. He has one that he rescued from the scrapheap. It was a World War II vintage bike. When he got it, everything was either rusted solid, or rusted away. He took it apart and not only rebuilt it, he actually recreated the whole thing. Building the engine from scratch. If you have a few weeks spare, ask him to talk about his bikes." "I'll give that a miss, I think," Alina laughed. "Actually, Gerrie is really shy. He probably won't even talk to you unless you get him talking about his beloved bikes." Gerrie appeared about twenty minutes later and pulled up an outdoors chaise-lounge next to me. I introduced him around, but he greeted all the others perfunctorily before focusing on me. "Rupert," he began earnestly, "I've been hearing all kinds of crazy things. If half of them are true..." "Probably less than that," I interrupted. "Let me summarise what has happened for you." I gave Gerrie a concise summary of the events and actions of the last few days, starting with my contact with Daise. Gerrie listened, as he always does, with total concentration and without interrupting once. He was a really scary guy to deal with in some ways. He had an eidetic memory and could recite conversations verbatim from twenty years back, which was probably why he had never been married. Most women don't like their husbands to be able to recite chapter and verse of their words from the last argument they had had. Gerrie was interested in information. He was the perfect military intelligence NCO, able to collate and analyse vast amounts of data in his head. He was ran the computer systems of a major insurance company as his day job, but he had been allocated to a Commando after completing his National Service and worked as the Intelligence Clerk in their OPS Room at the beginning. It didn't take the Int Officer long to discover his talents though, and he was soon the senior NCO responsibile for Intelligence for the Unit, collecting information from members of the Commando when they reported for duty and branching out more and more into an intelligence collection role. Within five years, he was invited by the Police and all the other Army Units to brief them on a regular basis. He consistently refused a commission though, claiming that he liked to actually work for his pay. "Rupert, I'm really glad you called me," Gerrie told me when I finished my summary, "You've been blundering around in the dark as usual. I'm sure I can pull something together to get you the information you need." "Great Gerrie. Welcome aboard," I told him as a great weight lifted from my shoulders. "Whatever you need, just let me know and I'll see what I can do to get it for you. I thought that we could set up an OPS room and Int Office near the barracks, and you can brief us as you get information and feed it into our training." "Sounds like a plan. I'll get started on that now," Gerrie declared, and then disappeared. I knew that he would have more information than I could shake a stick at in no time at all. Katy climbed out of the pool and sat on her chair, before looking around and saying something quietly to Bettina. "Rupert," Bettina called, "Katy was wondering what happened to your friend, the one who just arrived." She had a smile on her face that she carefully hid from Katy, keeping her head turned towards me. "He Mysterpeared", I told her. "Mysterpeared?" I laughed. "That's a word my daughter made up when she was four or so ... means 'Mysteriously Disappeared'" I told her. "Oh. Ok. But where did he Mysterpeared to?" "He'll probably be down near the barracks," I answered her, watching Kate's intense concentration on our conversation. I thought that if Kate had a romantic interest in Gerrie, it would do both of them the world of good. "Kate," I said, "Could you do me a favour please?" "Sure Rupert," Kate replied standing up and walking closer, "do you want me to fetch you something?" "Actually, no. I'm just concerned about Gerrie. He gets very distracted when he's busy. I was wondering if you could find him and offer to help him. Use that as an excuse to make sure that he looks after himself, eats regularly that sort of thing." "Sure Rupert," Kate said quietly, trying to hide her blush. I wondered how she had ever been caught up in Dimitri's world, although I could see the attraction her demure, submissive nature would have to clients of his establishments. She disappeared quickly, wrapping a kikoi around her hips and walking quickly through the lodge. As Kate disappeared, Bettina burst out laughing. "Thanks Rupert, that was perfect. She couldn't take her eyes of Gerrie from the moment he first appeared. I think it'll be good for her to get together with someone like him. He seems like a good man." "He is. Is she OK though? We never followed up with a doctor's visit for her." "She seems to be fine. When we were getting changed she told me that she wasn't really even sore any more. Chris is better than he thinks, better in some ways than a doctor I think." "True. I'd choose him, or any Ops-Medic, over a doctor to treat my wounds any day." Supper time rolled around very quickly. The long lazy afternoon had been perfect to unwind and allow everyone some time to get their heads straight. After supper, we retreated to our room, with almost unseemly haste when Daise pointed out that both her and Alina had gotten a little sunburnt and needed some Aloe-Vera cream spread all over their bodies to ease the burn. Chapter 48 Home - My Library - Top [Bookmark Next Chapter] - More Info

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