Caution: This Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Mult, Romantic, Heterosexual, Humor, Harem, .
Desc: Sex Story: Chapter 1 - A young retired army officer scarred from the battles he fought in a near apocalyptic war is hired as security for an all-girl Irish band. They’re young, talented, beautiful, and nuttier than a bag of squirrels. Some want to rip his throat out while others just want to rip his clothes off! Add to the mix a set of bad guys threatening to kidnap the girls and a legendary SpecFor captain who wants to use him as a spy. Should be easy, right...?
I never enjoyed flying overly much. It's not that I'm afraid of flying; I know as well as the next man that it's safer to fly than walk across the street for a beer but it is a pain in the ass. Going to the airport, checking in, surrendering your weapon, all that bullshit; it's just a pain in the butt. I'd rather take the Tube or drive but that's not easy to do if you're going transoceanic so as with most unpleasant things in life you just suck it up and soldier on.
It is slightly more comfortable than a troop transport at least and it gave me a little more time to study the files on my new clients; I say clients but that's not exactly true and I need to stop thinking that way or I might make a stupid gaffe when I can least afford it. I'm not a security consultant on this job, I am the security. Head of security that is, or chief as they want to call it. For six years I've been telling other people how they should be handling their security and now I get to be the one doing it. I guess we'll see if the high fees I've been charging were worth a damn.
Not that this should be a particularly difficult job ― on the face of it anyway. At least it should be interesting, unique anyway. Normally I develop plans and contingencies to protect corporations against physical and electronic intrusion but for the next three months I was going to be in charge of security for a band while they're on tour. That's right, a band. Live instruments, vocals and everything. It's been out of style for quite a while but seems to be coming back into vogue. I don't even pretend to know how the music business works but from what little I do understand singers and musicians make their money not by selling their music (with prolific copying the way it is, you sell one comp-chip and you might as well put it over the net for free), but by selling tickets and royalties.
Anyway I'd never heard of them before which is kind of a surprise because when I listened to a few of their tracks I found I really liked them. They're home-grown Irish, (which is why I was flying to Cork, Ireland to meet them) and play a sort of fusion of Irish folk, modern and retro rock. The old rock is becoming popular again although I'm not a huge fan even if I am a war veteran. I have nothing against it but I like my music a little softer, slower and more melodic. The boys in my company used to make fun of me for listening to my "pussy-fied" elevator music but that's all right, it was all in fun. I'm not sure I can describe the music I keep in my personal storage; most of it you can't even find anymore. I ripped most of it from music disks my mom and dad had while I could still find players for them. I doubt that I have the only copies of them but I'll bet I have one of a very few for a lot of them.
But that's neither here nor there; Irish Mist didn't play that type of music any more than Natalie Bernstead sings opera and again it didn't make any difference to me whether they sang high mass or just banged two coconuts together. I was there to keep them safe on stage or off; what they did on stage was their business.
It was an all female band and except for two sisters all were at least first cousins. Not only were they first cousins but their grandparents must have had a passel of boys because they all ended up with the same last name; Geallaigh. The Geallaigh clan as it were.
Rachael Geallaigh was their lead singer although she also played the tin whistle and mouth harp at times. She was a tiny little thing not even coming up to my chin at about 158 centimeters. But she sure had a powerful voice for having it come out of such a small package. Blonde and pretty as a morning sky she was also, according to the gossip sites, wild, promiscuous (this seems to be a bad thing in Ireland for some reason), obnoxious, opinionated, vain, selfish, overbearing and extremely talented. In other words not much different than most of the girls I've dated over the past seven or so years. The five girls had formed an equal partnership when they formed the band but Rachael, from what I could tell, was their undisputed leader. It would be interesting to see how much of this was bullshit when I met her. If it wasn't then I could already see where potential problems were going to be.
Niamh Callahan née Geallaigh was by contrast a complete opposite of her younger sister Rachael in almost every conceivable way. Two years older at twenty-six she was tall (at 182 centimeters a bit taller than I am, ) striking red hair, married, quiet and if the gab sites were accurate about as controversial as a warm cup of milk. No affairs, no parties and no outrageous drunken comments for anyone who stuck a mic or vid-cam in front of her face. Didn't seem all that happy though; the only vid-still that showed her smiling was one taken right after her wedding a few years ago. Well, not my problem; I'm in charge of security, not entertainment. She was what they called the percussionist and seemed to do a decent job of it from what I could tell for whatever that's worth.
Eimile and Shauna Geallaigh were two of the cousins. Born within days of each other they also were remarkably similar looking with long brown hair and shy sweet smiles; medium height and of medium build, they were pretty but not so much you'd swallow your tongue if you passed them on the street. If I had been told that two of the band members were sisters these are the two I would have guessed; in fact they looked more like twins than some actual twins I've met. They both played a variety of instruments including violin, harp and a number of others I couldn't identify without looking them up. I had a feeling these two weren't going to cause any trouble.
The third cousin I wasn't so sure about. Leanne Geallaigh was a horse of a different color and I don't mean just her looks. To begin with she didn't look anything like her Irish cousins. Her father had been stationed in the Chinese Empire in New Hong Kong (yeah, they call it the Chinese Republic but they're no more a republic than the Islamic Democracy of Arabia had been a democracy), married and had a child with one of the women he worked with. Leanne was small, only slightly taller than Rachael, and had that exotically beautiful Eurasian mix that is so enticing.
She didn't get the mountains of publicity her little blonde cousin did but there was enough to give the impression she was not the demure introvert the other three appeared to be. She was the same age as Rachael but either didn't have quite the flair for controversy her cousin did or was much better keeping it hidden from the eyes and ears of the nosy newsies. I know I shouldn't make assumptions about people, especially if I haven't met them personally, but I'm only human and do it anyway. Leanne struck me as the kind who could be trouble, the lower-case T kind where you end up muttering to yourself wondering if you were going crazy as opposed to Rachael who was probably the capital T kind where you didn't wonder if you were crazy; you knew it. Although with her it probably wasn't called crazy it was called homicidal. Leanne was the keyboardist and could apparently play anything you could push with a finger.
Connor Geallaigh, Rachael and Niamh's older brother, wasn't part of the actual group. That is he didn't play an instrument or sing; he was their "manager." Again I hate to make snap judgments but from his employment history (extensive, varied and normally short-lived), if he wasn't the idiot brother your parents made you hire because he couldn't keep a job anywhere else I'll eat my hat. From the gossip sites it certainly appeared he thought himself quite the ladies man although most of the "ladies" he seemed to get caught with impressed me as being the type anybody could pick up with loose change from underneath a table at the local pub. It was a good thing I was hired by the tour promoters because I had the feeling if I had to deal with this dickhead regularly on an employer/employee basis one of us was going to die. Considering the fact that I had spent over four years doing just that and he hadn't. (How he escaped the general conscription I couldn't guess. Oh, that's right, Ireland didn't have conscription during the war. Officially they were "neutral" although from what I understood on a per capita basis just as many Irish volunteers served in the British and American armies as did our conscripted ones. Their government may not have wanted to be involved in the war but the Irish people as a whole didn't seem to have a problem sticking it in when they knew it was needed.) The outcome of that little set-to wouldn't be much in doubt.
The promoters had hired four security personnel along with me, all Irish and veterans of the British army. Two were rangers; we would have called them privates, one corporal and a colour Sergeant. The rangers and corporal had a couple of years' combat experience each and the colour sergeant had six which was impressive as hell! They all appeared to be good men but none of them had much experience in private security from what I could tell. That wasn't optimal but then we weren't supposed to be guarding the president or prime minister, just a gaggle of girls in a band. Hopefully the most dangerous thing we'll have to deal with will be an overzealous fan looking for an autograph. Something told me this was little more than a dope-dream; you don't hire the kind of talent the promoters did and spend the coin they had to, to keep rabid fans at bay. I never did get a truly in-depth threat assessment from the promoters which didn't give me a warm fuzzy but the gobs of cash they threw at me overruled any common-sense objections I might have had.
After reviewing my new assignment for the twentieth time and feeling relatively comfortable that I knew as much as I could for the time being I was beginning to settle back in my seat when my implant warned me I had an incoming call. Like most officers during the war I'd had an implant installed allowing me to connect to my unit's combat AI (Artificial Intelligence.) The AI program I had installed in my pers-comp was an idiot compared to the army one but at least it allowed me to connect directly via implant as well as doing other rudimentary functions. I indicated acceptance for the call and a small holo of a rather rugged looking individual appeared just above the pers-comp screen.
"Major Leforge, I presume?" the lips moved but the words formed in my head. I knew who it was: Daniel Mayhem. Mayhem and his team were a legend in the service. I had never met him personally either during or after the war. He was UN Special Forces and played in the Central American theater while I was a regular US army grunt and did my thing in the Mid-East sandbox. I understood he settled in the Tampa area after the war while I spent what little time I did at "home" in Savannah. I have been a member of the VBA (Veteran's Benevolent Society) for about six months although in a very inactive role so I did know who he was. Rumor was he lived through the entire ten years of the war in active combat and so did most of his team. That's not legendary, that's mythical! If half — no, strike that — if a quarter of what was said of him was true he was nobody to fuck with!
"Captain Leforge, actually," I smiled at him. "The major was just brevet for the last six months or so of the war and that was long ago. I'd prefer Martin and Daniel if that is all right. This is Daniel Mayhem, is it not?"
"I see my disreputable reputation has preceded me again," he chuckled. "Yeah, Dan is fine. I'm sure you're wondering what in the hell I'm doing calling you now."
"Hmm ... It has crossed my mind," I answered. "I am a member of the VBS but I have to admit I haven't been very active; been on the road too much lately."
"Yeah but you signed up close enough to the beginning," he nodded, "and we understand. Somebody ought to do something constructive now and then and better you than me."
"Unfortunately my pension barely pays for toilet paper let alone the pot to piss in," I laughed. "What can I do for you?"
"Are we secure?" he asked.
"Reasonably," I shrugged. "As you can tell we're talking via my implant and your signal is scrambled. Unless someone can read your lips and nobody here is awake that I know of, we should be fairly secure." At the time I had assumed his AI was "shaking hands" with my AI to scramble and unscramble the message. I was wrong. His AI had taken over my AI and put it to sleep. Everything we did and said was going through his AI alone. Not particularly germane to my story but shocking as hell when I found out about it later. That's something only a really hot combat AI with a really good operator should be able to do, especially without either me or my own AI knowing about it.
"Good, because we have a favor to ask of you," he continued.
"I'll do what I can, but I'm on my way to a job even as we speak so I don't know what or how much I'll be able to help you."
"We'll see," he nodded again. "I understand you were in pretty tight with a good number of the British brass while you were in the sandbox." One of my assignments during the war was as liaison between the British and American field staffs in Iran. Circumstances being what they were, I actually ended up being in charge of HQ security for one of the British generals for about five months. The Brits seemed to really like their HQs close to the action for some reason and it was an interesting (read terrifying) experience. I probably saw as much combat during those five months as I had the previous year which had not been slow by any stretch of the imagination.
"I knew quite a few of them and we still exchange birthday greetings and such," I admitted reluctantly. "I suppose some of them would remember me."
"Seeing how you were recommended for the Victoria Cross and were actually awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, I think somebody would remember you," he chuckled.
"Yes, well, a lot of people got medals for just doing their jobs," I said uncomfortably. "How did you find out about me being recommended for the VC? That's supposed to be secret."
"We have ways," he shrugged. "Anyway we were hoping if you get some time over there if you could look up a few of your old contacts and talk to them about the VBS. I understand they don't have anything exactly like us but they do have something similar. We're interested in talking with them about topics of mutual interest. We're not asking you to negotiate anything with them, just start a dialogue. If they're interested we'll give them a contact for further discussions later."
"Sure, if I get a chance," I shrugged. "I wouldn't mind seeing a few of the fellows if I can."
"Good, I'll send you the information and contacts," he added. "Well I guess I've taken up enough of your time."
"It has been my privilege and honor to talk to you," I smiled.
"Sure it has," he chuckled and then turned his head to one side and said, "Shut up, Mike! Some people have manners, you know!" Turning back he muttered and shook his head, "Want to buy a slightly used sergeant for cheap? Hell! I'll even give you Darlington here but I have to warn you the upkeep will probably break you. Ouch!"
"Sergeant Michelle Darlington?" I asked. "I've heard she's gorgeous but a little too dangerous for my taste. I like my women to be kick-ass hot but I rather it not be my ass getting kicked."
"Ah, now you've gone and done it," he moaned. "She's going to be fucking insufferable for at least three days now. Shit! She's already strutting and preening around here like some damned vid star! This is your fault so I think it's only fair you should come here and fix it!"
"Sorry, Captain," I shrugged. "Your personnel are your problem. Besides a beautiful woman like that wouldn't even look twice at a regular old schmoe like me; anyway I'm going to be gone for about the next three months."
"Christ, you just keep it up, don't you?" Mayhem wailed. "Do you know how long it's going to take me to get that size twenty ego back into that size six body? I'm signing off now before you can do anymore damage! You'll get the info soon, thanks. Mayhem out." With that the holo image faded out. I had to smile; he seemed like a regular guy. And no for your information I'd never met the infamous Sergeant Darlington but I have seen vid-stills of her with Mayhem and she really is quite good looking if you like your women tall, fashion model slim, hot as hell legs and knows how to kill you about forty different ways. Well, three out of four isn't bad.
I settled back in my seat to ponder this little bit of surprising news. Not so much that the VBS would want contact with their counterparts in Briton. Actually that made a lot of sense, there undoubtedly were a lot of parallel interests between the different groups. The British military has had similar organizations for a long time although theirs were usually based along regimental lines rather than national ones and the VBS was a national organization with very strong local chapters. Still I can assume there would be much to discuss especially with the political climate deteriorating around veterans issues in the US. It seems the larger and more vocal the VBS became, the more the New Washington establishment attacked it. Looking for allies outside the US may not help but it couldn't hurt.
But why the secrecy? Why not just flip on a vid and call the Brits? Having contact made face-to-face seemed so ... clandestine. Was there something I didn't know? Well that's silly; of course there was. In fact the list of what I didn't know pretty much stretched out to infinity so I suppose I should be a little more specific and say, What didn't I know about this situation?
True, I'd been a member of the VBS for a little over six months. Not a particularly active member other than paying the voluntary dues but I try to read the news blurbs they send out and stop in when I'm in town, which isn't all that often. They fit me politically although I certainly wouldn't call myself politically active and I whole-heartedly support the good works they've been doing with the widows, widowers and children of my fellow service members who'd been killed during the war. The fact is I give more to that fund than I do anything else; at least they're really doing some good. The government just hands out credits and at that it's just barely enough to keep them alive. Now of course they're even grumbling about that and the support is becoming less and less every year. I wouldn't be surprised if pretty soon it'll be nothing. Of course I make a pretty good living on my own so I can't say I really need the pension they give to anyone who has over four years combat experience so I just have mine deposited in the Widows and Orphans fund. It kind of makes me happy to know even if the assholes in New Washington cut off the dependent's stipends they'll still be paying to help them. Take that, mother-fuckers!
So maybe I should have been paying more attention to the politics. Given the time, and the inclination, to think about it I began to see where the VBS might want to keep its actions under the radar so to speak. The VBS had announced itself as a political party even before I had joined although that had no bearing on why I'd done it and recent events could be inferred by even the most paranoid (I'm not paranoid; hell, I know they're out to get me!) that the two major parties weren't all that happy about it. For the last couple of decades the Republicrats and the PP (Peace Party) had the country sewn up and just about evenly divided between themselves. I'm sure there were a few snickers and maybe even a scoff or two when the VBS announced its intention to compete in national politics with retired LGEN Carla Medford as their front woman. After all it had no seats in either house of congress, no elected state officials and if you looked at its base of ten million war veterans it didn't seem to be much to worry about.
Of course that's before you consider the potential voters like those same widows, widowers and orphans reaching the age of eighteen (quite a few) then the numbers suddenly start to go up. It also doesn't consider that every family that was touched by the war. Now all of a sudden it didn't seem like so much of a joke. What was yet to be seen is if the VBS could get its constituents to actually vote. But with eligible voter participation hovering at about twenty-five percent, a block of twenty to thirty million people who actually voted could make one hell of a difference. I'm not even going to go into the potential sympathy votes you might get from anyone who was touched by the war, which was pretty much everyone. Anyway it really isn't such a joke after all, especially with the midterm elections coming up next year.
I'm not saying the RDs or the PPs are scared or anything but you don't stay in power by letting the weeds of dissension grow in your garden. There have already been muttered whispers about trimming retired pay or increasing the length of combat required to receive it; there were some in the PP who were openly talking about rescinding the right of the vets to carry weapons. (Good fucking luck! They can have mine one round at a time!) I have to admit I hadn't kept up with what was going on, but started thinking that maybe I should.
Anyway if the VBS was starting to make noise that the fat cats could hear it would account for why they wanted to be so low key about what contacts they made and with whom. It certainly isn't illegal to talk to veterans groups outside the US and I wasn't sure why they wanted to keep it on the need-to-know but if they thought they were being watched, that would be a good enough reason for me. I don't like anyone poking into my business no matter who they are even if I'm not doing anything shady which I'm usually not. I'm not a huge supporter of stupid rules or laws but I don't go out of my way to flout them either.
Of course that begs the question of just how the VBS knew where I was going and what I was doing let alone who I might know from my army days. Big Brother in New Washington may not be the only one looking over my shoulder and I'm not sure I particularly like that either. I'm thinking I may have a question or two for Mr. Mayhem the next time I talk to him.
I landed in Cork right about 0900. Customs was little more than scanning my passport card on the way through security. I wasn't packing for the flight. Ireland was a "no carry" country and I'd sent my piece ahead along with the application for a carry permit to the Cork constabulary and I was hoping to pick it up in a day or two, so being unarmed and identity confirmed I was free to go.
Okay, nobody was there to meet me. Not a problem. I knew where they were supposed to be according to their schedule and my baggage could find its own way to the hotel where the band was staying so after making sure my pers-comp was synced to the local net I flagged a auto-cab and punched in the address.
In about fifteen minutes the cab let me out in front of a building that looked like it had been a warehouse in earlier times and for all I knew parts of it still could be. The street number was plainly visible over a modern doorway that looked distinctly out of place but there was no other sign in evidence. Since the address matched where I was supposed to go I decided to give the door a try and was a little surprised to find that not only did it open to my touch, it led me to a spacious and very empty reception area. Strolling I moved over to the elevator (lift, I was in Ireland after all) and glanced at the directory posted next to it. Vid-Idiot Studios, 2nd floor. Cute. Glancing around I noticed a stairwell and decided to take the scenic route.
Okay, so I forgot that in a number of these older buildings the second floor is actually what we would call the third floor but thank goodness I'm not in such poor shape that one extra landing made any difference. Again the door opened easily and I found myself in a fairly grungy and dimly-lit hallway. I could feel more than hear music ― at least the lower end ― reverberating from my left so that's the way I headed. The thrumming got a little bit louder as I progressed and I have to say I wasn't all that impressed by the soundproofing. About half way down I was finally intercepted by a big, burly and I might add rather smelly boy who stuck his head out of an open doorway.
"Hey, where yoo off to, wanker?" he shouted.
"Ludwig Beethoven, Gaelic Vids," I sniffed. "I'm here to assess the band. You wish to view my credentials?" I asked snaking my hand into my jacket as if to retrieve them. Now about this time I would have had my 5mm pointing directly up his snout if our roles had been reversed but all he did was wave his hand and plop his fat butt back down on a stool and turn back to watch a game on the holo tank sitting in front of him.
"Naw, ya studio geeks can do w'ot ya want I suppose."
I took about three more steps before another voice challenged me.
"Randy may have little desire to review your credentials," came the deep and deceptively calm voice. "But I do." I turned and looked up into a pair of steel-grey eyes without a hint of amusement in them. "And I'll thank the gentleman if he would reach for them very slowly."
Using my thumb and one finger of my left hand I lifted my jacket away from my body, slowly just liked he ask not so much because he was being polite but more because of the 5mm service pistol pointing directly at my chest. Normally I would have found this unsettling but right then I actually feel a bit relieved. Snaking two fingers into the jacket pocket I pulled out a card and handed it to him.
Glancing at it, the pistol never moved, he looked back down at me. Did I mention he was about five or six centimeters taller than I was?
"It would be interesting to hear how a 'Players Club' card from the Casino Royal in Atlantic City would verify your employment in what I am willing to gamble is a fictitious recording company. Especially when one is a long dead classical composer," he looked down almost disapprovingly. "But then we will probably never hear that story will we, Major Leforge?"
"I hope not, Colour Sergeant Magaoidh," I grinned and dug out my true Ident/Passport card. "I have no idea what I would have said but I'm sure it would have been witty and quite believable."
"Quite," Magaoidh didn't smile but he did raise his eyebrows slightly. Without looking he pressed my Ident card against the perscomp attached to his belt and it gave a satisfied little beep. Smoothly he handed my card back to me and reholstered his pistol in the underarm rig under his jacket. "Welcome aboard, Sir," he said holding out his hand.
"My pleasure, Colour Sergeant," I answered taking it. "We're all civilians now, Magaoidh. You can just call me Martin or Leforge; I answer to both."
"Of course, sir," he said and I'm sure I saw just a little glint of amusement in his eyes. "Your kit all taken care of? If not I'll have one of the lads take it round."
"Back at the hotel," I assured him. "Or at least I hope it is."
"Very good, sir," he said stepping aside and waving me through. "I'm thinking you'll want to meet the lads and the lasses soon enough."
"As soon as possible," I nodded. "I take it we have all the principals here?"
"Aye," he nodded back. "The ladies are in the studio. Caoimh is in the control room, I'll take you there. Mac and Faolain are around the back. Begging your pardon, sir, but you threw us a bit loopy when you came up the stairs. The lads were securing the vehicle and the route in case we needed a quick departure. I've alerted them; they should be up shortly."
"Good. I'm doubly glad," I chuckled. "First, that I caused a bit of commotion and second, for your reaction. I know you and your people are professionals and I'd hoped something like this would happen. By the way, who's the useless baggage out front?"
"Randy," Magaoidh almost sneered. "One of Connor's hooligan friends. Used to be he and the other lot of wasters were what passed for security for the lasses although I'm not sure who was here to protect them against this lot. We'll probably see a few of them rolling in when they've sobered up a mite.
"And begging the Major's pardon again," he continued. "But the lads and I have been doing private security for the last few years but this is a new one for us. Do you know what we're even doing here?"
"Actually, no," I glanced at him in surprise. "I was hoping you would know and brief me when I got here. I was contracted two days ago and told where to go and to get there double-time but not the actual nature of the threat."
"Hmm..." Magaoidh frowned.
"Well we'll just muddle through until someone lets us know what the hell is going on," I shrugged as we stopped in front of a door. It had a window in it and I could see one man sitting at a long, very complicated console looking out into another room. Behind him another three men were standing easy. I recognized the other three members of the security team from their holos.
"Ah, the lads made it back before us. Good," Magaoidh stated and then pointed to the door lock. "Your prints should already be in the system, Major. How about you give it a go and see if it's working." Placing my thumb on the lock scanner I heard a satisfactory click and pulled the door open waving the colour sergeant through ahead of me.
"Major Leforge has arrived," he announced as he entered and instantly the three standing at ease snapped to attention and said, "Sirrah!" Whellan Faolain's hand even came up halfway in salute before he dropped it sheepishly.
"As you were, gentlemen," I chuckled and walked over to them shaking each of their hands as I addressed them. For the time being I ignored the man at the console. I could hear he was talking to someone using jargon that had no meaning to me.
"Brian Caoimh, Whellan Faolain, James MacGio ... MacGeeli ... Ah..."
"MacGiolla Phadraig," he helped me with a grin. "Most just be calling me Mac."
"Then I suppose it will be Mac for a little while until I learn how to pronounce it correctly," I smiled. "Now gentlemen, as I was telling Mr. Magaoidh just a minute or so ago we are all civilians now. I know our countries did a pretty good job of beating us into the molds of soldiers but there's no rank here now, just professionals hired to do a job."
"Begging the officer's pardon, sir," Faolain interrupted. "But do you know just what our job is here? Nobody in this crew seems to have the foggiest, sir."
"I'm afraid I don't either," I shrugged. "I'm sure someone from the production company will tell us soon enough. Until then we'll concentrate on perimeter control and anti-personnel interdiction (just a fancy way of saying bodyguards). As soon someone can download what you have to me I'll look it over and we'll meet to discuss it."
"Fucking hell, Flynn!" came a voice over a speaker from behind me. I turned and saw there was a large glass window in front of the console. I could see a number of the band members sitting or holding instruments with one petite blonde standing in the middle with her hands balled up in fists on her hips. "Get yur head out of yur arse ya fecking eejiot! Ah still got this buzzing in me ear and can't hear a flipping thing!"
"Sorry, Rache," the man at the console said. "Can't find anything on the board but I'll try looking again." The man thumbed a control and muttered, "Fucking bitch!" He must of noticed me looking at him because he grinned sheepishly and said, "Sorry, mate. The Queen of England there has me in a bit of a lather this morning."
"Is she usually this ... ah ... aggressive?" I asked returning his grin.
"Naw," he shook his head. "Must have been on a bit of a tear last night and she's in a wicked mood. She's just spreading the pain around 'til her medicine sticks in."
"Rache, give 'er a go now. See if that's better," he said turning back to the board and flicking the switch again. As far as I could tell he hadn't touched anything other than the com button.
"Better," came the sniffed reply. "Ah don't know how anybody can expect me ta sing with this fecking buzzing in me headset!" Flynn glanced at me and winked which caused me to chuckle.
"How's about we run through this set a time or two and then take a break," he said to the window. "Got a Yank in here that I'm thinking is one of your security people. I'm sure he be liking to be meeting you and the lasses about that time."
"Well I'm thinking he'll be wanting to meet me a damn site more than I be wanting to meet another useless Dry Shite colonial," came the response. "Ya can tell him to hump off and sit 'is arse down somewhere out the way. We'll see 'em when were good an ready a' not before!"
"Right," Flynn replied. "Ready when you are."
"Sorry 'bout that Gov'ner," Flynn apologized as he glanced at me again. "Rache is a bit of a prickly one at times. She'll warm to ya in time." I heard a snort from behind me; in fact it could have been a number of snorts. Obliviously at least a few members of the security detachment were somewhat dubious of this claim.
"Not my job to be liked, just to keep her safe," I smiled.
"Well, I'd say yer half way home then, anyways," Flynn grinned back.
"And a quick worker," I replied. "I usually have to know a woman for a couple of days before she starts swearing at me like that."
"Oh," he snorted. "You got the right attitude anyway. Luck to ya."
"Thanks," I said before turning around to face the men. "Well since I'm supposed to be sitting my 'arse' down we might as well go over what you have set up so far."
"Right, sirrah," Magaoidh replied and I swear there was just a hint of a smile on his lips. A colour sergeant smiling? Next thing you know we'll be getting a visit from Santa Claus. "With your permission I'll be sending Mac and Faolain to cover the entranceways."
"Deploy as you feel necessary, Magaoidh," I responded. "I haven't even had a chance to review what you have yet. I might suggest if you have any more of those spy-eyes you stick one in the stairwell; no sense in being blind where most intruders are going to come from."
"Sir?" It was Faolain. "Why would anybody be coming up the stairs and not the lift?"
"Good question," I nodded. "The answer is lifts can be remotely stopped and to the best of my knowledge stairs can't. Plus most emergency stairs aren't under surveillance. The doors to each level may be locked from the stairwell but anybody who'd pose a real threat would know how to get through that in about fifteen seconds."
"Oh, right. That makes sense," he said looking surprised.
"We'll assume the officer knows his business," Magaoigdh admonished.
"My thanks, colour sergeant," I added to soften the chastisement. "But unless we're under fire, questions are never out of order. For the most part I do know my business but that doesn't mean I'm infallible; we're not still in the army you know." That got them to grin and chuckle just a bit. "I not only encourage but demand you speak out if you don't think something is right. I've found that people good in this job have sort of a sixth sense about something wrong or out of place. Sometimes it's a prickly sensation on the back of your neck; other times it's like the world is slightly out of focus and just doesn't seem right. Surviving combat I'd be willing to bet you've run across a time or two when that's happened to you; I know it has for me.
"Some people say these 'feelings' are a bunch of crap; I don't. I don't care if it's ESP, an angel touching your shoulder or just the fact that your brain is able to recognize potential threats subconsciously that the conscious part hasn't picked up on yet; I believe in it. By the way I lean towards the latter explanation myself but like I said I don't give a crap if it's a leprechaun tickling your balls; if you get that heebie-jeebie feeling, sing out. I'd rather we look foolish for jumping at shadows than get caught with our dicks hanging out of our trousers. Everyone understand?"
"Aye, sir." "Yes, sirrah!" "Very good, sir."
"Then, Magaoidh, post your men and let's see what you have so far."
I huddled around the table with Magaoidh and Corporal Caoimh reviewing what they'd had set up so far. In all it wasn't bad but there were a few points I needed to correct.
"No, this we can't have," I said pointing to the room layouts in the hotel we were presently staying at. "We can't be split up on different floors and if at all possible we need all the rooms to be together without any outsiders in between. Do you know if Connor is supposed to be included in this detail? I don't either so until we hear differently we have to assume he is."
"That's not going to be making any of 'em happy," Caoimh grimaced. I looked at him questionably. "Master Geallaigh has a liking for rather loud hoolies just about every night. That probably won't be bothering Miss Rachael since she usually don'a roll in till the wee hours but the other lasses are a bit more discreet and retire early."
"Can't be helped," I sighed. "At least until we know what in the hell is going on."
"I believe Mr. Camberge sent a message saying he was going to stop by later today to give us a briefing," Magaoidh interjected. David Camberge was the head of the tours production team and the one who hired me, us. If anyone knew what this was all about he would. "Hopefully he'll clear up a few of the details, sirrah."
"It certainly would," I frowned checking my pers-comp. "I didn't get any message but if you did, that's fine.
"Anyway, we'll need to move our rooms to here and here," I pointed at the floors layout. "We need to be on the outside, both ends. Also I want all the principals to have access to any of our rooms. If something goes wrong I want them to know they can use ours as safe rooms. If anybody thinks that could be an embarrassment I'd suggest you get in the habit of sleeping with jammies on and close the bathroom door when you take a shower."
"Hey, Gov'nor," Flynn yelled back over his shoulder. "I think the lasses 'er ready for you now." I thanked him and with Magaoidh and Caoimh behind me strolled through the connecting door to meet my new charges.
Edited by Morgan