In which troops are mobilized.
Clare felt like a drill sergeant, as she paced back and forth; inspecting her assembled men. She reached the end of the row, turned and walked back; making notes as she passed.
Frankie defiantly looked the part; he had managed to dig up good quality hard weather gear at very short notice. She saw that he was standing like a coiled spring; a man on top of the diving board. Clare realized he was fighting the urge to snap to attention, and she felt like giggling.
Andrew was wearing his normal work clothes; wrinkled and smelling somewhat like fear. Clare wasn’t happy about him, but Sandra had made it quite clear what she thought about walking off the job, and it didn’t seem to matter how many times Clare explained that they were following up a lead, Sandra was still immovable.
She left Andrew shivering like a cadged animal, and walked past her third man. Ants was slouched in a large plush armchair. Although now that Clare thought about it, – slouched, – was definitely the wrong word, since it implied that the subject was still upright; Ants had found a way to sit comfortably while his head was scraping the carpet. Clare wondered why she didn’t find this odd, and then it occurred to her that she had never seen Ants in any position other than sprawling and looking bored.
They may have been only one third soldiers but Clare still felt like a drill sergeant. She turned on her heal at the end of the line and called “Atend-Shun!”. Frankie rapped his heals together in a text book attention, and looked much relived. Andrew froze up like a board; making Clare worried that he was going to tip over. Ants rolled his eyes over to her and gave her a contemptuous look. That’s about what I expected, thought Clare; satisfied.
She turned and walked in front of them, turned away for a moment to gather herself, and then turned on her heel to address them. “Men!”, she belted out, in the most booming voice a slim, twenty three year old woman could muster, “Are you ready to take part in the greatest adventure of our lives?”
“Yes Sah!” snapped out Frankie, in a far more impressive booming voice.
“R-r-right”, said Andrew, looking terrified
Ants grunted, It sound vaguely affirmative.
“Ants!” said Clare, keen not to lose the momentum, “Is the helicopter, ready?”
Ants nodded; dusting the carpet.
Clare turned to Frankie, “Are you still ready to fly the helicopter?”
“Yes Sah, I am.”
“Andrew, are you ready to man our communication equipment; defending it to your death?”
“Well- Death, I mean, I never-”
Clare felt wonderful, when they make a movie of my life , she decided, I want this scene to be in it. “Everything’s ready then. Ants; man your station here. Frankie, Andrew; follow me to the roof. Wove Out!”
And indeed they were moving out, and everything was going well, and then her phone rang.