I hope you enjoy this week’s scene from Boot Camp!
As always, please excuse the typos,
Act 2 – Scene 2
Frei scowled at her laptop and swigged at her whiskey. She’d had very little leads on how Yannick Bucher escaped a high security prison but her upbringing, and the instinct it had given her, said that the FBI were not as trustworthy as they pretended to be.
Her cell rang and she sighed and answered it. “Black, you are meant to be on an assignment. Why are you calling me?”
“Because my POI has gone into a care home so I don’t have an assignment and I’m informing you I’m coming back to base.” Renee muttered it like she knew Frei had been trying to keep her busy. “I am coming back to base.”
“No, you are not,” Frei said without much emotion in her voice but she held onto her whiskey glass, fingers paling around it. “I need you to escort Spokes to a meeting.”
“Spokes?” Renee laughed an exasperated laugh. “I’ve kept his ass safe plenty of times but he has lots of staff to escort him now.”
“He has requested you and I have accepted.” Frei glared at her laptop and the update that Yannick had been spotted within five miles of the base. He shouldn’t find them and they had plenty of ways to prevent him getting closer but Renee would see the police reports… and there were a lot of police reports.
“You know, I can just ring the guy and check,” Renee said in an edged tone. “I can do my job, Urs. I might not be as fit but I can still do my job.”
Frei closed her eyes. Yes, Renee would think she was keeping her busy instead of retiring her. She should retire her medically, beside the extensive back and neck injuries, she was partially sighted at best. “Black, I have given you an assignment.”
“And I’m rejecting it,” Renee said in a tone which she never used to her when Frei was issuing orders. “I have the right to. I am your most senior officer and I’m not babysitting anyone else. I have a POI who needs support at the base.”
“Lorelei doesn’t need your help,” Frei shot back at her and downed her glass. No, Lorelei was flying every test and helping her friend do the same. She didn’t know if Lorelei was reading the answers off the tutors or she’d paid attention to Renee that much. Either way, Frei needed to make it harder for her.
“Yes, she does,” Renee said and a zipper closed in the background. “She’s been through a lot, Urs. Her mental health has come a long way but she needs support.”
Frei rolled her eyes. “You sound like you are her mother.”
“No, her mom is the one at home while Aeron is stuck going through boot camp.” Renee clicked something, then shut a door by the clunk, and an engine purred into life. “And, as I’m not useful, in your head, as an active officer, then I should be at base.”
And show the recruits that she was alive and not MIA. “You are not needed at base,” Frei muttered glaring at the security feed of Lorelei teaching Marney how to bench-press when they should have been in an exhausted heap from a brutal drill session. “Spokes is expecting you.”
“And I’ll ring him and tell him I’m heading back to base,” Renee fired back, hitting the gas by the low purring of the engine. “I am heading back to base.”
Frei slammed her glass down. “You are not allowed.”
Especially with FBI recruits like Hanking going through training. They were always the lowest ranked in tests, always the ones who messed up on assignments but the FBI would get nosey if she rejected them.
“I am allowed. It’s my base,” Renee said with another exasperated laugh. “Urs, did I make you mad or something?”
“No,” she sighed and leaned her head back to stare at the ceiling of her office. “It is not secure enough for you to be at the base—”
“Is fine, Renee,” Frei muttered and shook her head at the ceiling. “Are you emotionally compromised?”
“Forget me, why isn’t the base secure?” Renee was speeding up and the roaring of her engine meant she definitely wasn’t obeying the speed limits. “Brenda is there, the staff—”
“There is a problem locally,” Frei managed then scowled. “I asked you if you are emotionally compromised.”
“No?” Renee mumbled then sighed. “Yes… yes, I am… but I swear that’s not why I’m concerned about her. She needs support. I can still do my job. I helped her… I kept her safe.”
“I have no concerns about your capacity to do your job only the damage it does to you in the process,” Frei said, hearing her tone soften. “And I know you will act as a professional but you cannot return to base.”
“Why?” Renee’s tone softened in response to hers. “Urs, you’re not acting like a superior officer so just be honest with me, please.”
Frei stared at the screen as Lorelei, who had left the gym with Marney, but was now at the memorial wall again staring at Colonel Black’s name. “I can’t… I just need you to remain remote until I have fixed the problem.”
“You know I won’t,” Renee said and a door clunked again, and another. “I’m flying back.”
“You can’t,” Frei shot then waved her hand at the monitor showing Aeron hovering close enough to the wall she looked like she’d fall asleep against it. She slammed her hand to her intercom. “Get Lorelei away from that wall, now.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” the guard in her reception said.
“Urs,” Renee was now in the chopper by the noise. “What wall?”
Frei stared at her cell phone. “I have given you your assignment.”
“And I rejected it,” Renee shot back. “Why is Lorelei near a wall?”
“It’s the memorial wall. She has an obsession with it,” Frei mumbled then sighed. That would definitely get Renee’s suspicions up. “She just likes seeing your father’s name.”
“She needs me,” Renee said in a gentle tone. “My assignment was to protect her and she needs that. Lilia must know that.”
“You can’t,” Frei hissed it out.
“Why?” Renee was in mid air and using her earpiece as the sound of the rotor blades quietened.
“I just need to fix a problem, then you can come back to base and mother Lorelei as much as you like,” Frei rolled her eyes to herself. “I just need you clear of the base until I do.”
Renee let out a long sigh. “I will if you tell me why.”
“I don’t trust one of the recruits to know you aren’t MIA,” Frei said and it was the truth because she didn’t trust Hanking. He had barely passed the entrance exam and then he’d been on the phone to someone a lot. She hadn’t got close enough to link to his cell phone yet but Yannick had shown up… Although Yannick didn’t need a lot of help to cause problems.
“Then Yannick is around.” Renee’s thin voice hit Frei in a way that losing Suz had, finding Renee so badly hurt had, having her younger sister out there without knowing where she was did.
“Yes,” she said hearing the emotion clog her throat. “Let me deal with him.”
“You’ll need me to help… from a strategic point of view,” Renee said, her bravery still shining through even though it was clear she was crying. “You’ll need me to help locate and capture him.”
“Urs, I know the guy in a way I really don’t want to. Doing all that training and work in Serenity helped me understand his patterns,” Renee said between sniffing. “You need me because no one else can both psychologically analyze him or run the protection detail to keep him away from the general public.”
“He’s already targeting them,” Frei mumbled and leaned onto her fist.
“Then you need me to move him away from that area into a more remote location.” Renee had stopped sniffing and was in her usual courageous Commander Black mode. “The local police need our help.”
“They do,” Frei cut the line and then stared at her monitor as the guard moved Lorelei back to her room. She picked up her phone again and dialed a number she rang far too often.
“Hello,” Susan said in a delighted tone. “How is my favorite FBI officer today?”
Frei closed her eyes at the sound of Susan’s voice and then groaned to herself. Who was she to tell Renee she was emotionally compromised? “I need a whiskey.”
“Good, me too. The clinic you gave me is far too busy.” Susan clinked something in the background. “I need a hangover.”
Frei chuckled then poured herself a drink. “I’m always happy to assist.”
“Hmmm… by the sound of your tone… I will need to assist you in being equally as hungover,” Susan said and clinked something. “So, tell me why you need to drink.”
Frei leaned onto her fist again. Sometimes emotionally compromised was needed. “Well, you know one of my agents… a guy who hurt her has escaped and… well… she’s not exactly going to stand back and let me fix the problem…”