Copyright© 2010 by Sagacious
Team 3 arrived before we did and when we pulled in they were laughing and jumping up and down like kids on Mountain Dew. There were people converging on us from all over the compound. Wolfelt pulled me into a big hug and Simmons was pounding me on the back. I looked behind them and saw Ann Christopher with a smile as big as I had ever seen on her.
"Damn it Hill, you made a believer of me with that. Whatever you want, you got it. That was the damnedest thing I ever heard. I couldn't even understand most of the words, but the yelling and screaming was classic. Simmons said that at one point the supervisor tried to establish control and he was shouted down. You did just what you said you would do, and the highest I saw any of the transmitters peak at was 200 watts. That was simply amazing."
"Glad to have you on board, Ann, but don't expect them all to go that well. These guys were idiots, and not all of them are. They'll probably catch on to us and start using good commo procedures, but until they do we'll fuck with them."
Lieutenant Nichols walked up then with a big bucket and a handful of spoons. She set the bucket down on the tailgate of the goat and started handing out spoons. "Enjoy it folks, you earned it. Stretch is famous now; they call her "Deceptivor". I'm sorry Hon, but they think that you are a man."
Debra laughed as she spooned out some ice cream, "just another layer of deception, Ma'am. I almost lost it when that idiot said he wanted to fuck my ass. I just about told him there was a better spot."
"Oh lord, don't do that. We'd have them all over here panting like dogs." Lt. Nichols turned and started to walk away.
I ran over beside her, "Ma'am, could I talk to you for a moment?"
"Sergeant Hill, right now you could ask for just about anything. What's on your mind?"
"Ma'am, would it be possible to assign a couple of MP's to us? There is a lot going on during a mission and usually guarding the site gets dropped. We use Kat for this, but the other teams don't have anyone like that. The other thing is this, would it be possible for me to talk to the CO tomorrow? It's kind of personal."
Lt. Nichols looked around and gestured to a young girl walking by, "Tell Sergeant Massey that I need to see him at the platoon ops in 15 minutes please."
"Yes, Ma'am." And the girl sped away.
"Okay, MP's are not a problem. I should have thought of that long ago. Did you want to see the CO about Kat?"
"Yes, Ma'am. I want to try to adopt her."
"Damn, you just cost me 20 bucks, Sarge. I was sure that you wouldn't ask till next week, but Jameson said today or tomorrow. Did you warn him somehow?"
"What? No ma'am, if I had known there was a bet on, I'd have warned you, not him."
"Thank you Sergeant, I appreciate the thought. For your information, yes, you may talk to Captain Jameson tomorrow morning, and the division Jag officer will be present. We have already started the wheels rolling because we were sure you would ask soon. The main answer is yes, you may adopt her and take her home with you when you rotate out. The division commander is the military authority for the area and he can grant you the adoption. The problem is that the psych boys are going to have to talk to her, they have to make sure that you aren't trying to buy your own little sex slave." She could see the color rising in my face, "Don't get upset Mick, I know that it isn't so. They don't think so either, but they have to be sure before the general puts his signature on the paperwork. I'll have to take her gun away before they talk to her, they may have to get a little rough. Nothing physical, just intimidating."
"If you say so, LT. Just remember, you are the only other person she would give her pistol to besides me. You are the one who gave her the Tokarev, so you can ask for it back. When you do, she and I will expect you to protect her. Don't let us down, Ma'am."
"On my honor Mick. Oh-eight-hundred at the company HQ, bring her along."
As a squad leader/section chief I get a GP small tent of my own when we stay in the camp. I usually share it with Kat, but when I got to it, she wasn't there. I figured she and the other team members were still partying after the successful mission. I spent some time reading an old Heinlein book and was almost ready to call it a night when there was a scraping at the door flap. I was still mostly dressed, T-shirt, BDU pants, and socks, so I went over and opened the flap. Debra Stretch was standing there.
"Hello Mickey. Kat sent me. May I come in?"
I stepped back to let her in and saw behind her, a little ways away, Kat and Lani standing and watching. Kat waved, gave me two thumbs up, and leaned over and kissed Lani right smack on the lips. Ruefully shaking my head, I closed the flap. I had a good idea as to why Stretch was here, but I wasn't going to cut her any slack. I needed the time to get straight in my head how I was going to react to her.
I sat on my cot and patted next to me for her to sit down. "Is this going to be about what we talked of before, Stretch? Do you have an answer for me yet?"
"It is Mick, and yes I do. This will make no difference on a mission or any other time. You are in charge and I want it that way. Being here has brought out the natural leader in you. I can't promise what will happen if the Army separates us, but as long as I am with you, you will be my only man. Kat and Lani are fine with it and I think Tom even understands. Please hold me and love me Mick, at least for now."
"I have no problem with loving you Deb, the problem is in the letting you go. Once I've made up my mind to something, I don't like change." I pulled Deb in for a deep kiss. I was already lost and I knew it.
The next morning was not fun, but it was very informative. The CO had indeed prepared much of the paperwork I needed. He and the Jag officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mathias, had done the research and what they needed from me was what I knew of Kat's family. I told them all that I had found out. There was no way to investigate in the Soviet Union, and they could see no reason to ask around in Czechoslovakia. As long as the psychologists approved it, the general would sign and Kat would be my legal daughter. There was a small ceremony scheduled in the HQ that afternoon for the signing. The Battalion CO would join Captain Jameson and Lieutenant Nichols to represent me.
Outside of the office I had to comfort a crying Katrinka. She wouldn't say anything to me. As I stepped out of the office she ran into my arms and dug her face into my shoulder. I looked up at Lieutenant Nichols, "it's okay, Sergeant. They asked her some embarrassing questions is all. It is a good thing I took her gun though, she slapped the woman when she started asking about where you touched her. They had to take her through the rape and the loss of her family as well, and she is kind of torn up about it all. You got a clean bill with them, and everything is on go." She touched Kat's shoulder lightly, "I'm sorry it was so rough, Honey, but they had to know for your own protection. Are you going to be calm if I give you back the Tokarev?"
Kat turned to the LT and slowly smiled, "I understand ma'am. It is just hard to hear someone talk bad about Sergeant Mick, and to think about that time. I promise not to shoot anyone if I can have my gun back."
The ceremony was almost anticlimactic. I had been sure that this would take weeks, and here it was done in a day. The general congratulated me on the addition to my family, and then he shocked me when he asked about yesterday's mission. I was sure that we had been flying well below his radar level.