(I ran this in 2014, but I’m trying to get the WIP done and learn a new computer system for work, and my brain is getting kinda full.
The story takes place during A Cat at Bay.
Some people may find aspects of this story disturbing. If reading about rape survival and self defense upsets you, please do not read what follows.)
“You tell her, sir.”
“No, I value my life. You tell her.”
Commander “Rachel Na Gael” pretended not to hear the voices coming through the open door to the lab. Instead she glared at the image on the electron microscope’s display and adjusted the sample holder a fraction of a hair. The next scan revealed what she’d been looking for, and she smiled. So you are imported. And just who dropped you here and why, hmmm? Whatever the plant was, it had not taken root or bloomed before dying. At least, before it appeared to have died, which is what had attracted the attention of the botanist who’d sent the remains to the 58th Regiment. Rachel had made certain of its demise before trying to identify it. Only an idiot or rank amateur would try to hide an exotic plant in Kew Gardens.
She sat up, stretching her stiff back. “Commander?” Major Rahoul Khan called.
“Yes?” She twisted around so she could see both him and Capt. Kwame Ngobo standing by her desk. “What can I do for you, sir?”
“It seems that you need to go with some of the new personnel to a briefing on diversity and harassment in the forces,” the Ghanaian adjutant informed her.
Rahoul saw the glint in Rachel’s eye and waited. She didn’t disappoint. “Is this is a how-to session? If so, I can find several witnesses who will attest that I’m quite diverse in whom I harass.”
“No. And you need to at least act as if you agree with the facilitator,” Rahoul warned. “Orders from Horseguards.”
“The 58th Regiment is the most international, multi-whatever unit on the British Isles, there’ve been no complaints of harassment for over a year, and I still have to go be lectured about not whistling at men in kilts?” She rolled her eye and returned to work. “Very well, sir. Let me know when and where, and if I need to wear cosmetics, please.”
She heard departing footsteps and Ngobo observing, “That went better than I’d feared, sir.”
Rachel grinned in an evil way as she heard Rahoul reply, “That worries me, Ngobo. It worries me greatly.” Continue reading