Some fun training nonsense that, however annoying it was to write, was definitely necessary for the plot. 🙂 But Anyways… I suppose blathering on about nonsense doesn’t help when you’re ACTUALLY trying to read something. So, as per always, hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it.
Headquarters was brighter than Ryan imagined. It was, by all standards, simply stunning. All of the imagined MI5 and KGB Headquarters from thriller novels disappeared and was seamlessly replaced with wherever he stood. It most certainly was not the CIA, but nor was it the FBI.
“Does the government have Black Ops?” Ryan asked suddenly, as they walked through the hallways,
“Not that I’m authorized to talk about” Martin answered smoothly, “Although I’m sure it wouldn’t be pleasant to blab about this place to the National Inquirer”
But conversations of this sort soon ended as they entered a long and intimidating conference room. A man in a suit sat at its head, wearing a polite smile. His posture was immaculate and he sat with such pomp that it would not have surprised Ryan to know – the man was undoubtedly very important.
“Ryan Muller” he said, standing to shake the therapist’s hand, “Pleasure. Our John has told us good things about you”
“Thank you sir” The therapist answered, noticing that no name was given,
“But to business. No time for pleasantries in our line of work” he gave a wry smile. “There has been enemy surveillance in and around your home and office recently. Someone wishes to implicate or terminate John, we believe. We have, in fact, intelligence that they will be changing their surveillance from purely passive to active in the next few days”
“I’m sorry” Ryan had to physically restrain himself, “You mean to tell me that my home and my family have been watched? We’ve barely met for a full hour yet!”
“That is the danger of working with people like John. People are very observant of changes to his schedule, unfortunately”
“You have people watching him at all times?” Ryan was startled,
“We don’t” the man answered stiffly, “But the enemy always does. It’s a known fact”
“Okay” Ryan answered, calming himself down, “What’s the plan? You seem to have some sort of reasonable solution or you wouldn’t act so normal”
“We have one, of course, Ryan” Martin replied with confidence, “I’m not entirely certain you’ll agree. It’s a bit dramatic, even by our standards. But an understandable and reasonable measure”
“See” the man spoke, “It’s a matter of operational security. You need protection; something our particular branch cannot offer you. So instead, we’re going to train you. Mind you, only basic tactics”
“Train” Ryan said faintly,
“Just so you can protect your family, hold off an attack until help comes” Martin cut in,
“Also we are authorizing you with firearm usage” the man continued on as though Martin had not spoken, “In Maryland, Virginia, and DC”
“I’ve never even shot a gun in my life” Ryan protested weakly,
“You’ll learn” the man said simply, “quickly”
The next hours and days flew by. Ryan hardly had a moment to himself as he was drilled in procedures, which he had neither the background nor training for. Martin seemed calm, but their sessions faded into 10-minute daily coffee breaks, that could barely be called productive.
“When you’re prepared,” Martin answered in response to this, “We’ll talk again”
Luckily, it seemed Ryan was a quick learner. His early protests were dropped the first time he handled a weapon. Even the most passive of observers can be adapted, reformed, to great soldiers.
“Ready yet?” Ryan asked, the once relaxed therapist calmly polishing a Beretta on the table,
“Do you think so?” Martin retorted,
There was no hesitation in the man’s face. A few weeks or more being cultivated in psychological as well as physical procedures, Ryan felt for once powerful, in control and protective of his family.
“Then perhaps it’s time to go home” Martin said, and without further ado, he handed the keys to a government car to the therapist. A simple nod later, and he was on the road, controlling the urge to speed home to his wife and baby girl. In the weeks away from home, he had been repeatedly told how his wife was being taken care of, and how his daughter missed him but understood the reason he could not be home.
The door to his house looked empty, but Ryan swallowed the tears threatening the corner of his eyes – he knocked twice. Rushed footsteps and the door was flung open. Suddenly he arms were full of blonde hair and hands grasping at every piece of Ryan they could reach.
“Don’t ever leave like that again” Lene’s voice ground out from under the bundle of tears, hugs, and love.
He grasped her a little tighter, lightly kissing the top of her head and holding close.
“Never” he whispered. But she just held together, not noticing the sharp eyesight of her husband as it flicked every which way and that, coming to rest on the seemingly innocent truck on the other side of the street.
“Daddy?” the small voice made the observations float away to nothingness. Ryan turned to face his daughter, standing on the staircase, tears staining her cheeks.
“Sweetheart” he called, not releasing his wife, “come here, and give your dad a hug”
She sprinted into his arms- and at that, his brain stopped working. The two most important people in his life were back in his arms.