Chapter 3, “V-Trooper—First Mission

3

“Boyd, you’re an MP. A major part of your duties is guarding our warehouses. The Sergeant Major says you work the night shift, right?”

“Yes, sir. I volunteered for the night shift. Although the sun won’t fry me the way the old legends say, I’m more sensitive to the brightness than before. I sunburn easily and need strong eyeshades in daytime.”

Russell heard no sounds and saw no twitches to indicate lying.

“Sergeant Boyd, we’ve been having some pilferage at Warehouse Six. Someone’s been stealing beef and mutton. The pork hasn’t been touched, so I guess you understand the implication. I’m going to assign you, in utmost secrecy, to personally watch that facility for three nights. Friday will be your first night. You’ll monitor the area surrounding the building out to the wire. If you see someone stealing, you’ll use your special talents to apprehend them.”

“Sir, what do I do with them when I catch them?”

When, not if. The man was confident, sure of his abilities.

“Bind them with nylon restraints—hand and foot—and call me on the radio I’ll give you. Don’t kill them, not these anyway. Come to me just before you go on duty tomorrow. We’ll make the necessary arrangements. Now go to your duties,” Russell said.

Boyd stood and formally saluted. “Yes, sir.”

“Salutes are unnecessary unless you’re reporting in for some reason. I think we may work together quite closely, Boyd. As you go, ask the Sergeant Major to come in.”

Flynn came into Russell’s office, closed the door and sat. His wild, curling eyebrows lifted in question.

“Bobby, that guy’s either completely loony, or he may be a serious weapon for us.”

“Weapon? The guy looks to be in shape, but not deadly,” Flynn said.

“Trust me on this one. Help me with an experiment and I’ll tell you the whole story over a few drinks, Saturday night. My treat. Win, lose or draw.”

Flynn leaned in closer to Russell’s desk as if someone might overhear.

“Vic, be careful. Many of these pantywaists, especially that Chickenshit colonel, would faint if they thought we were doing something outside the supply manual.”

The Sergeant Major leaned back in his chair. “What’re we going to do?”

Russell stared at a neutral distance beyond Flynn. He took in the plywood walls of the office his predecessor had covered with wood grain contact paper. His plaques from previous assignments were the only decoration. No pictures.

“Bobby, I’ve got an idea. It won’t take much preparation, but may yield a big-time payoff. ”

Russell laid out a detailed plan for Boyd to monitor Warehouse Six for three nights. He didn’t mention the sergeant’s admissions. Bobby was a friend and a superior soldier, but was even more matter-of-fact than he. Vampires couldn’t really exist.

Could they?

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