Protecting your colonel.
If you are a captain of the SkyRyders, you have considerable power. But if you want to remain a captain, then you had better protect your colonel from any damage his stupidity might cause. Colonel Dryer refused to allow Alisha to take her clothes with her when she got herself demoted from Colonel to a buck private. (General Powel was clearly not amused when she crossed him.)
To make matters worse, Dryer demanded Alisha return the sleepwear to the other female cadet who had loaned her the clothes. Alisha had already been cold, but now she couldn’t stop shivering and feared she was literally going to freeze to death.
Had she done so, MAC would have been one very upset AI. He would have no doubt court-martialed General Powell and had Colonel Dyrers put in prison. Dryer clearly had no idea how important MAC believed Alisha to be. Nor did Captain Benson. He simply addressed this as a ‘protect your colonel’ moment. So Benson and the cadets wrapped Alisha up in blankets and carried her to the medical site, explaining her near death in a way that in no way implicated Colonel Dryer: She had been lap-dancing them when she started shivering uncontrollably. So they brought her to the medic ward.
That way Colonel Dryer wouldn’t be implicated and they would all live another day!
Stationed on opposite coasts, Alisha and Logan must each face their own demons and challenges. On the West Coast, Alisha loses her rank for butting heads with General Powell and soon discovers the life of a private can be utter hell. On the East Coast, newly promoted General Logan discovers his soldiers do not recognize his authority to command. In an effort to retake control of the East Coast Corps, Logan authorizes unthinkable actions. When Alisha faces a life-threatening crisis, will Logan rise above his own troubles, or will she discover love and rescue with her best friend Jack?
Excerpt from Scavenger Vanishes
When Alisha woke, she thought she was in heaven. Everything was white. As she focused on the fluorescent lighting, she changed her mind.
“Good, you’re awake,” Sandy said as she placed a thermometer in Alisha’s mouth.
“That was a pretty stupid stunt you pulled last night.”
Alisha stared in confusion as Sandy proceeded to give her a lecture on hypothermia. When the medic finally pulled the thermometer from Alisha’s mouth, she tried to sit up. “How did I get here, and what were you told happened to me?”
Sandy gave her one of those “don’t even try to pull the wool over my eyes” looks.
“You were brought in by several of your young men friends, who said that while giving them lap dances you had started shivering uncontrollably.”
“Look,” Sandy said. “I don’t give a damn if you screw every man in this camp. In fact, it’s rather refreshing to hear of a female Ryder with a worse reputation than Jack’s. However, take some advice. It’s winter. If you want to do lap dances, don’t do them outside in the buff. You don’t have enough body fat to protect you from the cold.”
Alisha was speechless. She was going to kill Benson.
“Now, your captain is here to take you back to your quarters. I need this room in a half hour. Anything you wish to do before that is not my concern as long as you keep your activity limited to the exam table, and don’t play with the supplies.”
The second Benson entered the room, Alisha hit him with a jar of cotton swabs. “You told the medic I was giving you a lap dance?”
Benson rubbed his chest where the jar had struck. “It was all I could think of. Don’t throw anything else, and I’ll explain,” he promised.
Alisha couldn’t imagine any explanation that would satisfy her, but she let him approach.
“I knew you were going into hypothermia, but if Colonel Dryer were implicated, I’d be done for. The colonel would no doubt receive a reprimand for his part in it, but he’d still be my colonel. Except now he’d be a pissed-off colonel, and I’d be his rabbit. So I had to come up with something the medic would believe that in no way implicated the colonel, but would explain how you came to be wearing no clothes. Given your reputation, I said lap dances.”
“What reputation?” Alisha demanded.
“Well…” Benson smiled awkwardly. “You know…”
“No,” Alisha replied. “Tell me.”
“Well, first there was Colonel Logan, then you dropped Logan for Sparkes, which we all understood, then there was Ben, then there was you and Colonel Logan in the tunnel, before Sparkes found you. Then you and Logan right before he left, and then Tucker in tunnel this morning.”
“You can stop now,” Alisha said. No wonder the medic had believed Alisha wanted to sleep with every man in the camp. Rumor had it that she had slept with every man in the camp. She sighed. “So now we add lap dances to the pile of BS.”
“I didn’t see what harm it could do.”
“No, you’re evidently right. My reputation is pretty well dragging the bottom. I must be the biggest joke in the Corps.” She looked up at the ceiling, trying not to cry.
“No!” Benson assured her. “We know you’re something special. Normal conventions don’t apply to you, any more than normal aerodynamics or Corps regulations. You do your own thing and we just watch and marvel.”
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About the Author
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.
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