Authors: Bella Juarez
Rock’s strong leadership and Mac’s talent for motivating people to stretch beyond what they thought they were capable of kept the class together all the way through BUD/S—not a single man rang bell and voluntarily quit BUD/S under their leadership. It was the first class ever to graduate intact, a feat only one other class had accomplished after them.
Mac watched with some amusement as his friend threw open the glass doors in front of him. Mac smiled and shook his head. Colonel Spivey had no idea what was in store for him.
Randolph Air Force Base, Texas
Office of the Base Commander
July 25, 2008/1503 Zulu
Two men in khaki uniforms walked up to the reception area where Mary Ann worked every day. She was the gatekeeper for the base commander’s office. It was still taking some time to get used to, all the combining of services on one base. These men approaching her were Navy people. That much she did know.
“Would you tell Colonel Spivey that Captain O’Malley is here and I need to see him immediately?” one of the men stated.
The receptionist looked up and blinked as she saw who the voice belonged to. The speaker hadn’t made a request. It was a command that left no room for discussion. The east-coast-accented voice she’d just heard had a touch of arrogance. Mary Ann realized her mouth was open and quickly closed it.
Damn! I could forget my own name looking at him!
This man was amazing! Even though he wore the rank of a senior officer, he looked much younger. His light brown hair and his chiseled masculine features made him strikingly attractive. He had the greenest eyes she’d ever seen. His hard body filled out his uniform rather nicely, she noted. He turned slightly to glance behind him and she noticed a curved scar near the corner of his eye. It didn’t take away from the unholy attraction. If anything, it intensified it. It was obvious this man was a highly skilled warrior. His body as well as his manner left no question that he could still kick some major ass.
“Yes, sir. I’ll call his office and let his secretary know you’re here. Do you have an appointment, sir?” Mary Ann asked, slowly finally finding her voice.
“Mac! Where’s this guy at?” the officer demanded.
“Sorry about this. This way,
,” the other man said as he smiled at her.
The reddish-blond man that was with him would do nicely, too! Mary Ann watched as the enlisted man steered the officer down the hallway. She picked up the phone and called Colonel Spivey’s secretary.
“Kelly, there’s a really angry officer coming your way,” Mary Ann said as she watched the pair disappear into the long hallway.
Mary Ann noted the feral way the officer stalked down the hall. She couldn’t help but watch him as he rounded the corner.
Damn it! So those are SEALs!
Mary Ann stared, mesmerized.
Randolph Air Force Base, Texas
Building 3692, HQ-ATEC Manpower
July 25, 2008/1510 Zulu
Anna answered the incoming call as she pulled her vehicle over. She’d just finished up at the Manpower office. It was Ed Garcia, the other senior technician in the office.
“Hey, Ed, what’s up?
“Anna, me and about three guys are stuck at the general’s office. That stupid power outage did a number on the server here. Can you swing by the base commander’s? Kelly’s having a problem and everyone is out.”
“I have about four other people ahead of her. Did she say what kind of problem?”
“Well, it’s the base commander’s office. Put her at the front of the line. She says she thinks she has a virus on her machine. Unlikely, but you know the story,” Ed replied.
“If it’s like what I just saw in Manpower, it is a virus. Ed, we need to talk about this. This thing I just saw, it could be a real problem.”
“Really? Been tracking how you contain it?” Ed asked.
“Yes, but I don’t think anyone knows about this yet. It can’t—”
“Okay, we’ll talk this afternoon,” Ed said, cutting her off.
Anna turned around and started for the base commander’s office. She really didn’t like dealing with the brass. She was intimidated by the office and the implications of making a mistake on one of their systems. Anna sighed as she walked up the sidewalk. She liked most of the people in the base commander’s office, but there were a few she didn’t like. At the top of the dislike category was the base commander himself, Colonel Spivey. He was rude and arrogant, and it seemed to Anna that for being such a small fish in a big pond, he thought he had more power than he really did. She was greeted by Mary Ann at the front desk as she entered the building.
“Hey, Anna,” the young woman greeted her.
“Hi, Mary Ann, I need to see Kelly. I understand she’s having some problems.”
“She’s in. I imagine there are some fireworks in the making down there. You might want to wait.”
“Ed said it was pretty critical but I can come back later…” Anna hesitated
“I’ll call her. Let’s see, it might not be as bad as I thought. Some angry officer just charged down the hallway with one of his enlisted guys in tow. You know Spivey, he probably won’t even see him. He has better things to do,” Mary Ann ended sarcastically.
Anna smiled weakly.
“Kel, Anna from IT is here. Do you want me to send her down?” Mary Ann waited for the response. “Okay.” She turned her attention back to Anna. “Go ahead, she says she’s at a work stoppage, and apparently the fight isn’t all that bad.”
“Okay. I’ll see you later, Mary Ann.”
Anna opened the door to the office and saw Kelly shuffling papers. Kelly sent a nervous glance to the back of the office to a large picture window that overlooked the runway. Anna followed the glance and found herself looking into familiar green eyes. But this time they were angry. She turned away from Captain O’Malley and looked at Kelly.
“You called?” Anna asked.
Anna’s voice was like a rock being thrown into a quiet pond, shattering the surface tension. Master Chief McGuire and Captain O’Malley seemed to give Anna their full attention as she crossed the room. Kelly, on the other hand, seemed grateful for the break in the strain radiating from Captain O’Malley and Master Chief McGuire. Kelly smiled and removed herself from behind the desk.
“It’s all yours,” Kelly said.
“What’s going on here?” Anna asked as she seated herself at Kelly’s desk.
Kelly stood behind her and started describing some of the problems she was encountering. Anna buried herself in the computer and its obvious issues. Anna was so lost in her work that Captain O’Malley startled her when he spoke.
“I’ve waited long enough. You need to tell him to get out here or I’m going in,” Captain O’Malley said, addressing himself to Kelly.
Captain O’Malley was clearly pissed off and trying to keep himself in check.
“I’m sorry, sir, the colonel must still be on that conference call,” Kelly said sympathetically.
“Fine,” Captain O’Malley simply replied.
“Oh, hell…” Mac said under his breath as he shook his head.
* * * *
In what seemed like a split second, Captain O’Malley shoved open the door to Colonel Spivey’s office and stormed inside. The women in the room were too stunned to move. No one ever dared enter the base commander’s office this way. They watched in shocked surprise as Captain O’Malley stalked over to Colonel Spivey’s desk and grabbed the phone from the colonel’s hand.
“He’ll have to call you back,” Captain O’Malley barked into the phone.
Hanging up on the caller, he turned his pent-up fury to Colonel Spivey, who was too stunned to speak. Being a SEAL, Captain O’Malley was a master at the element of shock and awe and took full advantage of this effect on Colonel Spivey.
“Don’t you ever keep me waiting like that again! I need my cargo coming in from San Diego and I
it on this base. Fix it so I can get it!” Captain O’Malley demanded.
Colonel Spivey quickly recovered.
“Get the hell out of my office! Jackass! I’m not ready to see you. Who in the hell do you think you are? ” Colonel Spivey screamed.
“Shut up and listen up, Spivey! Before I take over this office and run it the way the
military runs things. Get on that phone and get base ops and your towers to clear
aircraft coming in,” O’Malley snarled.
“Fuck you, O’Malley! You aren’t on a Navy base, you’re on
base. You ain’t got no authority here,” Spivey shot back.
“Spivey, I’m giving you five minutes to contact your tower and base ops. You tell them that my
cargo is coming in from San Diego and they need to grant clearance when it gets here.”
“Go to hell!” Colonel Spivey spat as he stood up.
Colonel Spivey was slightly taller than Captain O’Malley, but it was clear that Captain O’Malley was the more physically superior of the two. O’Malley was lean and muscular from years of hard, back-breaking training, while Spivey was becoming soft and out of shape. Spivey had begun to bald badly and his paunchy belly was starting to sag. Captain O’Malley could return to combat this afternoon. Spivey, on the other hand, didn’t look like he could run across the tarmac.
“My guys are also fighting a war and they need to get their time in, too. And
”—he pointed at Captain O’Malley—“have screwed up the flight training schedule here. You’re not the only one with a
!” Spivey yelled.
“You want me to really fuck things up here? You’re wasting time! You’ve got four minutes, Spivey. Or I take two SEAL teams and I take your runway, tower, and base ops down. They will remain that way until
my aircraft land and I am
“You can’t do that. You don’t have that kind of power,” Spivey taunted.
Spivey had just thrown a gauntlet down and O’Malley, true to his SEAL nature, wasn’t only going to pick it up, he was about to shove it up Spivey’s ass.
“I wish you would. It would guarantee you getting your ass kicked off my base,” Spivey remarked dismissively.
Captain O’Malley turned to Master Chief McGuire, who had remained in the outer office.
“Master Chief, activate Shooter Team Charlie and Fire Team Kilo. Tell them I’ll be there in fifteen minutes to brief them,” O’Malley commanded.
“Yes, sir,” Mac snapped.
The master chief gave the orders per Captain O’Malley’s direction. The two women stared in shock.
“You’re crazy! I’m gonna enjoy hauling your ass to my brig,” Spivey spat.
O’Malley took out his phone and made a call.
“Admiral, this is Rock. I have a situation here, sir, that I need to brief you on. I have a base commander here who is refusing to give our aircraft access to the runway. He’s telling me that I need to route my crews to a civilian airport. As you know, that cargo is classified. I need you to know, sir, that I have just activated a fire team and a shooter team and I will be commandeering the runway, tower, and possibly base ops.” O’Malley paused a moment and said, “That’s right, sir. I’m at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas.” He paused again. “Will do, sir.” Captain O’Malley disconnected the call.
“You’re so full of shit, O’Malley! You didn’t call anyone. You act like you have your own private army. You’re in
country, jackass. You can’t use those troops like that!” Spivey returned to his desk and sat down.
Captain O’Malley said nothing. He simply stared. The phone rang and Kelly and Anna jumped at the sound. The ringing seemed to shatter glass because of the uneasy feeling in the office. Kelly didn’t have time to greet the caller.
“Yes, sir,” Kelly responded into the phone receiver. She timidly walked to the doorway and informed Colonel Spivey the call was for him. “Colonel, General Schultz wants to talk to you.”
“Who?” Spivey asked with a whisper.
“General Schultz, sir, chief of staff,” Kelly replied
“Pick it up, Spivey, it’s your boss,” Captain O’Malley snarled lowly.
“Yes, General?” Spivey asked.
Captain O’Malley and Colonel Spivey never broke eye contact while Spivey was on the phone getting his ass chewed by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Spivey was almost purple with rage as he hung up the phone.
, will you cooperate or will you continue to screw with me?” O’Malley demanded.
“Get out,” Spivey growled.
“Quit fucking with me, Spivey! You’re about to really piss me off. Are you calling ops or am I? I’m about to make a call you and this base will never forget.”
“Teams Charlie and Kilo notified and activated, Captain,” Mac said on cue.
Anna and Kelly exchanged nervous glances. Anna turned and looked at Mac. He held a serious expression as his BlackBerry buzzed. He glanced at Anna as he answered, giving her a playful wink before he moved away.