Hello all, below is Chapter 3 from my NaNoWriMo 14!
I stepped off the plane into the summer heat I proceeded immediately to baggage claim where I picked up both of my duffle bags, the first one had my Air Force gear, the other my personal belongings that I might need while at Bragg. With my new posting being classified I had decided to wear civilian clothes, they were also more comfortable for the flight. As I stepped out into the open air I was even more glad for the civilian clothes because the temperature only got hotter.
Looking around I found the sign for the airport shuttles and I headed off in that direction. I didn’t have a car here so I was going to have to rely on the provided transportation. A man moved into my way, blocking any way to the shuttles. He was tall with an average build, short black hair, and sun glasses. He wore fitting black jeans and a black button down shirt.
“Lieutenant Taylor, my name is Staff Sergeant Randy Douglas. I am here to bring you to Bragg.”
“Who sent you?” It was unusual to have someone to come pick up a single officer on a change of station, especially a training assignment.
“Captain Derrick sent me.”
At James’ name I relaxed. If he knew James’ name there was little chance he was there to spy on me or to do me harm.
“SarahJane.” I offered my hand to him. “Sorry I was just surprised that they would send someone for me. Also wanted to make sure you weren’t trying to gather information.”
“Randy, come with me the car is this way.” He didn’t seem to be one for words or emotion.
He grabbed for one of my duffel bags and at first I refused. Then I gave it over to him. We crossed the street and he led me to a black sedan with dark windows. Both of my bags went into the trunk and I climbed into the passenger’s seat.
As we drove through the city I tried on several occasions to get Sergeant Douglas to talk but he had nothing to say to me so I ended up watching the scenery as we drove. The city around Fort Bragg was no where near the size that I was used to.
The entrance to Fort Bragg had a sign that read “Fort Bragg, Home of The Airborne and Special Operations Forces.” Trees and decorative plants were put off by the metal cover that sat above the eight lane entrance to the base. The base itself was something I could get used to. It was a mix of modern buildings and older buildings. Landscaping lined the roads and sides of buildings.
We continued on through the main portion of the base past the barracks. Douglas stopped the car out front of an older three level apartment building. It was painted white but time had faded the color. My old Base Maintenance Unit would even have been embarrassed about the appearance of the building.
Getting out Douglas opened the trunk and before I could get to it he had removed one of the bags. I took my second bag and followed him up the stairs to the far end of the second floor. My hand carrying the bag was hurting by the time I got to the door. He removed a key from his pocket and opened the door.
“This is your apartment for the duration of training.” Douglas said.
A smell of oldness wafted out of the door. It was one of those smells that while it wasn’t necessarily bad, it didn’t smell right. As I stepped in I was greeted by an old carpet with equally as old furniture. I set my bag down next to the door.
Douglas carried my other bag over to a small dining table and set the keys down on the table along with the bag.
“These are the keys to the apartment.” He pointed to another set of keys. “These are to a gold Honda Civic parked outside. It is yours to use during training. Make sure it is fueled before the end of training, just like a rental car. If you need anything else during training contact the instructors.”
“Will do, thank you Staff.”
“My pleasure Ma’am, maybe I will see you around.” The mystery in his voice was the first real emotion in his voice.
I set off to bring my bags to the bedroom and explore what little space the apartment appeared to have. The door led into the apartment let out in a small living room/dining area, the wall here was an off white. A small hallway led to the back of the apartment. The first open section off the hallway was a kitchen that barely fit the appliances that were in it. All of the kitchenware appeared to be circa 1980’s. The next room was a small bathroom with a shower, sink, and toilet. A mirror cabinet sat above the sink and although it looked clean most of its shine was missing.
The last door at the end of the hallway was a bedroom that was about the same size as the living room. A full bed sat against the wall in one corner while a small, unfinished dresser sat across from it. Just next to the door was a small desk that matched the dresser.
After making the bed with sheets from one of my duffels I went to the kitchen to inspect my appliances and discover my cooking capabilities. A note was taped on to the fridge:
Report to TF Headquarters at 0700 hours on Monday July 29th. You will be issued appropriate uniforms and training will be explained to you. If you should need anything contact your instructors.
At the bottom of the note was a phone number and the name MSgt. Yates. After copying the phone number into my cell phone I destroyed the note. It was what they did in spy movies so I felt it was fitting.