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from Love, Or Something Like It by L. K. Thompson, LTC (Ret.)

Copyright © 2020 L. K. Thompson, LTC (Ret.)

Chapter 2




UNIT: Dawn and Slover Argue

SITUATION: Serving Under New Requirements

LOCATION: New Double Duty Office Facade

ATTITUDE: One of Uncertainty and Anxiety

TIME: 0800 hours Local Time, Current Date



The sun had risen on the building which served as Team Reliant’s new headquarters. The building was, in reality, a World War II barracks building made over to look like an office building in Seoul, South Korea. The structure was a two-story affair bricked over and made to look like a somewhat modern office building. It was in enhanced with brand-new panoramic windows. The site grew a green lawn out front with a new sidewalk and a new parking area which separated it from the unpredictable mundane world. The business sign standing out front, proclaiming the place to be Reliant Financial Services, was written both in the Korean language and in English.

The downstairs area was formally arranged with a secretary/receptionist area and a fashionably appointed waiting area for their supposed clients. Behind that area, in a glassed-in office, Colonel Burl Spence sat, posing as CEO of the fraudulent front for the financial services business that Team Reliant had become. The Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) had promised Spence, more or less, that after completing a tour of duty with team reliant in the Pacific rim, that Spence would return to regular active duty service in an advanced capacity. The team’s business cards and local advertising relied on the premise that they represented buyers and sellers all along the Pacific Rim in East Asia. That is why their corporate jet was routinely parked at the Inchon international Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world. In reality, they were special operations trained soldiers.

Behind Spence’s glassed in office and veiled from public view was the operations area for the Army detachment’s support group which included the communications area manned by Sergeant Aaron Pearly and Republic Of Korea (ROK) Sergeant Kim. The other rooms and offices were for all other support personnel. The upper floor of the building was used for personnel billeting.

Sergeant First Class Dutch Slover sat out front of the building on the concrete steps lifting his 20-pound weights and maintaining his muscular fitness. He no longer wore his Army ACU uniform. He posed as a financial analyst. His previous position in the Army was that he had served as an intelligence analyst. As a matter of fact, none of the members of Team Reliant wore their uniforms. The reason for the new appearance was that they had assumed their new identities because the SECDEF and ordered that they should take on a civilian look to accomplish the things an Army unit should not be involved in. As Slover sat in jeans and plaid blue and white shirt curling the weights up to his shoulders, the old Korean, who served as their maintenance and yard man, worked at manicuring the appearance of the building and lawn. Current rumor among team members held him to be part of the fa├žade presented for appearances, and that he probably was a retired member of the Republic of Korea KATUSA Corps (Korean Augment To US Army). No one, except Colonel Spence, knew for sure who he really was. They believed he spoke English because the ROK Army routinely taught their military English. The only obviously true things were that he was definitely well fed, wrinkled, bald on top, with the wrinkles reaching all the way across his bald top.

Slover nodded at him, “Morning, Olaedoen Seiji!”

The old man muttered his reply.

Slover stopped momentarily, “Sorry, I didn’t catch that.”

The wise old man suspended his work and shuffled over to Slover, “I am sorry, Mr. Slover. I was speaking in Korean.”

“Yeah, I thought it sounded kind of like Korean!”

The plump old man grinned a toothy grin, “I am very sorry. I do not mean to break into your thinking!”

Slover stopped lifting his weight “Okay, what were you saying?”

“I was thinking about an old Korean saying.”

“Okay, you have my attention. Translate what you said into English.”

Olaedoen thought for a minute, “Okay, okay. I will do best I can! I think it means, ‘The determined mind has no concept of the difference between possible and impossible’ It means something like that.”

Slover turned to look directly at him. Curiosity playing across his face, he arched an eyebrow, “Was that meant for me?”

In a slow and precise voice, he addressed Slover, “I do not know for whom it is meant. It just came to me, and I said it. Sometimes, these things come to me, and I say them.”

“So, whose mind are we talking about, and what is possible compared to what is impossible?”

“I do not know, Mister Slover. I must continue my work now.” The old man ambled away from Slover.

Slover started to call out to the old man to have him return and explain, but he just sat there with his mouth hanging slightly open and wondering what the old man’s words had to do with anything.

Slover saw Captain Aleumdaun Yeoga, approaching. He caught her attention with his eyes, and with a sideways cant of his head, motioned for her to approach him. She was Korean by birth, but she had grown up in the United States and had become an American citizen. Her PhD degree from MIT as a ...

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