tagGroup SexEbb Tide Ch. 02

Ebb Tide Ch. 02

byFinalStand©

Editing magic performed by KJ24 and Shyqash, plus contributions by the regular gang of brigands and neer-do-wells.

Low tide: The period between the ebb tide and the succeeding rising tide.

This tale is an espionage fantasy frequently under assault by reality.

The 'hero' of this tale might be considered a Libertarian, though the label means nothing to him. He is not completely sane (by some people's definition of the term).

A List of the Principal Characters is provided at the end of the chapter.

*****

{A little taste of my un-reality, or 'Why mental health professionals avoid me'}

"I'm not paranoid. I do have a pathological hatred of surprises."

That was my well-thought out answer to a female lieutenant Naval Psychiatrist asking me to be introspective about my particular view of the world. It has since become my Motto -- my Creed.

For that session, she had started by asking what I did when I came back to base -- what did I do when I first stepped into my personal quarters? I explained I didn't have a home; I lived "on base", which is to say that I used whatever space was temporarily assigned to me. Okay, what did I do to unwind when I entered my room? I explained to her that I prepped for the next mission. Did I relax? Why would I relax? I was on a military base; I had military stuff to do.

What was so important that it couldn't wait until I'd unwound a bit? Mostly classified stuff I wasn't sure she had the necessary clearance for me to talk to her about. What did I do when I finished these unspeakable acts? She found it hard to believe that there was always more stuff to do. But out in the field was not the place to realize I'd forgotten to make the proper preparations ahead of time.

Did I leave the base? Not if I could help it. Why? Sigh...I repeated that I had stuff to do. Didn't I want a private life? I first made sure she was talking about having a physical relationship with a woman, not drinking with the guys, or engaging in internet masturbation. I then confirmed I had sex with a red-headed woman that I met at a cougar bar three weeks earlier. Yes, I went there specifically to engage in nameless, guilt-free intercourse before going on my latest mission.

Did I find that sort of thing fulfilling? I guessed so. I got what I wanted. What about the woman's feelings? I asked the shrink if she understood the concept behind having a 'One Night Stand'. I never felt the need to create an emotional bond with a random stranger. I could tell that frustrated the psychiatrist.

She tried for an oblique attack on the old refrain. She wanted to know what I would do if I checked into a random hotel room. What would I do to relax and unwind there? Like any rational individual, I responded by requesting the specifics of the hotel and the room -- things like:

What time of day was it? What day was it? Was it close to any major events/holidays that would increase the capacity of the place/ increase foot and road traffic? You needed to know what sounds were out of place if you were reading, watching TV, or sleeping. Yes, I slept that lightly.

How close was my car? How close was a major thoroughfare? Was there a back alley? Did the property look out over uncultivated terrain? Was it sitting on a high point, or in a low point? How many landmarks looked down on the location? All basic tactical stuff.

What floor was I on? Only idiots took rooms on the first two floors. Anything over the fourth meant you could be trapped...by a fire, or an attacking drug gang fueled by machismo and mind-altering substances. Regulation sleeping platforms had enough sheets so you could rappel down from a third or fourth story balcony/window using only the bedding. I could tie a knot faster than she thought possible. I'd practiced. I wouldn't use towels; I might need them later. Besides, the ratio of knot to length was poor.

What was the lay out of the room? Where were the windows? How solid were they? When, if at all, did the sunlight penetrate the room? Why? Shooting into the Sun messed with your aim. Also, if the door was unusable, you needed to know how quickly you could exit an available window.

What were the walls made of? You need to know this so you could predict what kinds of rounds would penetrate and how much residual stopping power those rounds would have. Also, you might need to bash your way into a room on either side of you in case the rear window was too small, or covered.

How close was the room to a fire escape? Not only was that safety-conscious, you need to know from how many directions trouble might come.

How close was the room to an ice machine? Those things attracted people and made noise.

That was when she stopped me and asked me if I felt I was unusual. I had to explain to her that on my last assignment I had to snap a man's arm off and ram said limb into his screaming father's mouth, as the father was ALSO trying to kill me. So I caused him to choke out his last moments of life with son's arm in his throat.

Why did I do something so extreme? My knife was half way across the room, still busy ending someone else's existence, all three of my guns were empty and I needed to kill the son anyway. I tried to explain to her that I had an unusual job that demanded unusual skills, working unusual hours and dealing with unusual enemies.

So yes, I was unusual and had no problem with that. Did I want to be normal, she asked. I 'qualified' her into a philosophical corner on what 'normal' meant. Not having spent a second inside a college didn't mean I was unread, or ignorant. The basics of psychology were just one part of the many skill-sets housed in the repertoire I felt every Hospital corpsman needed.

Did I think people were out to get me? Sure I did. I was an American -- strike one. I was in the US Armed Forces -- strike two. I had eliminated people that other people loved and missed, so personal revenge against me was a motivation I had to accept as valid -- strike three. So yes, there were people who were out to get me.

Did I believe that there was someone outside that very room ready to off me? No, I felt safe and at ease. I didn't bother telling her that two of my buddies were in the waiting room and that if there had been trouble, I would have heard about it.

Did I regret killing people? No. Why would I? I didn't care if they were bad people, or simply someone in the wrong place at the wrong time. I valued my life and the lives of my teammates far more than the life of some complete stranger. Targets deserved death. Why, she asked. Well...the Pentagon told me they deserved to die. That was a good enough for me.

Was I worried about committing acts that could be construed as War Crimes? Of course not. She wisely explained me that 'I was just following orders' was not an acceptable defense. I snorted at her naiveté. Being charged with a crime didn't bother me. I wouldn't hang around for any kangaroo court.

The SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) program was a required course for anyone assigned to a SEAL team. It was only logical that I'd already made contingency plans to apply that knowledge if some dick-less bureaucrat ever decided to dildo-fuck me over. I could tell that my intention to use my military training to avoid civil confinement wasn't what she wanted to hear.

Next up: did I like killing people? No. 'Me' killing people meant something had gone wrong. I was the team's hospital corpsman. I was not the #1 choice of the team leader to kill a person. They had specialists for that. Did I have any moral qualms about taking a sentient life? None. I had moral qualms about letting any member of my team die or get hurt.

Did I know how many people I had killed in defense of my team and in the completion of our missions? I didn't know. I never kept count and doing so wasn't part of my job description, though I was sure it was in some computer file somewhere. I could tell her that I had distributed 1,037 Ibuprofen in my career to date; because being accountable for my medication was in my job description.

Was there any type of person I wouldn't kill? Pregnant mothers, the elderly, the very young? No. I had once kicked over a solid wooden crib, replete with quilts, onto a live grenade that had been tossed into the room where I was tending to a wounded teammate. She told me that wasn't something to be ashamed of. Then I told her the baby was still in it. I knew if I removed the infant, I couldn't kick over the crib in time.

The psychiatrist looked appalled, so I lied to her and said it had been a dud -- the baby lived. It was not a dud, the baby died, my teammate lived and that was what mattered to me. That was one of the very rare times I lied to any superior officer. She looked like she was having a terribly rough day, so I made a conscious decision to not make it worse. She could also take me off of active duty and that wouldn't do either of us any good.

Had I considered jumping on the grenade myself? Of course not. I had a perfectly good crib right next to me. Besides, it was a Dutch V-40 mini-frag. Those bitches have a four second fuse. I was kneeling as it came through the window. I would have had to run around the crib to do so. It would have blown up before I could get to it.

Even if I had been able to throw myself onto it, the blast would have either killed me, or wounded me to the point I was confident that I wouldn't have been capable of resuming my duties. To be fair, I had never even considered that possibility ~ the killing myself thing.

Then she thought she'd be clever and try to trick me. If I had been kneeling and tending to a wounded buddy, how had I known what kind of grenade it was? Hadn't I just heard the noise and reacted instinctively, instead of of risking myself? No. I had exceptional peripheral awareness, I had a clear view of the window it came through and the V-40 is distinctive in its size and shape.

She asked me to describe to her what was on the shelf behind me without turning around. I did so, though I wasn't sure what that had to do with peripheral awareness. She had me draw a picture of a V-40 to scale. I did, she measured it and then dropped the subject. The rest was routine ~ the same old -- same old. I knew we were both relieved when she ushered me out of her office.

The next day, my Lieutenant laughingly informed me I had barely skated by on my Psych Eval. Just like all the other times. Again, it was 'recommended I take up a hobby that didn't involve violence, or medicine. I reminded the Lt. that I had already taken up Botany ~ nature had created thousands upon thousands of flora that could fuck with the human body and I wanted to know them all.

I didn't mind being told to do something else. But I was running out of SEAL stuff to do. I was already in line for High Threat Protection Security and Advanced Demolition training (two separate things). I was already qualified on Surreptitious Entry (B&E), Advanced Special Operations (no comment), Tactical Communications and Language School -- three times. I didn't want to be a sniper (I was trained as a spotter), a jump master, dive master, security driver, or instructor.

My teammates knew I was 'abnormal' and didn't seem to mind. I'd gladly 'seconded' every member of the group, except my Lt. and my MCPO (Master Chief Petty Officer). Not only was I not in the normal chain of command, I didn't want the responsibility. I never complained, never got wounded and didn't seem to mind being shot at.

I was always the first one to get to a wounded teammate's side, screw the shit-heads shooting at us. Being hit never entered into the equation. My guy was in danger and it was my job to make sure he got home alive -- end of story. I brought all my guys home...which has always been my proudest accomplishment.

For simply doing my job, I was gifted with a sizable collection of medals, ribbons, badges and insignia in my 12 years. A few of the ones they gave me, they took right back -- National Security reasons, they said. They promised the tokens of my Country's esteem would be returned to me one day. I didn't care.

I didn't do what I did for the specious metals, my Nation, my Commander-in-Chief, my Admirals, my Captains, the US Navy, or any of the families involved. I certainly didn't do it for the pay and benefits. For a dozen years, my teams, be they fellow recruits, trainees, Marines, or sailors, were the center of my life -- they were all that mattered to me.

That was probably the reason I was rootless. My only relationships were with the people in my immediate life. I made a lousy pen-pal. I really didn't care what you did when you left my life. I would remember you, but you'd been replaced on the team and my life went on. One day, a different guy came calling. I could have re-enlisted for another term -- technically I was still mentally and physically fit enough.

He offered me a unique job opportunity -- a chance to do new and (more) unusual things. I said good-bye to the Navy and joined up with the CIA. Six months later, I was killing people -- no uniform required. For two and a half years, I took lives and I saved lives. I was a damn good combat medic. If a person dropped into my lap, about to expire, I would save them.

Once, while operating in my cover identity, I was asked to join one of those bleeding heart NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations). I was told about how wonderful it felt to help out the less fortunate, the people truly in need (in his estimation) and all for a pittance (which was equally idiotic in my view, since I'd grown up poor and hated it). I responded with one question; "If a terrorist had a gun to a child's head, threatening to kill her (random gender generator) and he was behind the dude and had a scalpel, would he slit the man's throat?"

His hesitation was all the answer I needed. It reminded me of my oddness. I never understood people saying 'killing is wrong' and 'violence didn't solve anything'.

Violence and killing certainly solved a bunch of my issues. In the end, it made me rich too. Suddenly I had money. I was 33 years old without any biological relations I cared about, without a regular job I could talk about with...well, anybody; and I realized that from that point forward, I'd be doing the same thing over and over again until my luck ran out, or my warranty expired at age 45.

I'd never be happy as a real member of the CIA. The Special Operations Group (SOG), the unit I had been with for the last three years, were part of the CIA, but not in the same culture. An Analyst with a Master's degree in something useful went over the details and figured out that something had to happen to someone...and thousands of miles away, my little family made it happen.

I didn't know all the people who worked out that decision. I met a few from time to time, but I didn't care to know most of them. They had their jobs and their lives and I had mine. We surreptitiously intersected, which was fine by me. Then along came a Golden Opportunity ... equipped with a Golden Parachute, so I bailed. I had now found a regular job that I knew I would be good at and, after living half my life out of a suitcase, I had a physical location to call home once more.

It took all of six weeks before I was back to my old pattern. That bothered me. I couldn't tell if it was because I was subconsciously more comfortable living outside the bounds of polite society, or that I might actually have started caring for normal people...just for being people. I had no one I could talk to about this conundrum.

My Mother and Father had moved to Florida from Las Vegas six years ago. In all my years away, I had written them all of two letters and the second one was punishment duty given to me by my RDC (Recruit Division Commander -- the guy/girl who turns (wo)men into squids). My older sister was married to some schmuck living in Chicago with three kids I'd never met in person.

My oldest brother was dead, gunned down in Mexico...trying to save another person's life. Go figure. My other brother, also older than me, was still living with Mom and Dad. That fucker was 35 years old, had never held a job for more than six months, never lived on his own and his only noteworthy accomplishment was graduating high school.

{My Current Circumstance}

What did I have? Well, what I didn't have was my desired population of ONE living in my fortified hermitage sanctuary. What had gone wrong? For starters, I found myself giving shelter to two women. I hadn't even wanted a pet, much less something that talked back, or snored. I valued my privacy, my peace and quiet. My home had one small bathroom and one queen-sized bed in my roughly 1400 sq. foot bungalow. (It had been bigger, but I had made some security-minded renovations.)

Latest mistake first: there was 26 year old Dabney Curtiss who, three days ago, had been a cherished memory of my youth. Back then, I had been her makeshift guardian, a friend of her older sister Sammi, who was my age. She'd been a quiet squirt of a girl of 11, the last time I saw her...15 years ago. She had been a short, thin tomboy who thought I was great (there-by proving how young she was). I was her first crush.

Now she was searingly hot. She was what 'wet' dreams were made of. She was a high-priced call-girl; an elite sex-trade professional...or had been, before I beat up her pimp and brought her back to the attention of the Vice Lady of Las Vegas -- Circe.

The pimp, Pablo, was dead now. I hadn't seen him die, but I'd left him in the company of men who were equal to the task. They'd both hated Pablo and also had this crazy notion that I had influence in the Vegas criminal underworld.

Worrying about Pablo's resting place wasn't an issue for me. Before I left him, I'd also blown off his nuts, so continuing to live probably hadn't been a top priority for him...collecting his testicles had been. Sadly, the idiots I'd been temporarily allied with had been right. I did have a link to one of the Vegas Crime Lords and Ladies.

Yeah...back in High School, through no fault of my own, I had taken a knife wound meant for her chief lieutenant, her daughter - Reagan Cho. How had I ended up so unfortunate? I had stupidly saved another person's life even earlier...which folded into my OTHER God-damn problem which resulted from my first tragic deviation from my well thought out future.

That first guy I saved? His name was Ford Pharris and he was my age (now 33). I met his family: Lloyd Pharris, his monstrous, fucking-evil father (now 56), who I utterly despised; Wynn, his cute younger sister (now 31); and his step-mother- Georgianna 'G' Norquist Pharris (22 when I was 16, now 39) who was now back to being 'G' Norquist since her divorce two years ago.

I ended up accidentally buying the house across from the duplex that G had been renting and was being evicted from. I didn't know it was G when I chose to intervene -- it was a case of my not liking civilian law enforcement and I witnessed the two cops bullying the woman. My mouth opened and I blurted out an invitation for G to move in with me for absolutely no reason I could understand.

G had been a trophy wife for ole Lloyd way, way long ago. Age had been kind. G was smart enough to know her primary asset was her looks. Nature had been exceedingly generous (Lloyd would only surround himself with the very best ~ he liked buying people, then destroying them) and she rewarded Nature by taking meticulous care of her features and physique.

G was a statuesque, natural honey/amber blonde who tanned nicely and was a bit on the slender side (for my tastes), which accentuated her D-sized breasts. Sag? Sure. She was almost forty and the only elective work I'd known her to have was getting her smile perfected nearly two decades ago. In hindsight, I decided that I liked her then because she'd accepted her role as arm ornament for a creep ~ doing what was necessary to survive.

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