Bright and early Sunday morning. Sun's over the horizon, mist's boiling off of Foggy Bottom, and someone just shot the rooster in the !@#$ face.
Most other people are asleep, cursing their lot, or finding an excuse to avoid going to Church. But here at the Heptagon, we're starting the work week out with a mother!@#$ bang. Mostly because we don't have time for weekends with all the big bites we're trying to chew right now. But also because, if I don't get a weekend, then none of my Agents do, either.
First order of the day was to spend a couple hours with "Underman," today, in the hopes of getting him up to speed on how we do things in The COMPANY. A couple days of decent food and a bed that doesn't shock his fat !@#$ at random intervals has done wonders for his concentration, but he still doesn't seem to be getting it just yet.
It's not that I doubt that he wants to go straight (excuse the phrase). It's just that he's still too much of a licked dog to be of any real use in the field right now. There's too many weird pauses and moments when I can see he's wondering what he should say to avoid being smacked upside the head yet again.
This has the effect of making those moments when I do smack him upside the head less than satisfying, much less instructive. And, !@#$ it, I need people who can make decisions in a split second, and not worry about being smacked upside the head, or shot at, by yours truly, until the moment comes when I stick my gun up their nose.
"Act first, think later, explain yourself if you live" being what we tell people. That and "Learn to duck and when to !@#$," which is a little more complicated.
So, after some really embarrassing blubber-boy moments in which I thought he was going to flood the room with his tears, I realized that I was the problem. My presence, specifically, which led me to decide that it would be better if I just sat this one out. And, sure enough, once I went from active participation to mere observation, he stopped being a scared little boy trapped in a man's body and actually started showing some semblance of a backbone.
Which was !@#$ good, because the next class was everyone's favorite: "Grenades, Bombs, and Things That Go BOOM." And you do not want to be !@#$ing your pants in that one.
(Not until it's right and proper to be doing so, of course)
Instead, I had a few drinks over an habanero frittata with some of my veterans, as it was well past lunchtime by then, and went on down to the firing range to check out the latest group to make it through the grueling marathon that is Hell Month. I got five survivors this time, which is about right. We find that, if you take thirty wannabees and throw them into the chomping jaws of perdition, the dead weight and useless folks get shed off early, and the few who survive have become a cohesive unit.
A family, in other words. Brothers and sisters. Maybe a den mom or big daddy, too, depending on the dynamic, which is fine as everyone remembers I'm the daddy with the biggest !@#$ they're ever gonna meet.
Times like this, watching a new group come up and get this close to making it, I get a little wistful. I think about those of us who survived Camp Rogers, and then survived the War in Europe, or the Pacific. I think about the first few groups of recruits we brought in to make The COMPANY, after Korea, and how the ones who made it through the wringer became small knots of family and friends.
I think about how few of all those original groups are left, and get a little more wistful, so I stop that !@#$ cold by throwing a little extra fun into one of their final exercises. I take a fistful of tjbang sticks, walk down into the pit, and offer them the day off if they can knock my gay !@#$ down for a full minute without using any weapons.
Something about the way they look at me in almost unison, smile, and get to work makes me a happy man indeed.
(SPYGOD is listening to Right Here, Right Now (Fatboy Slim) and eating trainee fist)