Chain Of Command
General Vasquez looked out over the parade ground as there was a sharp knock at the door.
“Enter,” he barked out without turning his head, and the sound of heels clacking on the polished marble floor was followed by the unmistakable sound of feet coming to a halt.
“Lieutenant Harwell, reporting as ordered, sir!”
The General turned at looked at the young woman standing to attention at the other side of the desk. Five foot ten, with long curly brown hair pulled back and held in place with a pale blue scrunchy, she was dressed in the regulation Office uniform. A dark grey jacket and knee length skirt with brass buttons and uniform badges on the jacket, a pale blue blouse that was open at the neck, and a peaked grey cap.
“At ease, Lieutenant,” the General said, and Harwell stood at ease, with her hands behind her back. “Thank you for being so prompt.”
“You orders were quite explicit, sir,” she replied staring ahead the whole time.
“Lieutenant, I have an assignment for you, but it is being given in the strictest of security. I do not want you to discuss this with any of your fellow officers, nor are you to communicate with anyone else until the assignment is completed. Is that understood?”
“Sir,” Lieutenant Harwell called back. She was army through and through, and knew better than to question why and how orders were given from superiors.
“We need you to liaise with other officers from the forces prior to Brigadier Demetina’s arrival as to how we maintain the security of all participants in the visit. To that end, you are to proceed tonight to a secret venue, there to agree arrangements. It is now,” he said glancing at the clock on the wall, “Fifteen Hundred hours. Be back here for Eighteen Hundred hours with a bag for two days. Is that understood?”
“Sir, yes Sir!”
“On your way then, Lieutenant,” General Vasquez said. Harwell stood to attention, saluted and spun on her heels before marching out of the office.
As she left the base in her car, a man parked opposite the gates watched her driving down the road before speaking into a cell phone.
“It’s Harwell – get over there and start the plan off.”
Harwell closed the door to her flat behind her, and placed her handbag on the table. This was an honour indeed – to be given a task by General Vasquez. She couldn’t stop smiling as she walked down the corridor and into her room – which is where the smiling stopped.
“Come in, Lieutenant,” the dark haired woman said as she levelled the pistol at Harwell. Standing up from the bed, she was a good three inches taller than the officer, and Amazonian in her build. “Put your hands up, and come over here.”
Harwell sized up the woman as she walked over with her hands raised. She was wearing a white top with spaghetti shoulder straps, a short black skirt and dark heels. “Who are you?” She asked as the woman took her arm.
“Never mind that now, what’s your name?”
“Well, Samantha Harwell, I’m taking your place on that trip, so you had better do as I say. Take those shoes off.”
Realising her options were limited, Samantha kicked her grey shoes off and stood facing the intruder. She smiled, walked over to Samantha, and placed her hands on the buttons of her jacket.
“Let’s start by taking this off you,” she said with a smile as she slowly unbuttoned the uniform jacket. “Keep your hands where I can see them, Samantha, until I say so.”
“I don’t understand – you’re going to replace me,” Samantha said as the woman undid the last button. There was a sound in the alleyway, and she looked over towards the window.
“Don’t think that’s someone coming toy our rescue. IT’S just my partner making sure the doors are locked. Now,” she said as she slipped the jacket off Samantha’s shoulders and dropped it on the floor behind her, “take your blouse off and place it on top of the jacket.”
Trembling, Samantha undid the buttons on her blouse and started to take it off, revealing a black lace top over her bare breasts. The intruder couldn’t suppress a smile when she saw the see through lace.
“Very nice – but not exactly regulation issue, is it Samantha?”
“No,” she whispered, “it isn’t. What are you going to do about it?”
“Oh you’ll see,” the intruder replied with a look in her eyes Samantha didn’t like. “Drop the blouse and stand still for a moment.”
“So what is this all about?” Samantha demanded as she stood in front of the attacker.
“We just want to get the Brigadier to ourselves for a while, my friends and I, and you’re providing the perfect way to get into the place. Now, take off the skirt and let it drop to the floor as well.”
Samantha reluctantly reached behind her waist, and slowly let down the zip before allowing her skirt to drop to the floor. As she did so, the top was revealed to be a slip underdress, with a pair of black panties over her privates, which went halfway down to her knees. The intruder smiled an even bigger smile, whispered “I’m going to enjoy this,” and took Samantha by the arm, spinning her round so that the frightened officer was standing in front of her. She took hold of Harwell’s hair, and gently removed the scrunchy so that her curly hair fell around her neck and face.
“Enjoy what?” Samantha said with a tremor in her voice.
“Oh, you’ll just have to wait and see.”
Samantha looked over her shoulder at the intruder, who still held her gun in her right hand as she rubbed her left up and down Samantha’s arm. “Grab hold of your left wrist with your right hand,” the woman said, “and we’ll get started.”
Samantha stood quivering, but then the intruder took a length of cord and started to bind the officer’s wrists tightly together. “I’m not going to assault you, I just want to take your place” she said as she tied the rope off and unravelled a long skein that had been on the bedside table behind her.
Starting below Samantha’s breasts, she wound the rope around her upper body, above and below, so that her arms were held tightly to her side, then tied the rope off and passed the long loose ends under her armpit, up and around her neck, and back under the other armpit. Samantha realised that her arms were lashed too tightly to her side to allow her to move them, so she didn’t resist as she was sat on the bed and her ankles tied together, side by side, so that she was unable to move.
“Now sit still,” the intruder said as she placed her pistol where both women could see it. Taking off her top and skirt, she picked up the discarded uniform and started to put it on herself. Although she was taller, the uniform still proved a reasonable fit, with the skirt perhaps a little shorter than the regulations said on her.
“How do you expect to get past the guards?” Samantha said as the intruder sat down beside her and brushed the gun against her hair.
“Oh, I think I can manage that,” she said as she stood up. “The real question, Samantha, is how long it is going to take you to raise the alarm.”
“You don’t think these ropes are going to hold me forever, do you? As soon as you walk out of that door, I’ll raise the alarm, and you won’t get past the cafeteria block!”
The intruder smiled – a sign Samantha didn’t like. “Oh, I think you may have more trouble raising the alarm than you think, Samantha. By the time others here know what’s happening, I’ll be on my way with nothing to stop me.”
“What do you mean?”
The intruder put the gun down, opened a drawer on the bedside table and withdrew a large roll of duct tape. “I wanted to keep this a surprise for you,” she said as she tore a strip off and held it in her hands. “Pucker up, Samantha; it’s time to keep quiet now.”
“You can’t be serious – I won’t let you mfflll” Samantha tried to say as the tape was placed firmly over her lips. “Hush now, Samantha,” the intruder whispered as she pressed the tape down over her lips, then smoother it over the rest of her lower jaw. “I don’t want this to hurt you too much,” she said as she firmly pressed down on one side, and then pressed the other end down onto the pale skin.
Smoothing it down, she smiled she said to the gagged Samantha “That is going to keep you quiet for long enough for me to leave the base. In the meantime, I’m sure we can find something else to keep you amused, hm?”
Samantha tried to move her lips and jaw from side to side, and “u wnt gt wy wf ths” escaped from under the tape. “Oh, I think we need some more,” the intruder said as she smiled, tore a second strip off and smoothed it over the first. “There now – that’s much better,”
Standing up again, she took the helpless Samantha’s ankles and turned her round on the bed, before letting them drop. “Well, it’s almost Eighteen hundred hours – I’ll be on my way now Lieutenant. Have a nice night!”
Blowing Samantha a kiss, the intruder walked out of the bedroom, closing the door behind her. Samantha looked up as the door was closed, then started to thrash her legs around in an attempt to get her ankles loose.
Looking down, she tried to stretch her hands down to grab hold of her bounds ankles, but the chest ropes were holding her arms too firmly to allow her to reach enough. She spent the next hour or so flexing and trying to grab hold, but without much success. As the bugle sounded for 2000 hours, she started to call out in desperation. “Smbdy? Cn anbdy hr m?”
She turned her head to look at the clock. Just over tow hours since the intruder had taken her place – had she managed to successfully infiltrate the meeting? More to the point, what would the General say when he found out what had happened? She started to sob as the full ramifications of her position hit her.
The ropes were starting to rub against her breasts, and the sweat combined with the friction was making her feel very uncomfortable. She once again tried to wriggle round and try and get some purchase in the ropes, but with little success. Finally, exhausted, she allowed her eyes to close and sleep to overcome her tired body.
Samantha opened her eyes and was momentarily blinded by the light. As they adjusted, she saw General Vasquez standing there, with two MP’s on either side of him.
“Hlpm!!!” She screamed at the men, and one of the MPs peeled the tape away from her mouth.
“General, there’s an impostor at the meeting. You’ve got to……”
“It’s all right, soldier, she was caught at the meeting venue. Does the name Captain Ramirez mean anything to you?”
“Yes – he was my previous commanding officer. Why?”
“He was also at the meeting – but when he didn’t recognise Lieutenant Harwood, he contacted us and placed her under military arrest. Soldier – free Lieutenant Harwood and make sure the medics examine her. Lieutenant – when you’re passed fit, see me for debrief.”
“Sir,” Samantha croaked as she brought her arms round and rubbed her wrists.