Her caramel skin couldn’t save her. Her Master’s Degree in Computer Science couldn’t save her. The rank of major couldn’t have prevented this. The blue and white sheets that stretched just under her chin only served as a modest comfort blanket from the hell that she just went through. Her mind was afire. It was 4 AM. The lights illuminated. She looked down at her bracelet which read her name and blood type. She laid in a Naval hospital and watched as the nurse entered the room to check for vitals. Nurse Vivian stood at about five foot seven inches and walked over to her and spoke. Ophelia feigned sleep.
He stood there like a monolith. Black as a clump of rare earth elements. He stood at the position of attention. His camouflage uniform looked slightly shabby. Some parts seemed pressed and in order while great patches looked ruffled and unkempt. He rolled his sleeves tightly, though. Silence pervaded the room of about eight other junior Marines, privates and privates first class (PFC) mainly. The hatch to the place swung open and Staff Sergeant Henley, aged twenty seven, also blue black in appearance, stepped up to the young PFC standing at attention. This was PFC Cartwright. Tears streaked his dark skin.
Large oak desks presented newsmen and women the opportunity to sit like the panel on high and the individual sitting by herself. Dozens of tablets and digital recording devices and cameras surrounded the woman like animals’ eyes peeping out from the brush of the jungle. She wore a forest green colored suit with gold trim and a matching pillbox hat. She poured a glass of water from the large pitcher. It was chilled but had no ice in it. She breathed calmly, almost seductively. Her voluptuous figure caught the attention of the photogs who would sell her photographs for millions. The curve of her mouth said judicious. Her nose perceptive. And her eyes burned like lanterns in darkness. She moved the microphone closer. Her ebony skin matched the digital apparatus. The hearing commenced.
The heat of the parking garage enveloped the Marines. Lance Corporal Stevenson Swinton worked his biceps, his triceps, his tapezius, his core. Sweat dropped like shell casings from a M240. Other lance corporals and corporals operated in similar fashion. Every move remained swift and precise. The idea was to get buff, sure. But the real reason behind all of this lifting, squatting, pressing, and yes sweating was to be the best Body Bearers. Swinton dropped the two hundred and twenty five pound bar on the bench press. He looked up at his platoon guide. A smirk found its way onto his face.
“When I first got here,” Sergeant Pella Mansley said, “I thought that I was the hotness. My CO punched me in the chest.” The words chilled Lance Corporal Chorus Lessing like frost on a tombstone.
The building looked like any office space. Instead of cubicles, just a few desks and computers occupied the area. The corporals, Cortland Carras and Samantha Hillinger sniggered. Only to themselves, however. They dared not let the gunny or staff sergeant see them laughing at the uniform of the Marine that outranked all of them in the room. Master Sergeant Kent Kipton wore the same digiprint camouflage uniform as the others. He pressed it and affixed his insignia in the proper places. The only thing that caught the attention of the corporals was the master sergeant’s sleeves. They looked like two flat monster truck tires rolled up just past his elbow. They looked like two soggy donuts approaching his upper arm.