When the Guns Were Turned On Us

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Chapter 16

Throughout much of his childhood and youth, Brian Vance had been a loner. Sure, the young, fresh-faced paratrooper might have played a bit of football or attended the odd party but, by and large, he preferred to do his own thing. Given the volatility of the situation they were in, the Paras were not permitted to go out to local clubs and drinking establishments. On their days off, they were allowed to tour around the city provided they did so without drawing too much attention to themselves. A history buff, Vance found a few things in the ranching and logging town of eighty-six thousand people that piqued his interest. He enjoyed exploring several old churches in Kamloops. The semi-desert climate of the area reminded Vance of one of the areas of the southwestern United States he’d visited while on training exercises such as Salt Lake City or Santa Fe, New Mexico.

It was a pleasantly warm spring day. Wearing a pair of beige cotton pants and a golf-style shirt, Vance walked past tense-looking residents along Nicola Street in downtown Kamloops. He was aware that several people of British descent lived in the city. As of yet, Vance hadn’t been the recipient of any hateful stares from the populace. Vance personally didn’t believe that the UN, and more specifically, the United Kingdom, had any business oppressing Canadians and Americans, though he was compelled to follow orders under pain of court martial, even death. Vance simply wanted to get his tour of duty over with. In a year’s time, he would be home in England. His goal was to leave the armed forces and go to university to become a history professor.

*****

Frank Carragher stood on the deck of the swanky two-storey house that had been seized from its previous owner in the affluent neighborhood of Westsyde. The house, which featured a fifteen-meter swimming pool, offered a picturesque view of the west bank of the North Thompson River, flanked on both sides by hills dotted with ponderosa pine trees, tuffs of grass, cacti and sagebrush. Other high-ranking members of the federal government, including Major Toombs, also lived in homes in the neighborhood.

Though he he’d excelled in his professional life, Carragher failed miserably in the few relationships he’d had with women. He had actually been married once-many moons ago. She was a somewhat hefty woman from the Maritimes who had worked in the same office as he did. Although she had many of the same attributes as Carragher, both of them were too focused on their careers, and thus the marriage ended. Although Carragher had always been bland and uninteresting-at least from the perspective of any woman he’d dated-he lamented the lack of female companionship in his life, or more specifically, a severe lack of sex.

When he was a teenager, Carragher attempted to date girls but was laughed at and ridiculed. His self-confidence destroyed, he turned to pornography, quickly becoming addicted. But now, at this stage of his life, he had been given a position that bestowed vast amounts of power upon him. The type of power that would enable him to get any woman he chose. In order to earn privileges, female detainees selected to sleep with him would have to do so or there would be consequences. It was a gratifying feeling to have this much power and control over others. It was something he had dreamed about his entire life.

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