She woke up and hit her alarm clock before it went off. No reason to fall back asleep today, she knew if she was to get anything done she would have to head to the building early. It was part of the job she kept telling herself as she pulled on her uniform which she had thrown off right before she had taken a quick shower and then passed out on her bed only four hours ago. She wondered if she had gone the normal route in life if her life would be different, she knew it would have but would it be half as exciting? No, she knew it wouldn’t be. She would be somewhere in corporate America battling with suits for more funding instead of trying to make a real difference where everyday people had no idea of the dangers they were in. She was one of those who helped make sure they never really knew, for that she had given up her family ties, and a chance for a normal life, but it was worth it right? She asked herself daily that question as she came home at odd hours and most of all to an empty house. She hated to admit it, but she was lonely. She wanted something more then what she had, by her mid-twenties she had made a name for herself and she had thought that was enough, but her mind had other plans. She had then thrown herself more into her work even more, and that lead her and her team to where they were at now, war games. Every June the military selected its top elite teams, along with different ships, boats, and commands to participate in the event with other counties in basic simulations of a new world war. Her team had been selected for the second year in a row, an honor they told her when they gave her the news, she thought it was more of a headache than anything else. Today was the first day of training with their new team members which was two other elite teams, they were given three weeks to form a larger team then they would compete against other newly formed teams from different countries. She had already everything packed and ready to go so she grabbed her bag and made her way to the building she normally worked at to gather some resolve and possibly do some real work before everyone arrived.
When she got to the parking lot, however, her hopes were dashed as four vans were there and groups of men were piled around shaking hands and looking around. She sat in her car wondering if she should just go inside or go introduce herself first. Her team also began to arrive and went over to greet the others, was she supposed to be here now? If she was, she didn’t get the memo and then she began to wonder if the good ole boys club wanted to meet and greet first. She was slightly mad when there was a knock on her window. “You’re here early.”, her military counterpart said.
“Thought that I could get some work done before they arrived.”, she answered. “I didn’t know they would arrive this early.”
“Yeah about that. We wanted to break them in before showing you off.”, he replied.
“Show me off? Oh, for fucks sakes just say what you mean.”, she said as she grabbed her bag and got out of the car, “Wanted to have a meeting of the boys club.”
“Wait! Princess, I swear it isn’t that.”, he said as he tried to grab her arm which she dodged and walked into the building.
“Problems?”, a deep voice came from in back of him. He turned and was eye to eye with a set of deep red eyes looking at him, measuring him up.
“You have no idea.”, he replied.
“That is why we don’t have any females on our team. They disrupt the balance.”, He replied as he put out his hand, “Nobu.”
“Bryan.”, he said. “She doesn’t disrupt the balance she brings it. However being the lone female in a world of men she has doubts about her abilities.” They walked over to the larger group.
“Looks like her doubts can cause problems.”, Nobu said.
“She is the best at what she does, she doesn’t bring problems, she fixes them.”, Bryan replied. “but she is still her, sometimes that is an issue all in itself.”
“What do you mean?”, A new guy asked.
“Did you see her?”, Bryan asked as he began to laugh. ”Small, Smart, and beautiful not to mention daring as hell.”
“That sounds awful to work with, but fun to be around.”, another man said as he joined in the conversation.
“Once she warms up, you will see.”, Bryan knowingly said. “Let’s get you all inside and set up. It’s going to be a long day.”
Every one of the guys grabbed their gear and headed in the building. They went to their respective workspaces and began the setup. It was rather loud having the workspace invaded by thirty or so people who needed to know the layout of the building and its facilities. She was in her office looking over the reports that had piled up and noticed the men walking around the hallways. She kindly ignored the people and noise as she tried to focus on the report in hand. It wasn’t working as she mentally sized up each one as they passed when her phone went off. Need to talk to you, go to comm room. She knew who it was without looking at the number or name attached. She got up and started the way to the other side of the building to the main comm room. She hated going into the room because of the retinal scanner and had to hold open her eye. She took her time walking over there looking into the rooms as she passed.
“Where you going?”, Bryan asked.
“Comm room.”, she replied.
“After we have a briefing.”, he said.
“I know.”, she said as she moved on toward the room. In her wake, all the men stopped and looked at her. She knew that if she turned around, she would see it. She was used to it. The uniform she wore though never flattering to female figures did little to hide her body. As she had heard Bryan say more than once, she filled it out better then most. She didn’t even know if that was a compliment or not.
As she entered the comm room, she was slightly surprised that she wasn’t alone. There were four other newcomers already there. “Well hello, Princess.”, the face on the screen said. She knew the face well as it was a colleague and her mentor.
“Hey, boss. What’s up?”, she said as she glanced at the four others.
“I would like to introduce everyone, as you five are the core of the team. The brains behind the brawn so to speak. I expect that you all should work well together and help lead us to victory, again.”, He said.
“First, Jaehee Kang.”, he said, and she stood up., ”She is assistant to the red team. She will arrange for any equipment and supplies needed.” She was a rather plain looking woman who didn’t look the part of assistant.
“Second, Mitsunari Ishida.”, a smaller man who had amazing looks and purple eyes that she could see from where she was sitting. He smiled at everyone, and he looked like an angel who lost his wings. “He will be in charge of strategy. He is a quick study and will be in charge of changing anything while on the field.”
“Third, is Mack Ringbloom. A newcomer to our ranks.”, a mild-mannered fellow stood and looked around. “He is here to learn from all of you as is Tomiko.” Who also stood up. Again as she thought they were young and probably the rising stars in the field, to wit their replacements in a few years.
“Fifth, Princess here.”, She stood. “She is in charge of all medical and biohazard issues. I think you all will work well together with the support of your respective teams. Do not be afraid to ask for help from each other’s resources at this point and for the next six weeks, we are all one team. I will expect reports every three days on your progress. Let’s work together and some everyone why we are the best.”, with that, the screen went blank and they were left there staring at each other. She smiled at everyone. “IF everyone is ready we should get ready for the welcoming briefing at seven hundred.”
“Of course of course.”, Mack said as he got up along with Tomiko who was a step in back of him.
“Is your name really Princess?”, Jaehee asked.
“No. A nickname of sorts that stuck to my dismay.”, she said as she went up the stairs, “I’ll tell you the story one day.”
“I would very much like to hear it as well, Princess.”, she heard the soft voice of the wingless angel behind Jaehee.
“Of course Ishida.”, she said as she lead the way out of the large room.
“Did you have fun?”, a tall man walked up to Jaehee and asked.
“Work is not fun, Zen.”, she said as she moved on throughout the hallway.
“It should be.”, he called after her. “And you? Your name?”
“Just call me Princess, everyone does.”, she said.”Yours?”
“Well my lovely princess, I am Zen.”, he said with a bow.
“Okay then.”, the princess said as she continued on her way.
“Too much?”, Zen turned to Ishida and asked.
“I think so.”, Ishida replied.
“Damn.”, Zen said, “I wanted to make a good first impression.”
She had to chuckle at the conversation going on behind her as she went back to her office for a minute of peace before the briefing in a half an hour. The other members of her team were scattered helping the newcomers get set up. “Why are you not helping?”, Bryan asked as he poked his head in.
“Unlike you guys I have to still work and not just play with the new friends.”, she said.
“Well, that’s not fair.”, He said.
“I know, but life isn’t fair.”, she said, “Apparently I can do the job of about four people.”
“So that’s why you are stressed.”, he asked.
“Partly.”, she said as she looked up, “You know how I feel with newcomers. They don’t like females in the field.”
“You don’t know that.”, he said.
“I don’t?”, she replied. “I know better than anyone how these guys hate females in the field.”, she answered.
“Maybe they aren’t like that.”, he said.
“They are, but we will wait and see.”, she answered as she picked up the file again as he went back to helping around.
She looked at the time and went to the main conference room, and everyone was packed in the room. The building’s commander stood at the front. “Welcome to the beginning of War games.”, he said. She looked around the room and didn’t pay attention to anything after. Men everywhere with another female, just one. She looked at each newcomer and sized them up without even knowing what their induvial specialty was. This was going to be like no other game in the past, somehow she just knew that as she locked eyes with one of them from across the room. Definitely like no other, was the last thought she had during the briefing.