The Captain and the General
Twenty minutes after everyone left Arabella’s house, four machine gun jeeps with four soldiers each raced up into the front and back yards of her house. Soldiers poured out of the jeeps and they crashed through the doors, searching the house and ransacking it in the process. They assembled in the living room of the house and a soldier said to his captain, “The house is deserted, sir. We missed them.”
The captain scowled. “Burn it,” he ordered, walking out of the house as his squad torched the house. He stood next to the jeep in the back yard as men poured out of the house. Seconds later, flames began licking out the windows.
A soldier who had searched the yard approached the captain, saluting. “Sir, we have vehicle tracks behind the shed,” he reported. “I followed them out to the main road and it appears they were headed for the airfield.”
“Good work, soldier,” the captain commended. “Now, let’s move out!” The squad jumped into their jeeps and raced away. Within minutes, Arabella’s house burned to the ground without any fire company coming to put out the fire.
Early in the afternoon, the captain entered the General’s office to make a report. “Have you eliminated this maggot and his friends yet?” the General asked with a sneer as he stood with his back to captain, looking out the window.
“We have eliminated those who have been giving him support in the area,” the captain reported. “However, he and his doctor friend have eluded capture again. Reports from the neighbors say they saw him and the doctor leave with two strange men who are not from this area. One of these strangers was bandaged up with chest and head wounds.” The General’s temper began to flare. His countenance darkened as the captain added, “Reconnaissance from the airfield said they were ambushed in the hangar. Only one made it back and he was mortally wounded. He stated just before he died that he saw the trap door open and some kind of campsite set up in the hangar with high-tech perimeter alarms and sensor-operated machine pistols. Whoever these people are, they’re very well equipped. The soldier said that the machine pistols mowed them down before they could respond. He barely escaped.”
“Is that man dead?” the General hissed.
“Yes, sir,” the captain responded with fear rising in him.
“Good!” the General snarled. “That means I don’t have to execute him for incompetence.” The captain stood at attention as the General turned and circled around him like a lion ready to kill. “You missed your target, and my weapons cache is compromised. Is that what you’re telling me?” the General hissed.
“Yes, sir,” the captain replied, trembling with fear knowing his life was forfeit because of the bad news. The General continued to circle around him menacingly. He glared at the captain as he circled. Without warning, the General drew back and clubbed him across the jaw with the back of his hand, sending the captain smashing against the wall. He fell to the floor as the General moved with lightning speed, snatching the captain off the floor by the collar of his shirt and throwing him across the desk. The captain cried out as he landed on the floor behind the desk. He didn’t even have time to get up. The General once again reached down and picked him up, this time by the throat. The captain struggled, gasping for air as the General’s huge hand slowly constricted while he dangled two feet above the floor.
The General’s face turned beet red with rage, his veins protruding from his head and neck. “I will not tolerate this kind of incompetence,” the General roared furiously. “I told you to eliminate this man and his friends. And you have the gall to come in here and tell me that you not only missed him, but that foreigners have taken control of my weapons and gold and have wiped one of my best reconnaissance teams out! Those VX warheads cost me $100,000,000 and the spiders $20,000,000! What in the fucking hell did you think I was going to think! I’ve planned this for seven fucking years! I’ll be damned if I’m going to let this flea and his foreigner friends or some incompetent maggot mess up seven years of careful planning!”
The captain gurgled as his face turned purple under the General’s iron grip. His hands flailed weakly as the General raged. The General drew back with his other hand and viciously pummeled the captain several times across the face, splattering blood on the window. “Let this be an example to those who will fail me!” the General shrieked as he whipped the captain back and flung him through the plate glass window like a rag doll. The captain, who was nearly dead when the General tossed him, plunged to his death on the sidewalk four stories below the window...splattering his brains on the sidewalk from the impact. As the General turned around, a lieutenant who was part of the captain’s squad, burst into the room upon hearing the commotion.
The General glared at him and pointed at the lieutenant. “You’re a captain now,” the General snarled. “Gather my best men. I’m going to the airfield to finish this, personally! Now go!”
“Yes, sir!” the lieutenant replied instantly. “It may take a little while. Your best men are scattered around on various assignments.”
“I don’t want excuses. Get it done, or I’ll find someone who will!” the General hissed venomously.
“Yes, sir!” the lieutenant replied as he literally ran from the room to implement the General’s orders. The General stalked to the window and looked out. In the distance, he saw the smoke of Arabella’s house burning to the ground. “You have interfered with my plans for the last time, Mr. Morrison!” he snarled.