Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday Snippet: Personal Involvement


Okay, I can't discuss Strike Back just yet, but I will say I love shows where NOBODY is safe. Speaking of no one being safe, Sons of Anarchy returns Tuesday and I'm ready to start marking the death toll. LOL

Now for something a little less morbid. J Tonight's post is from Personal Involvement and features one of my favorite angsty set-ups…personal involvement in the military and the fallout that smacks the characters in the face. J

Here's the tagline:

Tarin Glade gets caught up in a nightmare when she's brought before a disciplinary council for her personal involvement with a student who failed basic flight. When Ellis Spector, the brother of the complainant, speaks on Tarin's behalf, it rocks the foundation of his family—especially since the commandant who brought the charges is Ellis's father.

And a sneaky peek…

Ellis rose from his spot behind Tarin and strode to the docket. "Admiral Chekwick, Ellis Spector for the defense."
The admiral blinked and cocked his head. "Just a moment, Lieutenant Spector, you're here to give testimony on behalf of the defendant?" He shuffled the pages in the file folder. "But your brother is the complainant."
Ellis gave a terse nod. "Yes, Admiral."
Chekwick lifted a brow. "Care to explain that one, young man?"
Ellis heaved an inward sigh. "Sir, Ensign Glade, upheld her sworn duty. She recognized a lack of true commitment on Cadet Spector's part and wouldn't forward him on to the qualifications test." He paused. "She did this in spite of being under pressure from Commandant Spector to send his boy to earn his wings."
Ellis kept as much heat out of his voice as he could and prayed he'd succeeded.
The admiral studied Ellis. "You have strong feelings about this."
He made it a statement, but Ellis clarified. "I have strong feelings about my brother's life—which Ensign Glade saved by not passing him." He glanced toward his brother. "Regardless of the cost to her career, she wouldn't cave on her decision."
The admiral's mouth thinned to a straight slash across his face. "Lieutenant, are you daring to assume you know the outcome of this tribunal?"
Ellis shook his head. "Quite the contrary, Admiral. I'm speaking solely about the fact she'll suffer a black mark on her record whether she's cleared here or not." Ellis shot his father a direct look.
The admiral took notice. "Your old man has a lot of pull, Lieutenant."
Ellis nodded. "Yes, Sir, he does. And he's earned every bit of it." He stopped there, keeping his tone respectful.
The admiral's lips quirked. "He has. Let's hope he chooses to use that sway to the betterment of Ensign Glade's career instead of making it detrimental."
Ellis wanted to pump his fist in the air. Tarin would walk away from the tribunal free and clear. And the admiral basically laid it out for the old man. Don't screw with her—even commandants can earn black marks.
Checkwick asked an additional question. "Lieutenant, can you confirm, for the record, that the break-up between Ensign Glade and Cadet Spector has nothing to do with the flight qualifications?"
An unexpected turn, and possibly a tricky situation to avert. Ellis took a moment and gathered his words carefully. "If I may speak freely, Sir?"
The admiral nodded. "Go ahead, young man."
Ellis nodded toward his brother. "My brother entered Ensign Glade's class after they started dating. I can't state why he kept his enrollment a secret from her, but I can confirm she had no preconception he'd be there on the first day, and was, in fact, shocked to see him."
So shocked she'd all but dragged him out of the classroom to dress him down for not being where he should be.
Ellis continued. "From that first day, she informed Cadet Spector he wouldn't receive any kind of preferential treatment and would have to pull his weight or risk failure. I was headed for the classroom to wish Cadet Spector luck when I witnessed that conversation."
The admiral inclined his head. "Go on, Lieutenant."
Ellis finished his statement. "I can't, in good faith, say the break-up has nothing to do with the qualifications. I think it has everything to do with Eddie not being allowed to go forward. But he's the one who initiated the split—after Ensign Glade refused to sign off on his simulation scores."
Eddie stood up. "I never told you I'm the one who broke up with Ensign Glade."
Ellis prayed the admiral would take the opening provided.
The superior officer asked. "Were you, Cadet?"
Eddie realized his mistake too late. He had no choice but to answer truthfully or risk court martial for lying under oath.
Shoulders slumped, he answered. "Yes, Sir."
The admiral pressed forward. "When, exactly, did you inform Ensign Glade you no longer wanted to be in a relationship, Cadet?"
Eddie shot the elder Spector a sideways glance. "The same day Commandant Spector spoke with her and she refused to let me take the flight test."
Ephram rose, turned on his heel, and exited the room. Ellis had hoped for the reaction, wanting his dad to understand Eddie's deceit and put Tarin in the absolute clear. Ellis met the admiral's gaze, hoping the man understood why Ellis had taken some liberty with how he presented the facts. His old man needed to have his eyes opened and realize Eddie played both sides against the middle. And couldn't be allowed to do it anymore.
The admiral motioned for Ellis to be seated. "Ensign Glade."
Tarin rose from her seat and faced the admiral.
"The charges before me are hereby dismissed and you'll return to active duty at 0700 tomorrow morning." He lifted the gavel, ended the proceeding.
Ellis risked a glance toward Tarin. She kept her eyes ahead and shoulders straight even though she'd been cleared. Ellis admired the discipline she exhibited. So not her style, but maybe she'd learned a little something from tangled aftermath of dealing with his brother.
Once the admiral exited the room, Tarin turned and made her way to Ellis. "You're an idiot, but I can't thank you enough."
Ellis grinned. "Yes, you can. Have dinner with me then come to my place for movies and popcorn."
She chuckled. "A free meal and entertainment? How can I refuse?"
Ellis shook his head. "You can't. I'll pick you up at seven."
She laughed. "Make it five. I have an early day tomorrow."
He smiled. "Five it is." He started for the exit. "Carpathian seafood?"
Tarin nodded. "It's my favorite. And action movies. None of those lame comedies."
Ellis paused by the door. "I have an entire shelf of them. We'll go alphabetically."
He left to the sound of Tarin's peals of laughter.

Ahhh, seems like all is well, right? It's not. LOL But that's another post on a different day.

That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip.

ML Skye

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