DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters. "The Magnificent Seven" belong to MGM and Trilogy Entertainment. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d be a happy woman if Vin belonged to me.....but no such luck. I have not made any profit out of writing this, so please don’t sue me. It would not be worth your while.
Travis studied the hard expression on Larabee’s face. The Colonel was seated in the General’s office in the leather chair across from his superior, his finger’s interlaced. Orrin couldn’t be sure if Chris was considering the request for Vin Tanner to join J Squad for a mission or not. It wasn’t a particularly dangerous assignment, but Vin’s accuracy and speed with a rifle, combined with his ability to track, would be invaluable.
Larabee pursed his lips and then in the low and calm voice Travis knew so well, declared, “No.”
“Chris, it would only be for one mission and...”
Travis couldn’t say he was surprised. There may be some who would question why the General didn’t overrule the Colonel, but they would be fools; for only a fool would question the decision of the best strategist in the country.
“Anything else?” Chris asked, rising.
“I said I would ask.”
Chris causally saluted and then spun on his heels, headed into the lobby, and waited for the elevator. When the door opened, Buck was inside pacing.
“I just heard. He’s not doing it?”
“No, Chris. Never again.”
Chris hit the button that would take them to the top floor. “What are you talking about?”
“I know you’re the Colonel and everything, but no!”
“Buck?” Chris asked.
Wilmington’s face was puce, and one vein was throbbing at the side of his temple. “Was talking to Mark. He said Vin was going to join them for a mission and…”
“I just spoke to Travis.”
Chris lifted his gaze, watching the number flashing; signally the rise to the Em7 floor. “I said, no.”
“I don’t care… oh? You said no?”
“I said no.”
Buck nodded. The colour in his cheeks returned to normal, the vein retreated, and he smiled. “Good.”
The doors slid to reveal the empty inner sanctum of Em7. “Where is everyone?” Larabee demanded.
“Vin’s here somewhere. Saw him come up ages ago. Josiah went to check out that thingamy. Nathan was delivering some paperwork to somewhere. J.D… he’s here somewhere, too. Not sure about Ezra.”
Chris grunted and strode across the open area that housed the men’s workstations and entered his office. Sitting, he scanned the space one last time via the wide window that afforded him view of his team, then opened the file on his desk and began to digest the report.
“I don’t want to be interrupted, Buck,” he called.
“No problemo.” With that, Buck withdrew to the kitchen to make a coffee.
At that moment, Vin, covered in a layer of sweat and with a towel around his shoulders, appeared out of the gymnasium. With a light knock, he entered the lion’s den.
Chris didn’t look up. “No.”
“It’s only for one mission. Marks said…”
“I can imagine what he said.” Chris turned the page.
“In Kat, I often used to help out other squads when…”
“This isn’t Kat.”
Colonel Larabee raised his gaze slowly. “B u t, Lieutenant?”
“Sorry, Sir.” Vin shook his head and retreated.
Chris gave a snort of consternation, watching his friend vanish into the bathroom. Lowering his gaze, he returned to pouring over the new regulations.
Ten minutes later, the elevator opened. Ezra strode from it and nodded a greeting to Buck, who was reading a magazine on aircraft, and Vin who was dictating a report.
Ezra sat, his brow furrowing thoughtfully. He glanced into the Colonel’s office and noting his leader was apparently busy, decided to postpone the point he wished to raise. Starting his computer, Em7’s liaison officer stared at the screen for a few moments, but recognising he would not be able to focus, headed toward Larabee’s office, knocked and entered without waiting for an invitation - something he usually would never do.
“Sir, I have misgivings.”
“About?” Chris murmured, his eyes not lifting.
“I understand the necessity to be flexible and that with the recent budget cuts, personnel are at the barebones. However, I believe there must be an alternative avenue for us to peruse. It is not for me to offer any dictum, and assuredly I would abstain from any such venture, however; I feel it is prudent that I disseminate my beliefs in this matter. To wit, should we enter into any repositioning of manpower, we will…”
Chris raised his chin. “Ezra, what the hell are your burbling about?”
“Burbling. Colonel Larabee, I assure you, I do not burble.”
“Not unless you’re worried. What’s put a bur under your saddle, Standish?”
“As I said, it is not for me to…”
“Just say it.”
“I don’t believe Vin should…”
Chris rolled his eyes. “I said no.”
“You said… Of course, you said, no. You have discerning judgement and…“
Chris pointed to the door. Ezra smirked, gave his leader a two-finger salute, and exited.
It was just before noon when Nathan and Josiah arrived. The pair exchanged a fortifying look and boldly entered Larabee’s office.
“Paperwork in order?” Chris asked Nathan, his eyes still tracking along each line of the report.
“You get what we need, Josiah?”
The pair waited. Both had their hands behind their backs standing in the ‘at ease’ position, though neither felt remotely at ease.
Chris looked up. “What?”
“We were wondering. Perhaps they may need an additional explosive expert.”
“And you can never have too many medical officers.”
Chris sat back. “I see. So, you two are keen to be transferred?”
“Transferred. No… just… come on, Chris. We can’t let him go on his own.”
With a snort, Chris returned to reading the report.
“I said no.”
“Sir, I would never normally question your orders but if you don’t allow us to join him, perhaps Buck could fly J Squad in.”
“No. Buck’s not going anywhere.”
“Then, what if Ezra…”
“Ezra’s not going anywhere.”
The men exchanged another glance.
“Vin’s not going anywhere either. I told Travis no.”
“Told you he’d say no. Told you Donaldson and Harris were full of hogwash.”
Happily, the two men left.
Chris shook his head.
Moments later J.D. knocked and stuck his head in through the door of Larabee’s office. “Colonel, I…
“For God’s Sake. I said NO!”
“Vin is not, you are not… Josiah and Nathan are not… NO other squad is pissing off with any member of my team!”
All in the outer area paused at the sound of Larabee’s raised voice.
J.D. stared at Chris bewildered. “You said you wanted curry for lunch. I just ordered it. Should be here in about ten minutes.
Chris blinked. “Oh.”
“Did you want me to cancel it?”
“I can if you want me to.”
“I don’t mind, Sir.”
“If you don’t feel like curry I could…”
Chris exhaled in defeat. “No.”
You can drop me a note here.
© June 2022 Aussie Lass. : This relates only to the creative property in this story. The distinctive way the story unfolds, the specific dialogue and unique situations are mine. I acknowledge that some of the characters and settings belong to the owners of "The Magnificent Seven" and I thank them sincerely for turning a blind eye so I can borrow them. (g) No infrigement of copyright was intended and no profit has been made from this story... so, please don't sue me. It wouldn't be worth your while.