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Prep
#1
Michael's plans played out around Torri. Their mission had been to plan for contingencies. The cover had been that these contingencies would be of the mainstream medical emergencies, but Torri knew better. She had higher clearance than what Michael could access. More than once over the last few weeks she'd considered sharing everything with him, but something held her back. Call it intuition. Whatever it was, she'd adapted a few details in his plans to make room for sicker individuals than the typical bioterror attack.

Arriving in Mecca brought back memories. Unless counting 3d map simulators, she'd never been here before, but then again, the airstrips all looked alike, right? They'd taken her to the city's base as a place to work until the Ascendancy himself arrived. It was a fine enough operation. Her job could have been a lot more hellish but most of the work was already completed before her vehicle pulled up. The tension was thick, though. Like battening down the hatches. Torri didn't blame them. They prepared for the worst and hoped for the best. What kept her lips down turned was the realization that they actually hadn't prepared for the worst, because they didn't know it existed. . .

. . . but she did.
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#2
It had been a long time since Jacques had set foot on CCD territory. As a lad, he had gotten to tag along with the old CEO and his crew during a few of their past business trips, but generally speaking members of Légion Première were often seen as possible terror threats by the various CCD law-enforcement agencies.

There once was a time when someone like himself wouldn't even be allowed into the ancient holy city, but as with so much else, that had changed under CCD jurisdiction, although one look at the news clearly illustrated that that change was not well received by some. Of course, fanatics would use anything as an excuse. That was one thing that hadn't changed about the Middle East. No shortage of fanatics and crazies.

Years spent in northern Africa had acclimatized him well to what he would encounter in the former Middle East, and as such his fine suit didn't have the deep sweat stains of most foreign businessmen. An impressive feat, considering the staff car of Légion Première, a refurbished and lovingly maintained 1941 Citroën Traction Avant, in a stylish (and heat absorbing) black, did not have air conditioning.

The car and it's pair of escort vehicles (unimaginative black SUVs) all sporting Moroccan license plates, pulled up to and were soon cleared into the CCD military base. It was an unusual place to have to go to fill out the proper paperwork, but in light of the local climate, it was less of a surprise. The military was playing a slightly more direct role in issuing work permits to private security companies. And Jacques needed those permits before he could finalize a pair of very lucrative contracts.

The three vehicles pulled to a stop, and Jacques swung his own door open and stepped out, adjusting the military-style collar of his white suit jacket, which was left casually unbuttoned. Eight men piled out of the two SUVs, each casually dressed but sporting older model Landwarriors and all with less then subtle body armour and chest rigs, with ballistic helmets and masks left on their seats. Their weapons were stored at the base check point's lockup for the time being, to be retrieved on their way back out.

"Kit down men, we shall be here a few hours."
Jacques walked over to the SUVs, but half way there turned on a heel and returned to his car, after one of the armoured men tossed him two bottles of cold water.

"Don't worry about us, Sir. We have A/C."
Provost Boipelo even went so far as to cup his hands and blow into them as if to try and warm them up. The men shared a laugh but shrugged out of their vests and armour anyway, before they were waved off to a nearby shaded area where they could wait.

Part way back to his staff car, he was joined by another one of his men who had been riding with him. A clerk, the man knew his numbers and how to do paperwork and administration well, making him an obvious choice to ride shotgun on this meeting. "Well, Caporal Ime, this should be very dry I fear. Here is to hoping you live up to your name, yes?"


The young clerk glanced at Jacques then smiled and nodded, tucking a briefcase under his arm and accepted one of the water bottles, "Of course, Sir. Patience is my virtue."


Jacques nodded and the two followed a junior CCD officer who had come out to meet them.

---

Three hours later, Jacques and Caporal Emi were led into the officer's mess, which was doubling as a VIP lounge. They were still being led around by the same junior officer, a man who seemed less then pleased with having been tasked with 'babysitting' civilians.

"Sous-Lieutenant Zhenya. Would you happen to know where a man can find a good cup of tea around here?"
Jacques glanced at his watch; the very one he had won in a poker game a few years ago, and probably worth more then the 2nd-Lieutenant earned in a year, and shared a nod with Caporal Emi. 1600hrs was a traditional time for tea and a snack.

The young Russian man managed to hold back any unprofessional displays of emotion, then indicated vaguely towards a coffee bar to one side of the mess, "There are tea bags and water there, sir. And it is 'Second Lieutenant,' not 'sous.'"


Jacques chuckled and gave the young man a clap on the shoulder, "Not everyone has given up the language of their birth, leytenant. And not all have embraced bagged tea."
He frowned at the cardboard boxes of generic store-bought teas that were provided, then glanced to Caporal Emi. "Luckily, we brought our own, yes?"


The African man smirked and set the briefcase down on a nearby table, and clicked it open to reveal a jar of proper black tea. "Unfortunately, Sir, I could not fit any proper cups. The Custody's demands of paperwork are quite extensive."
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#3
DNA molecules streaked across the air over Torri's desk, glowing like little hologram shapes. Her fingers swiped two pairs of code forward, one above the other. The data all came from their servers back at the Facility. The system worked beautifully back there, but of course out here in the bloody desert it meant it could barely load let alone focus in on a string of polymorphisms, tiny little differences between the genetic structure that should have little impact on the encoded proteins.

She slumped back in her chair and realized the clock about the time a knock sounded on the office door. She shared the room with the base's MC, Captain Taggart, who for all purposes appeared to be Torri's equal. The two may share the same pay grade, but as Torri rubbed her shoulders and flatly examined the flickering DNA code, she envied Taggart's menial job. What she wouldn't give to stick vaccines in a hundred arms lined outside the building.

"Come in."
She said, stretched and started to rifle through the cabinets behind her. The metal doors sealed off basic supplies: boxed up cotton, sterile swabs and the like, but it was also where she stashed her tea cup and saucer. Everyone in medical corps learned early-on to lock away anything that matters on base, and since she didn't have an office of her own, stashed behind extra jars of enema lubrication waited a pale white saucer and matching cup.

"Dr. Weston,"
she turned at the sound of her name. A public health nurse technician was in the door. For the life of her, she couldn't remember his name. He continued.

"Sorry to interrupt, but there's a bill of permit for a merc group applying for Custody approval. Dr. Taggart is stuck in surgery and asked if you have time to go over their records. Major Dobowski wants them off base asap."


Torri's shoulders sank, and she nodded. Taggart's "surgery" was a run of the mill knee-replacement. It should take him half an hour at best, but she didn't blame him skipping out on this kind of shit. It was boring as hell. She locked the screen. She might as well make herself useful. "Load the applications and I'll be there in a few minutes."
Maybe the thing would be fully visualized by the time she was back.

On her way to the lounge, she stopped to take care of important business. It was tea time after all, and a woman had standards. So by the time she graced the foreigners with he presence, she'd skimmed their application on the mil. grade secure Wallet now nestled in the pocket of her physician's white coat. It was hers rather than Taggart's, thank God. His would have fit her about as well as a kid throwing a sheet over their head at Halloween. This was tailored to fit at the waist and fell only a few inches shy of the skirt of her uniform. The matching jacket she wore only for dress-occasions; one of which was not today.

She walked in balancing the saucer in one hand and fingers of the other curled through the cup's handle. A 2LT was posted at the door looking irritated. She shot him a glare upon entering, and he smoothed over well enough. Good. She hid an accompanying smirk. Taggart kept a tight ship (figuratively speaking of course) around here. Torri had no intention to mess with the mood. Besides, try working in the Kremlin.

Over the rim of her tea cup filled with a deliciously warm swirl of herbs and leaves, brown as her eyes, she noted with no shortage of amusement that the applicants enjoyed their own with not but Styrofoam cups. A magic marker lay untouched on the middle of the table.

She placed hers aside. It was steaming hot, after all, and she intended to take her time enjoying it during the course of the interviews.

"I'm Dr. Victoria Weston,"
she announced and offered to shake hands with the representatives of the Legion Premiere. Her accent was crisp and educated, but thinned compared to her British parents.

"I'll be the one to sign off on the public health approval of your permits. I was just looking over your medical records for the members of your Company."
She shook her head like she was unimpressed and returned to the other side of the table. They could sit opposite her, conference room style. Or they could stand. It didn't matter to her either way. She made the gesture none the less, "Gentlemen."


"I'll need to run your company's records through the appropriate databases to look for red-flags. This will require a transfer of information on every individual's birth records, vaccinations, exposures, blood works, DNA analysis, urine, prostatic and fecal tests. Also genetic analysis of flora harvested from colonic, genital and integumentary tissues. fMRI and imaging analysis. And of course any and all hospitalization records since the inception of The Sickness."
She unfolded the Wallet screen from her pocket, sounding bored, and studied their reactions.

"Understand gentlemen. You're applying for more than work VISAs, and its my job to take the health of the public and service sectors very seriously. Any aspect in which I am not appeased and your permits will never see the light of day."


She quirked a little smile, but when Torr sipped from the tea, she winced. Damn thing was already going cold. How hard was it to get insulated ceramic around here?


Edited by Torri, Jan 1 2014, 04:54 PM.
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#4
Jacques sipped his tea with mixed feelings. The quality of the beverage was above par, as he had come to expect of Caporal Ime, but the texture of the Styrofoam cup was entirely unpleasant. And as much as some might say otherwise, he was certain he could taste the chemicals leaking into the tea.

Just as he was about to ask the 2LT when they were going to start the next phase of the paperwork when a woman entered the officer's mess. Jacques was not exactly subtle when he gave the woman a good head-to-toe. There was something to be said of a woman in a well tailored uniform. Seeing how quickly Zhenya sharpened up when she shot him a look, Jacques quickly diverted his attention to his own cup of tea, lest draw the woman's ire too quickly.

"Jacques Danjou. This is Caporal Ime. He is currently acting as chief clerk for Légion Première. Capitaine Joubert is on paternity leave at the moment."
He shook her hand, as did Caporal Ime, before they all took their seats at the table.

The Corporal set the briefcase on the tabletop beside himself, and flicked it open to reveal sheaf's of paperwork. Naturally, there were digital copies of everything, but even in this age folks still insisted on physical copies of some things. Included were 250 signed release of information forms. Jacques hadn't lined up enough work for the entire company to start working in the CCD, but a good quarter of his men were looking forward to their first jobs outside Africa since the company's inception.

The two men sat in silence as Dr Weston went over her list of requirements of them. Jacques payed close attention the entire time, sipping his tea occasionally while it was still hot, while Corporal Ime referenced a notepad with pen in hand, putting a tick next to each item as she listed it. Naturally, they had come prepared.

"We understand perfectly, Dr Weston. We hail from the Dark Continent, after all."
The two men chuckled; Africa was still popularly seen as a backwater, rife with unrest, disease, poverty and war. Of course, most stereotypes had their origins in truth, and this one still wasn't far off.

"Caporale Imes can provide you with medical records on the members of Deuxième Compagnie."
The 2nd Company had been restructured recently, such that most of the 250 men originated from some of the more stable countries Africa had to offer, which would make things easier regarding to going through their records. It was a necessary decision, because although language was not much of an issue in Légion Première, DV was not the sort of place that looked to be very forgiving of mistakes.

The clerk set five file folders containing the signed forms onto the table, each clearly marked by country and the papers there-in were stacked alphabetically. With each file-folder came a post-it note bearing URLs and passwords to access Légion Première's online database, where most of the records she sought could be found.

"This should meet your requirements, ma'am."
He set another file folder out, separate to the other five, "The men we are currently seeking clearance to take up contracts in the CCD are isolated in our headquarters in Casablanca. This lists their current diet."


"I understand that this process is going to be time consuming, Dr Weston, but there is a high demand for private security firms in the CCD at the moment. As such, I am doing what I can to make this process as painless as possible. I've no doubt you have no shortage of work on your plate, but I assure you, my company will do everything we can to cooperate and lighten the load."
He finished his tea and frowned at the cup, then shook his head when Corporal Ime offered a refill.

"And of course, the longer this takes, the larger the bill will be for the men's trip to McDonalds, Sir."
Cpl Ime chuckled and sealed up the briefcase, having set out what was required from within. "An inside joke, ma'am. Mr Danjou has offered to purchase the men McDonalds once on CCD soil."
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#5
Jacques Danjou. The name rang a bell, but Torri couldn't place why. She dismissed the little voice of intuition. It'd probably come back to bite her in the ass later, but she was probably more strung out than she'd realized. Unfortunately, she was out of tea.

She pushed the cup and saucer aside in exchange for the introductions. Corporal Ime and his briefcase didn't get much more than a glazed over examination from Torri, at least not while he and his boss slapped the ball back and forth between their courts.

It was well and good for them they understood the bureaucracy because there wasn't much Torri could do for them otherwise but toe the lines expected of her. She'd think there'd be perks to being transferred into and heading up an entire core of a secret government military facility, but those kinds of things just came with more greater repercussions for failure rather than an actual increase in authority.

Jacques' comment about the Dark Continent tugged a pessimistic smirk out of her, though. The CCD's presence on African soil was enough that she very easily could have been there alongside them during her tours in operational medicine. Instead, she was sent to the other dark continent, South America.

This should meet your requirements, ma'am." He set another file folder out, separate to the other five, "The men we are currently seeking clearance to take up contracts in the CCD are isolated in our headquarters in Casablanca. This lists their current diet."



Between bored blinks, she pulled the file closer, but didn't look into too many details. She wondered whether the data had finally loaded back at her desk. Even now ideas crept into the back of her mind, she was onto something she couldn't quite track yet. She had samples from dozens of nations all around the world, including french districts.

She folded her hands across the file and thoughtfully watched Jacques' lips as he followed the corporal. The accent flowed like warm honey, heavy and sweet. He was certainly french. A french tongue, a french throat. Hell, even his smile was absurdly french.

She was already medulla deep in the information on her Wallet during the unfortunate mcdonald's joke. Information she'd opaqued from the opposite side so they couldn't spy on her screen.

She was tapping away, moving files, pulling up keywords, and searching for Jacques' personal records, and although she didn't look up, Torri managed to acknowledge the inside joke with flat disapproval. "McDonalds? Either you're into playing Russian Roulette with cancer or you're a cheap-skate, Mister Danjou. Did I say that right?"
She looked at him long enough to wink, and returned to ultrasonic keystrokes.

There he was. Jacques Danjou. The age was right. The ancestry was right. Practically every single demographic she could hope for, all of it right. Best of all, he was a long time resident of a continent isolated from his genetic home.

A last keystroke and the screen collapsed. The infrared keyboard disappeared. She looked Jacques dead in the eye. "It seems one thing is missing from your particular paperwork Mr. Danjou. I'm going to need to draw some blood."
That thing had nothing to do with his permits, but had everything to do with her piss poor polymorphism samples. Won't be piss poor for long.

She stacked the files and pushed to her feet, nodding, yes, right now. "If you'll follow me?"
She slipped the device back into her pocket and tucked the rest of the files under one arm.
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#6
Mecca was a city of faded glory. Consumed by the former Saudi Arabia and now the CCD, the birthplace of the great prophet was nothing but a memory of grandeur.

Michael sat at his desk - filled with notes both written and digital - with a worn copy of the Quran that his local specialist Al-Shakir had procured from one of the more fervent supporters of Al-Hasan. The book had furious markings and notes in Arabic; the important ones translated by Shakir. The CCD main force didn't like Shakir's presence, but Michael had found the quiet man an invaluable resource. Revenge often begot the greatest loyalty, and Shakir was filled to the brim with vengeful rage, despite his mild countenance.

It was hard reading though, particularly when he was interrupted ever hour with status reports. He had 200 soldiers in the fortified base-camp awaiting the arrival of the Ascendancy, each one chosen for their composure under pressure and strict discipline.

However, he also had an additional 200 consisting of the best Vega had to offer who were positioned throughout the city in - for lack of a better word - disguise. All 200 had top of the line chip-communication devices 'installed'. He did not know the specifics, but it allowed for discreet communications - without traceable signals or the need for verbal communication. The monitor the chips were hardwired to would receive constant reports on the subject's health along with quarter hourly reports from the soldier's themselves. Base would be alerted immediately if the subject's vital signs showed any noticeable change, and a team would be deployed to investigate.

A precaution Michael found galling, but wise nonetheless. The information and critical positions could be the difference between life and death, a possibility he was growing more sure of every day as the Vega team displayed it's efficiency.

"Sir?"


"Yes?"
he replied while he placed the book face down on his desk and turned to address the soldier. He did not recognize the woman, but he recognized the insignia of the White Knights.

Interesting.

The woman's short black hair was pasted to her forehead with sweat and her reddened face was clearly not pleased with the situation, as he had found most of the special operations teams had been. "A group of soldiers calling themselves the Légion Première have contacted Dr. Weston and offered their 'services'."


The name piqued his interest, but he showed nothing in front of the woman, merely studying her face.

After a moment she cut eye contact and cleared her throat. "I was instructed to report anything unusual to you, Sir. Do you have any...orders?"


The last was dragged from her reluctantly. A dangerous hesitance if she and others like her would hesitate at a critical moment.

Michael hardened his expression and his voice was cold in the void that embraced him as he seized the power. "You have done your duty, soldier. I am fully aware of the orders I gave, I don't need reminding."
There was no malice or heat in his voice, only ice.

He had no authority over Dr. Weston excepting military emergency, but he would expect anyone to keep an eye on his own actions on a mission of such importance. As it was, he was inclined to trust in Dr. Weston's judgement - she was likely a far better soldier than he would ever be, and had the authority to bypass him in any case - but he could not let appearances slip. If word got out that Dr. Weston was recruiting soldiers without consulting the commanding officer of the mission the resentment may turn to open insubordination.

"Bring their commanding officer to me as soon as Dr. Weston has finished with him, to discuss the deployment of his forces. Dismissed."



The White Knight gave him a sharp salute and left, at which point Shakir decided to speak. "The Légion Première? I have heard of them, they could be useful. But I wonder why they are here now of all times."
He gave Michael a small smile revealing a row of gleaming teeth. "You handled the situation well, I could almost believe you expected their presence."


Michael released the power with reluctance and resumed his study of the Muslim text. "We will see. In the meantime, tell me what you know of Al-Hasan's 'miracles'."

Edited by Michael Vellas, Jan 7 2014, 10:31 PM.
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#7
Jacques laughed at that; of course he was cheap! "Yes yes, quite right. Impressive for a Brit."
He grinned at her teasingly, "What is it the Yanks say? Beans and bullets, yes? I am a businessman, Dr Weston. It is my job to pinch the pennies where I can. And the men, cooped up in the barracks on a ration plan? They were the ones who asked for McDonalds. Who am I to argue?"


If he wasn't far off the mark, there were some impressive gears spinning in the lovely doctor's head as she studied whatever information her Wallet was displaying. And, assuming he was indeed correct, those gears had something to do with himself. He was certain she was eyeing him...and not necessarily in the fashion he was used to. More...clinical. Which made sense; she was a doctor after all.

Barring some sort of clerical error on the CCD's part, he was quite certain that his paperwork was in order. Just what was her game?

Jacques stood with her, as did Corporal Ime, who tucked the briefcase under his arm. "I will wait with Provost Boipelo and the escort team, Sir."


"Good man, Caporal. I will join you once the good Doctor here has had her way with me. Luckily for you Dr Weston, I am not quite so squeamish around needles as some of my men."
He nodded to the Corporal before 2LT Zhenya moved to escort the Légion Première clerk back to the vehicles.

Jacques circled the table to make haste after her, his Styrofoam cup deposited into the trash bin on the way, "Lead on, Doctor, and I shall gladly follow. It would not due that I be unable to work in the glorious Central Custody Dominion alongside my men."
He gave her a friendly smile and a hint of mischief in his eye; his comment was, of course, double edged. He would follow willingly both because she was a lovely woman and because he did not wish to leave his men alone working in the CCD.
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#8
She held the door open long enough for Jacques to catch up. He sure laid it on thick. Torri wasn't sure if she was offended or not. Damn. When was the last time she'd had a date, anyway? Yes. Maximilian. She smiled dryly. She really should get out more. That's it, she told herself. Once back in Moscow and she was going to have to spend some time somewhere besides places that needed a blood sample just to enter. If only to practice talking to normal people. Ah fuck, who was she kidding? Normal people were bloody boring. It was still worth an effort, though. A mild effort. There was something to be said about a soft couch, jumbo-sized bottle of wine and your favorite cat. I should get a cat.

It was of course an insanely twisted labyrinth of halls and stairs that took them from the Mess to a phlebotomy suite, which was way off in the most usual and efficient of places, of course. A swipe of the badge later, and technicians looked up when they entered. She was given enough recognition that they got out of her way, but otherwise there wasn't much in the way of chit chat. After all, Torri was not resident GMO, just another face brought in for the Ascendancy's journey.

"Have a seat,"
she gestured at an old-school plastic chair. There was a arm that raised and lowered in front of it, blocking the would-be victim in place. And providing a suitable place to splay out one's arm. "Don't worry, I'll leave you enough to walk out on."
She said, dry sense of humor twisting.

She spent a few minutes uploading information into a screen on the wall, but only after diverting the patient records away from the usual files. Jacques wasn't the usual soldier, after all, and his samples belonged elsewhere than the usual mountains of data. When she turned back, bar codes were engraved on a quartet of tubes. Might as well overestimate how much she wanted. Jacques was lucky she didn't ask for a CSF sample. Actually..

It might have been a few years since she'd done a standard venipuncture, but the reason she rummaged for the gear was due to lack of familiarity with the room than lack of practice. It probably filled Jacques with all kinds of confidence.

Soon enough, she was seated across from him, gloves on, tubes ready, and tourniquet in hand. She met his eye to see if he was ready. Might as well make the ever dreaded small talk while doing the deed. Bedside manner and all. Besides, she was curious about something. "Alright, Mister Danjou,"
she repeated the correct pronunciation of Frenchy's name. "I can see why you ditched Frenchland, but let's hear your story for why you went to Africa to begin with."
She looked up from soaking a cotton ball in alcohol.

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#9
Jacques wasn't five steps into the lab area before he could be found curiously leaning over one of her co-workers shoulders to take a peek into a microscope. Of course he was quickly shoo'd away and he turned to face Torri again grinning ear to ear as if nothing were amiss. At the end of the day, he wasn't suspicious to the point of worry, but he was still quite certain she had some hidden reason to want a blood sample from him. Why that was still eluded him, however. If she wanted to spend more time with him, she seemed the type confident enough to just say so.

"A seat? Ah, excellent."
He stepped over to the chair while flicking loose the few buttons of his coat and shrugging it off. His dress shirt was relatively sweat-stain free, a sure sign that he was indeed rather used to the heat, and rather then just rolling up his sleeve (which would likely cause unsightly wrinkles), he just unbuttoned it as well and carefully draped shirt and coat over a nearby rolling chair.

Beneath that he wore a simple white tank top, but more importantly above that was a light, flexible bullet-resistant vest. Next generation sort of stuff, all strange black scales over a thin polyurethane gel. The body armour of choice of rich CEOs everywhere.

Without his jacket and shirt, it was readily apparent that not only was he no stranger to the gym, favouring endurance over raw power. His upper left arm sported a simple black tattoo of the old Foreign Legion's emblem, the grenade and flames, the words Ad Unum (To the end) inscribed beneath, in honour of the long disbanded Foreign Legion's 1st Regiment.

With his arm bare, he slipped into the seat without causing any further trouble (for the moment, at least), and shot her a comically hurt grin, "I was a boy when my father moved to Casablanca, so my memories of the Fatherland are with rose tinted glasses. The food! Ah the food was...magnifique, of course! Not like that boiled, tasteless slope you dreary islanders love so much."
He grinned again; he was just teasing, of course.

"Now as to why we moved to Africa? We were once of la Légion Etrangère, the Foreign Legion of France. Our former CEO and some interested parties moved mountains to have the 1er Régiment étranger moved to Morocco and formally disbanded, and the CEO formed Légion Première after purchasing the old equipment and base from the French government, of course."
It was all rather matter-of-fact for him; while the event hadn't seen much coverage in the news in light of the pending absorption to the CCD, the entire thing was executed perfectly. No laws broken, and only a few toes stepped on to make it happen.

"Twenty years later, Légion Première is now one of the most highly sought private security companies in all of Africa. By maintaining the traditions and discipline of the Legion, we are not some pathetic collection of money-grubbing 'Alpha male' ex-military adrenaline junkies that form so many other companies. Legio Patria Nostra, the Legion is our Fatherland."
He watched her work, nodding approvingly at times as if impressed by how easily it all came to her. A doctor in their element wasn't so far off from a soldier going through rifle drills really. It was all rote movement, muscle memory.

"And you? What brings a dour Brit all the way to the Middle Eas...sorry, to Dominance five?"
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#10
Jacques was quite the character. The tech that shoo'd him away from her scope shot Torri a look that said she thought much the same. Then the woman excused herself, but not before taking one last look as he stipped out of his shirt. Torri empathized. During her own med-gen residency, she got used to seeing no more of a patient than their DNA.

The routine of the blood draw went as well as she'd expected. Jacques veins were plenty hydrated, even in the bloody desert. His jibe about their food made her smirk about the time she popped one full vial out for the next.

The Foreign Legion of France sounded vaguely familiar, but Torri knew nothing about them otherwise. It certainly explained why his family ditched France, and gave her a more robust story to pair with the results of his blood tests. Soldier father. Don't know about the mother. While the vial filled, she briefly studied the tattoo. At least he's dedicated. Maybe a stool sample too.

Vial filled, she swapped it out for yet another. It was definitely overkill. She had a device in one pocket of her labcoat that could match DNA identity to the CCD corps database with a couple drops of blood. The technologies capable these days made her head spin sometimes. Throw in the supercomputing power of the Facility's biostat analyzers, and she could work herself blind pouring through all the data. Four vials might raise a few brows here in the middle of the bloody desert, but thankfully, she had that fancy chip in her badge that pretty much told everyone to shut up and leave her alone. At least when it came to med corps duty. Hopefully the gossip around the laboratory focused more on Jacques' physique and goofy grin and less on Dr. Weston's unusual sampling requests. Playing word games with Michael just sounded exhausting.

"Some helpful advice: if you're going to walk around the CCD, you should learn the lingo.
" She offered. "Middle East, Europe, the Far East, whatever. Those are all fine, but don't let anyone with one of these,"
as her hands were otherwise occupied, she cocked her head toward any one of the CCD's patches on her arm, "hear you talk about Saudi Arabia."
She smiled a tad to ease the tension. She'd not turn him in for the slip, which had the potential to come with a hefty fine. More so than the McDonald's bill would cost him.

Finally. Three deep red vials were laid in a row, which meant she popped on the fourth and final.

"My father enlisted after the absorption. Most of what I remember growing up came from base life in the wonderful world of South America. My dad is Colonel now, in Mexico. Probably waiting for the day the USA goes belly-up. My mom's a nurse for base families."
Army dad plus nurse mom equals army doctor Torri, right? At least it explained why her accent was a little diluted.

"I was shuttled to Moscow not long ago, and am here for the festivities."
She was sure he'd know which ones she reference. Otherwise, there wasn't much more she could say about them. She shrugged, "It's alright. It is what it is. At least its not humid."


Fourth vial in hand, she popped the tourniquet and pulled the needle in time to press a wedge of cotton on the wound but not before few drops of blood smeared on his arm.

She nodded for him to take over, "Thirty-seconds to clot,"
she added and dropped an extra cloth for him to wipe off the smear while barely withholding an amused grin about the situation. It was fortunate he'd doffed the shirt after all. "Stay there."


Samples in hand, she left the room for a brief moment. When she returned, she taped him up if his arm wasn't yet clotted by then.


Edited by Torri, Jan 20 2014, 12:21 PM.
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