Chapter 29: In which our protagonists come home
Author's Notes: Thank you to all of my reviewers! It has been a pleasure reading your thoughts on my story.
Disclaimers and other info in part 1.
"In other news, Lieutenant Colonel Sarah MacKenzie, the Marine who was kidnapped while on vacation in London, returned home yesterday. Upon arrival, Colonel MacKenzie was examined by doctors from Bethesda Medical Center. The colonel, who suffered from amnesia for a month, was pronounced in good health. Now, with your traffic update, here's--"
Sturgis Turner hit the mute button. "Back to work, everyone. The admiral's sure to report in today, and when he does, I want everything in top form."
"I can't believe Admiral Chegwidden found her," Harriet said to Bud. "It must have been incredible, realizing that she was so close by."
"Maybe he picked up some of the Colonel's psychic abilities," Bud joked.
"Attention on deck!" The bullpen snapped to attention as Admiral Chegwidden entered, Colonel MacKenzie close behind.
"As you were," AJ barked. It was back to business as usual.
"Colonel! Welcome home!" Harriet exclaimed.
"It's good to have you back, Colonel," Sturgis smiled.
"It's good to be back, Sturgis," Mac replied.
"Colonel! My office!"
"I've been summoned," Mac whispered, smiling. The others watched as she knocked on the admiral's door and was admitted.
"She looks amazing for a woman who just spent an entire month in a hospital," Sturgis said.
"I'd have to agree with you there," a familiar voice said. Bud heard it, but shrugged it off.
Jen Coates walked up to the group. "The admiral would like to see you in his office. All three of you." They automatically followed the petty officer.
Jen knocked on the door. "Sir?"
"Come in, come in," AJ said. "You too, Coates. Have a seat." He turned away. "I think you're going to need it," he muttered. Bud caught the comment. He looked closely at both the Admiral and the Colonel. The Colonel did look quite healthy. Happy, in fact--though a bit nervous.
Bud looked at the Admiral's desk. Through Sturgis' methodical work, it had been cleared of quite a few files. Two long sticks of wood rested on the blotter. They almost looked like... 'No way,' Bud mouthed in amazement.
"Way," the voice said again. Bud looked around, but still could not find the source.
"Uh, sorry, sir," Bud said sheepishly, turning his attention to his superior officers.
Mac smiled at the four expectant faces. "The Admiral and I have something we need to tell you..."