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Stories from the Verse
Chapter 99: Kondor 122
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It was not a formal meeting; Kondor had happened upon Colonel Roberts walking between his quarters and the mess. “Sir,” he replied, saluting and receiving the returned salute.
“At ease, Captain. I just thought you’d want to know that Lieutenant Vargas might have found you.”
That would be difficult, of course, since there should be nothing to find, but Kondor wasn’t going to say that. “Oh?” he prompted.
“It seems that Colonel Roberts over at B Company received the paperwork for a Captain John Sanders, currently listed as lost in transit. Our missing captain is a field doctor with experience on covert combat missions. Seems he was supposed to reach B Company about the time you appeared here, and no one knows what happened to him.”
“And you think that perhaps he doesn’t exist, that Captain John Sanders is a clerical error for Captain Joseph Kondor. Stranger things have happened, I’m sure, and mine is not all that common a name.”
It occurred to Kondor that if they decided the Sanders paperwork was a mistake, they would stop looking for Sanders. That could be either good or bad for the real Sanders, depending on whether he deserted or was kidnapped. Besides, if they decided that he was Sanders and then Sanders appeared, that might make more trouble. However, it would not do for him to make that fuss too strongly.
“I certainly hope that there isn’t a Captain Sanders out there who needs to be found. I mean, it certainly would be good to have the problem corrected if that’s all it is, but if that’s not what happened it means that I’m not in the right place and he still needs to be found.
“Even so, I suppose I should prepare to ship to B Company.”
“Not so fast. First, Vargas is still checking. It might be, as you say, that Sanders really is someone else, and needs to be found. On the other hand, B Company is something of a reassignment corps. When units are dissolved but there are soldiers with particularly valuable skills, they get shipped to B Company to be processed and connected to a new unit that can use their special skills. If you were being sent there, it was probably so that they could find a place for you--and as far as I’m concerned, they don’t need you sitting in their barracks to do that if they have your records. You’ve been quite helpful here, and I’d as soon keep you working here until they have something else, if you have no objection.”
“Not at all. I’m quite happy to stay in one peaceful place for a while, and the work is easy enough. Just get the assignment straightened out so I don’t get in trouble for not being where they think I’m supposed to be, and I’m all yours.”
“Very good, then. I won’t detain you; get some food.”
“Thank you, Colonel.”
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #257: Verser Relationships. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: