A Quiet Chat

THURS 6 MAY 24, 12:15

She had read over the thin file, Angelica then went to track down Chief Hernandez.  

She was a difficult person to find but she was on duty with a new batch of recruits, so contacting her would have to be done when she had a moment.  

=Recruit training Galley=

In some ways it brought back memories, the uniforms may be different colors, but the sight of Company Commanders correcting haples recruits the men with their shaved heads and looks of ‘what the hell did I sign up for?’ on their face. It made her remember when she got off that bus to Ft Leonard Wood and wondered, what the hell did I sign up for, when a large angry Staff Sgt got right in her face as she moved ‘with purpose’ to the next spot she had to go. Nice to see some things never changed.  

Chief Hernandez was standing at the food line as recruits walked by with their trays. She quickly cleared her throat as she came up behind a recruit and started asking him questions and dressing down his poor answers. Her Stetson Company Commander’s hat sitting perfectly on her head and not moving. She was in her element. The events of the past had not changed her, at least in the public or when she was in her element at work.

Standing back Angelica let the woman finish correcting the recruit, noting the inevitable ‘smoking’ of being told to get down and do pushups, flutter kicks or worse, plank untill the Drill was tired. Once there was a pause she spoke quietly, 

“Chief Hernandez, you got a few minutes to talk?”

Yolanda watched the recruit go to their assigned table and start dealing with one of the other Company Commanders before turning her attention to Angelica. “Can I help you,…” Her sentenced trailed off, “I don’t think I caught your name.” Yolanda’s eyes were constantly watch the recruits moving around the room, while her body was fully facing Angelica. 

“Oh..yeah, sorry bout that, I’m Special Agent Passolini, CGIS.” trying to not attract too much attention she let the other woman see her golden badge on her belt, “Just need to have a brief word.”

“This way,” She said with a quick arm motion to a room off to the side. She could only assume what this was about, but for now she wasn’t going to volunteer any information.

Once they made it to the room and away from the eyes and ears of her coworkers and recruits, Yolanda softened from her hard-ass instructor posture. “Special Agent Passolini, how can I help you?”  

“We’re investigating an incident at the Exchange involving a Seaman Eric Thomas. There are rumors of an assault and my boss says, go investigate, so, I’d like to get a brief statement see what’s your side of what happened?”

“Interesting,” Yolanda responded. “I don’t have anything to report.” She unintentionally ran her right hand up her left arm and shoulder. It had been injured in the assault, but she still couldn’t bring herself to report it. It was a lot of ‘he-said, she-said’ and honestly she wasn’t sure if it worth her time dealing with the paperwork. She also didn’t need this information to go public and it effect her career. She had a pretty solid gig at the moment and she didn’t need it undermining her authority with the recruits. 

“In fact, I am pretty sure that is what I informed the police department of, when they came knocking. Nothing happened.”

She didn’t say a word for a bit Angelica stared at her quietly, something happened, it was a suspicion, especially how Yolanda kept favoring that arm. It was suspicion, if she was a cop enough to poke a bit more, but there was a difference between beat patrolman and federal investigator. “Did you run in to Seaman Thomas at the Base Exchange at all?”

“I don’t recall,” Yolanda answered, almost honestly. She had blocked out the events of that day. It wasn’t something she wanted to remember. It was a painful event and her way of coping with it, was blocking it all. 

Angelica paused, made some notes, then changed the subject rather fast, it could catch someone off guard.

“How did you hurt your arm?” She asked seemingly out of the blue. Then indicated, “You’ve been guarding it all this time, how’d you hurt it?”

Yolanda felt the topic change, because it practically assaulted her. The directness of the question, and it being repeated. This caused her demeaner to change. “I work with recruits, we do the training exercises as well. I hurt it during that.” 

Yolanda was done with answering questions at this point, “If you will excuse me, I need to return to my recruits.”

“Of course, Thank you for your time.” With that the interview was over, Angelica was having that feeling, that something more was happening, but she sure couldn’t tell a prosecutor, ‘it’s my gut’ and get charges, so instead they’d come another way. “If we have any further questions we’ll let you know.” She had pushed as far as she could, possibly too far, didn’t want to piss off the victim off. So she closed the small notebook and walked out of the mess hall.

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