he Four were not interested in the celebrations being thrown in honor of the great success of destroying PIG!  Even with all the merry makers and the victory celebrators, it sure didn't seem to be very lively at all.  Something was amiss with one of the girls by the name of Andrea Cummings who'd just come off a mission.

William sat across the mess hall as several of the members of both groups which called The Bunker their home sat happily chatting about happy experiences, romantic parties, family and 'back home.'

Andrea Banning, one of the girls who'd been rescued from the Hanoi Hilton had not taken even the first bite of her lunch.  She just sat there, chin in her hand mindlessly twirling the strings of cheese on her place.  While she had ever been a joyous, jubilant out-going type, she had made several friends within the group and was usually the life of the party, but something was tearing her apart on the inside.

She had excelled in the martial arts class of Sung Wu and had grown fond of him.  Sung Wu, the instructor had a way with young people and had also grown fond of Andrea noting her quiet character, her inner strength and her will to excel.  He would take long walks with her and had gained her confidence early on.  He was one she felt in whom to confide in confidence.

And she had also grown very close to Sharon.  Some things in her life she had shared with Sharon, and during these moments she would grow quiet, stoic . . . never allowing herself to shed tears in front of anyone.

While walking along the corridor with Sung Wu one day Sharon mentioned that Andrea spoke fondly of him.  "And I, her." Sung Wu responded.  "But she has some deep hidden secret which she has never shared with anyone.  I mentioned this to Andrea, and she quietly said 'I need to go shower,' cutting the training session short.

He continued as they rounded a corner and stepped past a sentry at the entrance of the brig.  "Later that week, Lola, her best friend, was in training on the use of the Broad Sword, explained her interest of the weapon had been acquired from Andrea who spoke of dealing recompense on the man responsible for the slaughter of her family.  She had survived, her capture resulting in confinement in the Hanoi Hilton."

The Chinese Broadsword

Sung Wu paused for a second as he received a summons from William.  "Walk with me" he suggested to Sharon.  I've just received a call from William to join him in the mess hall."  He thanked the courier then resumed his journey toward the mess hall with Sharon in step and portraying many of the same walking characteristics as her martial arts instructor beside whom she strode.

He then resumed his conversation with Sharon.  "Tears came to the eyes of Lola as she dropped her warrior stance letting the sword tip touch the floor, her mind consumed with the situation of Andrea.  I attempted to coerce from her a few details but instead of breaking the confidence of Andrea, she quietly said 'I'm through for the day' and plodded toward the showers."

"Lisa, who I'd just finished the Broadsword less with less than five minutes earlier returned and quietly whispered to me over the counter, 'what is Lola so torn up over?'  That was two days before the prisoner rescue of the Pig Sty.  Andrea came back from that mission as if in a trance and has eaten very little and researched constantly on the computer every waking moment since.

"When William stated during the debriefing that the prisoners would be turned free after final questioning, she hastily and loudly exclaimed 'NO!'  William, startled by this outburst from a quiet member of his team, abruptly asked 'any reason why?'  She, now in control of her emotions, responded with 'please give me a week before you loose them.  That's all I can say.  May I be excused?'"

The PIG Sty debriefing of the small group of twenty three people had been lengthy, and she had sat quietly through the entire process with the one word being the total of conversation she had given.  William dismissed the group and saw Andrea slip out the door quickly as he was surrounded by others of the group preventing him inquiring of her the real reason for the outburst.

After looking for her later that evening, he learned she had been spending all her time in the research department near the air terminal.  She had even been sleeping on the couch in the lounge there.

Upon reaching the hall leading to the mess hall Sung Wu spoke earnestly to Sharon.  "I feel we need to intervene on her behalf to William and see if we can help her through this turbulent period.  It's obvious something is really taking a toll on her.  Later on Sharon."

Sharon waved as he turned toward the mess hall.  She then continued on toward the tunnel through which she could ride one of the electric donkeys to the airport.  She was aware that Ginger and Amy both had flown sorties this morning so wouldn't be back as of yet.  She should have the computer room all to herself.

As she entered the computer room and turned to head down to her favorite computer she heard weeping of a young girl.  Cautiously she peered around the corner and spied Andrea with elbows on the counter, face in her upturned hands.  On the screen was a family of five.  Andrea was the middle child, the youngest a sister, the older a brother who looked to be about ten or eleven years of age.

Assuming this was her family of which Andrea spoke so fondly, she quietly padded up beside Andrea and placed her hand on her shoulder.  She didn't say anything, but certainly wanted to make her presence known.  Within a few seconds, Andrea lifted her face from her hands and reached for a tissue in the box by the screen.

"I'm so sorry for this rotten show of tears" explained Andrea.  But it hurts so much to see such blatant deliberate waste of life.  I may have found the one who was responsible for the murder of my family.  He was the leader of the group who raided our community and although I never saw him, I remember his voice.  His voice was among the prisoners rescued from the Pig Sty.  I have to warn William before he frees this group of prisoners."

Sharon picked up the intercom phone and buzzed the operator.  It was an antiquated system of the old PBX style but worked great for what they needed.  Within a couple of seconds an operator came on and inquired as how she could help.  "This is Sharon Travis.  I need to get a message to William ASAP.  He was last seen in the mess hall.  Send a runner now!" she exclaimed.

"Yes Ma'am!  Do you have a message for him?" asked the operator.

"Yes.  Tell him 'do not release the prisoners from the Pig Sty mission.  And make it snappy!"

"Sorry ma'am, but that release order came through twenty minutes ago.  Do you still want me to send him a message?"

Sharon couldn't believe it.  Andréa had started sobbing again and this woman seemed too happy about passing the information.  "YES send him a message.  Sharon was raising her voice.  This operator had no idea the dressing down she was just about to receive!  Send him the message that he is needed desperately at the airport.  Send it now and stay on the line for another message.  Inform me when you've sent the runner.  Make it snappy!"

This woman had loose lips - lips dispensing information that could sink ships!

One of the 72 virgins of moslem paradise
One of the moslem 72 virgins of Paradise
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Chapter III