November 5th, 1951
"Thank you," Reggie said, accepting the glass of bourbon from his supervisor.
"You are most welcome, Agent Gilbreth. Now, Reginald, may I call you Reginald?"
Reggie shrugged. "If you wish, sir."
"Very well, Reginald, you must understand that personally, I don't give a damn about your feelings regarding your other-worldly hitchhiker. He's a resource...a much needed resource for that matter," the new acting CIA director said and eased himself into the leather chair positioned behind his large desk.
Seated opposite him over the cluttered desktop of paperwork, office supplies, and family photos, Reggie eyed the man warily. "Director, I understand you and I don't know each other very well, sir, but those NWUS bastards are the enemy," Reginald Gilbreth retorted. Everything was still up in the air regarding who or what he was dealing with when it came to this new CIA Director, one Peter McNamara, nevertheless, Reggie considered he had a pretty good idea. He shrugged and took a swig from his glass. There was at least one thing he did know for certain about McNamara, he had fine taste in alcohol. That was probably the only thing the two men shared in common. Reggie decided, at least, to give credit where it was due, "This is pretty good stuff, sir."
"I'm glad you like it, Reginald. Now, about why we are here, let me cut to the chase. That decision has been made. It is not up for debate."
"Sir, I am in charge of MK Ultra for a reason..."
The director raised a hand. "Let me stop you right there. I am in charge here, Agent Gilbreth, not you."
"I see," Reggie said with a sniff.
"Now, the way I view all of this may not be the way you do, but technically, this whole situation is really rather easy to resolve. I make the decisions...you follow them. That's it. Pure and simple. You and your department will not embarrass me in front of the Oversight committee by flagrantly defying my orders again! Understood?"
"Yessir, I believe you have made that abundantly clear," Reggie gruffly replied to his superior. He knew the man was referring to the way his team shut out the NWUS officer when he was sent to work with them.
Ten years Gilbreth's senior, Director McNamara was without a doubt the quintessential political hack in every sense of the word. Once a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, the head of the CIA was now simply a 'yes man' looking to climb the D.C. ladder, at all costs. Reggie knew his type. In fact, it was officers like McNamara that got plenty of good men killed over in the European Theater playing games with other's lives just to make a name for themselves back home. However, this time it was not just soldiers at stake, this time it was society at large, and there was no room for any political games with the threat he knew was coming.
Director McNamara sat back, fully ensconced in his leather office chair. He appeared rather satisfied with himself and lifted a glass of bourbon to his lips. The man paused as if considering a thought. He eyed the drink in front of his face and then tilted the crystalline object toward Reggie, his pointer finger protruding from the edge of the glass toward the perturbed subordinate agent. "The NWUS does not exist in this reality, Agent Gilbreth. Therefore, it is impossible for this man to be an enemy. Have you even spoken with this valuable resource regarding his ideas for the country?"
"Valuable resource? You keep saying that. Now, why in the hell would anyone ask one of those murdering New World fascists their opinion on anything but what caliber bullet to place between their ears...erm, sir?"
McNamara downed the alcohol and leaned forward. He sat the glass down on the desk with a bang. The action carried out a bit heavier than he might normally would have done...just to prove a point. "Agent Gilbreth, how many former Nazis do you suppose we have roaming the halls of the Pentagon and around here? Former and current Communists?"
"Too damn many?"
The director took a deep breath. "Our former enemies are now quintessential in developing the new technologies we need to protect this country and the rest of humanity around the globe from the Negexis threat. That enemy should be your main concern, and I'll say it once more, not your personal feelings regarding Officer Steffen."
"Sir, you really need to have a conversation with Captain Summers, she..."
"That will be enough of that, as well, agent. Karen Summers is not a captain in any recognized branch of the armed forces. By her own admission, it was a field commission issued during the heat of battle by a dying man. One, mind you we also cannot assign any actual rank."
Reggie laughed aloud. "Pardon my French, sir, but that's horse shit! You sit there on the other side of that desk speaking well of a man that would have gladly killed either one of us on the other side of the shift. You're insinuating he's practically made of pure gold! Then, you disparage a woman, excuse me, an officer, who actually put her life on the line for us and our country, not hers."
"Agent, I am going to forgive your disrespectful tone, but I warn you, remember who you are speaking with," Director McNamara said and stood. He lifted his glass from the table and stepped over to pour himself another drink. He lifted the bottle of bourbon from a tray resting on a dark wood credenza. " That 'captain' only did what she did because of her relationship with Agent Fentz. Nothing more."
"And that NWUS fascist only came here because he was in the process of sneaking up on yours truly so he could kill me..." Reggie threw his hands in the air. "Bah, I can see you have made up your mind about that clown, so, why am I here, sir?"
"To let you know I am assigning the former NWUS Officer Cory Steffen to the MK Ultra team with special instructions from me personally." McNamara produced a devilish grin. "And don't worry, this time he won't be under your supervision, Agent Gilbreth. He will be placed with Psychological Operations."
"The Brain Warfare folks, sir? Is that really a good idea?"
"It's a perfect idea." McNamara leaned up against the cabinet and sipped his drink. "In fact, Senator McCarthy and a few others up on the Hill think so as well."
"Excuse me, Agent?"
"Apologies, sir. Is there anything else?"
"Yes...one other thing. Karen Summers is no longer granted clearance."
"Sir? She's an important part of my team."
"Important hardly. We'll find you someone else...a male someone else, to fill that vacancy. It's not sitting too well with the other senior officials that a woman like Summers with her masculine and gruff demeanor might be setting a bad example for the other broads in the Company. We really do not need all of these catty women around this place generating the idea in their cute little minds that they can do what the men do. The whole damn agency would fall apart." McNamara began laughing. "Can you imagine it, Agent Gilbreth? One broken nail and that would be it!"
"Right, sir," Reggie growled and stood. He had to leave before he said something he could not take back...not that he would if anything fell out of his mouth. He knocked back the last bit of the bourbon from his glass and sat it on the desk top. "If that will be all, sir?"
McNamara nodded. "You're dismissed, Agent Gilbreth."
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