I walked over to the coffee pot, poured myself a cup, and asked her if they had any doughnuts. I thought I had blown her up but she caught herself and laughed.
"No. No we don't. She shook her head, snorted, and told me "You want to hurry up? My shift ends soon."
I just nodded my head. I couldn't say anything because they kept their coffee hot enough to melt a McDonald's and I had just burned the shit out of my tongue and lip.
She held out her hand and said "Credentials."
I slapped them into her hand and watched her. She gave them a cursory look, gestured at a nearby chair, and told me to pull it up and sit down.
She dropped my credentials to her desktop, pulled on a head set, and starting clicking with her mouse. She looked over at me like she was measuring me for a suit, then she adjusted the web cam clipped to the top of her monitor. That's when I got a "Oh shit" feeling in the pit of my stomach. She gave me an evil grin and told her microphone "This is Forward Base 71/Bravo 2. This is Captain Jennings and I would like to talk to the Marshall please. Yes, I can wait."
She didn't lose her evil smile when she told me "I am doing a visual confirmation. I'm sure you won't mind Mr. Gardener."
"Nope. Do what you got to do."
She drummed her fingers and worked on trying to twist a kink out of her neck. I blew on my coffee and tried to drink some more. I was hoping to have drank enough that I could grab a refill on the way out.
"He's not available? Fine. Yes, I will talk to Marshall Lee."
She cleared her throat. "Hello Marshall. Yes. I will be playing softball this year. Great! Yes, she isn't bad. I'll ask her. No. No. Ah...yes. Why I'm calling is to have you ID one of your people. Hang on."
She reached up and adjusted the cam. I smiled and waved. "Really. I see. I see. I'll tell him. Sir! Before you go. I have a job I could use a Marshall on. We're short handed and I need him to help with a prisoner transfer. Yes. I will. Thank..."
"He hung up you. Didn't he." It was my turn to grin evilly.
"No. He got busy."
She sniffed and pretended to be busy for about a minute then said "He told me tell you job well done."
I shrugged modestly. I knew she wanted to ask what I had done but she didn't. Instead she said "I need a couple of prisoners run down to the Louisville courthouse." She paused a space and added "That's what you people do isn't it?"
"You sure you don't have any doughnuts are cookies?"
"Oh. So what's the story on them?"
Her voice turned on a dime. Now it was clipped and professional. "Two male Hispanics. We caught them digging into a landfill east of here."
I laughed. "A fucking landfill! You're kidding?"
Her voice got even tighter "No. It was federal property. Plus they had priors and someone thinks they may have connections to the Republic of Aztlan."
I drained my cup of coffee. Damn if it wasn't still hot. "Okay. I might need one of them Abrams to run security for me."
"Are you going to do this or not?"
I walked over to the coffeepot and poured myself a cup. I had to tilt the pot to get it. No wonder it tasted like shit and was molten.
"If you can gas me up and find me some cookies I will."