Beryldine

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
Some people are perfect matches with their occupations.

Submitted: August 18, 2015

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Submitted: August 18, 2015

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Beryldine eased the sapphire-blue Maserati convertible into the handicapped parking space. Early for her appointment, she sat there a while admiring the new-car feel, the new-car smell. As she waited, she tried not to think about the cruel irony of her situation. Dwelling on her fate might shake her resolve and compromise the mission.

In a little over a week, her life had collapsed like a house of cards. It was so unfair. She had paid her dues. She had rendered faithful service for two decades and was finally on the threshold of la dolce vita, the good life. In the morning, the dealer delivered her dream car. In the afternoon, a doctor delivered the bad news. Her recent bout with shortness of breath was due to malignant mesothelioma, the insidious cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

For her day job, Beryldine was a bio-technical engineer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She was part of the team evaluating the effects of genetically modified cereal crops. She was also the leading research consultant in the small but important, not to mention ultra-secret, anti-terrorist, biological warfare section. Her specialty there being the study of the Moluccan blue-ringed octopus, arguably the most poisonous creature on Earth.

Her day job meshed perfectly with her 'night' job. She was a reserve naval officer, a lieutenant commander in the Facilities and Utilities Command of the U.S. Navy Construction Battalion, the well known Seabee outfit. She wrote the book on water distillation, chemistry and quality control for military dependents' housing in remote areas. Again, it was just a cover operation. In reality, Beryldine was head agent of Maintenance Team 3, the ultra-secret operational arm of the biological warfare section. To put it bluntly, she was a government-paid assassin, the most elite killer on the payroll.

Some people are perfect for their occupations, almost as if they were born to it, and few people were as adept as Beryldine. When it comes to political assassinations, coroners rarely think to test for octopus poison. Even if they did, they would never imagine it to be the work of a mousey little black woman, one for whom every day is a bad hair day, one so unattractive that she couldn't elicit a cat call if she walked through a biker crowd wearing nothing but a thong bikini bottom. Rarely has the government ever matched a naval officer so exactly with such an esoteric occupational specialty.

Exiting the Maserati for her appointment, Beryldine wondered if her cancer was karma biting her in the ass for her nefarious lifestyle. She was there to meet Syracuse Charbonnet, the leading personal injury lawyer in the country. It was almost certain he would win a multi-million dollar settlement in her favor. Asbestos related malignant mesothelioma suits are big business. Of course, money loses its luster for a dead woman walking.

As she made her way along the corridor, gasping for breath, Beryldine wondered also about Attorney Charbonnet's karma. She pondered what he could possibly have done to get himself on the government's political assassination list. She tried not to think about the cruel irony. Dwelling on it might shake her resolve and compromise the mission, her final government assignment.

Copyright © 2015 W.C. Bell; All rights reserved.


© Copyright 2019 Whiskey Charlie. All rights reserved.

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