SECTION 14

Colonel Harland called in sergeants Jackson and McEvoy for debriefing. After interviewing them individually, and then together, the colonel seemed satisfied that he had the whole story.
“Sergeants,” the colonel said, “I want you to get checked out by captain Holmes, ASAP, then I want both of you over in Delta three Bravo, immediately afterward, and I mean doubletime.”
Jackson and McEvoy stood at attention and held their salute, “Yes sir!”
The colonel saluted, “carry on, gentlemen.”
The sergeants moved out to the infirmary to be checked out by captain Holmes. The infirmary was strangely empty, except for the captain, and corporal Wolfham, who were both waiting for the pair.
Captain Holmes gave them a full checkup, then gave all three of them a shot, and sent them on their way. The three of them hustled over to Delta three Bravo, and were instructed to take seats.
Three men in white lab coats came in to the room, and started checking the men out. An assistant lowered the lights, and the men pulled eyelights out, to check their pupil responses. The eyelights began strobing, and the men felt instantly nauseous, and weak…
Colonel Rehne watched through the one way glass. “You know. We’re going to have to give him back his stripe.”
General Harron mumbled an affirmation. “Yeah… Do it. I’ll push the paperwork, and keep it quiet.”

February 11, 2003

McEvoy woke up, groaning. He looked around the hotel room, confused, and lost. And hungry. After availing himself of the facilities and drinking from the faucet, he looked out his window to the beach, below, and tourists in bathing suits, and bikinis.
“What the hell…?” He picked up the phone, and dialed 0, for the operator.
“Front desk, how may I direct your call?” came the male voice on the other end.
“Uhh… Yeah… I’m … confused, I think. Where am I?” McEvoy asked.
“Sir, your call is coming from room 614. Do you require medical assistance?” he asked.
“No… no. No medical assistance… Uhmm… Where am I? Hotel… City… Where?” the sergeant asked.
“Sir… you’re in room 614, at the Honolulu Hilton Hotel, with strict orders to not disturb you before you awoke.” The desk clerk was beginning to sound concerned.
McEvoy was thoroughly confused, now, “Honolulu? … No… we were in Tikrit… Is there a Charles Jackson registered here, as well?”
“Hold, sir…” the desk clerk put him on hold, and he could hear some Elvis Presley song on the phone for a moment… “Yes, sir. Mr. Jackson is registered in room 616, there is also another Marine, a sergeant Eric Wolfham in room 615. The computer shows that the three of you registered at the same time. Is there some other way I may assist you, sir?”
“No. No thank you. I’m okay, from here.” McEvoy hung up the phone. He looked around, and found the keycard for the room on top of the dresser. He put it in his breast pocket, and walked into the hall. He walked past room 615, and knocked on 616.
He waited.
He knocked again, harder, and kept knocking until he could hear movement from inside.
Jackson opened the door, looking bewildered… “What? Where the hell are we? … This isn’t Tikrit…”
McEvoy snickered, “You noticed, eh? Hawaii. Honolulu Hilton, to be exact.”
“What?” Jackson looked stunned, “How the hell did we end up in Honolulu?”
“You’re the gunny… Gunny.” McEvoy said, “You tell me, and we’ll both know.”
The sergeants stared out the window at the beach, below.