For disclaimer, see part one.
“Corporal, I need a background check done on this woman,” I told the young man sitting behind a computer.
“Colonel O’Neill! I thought you were on vacation,” he stammered, clearly thrown my presence. Did I intimidate people that much?
“I cut it short,” I answered, trying desperately not to think of the reasons why.
“Background check, sir?” he asked, putting us back on track. I handed over the information I had on my wife. He took the piece of paper and looked it over briefly.
“How deep do you want me to go?”
“I want to know everything I can on this girl. What she eats, what kind of fabric softener she uses, you name it,” I answered, slightly annoyed I had to have someone do this for me.
“How urgent is this, Sir?”
“Have a report on my desk by fourteen hundred,” I stated and walked out of the room. That left him three hours, plenty of time to sweat out a report for me. I headed down to my office and waited.
**Forty-five minutes later…
A solid knock sounded on my office door.
“Come in,” I yelled and the door was pushed open, and in walked Corporal Young. In his grip was a very slim folder.
“Col. O’Neill,” he greeted me.
“Please tell me that isn’t all you have, Corporal,” I quietly stated.
“If I may sit, Colonel,” he chose to say instead. I waved at the chairs in front of my desk. He slid into one and then opened the file.
Five pieces of paper.
Faith’s birth certificate. Faith Meredith Lane. Born August 3rd, 1983. Christ, I was robbing the cradle with this one. Lane? Where did she pick up Wnydam-Pryce? Born to Sophia Kristen Lane. No father listed. Born in Boston. That explained a hell of a lot about her attitude.
Her juvenile record. Two pages of crap misdemeanors. Petty theft. Minor assault. At fourteen she stabbed one of her mother’s boyfriends and almost killed him. The charges were dropped due to allegations that he tried to rape her. I was surprised and overwhelmed by the rage that spiked through me at the thought of Faith being raped. Christ, I had been married to the woman for a few days and already I was going into protective mode.
A newspaper clipping with her name mentioned as a possible witness to a grizzly murder. A British woman had been tortured, mutilated and slain in the Boston warehouse district.
The last two pages were what interested me the most. Corporal Young had tried to access basic information on her and had been shut down repeatedly due to his low level of security clearance.
Project HST had secured almost every one of her files from her sixteenth birthday on. Every file that Corporal Young had tried to access, aside from the basics, had been denied. I could see how Lane had changed to Wnydam-Pryce. Her last known locations criss-crossed the United States. But I had no idea why she changed her name or what she was doing in California for a few years. She essentially did not exist except on a ridiculously high classification level within the military.
My wife – the spy.
“And I take it you have no idea what Project HST is?”
“No. I couldn’t find any mention of them except on Ms. Lane’s file. She’s clearly involved in something, Sir. I’m just not quite sure what.”
“And this is all you could find on her?”
“All I had time to search for, Sir. Turns out that once you stumble across the Project classification warning they latch on and try to get in. I had to disconnect from the network and hard shut down. I alerted my superior, I’m not entirely sure they didn’t make me, Sir.” He sounded nervous, possibly afraid of what had just happened.
“Oh-kay,” I slowly got out. This whole situation was spinning out of control faster than I could follow.
“Have you asked Lt. Col. Carter to investigate the girl?” he asked.
“No. I didn’t want to waste her time if it was nothing.”
“Well, Sir, if I may make a suggestion, go to her. Her clearance is higher than mine and she has an uncanny knack for getting dirt where others can’t,” he politely stated while pointing me in the right direction. This kid was in way over his head and he knew it.
“Thank you for the suggestion, Corporal. I’ll take that into consideration.”
“You’re welcome, Sir.”
“I would appreciate it if you didn’t mention this past your supervisor.”
“Understood, Sir,” came the automate reply. He nodded once.
“Dismissed, Corporal,” I told him and he left my office. I pushed the papers around on my desk debating whether to involve Carter.