Tammy: Rank Stupidity - Chapter 3

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Rank Stupidity  

Tammyverse Book 14


Rank Stupidity
Chapter 3 of 5
Shiraz & Snowfall © 2023


Tammyverse Book 14 - Rank Stupidity
Note. This story is set in 2018, prior to the passing of Queen Elizabeth. This is a work of fiction but a number of real people, places, and institutions are mentioned in fictitious circumstances. In short it's a story!


Chapter 3 – Standards

Sunday 6th May 2018

Tammy had a full tank of fuel by the time she took off from Wick, aiming once again for Aberdeen. Lizzie was waiting airside with her bag which Tammy loaded into her plane, dropping a tracker tag into a deep external pocket, just in case.

Thomas was waiting with an surplus army Landrover that Tammy hadn’t seen before.

“It’s got a good engine that will go for years, I collected it yesterday afternoon, after you’d left.”

“Okay, where to?”

“Home. I’ve made lunch, it’s just gone into the oven.”

Tammy was pleased that the apartment was clean and clearly well looked after. Lunch turned out to be a very light home-made quiche with a dressed salad. It was close enough to her diet and Tammy was also pleased there were no deep fried sides. She did, however, suspect that Thomas would have a substantial meal later, after the girls had left.

“I forgot to say, the army has settled my final pay, including a lump sum I hadn’t expected. As of last week, my pension is also dropping into my bank account, that was a lot easier than I expected.”

“So you were easily able to afford the car?”

“Yes, I have never liked using credit so I waited until I had the cash available.”

“A good plan.

He dropped the girls back at the airport at two, Tammy first needed to book her flight to Teeside International and check the weather. Lizzie had flown in Katie, Tammy’s commercial plane, several times but this would be a first time in the two seater CzechSport. Whilst Lizzie was fussing, Tammy set her squawk code.

“Strap in, I’ll get the checks done.”

It was another fifteen minutes before Tammy made her way to the end of the runway, having had to give way to ‘bucket and spade’ flights to and from the Mediterranean beaches. She had instructions to clear the local airspace quickly, rising to 9,000ft turning due South on a heading of 180 degrees.

It certainly wasn’t a quiet flight and the westerly winds at that altitude were buffeting the small plane.

“Tammy, is this safe?”


Lizzie had been scanning the controls when she finally spotting the active squawk box.

“That’s military?”

“It lets me take this plane into restricted airspace, nothing more than that. It’s not fun having a pair of fast jets come alongside because they don’t believe who you are?”

“I see. It’s just not normal.”

“You’re not wrong, Lizzie.”

The radio burst into life.

“Tartan One this is Viper One.”

“Viper One, this is Tartan One, how are you keeping?”

“Just fine, going somewhere, ladies?”

“South, on business.”

Lizzie was confused, so turned her head to look port and starboard. “How does he know?”

The reply came even though nothing had been broadcast. “Viper One is in the cloud a few miles ahead of you, young lady, and you don’t want to know how we know!” On cue an Apache climbed into view with a barrel roll and launched flares while inverted. A second Apache now made their presence known and did the same. "That's Die Nasty on my Six. Say howdy."

A female voice laughed. "It's Dynasty. Hey there Tartan."

“Nice to meet you Dynasty, safe flight. Tartan One out.”

“Acknowledged, have a good flight. Viper One Out.”

Both gunships rolled over and dove down out of sight.

“Was that the same pilot, the first one, as we saw out of Benson? We are on a civvie flight, aren’t we?”

“It may be, but you will not tell anyone what you saw. They were never there, understood?”


An hour later Tammy brought the plane down at Teeside, heading directly to the fuel stand.

“Why do that now?”

“A quicker exit, whenever I leave. Let’s make our logbook entries and find somewhere to park up.”

There was a hire car waiting for Tammy once they eventually exited the terminal. Tammy drove across to Richmond and checked in at the Premier Inn just outside the main gate into Catterick Garrison.

Tammy hesitated telling Traeger that she was effectively on site but decided she would wait to see whether he had access to that kind of intelligence. Lizzie’s room was further down the corridor so Tammy felt comfortable that she had privacy, although it was likely that the walls wouldn’t be thick enough to have a secure conversation. Her room was otherwise typical of two and three star hotels across the globe – functional but plain.

Dinner options were the attached restaurant or the adjacent Foxglove pub. Tammy decided the alcohol wasn’t a good idea for either of them that evening, so went for the Brewers Fayre family restaurant, opting for the non-diet Sunday roast on the assumption that she’d need the energy over the next twenty four hours.


On Monday Lizzie joined Tammy for a light breakfast but wasn’t in uniform, she was sent back to her room to change. Tammy drove to the main gatehouse having fortunately allowed a little extra time knowing how any incompetence at the gate would be blamed on herself.

Naturally her civilian hire vehicle was subjected to a full search. Tammy was armed, though left her Glocks with the aircraft, but a metal detecting wand was still applied to her. The MadDog up her sleeve went undetected. As the wand approached her groin she knocked it away.

“Corporal, I will have you on a charge of sexual assault. I am not armed, regardless of any official notice that claims otherwise. I am due to meet officers at exactly nine so I suggest you conclude this otherwise your army career will be very short!”

They were moving less than a minute later, once a temporary site permit had been issued for their vehicle. Tammy then successfully remembered the way to the Broadsword unit.

“Come on, Lizzie, let’s see what horrors await.”

They walked through the door at 0859hrs. The desk sergeant waiting inside stood and saluted.

Both returned his salute and Tammy announced them. “Captain Smart and Lieutenant Harrison for Commander Traeger.”

The sergeant checked a log and nodded. "Captain, the Colonel would like to see you. Lieutenant, you’re needed for medical. A corporal will show you. Captain, please follow me.”

Tammy followed the sergeant as they went down a level and along a long walkway to the very end. She turned her phone off as she walked, guessing that there wouldn’t be any signal at this level. He left Tammy outside the last room and walked away. She knocked.


Tammy entered and saluted. She wasn’t entirely surprised to be in a darkened meeting room, it seemed to be an ongoing theme. Various personnel was present but only Sean MacTaggart spoke.

“Sit by me, Tammy. We have work to do, we need to fix a few things.”

“I’d guessed that much, Colonel.”

“Indeed. Let me introduce you to the others present, most of whom you will know.”

A bank of monitors now came on, Tammy recognised Paul Dannigan, Sir Thomas Addington and DCI Emily Keane. The fourth face was American military and unknown to her.

“Captain Smart, I’m General Hubert Jenkins of the US DoD London liaison office.”

Sean picked up the conversation. “As you will recall, Tammy, and as all of the assembled will know, you were promoted to Captain at the start of Operation Jewel. For a variety of reasons that couldn’t be a substantive promotion at the time, something that now needs to be remedied.”

“So I lose the rank?”

“Yes and no, it isn’t as simple as that.”

“Nothing ever is, Colonel.”

“Under the normal turn of events you would go back to Sandhurst for training, but you have never been there.”

“Correct. ”

“Your personal issues during Operation Jewel were reported back through a variety of channels and they reached the desk of an officer in the Ministry of Defence. That caused your file to be opened and I ended up with a bunch of questions I couldn’t resolve. I asked Commander Traeger to investigate a solution that met everyone’s requirements.”

“Okay, is anyone suggesting I couldn’t do the job?”

“Not as such, but you haven’t demonstrated the competences.”

“In fact I have had limited training with the Army, although my fitness, endurance and range skills have been regularly tested. I have however stepped up to any challenge, Sir.”

“That has been noted, several times. Now, whilst Traeger was looking for a solution I received a notice from the General. Hubert?”

“Thank you Sean. A week or so ago I was informed that Captain Smart had personally detained two terrorists who had evaded capture by the US Coastguard, and co-ordinated the detention of arms suppliers in Freeport. All of that was in addition to her stated role of protecting the Royal visitors and liaising with local personnel.”

Tammy shrugged. “Just work.”

“Work well done, Captain Smart. I am authorised by the Department of Defense to issue a citation acknowledging that you performed over and above your orders, resulting in safer waters. I’m also told that your participation gave the local Coastguard a morale boost, twice?”

“I was grateful for their liaison, Sir.”

“And that was noted, although not included in the citation. That citation should be with you in a few days.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

“There is one other matter I can deal with. I hereby authorise Major Paul Dannigan as a NATO certified training assessor for the twelve month period June first 2017 to May thirty-first 2018. Will you relay that, Colonel Preston?”

It took Tammy a second to catch that the General didn’t know that Dannigan was, Dannigan.

Dannigan nodded. "Certainly, General. Thank you for understanding the need on such short notice."

He saluted, which Dannigan returned, as did the other armed forces personnel. General Jenkins screen went dark.

Tammy wondered how many aliases Paul Dannigan had, also what his true rank was? This was a complication she hadn’t expected but would have to consider lest compromise operational security. Just one more thing to deal with.

“So, Tammy, the Americans have issued an official accredited certificate relating to your deputising rank.” Sean stated.

“That’ll look nice framed in my office.”

“Quite. Commander Traeger however would see that anything like that is confiscated until you prove yourself worthy of the rank.”

“I suspected as much, Colonel, but short of going through initial selection for officer school at Sandhurst, what do we do?”

“Sir Thomas?”

“The Duke and Duchess have advised me that you are being considered for a Queen’s Gallantry Medal.”

“Does my work qualify for a Queen’s Gallantry Medal?”

“According to their Highnesses, it does.”

“Oh, that would complicate matters?”

“Yes, Tammy.”

“Thank you, Sir Thomas, but that still doesn’t fix matters?”

“Maybe not, but your recent apprehension of terrorists in Scotland had brought your name to the attention of others, some of whom already knew about you. Emily?”

Tammy noted that Paul Dannigan’s screen was still active although he had slipped away, next up was DCI Keane.

“Tammy, I’ve been keeping an eye out for your name, especially as I was the one who signed off your firearms licence!” She coughed then continued. “The operation in Scotland, although it had very personal ramifications, wasn’t done with malice or with any egotism. That is a very professional attitude despite some very extraordinary circumstances. I have also become aware of other recent counter-terrorism operations that you have been involved in and I have written to Colonel MacTaggart accordingly. We don’t thank people enough and your thanks is overdue Tammy.”

Tammy nodded. Sir Thomas took over. DCI Keane’s screen went dark.

“So, young lady, we have an even bigger problem. Your fan club is global, although we haven’t heard from New Zealand recently.”

“Indeed, I yet discovered how the local magistrate handled a certain former Captain.”

“Best stay away from that, Tammy, he’s bad news.”

“Sir Thomas, it doesn’t matter if I stay away, he still goes after me! It is personal and I need to keep abreast of what he’s doing – for my own safety.”

“Let others deal with him.”

“I think you missed the point..”

Colonel MacTaggart coughed. “That is the wrong reason to be involved. We can order you to leave this matter, and that’s not an excuse to run around our backs young lady.” Sean reminded.

“Aye, Sir.”

“Nevertheless, on one hand we have a multitude of senior personnel agreeing that you’re special and that you get the job done, whilst on the other hand the standard sections of your army file have more holes than Swiss Cheese.” Sir Thomas remarked. “I’ve seen it!”

“Yes, yes, so how do we deal with that, or do I transfer to a US command?”

Tammy had spotted Dannigan return, papers in hand.

“That had been a consideration, Miss Smart, but your logistics wouldn’t have allowed it. You would have to relocate.”

Tammy shrugged and turned to Sean MacTaggart. “I hope there’s a plan, Sir?”

“There is, but you might not like it.”

“Go on?”

“Although I hadn’t been on Ram’s Rock Island; I have been kept informed of the training package that you have undertaken.”

“They push me hard.”

“Correct. Some of the exercises are purely to develop stamina and skills but some also test leadership. Paul?”

“Yes, Sean, and, Tammy, the reports from your last two visits to Ram’s Rock have been sent to me for analysis. The question of leadership is key as otherwise you could be just an extremely fit grunt.”

“So how did I do?”



“You met the standards. I have been authorized by the DoD to adjudicate that you met the standards for leadership, independant operation, firearms, fitness, amphibious and air training. Jump and Air Assault schools. You gained the respect of junior officers you had only just met, managed deployments to gather intelligence and render terrorists non-viable, on the fly. With the new authorization I can submit this in terms of a NATO cross-service appraisal, which Commander Traeger can process into your UK records. Shuffling and restacking the deck in your favor, as it were.”

“As it were. Thank you, Sir.”

The Colonel took over.

“That’s part of the jigsaw, lassie, but the pen-pushers will want more. Starting this afternoon you will have a crash course in army command and control methodology. You won’t agree with it, but it isn’t a debate. These are basic skills and knowledge you need. You will listen, learn and retain.”

“Will I learn how to put someone on a charge?”

“That would have been a part of your lieutenant training, if you had done that.”

“Whose idea was it to give me the rank of Lieutenant originally?”


Tammy noted that the rank and first name had been omitted.

“What was the whole point of giving me a pseudo rank?”

“Wade convinced me it would be a temporary arrangement whilst you were evaluated. Some corners were cut.”

“Which is why we ended up here today?”

“Correct, Tammy, let’s close this down.”

Paul Dannigan had already gone but Sir Thomas was listening and watching.

“Indeed, Sean. I believe I’m owed a bottle Tammy?”

“Sorry, Sir, I’ll get that organised although I did send half a case to the No Name Club recently?”


“Just getting into credit, Sir.” Seeing the dubious look, Tammy amended. "I could write off a larger amount as a business expense."

“I see, well that confession doesn't sting. I have other things to do, good day.”

Over an hour had passed so the pair retreated to the Colonel’s office at ground level for coffee and biscuits. Traeger joined them.

“I’m sorry, Geoff, that you weren’t a part of the earlier briefing, but you weren’t cleared for some of the content.”

“But Captain Smart is?”

“She also works with other agencies outside of the military, several of those were represented today. For your ears only, Captain Smart is set to receive a QGM and a citation from the US Department of Defense following Operation Jewel and other recent incidents,”

“I see. That’s not public?”

“The QGM may be made public but the citation isn’t. Both refer to Captain Smart.”

“Which clouds the issue?”

“No Geoff, see to it that it doesn’t. Later today, latest tomorrow, you will have leadership assessments for the Captain from a NATO accredited assessor. Your job is to ensure Tammy’s record includes the necessary information for her to know … how do you put it, dear?”

“Marching and farting to order, Sir.”

“Appropriate for the rank, of course.”

Geoff Traeger clearly didn’t want the task. “How much time do I have to bring her up to our standards?”

“I’m guessing you wanted the whole week and possibly next week as well?”

“I was thinking of three months, Sir.”

“No. This is not a training package to be delivered across multiple areas, you simply need to ensure Tammy can pass herself as a Captain should that be necessary?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Tammy, what’s your deadline?”

“Maisie is being inseminated at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary on Friday at ten in the morning.”

“And you’d like to be there?”


“Out of interest, what does next week look like?”

“End of year exams for my criminology degree.”

“So there’s no way we would demand your presence?”

“My university life has been disrupted enough as it is, Sir, although I guess a pandemic or other national emergency would release me?”

Geoff Traeger wasn’t impressed. “A pandemic, pah! The Army would swing into action before any infection could get a foothold. We won’t be hit again like that Spanish Flu in 1918.”

“Tammy, Geoff, can I suggest you start work? A word of advice, Commander, I see no point in wasting time on a fitness test as I suspect she’s fitter than you.”


As Tammy left the room, following Traeger, she remembered Lizzie.

“I’d like to check on my Lieutenant?”

“Can it wait for an hour or so? She’ll be available for lunch.”

He stopped and entered a training room, or at least that’s what Tammy assumed it was. She was invited to close the door behind her.

“Now, Captain ….?”

“Please, call me Tammy. I feel we can get this done easier if we drop the pomp and circumstance.”

“No, Captain, and let me explain.”

Tammy rolled her eyes, took a seat and folded her arms.

“Stand when I’m talking!”

“Geoff, you’re as bad as Marcus if you think you can bully me into submission. There’s just the two of us here so you don’t have to show off or justify yourself. I suggest you relax before that coronary walks up behind you?”

He picked up a book and slammed it onto the table in front of her before leaving the room.

Tammy waited a minute before picking up the book in question, an autobiography. The book covered the early career of a man who would eventually become a General in the UK Army. Tammy began to read.

As she made her way through this soldier’s story she applied the scenarios to her own early history with the Army, starting with the range in Hythe and then the exercise at Wattisham, as well as her prior visits to Catterick.

There were gaps, of course: she had never marched anywhere, let alone in sync with any bodily functions. She had, however, directed troops, shown inspiration and taken the flack for errors. She continued reading, becoming engrossed.


It was gone midday when the door opened. Tammy had expected Traeger to return but was surprised to see Lizzie. She ran towards Tammy.

“Oh, they were horrible!”


“They took some blood then sent me to this little room. I’ve just done three hours with a shrink.”


“I don’t know, but your name came up several times.”

“In what regard?”

“Did I trust you? Had you known I was trans when you were at RAF Benson? Did you force me to come out? Was I pretending to get close to you? That kind of stuff.”

“That’s a problem, but what’s the issue?”

“Search me, Tammy, did you have any ideas?”

“I’m suffering from rank stupidity right now but there’s no direct threat. Let’s get lunch.”

Tammy was intercepted on the way to the mess and offered her own arm for several vials of the red stuff.

“Sorry Captain, we were meant to do this earlier. Can you and your lieutenant be here at eight in the morning, before breakfast? We’ll be checking for any underlying issues.”

“Sure, so what is today’s for?”

“Drug and alcohol abuse. Everyone on base is being screened.”

“Fine, but she was screened a week ago at Gordon Barracks.”

“I’m aware, we’ll do a side-by-side comparison to see if the issue is stable or changing.”


The pair walked out of the Medical Unit, Tammy noted that they were both in dress uniform, whereas most around her were in fatigues. The uniform had served its purpose so far but she wanted to change. They arrived at the mess building and Tammy pushed Lizzie towards the officer’s mess.

They were seated in a far corner, Tammy wondered if that was due to herself or the lieutenant but didn’t question the waiter. They went for salads and were just about finished when Major Elliot approached.

“I’s told y' had a field promotion?”

“Aye, Major. That was quite unexpected.”

“Make y'self available, sixteen -'undred hours, I b'lieve y' know the room.”

Tammy took an educated guess. “I’ll be there.”

As the Major walked away Lizzie leaned over. “I’m guessing you know what that’s about?”

“Yes, and it’s above your pay grade.”

“Okay, so I guess I’m not invited. I have no idea what I’m doing here though? Apart from being grilled by a shrink?”

“Things will become clearer, probably.”

“Yeah, otherwise I’m wasting my time here.”

“Come back with me, if they want you they’ll find you.”

They were back in the training room ten minutes later. It wasn’t long before Traeger arrived.

“What did the Major want?”

“I’m needed for a briefing.”

“What briefing?”

“I’m sorry Commander, but I don’t believe you’re cleared. It’s for the same reason you were excluded this morning, it’s not personal.”

“It’s up to me to decide if you’re available?”

“Commander, I also work with the Security Service and other executive agencies from time to time on non-military matters. Those are definitely not a part of your remit. I wonder, however, if that isn’t part of the problem?”


“I’m twenty one years old and I’m female. I guess that makes you uncomfortable?”

He kept quiet.

“Let me continue. I also have the full support of senior officers from multiple units and armed services, as well as civilian intelligence agencies. My work is applauded and rewarded. How am I doing?”

He nodded.

“Now onto the negatives: I was drafted, for someone’s convenience, directly into an officer rank and have since been promoted without having to endure anyone in a pompous uniform making my life hell for a year or two. My work methodology is unconventional, bordering on illegal, but I take the risks and get the job done. My skill set is not necessarily in my file as yet although I’m capable of handling situations that you’re not. How am I doing?”

Another nod.

“So you are fighting all your own training and experience, plus the many years it took to reach your rank, against this upstart who apparently gets everything given to her on a plate for smiling or showing a bit of leg?”

“A bikini is not an approved uniform, regardless of what the Americans said.”

“So do you wear a uniform because you are required, because you’re expected to do so?”

“Yes, of course.”

“So do I, but I have a much wider range of uniforms available to me. I can put myself, and only myself, into situations that you would require a platoon to enter. I have training for insertion.”

“That’s a special forces skill.”

“Yes, and I have trained with UK and American officers over the past few years. What you see here is not what you get, Commander.”

“I see.”

“As I said this morning, work with me please. We can achieve more if you drop the pretence of me being one of your regiment who can’t keep in step.”

“It was suggested you were only playing along?”

Tammy smiled. “If I gave that impression it was to test them, believe me I have more than one way of presenting myself. If you had stopped and actually asked me about myself, especially whilst we were on the island, we wouldn’t be having this conversation now.”

“That’s not how the Royal Marines or SBS work.”

“This isn't the Royal Marines or SBS. As I reminded Lizzie recently, this is a Joint Task Force. Nothing is regular here. We all come from different places but must adapt or be unable to cope with developing situations. Let me tell you a story – two years ago there was a terrorist attack in a coffee shop in the West End.”

“Everyone got out alive, somehow.”

“All of the hostages, yes. I killed at least one of the attackers.”

“What were you doing there?”

“Strange as it may seem, having a coffee.”

“With a firearm?”

“Legally issued, I can assure you, because I have been the subject of multiple assassination attempts.”

“There was trouble at the inquest, I'd heard.”

“Me again. My solicitor was killed in front of me, I was going to be next, so I took out his murderer. That was a civilian matter in that case, not terrorism.”

“But you’re here? You killed and yet you’re free?”

“Both were justifiable, I was defending myself and otherwise would myself be deceased.”

“Did you bring a weapon onto the base?”

“I did not bring any firearms with me to Catterick. I had hoped it not necessary.”

Traeger went silent.

“What? You assumed I was armed?”

“I regret to say that the MPs have searched your rooms at the hotel searching for illegal weapons.”

“I won't even bother asking who authorized that. Lizzie, we’re leaving.”

“Jeez, Tammy, they really don’t like you.” She turned to Traeger. “You don’t get Tammy do you, you allowed the military police to break into our rooms with an invented justification, that won’t be forgiven.”

“Lieutenant, I don’t care to be spoken to like that.”

“Piss off, you misogynistic prick. I guess you’re pleased that you care for your own soldiers but Tammy isn’t one of those, is she? So you let them stamp all over her. I hope you’re proud of that uniform.”

The girls exited and briskly made their way across to the hire car, which thankfully was exactly where she’d left it. It was, however, unlocked.

“My guess is they searched the car as well.”

Tammy could see an audience gathering, including an MP. She dropped to the pavement and used the flashlight on her phone to scan the underside of the vehicle. It didn’t take long for a small black box to be identified. Against her training she reached and snagged it.

“This is war!”

She dropped it on the ground and stamped on it.

“Come on, Lizzie.”

The engine started first time and they rolled towards the guardhouse. The barrier raised as they reached it and she received a salute. A few minutes later they were parked outside the hotel. Tammy and Lizzie dashed up the stairs, finding the doors were, at least, closed. Inside Tammy could see clearly that someone had searched through her belongings. For this trip she hadn’t brought any offensive equipment so there would have been nothing to find. She roughly packed her bag and had reached her door just as someone tapped on it.

“Tammy, I don’t feel safe here.” Lizzie also had her bag.

“I agree, let’s go.”

Back at ground level Tammy looked for a member of staff, finding one in reception.

“I’d like to know who allowed our rooms to be violated?”

“I can’t tell you that.”

“So you’re complicit? I want a full refund, every single penny. I’ll also make certain that you are out of a job before the day is out.”

“That’s a threat, and I’ll have to ask you to leave the building or I’m calling the police.”

Tammy smiled. “That wasn’t a threat, that was a promise. How would you feel if a military policeman searched your knickers?”

“But I’m married to ….”

“Oh dear, oh dear.”

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More Tammy

Maddy Bell's picture

But haven’t we done this before?

I think it would be better for everyone to cut her loose, she is unable to follow simple orders which makes her very dangerous.

Even mavericks need discipline and Tammy can’t process that.


Madeline Anafrid Bell


An outstanding point.

Yes, even Mavericks need to follow orders…….

D. Eden's picture

But only legal orders. Traeger apparently thinks that he can violate the law whenever he wants to, which he cannot do.

I’m not sure how it works in the UK, but in the US the military is subordinate to civilian direction. Additionally, the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the federal troops from participating in civilian law enforcement. Not to mention the searching of their hotel rooms would fall under an illegal search and seizure as there was no court order which would be required for even a civilian law enforcement officer to search.

A good portion of these laws and restrictions are directly the result of the acts of British troops within the thirteen colonies prior to our War of Independence, actions which contributed to that conflict.

Apparently Traeger hasn’t learned anything from that little bit of history!

Also, as an inactive member of the US Military, members of the military have a duty to refuse to follow any order which they deem to be illegal or unconstitutional. This is generally called a "duty to disobey," and is empowered by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

D. Eden

Dum Vivimus, Vivamus


If you want someone to play by the rules, it usually helps if you do it yourself.
After 12 years in the services (also with TS clearance), I too was treated to some strange sideways glances by ranks from senior ncos to admirals.
No one likes a tall poppy. That doesn't mean you take a flamethrower to the field.
Tammy reactt much as I do. To talk with kings yet not lose the common touch.
Don't bullshit me and you won't be treated to the presumption of idiocy.

Good Story

Shiraz and Alicia do write a good story and this one is getting more interesting chapter by chapter. Its a pity there are only two more to go in this episode

Tammy vs the military

Tammy defies their logic, to them she's the proverbial riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

As has been previously noted, pretty much her entire military training was provided mainly to cover someone's backside, with her being given a rank primarily to get her into military bases without awkward questions being asked. She's been used and abused by both the military and intelligence communities, and too often they've adversely affected her civilian life.

It's no surprise she gives short shrift when encountering yet another military officer who simultaneously expects her to be just another enlisted "Yes sir!" subordinate and a potential threat.

At this point, any military official who unwittingly given responsibility for any of Tammy's training should be given the barebones biography including work with multiple (unspecified) agencies, and although given a military rank or convenience, is still officially a civilian.

As such, while she needs training to understand the way things are done in the military, and how she's expected to behave in formal military contexts, for 1:1 training or in informal, off-base contexts, remember she's a civilian who undertakes occasional ad-hoc work for them.

As the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, then only left-handers are in their right mind!

Right on!

I agree totally. It seemed to be headed that way. "Let's fake it, and show her how to use the military as cover" but then they go right back. But she didn't help it as he slammed the book down and stormed out. If she is going to pretend she's military, she has to act the part. That or go in as a civilian that needs to be there.

Who tapped on their hotel

Who tapped on their hotel door?

They encountered no one as they left.


I expected

Her to open the door and find a company of Red Hats there to escort her back to the base, in cuffs if necessary. I figured they planted bugs in the room to listen to her. It's obvious someone higher in the chain is out to get her, Lt. Harrision and Sgt. Staines, and put them out of action. I keep coming back to the Colonel as the only common denominator we have seen. If Burgess can sit in the House of Lords and be a bad guy, how far down the chain has his influence penetrated. We know the upper ranks down as far as Lt, has been compromised as well as the civilian side in Intelligence MI 5 and 6, as well as local law enforcement. Someone definitely feels threatened by her bunch.

Edit....... came back to the knock on the door just now, and maybe due to a different word cadence or a duh! moment, it was obviously Lizzie. Still doesn't change my surprise over the lack of Red Hats waiting for her


That was Lizzie tapping on the door. They had separate rooms and both girls had their room searched, so Lizzie walked down to Tammy's room after doing a fast stuff of her own travel bag.

- Leona


The left hand has no idea what the right hand has done or is doing. It started out to the good. Everyone put on a happy face due to high ranks and outsiders were present. Then they were right back to square one five minutes later.
We'll show her how to pretend to be an officer, but then it breaks apart. Finally they seem to be coming to an explained understanding, yet we hear "you've killed but you're free?", From what should be a seasoned soldier with time with a rifle in his hands.

Maybe they need to start over with her in a different branch of the British military rather than the army. The US uses warrant officers..... civilian experts doing military training, as in the famous movie "Top Gun". Do the Brits have similar? Maybe they could run with the Territorials. The US has the famous weekend warriors the National Guard. Is that similar to Territorials? That could explain any advanced or outside training.

Why would they go into a civilian establishment and do a search without a warrant? She clearly told them she had no guns, failing to declare the sleeve knife which should be in her profile and they keep missing. They know she has clearance to carry firearms, why do they get sweaty thinking about it. Then a major informs her of their criminal actions and they stupidly affix a tracker to a rented vehicle. If they get that dumb, they could one that is sealed and dropped through the gas fill, and not visible. Dumb.

Lizzie's shrink sure sounded like another bunch of True Freedom operatives are still after Tammy. She needs to find another uncle as this one is doing a pi$$ poor job of things. He sits there telling her good job with a handshake while his people are actively working against her. We can actually clearly see why this interlude is titled Rank Stupidity. That's what is taking place. Mommy needs to take Tammy out of this nursery school and find a better one.

and one last thought....hey Geoff how'd the army do stopping that pandemic? maybe they could have reacted faster, or had better weapons, or more training? or a better attitude, since even with advance info, they let true freedom demolish the british airways and travel and the info super highway. the authorities did do a pretty good job on the tainted bottled drinks the terrorists used to distract and tie up the system.

Dropping the tracker in the gas fill.

WillowD's picture

If you did this, wouldn't the tracker wind up in a metal gas tank, which would act as a faraday cage, keeping the radio signals trapped inside?


I'm not sure exactly how it works? Many modern tanks on cars are of a "plastic" nature, not the old heavy metal ones like were used in the old days. Remember the exploding pintos back in my days. Back then it was very common to have a 22 or 25 gallon tank, slung on the bottom under the boot, or trunk in the US, I had a pick-up trunk with two 25 gallon tanks, I had to rotate use to keep it from going stale. Anyway, the trackers are pencil shaped and slide right in the gas fill, even the narrow fills used to keep leaded gas being dispensed. My own car (admittedly a 2004 antique), has a plastic jug that is just below the fill and has a whole 13 gallon capacity. With modern button batteries, it doesn't have to be very large either. Most modern car bodies are made out of plastic and non steel anyway. You can't just reach under a fender or bumper and stick something there anymore. You have to get down to the frame to find steel anymore and the reinforcings for passenger safety. I remember when Saturns first came out, they showed commercials of wind pushing a shopping cart that banged into a competitor scratching and denting it, while it bounced off a Saturn. I recall it being called "made like a Rubbermaid". Back in the early 2000s, my dept had a fleet of Chevy Impalas. One of our detectives was in a t-collision where he was hit right around the drivers front wheel well while in easing out to make a right turn. Inverted his vehicle. The gas tank was visible, and plastic. Anyway, the trackers seem to work fine, at least the short time they are designed for.

Illegal conduct.

Traeger is falling foul of the same stupidity as Wade and Fielding. A mysogynistic rage that Tammy can get away with stuff they can't.
It does happen in the services that some people circulate in odd company, because they fit a different template to the norm.
Nothing I've seen of Tammy actually falls outside what is possible. Nor even what sometimes happens.

Traeger, again

Does he actually want to screw Tammy over or is he just making sure there's no mishap with firearms? At the moment it feels rather like the former. Someone stated that the colonel is the common denominator here. Maybe, maybe not.

>“But you’re here? You killed and yet you’re free?”
That sounds as if Traeger expected a different outcome.

>“Did you bring a weapon onto the base?”
Since Tammy was searched at the gate, that question was strange, as if the MPs didn't report to Traeger.

>“I regret to say that the MPs have searched your rooms at the hotel searching for illegal weapons.”
If Traeger is really regretful about that, then that means that the MPs acted without his orders, and there was nothing he could do. And that would mean there's another big fat Burgess rat somewhere in the MPs. If he ordered the search then Sean has another fucking problem on his hands.
And it looks like the shrinks are still infested with TF rats. Now this looks like a job for Sam, so everbody just encourage her. It's so boring without her. ;-)

>Will you relay that, Colonel Preston?”
So Paul doesn't really trust the British military circus. Better safe than sorry.

Thx for another nice chapter^^


Tammy had arms in the hotel, they'd be legal. She's got permits.
I remember opening my boot on the car in a service area just as a civvy turned the corner 3 metres away.
His eyes went round and nearly fell on his cheeks.
I had 9 L1a1s, 10 smgs and 6 9 mm Browning handguns in the boot.
All legally neing transported.
He said he wouldn't tell anyone.... Honest, pleeeease.
I showed him my NATO pass
He breathed a sigh of relief.
It was during the Irish "troubles".
The gunnery officer with me was on tenterhooks for the next hour as we drove South. Expecting sirens.....

Almost no one outside of

Higher ranking persons and those with a need to know, know his real name. We only learned it when he took the troupe to the nursing home and met his father. He was berated then for not wearing the correct rank insignia, and his brother was given his promotion.

Thank you

Thank you. That's it. Just thanks for the very enjoyable story.

What came to mind

When Traeger was trying to throw his rank around, my immediate thought was Rank Incompetence. The army is good for army things. But when the army can't (or won't) do the job, they go to people like Tammy. They interact like oil and water. Tammy's side of things is the oil that makes things slip together and work. The army's water can't do that, it just leaks out on the ground and evaporates. You wouldn't fill your transmission with water.

"Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”
George Carlin

Round Pegs, Square 'Oles

joannebarbarella's picture

That's what militaries the world over are trained to do. Take a civilian and bash them into something they know how to deal with. Tammy is not a round peg and they'll never be able to fit her into their systems.

But I'm married to

And now we know who let the MPs in to do the search. Wonder if they placed further trackers in their gear and/or remote ears in gear and car.

The upside of my 12 year old computer dying

WillowD's picture

is that by the time I collected and bought all of the parts to assemble a new computer and get it up and running is that I am only reading this chapter a day before the next one is coming out. I won't have to wait as long. Yay.

Funny thing. The internet seems to be running faster than I'm used to today.