Washington D.C. – USA

Barbara ‘Barb’ Nickers walked into her boss’s office.  He had two chairs in front of his desk, but there was only one which Barb would sit in.  The other one she knew was pretty uncomfortable.

That was because it had come from her office. Her boss, who everyone referred to as ‘the Don’, was waiting for a replacement for the chair she had taken a few months ago.  He was a little annoyed that his chair requests kept getting lost in the bureaucracy.  The office pool had the odds at three-to-one that he would break and buy a chair himself, before the replacement made it into the office. Barb was waiting until it was five-to-one before she let the Don’s requisition hit the right desk.

She would make a killing if Don could just hold out another week or two.

She sat down in the comfortable chair, “You rang?”

Don looked up from his report, trying to decipher exactly what the memo required.  He paused, trying to collect his thoughts, “Yes.  I’ve got a request that has asked for your personal efforts to expand on some research you did a few months ago.”

Barb asked, “Any particular few months?”

Don handed the printed page across the desk to Barb. She took it and started reading it as Don continued. “Yeah, it had to do with the report you did that included the comment about Colonel Nickelson and his gun-shot in the knee here in town.”

She began to re-read the request, “It says here I’m supposed to drop my existing research!  Who is making that call?”

Don’s face looked like he had tasted sour milk, “I don’t know.  It came in under a code-word security level, so I’m not supposed to dig too deeply.  I’m not too happy with this, your efforts to follow up on the two cells in Los Angeles are hot right now. Plus, Yasef’s the only other analyst I might be able to use and he is busy on his own trail right now.  Assigning this to you means I’m going to need to pull in additional resources and I don’t have the budget to do that.”

Don waited, hoping he didn’t have to do what he knew he was going to have to ask her.  She looked up from the paper, “You’re wanting overtime on this?”

He shrugged, “I don’t have any other solution at the moment.  I don’t trust anyone else with your LA cell task. This new crap could be a dead-end or it might be for some political reason.  I don’t know why they want the info, or why they are picking our group to do this.  If you aren’t working on it during normal hours, it’s both our asses if we are audited.  What you do on personal time, outside of office hours, we can’t get nailed for.”

She made a face, “I’m going to need a budget for ‘Zombie Coffee and Donuts’ and pizza delivery.”

Don turned his head slightly and looked at her through slanted eyes, “No chair upgrade?”

She stood up, “Not yet.  If it goes past a week or two on either project, then we will have another negotiation, Mr. Roberts.”

Don nodded, if he had to buy a three-hundred-dollar chair plus food to get thirty to sixty hours of overtime there wasn’t a question.

It was a steal at that price.

She waved good-bye and stepped out of his office and started walking back to hers.

About the author


Michael Anderle (ok, weird talking about myself in the 3rd person) (1967-Hopefully a long time from NOW) was born in Houston, Tx. A very curious child, he got into trouble - a lot. What to do with an inquisitive mind when he was grounded? Read!

Ok, done with all of that 3rd person stuff.

In the first 20 years, I mostly read Science Fiction and Fantasy. In the last 10 years I have enjoyed Urban Fantasy and Military Fiction. With this background, I've been blessed with creating The Kurtherian Gambit series, a well-selling, and fan loved, collection of stories.

The fans have propelled these stories beyond my wildest imagination and they should get all of the credit for sharing with friends, family and occasionally the random person on the street. They are fantastic!

See all of my books on Amazon Here - Michael Anderle on Amazon