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Dirty Dozen Debrief

Dirty Dozen Debrief

Dr. Ingram debriefs the Dirty Dozen

A continuation of the fictional stories of Dirk, any resemblance to real persons or incidents is purely coincidental

Dr Ingram sat on a stool at the front of the team gathered in laboratory #1. The team was all there, including Jenn still sedated on the bed. The boss sat in the far back, he had wheeled his office chair all the way through the facility to have it for this debrief. Comfort could be accommodated when he recognized it as a priority.

Dirk was in the middle of the front semicircle, directly facing Dr. Ingram with Lilith on one side and Devin on the other. Luna and Rob filled the rest of the row. In the back Nat, Quinn, Kat, Jake and Leroy filled the other chairs. This was not the formal debrief of their previous experiences. Dr. Ingram had always insisted on one-on-one interviews. This was their first group debrief and the mood was somber.

The boss told the team to gather in the lab and that Dr. Ingram would be providing a briefing at the beginning and then each member would be expected to answer questions when asked for the formal debrief.

Dr Ingram began, "Thank you all for coming. It has been a rough couple weeks for us all. A little longer than that for Jenn. I would guess that all of you now know the obvious risk of abandoning protocol and going out on your own. Jenn was lured away from the facility for a purpose. Each of you will be a target of this same adversary. Our enemy.

This is not meant as a detailed briefing about our enemy, but our vulnerabilities to our enemy. Each of you are now permanent members of a team. Some refer to you as a strike force, and I came up with the title the Dirty Dozen. I prefer the general description of a team and Dirk has begun to call you a family. I accept that with the condition that you do not refer to me as a mother. I'm pretty sure Ray does not want to ever be called your father or grandfather." Dr Ingram smiled a little as she said that, and there was a gasp from Nat at hearing the boss referred to as Ray, and silence from all with the reference to father and grandfather.

Dr. Ingram continued, "Wow, this is a rough crowd today. Yes, I don't call Ray 'boss' or 'sir' and I sure won't start doing so now. He and I have worked together for many years, and it is true we were also married. I guess I should not be surprised that none of you laughed at my joke, as I was not really joking, no calling me mother, I mean ever. As far as considering yourselves part of a family, I think it is healthy. I encourage it."

Ray chimed in from the back, "Unless any of you have ever been married to me, no calling me Ray either and I'm pretty sure those other names she mentioned goes without saying."

Dr Ingram had a smile now that had not really been noticed by Dirk and he thought it was a good look for her. The rest of the team continued to listen without comment or interjection.

She continued, "I asked Ray to bring us all together and do a group debrief as this last mission took us into uncharted territory and is complicated. I said I was not going to brief on our enemy, but I am going to alter that by saying that our enemy has many faces. When we know who our enemy is and can attack directly, we have the best chances of winning the battle. The enemy knows this and tries to infiltrate into our ranks and into the population. As I said, it's complicated.

"What I do want to brief is our vulnerability to the enemy's tactics. The debriefs I conduct at the end of missions are to ensure none of you have been compromised. The insider threat is real and especially dangerous if not detected early. The good news for us, is Jenn is recovering and is not lost to the team. She has been through a lot and will need time to fully recover. It was the enemy's purpose to compromise her and weaponize her against us. That is the reason there was a stand down order for the rescue. Higher-ups had determined she was lost to us. Ray took personal responsibility for this mission and articulated this was his team and if this mission failed, the team would be disbanded. An 'all or nothing' mission. That is why he called it Operation Musketeer.  'All for one and one for all,' as he liked to say it."

"Cass, I still like to say it, and I'm in this room too, you are getting off point, let's move on to purpose of this debrief," the boss interjected stoically.

"Yes, well," Dr Ingram continued, "the purpose of all debriefs after a mission is to protect all of us from an insider threat. As I was with you on this mission and individually witnessed all your interactions, I have already concluded we have not been infiltrated. That's the good news. In order to strengthen the team, we will now do a group debrief follow up exercise.

"We will begin with Dirk. Dirk, I want to compliment your plan. Your tactics were brilliant. Had the whole team been engaged in the rescue attempt, we would have been more vulnerable to the enemy's purpose to infiltrate the team as we entered into their facility to rescue Jenn. Our timing was also fortuitous as Jenn resisted their attempts to weaponize her, and she was not completely broken by the time we got to her. It was a trap, but thanks to Lilith, we did not spring the trap as they had anticipated.

"I will pause here to explain that the enemy knows Ray. As you have experienced in our previous missions, Ray is usually at a distance in a command and control function. On this mission he was part of the strike team. Ray has a natural resistance to infiltration and as some of you witnessed is very formidable in direct contact with the enemy.

"Lilith and Dirk were the most concerning targets during this mission. Dirk also appears to have a natural resistance to infiltration and that was demonstrated during this mission as was his ability to deal with the enemy in direct contact. Lilith is quite amazing, and exceeded expectations on this mission. Not only does she exhibit resistance to infiltration, she has a natural ability to be undetected among the enemy. A welcomed phenomenon that I look forward to continue to develop with Lilith.

"The rest of you showed loyalty and dedication to each other and the purpose of the mission. This was a completely successful operation. I have concluded the briefing portion and am now ready for you to participate in the debrief exercise. Dirk, I will begin by asking you a question that I want you to answer before the group. That question is, are you damaged from this mission?"

All eyes were now on Dirk. After a pause he responded.

"I am damaged, yes. For the team's benefit, I would rather discuss with you more in private - if that's OK."

"Thank you Dirk, yes we can do that,"  responded Dr Ingram. "How about you Lilith, are you damaged?"

"I too am damaged Dr. Ingram, but Dirk is helping me recover. I also feel my strength returning from my sessions in the float tank.  I also ask for one-on-one sessions with you, so we can work out the best recovery strategy." Lilith said calmly answering directly to Dr. Ingram.

Dr. Ingram then paused and then stood from her stool.

"Ray, I'm experiencing one of those learning moments you enjoy teasing me about. I am going to change tactics and re-schedule individual sessions for each member of the team. These group sessions are best for briefings and I will continue individual debriefs.  I ask that you get with Nat to schedule the sessions and the sessions will be conducted at my office. Nat, are you OK with that?"

"Yes Dr Ingram, happy to get that scheduled for you. I also want to say that I am damaged too. I'm going to selfishly put myself for the first session if you don't mind. Everyone here knows about my nightmares, and is being very supportive and I just want to say thanks. And that I love you all.  I mean that."

"Thank you Nat, yes that will be fine," replied Dr Ingram. "You all really are a family."

In the back of the room, the boss stood up from his chair and added, "A fucked up family of misfits, that now have a place to belong. I for one ask that you spare me any family squabbles as much as possible and try to keep it among yourselves to work out. Bitch and whine to Dr Ingram and she will still give me reports and will have my full support in her recommendations." After a long pause he continued, "I am really proud of each one of you. You did good out there. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust. We took it to them and communicated to my satisfaction. Plenty more to do, but I'm proud. Real proud."

"Group hug!" Luna offered excitedly as she pulled Dirk and Lilith into her and the others gather around them.

"A fucked up family of misfits," remarked the boss. "I'm going back to my office before I tear up or Luna fucks up and calls me Dad."


This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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