Introduction: In a sense there is a connection to this story and several other non-magic stories I’ve written. Two characters from Mike and Ashley show up briefly. They would be Mike and Ashley. This story, Like “Mike and Ashley”, “Discovery”, and “Cynthia and the Queen of Knight” takes its storyline from the work of someone else. In this case, a production by an Italian fellow named Joseph Green. The story is 16 chapters in length plus an epilogue. I’ve done as much tweaking as I can. Any errors are mine and I will gladly accept constructive criticism; as long as you’re nice.
We meet Anita Okoye at Fort Campbell, Kentucky as the trial of a man who drugged and raped her comes to an end. Anita had a stellar military career, and if she had stayed in the service, she probably would have gone very far in her career. However, after a very traumatic assault and rape, she decides to look elsewhere for a career. By the way, Anita is gay, and that is certainly not a negative issue..
This work is copyrighted by the author and any publication or distribution without the written consent of the author is strictly prohibited. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of the characters to persons living or dead is coincidental.
“Before I pass sentence, do you have anything to say to the court?” Colonel Adolphus Mayer, the presiding judge, asked.
“Don’t say a damn thing, Major,” his counsel whispered in his ear. “You have already damaged your case enough as it is.”
For once, Major Jonathon Drake followed his lawyer’s advice. “No, your honor.”
“Major Drake, based on the evidence presented to this court, the testimony of your convicted co-conspirators, and the testimony of Captain Okoye, I sentence you as follows: For the assault consummated by battery, I sentence you to ten years at hard labor. For unlawful detention, I sentence you to ten years at hard labor.
“The maximum sentence for rape is no longer death; however, had it been, it would not have been this court’s intent to impose that sentence. Your sentence is as follows: You will be reduced in rank to E-1, forfeit all pay and allowances, and spend the next 30 years in the Federal Prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. You will then be dishonorably discharged.
“Bailiff, secure the prisoner and return him to his cell. This court is adjourned.”
Captain Anita Okoye sat silently at the rear of the courtroom. Her companion of three years, Sergeant Janice Holloway covered Anita’s hands with hers. There wasn’t much that could be said. It had been a rough six months.
“I’m going to miss you,” Janice said with more than a little emotion in her voice.
“And, I’m going to miss you. This is the best for both of us, though. I’ll let you know how things are going.”
One other courtroom attendee had remained. He stood as Anita and Janice embraced, and watched as Janice stoically left the room.
“You did well,” the tall, rangy, dark skinned man said as he hugged his daughter. “They never could be punished enough for what they did to you.”
“Daddy, they got what they deserved. The automatic review won’t change anything, and they will be behind bars for at least 20 years. They will be under the thumb of the authorities for the rest of their lives.
“What a bunch of cowards. They would never take no for an answer, and had to drug me to get what they wanted. But for the drugs, I probably would have killed them with my bare hands. I could have done it afterwards, but I decided this was the best way.
“Look, the movers are coming in two days. I’ll see you in Reston Saturday evening.”
“Are you and Janice through?”
“Pretty much, I don’t think we were ever truly in love. We’ll always be good friends, I imagine. In some ways, I think the rape was harder on her than it was on me. Oh, she supported me and all that. You know she did. But after that, she just began to distance herself from me. I guess in some ways I became impure, sullied. After that we hardly ever made love.”
“TMI, I think.”
“Oh, Dad,” she said with a bit of a mock scolding tone. “You have always supported me, and Mom did, too. You never showed any surprise when I came out to you, nor did Mom.”
“Of course not, my beautiful African princess, you were always so rough and tumble, but in a very feminine way. You didn’t have any male friends –Well, Raymond was always around.”
“Daddy, you always knew Rachel was a girl. You never bothered us during our makeup sessions. You and Mom never batted an eye when she dressed at our slumber parties. Her parents were so supportive. You even came to her wedding.
“Gosh, that was right after Mom died.”
Their conversation paused for a moment. Robelia Okoye had died of brain cancer several years before. When the doctors discovered the glioma mass it was already too late. She died in dignity as she had lived her life. She had been a champion for female equality as well as LGBT causes. She was born of Haitian parents who had escaped to the US many years before. She spoke English, French and Haitian Creole with facility. She had insisted that her only child learn those languages as well. In addition, Anita studied Spanish and Arabic during high school and college, and became very proficient in both. That would be very valuable in the years to come.
Anita’s father, Robert Okoye, was Ethiopian. At least his parents were. They had immigrated to the US before being a Muslim was a block to immigration. Not that mattered in their case, as they were Christians. That was difficult to explain to some people, preconceptions being what they were. He was tall, wiry, and dark skinned. That being said, he was Caucasian; something else some people had trouble believing. DNA analysis would show that his ancestors were mostly Arab and Northern European. He and Robelia met in college, and it was love at first sight, although Robelia did wait a month before she allowed Robert to seduce her.
Anita inherited an interesting mix of genes. Her mother and father were both tall, and Anita was 6’ 1”. Her body was more like her father’s in many ways. She was almost as dark skinned as her mother, and she had inherited her mother’s African hair, but she had inherited her father’s sharper features to a certain degree. Her mother had had a rather voluptuous figure. Anita was closer to average in the bust and hips. There was no mistaking she was all woman, and she constantly attracted the appreciative glances from men and women. She made no secret of the fact that she was gay, and did all she could to eliminate the thought that she might be leading someone on.
In college she had excelled in sports, and several pro basketball franchises had been after her. That was never to be. Anita had intended to join the Army very early in her life, and her parents did nothing to discourage her. She graduated first in her ROTC class and was commissioned a second lieutenant. She went on active duty a month later as a Military Police Officer. That had not been her goal, though. She had one thing in mind. She wanted the Green Beret. As soon as she reached her first permanent station, she applied for Special Forces training. Regulations being what they were, she was not accepted for Special Forces training until she’d been in her current assignment for two years. She was basically accepted because of the quota system. Perhaps, finishing first in her Military Police class had something to do with it, too.
Once again Anita excelled. The rules had changed to allow women into the infantry and Special Forces. The tough thing was there was no double standard. The physical requirements were exactly the same for the women as they were for the men. Several women in the class dropped out rather quickly, as did several men. One of those men was Captain Jonathon Drake, Jr., son of Major General Jonathon Drake, Sr.
Drake was one of those officers who felt because his father, or mother as the case may be, was a high ranking person that the rules and standards of performance didn’t apply. He was wrong on several accounts. The fact he was the son of an active duty Major General didn’t mean shit to the instructors and staff of the school. What mattered was the lives of the men and women whom they were supposed to be leading. There was no cutting corners. They either cut the mustard or they were out. It was that simple.
Anita did not finish first in her class, but there was no question she was near the top. She never failed a test, physical or academic. There were only three others who could make that claim. She was the only woman who graduated with her class. The others had either dropped out or were washed back. One of her female classmates did graduate with the next class.
Her first assignment was with the 5th Special Forces Group, headquartered at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Beginning was the best part of her military career; a great adventure. She was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group. There, she became the Executive Officer (XO) to the B Company Commander, Major Stanley Black. For her entire military career and afterwards, she would always hold Major Black in the highest regard. The man was a leader in the truest sense. He did not fall to the prey of many stereotypes that still existed in the Military. There was one thing, and one thing only. Do your job. Do what you were trained to do, and if you weren’t trained to do a particular job, learn it and learn it quickly.
The respect ran both ways. He had suspected Anita was gay but never pressed her on the issue (which in the modern military should never have been an issue in the first place.). She came out to him fairly early.
“Anita,” first names behind closed doors, “I am very happy to have you in this organization. The fact that you are gay means nothing to me other than I respect your privacy. It’s really none of my business. Under different circumstances I might have had to request that you be transferred to another Company. Let’s just say that I’m very happily married, and have no intentions of jeopardizing my marriage. If I were single, and you were straight. I probably would have asked you out very quickly. That’s a moot point.” Years later General Black confessed he’d been out of line for his comments. His respect for Anita Okoye never diminished.
Anita’s promotion to Captain was a foregone conclusion. Shortly afterwards she became a Detachment Commander for an ODA, a Special Forces Operational Detachment-A. In her previous position as the XO, she helped support the six ODAs that belonged to the Company. She’d made several trips to the field in a support role. She was never on the ‘front’ of battle, but she gained the respect of those who were.
Shortly after her promotion to Captain she was given the command of a detachment. Her detachment was immediately deployed to the Horn of Africa where they worked to weaken the militant Muslim factions. Some of the locals had problems dealing with the very strong willed African woman who eschewed the traditional roles of the tribal women in the area.
That being said, many they dealt with did not realize that she was a woman. The uniform and gear detracted them from the truth. In their first skirmish with the Al Shabaab she proved her mettle.
She knew something was wrong as soon as they entered the desiccated little village. The first clue was the absence of the barking dogs who’d always announced their approach. The second was the absence of the children who had seemed to rather quickly overcome their shyness of the American visitors who gave them books and writing materials to them. Every once in the while they would get something sweet. Chocolate would never do as it melted rather quickly.
“Sarge, it’s too damn quiet.”
“No shit, Captain; somethin’ ain’t right.”
“No dogs, no chickens, no kids, no cattle. I don’t hear a damn thing.”
“I do. Do you hear it?”
“I do now: flies.”
War is never a pleasant thing, especially when you’re dealing with radical fundamentalists, such as Al Shabaab. It’s going to get nasty, but Anita is one to never back away from battle. The first few chapters are setting the scene for when the 1872 production begins. For those familiar with the story, there have already been enough clues. PM me if you know the answer.
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