The Sound of Music
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"Rachel Mills," the civilian behind the desk says, in that tone of voice people always use when they're reading from a file.
"Sir," I say.
He reads. I look around. The room is small and bare, like a box. A battered desk, two chairs, fluorescent lighting. And dust. Oh, and a guy in a bad suit who reeks of a past life in black ops. I've met a lot of his type lately.
"Care to explain this?" the guy says, lifting the file.
I flash back to the last time someone held a personnel file in my face. I was in restraints, drugged. There was a bullet hole in my shoulder. Angela Petrelli was talking about Mom--
"What do you want to know?" I say.
"You spent four years in the Marines. Tours in Afghanistan and Iraq."
"Yes, sir," I say.
"Combat decorations. By the way, aren't there still laws against women being in combat units?"
I love guys like this. Not really. Except this one might just be testing me, so I don't offer to hit him.
"You'll have to take that up with the bad guys, sir. I just shoot back when shot at," I say.
"With great accuracy, apparently. Yet you were discharged as a private. Don't the Marines have a mandatory promotion process?"
"To an extent. Yes, sir."
"So then, tell me in your own words how a decorated combat veteran managed to screw up her career so badly? And yet still expect an offer from me?"
I take a deep breath.
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