Sir, Somebody Called For You And It’s Urgent You Call Back. No, I Don’t Remember Their Name, Rank, Or Why They Called

YOUR ORDERLY ROOM — Sir! I’m glad you’re back. While you were out, there was an important phone call for you. It’s vital that you call them back right away.

Who was it? Ah…well, I’m not sure I remember. I’m pretty sure it was a dude, though. Or, like, a really strong woman.

Their rank? It was, uh…maybe…a Colonel? Or a Master Sergeant? Maybe a…Corporal-Captain? Do those exist anymore?

I know it wasn’t the Sky Marshal, because I would have recognized his voice.

No? Little Heinlein humor not lightening the mood? Sorry, sir.

No, sir, I didn’t write it down. Because Wagner took my pen, sir. So it’s really his fault. No, I didn’t check for more pens because I answered the phone at Sergeant Teller’s desk, and she told me not to open her drawers any more after I made that sculpture from her sanitary napkins.

What was the call about? What was the call about. What was the call about. What waaaaas … the call … pssssh psssh psh psh psh …ahhhhh …

I know it had something to do with … like, operations or logistics or something, sir. I know it was one of those two things.

Or training. So, one of those three things.

No, sir, I don’t have a callback number either. Well, because remember when Tanquary spilt his Diet Double Dew on Sergeant Teller’s desk last month? It must have gotten in the phone and hacked it somehow. Now when you push the “recent received calls” button it only shows ampersands. I’m pretty sure we didn’t get a call from “and-and-and, and-and-and-and.”

Sir? Sir! No, you don’t need to call the First Ser—First Sergeant, heeeey! What’s … what’s up? Good to see you, Top!

No, First Sergeant, I wasn’t being sarcastic. An observation, that’s all. About … you know, ampersands. Plus, this just proves, it’s really Tanquary’s fault. No, Top, I have no problem at all continuing this discussion from the front leaning rest.

Oh! Or, sir, the call may also have been about a deployment. I distinctly remember he, or she, saying something about a new patch chart. So … like, one of those four possible things, might have theoretically been the subject of this call. So, they wanted you to call back right away.

But hey, sir! Here’s something you will be happy about! You know the brigade commander? Like, the only bird colonel in the brigade? Him? You do? Oh, well, that kind of ruins some of the … anyway, you’ll be happy to know that he called for you as well, and I did remember his call! It was about a meeting at HQ about one of your soldiers. Something about … I forget, but I do remember who it was! See? I remember stuff most of the time!

When did the brigade commander call? Uh … I think it was … like, twenty or so minutes before you left for lunch? I went to go find you, but you weren’t in this room, or in the hallway immediately outside the doorway, so I didn’t know where you were. So I put him on hold.

Want me to see if he’s still there?