From Chapter 5
Gunny counted ten men staring at him from formation. By his count, he was missing about forty-five men including his squad leaders and his staff sergeant. How in the hell could you lose forty-five Marines? “Marcus!”
“Yes, sir?” A nervous Lance Corporal stepped forward.
He was the highest-ranking noncom at the moment. Gunny’s eyes narrowed. And the Lance Corporal blanched. “Where is everyone?”
“Yes, everyone.” Gunny took a deep breath at the confused look on the Lance Corporal’s face and made a note to find out why he had been promoted. Then he roared, “Where in the hell are my other men?”
Yep, the only thing missing was smoke from the Lance Corporal’s ears as Gunny saw him rapidly shifting gears considering all the avenues of answers he could use. Trying to select the one that would get him in the least amount of trouble, was he?
He blurted out, “Sir, Staff Sergeant is in sick call, sir. They all have the same thing, sir.”
Okay. The more sirs he added, the more likely it was to be a lie. Eyes narrowed, Gunny continued to stare at him.
“Sir, might be the flu, sir.” The Lance Corporal swallowed hard.
Yep. Lie. Gunny stared, and the Lance Corporal fidgeted. After he reached his quota of fidgeting, Gunny said, “Dismissed.”
He didn’t watch as the men scuttled away. He did hear their conversation before the barracks door slammed shut.
“Drew is so going to get his ass kicked.”
“Yeah. Gunny isn’t going to buy it. The kid’s okay. I don’t know why…”
“Long story before you got here. I’ll tell you at the club over drinks.”