I stepped through the metal detector and the detector did not go off. I had a number of pins in my bones for my work with the CIA but they were of a composite substance unlike an alloy and they did not typically set off metal detectors. My handler, a gentleman that I did not know that preceded me through the metal detector. He picked up a side arm on the other side of the metal detector after the guard had inspected it and his idea and pass.
We headed out of the building, while down the sidewalk to the landing where we entered the vehicle together. We drove across the campus to the medical building. I had been fired but I had not yet been released. Technically I was a government employee and before I could be released from the CIA I had to pass through medical screening. They had confirmed that they hadn’t done any more damage than it already acknowledged to my person. This would then set a snapshot in time of my personal hell such that I couldn’t come back and attempt to make claims of the government for disability some point in the future.
Medical screen was done at a nondescript building on the campus. This is not a full hospital for it in a doctor’s office where people were treated, it’s sole purpose was to screen people that were exiting the CIA. Late screenings were performed here in more advanced reviews were then conducted at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
We entered the building and again we went to the routine a pass into the metal detector. We went to the elevator and wrote up two floors to the third floor. We exited the elevator and walked down a hall making to rights which put this on the back side of the building away from the elevator. We entered the office to left and my handler promptly delivered a file folder to receptionist sitting behind a counter. A handler signed in and then we both proceeded to sit down on hard plastic chairs lined up in a row with about 10 other people going through a similar process. Each person was with their own individual handler even retirees, no one was really trusted in the CIA.
After waiting for about 35 minutes, we were eventually called back to the room with five other people that needed to be screened and their individual handler’s. We lined up, much like I had done when I was in the military years earlier and one by one we were reviewed by a doctor. The review is part exam in part questionnaire.
Things seem to be running smoothly, but I knew that this would be a long process. How processing of any government institution is never a rapid event.
The doctor reviewed by injuries careful not to ask how I received them. Medical professionals and the CIA were taught to pay attention to the symptom and not necessarily to the cause, the cause is often highly classified. We ran down the list and he asked about every single one of the ones I had experienced while working for the CIA.
It’s not exactly an exceptional list, nor when I’m proud of. In the movies people often brag about their wounds and show off their scars. Personally I was always kind of embarrassed every single time I was wounded. In almost every scenario, something that gone slightly wrong and I’ve suffered for it. I was felt that if I had done my job slightly better I would not have been wounded.
I’m not trying to say that I was grew up or anything, I just placed a much higher bar for myself and other people did I suppose. So we ran to the list of 19 bullet wounds, 10 knife loans, 24 fractures and one highly classified missing testicle.
We were wrapping things up a doctor, when the doctor wrote in order and gave it to the handler. I wasn’t expecting this but knew what was. You are was an instruction for me to go to Walter Reed Army Hospital for further evaluation.
I did know what disorder was, but I didn’t entirely understand why. I didn’t doubt it, I thought maybe the pins fixing the fracture in my right leg might have something to do with it maybe they needed to do x-rays and they didn’t have the x-ray machine hear in the screening center.
I handler appeared to be unfazed and so completely disregarded situation. I figured I’d be lucky if I was done with the out processing by the end of the week and today was only Tuesday.
As we were wrapping up in and leaving the office, we stopped by the sign out. As we were signing out I experience a little bit of déjà vu as I looked at the new girl that was sitting by the reception counter. There was something familiar about her face into my line of work I learned long ago to pay attention the faces. They’re typically two situations when a familiar face mean something important.
Either somebody that you’ve met before or that you know, or possibly a relative of someone you know. Or the person whose face looks familiar, looks familiar to you because they know you and their facial expressions are giving away something that breeds familiarity. It’s a bit of a tipoff, but it typically means they know you and if you don’t know them, you probably need to know why or how they know you.
We turned away from the counter and were just about ready to walk out the office, my handler leading the way, when the reception is stated, “Don’t forget, you’ll need this patch and pass for Walter Reed.”
I was closest, so I turned and accepted the badge and the pass. To grow almost seemed to ignore me as she handed the items to me, she was already reaching for a fax it was coming in on the machine. However as I accepted the badge in the pass a third item dropped into my hand. It was a very small pill.
As an experienced operative, I had long ago developed the ability to hide things using sleight of hand. Like a magician I rapidly position the small little pill in my fingers as I rapidly grabbed the badge and pass and handed it to my handler in one swift motion.
I had no idea what the pill was nor did I know what it was for, but suddenly the day was taking on a great deal more intrigue. I’ve been pretty uncomfortable since been fired. That was unfamiliar territory for me. I wore intrigue like a second set of clothes, and suddenly I was very comfortable even though I didn’t know what was going on.