Zahava losses her virginity to Layne.
It was pretty empty--most people had taken the Friday after Thanksgiving off. There really wasn't much to see--rows of grey metal government desks, rows of egg-crate florescent lights dropped from the ceiling. Small offices appeared periodically up against outside walls, one of which was his as Section Chief. He introduced me to his staff as "my future daughter-in-law" which brought a lot of smiles--mine included. We sat in his office and closed the door.
"So have you two talked about a date?"
"We're still talking, but even if he really is deployed to Vietnam, we'll probably wait until he comes back. It's a hard question."
"Well, you know that Mom and I will support anything the two of you decide--your folks too."
"I know--I'm really lucky. I already know my in-laws will be fabulous. (He smiled.) So what's going on upstairs? Who is that guy with Chad?"
"He's Army Intelligence, but don't ever, and I do mean EVER, repeat that. As for what's going on, I'm not sure. I'm guessing that Chad will be told in no uncertain terms not to repeat anything they let him in on, and that they won't actually tell him anything sensitive. I'm also guessing that they're checking out what Eddie Vu said about his ability with languages to see if they want to shift his AIT to some spook kind of deal."
"Kathy, if they suck him into intelligence, it may be smart what you said about waiting until he's out. A wife can be a dangerous leverage in that line of work. And you should probably work out a way to communicate past censors."
"Chad said the same thing about censors--but not about Army Intelligence, just in general. We haven't done it yet, but it needs to be pretty foolproof to accommodate Chad's spelling."
This visit was beginning to worry me. I had pushed Chad ahead on the languages, and now I worried that I might have launched him into something even more dangerous than the infantry. My imagination was running full speed. Would he be skulking around behind enemy lines, spying on conversations? Would I be able to get messages to him at all? Would his dyslexia get in the way and get him or someone else killed? Chad's dad watched me quietly for a while, then reached out and laid a hand on my shoulder.
"Honey, don't let your imagination run away with you." (How'd he know it was! Guess I'm pretty transparent.) "My guess is that they'll groom Chad to be a 'verifier'. That's a guy who's not supposed to be skilled in language but can listen in on official translations and blow the whistle on a translator that hides or distorts what was being said. It's not usually something that happens on the front lines. It happens in interrogation centers or in meetings with South Vietnamese army guys. Anyway, we don't even know yet if they're going to steer him in that direction. We just need to wait and see."
Eventually, Chad was brought to his dad's office and we headed home. Chad said they had him talk with a Cambodian woman and a Vietnamese guy, but they didn't give any clue about why they did that, or what they planned to do.