Sometimes I forget. So when I saw my old Airforce buddy, Colonel Steve Austin, walking through the immaculate halls of Edwards Airforce Base, “The Transfigure Mishap” totally slipped my mind and I greeted my old buddy as I have a thousand times in the past. I walked over to him and affectionately punched him in the shoulder.
“Austin!” I shouted happily, “How’re they hangin’ buddy!”
Steve whipped his head around to greet me and that lopsided smile of his disappeared just as suddenly as it had appeared. His blue eyes widened in shock as he gave me the once over.
“Do I know you?” he asked.
It was then that I remembered “The Transfigure Mishap”. I could feel the blood draining from my face and then rushing back to my cheeks as I begin to blush. ‘I'll never get used to this!’ I thought to myself angrily.
“Uh....I uh, that is....we uh.....” I couldn't stop stammering and believe me, I have NEVER stammered in front of Austin! Well, maybe a couple of times when we'd overindulged in the old Jack Daniels. But hey, that was different!
‘What now?’ I asked myself. The details of the “Mishap”, as we were calling it, were strictly confidential. I knew Austin had clearance but hell, there were Four Star Generals on the base who didn't even know about the “Mishap”! I certainly couldn’t violate security and a hundred other different regulations by telling an old buddy about it, even if he was one of the most trustworthy people I’d ever met.
At that moment, General Matthew’s secretary opened the door to his outer office and stuck her head out. “Colonel Austin?” she asked, grabbing Steve’s attention away from me for the moment.
“Yes ma’am,” Steve answered. I smiled in spite of myself as I remembered his impeccable manners.
“The General will see you now, Sir. If you’ll just follow me....?” she said, walking back into the office.
“Yes ma’am,” Steve said again. He turned and looked at me again and that left eyebrow of his slowly rose as he once again gave me the once over.
Reaching out to shake my hand as he eyed the emblems on my collar, he said, “Well, it was nice meeting you, Lieutenant...?”
“Westerman,” I offered as I shook his hand. “Likewise,” I said, easing my hand from his. He gave me one last glance and turned and walked into the General’s office where the secretary closed the door behind him.
It was then that I let out the breath that I’d been holding in. A fine sheen of sweat broke out on my face as I turned and walked down the hall.
“Perspiration!” I reminded myself agitatedly, “You perspire now, you don’t sweat!”
I walked into my office and closed the door, leaning back on it for support as I tried to pull myself together.
“That was a close one!” I said out loud as I removed my blue fitted jacket with brass buttons and hung it up in the small closet in my office. “You almost slipped up there,” I said to myself as I rounded my desk and sat down. “It was just the shock of seeing my old buddy again,” I reasoned. “I’m usually cool as a cucumber when it comes to meeting people, but running into Austin out of the blue like that just caught me off guard for a minute. Well, it won’t happen again,” I assured myself. “From now on, I’ll make sure that I’m at the top of my game. I’ll expect the unexpected. I’ll watch my p’s and q’s and I’ll damned well stay as far away from Colonel Steve Austin as I can possibly get!"
“For a minute there Oscar, I actually thought it was him,” Steve said into the secured phone line. Oscar had tracked Steve down over two thousand miles away and told him that he needed him to head out on his next assignment as soon as his meeting with General Matthews was completed. When the call had come through, General Matthews had excused himself from his office so that Steve could take the call on his private line.
“Don’t be ridiculous Steve,” Oscar said. “Everyone knows that Lieutenant Ryerson was killed on assignment a year ago. Besides, from that description you gave me of this Lieutenant Westerman,” Oscar said with a chuckle, “I’d say that’s a long way from the Lieutenant Ryerson we all remember. It’s probably just a coincidence, or someone having some fun with you.”
“Yeah, that’s gotta be it,” Steve reasoned. After all, hadn’t he attended Lieutenant Scott Ryerson’s memorial service himself? ‘His memorial service,’ Steve thought to himself, ‘not his funeral.’
“Anyway,” Oscar continued, “we have the Secretary’s approval and we’ll need you to head out ASAP pal.”
“I’ll get a reservation on the next flight out,” Steve assured him.
“Don’t bother,” Oscar said. “We’ve made arrangements for you. I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve taken the liberty of having a bag packed for you and put on the jet so you’ll be flying right to your assignment from Edwards."
“You think of everything,” Steve said with a smirk.
“Just doing my job pal,” Oscar said.
I settled in the cockpit awaiting the go ahead from the tower. I performed a systematic check and notified the tower that all systems were a go.
“This mission couldn’t have come at a more convenient time,” I said to myself. “The last thing I need is my old buddy Steve Austin nosing around. Yep. Getting out of the country for a while is just what I need. I mean, how can I explain to my old college roommate and Air Force buddy that I’m the result of one of the most screwed up experiments in the history of time! How can I explain that “The Transfigure Mishap”, which was originally called “The Transfigure Mission” by the way, had suddenly gone awry and that instead of transforming our original subject, “Patch” the chimp into a more acceptable “Ambassador” to outer space, that a last minute foul up had occurred, and I was the one who was transformed instead! I mean let’s face it, you don’t tell a guy who once knew you as a 6’4”, 230 pound muscled brute that you’re now a 5’10”, 36-24-36 beautiful, leggy brunette! Austin is as open minded as they come, but even he couldn’t handle something of this magnitude!”
Checking with the tower once more, I powered up the jet engines and took a peek out the window to watch my sole passenger approach. My mouth dropped opened and I could feel the blood draining from my face as Colonel Steve Austin himself approached the jet and ascended the stairs.
“Lieutenant Westerman”, he said, pleasantly surprised as he looked in the cockpit and saw that I was to be his pilot.
“Welcome aboard sir,” I said tightly, choking out each word.
“Thank you,” he said, with that lopsided smile of his that I’d seen melt quite a few hearts over the years.
“You don’t mind if I sit up here and keep ya company do ya?” he asked as he stole a peek at my long legs, which were covered in sheer, white panty hose.
“Not at all sir,” I mumbled miserably as I began to perspire and my hands began to shake at the controls.
“Good,” Steve said, taking the co-pilot’s seat and making himself comfortable.
“How long do you think our flight will be?” Steve asked as his eyes covertly traveled slowly over my ample bosom, slim waist and long, sexy legs.
“I have a feeling this is going to be a long flight, Sir”, I groaned in agony as Austin looked over and gave me a wink and that lopsided smile of his. “A long flight indeed.”