"Excuse me: Mlle. Cadice Marin, here to retrieve a classified specimen package. I do believe it was delivered here by mistake, to the forward command center, instead of the laboratory at the Cretia Facility." The researcher and amateur medic sighed, blowing an errant tendril of hair out of her eyes. I know that the battlefield has top priority, she thought, but come on! This vital tissue sample from a catalogued Brieder could certainly have been handled more carefully. Ah, well... "Could you please hurry?" she asked the desk orderly. "I'm already running late to work."
"Your name, ma'am, once again?" The glassy-eyed young man blinked.
"Marin, Cadice." She spelled it out for him, just in case he had no clue how.
"Could I see some identification, please? Photo ID and retinal scan, for sure."
"Naturellement." Submitting to the procedures, Cadice couldn't shake the feeling that she was being treated like a criminal. Irrational, she knew, but not entirely unwarranted. After all, this was a military installment, not a cafe back home in the U.S. She'd moved there from Paris ten years ago.
After checking his computer console, scratching his head, taking a long swig of his coffee, and clearing his throat, the orderly said: "All right. Clear."
She leaned forward quickly. "The specimen package. Where is it?"
"Head to the rear of the building. Someone should be waiting for you in the shipping department. Follow the grunts who are pushing the hand trucks."
"All right, but you don't think I belong here, do you?"
"Honestly, no." Well. At least he's honest, and not falsely obsequious. Cadice gave the youth one more glare and headed in the direction he'd given. Shipping department. Shipping department. I don't see any signs for it... Becoming more frustrated by the second, she stopped almost dead in her tracks when she heard the lively conversation of soldiers. Oddly enough, that cheered her up. At least some people here have their heads on straight.
"Excuse me," she said, bowing her head slightly in deference while raising her voice. "Could one of you please tell me where the entrance to the shipping department is? I'm supposed to pick up a parcel that was delivered here by accident instead of the facility at Cretia." She hoped her white laboratory coat would be proof enough of her identity. Retinal scans made her eyes itch!