17. Loneliness & Agent Ted Gallo #RRBC

In our last episode, we witnessed a meeting between Nonnie, John and Andra Ursla, Earther Ambassador to Genesis. Nonnie expressed an interest in learning more about what makes Marco Rossini tick, so she thought a chat with his lead security agent might enlighten her further.

Our intrepid pair disappeared from the Earther Embassy and reappeared on the sidewalk outside the Campus Café – just across the university campus from Marco’s residence.

 

(Nonnie takes in a deep breath as she orients herself and releases John’s arm. John leaves her side, peeks into the Café window, nods, and returns to his friend.)

John: “He’s in there, Nonnie. Are you okay or do you need another minute?”

Nonnie: “I’m fine. Believe it or not, I think I’m getting used to popping in and out of thin air. Let’s go in… ugh… it’s too hot and humid out here!”

 (John opens the door for her and follows her inside. Nonnie spots the waitress that served them on their last visit and flags her down, whereupon the waitress gives out a whoop and almost runs to meet her.)

Nonnie: “Suzie! How’s my baby?”

(The two hug each other briefly and Suzie steps away)

Suzie: “Oh, Mrs. Jules, I’m just so happy to see you again! Please, come and meet a friend of mine.”

(Suzie leads them to a corner booth on the far side of the café. Enroute, Nonnie stops to say hello to every person she passes. When she arrives, she finds another man greeting John and Suzie.)

Suzie: “Ted Gallo, this is Mrs. Jules – a very special lady and good friend of Dr. John.”

(Before Ted can respond, Nonnie steps forward and offers her hand.)

Nonnie: “Hello Captain Gallo, I’m Nonnie!” (turning to Suzie) “How did you know we came to see the captain?”

Suzie: (Grinning at John) “Let’s call it female intuition, shall we? Can I get coffee for everyone?”

(All three agree. Ted slides into the seat he occupied before their arrival and John slides in beside him. Nonnie takes the seat opposite the two men.)

John: “Nonnie, are you sure about the coffee? You know, if Marlena finds out…”

Nonnie: (Cuts him off in mid-sentence somewhat annoyed.) “I’m sure!” (Turns to address Ted Gallo with a sweet smile.) “You know, Captain, there’s something about that man (Points at John) that makes me want coffee every time we meet… he just unnerves me!”

(John stifles a laugh while Ted looks from one to the other clearly amused.)

Ted: “Nonnie, I’m really pleased that Dr. John asked me to meet you. I understand you’re a writer. I’ve never met a published author before, so I’m honored. And please call me Ted.”

Nonnie: “John and I had a meeting with Marco last year, and then I heard about the explosion on the hybrid Battlecruiser that almost killed him. I know that you’re in charge of his security, so I wanted to meet you. Say, why aren’t you with Marco right now?” 

Ted: “My day off, Nonnie. James Drury takes over the lead and we bring another man in when I’m off. I’m very happy to meet you too. Marco speaks warmly about his meeting with you two last year. I’m curious… why do you want to talk to me?” 

(Suzie arrives with their coffee, Nonnie thanks her and she leaves to attend to other customers. Nonnie lifts her cup, inhales the rich aroma, and closes her eyes in thanksgiving.)

Nonnie: “I just adore the smell of fresh coffee!” (She looks at Ted and ignores John who’s grinning and wagging his finger at her disapprovingly.) “Ted, you know the private Marco – the one the public doesn’t see. You accompanied him on Agamemnon on the return trip from Earth. Tell me, is he really okay or do you have concerns?” 

Ted: (chuckles) “Yes, I have serious concerns!” 

Nonnie: “Seriously? What do you mean?” Give it to me straight… no sugarcoatin!” 

Ted: (Grins at her) “I fear for the well-being of any Rouge thugs that might decide to attack him!” 

Nonnie: “But he’s a former professor who almost got killed not so long ago. Why do you say that?” 

Ted: (Looks at both Nonnie and John in turn and lowers his voice.) “Our trip home from Earth took the better part of two weeks, and I worked out with Marco twice daily. We sparred – that’s hand-to-hand combat – for an hour each day. When I left the Marine Corps to join the Alpha Corps, I was the champion and head instructor for trainees. I had to use every bit of experience I have just to hold my own against Marco.” 

John: “Really! How can that be, Ted?” 

Ted: “When I started this gig after the election, Marco asked me to train him on the sparring mat. His close friend, ArcGeneral Pat Conroy, had taught him a lot over the years, so I agreed to help him along. I smiled to myself the first time we faced each other. I wasn’t smiling for long! He was good. Now he’s faster, stronger and he has a warrior’s heart.” 

Nonnie: “Now I understand why Andra is so impressed with him.” 

Ted: “It’s a bit ironic, but as a security team, we’re confident that if we ever have to fight off attackers, Marco will have our backs! Security gigs get no better than this! Oh yes, and one more thing. Every couple of weeks his mother sends him a couple of boxes of baked goods from her oven. Marco tells us to help ourselves… oh, my… can that lady bake!” 

Nonnie: “Don’t you have a wife that bakes for you?” 

Ted: “No, I don’t. Wish I did… but I don’t think there’s a woman out there who would put up with me and my lifestyle.” 

Nonnie: “I’m sorry, I’m intruding into your private business…”

Ted: “I’m not offended.” (sighs and closes his eyes for a moment, opens them again and continues) “Nonnie, there is someone. She’s an Alpha and I work with her quite often. She’s everything I could want in a woman, and she’d understand my work and the stresses, but…” 

Nonnie: (Reaches across the table and pats his hand.) “You don’t think she’s attracted to you. You think she’d refuse you if you asked her out”.  (Ted remains mute, but nods in agreement) “What if you’re wrong? Think about it, Ted… maybe she likes you and is afraid of messing up your professional relationship. From where I’m sitting, you have everything to gain and only your loneliness to lose.”

(Ted remains silent, lost in thought for another minute. He looks up at Nonnie and gives her a sad smile.)

Ted: “Thanks, I’ll give your words a lot of thought.”

John: “Ted, I thank you for your time and the sharing you did with us today. We need to take our leave now. Nonnie, are you ready?” 

(Nonnie slides out of her seat and waits for John and Ted to slide out as well. Ted gives her a big hug and wishes them both well. John leads the way to the door, and Nonnie follows at a discreet distance, careful not to touch him. As they emerge onto the sidewalk outside, John turns to her.)

Nonnie: “Before you whisk me off somewhere, I want to know…” 

(John smiles, says something about a surprise, takes her hand… and they’re gone!)

 

Be sure to tune in next time for… whatever happens!

About John Fioravanti

Author, John Fioravanti writes non-fiction as well as fiction in the sci-fi genre. He's a retired secondary school educator and a lifelong learner. He considers himself a work in progress and welcomes the opinions and insights that others may have about his work. He prizes dialogue about meaningful topics, so please leave your thoughts!

8 thoughts on “17. Loneliness & Agent Ted Gallo #RRBC

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    patgarcia

    September 16, 2016 at 10:44am

    John,
    You write these small episodes wonderfully. They are engaging and they catch my attention and brighten my day. As you know, I am working under a deadline to have my manuscript to my editor/coach by the end of this month. It is refreshing on a Friday evening to be able sit back during a coffee break and read your blog.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      September 16, 2016 at 11:32am

      How kind of you to say, Pat! I really appreciate your visits and your comments. I’m especially pleased to be able to bring a bit of sunshine into your day! Peace to you and enjoy your weekend!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      September 12, 2016 at 4:02pm

      Thanks, Gwen, I’m happy you’re enjoying these little outings on Genesis!

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    yvettemcalleiro

    September 12, 2016 at 6:40am

    Oooooh, Marlena is not going to be happy about that coffee! lol! 😛 An interracial marriage between Ted and an Earther! I love it! Now, I’m curious as to which Earther it is! And then I think of the logistics with them being so big! lol! Keep the travels going, John! This is fun!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      John Fioravanti

      September 12, 2016 at 9:09am

      Hi, Yvette! I’m sorry if I misled you, an Alpha is a member of the Genesis Navy Marines special forces – The Alpha Corps. No, we’re not ready for an inter-species marriage just yet! The woman Ted has feelings for is an Alpha security agent like himself – she is assigned to guard Marie Brooklynn – fiancee of Marco Rossini. But I get ahead of myself… that’s in Book 3… a little teaser! Thanks for your ongoing support, Yvette!

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