It was finally time to decorate Hereford Base for the upcoming christmas holidays. Some of the operators had already started to set up christmas decoration in their rooms, like candles and light strings. Especially IQ, Ash and Twitch seemed very excited about christmas and were already making plans to make their headquarter in Herefordshire just a little bit more festive. Some of the male operators made fun of their Vorfreude, but secretely they were all waiting for the holidays, some good food, hopefully being off duty and maybe even being able to see their families. Of course this wasn’t true for all operators of Team Rainbow, it was not exactly a secret that some soldiers didn’t look forward to the holidays. Some even dreaded them. But nontheless, in an attempt to make the best of the current situation and cheer up the mood on base, it was decided to decorate Hereford Base. Of course holidays always revealed the different kinds of celebrations around the world and there were usually at least some operators that didn’t celebrate a certain holiday or festivity. Christmas was the big exception. Despite not all operators being religious, it was the one holiday that the operators celebrated together.
As usually, it was Thatcher who adressed his team mates after lunch. He had this natural authority that made the room go quiet as soon as he rose from his seat. All eyes were on him, most probably expecting him to announce an additional training session or at least some kind of telling off. Thatcher knew that very well. And even with christmas not being one of this favourite times of the year, he always made sure that his fellow team mates got the holidays they wished for. He even talked to Six so that some of the operators could leave base over the holidays to see their families. This year he managed to get permission to organize a christmas tree and even made Six agree to a trip to a local ice rink.
As Thatcher looked into the familiar faces he almost chuckled at their expressions.
He knew that the chattering would start as soon as he broke the news. „I would like to make an announcement on behalf of Director Six.“ He paused, just to keep his fellow team mates in suspense for a little bit longer and it worked perfectly fine. „I know that most of you are far from home and really looking forward to the holidays. To make you all feel a little bit more at home we decided to set up a christmas tree in the corridor...“ as expected, the rest of the sentence went unheard as the fellow operators started cheering.
Thatcher cleared his throat and surprisingly enough almost immediately regained his team mates attention. He couldn’t help a lopsided grin.
„There are some nice fir trees in the woods surrounding the base. Our friend Sledge will pick out a fir tree tomorrow and cut it down. I guess he is best suited for the job.“ Sledge grinned from ear to ear. Not only was he built like a tree himself, but couldn’t wait to wield an axe instead of his sledgehammer.
Looking back at his team mates he saw IQ raise her hand. He sighed, knowing what was most likely to come. „Weiss“, he called on his german team mate. She beamed up at Thatcher. „So, eh, when Sledge picks the tree... I just wanted to ask if we can have tall one, please.” IQ gave Thatcher the most innocent smile. It usually didn’t work on the older man but it was almost christmas and she wanted to give it a try at least.
„And grown evenly“, Twitch added excitingly. „Like you know... No missing branches.“ The French woman’s green eyes shone. „A vivid color would be nice, too.“, Ash stated matter of factly, “not some dried-out firewood.”
Thatcher felt his patience crumble and rubbed the bridge of his nose absent-minded until finally Sledge took pity on him. „Yeah sure. We will definitely find the most beautiful tree in all Herefordshire.“, he assured his female team mates. IQ, Ash and Twitch rejoiced and just as they high fived Thatcher knew that he had to intervene before things got completely out of hand. „That is a perfectly charming offer but I’m afraid the grounds of Hereford Base will have to do because that is where the Director’s permission applies.“ Just as Thatcher was about to mentally congratulate himself for preventing further chaos Bandit rose from his seat: “Well I guess it would be a great idea if we all chose the tree together. “ Thatcher and Bandit’s gazes met as the whole mass hall jumped to their feet and started cheering and hollering madly. Twitch and IQ embraced each other and welcomed Rook and Blitz into their hug. They were already exchanging ideas and Thatcher knew any other attempt to stop this madness was futile. Bandit’s grin grew bigger with every second and he knew he had won when the older brit once again started pinching his nose. „But please, no singing.“, Thatcher sighed as the whole mess hall descended into chaos and excitement.