Author Topic: Bootcamp  (Read 3953 times)

Offline SMitch

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Bootcamp
« on: November 14, 2007, 09:30:56 PM »
"NOW LISTEN UP GRUNTS!  ON ACCOUNT OF YOU LOSIN’ AN INSTRUCTOR AND ME LOSIN' ME ARM YOU WILL HAVE ME TEACHING YOU FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK!  YOU WILL LIKE IT!  YOU WILL LEARN FROM IT!  AND IF YOU ARE REAAAAAAL NICE AND LADY LIKE, YOU WILL SURVIVE IT!"

He wasn't kidding about losing an arm.  I saw it happen.  Logos spinning and flaring around his fist, preparing to launch a barrage of lightning on dear ole' Crusty.  There he was, glowing away and looking all big and target like when his arm literally exploded.  Hit with some kind of explosive round. Quite messy.  And man, did he ever scream like a little girl!  The Logos pattern completely lost cohesion and instead of just collapsing as it normally would it also exploded.  Gave him a hell of a shock and half cauterized his own wound.  Probably the only reason he is alive.  Still, it is a bit of a wait for the doc's to grow a new arm.  At least it's not a new body.

Oh!  A recruit had done something stupid.  Snickering at Meataxe McGuire is not a healthy way to start the day. 

"DO YOU FIND ME FUNNY?!  DO YOU THINK THIS WAR IS FUNNY?!  DO YOU THINK HAVING OUR ARSES KICKED FROM ONE SIDE OF THE GALAXY TO THE OTHER IS FUNNY?!"

He's getting into it now.  He's good at this.  Much better at leading groups than I ever will be.  I slurp on my paste thing.  They call it 'food'.  I call it '**** in a tube'.  I must admit, personally I find it all quite funny.  But I can't say that I have ever laughed out loud about it.  It's probably not funny.  But I find myself laughing inside at a lot these days which isn’t funny.  Not out loud though.  Never out loud.

Bloody hell, where did they find these guys?  The can't stand up straight, and I dread to think what is going to happen when he tries getting them to walk in a straight line!  Ha!  Meataxe is waving his stump around as if it is nothing more than a flesh wound, telling them how tough he is going to make them.  And he shall do this by teaching them to march in time with each other!  Yeah right…  I'll have to tell them all about what happened when he lost his arm sometime.  Not right now though.  I’ll tell them later.  After the graduation movie plays perhaps.  Whole base always looks forward to those, and it’s a good time to let of some steam.  Hell, this is supposed to be R&R, but we got these kids who we have to make sit up, take notice and learn instead of kicking back.  I’m really not looking forward to this.  Want me to shoot some Bane?  Sure!  Want me to train a bunch of kids.  Hell no.  I am not up to that sort of ****.  But what HQ wants…HQ gets…

At least I only really have to teach three of these guys this afternoon.  The “Joy’s of being a Sensitive – 101”.  Not quite the crash course I had.  This will be nice and organized.  These guys have it easy.  I was shot down twice just trying to get to boot camp.  First time I died.  Without the benefit of the “Joy’s of Cloning – 101” lecture and evaluation these kids get.

Second time was just after a Bane infiltration force had captured the boot camp base.  So it’s “By the way Paterson, you are the only Sensitive on board, and we know what you guys can do, can you please go save our butts now please”.  Handed a pistol, ammo and a vague set of directions to a cave, and expected to pull off a miracle.  There I was staring around in abject terror at these monsters, wondering what on earth was happening.  Considering that just a week or so prior, I was torn to pieces by these same creatures it was a ****ing stupid thing to make me do.

Still, I managed.  Made it to the shrine in the cave, learnt a thing or two about the universe and then set the all the Bane in my way on fire.  Re-enforcements turned up in time.  I was about all out of terror, and it was the only thing keeping me going.  I slept for 3 days straight after that.

But these days it’s all fluffy and happy and hey look!  Here is the Eloh Logos shrine dedicated to “Power”!  How despicably lovely.

I hear footsteps behind me.  “Lieutenant Paterson.”  Oh ****.  Doctor Dobson.  He’s the base shrink.

“Yeah.”  I don’t even bother turning around.

“I hope you are intending on turning up to therapy tomorrow.”  He always hopes.  And asks and pleases and thank yous.  All very ironic considering how much he hates some of us.

I turn and look up at him.  He’s even shorter than I am, but hey, I’m sitting.  “Yeah I’ll be there.”

“Excellent!  I look forward to seeing you there then!”  He waves his ubiquitous clipboard around.  “Ahhh…Have you thought of a name yet?”

“No.”  Damn him.  R&R alright.  I don’t want to think of these things yet.  “No I haven’t.”

“Okay then.  I recommend putting some thought into it.  It will help you…ahhh…acclimatize to your new…form.”  I stare straight at him.  The look he gives me makes me fully aware of what he’s thinking.  He’s got all these “True Humans” that need his help, and he’s being asked to run around looking after a clone who hasn’t got her head on right enough to even pick a name.  I’ve heard the rumors about him from other clones and Receptives.  He does his job, and little more.  Being one of the best he has been assigned to assisting Receptives, many of who are clones, to make sure humanities secret weapons don’t go bugnuts crazy.  But I’ve also heard that he puts a lot more of an effort into the few ‘standard’ front line troops he has managed to slip into his schedule.  While those boys need just as much help as the rest of us, even they admit that Receptives have some very interesting…issues.

I can tell my eyes make him uncomfortable.  They make me feel odd as well.  They’re pale, nearly white even.  Makes them match with the rest of me.  “I’ll think on it.  I was thinking may be ‘Snow’.”  I’m thinking no such thing of course, but if it gets him off my back for a time.

“That would be ahhh…appropriate…”  His eyes flick back to his clipboard.  “As much as I would like to help you discuss possibilities, I do have other things that I need to be doing.  Please excuse me”

“Of course.”  I turn back to continue watching the recruits as he leaves.  It’s probably lunch that’s calling him at the moment.  I can feel his insistence on me having a name is going to bug me all night though.  I pull out my dog tags.  They read:

LS-SOL 0002361-000
PATERSON, *

LS-SOL is simple.  Logos Sensitive Soldier.  Considering that the same ‘person’ can end up doing a whole variety of things, they like to keep track of you.

Stamped into the metal its the numbers that haunt me.  2361st solider recruited into the AFS since it was formed.  And 000...   ****ing idiots.  That’s basically the ‘version number’.  So some dumb **** has put me down as a Zero.  I’ve heard them called Primes, Originals, hell some clones call them V1’s for Version One.  One or two really impolite clones call them ‘Beta Tests’.  Either way, it really drive things home for me.  I am not the original.  I just have his memories.

Paterson, that’s my last name.  I could have changed it, but I didn’t.  The last of the things my father gave me that has survived.  I even lost the watch he gifted me with on my 21st.  That was crushed and shredded along with me.  I mean him.  My original.  And even though neither he nor his family ever knew me, I couldn’t bring myself to break away from them and their memory completely…

The *.  Over five months, and I have yet to choose a first name.  HQ’s getting antsy about it, as well as Dr Dobson.  They like to have their paperwork sorted.  Names named.  Cross your t’s dot your i’s.  They don’t care if the name is complete nonsense (Just look at Meataxe) they just want a name to put to paper.  I don’t know what is holding me back from picking one to be honest.  I didn’t even like my original name.  The number of times I wished I could change it as a kid.  Unfortunately all the names I thought would be good choices were made under the assumption I'd still be male when picking it.

“I’D LIKE TO INTRODUCE ANOTHER INSTRUCTOR!  LEIUTENANT PATERSON!”  That’s my queue.  Damnit, that didn’t take long.  Time to soul search later.

I must make such a sight.  I feel like a midget compared to what I used to be.  A pale shadow of what I once was.  I was once a builder.  Hard heavy work meant I was well built and muscular.  I was tall to start with.  Now I am 5 foot 6, tiny compared to what I was originally.  Smaller than my sister even!  How to go from tallest in the family, to smallest, with one easy death.  Not to mention the rest of me.  Wrong gender, pale as a ghost, silver white hair, with silver white eyes.  “Issues with the abnormally fast cloning process”.  Probably means that they grabbed the nearest slab of meat capable of accepting a download from my decaying brain.  They might call it ‘cloning’, but DNA actually has very little to do with it.

Normally I would be wearing my hat and sunglasses to disguise most of my features. Ironically the only pair of sunglasses I could lay my hands on at the time were, you guessed it, silver white reflective.  But I’m not to wear the glasses when in dress uniform, and last I saw of the hat it was on fire.  Getting a new one can take some time around here.  So currently I’ve nothing to hide behind.

I can feel their eyes on me.  I feel a slight heat rising.  Not a good idea with my current complexion.  I’m as white as a sheet, so even the slightest hint of embarrassment shows up like a flare in the middle of the night.  I hate this ****.

Someone at the back wolf whistles.  I stop and stare in shock.  I feel…wrong.  Wrong wrong wrong…  At this, at that, at Dobson, at the star in front of my name, the Bane, the people…everything.  I feel powerless…I feel…

* POWER *

I understand power to its very core.  I know how to use power.  I can become power incarnate.  The power to do what one has to do.  I’ve always used that Logos in combat.  Held it at the ready.  Used it, been it.  Melded with it to let me feel I did have the power to make changes, to fight the monsters, to face horror.  I never thought to hold onto it at any other time.  This will be…easy…  I have the power to do this…  I just call up the Logos in my mind...Use it to hold on…

I can see Meataxe turning a bright angry red.  But it’s me who needs their attention.  I move my hand.  Nothing major.  Just a slight change in position.  A slight flexing of Logos.  He’s seen it.  He recognizes it.  The anger fades from his face, replaced with a slight smile as he backs down and does the best impression of crossing his arms I have ever seen a one armed man try.  I stand in front of them all, I stare them down.  The recruits can see the change.  Sense that ‘Something’ is about to happen.  Most look nervous.  One at the back smirks.  He’s the one.  A thick looking man.  Slightly unshaven with his self satisfied smirk.  I know the look.  It’s the kind me and my friends used to have on Earth when we were young and arrogant and thought we were God’s gift to women.  He’s in for a rough time at boot camp.  I am going to make sure of that.  I smile back at him.  If only he knew who I was.

“AFS Recruits.”  I can feel the strength and conviction sparking from my voice.  It carries well, despite it being no more than a whisper.  “Let me show you what I teach around here.”

The cracks of thunder, flashes of lightning.  I don’t put any real effort into it, but it makes a hell of a light show as I trace lines of liquid energy in front of the group with my hand.  The Logos for power glows and spins around my wrist faintly rather than the big ‘sheet’ I would normally pull up.  No one in this group would have the ability to see the Logos that faint over the lightning show yet though.  Meataxe probably can – Any use of ability stands out like a nova once you’ve been attuned by a Shrine.  And he also knows power.  I realize now, he’s embraced it.  He probably keeps it spinning in his head all the times.  Bastard could have let me in on that little secret.

The front line has fallen over backwards.  The smirk is gone.  It should be.  A few sparks ‘accidentally’ hit him.  But more importantly, I have their attention.  Every single bit of it.

“My name is Starr Paterson!  And this lesson complete!  Finley!  Branson!  Ishida!  Fall out and follow me!”  I turn and stalk with purpose towards the east gate of the compound.

“WELL LADIES!  WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!   AN ENGRAVED INVITATION ON A STONE TABLET?!  MOVE!”

I don't even bother to check if they're following me.  I'm too busy in my own head.  Leaning on the four Logos I already know.  Spinning forever in my consciousness.  I bring one and then another forward, using them as internal focuses, and I can fell my mind adapt to it, and body change slightly.  I'm still me, I just change my strengths, weaknesses and feelings around.  I can barely hold onto two at a time.  Still, I think I am going to need more Logos...  And I think I know just where to find some...

Hang on...Did I just name myself...?
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 10:45:01 PM by SMitch »
I have a mind like a steel trap...Things wander in and get mangled...

Offline PegasusMD

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Re: Bootcamp
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007, 09:56:32 PM »
nice one
Place your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark. - Heinlein
ingame name all servers - Pegasus
Have you heard the POP this morning?
"Close is not need with Nukes"

Offline Temko

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Re: Bootcamp
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2007, 10:36:41 PM »
love it.


tiny tipo :

ASF > AFS :)
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Offline SMitch

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Re: Bootcamp
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2007, 10:46:29 PM »
Cheers Temko.    :D  Fixed that  :)  I'll just have to remember to update the main copy when I get home.
I have a mind like a steel trap...Things wander in and get mangled...

Offline Khaine

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Re: Bootcamp
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2007, 10:49:48 PM »
Nicely done SMitch :)

...


When's the next one? :)

Offline SMitch

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Re: Bootcamp
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2007, 09:49:28 AM »
Errr, I'd just like to point out that when I wrote this I had no idea that Starr is the name of the Producer of TR...Ooops...Hell, I didn't even know it was a name people REALLY used for their kids.
I have a mind like a steel trap...Things wander in and get mangled...

Offline Temko

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Re: Bootcamp
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2007, 02:29:00 PM »
Errr, I'd just like to point out that when I wrote this I had no idea that Starr is the name of the Producer of TR...Ooops...Hell, I didn't even know it was a name people REALLY used for their kids.

wile fitting for the tale.. who names their kid starr?!


anyhow..

WE WANT MOER!! :D
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Offline Deyer

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Re: Bootcamp
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2008, 10:34:21 AM »
Haha, excellent. Even a laugh-out-loud moment, when the one-handed arm-crossing was being attempted.  :D

Well written, entertaining and a good take on the story.

Seems to be 4 months since comment on this story though, so I guess I'd be holding against hope for it to continue any time soon. But who knows.

Happy Writing  :)