The story of Joe Mitchum, Chapter I, The MASH
Posted By: 12-hours-a-year<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 4 September 2005, 5:06 am
New York, New York, Earth, 5.01.2503. 2000 hours
"Holy Shit, is that Mitchum?" asked Private Bill Compton squinting
"Fuck that is Mitchum! Tell the pilot to wait a few seconds, I'll go get him," replied Lance Corporal Will McClure. PFC
PFC Joe Mitchum was just twenty feet from the pelican. His left arm and right leg were broken, and bleeding badly from both. He was struggling to limp, he was using his BR-55 as a a support, but he was going to make it hell or high water. The Marines started cheering him on, he saw Lance Corporal McClure unstrap himself. Suddenly Joe felt his legs giving way; he collapsed with only fifteen feet to go. His vision was starting to fade; he was struggling to stay conscious. It was no use, he couldn't move or fight the darkness, he had lost too much blood. Joe's last image was of feet rushing towards him.
He heard in the distance "Shit, don't you die on me kid,"
2 weeks later
PFC Joe Mitchum slowly opened his eyes, he saw the green roof of a large garrison tent. Joe found his left arm in a sling , his leg in a plaster cast, and a bag of clear liquid, from the bag ran a small tube into his arm. He was surrounded by green military cots filled with other wounded men. Some on ventilators, others unconscious, still more maneuvering around in wheel chairs.
"Mam, Where am I?" he asked in a scratchy voice. She gave him a queer look than ran out the opening of the tent.
"What was that all about," he thought to him self. Then moments later the nurse returned, followed by a man in a white with jacket and a caduceus on his collar, a doctor. The doctor walked over and gave Mitchum an examining look.
"I'm Captain Richard Smith, you gave us quite a scare back there kid," the doctor finally said
"Where am I, captain?" asked Joe asked again.
"Son, you are in the 1093rd Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, scenically located in Syracuse, New York," responded Smith.
"How'd I get hear? I remember passing out back in New York City, where is my unit?" asked Mitchum urgently. He tried to get up but couldn't because of the IV.
"Settle down, A lance corporal McClure carried you back onto the Pelican, as to the location of your unit, I don't know, but what I do know is that you have at least three weeks of recovery before you can leave, PFC,"
"But," Joe tried to get in a word to the no harsher looking Doctor Smith.
"No buts kid, you need rest, you lost 4 pints of blood. You're lucky to be alive," with that Captain Smith left the tent
"If you need me I'll be in the mess tent lieutenant," he said passing the nurse. Mitchum laid back into his bed, and soon enough sleep returned.
"Hey Joe think we'll se- Joe watched as a bolt of plasma hit his friend's forehead and penetrated straight through.
"Sniper!" yelled Private Sanders "take cover!"
"Shit did you see where that came from Jackson?" staff sergeant Nashir asked the platoon sniper.
"Yeah, 1st building on the left, 3rd window from the right on the 2nd floor," responded
The Sergeant stuck his head up and yelled
"Covering fire! Alden use that SPNKr to get him" no sooner did the words leave his mouth, when a bolt of plasma deeply grazed his head. The sergeant fell to the ground screaming in agony, a 5 inch piece of the side of his face, was gone. Then there was another bolt of plasma and the screaming stopped. Joe turned to look and saw sergeant Nashir's piercing eyes, gazing into space. Joe found himself bolt upright in his bed. Panting and sweating heavily. He looked around, there were no fellow marines crouched behind concrete walls holding BR-55's and SMG's. Instead there was blood stained gauze, bandages and stretchers, He was Still in the M*A*S*H. Joe fell back into his cot and went back to sleep.
Joe was now able to use a wheel chair to get around the camp. he was eating lunch when a sergeat came over. "How, old are you kid?" asked Master Gunnery Sergeant Roberts. Joe looked at his left shoulder; there was no arm but a pinned sleeve.
"Uh, seventeen gunny," he responded timidly.
"Damn, you're too young to be caught up in this shit. You should be back home plowing some prom queen," he said in his gruff voice.
"I'll have you know I have a girl friend, Sir," said Mitchum defensively. Roberts chuckled
"Good, you've got spirit, I like that," he responded still smiling. Joe finished his meal and wheeled his self back to his cot. The next nurse that came by helped him back into bed.
"Nurse, is there a holomail I could use around here?" he asked before she left,
"I'll see if I can find one private," she said with a smile and left. Mitchums condition had improved greatly in the week he had been at the MASH. He no longer had an I-V in his arm, and he was getting extra calcium doses to help repair his bones. Within a few minutes the Nurse returned with an object a little bigger than a keyboard. Up front it had a set of keys in the front and two lenses in the back, one for capturing and one for projecting. He typed in the address of His girlfriend's mailer back on planet Von Braun. A hologram appeared and an emotionless voice came.
"Now searching for the address of Sarah Miller, please wait," Joe knew this would take a couple of minutes. The UNSC bounced the signal off of countless satellites and planets to hide the source; he was actually surprised at how fast the A.I. found the address. Suddenly a face appeared in the scratchy orange light of the hologram.
"Hello?" Said a girl at the other end of the transmission.
"Sarah? It's Joe,"
"JOE! Where are you?" she said in a surprised voice.
"I'm in a hospital, I've been shot, burned, and sliced but I'm still alive," said Joe in a cocky voice. She gave a look that was somewhere, between, shocked, and worried.
"So how are things back in Evansville, does little Jimmy still think I went to get a bottle of milk?"
"Yes, Jimmy still hasn't figured you joined the Marines, and your mom still worries about you every day. Her boarding house is as busy as ever, and some of the boarders ask about you,"
"Well if it means anything, my squad says hello," said Mitchum with a laugh "seriously, I miss you guys every day,,"
"We, miss you too, and Joe, Come home soon, we miss you, I miss you," Sarah was starting to cry
"I'll try Sarah, I'll try," Joe said quietly. The hologram faded away.
"Signal lost," said the A.I.
"No shit," thought Mitchum. He put the device on the table next to him. He laid back in his bed and fell back into slumber land.
FOOM FOOM, the two rockets from Alden's SPNKr flew into a 2nd floor window, and the remains of a sniper flew out.
"You got him," said Private Jackson looking through the scope of his sniper rifle. Suddenly the park was filled with the sound of needlers and plasma rifles firing, as if from no where the park was full of covenant troops.
"Shit where the hell did these guys come from," said Joe kneeling behind a concrete barrier.
He popped his head and started to fire at the enemy.
"Jackson, move to that building, Alden reload and take out as many as you can, SMGs hold your fire till there close. Sumter deploy that chain gun on that ledge," Barked out Corporal John Islas, now commanding the squad. The sound now was deafening, rifles firing in bursts, chain guns hammering away, grenades and rockets exploding, casings landing every where. Joe didn't think about it. He ran from the barrier he was kneeling behind to a concrete wall, he peeked around the corner and saw a squad of grunts. He put his bayonet on his rifle, then Joe pulled the pin out of a grenade and threw it. The grenade hit one of the grunts, arming it, before the one track minded creatures realized what it was it detonated. There corpses flew every which way. Joe threw another grenade into the mass of advancing grunts and ducked back behind the wall. He waited until it exploded then popped back out to fire, only this time an elite with an energy sword was there to greet him. As the Elite made a lunge for his chest Joe lunged for his throat. Joe fired a burst to drain the elites shield as he lunged forth. As he drove his bayonet deep into the elites throat he felt a sharp burning pain in his left arm. Mitchum fired a burst into the elite head and pulled his now purple bayonet out. The elite fell back but the pain was still there. Joe realized that he had just been partially cut through with an energy sword.
Once again he abruptly found himself bolt upright in his cot sweating heavily, another nightmare. Joe stared blankly and realized, for him being seventeen, he had seen friends die, and killed 39 covenant troops, and one of there finest.
The next morning Captain Smith had good news for once.
"Excellent, the calcium has worked miracles; your leg is perfectly healed. I'll send some one in to cut the cast in a few minutes," he said with a smile, probably the first time Joe had ever seen Smith do it to.
"Do to the severity of the cut on your arm, it will be at least half a week before you can go back, maybe more," he finished the Captain. The Smith continued on his rounds checking the other soldiers, shortly after Smith left another man in a lab coat walked in. and pulled up a chair next to his cot. He pulled out what looked like a thick pen.
"I'm going to cut off your cast with this laser, it will take a few second but try not to move," said the man. He pointed the laser about a centimeter bellow the top and pressed a button; a blue beam shot out of the tip and started to burn a line through the cast. After 30 seconds he had cut through the most of the cast. He then reached into the cut and pried of the last bit.
"Can you believe in the 20th centaury they did that with a saw?" the man said on the way out
"Yea, well they did some crazy ass shit in the 20th centaury," Mitchum muttered to himself.
Joe spent the next week talking to Roberts and listening to his stories about fighting rebels in the good old days, and how he killed 50 grunts with a pair of rockets, that was of course unconfirmed. Finally he had his sling taken off and was able to leave. He was on his way out. He heard some one yelling
"PFC STOP!" Joe turned around to see a Major running after him.
"With my luck I probably caught cancer," he thought. He did as ordered and waited for the major to catch up. Mitchum looked closer at the major; he was carrying a small box in his right hand. The major finally caught up and then showed Joe the box.
"Care to guess what's in this PFC," asked the major still panting. He opened it and saw a patch in the shape of a single stripe with two crossed rifles under it.
"But this is- Joe started but was cut off.
"A promotion to lance corporal, The USNC thought it fit considering your valiant actions, and will to survive," the Major finished "congratulations Lance corporal," the Major said the major as he saluted.
"Thank you sir," Joe responded, returning the salute. He took of the Single stripe on his fore arms, and replaced them with the new patch. The fibers automatically bonded. Lance corporal Joe Mitchum walked up to the landing pad and boarded the pelican back to his unit, his rucksack over one shoulder, and rifle over the other.