UNSC Chronicles: Soldier Girl, Book 1, Chapter 2
Posted By: Adam Stark<Xvash2@sbcgloal.net>
Date: 12 November 2007, 10:55 pm
Chapter 2: Leaving Anchorage
Melissa watched the clock tick by carefully. It was almost noon, and she had a shuttle to catch to Mars at two. She had her bag packed, ready to go to the spaceport. A thousand thoughts ran through her head, and yet nothing. It was what she had been preparing for during the past two years, and she was totally unprepared. Her father had been gone since before her compulsory education ended, and she wished her could be there to comfort her. But deep down, she knew he wouldn't be in basic either. He was a staff sergeant, for fuck's sake.
Her mind had been drifting, and she noticed it was time to leave. She had said goodbye to her family in the morning, they were heading to Juneau to see relatives. So with all her things, her gift, and her pride, she stepped out the door and closed it behind her. She got into her vehicle, slinging the duffel in the back. No worries, her mom would pick up the car when she got back. So with that, she sped off to the spaceport.
She was early to arrive, by almost fifteen minutes. So she checked in, along with other recruits, none she really knew. She sat down and just stared, waiting for the shuttle to be ready. But that momentary peace was quickly broken by a young recruit who plopped down next to her.
"Heya soldier, you going to Olympus City also?" he questioned Melissa.
"Yeah,. Umm, who are you?" she replied.
"Sellings is the name, but you can call me Andy."
"Okay Andy. Ever fired a gun before?"
"Plenty, back when I blasted rats with my MA2 back home."
"Sounds like fun."
"Sure is. Although I could've better spent my time blasting grunts."
A crackle over the loudspeaker, it was time to go.
"Oh, gee, well, Andy, it was fun talking. I'm off to Mars. Maybe I'll see you around in a year or two."
"Oh, okay, good luck."
"Yeah, you too." She stood and collected her things, walking over to the gangway entrance. She walked down it, thinking but in a daze, these could very well be her last steps on Earth. Her shoes clapped lightly against the metal deck, descending down to where the Albatross hovered, ready to take off. She stepped inside the aircraft. Only a few had taken their seats, and the pilots were chatting about space operations somewhere in the outer colonies. The deck of the Albatross had been converted to seating only, with room for a whole platoon of soldiers. She took her seat and stowed her duffel in the racks at the front. She sat for a moment before taking her chatter from her pocket. She browsed the Chatter net briefly, going through the flight plans and information on the UNSC base she had been assigned to. The shuttle began to fill, and it became crowded, as all forty seats were filled. The UNSC really needed soldiers to fight and kill the Covenant.
The doors to the Albatross folded up, as the pilot came on the intercom.
"Welcome recruits to UNSC Albatross Mike-99. I'm Warrant Officer Perkins, and I'll be your captain for this flight. So buckle up and hang on. And one more thing, welcome to the Marine Corps." The recruits jostled in their seats, as the latches on the bay doors sealed shut, and air pressure began to crank on. They felt a lifting feeling as the thrusters pushed the craft into the air, before maneuvering to the liftoff zone. It gained height, before adjusting the thrusters and rocketing off to a UNSC Frigate that would take them to Mars.
"This is Mike-099, requesting permission to land."
"We see you Mike-099, permission granted. You are clear to land in Bay 04. Welcome to the Nautilus, sir."
"Good to be here." The Albatross flies in through space and descends down into the bay, the doors departing into the hull, allowing the craft to enter. It landed down on the deck, the landing gear popping out. A few exhaust pipes hissed before the doors of the craft descended, allowing the recruits to exit. Melissa stood and took her bag from the racks before leaving. A staff sergeant was standing with a datapad, reading over the manifest and passenger list. Once everyone was off, he began reading off names.
He read off the list, going down and checking it off. Everybody was here.
"Alright you scumbags, the Marine Corps has deemed you dumb enough to be allowed into my army, so listen up! For many of you, this will be your first Cryo sleep. So listen closely. It's a short trip to Mars, only about two days by Slipspace. However, as training, you all will be given a bronchial surfactant. Its put down your throat an you hock it up and swallow it when you get waked. Also, to prevent skin damage, you will be frozen naked. Am I clear meatwads!?"
A collective "Yes sir!" came from most of the recruits. They followed him into the cryo chambers, and several technicians were already there to prep each recruit. They were told to strip in line and put their clothes in their duffel bags. The recruits that refused would be thrown into the freezers with their clothes on. That would surely leave a few thousand blisters. Melissa was quick to follow orders, as with the rest of the soldiers. With their clothes off, her fingers were quickly turning blue. When she came up in the line, she handed the technician her bag and climbed into the cryo-chamber. She took the surfactant and closed her eyes, being put to sleep quickly.