Soldier Girl: Book 1, Chapters 3-5
Posted By: Adam Stark<Xvash2@sbcgloal.net>
Date: 21 November 2007, 7:11 am
Chapter 3: Olympus City
The UNSC Nautilus entered the Mars Orbit, a slipstream portal closing behind it. Many other stations and ships orbited the brother of Earth, a once red planet, now full of life. The naval vessel drifted momentarily before the engines flickered to life and steered it into geosynchronous orbit. The ship's Dumb AI began its standard processes, unfreezing essential personnel first, and then the nonessential crew. After that was done, the crew brought the recruits out of sleep, many of them enjoying their first time hacking up the surfactant and swallowing the nutrients. Melissa did so, and was handed her things, getting dressed once she exited. Recruits were then ordered to the docking bays, the Nautilus would be docking at the space elevator momentarily. She walked down, following the stream of clueless recruits, beginning to have a sneezing fit. It subsided after a few minutes; it was something she would later learn to be a small allergic reaction to the surfactant.
The Nautilus docked to the space elevator that towered up from Olympus City with a heavy clang. The recruits were quickly herded onto it, and it began its descent, hundreds of miles to the surface of the planet. Many of the recruits were conscripted soldiers, unlike Melissa, who volunteered. As a result of the conscription, all staff sergeants carried BR-55 Battle Rifles in order to make sure the recruits were kept in line. The car of the space elevator descended rapidly, rifling through the atmosphere towards the once lifeless surface of Mars. Its brakes held fast as it screeched to a halt when it touched down, carbon fiber cables rattling above. It was systematic, really. Transports were already waiting to drive the greenhorns down to the training facilities on the rim of the city, and they were loaded on with amazing speed. The UNSC could not afford to waste time in a war for the survival of humanity. They would see very little of the sprawling cityscape here for awhile, bullets and blood would be their new family.
Chapter 4: A New Home
They were pushed to the ground, one by one. The slow ones were tortured, the fast ones were tortured. Hell, all of them were tortured. That's what they were here for. Melissa climbed to her feet and grabbed her duffel that had been tossed onto her and sprinted for the barracks. On the way, it had been explained to them that there were only enough bunks for half of the group. The other half would have to sleep outside in the cold Martian night. Soldiers clamored around the door to the barracks, it was locked. She knew it was a trick, and looked around the side for another entrance. A ladder to the roof was what she found, and she slung her bag over her shoulder and climbed up. A ceiling panel was popped off, and she climbed in, tossing her stuff in first. A staff sergeant, Senior Drill Instructor Meehan, greeted her quickly, grasping and shaking her hand.
"Good work recruit. I suggest you let your fellow soldiers on in." She smiled and nodded.
"Yes sir." She set her duffel bag down on a top bunk and walked over to the door that the soldiers had almost beaten down. She twisted the deadbolt and waited for the recruits to realize it was open. It wasn't long, they poured in like ants out of a knocked down anthill. There was much pushing and shoving; beds were even knocked over. A loud whistle blew.
"RECRUITS, FALL THE FUCK IN!" Soldiers scrambled from their feed and stood at attention in line, many shirts rustled, bags torn, beds almost destroyed. Meehan walked the line, carrying an M90 CAWS shotgun.
"IF YOUR DUFFEL BAG IS ON A BED, THAT BED IS YOURS. IF IT'S ON THE FLOOR, GET THE FUCK OUTTA MY BARRACKS!" Staff sergeants worked faster than the recruits, picking them up and shoveling them out the doors. Melissa sat on her bed, organizing the things in her bag. She ignored the two fighting below, punching each other, which went on until a drill sergeant came in and beat both of them down with a baton before dragging them both out.
Once things got organized an hour or two later, the recruits, now only half-strength, fell in and stood at attention. He walked down the line, inspecting every soldier from head to toe, explaining the basics they would go through along the way. He went over drilling, wake up times, the crappiness of the food, and the exact pattern in which their heads will be shaved. It was already almost nine, and the recruits were ordered to bed. Tomorrow would be worse.
Chapter 5: A Covenant Invasion
Waves of red light shimmered across the concrete walls of the barracks. A lone red beacon in the middle of the room stirred the recruits. It was quickly followed by a loud siren, with the lights coming on, drill instructors flooded the room and once again threw soldiers out of there beds. The speaker came on in the barracks then.
"COVENANT FORCES ARE IN ORBIT. WE ARE UNDER ATTACK! ALL SOLDIERS REPORT TO THE ARMORY AT ONCE!" Soon, the barracks a mass of sleepiness, confusion, and fright. They had just arrived at basic, and the Covenant was already knocking. They were herded like cattle to get guns, and soon most of them hefted around MA5Bs, and were stocked with magazines. They lined up at the Pelican bays, before their drill instructor marched in front of them.
"Alright recruits, that was your first drill," he proclaimed, somewhat proud, somewhat angry. "Now, if you all perform like that six weeks from now, you should just lie down and make your death easier. Soon, you'll be begging to thrust yourself into the heat of battle." He signaled the other instructors, who entered, assistants to the senior drill instructor. Today they would learn the very basics, as if they were small children. He pulled out his data-pad and scrolled down the roster, looking for the recruit that had impressed him the day before.
"Sanderson, Melissa Krystyn. Step up." Melissa stepped up and stood at attention, her rifle at her side, as if she had been a veteran. This made Meehan chuckle a bit inside, but once glimpse of a smile would get a good driller fired. "At ease, maggot. You learn that shit from your father!?"
"Sir, yes sir!" she replied, in an equal shout.
"Has he been in combat before?"
"Sir, two tours in the outer colonies, sir!"
"How many times has he told you the stories!?"
"Sir, only once, sir!"
"Good, that means he isn't a fucking lying yellow-belly. Turn around and face the line, recruit!" She did has he ordered, still at ease.
"Now your kind recruit here has demonstrated the basic stance for at ease. Earlier, you saw her at a proper "attention" stance. When you return to the barracks, you will find all the materials you will need over the course of your stay at my lovely home on your cots. Also, we've already confiscated contraband and those items will be returned to you once you leave my lovely little camp. Am I clear, maggots?"
"Sir, yes sir!" came a loud reply from all the recruits.
"Good, now, here's how things will work out. For the next week, you will wake up at five am and drill until lunch. Then, you have classes until dinner time. After dinner is more drilling, and then bed whenever we say. So stay sharp, and you just might live here. We're done here, so head back to the barracks. Turn in your rifles to the instructors as you leave. Dismissed."
She flipped through the guide. Well, it wasn't really the guide, just two pages on instructions to running the guide program. She took the military-issued MI39 Data-pad and powered it on. She looked on the paper media and entered her service number into the box that prompted her to. The screen flickered and presented a welcoming page, which asked her to input miscellaneous information for her personal page. She was browsing through the UNSC database, checking out all the cool things only accessible to UNSC personnel. But a quick glance to her bag noticed it was open, things tossed about, but the box with her gun was gone. Damn, she thought, they took it. Her gift. As least she knew she would get it back in a couple of months. Behind her bag was her new foot locker. She set her data-pad down and opened the foot locker. Inside was another sheet, giving an inventory of the UNSC-issue clothing. Sweats, t-shirts, socks, underwear, among other things. All were colored the standard olive drab. In her eyes, it was oddly fashionable. Well, in the army, at least. She moved things from her duffel into the locker and closed it, the auto-lock clinking shut. She organized her things and moved back, beginning to read over the guide. Weapons schematics, instructions of organization of one's footlocker, down the millimeter specifications of location of ribbons and medals upon the dress uniform of a soldier were all in there. A soldier, she was not one yet. She set down the data-pad and looked around. A few recruits chatted; some threw a red ball down the hall back and forth. Was she being too into this? They all were so relaxed, maybe she was too serious. She sighed and picked up the data-pad, clicking into the training matrix to view her upcoming schedule.
"I have arrived safely at Olympus Mons Training Facility. Please do not send food or any bulky items. I will contact in three to five days via chatter mail with my new mailing address. Thank you for your support. Goodbye for now." She hung up the hard-line phone, something not many people saw nowadays. She backed away from the phone and moved back in line; another recruit took the phone and made their call. The line moved slowly, from the phones, to the chairs. Fibers, millions of fibers, grey, black, brown, red, blonde, surrounded the chairs. Standing over them were the marine barbers, shaving the head of every recruit. After every four or fifth recruit, one of them would vacuum up the hair that littered the deck. When it came to her turn, she sat willingly, staring into oblivion as a part of what made her Melissa was cut and removed with precision and agility. Afterwards, you would have found more hair on a lizard. She stood and moved on, rejoining the line once again. They were kept in a waiting area, standing around as the rest of the recruits made their calls and had their heads shaved. They were filed into classrooms and instructed on proper UNSC disciplines, codes of conduct, and the like. It would be the flavor of the days for the rest of the week. In the list of fun marine corp. activities was medical and dental examinations, limited hours of sleep, mediocre food, and combat conditioning whenever it could be fit in. To the DI's, it was known as "Immersion Week", but the recruits had their own name for it, "FUU Week", or Fuck U Up Week. It was like being taken, stripped down, thrown into a blender, and swirling around in the slosh but not getting cut by the blades. Nevertheless, everyone survived it, and the next week would be even better.