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Long Time Gone Part 12
Posted By: grylsy<grylsy@hotmail.com>
Date: 1 September 2004, 12:06 PM

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Long Time Gone Part 12: Riding Out the Storm

       Chris entered the barracks with the other troops near the Mobile Command Post where General GŁtt Schutze was trying to make sense of the situation, sending in various groups of soldiers to exterminate the remaining Rebels.

Chris took the bunk near the shower block and stopped remembering he didn't have any spare clothes; they had been in the Inn before it got blasted...

       "Shit," he breathed, he turned looking for Gunny, "oi, SAR..." no sooner had he turned to talk had he received a set of black fatigues thrown into his face!

"Put them McAllen," said Chambers who had thrown them, "Gunny just got us something to wear." Chris and Chambers walked into the shower block and had showers, removing the dirt, sweat and blood from their skin from tonight's little 'outing'.

       It felt good to put on some clean clothes, the shock troopers fatigues were extremely comfortable, more comfortable than his Coalition fatigues, that was for sure. They walked out of the shower block only to see Michelle and another three women from the squad walk into the shower block, wearing nothing but their towels! Chambers gave McAllen a nudge with his elbow as Michelle gave him a wink as she walked into the shower block.

"She wants you, man" grunted Chambers, his eyes following the low lines of the women's towels...

"Have you no shame, Michael?" Snuffed Chris, looking for himself, he gave an approving nod.

"I got plenty, thank you very much!" Said Chambers who suddenly remembered his injured arm, looking at the wound, the bullet had hit the bone and fallen out. Now it wasn't bleeding but Chambers could now feel the throbbing pain as the pain killers wore off.

"Speaking of which," said Chris nodding towards the arm, himself just remember, "hurt much more than before?"

"Not really but I got to go get me some more happy pills, I'll see at the chow hall," pointing over to the an old dilapidated mess hall.

Chris waved to his friend as he headed for the aid station, he was going to check Alison but thought against it, he was acting like a mother with a child in hospital. Might as well go and see what's going on with my future squad mates thought Chris seeing the Shock Troopers (who were all the guys left) crowding around the shower block's entrance door, all trying to perve on their female squaddies.

Chris was surprised that soldiers this close acted this way, but decided he might as well join in.

       "Hey guys watch y..." he asked.

"SHHHHH" motioned the 18 Troopers all trying to peer through the one key hole, three stooges style thought Chris. He also noted all of them had hung their webbing and weapons on the bunks they had commandeered. Chris didn't really want to look, well he did but what red blood male wouldn't want to look at four fit fine examples of women showering? Well I would... wouldn't you?

Chris just laid on his bunk, looking at his uniform, so this is what I am going to die in he thought bluntly, since he had joined up his life didn't seem worth living, only the thought that he could actually accomplish something with his life by serving his planet. Nothing seemed real anymore, it all seemed like a game, a game that which if he died he kept thinking he would respawn with full ammo and health, ready to fight and die again.

       Chris sighed deeply, and then thought of Alison, he thought of her smile, no matter how bad he felt, he could always rely on that mental image to keep him going, keep him alive, for a chance to get to know her. But then he remembered the events of the night, remembered her rejecting him, rejecting him before she got to know him. It felt terrible, to be rejected, his chest ached.

A sudden scurry of movement made him sit up from his bunk, the troops scattered from the door and headed for their equipment trying to fool the ladies when they came out. Then Chris remembered that Michelle was the 2nd Squad's leader, all for of the women came out dressed in clean black fatigues, he noticed their ranks were slightly different to standard marines but it was easy to tell them from the others. Chris looked down at his right sleeve and saw to red bars in a steeple shape with a dark navy blue outline, hmmm, a corporal, feels just right he thought to himself touching the impressive symbol. He look looked at his left sleeve and saw the all to familiar snake wrapped around a thorny plant with the worlds 'Salve, moriturum es' I salute you, those who are about to die in latin.

       Chris suddenly felt a wave of hunger wash over him quicker than the cool morning air as it seeped in under the old barrack doors. Chris jumped from his bunk and landed on his straight out of the box, black combat boots, which he noted where slightly thicker than his old UNSC issue, almost like they were used in airborne operations...

Chris shook off the thoughts of jumping out of perfectly good air craft at several thousand feet and walked for the door, several of the Shock Troopers joined him.

"How ya' going?" said the closest Trooper, extending a hand to McAllen, "we saw that shot you made on the whale, hell of a shot," the other men made similar comments.

"Oh, yeah, thanks, I think, it was a bit of a fluke though, it took me six shots to get him!" said Chris in a dull voice showing his lack in faith of his shooting skills.

"But the thing is you got him..." said the man expecting Chris' name.

"McAllen, Chris McAllen,"

"Pleasure to meet you, McAllen, I'm Jinx and this here is Trent and Sid," the tall heavily tanned man with his large brown eyes and bleached hair, it was impossible to tell what his original colour was, not like it made a difference. Chris shook Trent's hand, Trent looked a bit of tough one, his muscly arms protruded from his black fatigues, he had a PFC rank on his sleeve. Sid seemed the opposite of Trent but looked like he could still handle himself just as well, he was a little bit shorter than Trent and lacked the arms but he was still worthy of respect.

Chris reached the door first and held it open for the other three men then followed himself, not really trying to keep up with the men who wanted to talk to him.

"Hey McAllen, shake a leg, you think you could walk a bit faster than that!" smirked Jinx, Chris broke into a run, and passed the three men yelling back 'last one there gets the left overs!' The others broke into a run but Chris just proved too good of a sprinter and covered the two hundred metres in 30 seconds.

Chris walked into the hall and saw Chambers immediately sitting next to Gunny who must have left the barracks with out Chris noticing. Chambers gave Chris a smile and turned back to the trooper who he was talking too, Chris took a seat on the opposite side of the table than Chambers and Gunny. Jinx, Trent and Sid busted into the hall not a moment later and took seats around the others. Gunny was saying something to Chambers about the training they would have to do before they were officially Shock Troopers, Chris wanted to listen but Jinx asked another question.

"Your accent is weird McAllen, where you from?"

"Australia, Sydney, my dad owns a computer company, what about you, where you guys from?"

"Where're all from the Bronx, that's it the good ol' US of A, man."

"Yeah I could tell," Chris said under his breath at their impatient attitudes, but they all seemed like exceptional soldiers, the soldiers he wanted to fight with.

"Lets go get some food," said Gunny who had stoped talking and stood up, the others followed over to the food set out in various containers, the men mostly took to the meats and high carbohydrate food. The men settled down at the same table and ate peacefully, the rest of the men joined them and took up various positions around the mess hall, in different groups. The women sat together eating and talking in hush girlish giggles, Chris couldn't help but notice Michelle looking at him and whispering into the girl next to her's ear.

       Chambers finished off his drink and looked around, a serious look of boredom on his face which Chris had become accustomed too after being in hospital with him for nearly a week. He stood up and checked his bandage, no blood could be seen seeping though so Chris guessed it wasn't very serious.

"Let's go see Alison, McAllen" he said stepping out from behind the bench like seat of the table, Chris followed suit with the Shock Troopers not paying any attention, they were exchanging how great all their shots were, but the second squad were saying that if they didn't come they first squad would have gotten owned, owned with a capital p one trooper snuffed. The first squad proclaimed that they would have survived because they could have thrown their empties at the bastards!

Chris walked out into the eerie silence of the early morning, small amounts of gun fire were still present but where heavily dominated by USNC MA5Bs than other fire arms. The attack was as good as over, the wind was still up, sending small amounts of dust sprawling into their eyes, also bringing with it the sicking aroma of dead flesh to their nostrils.

The aid station had several patients, mostly wounded Marines from earlier fighting, Chris spotted Alison straight away, she had a medic sitting on her bed with a torch testing her eyes asking her to follow the light. The medic stopped when they approached and said she was fine, a slight bump on the head but fine none the less.

"Hey Alison" they both said taking a seat on a seat each located near her bed.

"Hey guys," she said, her voice sounded just as Chris remembered, angelic almost, it was music to his ears. She noticed Chambers' arm, "hurt?"

"Like hell," he said examining it for about the ten millionth time, "what about you? They said you got a half decent blow to the noggin'!" Alison touched the lump on the back of her head, her hand recoiled slightly from the pain.

"Been better," she gave Chris a looking over, his Black Clad fatigues made him even more handsome, "what about? Any worries?"

"Not really, I cant complain," he said squaring away his shoulders and put his head in his arms.

"I know what you did for me, Chris and I'm grateful... thank you" Alison said extending her hand, Chris took it and she gestured for him to come to her, she kissed him gently on the lips, first seeing how he react and second because she had been waiting since 3 am in the morning to do so...

They broke away in a silence.

"I don't understand," said Chris, how does Alison know?

"Just because I was unconscious didn't mean I couldn't hear the shooting and you two yelling!" She gave Chambers a wry smile, he looked surprisingly handsome as well in some uniform she didn't know. To another note she didn't see the inscription under the division badge 'Shock Troops, 1st Brigade', her future unit, she had no idea Chris and Chambers were going to be in it.

"So what's going in the city?" she asked.

"We are in the city..." said Chris still half sitting/standing near her bed, he saw her face twist in confusion; another look he loved, "don't worry, the Rebellion has failed, from what we can hear they are all almost dead."

"So, we won?"

"Yes and no," said Chambers sitting, "we may have won a small battle and stopped a Rebellion during a major war but we may have actually lost the war, this waste of human resources killing other humans has cost almost 3 million lives, 3 million men and women who could have helped in war against the Covenant." The remark made them all think, of better times, comrades lost, people who they killed them selves, but most of all they all prayed that if there was a god, that they would survive the war and live the rest of their lives in peace...