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Long Time Gone Part 15
Posted By: grylsy<grylsy@hotmail.com>
Date: 12 September 2004, 11:17 AM

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Long Time Gone Part 15: So this is Reach then...

       for the last 24 hours of trip to Reach, Chris had been talking to Michelle, getting to know the woman he had just had the pleasure of deflowering... They had a lot in common, mainly recreational activities like hunting and contact sports.

"Where'd you learn to tackle like that?" Chris asked rubbing his back where he received a fossette in his back in the shower from her crash tackle.

"At Uni," she said looking into the distance; they were sitting at a table by themselves closely monitored by their comrades a few tables over, "I was the Captain of the women's foot ball team." Chris had to remember Michelle came from New York, USA, not Australia, their idea of foot ball was his of Rugby.

"Well I guess if you were the captain it must have been a good team then, huh?"

"Yeah, we won our championship," she sighed, "that was the year I signed up too, come see the Universe! They said, what they didn't tell you was you could do that whilst running away with a relentless enemy on your heels."

"Yeah they have a knack for leaving out the fine print, don't they?"

       They talked and talked, only stopping for food and drinks. The Captain's voice ran over the loud speaker.

"All hear this, all hear this, we have Reach on our scopes, we will make docking manoeuvres to the Roseville in 5 minutes."

"Roseville?" said Chambers, looking up from his cards, him and some of the troopers including the other three females were playing a round of poker, "I thought we were landing on Reach? Not a ship!"

"We are," said one of the females, "but we get to Reach by taking Pelicans down to the surface from the Roseville, that way all supplies and personal can be recorded and sent off to base straight away."

"Ah-huh" said Chambers looking back at his cards, he slammed his cards down, "four aces, read them and weep!"

"Straight flush!" cried Cynthia one of the females, spreading her cards along the table, a straight flush! She had won!

       The Troopers all sat together at two of the big tables, chatting quietly, awaiting for the Captain to tell them they were starting to dock. Chris was sitting next to Chambers opposite Michelle; who was whispering into one of her friends ear, giving wry grins Chris' way.

"I can't believe we got to do basic all over again!" Said Chambers, head in his arms, looking at his watch, "I only hope we don't get the asshole Sergeants like I did back in the states." No one commented, they just looked at him and then at each other, Chambers put his head back in his arms and shook his head.

       The ship crossed a slip stream from a bigger ship also approaching Reach causing the vessel to shake, several of the troopers were flung from their seats and meet the cold metal floor. Then the Captain came over the coms system.

"We're just experiencing a little slip stream interference, but everyone we are docking with the Roseville in tee minus 1 minute!" The troopers sat impatiently, enduring the rattling of the ship whilst looking at their watches counting for the minute to be up soon.

The frigate came along to rest in the Roseville's massive hanger, the airlock doors closed and the whole area pressurised. Marines and techs in space gear came running out to meet the new arrivals. Chris and the troopers were ushered out side by their ship's crew members who were dieing to get off their smaller vessel. Hans walked up to the Sargeant of the Marine squad, the Marine gave a salute which was returned in a laid back manner.

"Sargeant, Nikolei Torviche at your command comrade Gunnery Sargeant", said the marine in an heavily accented Russian voice.

"Good, son, I'm..."

"We know who you are comrade Sargeant,"

"Ok, well any way how do we get to the surface?" The Sargeant pointed to a door to his left and said,

"Shuttle bay 2, Technician Thomas Henry, he'll give you and your squad its orders,"

"Thanks Sargeant!" said Hans patting the man on the shoulder and giving a low whistle to his troops, they went through the door. Chris walked past the Sargeant and saw his weapon; it wasn't a regular issue, at least not to his knowledge, it looked like an MA5B but was half as long. The rear of an MA5B from the trigger guard backwards was the same but the front differed dramatically, the barrel only protruded 4 inches further than the trigger guard which was exceptionally large and has thick with a grip wrapped around it. Michelle saw him looking at the weapon and told him,

"That's an MA5C, it's a carbine version, extremely short too, only problem is that it fires the full sized round from a weapon 2 kilos lighter and with no compensator, so it kicks like a mule!" Chris gave the weapon another look,

"It doesn't look like its common issue either,"

"Yeah because it's a SPEC OP weapon basically, but its heavily used by Marine boarding parties and of course, us, the Shock Troops as it is small and has a higher rate of fire than its big brother. The rate of fire has been quickened from 900 to 1100, so its pretty much a chain saw with out a chain." Chris looked at the weapon, he wanted one! It look truly fearsome...

They reached the Shuttle bay, well bay wasn't the best word, well if you mean a beach's bay... The bay was bigger than the ship they had just rode in on. The walls were littered with different decks, each having a Pelican drop ship suspended by a docking device. And this is docking bay number 2, Chris thought, so there is more than one!.

Hans found Henry the Tech and he lead the Troops up several decks too a row of Pelicans. The Troops piled into three pelicans, 8 to a bird with their equipment and personal belongings. Their weapons had been kept by the small Frigate and placed in its armoury. Hans had said something that they were all getting special weapons, Chris hoped he would get an MA5C!

The Pelican's disembarked from their umbilical cord like docking devices with a thump, fell 30 feet before the engines truly took the weight of the air craft and settled into slight hovers. They received the go ahead to leave and the pilots closed the rear compartment's air lock doors and flew to the nearest air lock out of the ship.

       They shot out of the air lock like a bat out of hell, the ship moved further and further away, it was dramatically huge, but then Chris got a view of the planet Reach... Heavily colonised areas littered the surface but Chris saw several large forested and green areas, and then he saw the shield surrounding the planet. The Pelican sent its transponder signal to Reach control centre and they opened the shield and let them through.

The pilot gave them a heads up that they would be entering the atmosphere and to hold on tight. The ship rocked and shook as in descended. Chris wished he hadn't eaten that chicken dinner before they go here because he felt he would paint the walls of the rear compartment with it...

A minute which felt like an hour was finally over and the Pelicans settled into a controlled decent towards the ground. Chris could see various air craft flying around on the surface, mostly fixed wing aircraft from different ships.

       The Pelicans landed in a cloud of dust, the engines were cut and the rear door opened, Chris eyes slammed shut under the bright natural light, his eyes were used to the florescent lights of the ship they were on.

Half the Shock Troopers instantly donned reflective lens wrap around sun glasses and sat their peeked caps on their heads. The troops from the three separate craft regrouped 50 metres away from the drop zone, Hans had them in formation.

"Ok guys," he said, "this is Reach, it may not look like much but it is now your new home, so treat it like it, fight for it, and if necessary die for it..." No one commented they stared at their Sargeant; Hans looked down at his feet, then shook his head looking back at his men. They looked fearsome in their Black Clad fatigues and armour. They seemed enthusiastic to get back to their old postings.

"McAllen, Chambers, FRONT AND CENTRE!"

      Chris and Chambers broke formation from the back of the squad and ran to the Sargeant,

"SIR!" They said in unison.

"Ok, guys, I wish I could just let you join mine or Ripply's squad but you two got to go do some advanced infantry training, so I wish you two the best of luck, who knows we might be in a squad together!" Hans extended his hand and shook the two men's hands and got a driver to run them to training facility #6 18 clicks away. When Chris hopped in the Warthog he got a wave and a kiss blown from Michelle.

       The driver wasn't wasting anytime, he must have had better places to be, Chris glanced at the speedo, they were doing over 90 kms an hour along rough dirt roads. Chris noticed as they got further away from the Colonised areas the more that Reach reminded him of Earth.

"Yep, she's a beauty!" Said the driver spitting out of the moving vehicle with a harsh throat noise.

"Yeah she sure is," Said Chambers from the modified back seat, the weapons had been removed and replaced with four more seats.

"Why did the Sarge want me to run you out to #6? Aren't you already Shock Troopers?"

"No we're candidates though,"

"OK, just remember if you fail, you get put straight back in the Corps, a few of my mates had that happen to them, poor bastards. They really wanted to be in the Shocks." Another blob of flem was hurled from his mouth onto the ground.

       After some more dirt rally action they came into sight of the training camp, it was basic construction. About 10 barrack halls littered the grounds with several other buildings most likely comms centre, mess hall and command post.

The 'hog skidded to a stop outside out side of the HQ with a screech, the two men piled out and noticed the emptiness of the camp, despite several men on guard, the place seemed deserted.

"Oi!" Said the driver, another spit, "just go in there", he said pointing to the HQ, "and ask for Master Sargeant Kelso, he'll be your CO for the next 6 weeks, cyas round!" With that the warthog took of with a slight grind then it spluttered forward until the driver grinded the gear box once more, found his gear and took of out the gate, barely giving the guards time to open the draw bar.

Chris and Michael walked into the HQ; several techs were manning comms equipment and a Corporal was signing for something. They spotted Kelso easily enough, his rough looks stood out from the rest of the men in here, his golden ploomed Master Sargeant bars were another clue...

       Kelso saw the two men walk into his HQ, duffel bags over there shoulders and that same arrogant look of all trainees on their faces. Just wait 'til I get you on the repelling course, ladies... he thought, taking a sip of some Irish 'coffee'.

"Master Sargeant Kelso?" Said the closest one, he seemed intelligent enough, sandy brown hair, blue eyes, half handsome figure, the other one was pretty good looking too, but not in 'THAT' way...

"Yes?" Said Kelso taking another sip.

"I'm Corporal Chris McAllen and this is Corporal Michael Chambers, we were told to report to you for training by Hans Grebler." The name Hans Grebler made his eyes widened, not many to be Shock troopers were sent to #6 unless they were extremely talented, and to have two men sent here by Kelso's best friend also made him think they must be good... Kelso stood up extended a hand and a bottle of whisky with some cups, they both refused...

"Good lads, you'll be surprised how many men I've failed because they forgot the rule 'no alcohol on duty even if ordered by your CO'", Chris and Chambers looked at each other, Chris knew what Chambers was thinking, I think we just got our selves a real rule follower .

"Thank you, sir," they said.

"OK, report to barracks #2 and choose a bunk, the others will be here in..." Kelso checked his ceremonial watch, "an hour or so, then after that we'll see what youse got in ya!" He gave them a salute which they returned, "dismissed!"