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Long Time Gone Part 16
Posted By: grylsy<grylsy@hotmail.com>
Date: 14 September 2004, 11:00 AM

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Long Time Gone Part 16: back to school...

       Chris had lost again and got the bottom bunk, he was surprised to see all the bunks were set out and already had the names of the troopers on them. Chris' and Chambers' bunk was right next to the shower block as usual.

"So?" Said Chambers.

"'So' what?"

"So what you reckon?"


"About all this, being a Shock Trooper and all?"

"We ain't Shock Troops yet, mate," said Chris walking into the shower block to wash up.

"I know," said Chambers following him in to wash up as well, "but like you think we'll get much action?"

"From what I heard I think we are going to be assaulting Covenant ships, Michael," said Chris using a towel to pat the dampness of his skin.

"Assault and Covenant ships should not be used in the same sentence when I'm around McAllen,"

"What's the matter? Chicken?"

"Of course I am, aren't you?" Chris took comfort from that knowing that he wasn't the only one scared out of his mind about meeting this 'super race' of different aliens.

"Well yeah, but don't let it show, we're all going to die, might as well go down fighting?"

"I suppose but still what a way to go, I here the 'Covenant'" Chambers did the two finger 'comment' motion as he said this, " as I heard someone call them use plasma weapons, you die of dehydration from serious wounds and when you're hit by plasma you are basically being cooked!"

"Yeah sucks to be us..." The two kept talking about various things, waiting for the other Shock Troopers to get there. It was 1300 when the first trucks pulled up. About 30 or more Troopers in Marine fatigues jumped down, standard Marine issue weaponry slung of their shoulders.

       Kelso got the new arrivals to be in formation in front of him and told them that they are very lucky men and women to be here and only the best survive to be the stuff of legends. They would have the best weapons and armour available to them and some of the most experienced soldiers to guide them. He dismissed them saying for them to split up into men and women's barrack groups.

The Marines moved into the barracks Chris and Chambers were in and they took no notice of them. The marines just sat down on their bunks in their full gear, obviously expecting trouble in an instant, and trouble they got!

Master Sargeant Kelso came in straight after the final load of troops arrived and summoned them all outside for a general assembly. Chris and Chambers were the highest ranking Marines there. So they stood out the front, sticking out like a sore thumb with their black uniforms against Marine Khaki green.

"MEN!" Bellowed Kelso, "ATTEN-SHUN!" The men snapped to attention. "Welcome to Reach Troopers, I am Master Sargeant Kelso and this to my left is Senior Drill Instructor Fathoms and to my right is Staff Sargeant Jones, we will be your guides through all this, so I'll spare you the rah-rah rhubarb speech, you all know what inspiration is don't you?" Some chuckles from the men broke an eerie silence.

"Ok report to your barrack groups, and McAllen and Chambers go with Staff Sargeant Jones to the armoury and help him get the equipment!" The two men complied and left with the Staff Sargeant towards a large Armoury.

"For the rest of you guys drop your armour!" The Marines compiled releasing buckles allowing their armour to hit the ground with an exceptionally loud CLANG. Soon the entire 53 wannabe Shock Troopers were dressed only in Marine Green. "Ok men, whilst they get your new shit, go and get changed into the fatigues in your foot lockers! Move out, DOUBLE TIME!" With a scurry of excitement the men and women moved out to their respective barracks.

       "No, no, No!" Yelled Jones, "grab the armour first, first, we'll come back for the weapons," they loaded the armour onto trolleys and sped them out to the assembly area which was nothing more than your average parade grounds, except on lush green grass. Chris saw all the Marine armour and webbing lying on the grass, but only Kelso and Fathoms were on the grounds.

"Here's the armour, sir" said Jones, Kelso gave an approving nod and yelled for the Troopers to hurry the heck up. Chris, Chambers and Jones went back to the armoury and grabbed weapons. "Just grab some MA5s for now, you'll be trained with specialist weapons later!" Chris instantly spotted the MA5C rack and put one over his shoulder on it's sling but Jones told him to put it on the trolley. He piled several more of them on the trolley, Jones said only NCO's would get them. Chambers dumped a load of MA5Bs on the trolley.

Soon they had the weapons back at the grounds. Kelso order all the Troopers come up and take a set of armour.

"This armour is the best man has to offer you with out you wearing a hull of a battle ship!" Kelso bellowed. Chris picked up his armour and felt how light it was, he hadn't noticed it being so light when he loaded it but it was EXTREMLY light. The Sergeants walked the Troopers through putting it on. Chris put his chest plate on first and noticed that it wasn't freezing cold like normal Marine issue metal plates.

"Master Sargeant Kelso?" Chris called out above the clatter of armour and chatter of excited men and women.

"What is it McAllen?"

"What exactly is this armour made of?"

"High impact plastics! It absorbs plasma and is strong enough to take needles and survive, that answer your questions?"

"Yes, sir, thank you sir!" After the chest plate, Chris put on his helmet, he also counted that the armour had ten separate parts, 14 if you included the elbow and knee pads also worn with them. Chris slipped on the leg covers and arm covers. Each piece was held on by two or three elastic straps that were comfortable and did not hindered movement. Chris was the first into his armour, he help Chambers into his and several other Marines. They checked each others straps. Chris moved around a bit getting a feel for the armour. It was lighter, the whole armour was lighter than the standard Marine breast plate alone!

       Soon all the troopers were in their armour, the sun reflected of the plastics of their helmets. The insignia stood out among the rest. Kelso loved looking at them now and then what they would look like after six weeks!

"OK, Troopers, come to the front when your name is called for your weapons that will stay with you through your hopefully productive life!" Troopers names were called, Chris could see the MA5Cs on the bottom of the trolley, after about 15 minutes of standing in the sun in full combat attire; Chris and Chambers' names were called. Kelso handed Chambers a MA5C and ventured to get an MA5B for Chris but Jones whispered something in his ear like 'he's an NCO, sir' so Kelso handed him an MA5C also.

"YES!" Cried out Chris gripping his weapon, "thank you sir I will take good care of it!" Chris walked back to his spot and check over his empty weapon. No magazine was inserted so Chris was pulling the bolt back cocking it and dry firing it for a feel on the trigger. The trigger pull was about 0.25 kg, A little light but we got to be quick to nails those Covenant bastards! Thought Chris putting the sling around his neck and letting the weapon sit at his front.

       Soon all the troops had their new weapons and were checking them over. Kelso got Jones to take the trolleys back to the armoury.

"OK, Troops, those things put out a heck of a lot of lead, so treat 'em with respect, they don't care what they kill, do I make myself clear?"

"SIR YES, SIR!" Came the reply from the Troopers.

"OK, now report to your barracks and you can have the rest of the day for pleasantries, dinner is at 1800 and then at 1930 report to your barracks and then at 2100 lights out."

       Everyone was chatting like school girls in the barracks. Chris and Chambers weren't they just stared around the room, noting the laughter and happiness on the men's faces. Every now and then some would look over at them.

"Some of them don't even look old enough to shave," said Chambers dissembling his MA5C on his foot locker. Chris had already checked his over and it was hanging with his armour on the wall.

"Well, they're the best of the best, so they got to be good, Chambers,"

"Yeah, s'pose your right there, McAllen."

"The strange thing is though, do you see any Sargeant stripes besides the instructors?"

"No, why?"

"Ever think we're the highest ranking ones here?"

"That might explain why they keep looking at us, never know we might get promoted!" Chris snuffed a laugh.

"Doubt we'd ever make Sargeant, the only reason we got Corporal because I'm a spotter and you're a shot gunner," Chris laid down on his bed.

"Yeah, true", Chambers was just finishing putting the top cover over the weapon. "I wonder what the 'specialist' weapons Jones was talking about?" He said aloud not really wanting an answer but getting one.

"Probably shotties, mgs, jack hammers, what ever else puts a big hole in little things!'

"What the fuck is a jack hammer? The air powered hammer thing?"

"No its another name for a SPNKr, with a more military sound to it."

"OK then, not out department, probably one of those guys' job," said Chambers pointing over at their fellow trainees.

"But they sure pack a punch those SPNKrs, I'd hate to be on the receiving end!"

"Yeah, you remember how that old rebel tank got the shit blow out of it by one?" Chris' mind swept back to the night, the rebel tank at night, Chris, Chambers and... Alison...

"Alison..." Chris breathed, looking into the distance.

"McAllen? MCALLEN!?" Yelled Chambers. Chris shook his head and looked confused, his eyes scanning the room.

"Ah, yeah sorry, slipped into dream world there for a bit." Said Chris rubbing his chin, feeling the stubble, he'd decided he'd let it grow until someone notices.

"How about we go and check out the others?" Said Chambers standing up, he put on his cap. Chris did the same, they walked over to some men playing a game of cards.

"Some of these guys have terrible poker faces, McAllen..."

"They're playing asshole, Michael!"

"What's asshole?"

"It's an old game I used to play, never mind about it. It isn't that fun." Chris looked over the 15 or so men crowded around a table with only about 9 of them actually playing the game. The majority as far as Chris could see were Caucasians, he had seen two of three Black Marines get off the trucks but they didn't seem to be in this barracks.

"Let's go see if there's any lookers in the next barracks!" Said Chambers already scurrying out of the room, Chris trailed behind, after giving some acknowledged nods to several men.

"OI LOOK AT THAT!" Said Chambers pointing at three female Troopers in straight fatigues and their shirts half buttoned up sitting out side of the female barracks on crates playing cards.

"Man, try and at least think before you say something, you sound like an idiot!" Said Chris taking a look himself, "nice tits though!"

"Ha ha, yeah," said Chambers looking around, "you know I've been thinking..."

"What does your head hurt now?" Said Chris looking away from his friend, towards the setting sun.

"No, you asshole! I was just thinking, all of these Marines got hand picked right,"

"Right, your point is?"

"Well only about 120,000 Marines were involved in Africa, and I noticed nearly all these Marines had non-Earthed based Regimental badges when we were in parade with them."


"Well, I think we're the only ones who haven't actually fought the Covenant," Chambers was looking over his shoulder, back into their barracks, "I hate to say it but I don't feel too comfortable being a Corporal and never having fought the Covenant around these troops."

"Oh well, we got 6 weeks of training to prepare us for anything we have to face, and if all these troops have battled the Covenant then they'll just have to give us pointers!"

"I was thinking that, but what if they judge us?"

"For what?" Said Chris seeing the women who were playing cards retreat to their barracks for a jacket and coming back out. "I don't give a shit what they think, I'm just as much as a marine as any of these bastards!" Chris kicked the ground stirring up just and loose gravel, "we've both spilled blood to protect our, race Christ, even if it was human blood, we still did our bit and if they don't think we're worthy to fight besides them then they can go and get fucked!"

       Chambers gave a chuckle.

"Yeah your right, lets make a pact!"

"For what?"

"To be the best darned Shock Troopers this camp has ever known!"