Christmas on the Front Lines
Posted By: Mainevent
Date: 24 December 2003, 6:09 AM
AN: This is in honor of all of our men and women fighting valiantly over seas. Keep up the good work, and come home kicking.
The bitter frost was enough to drive a man insane. Your hands were cold, your fingers felt like sticks, you forgot you had toes, and then when you remembered you did, you wished you didn't. The wind mixed with dirt and water constantly whipped at your face, biting at it, wearing it down. Your ears weren't cold, they burned. Everything about this post was horrible.
On top of it all, it was always the same. The dark gray skies, with the lighter gray cumulus clouds. The mud encrusted snow which looked more like a sludge. Gray rocks. Gray camoflauge. Gray everything. After a while, you hated gray. When you got back to the mainland, you were going to burn every gray thing you saw.
There was a ton of snow, but there were no angels in this snow. The only flailing bodies here were those of your enemies, and often your friends. It was sad, because in a sick way, you liked the red. It was the only real color out here besided the gray and the dull green. The haunting sound of wind whipping through the trees and equipment was constant, a neverending chorus of low moans and creaks.
You knew Christmas was coming, and there was nothing you could do about it. It would come, and it would go, as though there was nothing remotely special about it. It was just another day you could've died. The Covenant didn't care, they didn't celebrate the frail human holidays. On the frontlines, it was hard to celebrate them yourself.
Lamda Lambada System
December 25, 2553, 0730 (MILITARY CALENDAR)
"Success!" Private First Class Reynolds shouted with glee. His frosty fingers were shaking wearily at the two foot tall gathering of pine branches he had hastily tied together. Around them were several pairs of red and green shoe laces, and on top was a small star shaped ornament.
"Good job Reynolds, I'm impressed." Sergeant Larrymore complimented. "But what the hell'd you make that star out of?"
"You don't want to know sir."
"Why don't I want to know?"
"Because it's made out of piss, sir."
"Your right. I didn't want to know. But now that I do, how the hell did you make that thing out of piss?"
"Well, I dug a little star-shaped hole in the ground, and you know...took a leak."
"That's....that's disturbing Reynolds." Larrymore turned to his coffee machine, and poured himself a cup. The coffee inside froze instantly, anything removed from a warm surface instantly did. Reynolds was confused at the Sarge's persistence though. Every morning he would turn on the machine and make some coffee, and every morning it would turn to ice before it reached his lips. After two weeks, it was beginning to get amusing.
"Who do you have to screw to get a warm cup of coffee around here?" Lieutenant O'Keife said as she stretched her arms behind her head. She wasn't as frustrated as Larrymore, but on the few days she wanted coffee, everyone knew it.
"I could get you a warm cup of coffee ma'am." Reynolds replied with a friendly wink. On Chi-Radia, no one bothered with ranks for very long. You either joined the family or found a quiet place, and there were no quiet places here.
"Well what the hell do I have to do Reynolds?" Larrymore replied with a laugh. The entire tent erupted into fits of laughter that continued on for several minutes.
"Nice tree you got here. Where'd you get the star?" O'Keife asked as she ran her fingers along it's sparkling edges.
"You don't want to know!" Reynolds and Larrymore replied simultaneously.
"Why don't I?"
"Trust us, you don't." Larrymore said as he took a seat at the viewing station.
"Alright, alright, I don't wanna know. Sheesh. Pardon a lady from asking."
The Outpost station had been set up during the first summer on Chi-Radia, a mistake they were all paying for. The summers on this planet were hot, morbidly hot. The winters were fatally cold. The main outpost was comprised of a large circular complex, roughly forty meters in diameter, that was dug a good ten feet into the ground. The only visible signs of the instalation from the outside was the large radio beacon on top and dark alleyway leading into the base. The view-port had been hastily erected with no thermal insulation whatsoever. A mistake they were all paying for now.
Major Nielson wasn't too fond of the cold, and himself preferred to spend all of his days inside. Something everyone else would have quickly opted for. Then again, someone had to watch the Covenant.
"What the fuck are Covenant doing on this son of a bitch icecube in the middle of hell? I'm serious man. This is pissing me off big time. We've only got a base here because they've got a base there, and they've only got a base here because we have a base here. Well, what the hell are we waiting for? Let's leave!" Reynolds outbursted erratically.
"Quiet son! Somethings happening. Something's finally happening." Larrymore said with several 'Sit Down and Shut up' flicks of his wrist.
"They wouldn't by chance all be blowing up so we could go the hell home would they?"
"No......no they wouldn't."
"Then what would they be doing Frank?" Sarah asked with consternation and building anxiousness in her voice.
"...their moving. This way too. Oh shit, we're gonna see some action."
"Why can't death just take a fucking day off." Reynolds responded as he slapped on his M308 Battle Helmet. "I don't even know if my gun'll fire." The deathly clack of the cam bolt assured him it would, for now.
"Better make it fire! We're bout to whoop them up some Turkey and Dressins." O'Keife responded with flare.
"Giblet gravy?" Larrymore asked wryly. Sarah simply gave him the only bird they actually had to share, her frozen middle finger.
"Do the humans know of the treaty?" Kall Kama'mee asked with regret and contempt.
"Not yet. We've been monitoring their radio frequencies for quite some time, they haven't received orders in nearly eighty units."
"Good, becuause now I'll finally be able to get me some action before we have to give it all up." The Field Mater replied with glee. His upper mandibles clacked once, a signal for his XO to assist him.
"Yes Field Master?"
"Are our men ready as I instructed?"
"They are indeed sir."
"Good, then today shall be the last battle of this war, and we shall be victorious."
"We shall indeed sir."
AN: I wouldn't rarely do this, and I'll most likely never do it again. But I'm leaving the ending up to you. Make it good, make it bad. Do what you wish with it. Flame me if you must, I don't really care. I was only trying to paint the general sense of what some of our men and women are/have/had to go through for our freedoms. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!