Gender: Male Age: 53 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
|Introduction: Basic Training|
I was born Author Geoffrey England. My mother and father were both well know scientists. Even with a very high IQ I had dreams in another area. At the tender age of seventeen I enlisted in the space forces.
I was just over two meters tall with brown hair and blue eyes. I had finished secondary school a year before and spent my time finishing my testing in an ancient martial art. The shuttle up to the transport ship was packed with other recruits that boasted and bragged. As soon as we walked out of the shuttle it started.
A large angry sounding sergeant major was yelling and cursing at us. Several other sergeants were shoving us towards painted footprints on the deck. A few were even disciplining men or women that were to slow. Before I knew it we were all on our face doing push ups as they screamed and yelled at us. I knew what was going to happen and kept my mouth shut and just did the exercises.
Finally we were lined up and our civilian clothes were stripped off and thrown away. We shuffled forward beside a counter as men and women run scanners over us and tossed clothing and equipment at us. After that it was the medics turn and we walked through a gauntlet as they injected us with everything you could think of.
In a large room we set our new clothing and equipment down before walking into a set of showers that washed us and felt like it was removing layers of skin. A senior sergeant walked into the room and started calling names. Those he called grabbed their clothing and equipment and began moving out of the room.
Outside the room was a top sergeant with several senior sergeants. We were formed into ninety man platoons and marched out. Walking through a ship naked is both embarrassing and humiliating. It is also designed to weed soldiers that are not emotionally fit out.
My company started with four hundred and fifty men and women. The first week was spent doing paperwork and evaluations. It was also a week of hell for most of the company. If we weren’t filling out some paperwork or doing an evaluation, the sergeants were pushing us through physical exercises. By the end of the first week the company had less than four hundred.
It is hard to describe a carrier, they are over ten kilometers long, five wide and five tall. The crew for a carrier is over five thousand with up to another ten thousand in soldiers. The imperial carrier Duchess was designed for one thing, training new troops. We made several stops as she jumped from system to system. We never knew what the next stop was going to be; jungles, woodlands, deserts or even underwater or space operations.
From the very first day I was leading the company in fitness and weapons skills as well as classes. We were each issued an assault rifle that used 6mm rail bullets. The rifles were unique because they would only work for each soldier they were issued to. Week followed week and more people dropped out until we were down to just over two hundred. We were into our eighth week with another month before graduation.
We entered the Cerberus system and the sergeants called for a formation. The top sergeant looked at us and shook his head, “You are a sorry bunch. For the next week you are going to be detailed around the planet to give the twenty third Space Force a break. You will maintain your professional baring at all times. Those of you detailed for guard duty, take it seriously. There have been a few reports of dissidents so stay alert.”
He looked us over before looking at me, “Private England you will report to me after the formation.”
When I walked into his office it was to see the Duchess’s captain sitting on the edge of his desk. He smiled as he looked me up and down. I snapped to attention and the top sergeant nodded, “because you are at the top of the regiment, we are giving you the honor to stand guard outside Counselor’s Hall. Use you best set of class three utilities and draw a basic load for your rifle.”
I nodded and he waved towards the door. I spun and marched out smartly with both pride and fear in my heart. I knew the guard outside Counselor’s Hall was mostly for show, after all who would attack the system counselors? I was inspected three times before boarding the shuttle down and another two times by senior sergeants on the ground.
The Counselor’s Hall is a wedge shaped building. The open side is raised above the street and has a wide stone porch with huge stone pillars. There is the standard clear area out to the street and a wide central boulevard leading straight to the building. High in the outer wall is a line of narrow windows that let in light from the porch.
There is only one door into the building from the porch and I was posted beside it. Just inside the door was a wide hall that spanned the building with a central set of stairs up to the viewer’s galley and two doors on each end of the entrance hall. The hall itself was shaped like the building except there was a room beyond the speaker’s podium where the counselors argued and made decisions. There were rows of stone seats down to the central platform where all nine counselors sat.
I relieved a smart looking corporal and he glanced at the sergeant of the guard before following him down to the waiting vehicle. It seemed like a slow day with only a few people entering. I saluted each counselor when they arrived and then as their session started everything seemed to stop. My eye constantly flicked around the distant buildings, more to give me something to do than to look for threats.
The subtle movement caught my eye and I broke position. I brought my weapon up and side stepped in front of the doors. That saved my life as a large rail projectile hit the wall behind where I had been standing and static screamed from my radio. I flicked the safety off and advanced the sight holo as I aimed. The sniper jumped out at me and I squeezed the trigger.
I moved forward and behind the stone pillar to the right. I moved to the right and looked around it and down the wide boulevard. The sight I saw sent chills down my back as I realized I was probably going to die. There was easily a thousand men in body armor with assault rifles rushing the building. I didn’t hesitate and began aiming carefully and firing.
There was only a tiny spot in the hallow of the throat where my standard bullets would penetrate and that was where I was aiming. The pillar and the porch around me were shattered by projectiles and I spun to the other side of the pillar to continue firing. That was when I saw the two combat suits jumping over the other men and heading towards me.
I glanced back as my mind spun and then I dropped to the ground and crawled to the door. I slipped in and quickly yanked a light bench under one of the windows. Combat suits were only vulnerable in two places against light rounds like I was using, over the ear on each side of the head. I stood on the bench and peered out the shattered window. A moment later a suit landed beside the pillar and stepped forward as it turned.
I didn’t even think about what would happen if I missed. I aimed and fired in one motion before dropping to the floor. The head of the suit had sparked and flared so I thought I had hit the right spot. The whole window I had been at exploded and debris rained down. I was already moving and leaped for the window ledge above the door, leaving my rifle on the floor.
The window had been replaced long ago by a wall. I pulled my force knife and turned it on as the door exploded inward. A second later the combat suit stalked through the door. I dropped off the ledge and brought my left hand around with the force knife. As I slammed into the suit the knife screamed as it went through the left sensor panel in the helmet over the ear.
I rolled as we crashed to the floor and hastily grabbed the mini caltrop from the gloved hand of the suit. I stood and spun as I pulled the trigger. It was like a solid line of death as it swept out into the rushing men, shattering armor and flesh. I grunted as I swept the heavy weapon back and forth and then I was thrown back with a burning searing pain in my left shoulder.
The caltrop dropped to the floor as I rolled and grabbed my rifle. I came to my knees and fired as three men started rushing up the steps to the porch. I stood and ran for the right door down into the Hall. There were a few people peeking out from the doorway into the deliberating room but I ignored them as I spun and aimed back for the main door.
I tried to keep up as they began rushing through the door but finally one and then two broke through. I was halfway through my ammo as I ran towards the edge of the platform and changed magazines. I was hit in the right side as I started turning to face to doors. The burning stabbing pain slammed through me, spinning me more as I ignored everything and raised my rifle.
I walked backwards as I fired into the men coming through the door and finally knelt with a stone seat blocking their fire. I start going from one doorway to another and then up into the viewer’s galley. The counselors and the few people that had been here were back in the deliberating room. I knew I was the only thing between these fanatics and the counselors and the only way I was letting them past was over my body.
Every time I saw a soldier with a launcher I would concentrate on them. I missed one though and dove away as an implosive grenade landed in the center of the platform. I was still trying to get behind cover when the searing pain slammed through my right hip. I rolled and shot the sniper through his open face shield. I struggled and crawled to the hole in the platform before turning back to the other end of the room.
I knew I didn’t have much longer. My eyes were starting to blur and I felt light headed from blood loss. I continued to kill men that entered the room and changed to my last magazine. That was when I heard explosions from outside the building. The steady stream of men entering the room slowed and stopped. I had half a magazine as another soldier appeared in the doorway. I brought my rifle up but held my fire as I recognized the uniform, “Identify yourself!”
That brought instant response; he knelt as two more men knelt in the doorway behind him, “Sergeant Beckford. Red Wolves, twenty third Regiment!”
I hesitated, “Come forward to be recognized!”
He stood and gestured to the two men before walking forward. I saw other soldiers in the other doorway and even more moving into the viewer’s galley. The sergeant stopped at the edge of the platform and held out his ID tags. I knew I couldn’t move out of the hole, “Toss them.”
He frowned but tossed them towards me. My hand was shaking as I picked them up and thumbed it. His holo appeared above the tags with his information beside the holo. I set them down, “The counselors are in the next room. I didn’t let anyone past me.”
He moved onto the platform as he gestured for the others to join him. He knelt beside me and started checking me as the others headed for the door. That was the last thing I saw before I finally passed out. I woke up in a cold room and opened my eyes to see a beautiful Lieutenant sitting beside me. She smiled, “Welcome back private.”
I had to swallow before I croaked, “The counselors?”
She touched my hand, “Safe thanks to you.”
She glanced at the nurse as she walked into the room and crossed to check me. Once she left the questions began. She was very good and drew everything out before I realized she was from Imperial Intelligence. She gave me a soft kiss that I will remember for a long time before she left. Because of my injuries I was given Regen Nanites which recruits don’t normally get until they graduate.
I also had to stand before the gathered counselors and receive the Imperial Star which was the highest award a soldier could normally receive. Then I received the bad news, because of my injuries I was headed out to the carrier York, to start basic all over again.
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