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Old 2013-04-12, 07:20 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
Sonny
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First Sergeant
 
First birthday


Something I wrote a while back but just came across it again. Also at my Planetside 2 lore website, Tales from Auraxis www.talesfromauraxis.com.

FIRST BIRTHDAY

Jack waited nervously alongside the three fellow cadets. He felt out of place in his red-striped ceremonial tunic after twelve weeks straight in full battle armour. Alongside the walls of the bare, cavernous hall, twenty fully-armed members of the legendary Wolf Pack outfit waited in stern silence.

Sergeant Tare’s voice echoed across the stone floor from the pulpit.

RECRUITS! You have trained long, you have trained hard, and you have earned the right become a Terran Marine. In the Wolf Pack outfit we expect just two things. Loyalty and sacrifice.”

As he listened, Jack clenched his fists with mounting rage. The midnight kidnapping and forced conscription, the forced marches across the Searhusian steppe, the vicious beatings for a scuffed boot, the torture endurance training. All of this had hardened his anger into hatred against this thug in uniform. And now he asks again for sacrifice! He glared openly at the Sergeant as he slowly extracted a golden, ceremonial pistol from his hip holster.

“To prove your loyalty to the Republic, you must be willing to sacrifice everything. To become one of us, you must be reborn. Today, privates, is your birthday!

The room erupted into a chorus of Wolf howls. Jack looked at Robyn beside him uncomprehendingly. She glanced back with pale blue eyes, shaking her head with fear.

Sergeant Tare approached the line. He handed the pistol to Igor, a baby-faced teenager.

“Private Tereno. You will shoot Private Howie in the head and then shoot yourself.”

Jack’s throat went dry and a lump lodged itself in his throat. He could barely breathe. What the hell was going on?! Igor stood still for a moment, shining pistol hanging lamely from his hand. He forced a whisper.

“Sir-?”

Tare brought his cold, unforgiving voice to bear.

“Loyalty and sacrifice, private.”

Shaking uncontrollably, he slowly brought the pistol up to Howie’s face. After two agonising seconds, he dropped the gun to his side.

“Sir… I can’t.”

“Very well.” Tare said, matter-of-factly.

Tare snatched the pistol from Igor’s limp grasp and, without a moment’s notice, Igor and Howie collapsed to the ground with two deafening shots. Jack jumped in horror as the warm blood of his friends showered his tunic. The room erupted into a chorus of wolf howls. Shaking with terror, Robyn grasped for his hand.

Tare approached the remaining pair and offered the smoking gun to Jack. Trembling silently, he took the weapon from his open hands.

“Private Reeves. For your initiation, you will shoot Private Lara in the head and then yourself.”

Jack sighed shallow, quick breaths. He couldn’t bring himself to move, the shining pistol hanging lamely from his hand. Suddenly, his fear turned to rage. A life of hell, for what?! To kill myself for pricks like him? This won’t be my future! With his finger on the cold trigger, he had a burst of clarity. He calmly drew the pistol up towards Robyn’s ashen, sorrowful face. He winked.

Jack swung the pistol to the left. Two bullets smashed through Tare’s stomach and lung, driving the black-eyed terror onto his knees, blood spouting from his gasping mouth. Jack pulled Robyn’s hand and bolted for the front door of the cavernous hall. He sprayed bullets at the Wolf Pack lining the dark walls, who scrabbled for a grip on their holstered rifles.

Tare’s gargled laugh echoed over the gunfire “Excellent work, Private Reeves! But nothing can save you! You are Terran property now!”

Automatic fire started to ricochet off the stone slabs around their feet. Jack felt a jolt break through his arm. Robyn fell awkwardly from his grasp, three bullets in her back. A pellet tore through his left knee, and he came crashing to the cold stone floor, just metres from the open door and freedom.

Sergeant Tare, his chest bloodied and dripping, limped wearily to where Jack clung helplessly to his leg, surrounded by the baying, jeering Wolf Pack. He stamped mercilessly on the weeping knee, a sadistic grin etched among the ancient scars that riveted his face. Jack cried out in pain as Tare leant down just inches from his nose, drenching him with vile, acrid breath.

“In the Terran Republic there is NO escape from duty. See you on the front line, private.”

Cold metal pushed into Jack’s temple. As the soldier pulled the trigger, he felt nothing – no childhood flashback, no light at the end of the tunnel. Just gaping emptiness and terror, fading to black.

------

As he slowly came to, he made out a medic’s cross in front of his foggy vision. His nerves still cried out in agony, but his hands could not find a bullet hole.

“Can you hear me, soldier?”

Jack nodded, the world swirling in front of his eyes.

“Wh- Where am I?!”

The busy medic paid no attention.

“Your gun, and your armour.” He passed a selection of items into Jack’s quivering arms as he stumbled out of the respawn tube. The rattle of gunfire echoed through a distant hallway.

“Welcome to Indar. Oh, and happy birthday, private.”

Last edited by Sonny; 2014-01-20 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 2013-04-12, 07:44 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
Micro
Sergeant Major
 
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Loved this one.
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