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Old 2013-04-20, 12:05 PM   [Ignore Me] #1
Contact Front

NC training center 47-Gamma. 0300hrs local time

"Recruit, do you seriously call this piece of crap a rack?" the gunnery sergeant's voice is sharp as a whip and I can just imagine those eyes narrowing as that finger thumps into the chest of another recruit who has met with Gunnery Sergeant Annette Rosenkov's displeasure.
"No Gunnery Sergeant!" The recruit, Jasmine Kelvin snaps back in reply, her armored heels clashing together. Kelvin has always had trouble getting her shit in order, particularly with regard to her bedspace. What with her not being one of the sharpest knives in the drawer, I'm amazed she's lasted as long as she has but there we go, evidently command sees something in her that I do not. A musty smelling barracks room that originally held fifty women from all over the New Conglomerate now only holds ten, the rest having washed out due to some reason or other at some point in the rigorous training program.
"Good, because it aint!" with that, the barracks room is filled with a thunderous crash as the Gunnery Sergeant upends Kelvin's rack and promptly dumps it on the floor. We all simultaneously wince very slightly, knowing Kelvin's pain from hard experience. We've all been there at some point or other after all.
"I would have expected you to know better, we might be near the end for most of you but that doesn't give any of you the right to slack off now recruits!"

Then the gunnery sergeant stomps down the line. This is how she works after all. She doesn't go down the line in a logical order picking faults, preferring to keep the recruits on their toes by selecting beds at random. No one is safe from her searching gaze. This time Rosenkov rounds on the bed next to mine.
"So what have you got for me today, Pet Project?" The gunnery sergeant's voice is soft as a caress, low pitched and breathy. We have learnt to fear these moments from bitter experience, for in these moments she is truly dangerous. My eyes flick left and there she is, standing nose to nose with the woman stood next to me, Acolyte Anna Na-Asakya formerly of the Vanu Sovereignty. Anna is my closest friend in this hellhole, by virtue of having the bunk next to mine and I'm amazed she's still here, though more because of what she is than because of what she isn't.

Whilst most of us are tanned and battered by now from the year long training program that we are nearly at the end of, Anna is still as milky white skinned as the day she arrived. Her eyes are still the bright vivid purple of a True Acolyte, or one of the VS' new clone soldiers, she's still as bald as a baby with unnaturally soft skin. She is still top of the class, and has been since she was unexpectedly dropped upon our barrack room two weeks in. Anna is taller than the rest of us with full lips and a cool smile on her face. Stamped upon her forehead is the four pin wheel of the VS in green and purple, bold as brass. Anna always wears a hat of some kind when she's outside the barracks and the gunnery sargeants largely let her get away with it. Being in the NC means that some people think they have the right to be racist. When Anna first got here, some other girls in the barracks broke into her foot locker and vandalized her stuff, then when she was sparring someone decided to try and take it a little too far. That's where I came into the equation. Whenever she looks at me, I feel like she's looking into my soul.
I hope she likes what she finds.

Anna treats the Gunnery sergeant to one of her winning smiles but says nothing as the Gunnery Sargeant gazes over her rack and footlocker. Evidently all meets with the gunny's approval and so she grunts with something that could be considered approval at a distance and at night if you tilted your head slightly.
"Good turnout, Pet Project" She growls "I suppose I was able to beat something resembling proper soldiering into you, now wipe that fucking grin off your face!"

She then turns to me, and my eyes flick forwards as I hear her footsteps thunder up to me. The roar of approaching doom is like the roar of an incoming train. Rosenkov stops in front of me, and I'm suddenly eye to eye with the figure who has occupied most of my nightmares for the last twelve months. Rosenkov is not a tall woman, nor is she built like a grav-ball player. Her skin is worn and tanned from life on the front lines. She is clad in what I've learnt is the Charlie-Two or rear area working dress, which is fatigues and poly-ceramic vest and helmet but without the rest of the bulky plating. Her rifle is slung over one shoulder. Her cold blue eyes lock with mine, and the left side of her mouth curls up into a smile made even more pronounced by the scar running up the side of her face from jawline all the way up to beyond the helmet line.

"Now what have we got here?" She asks darkly "Celcius and Pet Project at least have an excuse for being shit... you I would expect to know better, what with your breeding" She then drops down and reaches under my rack and pulls something small and shiny, which she then closes her fist upon before I get a good look at whatever it is.
"Recruit, what is this?" she asks, gesturing at my rack
"This is a military accommodation accessory Item 24801 with accompanying mattress and blanket, gunnery sergeant!"
"Wrong shithead, this is a disgrace to the training center and to me personally, I would not even let my damn dog sleep on this piece of crap that you call a rack! After a year of training, instruction and discipline you still do not know one end of a mattress from the other, I have labored like Heracles to make you understand but I guess there's no helping some people!"
My breath catches in my chest and my heart races like a machine gun.
Her fist suddenly crashes into my belly plating and I double up as the air explodes from my lungs. I've learnt better than to fight it as I gasp for breath, stiffening up and rising to the position of attention.
"Fortunately for you the New Conglomerate needs pieces of shit like you for some reason that only God can begin to fathom, I guess they're running out of garbage collectors somewhere" she snaps, before grabbing my hand and pressing something into it. Then she steps past me and the crash of my bed being flipped rings in my ears as a bitter taste fills my mouth. I spent six hours making sure that was all in good order and in the space of ten seconds she has trashed it.

Once she's done with that, the gunnery sergeant turns and stalks to the centre of the room. "Right recruits... this turnout was appalling, I have no other way of describing it" We all know what is coming next in the pits of our stomachs, push ups, lots of lovely collective punishment pushups "If I was facing you as a soldier of the Terran Republic, I would take one look at you bunch of reprobates, rejects and retards and laugh all the way from here to Esamir, I hope you ladies like push ups by now... fifty, down!" Everyone loves pushups.

Once we're up from our push-ups, arms twinging slightly, Rosenkov grimaces at us and she pulls out two manilla envelopes. For some reason my heart is suddenly in my chest. I have a nasty feeling about what's about to happen. She's about to pull out two lists. One list will read all the names of those who have made it to next week's training, the other will read all those who have not. Officially the "last ever" cull was the week before last, but then the one before that one was the "last one ever" as well. A nasty feeling fills my chest about whose name is on which list. I'm better than most but that no longer means anything since there are several people who are better than Kelvin was who have all been binned whilst she is still here. My bunk has only been turned over once, my academic scores are reasonable and my physical competency is good... however my sims scores are not so good. My mind is awhirl with possibilities and fears. If I am booted, what will my family say, what will I do with myself, can I go back to C-Sec, will I still be able to see Anna?
"Right ladies... it's that time unfortunately, I have to bid farewell to two of you, Anna Na-Whatever your name is, Michelle Celestis, you have both been selected for deployment. I suggest you both familiarize yourselves with them in intimate detail, they will tell you where you are going and what kit you will need" She then turns to me and Anna, two brown envelopes in her hands.
Wait, what?

(there will be more, please read and tell me what you think)

Last edited by CplChaos; 2013-04-20 at 12:06 PM.
CplChaos is offline  
Old 2013-04-22, 03:05 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
First Sergeant
Re: Contact Front

Hi CplChaos,
Great start! I really like the way you introduce the characters - all of them seem individual and interesting. You've set them up nicely for future chapters. Minor point, but I did felt that some of the sentences in the story were a bit long, so that some of them were a bit difficult for me to follow. But hey, it didn't detract from the overall feel of the piece .

Well done, I look forward to more,

Sonny is offline  
Old 2013-04-22, 04:30 AM   [Ignore Me] #3
Lieutenant Colonel
p0intman's Avatar
Misc Info
Re: Contact Front

I think your layout of the characters is decent. A minor point as Sonny said above, but I will expand on, is that some of it consists of more than a few run-on sentences.

For example,
"Now what have we got here?" She asks darkly "Celcius and Pet Project at least have an excuse for being shit... you I would expect to know better, what with your breeding" She then drops down and reaches under my rack and pulls something small and shiny, which she then closes her fist upon before I get a good look at whatever it is.
Could be improved with: "Now what have we got here?" She asked darkly, "Celcius and Pet Project at least have an excuse for being shit. You I would expect to know better, what with your breeding". (end sentence/quote) She then dropped down and reached under my rack, pulling out something small and shiny. (end sentence) She then closed her fist upon it before I got a good look at whatever it was. (end sentence)

my own edits in bold, for whatever its worth.

other than minor details and structuring like that, it looks good. keep going.

Retired NC CR5, Cerberus Company.
Not currently playing PS2. Anyone with a similar name is not me. My only characters are listed in my stats profile here on PSU.

Last edited by p0intman; 2013-04-22 at 04:50 AM.
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