Friday, September 29, 2006

Hawkins story

The men were lined up ready to march, their lasers locked, and with packs strapped upon their shoulders all they awaited now was the platoon sergeant’s voice to ring out and sound the advance.

“Now isn’t funny Hawkins, how they’re waiting for us? Us waiting here is sure to cause Major Burns no end of consternation”. Horrigan has seen Raymond Hawkins looking at him mischievously and added

“We’ve kept him waiting long enough right lads?” At the last he turned around and addressed the platoon. They responded with a resounding loud chuckle. The whole company thought that Major Burns fine in battle, was too exuberant in the exercising of his authority.

“Ok, we’ve waited long enough, bugger the order, we’re marching with loaded lasers.”

“Platoon, load lasers, and present weapons for inspection” If the platoon and I will march into battle, then dammit, we will be doing it my way I thought.

I sent Horrigan on down the line along with the platoon sergeants to check that every laser had a full magazine, and it was locked. This having met my satisfaction, we proceeded to move out towards the Regimental staging area, where the men would draw fresh rations and ammunition and I would have to meet with Major Burns. I had only the next five hours riding in the Armored Personnel Carrier in which to get my story straight.

I had to get a favorable outlook, or I would be reassigned, most likely to either a desk, if someone still liked me, or at worst, the lead of a conscript battalion. To do this I would have to relate my actions up to this point, to build a case that I was not, nor still am incompetent or intent upon causing treason.

I sought out Horrigan’s advice. He was more then aid, he was my child hood friend and it was him who told me to volunteer for the Home Defense Force. If I joined the HDF he said, then the law couldn’t touch me, granted if I then broke military law, then chances are I’d still get to meet that big scythe and those accompanying black robes.

The whole episode started after the death of my parents, and Horrigan, took me in. He was only six months older then me, but at seventeen he was already feared by the guilds. He ran the toughest gang around, and he took me in. It’s my thought he remembered me when he lived in the floor above ours, back before his parents kicked him out of their house. This before my father got a new job and we moved across town.

It was barely a month after that that my father, on his way from the store was shot by some thieves who needed the use of his motorcar to further affect an escape. My mother died a year later, of heart failure. Because Horrigan took me in, I was able to still get my schooling done. I regret that I never could go on, but survival was more important and because survival was so important, it was for that reason we decided to rob the butcher.

We were trying to raise the money to bail Horrigan out of prison, for he had been locked up on a charge of causing a riot.We raised the money, yet by the time we had it in hand, Horrigan had already been forced in the Home Defense Force. It would only be a short time later when the government took me. With no where else, to go, no real trade skills or future even; I opted to cast my lot in with the HDF, completed training and was shipped out to bolster the military presence on the planet Griffyn. On my way there, I found that I had been reassigned to the Terra Army.

A second shock was handed to me in the form of a letter from the company purser. It seemed that before my parents died, they had given everything to me and they had a substantial sum. Before as I had been a vagrant, the letter could not have reached me, but now that I was a name and address again, the post had caught up with me. This meant I could buy my commission, but I would have to do it quickly for the Armament minister had decreed that the purchasing of commissions would cease on the first of the month, and forthwith from that point it would only be skill on the battlefield, or your speciality that mattered.

After so purchasing my Lieutenancy upon completion of the voyage, I reported myself to the sergeant of my new platoon, it was none other then Horrigan, and although he made feel welcome, he wasn’t quickly given to friendship. I was a link to his past, true, but that did not mean I was given his confidence, far from it, he was purely professional and did everything by the book.

Until battle was joined.

He led from the front, always the first at the enemy. The Army insists that sergeants are to carry a laser pistol and a large sword. Horrigan mocked this statement, for he openly carried a laser carbine, smaller then the standard trooper’s laser yet large enough to ensure a steady rate of fire and lethality; As well as a small sword. The sword was a brutish weapon, double edged, and with a sharp point. It was made from a special alloy, it was practically indestructible by most battlefield technology; the exception being a direct hit by broadside fired from a battleship. It was covered in black lighting pulsating along the length of the blade, which in addition to the damage done by the sword blade, would eat through armour and skin, cauterizing it within seconds of the stroke. It could be thrust into the enemy, slashed at him, or finally bludgeon him with the hilt. My first thought after battle was over was that Horrigan is the sort of person to emulate. I set out to seek his council, whenever I could.

As the years progressed, through battles, big and small; and the months spent in endless travel,I came to rely upon him more and more. After a brutal siege, I recommended him for lieutenant for during the past year he had been filling my former billet after I was promoted to captain, it was official by the Lord General. I was the commanding officer of a regiment, and Horrigan was leader of the First Company. This was the elite, the group that led the way forward and was the last onto the dropships at the engagements conclusion.

And so we passed the five hours, as I got my story straight and regaled the men, again with my story. It seems to never grow dull, and there is always at least a few who call out for me to tell, it. Some times I do and others I’m too exhausted or occupied.

[But I know the conflict has many long years ahead of it]
Ending line of story here.

Trav the Spaz

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