Posted 17 April 2003 - 08:20 PM
Donovan's body ached as he quickly downed a few mouthfuls of water. "God that guy is a pain in the ass, reminds me of my cross-country coach, only with a dash of PCP and mescaline," he muttered. He'd been captain of his cross-country team in college and still ran routinely, however never in full battle gear. This was nuts. "Why the hell did I sign that transfer paper?" he asked himself.
He remembered how it went. He was the class top score, top runner, and had the most kills in the war games that he played in Westpoint. After he graduated, he was approached at his current place of residence at midnight by a group of men in suits, and a military general whom he'd never heard of before. His first reacton was to tell them to take a hike, and that he had to transfer off to basic in the morning, but they told him that the transfer had been put on hold till he heard them out. He shrugged, and let them in the house, saluting the General as an automatic response and the man just said, "Son, I'm off duty, give it a rest." He did and sat down in one of his chairs.
"How would you like a chance to provide your services for your planet?" one of the suits asked.
"What? Is this some kind of joke," Donovan had asked.
"No joke, Donovan. We're serious, answer the question: How would you like a chance to provide your services for your planet?"
"You have the best scores in class, running and war games at Westpoint, that means that just just made the minimum grade to be eligible."
"What are the stakes?"
"Did Markinson put you up to this, because this is almost convincing. Let me guess, aliens are landing... no... terrorists are threatening to send a nuclear weapon down to the core of the earth and detonate it unless they are given one billion dollars? Is that it?" Donovan always enjoyed jokes, but not when it woke him up. He was already in a bad mood in that it was New Year's and he had to go to bed extremely early jso he could get up and get transferred to basic training the next day.
This time the General was the one to speak up, "Son, this is no laughing matter, and it is no joke. This is a serious situation that effects the entire human race, now do you want to help or not?"
"What is it then?"
"We can't tell you that, all we can say is that you have been selected to undergo a very select, elite, form of training and a chance to fight, albeit more then likely die, against the worst enemy you'll ever face and the whole planet is the stake," the General said, "Now are you in or are you out? No time to think, training starts tomorrow, we can get you out of here and to the destination in four hours, that will give you two hours of rest, more then some will get."
Donovan quickly rolled it around in his head and decided to go with his gut, "Sure, what the hell."
"Good," the other suit said and all members of the room stood up. "Pack your bags with as little as you can spare, your new uniform will be given to you upon arrival at the base."
Donovan nodded getting up and heading to the other room to pack his bags.
Six hours later he was here starting his training as the veil was removed from his eyes. "Aliens, jesus, I should have stayed at home," he joked to himself.
He just got over to section fourteen when he heard that psycho Major speak up.
"We are going to be training for standard cover. You will advance from one end of the field to the other."
He thought it would be easy at first. Just run to various points of cover. Looking across the field he saw multiple areas which could provide cover for at least three people at once. Then he noticed the Major and some of the other training officers loading clips into AK-74's and m4a1 assault carbines. "I don't like where this is going," he muttered quietly.
"When we start shooting at you with blank rounds, you are to determine from which direction the firing is coming from, find the closest cover and get there as quickly as possible."
The entire group started to go over to the starting position when they heard the Major speak up behind them. "Oh, and to make things interesting, one in a hundred rounds is live. We won't be trying to hit you, but I wouldn't recommend standing in the open for long once we start shooting."
Donovan just shook his head and got down on the 'starting line.' Looking over to the rest of the group he saw a bunch of strong, athletically built people, however he also noticed some were a little weaker then most, "What are they doing here," he thought. However, his thoughts were interrupted when he heard the shooting start. The entire group bolt like cockroaches when the lights turn on, scrambling for whatever kind of cover they could get their hands on.
Donovan jumped behind a rock, looking to his six to make sure that he wasn't being fired on. He felt rock chips hit his face as one of the live bullets hit a little too close for comfort, "One out of a hundred my ass, we just started," he said.
He looked around the rock and saw another open place next to a boulder, twenty yards ahead. He looked around him and realized that he was point man and everyone else was waiting for him to move. "Screw it," he thought to himself as he made a sprinter's dash towards the next boulder. As he was running he felt dust rise up from right behind his feet as another live round landed. At that moment he leapt towards the cover, not taking any chances; letting the adrenaline and the fight or flight instinct take over.
He landed on the ground, slamming his shoulder on the boulder. Wincing slightly at the pain he looked around and saw that another gunner wasn't 'actively targeting' him, but the gun was aimed close enough so that he jumped away from the cover as yet another live round hit close to where he had been standing. He ran towards a bush and dove in it. He looked ahead and saw that he was twenty yards from finishing point. He looked back behind him and signalled the group to move on; most of them had been behind him most of the way, some were lagging back. He looked back ahead and saw no cover between his position and the end line.
Looking to the right he saw a small little trench dug into the side of the course; right next to the trench was a training officer with a rifle. It wasn't even remotely aimed at him, the man was continuing his focus on a group still stuck behind a boulder. Moderately trained combat instinct took over, he rushed the man with the rifle; with less then five yards and coming from full cover, he was able to sweep the man's feet out from under him and kick the rifle over into the bushes off the side of the course, just as he dove into the trench and crawled to the finish. As he was crawling he looked behind him and saw four others following his lead.
After he crossed the finish line with two people behind him, one woman and one man, he turned to them and said, "you lead," as he fell flat on his rear in exhaustion. Another thing he noticed as he crossed the line was the shooting had immediately stopped.
The Major ran over in a huff and dragged Donovan to his feet.
"WHAT IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?"
Donovan came to immediate attetion, he'd figured something like this would happen.
"Assaulting an officer, do you think they'll be sympathetic during your court marshal?"
"Sir, permission to speak freely?"
"Granted and it had better be good."
"Sir, there was no cover for the last twenty yards except for that trench and there was the equivalent of an enemy guarding it. I removed the enemy to allow the squad safe access across. The instructions were to get across and we did."
The major took a deep breath, mentally strangling this private before him with his eyes. He exhaled and just said, "Fall in private," and turned and walked off.
The rest off the group stood there looking between Donovan and the Major until one of them went up to Donovan and clapped him on the back. "Congratulations, you just impressed the head training officer, and just made an enemy for life. Way to go rookie, I'm Rick," he said extending his hand.
Donovan took it as they started walking towards the next area, "Donovan."