Brackish Waters

how my gaming and life coalesce.


My new responsibilities were not well received by the rest of the recruits that entered the base with me a month before. While I spent my evenings cleaning the decks of drop-ships and helping the crew, the rest of my unit was invested heavily into the maintenance of the barricades and reinforcements. This was dirty heavy work and usually by the time I returned to the barracks, they were either asleep already or returned very soon after, weary and stinking of earth and sweat. Nobody talked to me at night and even during day training I found myself alone.

At times I wished I could have gone out with them and helped because nights on base were not the tranquil ones of northern Maine back on Earth. The slow work of cleaning ships was not easy, but after weeks of work and training, it was a welcome retreat every night. I just couldn’t sleep afterwards. I would kill to have that feeling again of exhaustion after a hard days work.

The first week of the second month of training brought new missions for our unit and actual combat instruction. Each of the soldiers were divided up into one of two categories: Soldier or Specialist.

The soldiers were composed of the large brawny members of our unit. Your typical school-yard bully type complete with the lacking intellect were shuffled into this group pretty quickly. Others like myself were moved over like the last kids being picked on a kickball team.

The Specialists were almost the exact opposite except for the screwballs that were borderline psychotic with their eagerness to get into the field and blow things up.

I spent the rest of the day with my new “group” but each night and each subsequent morning we continued our usual squad based maneuvers together. It seemed we were only seperated for training purposes and I actually started to enjoy these sessions. I still didn’t understand why the AFS wanted me to become a soldier but I guess a gun is a gun and as long as its pointed in the right direction, the job gets done.

“The Laser Rifle is not the same rifle you shot during Whitetail season Waters.”

It seems that this instructor is like my Sargent and enjoys talking to me as well.

“If you pointed this weapon at a buck back on earth, you would be lucky to have enough meat to make a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich.”

Great, now I’m not only hungry but also wishing the Boregar in the region tasted like ham. How long has it been since I’ve tasted real bacon?

“There are few species on Foreas who can resist the real force of the Laser rifle and it would do you good to remember that. Keep this in your arsenal at all times.”

This is the fourth weapon we have been told about since the classes started that we needed to keep in our arsenal. Maybe we get to pull behind us some sort of red rider wagon into battle.

“Now, this evening there will be now work out on the lines.”

Most of the class started muttering quietly. We were familiar now with the tricks of the instructors and if the squad wasn’t heading out into the lines to repair barricades then some equally tiring chore was ahead of them.

“Tonight we go to the backside of the base and begin the hands on portion of training with Rifles.”

There’s a surprise.

“I expect all of you out there after chow and that includes you Waters. Dismissed”

Rifle training. It seemed this change in the evening’s plans had the squad pumpedTR_Commando and ready to go because the food went down faster than any other night. Nobody was eager to dig a ditch but everyone wanted to fire from one.

I arrived with the rest of my group at the range and we were broken up into smaller groups of six. Each of us had an older and more decorated soldier working with us and even though we were all training with the same weapon, it was obvious that each group was created for a reason. It was as if we were being funneled into a more defined class of soldier and I can only assume that those of my squad who are in the specialists class were experiencing the same thing.

Our group of six knelt within a bunker at the far end of the line. Some of the other groups were already firing towards the targets at the end of the range but our group was still waiting for our rifles. The soldier returned and laid the arms down onto a pile on the lip of the trench. On his armor was a small patch with the name Razinski imprinted on it in dark green lettering.

“I want all of you to remember something. Some soldiers pickup their weapon and shoot. Others pickup their weapon and shoot to kill. This war will not be won with the spray and pray mentality, it will be the accurate shots of the sniper who will put the fear in the Thrax and keep them cowering in their bases.”

Sniper school… interesting.

“You are not snipers. You are not even a rifleman. You are barely able to hold this rifle in my hands well enough to hit the targets at the end of this 30 meter range.”

It was true. Looking past Razinski I could see some of the burn marks in the target wall and there were but a fraction of impacts compared to the amount of shooting taking place next to us. The birds had more to be scared of tonight than any mouse scurrying across the field.

The rest of the night was filled with instruction on holding the weapon and learning about knelt and standing positions when firing. It was a hell of a lot easier to fire when kneeling, and because of the increased accuracy, Razinski said we would see a increase in the amount of kills to the Thrax. I have no doubt that Razinski had seen his fair share of fights and that he did indeed know what he was talking about. I could see myself following this man into battle.


1 Comment »

  1. Great stuff man look forward to more! I linked you on my TR blog

    Comment by Pvthudson | November 29, 2007 | Reply

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