The Wonders Of The World

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Scottish Ninja
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The Wonders Of The World

Post by Scottish Ninja » Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:04 pm

OOC: You'll see why this is in this forum soon enough.
IC:
It was the depressingly dull thud of artillery that convinced John to get up, peering out into the morning night. Though it couldn’t be seen, the fall of rain was annoying him, as his plan had been to take a shower before breakfast. The whole idea of walking all the way there, in the rain, getting wetter, trying to keep his soaking clothes from falling into the mucky water, and then drying off, walking somewhere else, and getting wet again confused him, making it desperately hard to decide what to do.

It was at this moment of indecision that a jeep drove past, changing a sweaty man into a gleaming brown statue. Shower it was. A strange trend was for something like that to happen, whenever the sides of his brain were locked in a stalemate. Or, maybe he was just paranoid. But of course some quote drifted in – “It’s not paranoia if they’re really after you.” And with this in his mind, he set off for the shower building. If he could find it in the dark. And not fall into the mud.

Some three minutes later, caked in more mud than he had started out with – an impressive feat considering the rain – John got under the water, and was not surprised to find it at some temperature immediately below freezing. In a minute of so, he was slightly cleaner than when he was at the point of awakening, and braved the darkness, relieved somewhat by the onset of the pre-dawn gloom. The mess hall stood as his next objective, and amazingly he was able to navigate there without entering the bank of mud, either by falling or diving from an oncoming vehicle.

It was his lucky day, having forgotten his messkit it was time to traverse the deadly terrain again. And they had pancakes. This fact alone gave him the courage to sprint, and return with only the occasional minor brown spot. Pancakes, even Army pancakes, was a great production area for adrenaline in the average soldier.

His luck continued as the line had grown out into the rain and cold. Yes! The cold messkit would be able to drain the heat out of the food faster than you could say “the”.

At his second entry inside, it was a great relief to find that the clip was stuck, and opening the blasted thing would require – force. As in a table. Well, if his luck continued this way, it would go up harder than Alderaan and the next ten minutes would be wasted looking for the fork. For whatever reason the knife and spoon were close enough, but the fork would inevitably be found under someone’s foot at the other end of the mess hall. Again, whether by coincidence or conspiration he could not decide.

With a sharp bang, almost like a gunshot, the spoon somehow shot across the room and ricocheted off a wall, sliding to a halt neatly at John’s feet. The knife almost reached the ceiling, stabbing down in impact seven centimeters into the cheap wood beneath the collective feet. And as usual, the fork disappeared, in fact probably remaining in the messkit until the point where someone snatched it, passing it under the table before John could look down.

The back of the line was the place to return to when the absent fork was finally retrieved, and so the wait continued, though it was at least somewhat shorter. In the presence of pancakes soldiers tended to become slightly more hostile, so his original place – no, his second place – could not be his destination.

It was to his immense relief that the same incident occurred to several other men, one fork even passing through his hands on its journey to the floor. So a full-scale conspiracy was unlikely, but merely an unspoken arrangement.

By the time at which pancakes truly became available, not trusting the soldiers to serve themselves, (as the first would take every pancake, and charge for them – it had happened once. The man responsible was given a physical fitness award for being able to carry so many pancakes, before it was discovered that he was using steroids) the cooks were disdainfully flopping them onto the frozen metal. Syrup was still available, but not coffee – tea, on the other hand, was there in vast quantities, based on the ridiculous observation that it was something the Army actually liked.

Happy breakfast.
That's no tank!
"t all has to show impeccable logic and unflawed realism, even if it deals with a different galaxy and an era 3,000 years in the past or the future." - George Lucas

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Scottish Ninja
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Post by Scottish Ninja » Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:03 pm

John loved this kind of day. First he had been soaked in mud, nearly caught pneumonia taking a shower, had his fork stolen, and now the temperature of his messkit was able to be determined. This specific temperature was known only as "cold enough so that your syrup freezes on top of your pan-rock-cakes before you can dig your bent and dirty fork into them", and it was feared by all.

Also, he had just spilled coffee down the front of his coat.

Trying to rectify both situations at once, he dripped coffee, hot enough to melt steel and with the acidic content necessary to do it without heat anyway, from his sleeve onto the pancakes. When one was in the military this long, a person tends to get used to the combined taste of coffee, pancakes, sugar, and dirt.

And now his memory was going - the stress was doing it. Where did he get his coffee? Sources, by which one means the entire mess hall, had confirmed that they were out of coffee.

Oh, wait - he had lifted it from a nearby table while another soldier went to look for his fork. At least he would have his spoon when he got back; the rest of the table would feel sorry enough that he lost his coffee to not steal that.

On the other hand, all bets were off about the chump's knife.

Thunder above, now, as fighters tried an early morning strafing run and were caught by heavy anti-aircraft fire. This area of the base got lucky enough - the only visual cues that there was any fighting was the TIE solar panel that tumbled end over end down the road, flopping down with a crash - more of a sploosh, really, as it entered the ditch.

This turn of events suited John, because if he was fast enough, said solar panel formed a sort of lean-to and he could be sheltered from the wind and rain as he waited for the truck. But first he had to finish breakfast, a problem complicated by the fact that he just dripped molten coffee-syrup into his collar, and in the process of trying to get it out, his arm had been caught in a position where movement was wholly restricted by his coat.

Three minutes later, he emerged again into the damp and cold, three minutes too late to get a position underneath the TIE wing in a dry section of the ditch. With two minutes left before the truck arrived, he headed down the road, watching the road carefully for vehicles. When none came, he found a section of ditch behind a bit of caked mud that held water. John kicked this a few times and threw some rocks at it before heading back to the truck stop.

He was sure it would begin to crack and fall apart, but it wasn't happening, so he gave up. Just when the truck came into view through the mist, however, an artillery shell solved the problem for him. Errant shots did that sometimes, and just as the truck pulled up, fifteen men were scrambling to get out of the ditch before the wall of mud engulfed them.

Most were too late, and were seen trudging angrily down the road as the truck drove by, coated in mud and shuddering. Best of all, the shell absolved John of all responsibility and he got away with only being wet, both with water and coffee trickling down his back.

No, wait - that was worst of all, because he had had a neuron or two misfire, and now he was on the wrong truck. Now he was headed as an infantryman for the trenches, rather than as a pilot, which he ostensibly was, for the vehicle hangars.

No, John had to explain, he was not a spy. Actually, he was a spy, but he was a spy on their side. He was technically an employee of the Navy; what he was doing with the Army was unclear. Things would be more clear in a moment, though, because he was now jumping off the truck into the rear trenches. Well, this was going to interesting, he thought, and it was rather ironic that he had joined Naval Intelligence to stay out of the trenches and was now heading to the foremost of them with a brand-new rifle in hand.

It was turning out to be a day indeed. The sun was peeking through the curtains of rain.
That's no tank!
"t all has to show impeccable logic and unflawed realism, even if it deals with a different galaxy and an era 3,000 years in the past or the future." - George Lucas

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