Cardinal's Cross Part 2A Chapter by Zachary Cothren
part two here we go!
Cardinal’s Cross Part 2
“Sir! Sir!” shouted Big Tony as he bounded towards him. “They are going to take me down to the mech bay so they can outfit me with a light scout. I’ll meet up with the rest of the squad shortly in the send off area.” Tony’s face was gleaming in excitement. The training bases had always been bad quality and under funded, and until resent years the mech departments would always receive the smallest portion of funding out of anyone. He was probably excited to see what a well funded and powerful operation had to offer in terms of heavy armor.
“Off you go then, and don’t worry about taking your time. I’m sure the cardinal has a long speech in store for us when we get there.” The rest of the unit had received basic assault equipment, a S-8K here and a few kinetic grenades there rounded out their space vests. That was another reason it was good to be an officer. You didn’t have to take the standard crap they gave recruits. If they survived a tour or two they would understand what kind of equipment you should take to a planet like this. He walked over to one of the large arms cabinet and began digging through pile of old Plasma Bolters. After a good three minutes of searching he found one that had the hand mounter modification. He slipped it over his arm where the clamps tightened to allow single hand usage. He slipped this and two more of the standard kind into onto the holsters that criss crossed his vest. Once on the surface they would receive minimal supplies, and he didn’t want to run out.
As he crossed the room again towards the more heavy armaments he started to receive funny looks from the priests, but he ignored them. He had learned over the years that the kind of people who took the time to give funny looks were the same kind of people who don’t ask you to stop. The key was just to look like you knew what you were doing and don’t give them time to ask questions, and that is exactly what he did as he hoisted the grenade launcher over his shoulder and onto his back. Ammo belts and pouches full of various types of grenades covered his body. If he had been back with the navy one of the quartermaster would have surely stopped him by now, but luckily all the priests had been told to do was bless the stuff and who got what, not what to do when someone didn’t agree with what they got. If he was going into hostile alien territory, he are sure he wouldn’t run out of ammunition any time soon.
“Sir, don’t you think you’re being a bit excessive. We aren’t raiding a pirate station, we’re just going to keep the pace between us and the natives,” said Jessley behind him. She was carrying one of the nice new plasma lancers. It was said that they could cut a playing card in two at close to two miles, and from the impressive six foot long barrel the scope the size of his leg he could just about believe it. It was slung at an angle across her back to allow it not drag across the ground.He reached down and tousled her red hair in just the way he knew annoyed her.
“You just go on believing that, once we touch down though it’s kill or be killed,” he smirk, but had hardly a moment before his face contorted with pain. Jessley had reached up and pulled him down by his ear like a school boy.
“Ow ow ow ow! Will you stop that, I’m your commanding officer god d****t!” She released him and pointed towards one of the priests, who was cringing that the aftermath of the curse. The rest of the squad and a fair few other recruits was starring at them as they made their way through the ring to the drop station.
“There’s a reason I outrank you... never respect authority... you always do this to me,” he mumbled as they settled into a position in front of cardinal Lithural. He was the man in charge of overseeing all the operation that occurred on Intellu IV. His official robes shinned with the accumulated glint of hundreds of rare gems mounted into various sockets or woven into the cloth itself. Though it barely did the job of concealing his swollen belly.
should fate find us in battle,
May our cause be just.
May our leaders have clear vision.
May our courage not falter.
May we be triumphant an earn victory
as we show mercy to our enemies.
May our efforts bring lasting peace.
May our sacrifice be always
appreciated by those we serve.
May we return to our loved ones unharmed.
Should we be harmed, may our wounds heal.
Should we perish in the struggle,
may God embrace us and find for us
a place in His Kingdom.
The prayer came at the end of a long speech about the importance of bringing Christianity to the Cephalic. Big Tony had filled into their row about halfway through the speech, and was supporting a new control membrane attached to his arm.
“Now, may we honor the officers who shall lead thee into battle.” His squad was the last to come into the hall, and at the end of the rows. With each name he pointed at a unit. There were thirteen total in their chapter. “Lieutenant Sanders, Lieutenant Jistun, and Sergeant Marrone.” He had been dreading that moment. He was the only one here to have a squad and be ranked below lieutenant. The only reason they had given him one was because of his reputation back in the Interstellar Navy, and that was probably the reason they let him and Jessley stay together. The stares were already starting, all of the recruits from the squads outside his own were shocked to see a Sergeant heading a squad.
Well he was going to have to get used to it one way or another, so he turned around slowly and gave a big wave to every last god damn one of them.
© 2010 Zachary Cothren
Of Fire And Prayers
About'Hey, I am a student who, in the past, really enjoyed thinking of stories, but that was all. For a long time I only thought of them - none made the arduous journey from my brain onto paper. I am final.. more..
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