Corwin Havens took a final drag of his cigarette before flicking it off to the side. He was leaning against the wall of the docking bay, waiting for the crew to finish their final check of the Kodiak shuttle before launch. He didn't mind though. Corwin loved the quiet before the storm. Knowing the hell that awaited him made the quiet all the sweeter. He grinned darkly, staring at the workers with his steely light blue eyes. Within the maze of humanity, he spotted one of his crew. Don Pelletier, Private First Class. Corwin smirked.
"Hey Pelletier," Corwin shouted at Don. "If you go any slower a f**king Elcor may pass you. Hurry it up."
Private Pelletier turned and gave Corwin a look indignation and shouted back, "F**k you."
Corwin pushed his shoulders back, shoving himself off the wall. "What was that, Private?" Corwin yelled back.
Don laughed and carefully put down the box. The contents of the box was incredibly important for the coming mission. He had to make sure not to drop it, Once it was placed down, Don straightened out his gray t-shirt and fatigue pants by running his hands over it. He had to look presentable for his commanding officer for the mission. So Don stood at attention and saluted. "F**k you, SIR!" Don bellowed in a deep voice.
Corwin returned the salute. "Better," he said. "Carry on, Private."
The Alliance felt like family to Corwin. He could talk to any soldier like a brother or sister. His commanding officers were parents. There wasn't a better family to belong to than the Alliance. Of course, Corwin's entire family belonged to the military. His mom just made Rear Admiral for the First Fleet. His father has been Captain of the SSV Bunker for at least a decade now. And his brother...Tim. Special Forces. Everything about his was classified these days.
Corwin checked his Light Onyx armor one more time before shuttle launch, taking inventory in every compartment. The mission was only lasting a day, but it didn't hurt to make sure he had enough supplies to last. He looked in compartment after compartment. Two weeks worth of rations. A water canteen. Three spare munition clips for his Avenger assault rifle and Stinger pistol. Binoculars. Tubing for the emergency oxygen backup. Retractable survival machete. Survival pocket knife. First aid kit. Chewing gum. Cigarettes and lighter. A copy of Starship Troopers. Corwin was pleased. He was fully stocked. Next, he reached behind to his back and pulled out his Avenger assault rifle. It decompressed and readied itself automatically in his armored hands. Corwin turned it over and tilted it to the left and right while leaning his head in... inspecting it for any sign of imperfection. Not seeing any, he compressed it and put it back on his back. Next, Corwin pulled the pistol from his side container and checked it as well.
Satisfied he was ready to go, Corwin only had one last thing to do. He casually wandered over to the mirror he had set up on the wall of the shuttle bay. It was good for morale more than anything else. Corwin's team had a tradition of running their hands through their hair in front of the mirror just before getting on the Kodiak shuttle. He stopped in front of the mirror and stared at himself.
Corwin's once handsome face was covered in scars from the eighty one missions he'd been on during his three year tour of duty. Burn marks and deep lines covered almost every inch. He pivoted his head left and right, admiring the scarring as a trophy. Sure it was ugly. But it was his. Every one of them. Corwin smirked at himself in the mirror and removed the armor from his right hand.
"Go and kick some ass Corey," Corwin growled to his reflection while running his hand through his hair. After that, he sharply turned and marched towards the shuttle. Seven members of Corwin's team started to file their way in, shouting boisterously while taking part of the same ritual Corwin just did. One of them carried the cooler filled with ice and Krogan Blood. Private Pelletier passed Corwin by on his way to the mirror. They exchanged a nod just before Corwin entered the shuttle, ready for whatever danger awaited him.
The Pragia Assignment: Part One
Blog entry posted by Michael Zack, Sep 28, 2012.
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