“Oh come on guys,” Faith pleaded as she bounced happily from one foot to the other, “attack me will ya!?”
Finding Judy an inadequate sparing partner, Faith had persuaded all her friends to attack her at once.
“No way, Faith,” Brandi Thomas groaned as she got up from the surface of the big sand pit where they were training and brushed the sand from her fatigues, “yore just goin’ ta throw our asses all over creation again.”
“Yeah,” Nina Herrera agreed as she helped Judy to her feet, “I like my butt exactly where it is thank-you!”
“Oh god” Judy swayed slightly even though Nina was holding her up, “I feel like my spine's been pushed right through my chest…”
“What’s going on here?” First Sergeant Ballard appeared on the scene as the four recruits sprang to attention.
When no one else seemed willing to explain what was going on, Judy stepped up to the plate and told the First Sergeant exactly what was going on; they were being used as rubber balls which Faith was bouncing around the training area and seeing how far she could throw.
“So, Lehane you know a little unarmed combat,” Ballard took off his hat and handed it to Judy, “what is it, a little Judo or something?”
“Yes First Sergeant,” Faith replied, she didn’t know where she’d picked it up from of course but she did appear to know more than the basics of unarmed combat, “and…erm…I don’t know what Judo is, First Sergeant.”
“I see,” Ballard smiled as he took off his jacket and got down into a fighting crouch, “a street style, huh?” Obviously something Lehane had picked up when she was a stripper, “Lets see how you do against me, you know you might find yourself fighting bigger and stronger opponents, lets see what you’ve got…!”
It was only as Ballard felt himself flying through the air that he remembered what Faith had done to that guy Davis, this was obviously why Lehane had been able to deal with him so effectively. Landing heavily on his back, Ballard groaned as he rolled over and pushed himself up onto his feet again.
“Yuh alright First Sergeant?” Brandi asked as she stepped towards him holding out a helping hand, “Yuh need a hand there?”
“No I’m fine, Thomas,” dusting himself off Ballard turned to face Faith, “caught me by surprise there Lehane.”
“Sorry First Sergeant,” Faith was once again standing at attention.
“No, no,” Ballard took a step towards Faith, it felt like his back had been broken in half, “that was good, attack your opponent when he’s not expecting it, now let’s try that agaiiiiiiiiin!”
This time Ballard had the impression of something grey and green coming towards him so fast his eyes couldn’t focus. The next moment he found himself on the ground with Faith’s legs wrapped around his neck and his right arm being forced back against his elbow joint like it was going to be ripped out of its socket.
“Okay, Lehane,” Ballard croaked as he slapped his palm on the ground in sign of submission, “you’ve convinced me; you can let me up now.”
Before he’d even rolled over and started to climb to his feet, Faith had sprung up and was standing at attention again, she wasn’t even breathing hard. Looking up at Faith, Ballard had the distinct feeling that he was getting too old for this sort of thing. Finally he got to his feet and brushed himself down, he almost laughed out loud when he saw the worried look on Faith’s face.
“Very good, Lehane,” Ballard stretched and got the crick out of his neck, “you obviously know what you’re doing, I think we’ll have you as the female representative for the unarmed combat competition. Now,” Ballard took a deep breath, “instead of hurling your instructor and you’re friends all over the sand pit, how about teaching your buddies here some of those moves, huh?”
“Yes First Sergeant!” Faith cried out.
“Good,” Ballard nodded, “now carry on,” as he turned to walk away he found he’d developed a limp to go with his bad back.
Hobbling away, Ballard wondered if he should go and see the medical officer or perhaps just get a posting to the Rangers, it had to be easier than this.0=0=0=0The Forest.
Running between the trees the creature slowed and sniffed the air, there was meat near by it could smell it, it called to him and it had to have it. The creature’s mouth filled with saliva as it imaged the taste of hot blood in its mouth, the feel of flesh as it ripped its prey apart with its teeth. But even as it imaged its meal the creature knew that it wouldn’t be satisfied, it’d always be hungry however much it ate. The only rest bite the creature got from its continual hunger was when it slept and even then the thought of food coloured its dreams with pictures of blood and flesh until it had to wake up and hunt again and again and again!0=0=0=0Another part of the Forest.
“What you thinking, Captain?” Staff Sergeant Hill asked as he sat on the forest floor next to his officer.
They’d accepted the mission the Intelligence officer had offered them and were now humping about the forest looking for some fairy tale monster. The truth was it was probably some wolves or cougars that’d eaten those scouts, whatever was doing it they’d track it down and kill it. Then they’d quietly laugh to themselves when it turned out to be a bear with toothache or something.
“I’ll tell you what I’m thinking,” Captain Hamill shifted slightly so he could see his sergeant better, “I’m thinking about what Captain Miller said.”
“Captain Miller said a lot of things Cap’,” Hill grinned, “now why don’t you clue this ignorant city boy in on what you’re thinking?”
“Ignorant are you?” Hamill eyed his sergeant warily, “Year like a tiger’s a vegetarian… No look, I was thinking about what he said about it, what ever ‘it’ is, finding us.”
“Go on, I think I know where you’re goin’ with this,” Hill nodded wisely.
“Look if it’ll come to us why are we humping our asses up and down mountains, through forests and over rivers hoping to bump into it?” Captain Hamill raised a questioning eyebrow.
“I see,” Hill rubbed his face, “what you’re saying is that we should hide up somewhere and lay a trap for this thing?”
“Not so much ‘hide up’,” Hamill laughed quietly, “I was more thinking on ringing the dinner bell!”0=0=0=0A Blood Soaked Camping Ground.
The creature had fed but it was still hungry. It’d come across the clearing early in the morning. Hiding behind a tree it’d watched the strange metal lodge on wheels for sometime until its hunger could not be denied any longer. It’d run up to the lodge and ripped its way in through the thin metal walls, its prey had screamed and tried to fight but they’d all died swiftly and without causing the creature any injury. Then it had fed, gorging itself on the prey’s flesh, but as it ate it grew and when the last bone had been broken and sucked dry of marrow it was still hungry.
Moving away from the scene of blood and the stench of death, the creature once again sniffed the air. It growled as its stomach rumbled and cried out for food, there was more prey close by. Setting out at a dead run the creature zigzagged between the trees. Soon it would feed again but it would never be satisfied.0=0=0=0Fort Knight.
It was Sunday afternoon and Faith had no extra duties, she’d felt like some alone time so she was sitting under a tree near the sand pit where they practiced unarmed combat or did their early morning PT. Having been sitting there by herself thinking of nothing for nearly half an hour, Faith was just thinking that it might be fun to go and see what her friends were doing when… She shivered in the warm air, she had the strangest of feelings someone was coming quietly up behind her. It was odd but she’d been noticing things like that a lot lately. It’d been a long time since anyone had successfully sneaked up on her, perhaps it was a soldier thing? Maybe she was developing those ‘combat skills’ that the First Sergeant was always going on about. Not that she’d need them, she was a woman and the US Army didn’t like its female soldiers fighting.
Turning quickly, Faith found herself looking up at Judy who was standing looking down at her from about two yards away.
“God-damn-it, Faith!” Judy signed disappointed at not being able to catch her friend unawares, “You have your own personal radar or something?”
Faith smiled, not only had Judy’s speech patterns changed in the last eight weeks of training, she was also capable of getting within six feet of Faith without her noticing. The old Judy wouldn’t have been able to get within half-a-mile of Faith without her sensing her. Judy came and sat down next to Faith.
“What cha-doin’?” Judy asked as she got herself comfortable.
“Thinking,” Faith replied.
“OH-MY-GOD!” Judy cried out, “Call a medic, Faith Lehane is thinking!” Judy giggled and gave Faith’s shoulder a quick hug, “What’re you thinking about?”
“I’m wondering what I’m going to do with my life,” Faith admitted.
“Same as me, right?” Judy smiled, “Three years of this chicken-shit,” the old Judy wouldn’t have used words like ‘chicken-shit’; Faith sort of missed the old Judy, but the new Judy was fun too, “then out and back to the real world.”
“The real world, huh?” Faith replied morosely, “Ya know what the ‘real world’ is for me?”
Judy looked at her friend and nodded, while she had kind of made up with her parents to the point where one day they might welcome her home, Faith had nothing outside the army.
“I’m not going back to living in a motel and stripping for a living Judy,” Faith informed her friend, “I’d rather die.”
“Hey,” Judy placed her hand on Faith’s shoulder, “you’re better than that girl, you can do anything you want…” Judy paused for a second before continuing, “…it’s the real world I’ve come to talk to you about.”
“Yeah?” Faith turned her head and found herself staring into Judy’s eyes and thinking how pretty they were; it was also a very long time since she’d had sex and Judy was…no, Faith shook her head and told herself not to go there.
“Y’know that in two weeks time all this is over and we’ll all be going our separate ways?” Judy reminded her.
“Yeah,” it was the one thing that was spoiling the prospect of completing her training for Faith, when they’d finished here they’d all be sent to different places and her tight little group of friends would be gone.
“Well, I was thinking…” Judy found herself being interrupted.
“Not you too!” Faith grinned.
“Yeah I know it must be catching,” Judy replied with a giggle, “you know we get leave before we have to report for our MOS training?” Faith nodded, “Well, I was wondering, I’ve nowhere to go and I know you’ve got no home to go to, soooo…” Judy’s face split into a wide grin, “…how’d you like to come somewhere with me, it’d be fun!”
“Yeah cool!” Faith smiled, “Maybe find a couple of guys and have a real
good time,” Faith paused as thoughts of her up and coming leave filled her head to bursting point. “Y’know I’ve been dealing with business myself for so long that you’re starting to look good to me about now!”
“Business?” Judy frowned, “I’m looking good to…OH!” Judy blushed, “Well, erm, thanks Faith but…erm no I…”
“Hey! Sorry man!” Faith gasped as she realised what Judy thought she was suggesting, “I wouldn’t want to…(well actually she would) if you didn’t want to…you don’t want to, do you?” Faith asked a little too hopefully, “Coz if you do, I’d like…y’know…I’d be…okay with that.”
“No I don’t want to,” Judy replied studiously not looking Faith in the eye, “but I’d still like for us to go away together…maybe with separate rooms, y’know?”0=0=0=0Meanwhile back in the Forest.
Corporal Daniel Jackson, known to all his friends as ‘Danny’ shifted slightly in his hide as he tried to make himself marginally more comfortable. Failing dismally, he signed quietly to himself before putting his eye to the sniper scope on top of his rifle. Down below him, almost half a mile away were the rest of his team. They’d spent nearly two days finding this spot; a long, narrow, steep-sided valley that had been cleared of trees. Trees grew thickly on three sides of the valley making it hard for anything to approach from those directions. If they did manage it there were enough claymores in the trees to stop a Chinese human wave attack.
The mouth of the valley had been left deliberately clear and the rest of Jackson’s team were making the fullest show of bedding down in the valley and giving the impression that they were going to stay there for days. Pulling back from his M84 Barrett rifle, Jackson scanned the rest of the valley. It was then that he saw movement up on the left hand side of the valley. He tried to tell himself that nothing could be up there, how could it have made its way past all those tripwires without setting off at least one mine? Shaking his head sadly, Jackson remembered General Murphy’s Law; basically, if something can go wrong it will go wrong.
Glancing quickly down into the valley Jackson realised that none of his team-mates had noticed whatever it was in the tree line. Captain Hamill had ordered him not to warn of the creature’s approach for fear that it might get spooked and run. Once he was satisfied that it was in fact the ‘monster’ he was to engage and kill it just like they’d been told to. Shifting slightly so he could get the creature in his sights, Jackson noted how the monster was just crouching in the wood line intent on watching the people in the valley. If the reports about this thing were to be believed it wasn’t going to get spooked by hearing something moving about in the underbrush, it was more likely to attack. Jackson smiled as he shifted his rifle a little more, the sooner he dealt with this thing the better.
The figure of the monster swam into view in his sight as Jackson got himself comfortable. The thing was standing up now; it must be eight feet tall, he told himself. Although it didn’t look quite like what the descriptions said it should, it had to be the monster they were after. After-all, what were the chances of two eight foot tall monsters being in the same piece of forest?
Slowing his breathing, Jackson snuggled up to the butt of his rifle. The creature was right there in his sight-picture, all he had to do was stroke his trigger and they’d all be home in time for supper. Holding his breath, Jackson watched as the creature started to turn away, too late, he told the monster as he exerted gentle pressure on the trigger.
The rifle went off with a loud *Boom!*, the bullet covered the short distance to the creature in less than a heart beat. Watching through his sight, Jackson saw the creature’s head disintegrate and then pulled away from the eye piece to watch the monster’s body roll down the side of the valley towards the camp. Climbing out of his hide, Jackson listened to his buddies shout and run about as they took up defensive positions. It was all too late, of course, he Danny Jackson, had met the enemy and defeated him with one round. A couple of minutes later the team where standing around the body of the monster. Its head had completely gone and its redish fur was heavily matted with its blood.
“Looks like Danny-boy shot Bigfoot,” observed, Specialist Stanley Mellish, the units SAW gunner.
“Nah,” PFC Caparzo shook his head, “that’s the thing we’re after, I mean, man look at those claws.”
“Okay guys,” Captain Hamill called bringing all conversation to a halt, “lets get that thing bagged and tagged before we call in the chopper and go home.”
As his men moved to brake camp and bag up the monster, Captain Hamill looked at the creature they’d killed. Jackson was right it didn’t look much like the monster in the drawings now he was close to it. But it did have those big claws, true it was a pity the head was gone so they couldn’t look at its teeth. Perhaps he should send a couple of the guys to take a look around when they removed the claymores and see what they could find.
But like Jackson said, what were the chances of two eight foot tall monsters wandering around the same piece of forest? As it happened the chances were quite high.0=0=0=0