Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tigger and Green

At the Battle of Baja, TN1917...

"Sergeant," Captain Bell saluted and then nodded. It was early morning, and B-Company's commander had actually managed a two-hour sleep. It was a well-earned luxury out in the hills surrounding the CEF-held city of Baja. The Bad Boys of B-Company would be going into the thick of it today, having spent the last two days hiking in their gears, getting into position to flank a major CEF outpost.

"Good morning Cap'n," the young mechanic replied quietly. He had slept an hour. Tigger had needed some major work. But the mechanic was certain he had done his job right.

Tigger was the Sabertooth Heavy Gear that Bell drove. A command variant of the Tiger heavy trooper gear, Tigger was fast, lethal and well-protected. Extra armour around the cockpit was standard for the Sabertooth. That was good, since Captain Bell led from the front. His only request was that his gear be tended to with extra care.

"Rough night Sergeant?" Bell looked positively radiant compared to the scruffy mechanic. Neither man had shaved or bathed in over three weeks, "I suppose you'll be able to get your rest soon enough. Let's see what Tigger says."

"You betcha, Captain," replied the mechanic. He had already started up the gear's APU and was running one last diagnostic. He scratched his chin, tugging at the whiskers there. He'd have to shave, despite the sand and the fatigue. Didn't Vasquez have a solar powered trimmer?

Bell climbed into Tigger's cockpit and fired up the engines. He plugged into the communications system.

"She's purring like a kitten. Good job, sergeant."

"Thank you sir. It was nothing."

"That's probably a lie. There's something waiting for you at the PX after you get a bit of shut-eye," Bell's voice was even, but he certainly appreciated how much work went into getting a gear that had been through three weeks of cross-country travel ready for a crucial assault. Other gear engines were starting up in the distance, "gotta get moving Sergeant. See you on the flip side."

"Sir, I still don't know what that means."

"That's alright Sergeant," Bell chuckled as Tigger began loping towards the rally point, "neither do I!"

The mechanic watched as the Sabertooth half-skated and half-prowled around a bend. Tigger had been doing that before he had been assigned to the gear. He shook his head. No one could explain why the neural net insisted on that sloppy start, and only after maintenance work had been done. Captain Bell insisted that at all other times Tigger responded with 'great bounce.'

"Hey Sergeant, where's my gear?"

"Oh, hi Lieutenant Green," the mechanic turned to see the sneering face of the company's XO, "she's right over here." The Mauler Bear, an anti-GREL machine loaned to the Bull Dogs for the assault, was under a camouflage tarp.

"You got her ready?" Green sneered, "I've got lots of work to do today."

"Everything checks out sir. Good hunting."

Green Anton nodded.


Game Thug said...

Why does the captain salute? SHouldn't he return the salute?

Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.