Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Action Report 02Spring1916.

It was a small room littered with papers, pads and filing cabinets. Two officers occupied it wearing MILICIA uniforms the one with insignia of a major sat uncomfortably behind a desk, a data pad in his hands resting atop his belly.

He mouthed words as he read the dossier, half audible extracts tumbling from his puffy lips. “Drafted 1914…completed training…commendation for…”

The seated officer looked up from the service record and from under his heavy brows took in the lieutenant at attention before him. ‘Smug,’ he thought to himself; he guesses that when his face healed up a bit the younger officer would get back to chasing nurses too.

“This says you were drafted after you completed your residency, did well in basic...quite well, pips for marksmanship. Assigned to my command as attending surgeon for the recovery hospital. No combat experience. Until now.”

The major closed the service record and switched to an action report from the previous day. He paused a moment, reviewing information he already knew before setting his eyes once again on his subordinate.

“Are you a hero, lieutenant? Because this action report sure makes it sound like you think you are.”

The junior officer knew that it was a rhetorical question. A short moment passed before his commanding officer laboured to speak anew.

“Do you know what the difference between you and a field medic is lieutenant? Well I’ll tell you: a field medic is disposable; a grunt with bandages. You are not disposable, Doctor, which is why you are back here and not on the damned line!”

The major was not looking at him, he was scrolling down the action report, so the lieutenant just stood at attention, eyes fixed on the ferrocrete wall.

The C.O. sighed heavily as reviewed the action report. The lieutenant was returning from a triage way-point when a sudden barrage forced his driver to swerve off the road. The two careened off into the desert driving erratically looking to get out of the path of destruction when the vehicle was flipped over by a concussion shockwave.

“By the way Lieutenant, you may wish to know your driver wasn’t so lucky, he died an hour ago” A shadow passed over the lieutenant’s features, the major couldn’t tell if his junior was finally realising how lucky he had been.

When the doctor had come too he was in the middle of a battle field, his MDV-21 as well as an entire platoon had been caught in the barrage. 7 dead, now 8, 14 critical, 22 severely and only 6 lightly wounded including the doctor. The only mobile soldiers remaining regrouped into a squad and a corporal lead them back to HQ for reinforcements.

“You know what I am trained to do lieutenant. I manage logistics, you are an asset of a certain value which I have to use and safeguard. I can’t manage an asset with delusions of heroics. If it were up to me I would send you back further, all the way back to long term recovery in Port Oasis. Unluckily for you, it is not my decision.”

The lieutenant stood there unflinching. Like the action report said he was when he ordered the corporal to leave without him and described much the same way when the master chief sergeant’s relief team found him 22 hours later. In the intervening time he had treated the entire platoon under multiple waves of mortar fire. Almost all of them were still alive.

The commanding officer picked up another data pad. He looked at his subordinate once again, trying to see what kind of man he was, what drove him; he didn’t seem like a hero, or an idealist. ‘just Lucky’ he thought, this time with irony as he stabbed at the order and authorised it.

“It appears your actions were reported directly to C and C, you are being promoted to captain and reassigned; out of my care and into harm's way. Effective immediately you are to report to MASH unit 404 of the Legion Noir’s Second Battalion.”

“The kef have just dropped a force of unknown strength into Port Baja and that is where their dropping you. If you were looking for a chance to be a hero doctor, the Badlands is a good place. Dismissed Chambers.”

Captain Chambers saluted and left the office without ever having said a word.


Heavy Josh said...

I thought that the Doc hadn't killed anyone at all until meeting Kain, Gade and Sam in Peace River.

Heavy Josh said...

Ah, this is much better!

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