Monday, March 16, 2009

Bored hot, bored cold.

The Terranovan sun had already disappeared beyond the horizon. Major Anatol Medalev shivered, mainly in anticipation of another cold night in the foothills of the Westridge mountain range. It had been brutally hot, despite the locals insisting that it was now winter. Apparently it didn't make much difference in the Badlands. It was either too hot, or too cold. Medalev had heard that the poles would be more to his liking.

Except that this is not Earth, this is Terranova. This whole miserable planet has it in for me.

Sitting in a hill-top dugout, looking out over the darkening dunes of the Barrington Basin, Medalev sighed. He knew, deep down, that his chances of getting off this alien world were slim. It was a daily mental exercise of a supreme order to deny this fact. Still, it had been about a year, give or take, since the fleet left. Medalev knew that the nagging feeling in his gut would have to be addressed sooner, rather than later.

"Sir, cawfee?" the familiar voice of Captain Upton, his aide and constant foil, announced the arrival of refreshments. Upton was always slightly cheerful, and though this endeared him to the men under Medalev's command, it annoyed the major to no end. It didn't help that Upton seemed to have adapted to Terranovan environmental conditions in an almost effortless fashion. The younger officer proffered up a small kettle with a smile as he eased into the dugout.

"No thank you, Upton," Medalev sighed. He could use the perk, but, "the stuff just tastes off, don't you find?"

"A little sir, but I figure, when in Rome," Upton smiled grimly and took a swig from his canteen. Medalev nodded quietly and turned back to look at the sand dunes in the distance. He shivered, this time because it was suddenly quite cold.

"Report, Captain," the major began his twice-daily ritual.

"Sir, we've lost three more GRELs to desertion. Shot two. A Minerva and a Mordred." Upton paused, "That makes fifteen since Commissar Lysanov arrived."

"Continue, Captain," Medalev said after a poignant pause.

"Hover vehicles are still low on fuel. We can't generate enough power on our solar cells alone. Infantry lasers are nearly all inoperable. We've switched to captured weaponry, except for our ammo-fed weapons. Food and water supplies are lasting, and our survey team found a subterranean river. Morale is high, but the men are restless sir."

They're not the only ones, Upton...

"-are wondering why we're holding here in the foothills sir, when we all know that our forces were supposed to rendezvous at WestBase. I estimate that it would take us-"

"That's enough Captain!" Medalev's voice was terse. Upton stopped suddenly. Medalev didn't want to hear about heading into the desert and meeting up with the rest of the stranded Colonial Expeditionary Force on Terranova. He knew that looking at any other die-hards would just make him vomit.

"Captain, our orders come from the Party," Medalev let the hint of dryness enter his tone. As if the Party meant anything here on Terranova anymore. "Captain Lysanov was clear. We are to wait for her orders to move. Until then, keep the men busy, keep them alert, and keep them ready. Is that understood?"

Captain Upton frowned, "Yes sir. Understood."


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