Mark “Coop” Cooper
Location: Stewart-Benning Training Center, Earth, United Commonwealth of Colonies
“Eyes, Right!” Coop heard the command, but he kept his eyes looking straight forward. Only certain people in the formation actually looked to the right on that command, and he wasn’t one of them.
<Why say ‘Eyes Right’ and then not have a quarter of the formation do it?> That thought occupied Coop’s mental bandwidth as Echo Company 132nd Training Battalion walked past the reviewing stand.
There were ten understrength units walking in the graduation ceremony. Each of the ten battalions in the training division had their schedules synched to graduate a specific company at the same time, and today it was all the Echo Companies. Being 2nd Battalion, the 132nd was near the front of the pack. Once GYSGT Cunningham gave the “ready, front” command those who’d been looking right snapped their eyes forward and continued to march.
“Column left, march!” They reached a designated point and made a ninety degree turn.
The marched some more and made another left. Then marched most of the way back down the parade field and made a final left. They’d rehearsed this until Coop could do it with his eyes closed.
“Mark time, march!”
“Company, halt!” The GYSGT yelled and everyone smacked their left foot down and went still.
To their left was 1st Battalion’s Echo Company. Their drill sergeant was a nasty looking tan man who fell somewhere in the spectrum between the GYSGT’s height, and the PO3 Janney’s stockiness. About thirty seconds later, 3rd Battalion’s company came to a stop on their left. They were led by a serene looking black female staff sergeant. That company also had about seventy recruits in it judging by a casual glance.
<Which means they’re either really good, or basic was easy as fuck for them.> Coop would put his money on the latter.
Their Company was sitting at forty-one graduating recruits, which worked out well for organizational purposes. Aaron was still the guide-on bearer standing at the front of the formation with the GYSGT. After that, everyone had been rearranged to look good, just like the GYSGT’s promotion ceremony.
The Company made four even ranks from tallest to shortest; which meant that Mike, Eve, Coop, and the other dude who’d survived the HI enhancements were acting as squad leaders. They marched in the front and looked the most intimidating. Coop hadn’t seen four other HI enhanced troopers in any of the other companies, and no one else had a future Ranger standing next to them.
<Pussies.> Was all Coop had to think about the other, weaker companies.
The other seven companies had to march into the square to get into their precisely drilled locations, which left Coop alone with his own thoughts for several minutes. It was never a good thing, but it was predictable that they gravitated toward Eve. After this graduation ceremony, they’d be receiving their final orders. Most everyone was off to some type of school, but the orders determined when it was, and more importantly when you were going.
Some recruits would leave right away. They’d literally head to the air-buses parked in a lot near the parade field. Others might have to wait a week or more, and they’d get assigned to one of the holding companies; which meant you had to look forward to PT and shit jobs until you left. The lucky ones were those who fell in between those two extremes.
The division commander, a three-striped Captain, in all his infinite wisdom, awarded graduates with a weekend pass. Orders to report to school took precedent over a local pass, but it was still two days off.
And those two days were his last chance to get inside the coolest, sexiest, most interesting girl he’d ever met. The stolen kisses and dry humping that occurred over the recovery week left his balls the bluest of blue and him ready to burst. He’d avoided jerking it in anticipation.
But all of that hinged on the Rangers, the Heavy Infantry school on Mars, and the Ministry of War.
<The odds are not in my favor.> He kept his face straight as the division commander got to his feet and said a few well-scripted words.
There was a small audience of civilians in the bleachers behind the officers. It had to be suburbanites who could afford to travel all the way to the taint of the Commonwealth in the middle of the summer. There wouldn’t be any PHA mommy and daddy Rats in the stands that’s for sure. But there were some more people in uniform. Thankfully, none of them were Eve’s relatives.
<The Chief of Naval Intelligence!> Coop was still mentally freaking out about that. <She’s got to know every detail of my life down to the size of my dick.> He knew people in power knew stuff, and someone like Sonya Berg knew everything.
After the division commander spoke every battalion commander got up and said a few words. They all had different topics like: honor, courage, duty, and responsibility. LCDR Shepherd talked about accountability, which made sense after Davenport’s epic fuckup.
Finally, all the officers stopped using big words and trying to sound inspiring, and it was time for the oath. The captain got back up for that one.
“Raise your right hand and repeat after me.”
Coop did as he was told, and felt the importance of the moment descend on him. <This shits for real.> He took a deep breath to steady himself.
“I, state your name.”
“I, Mark Cooper.” He decided to leave out his embarrassing middle name, Cornelius.
“Do solemnly attest that I will, as in duty bound, honestly defend the Charter of the United Commonwealth of Colonies against all enemies, internal and external throughout the galaxy; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will observe and obey all orders of the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth and the orders of the admirals and officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”
Coop repeated the oath and tried not to stumble over some of the more complicated parts.
“Welcome to the Armed Forces of the United Commonwealth of Colonies.”
There was no cheering, celebrating, or throwing anything into the air. This wasn’t high school. This was the fucking military. Coop just stood there stone-faced. He’d celebrate if he got that pass and that ass. And he’d celebrate with the biggest bottle of booze he could find and a buck-naked Eve.
The civilians clapped and cheered though, but that stopped relatively quickly because this was just the end of the beginning. The real shit was still to come.
The first surprise came when the officers started to depart. GYSGT Cunningham did a crisp about face and told them all to relax.
“Myself and Petty Officer Janney would like to congratulate all of you on taking this first step in your military career. This is something that no one can take away from you. No matter what happens out there you can say that you were a member of Echo Company 132nd Training Battalion, and you earned that chevron on your shoulder.”
Since they were relaxed they all got to look.
<Holy fuckin’ shit!> Coop couldn’t help but light up like a Christmas tree at the sight of the single chevron on his shoulder.
He wasn’t just some dumbass recruit anymore. He was a dumbass Private now, an E-2.
“But that’s not all. Attention to Orders!”
All the new privates had heard that command once before, at the GYSGT’s promotion ceremony, so they all knew what to do. They snapped to the position of attention and fixed their eyes forward.
“The Minister of War has reposed special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity and professional excellence of Eve Berg. In view of these qualities and her demonstrated leadership potential as the top recruit of Echo Company 132nd Training Battalion, and dedicated service to the Armed Forces of the United Commonwealth of Colonies, she is, therefore, advanced from Private to Private First Class. Advancement is effective 01 September 2432, Sol Calendar, with a date of rank of 01 September 2432. Congratulations PFC Berg.”
Now there was cheering, and before Coop knew what he was doing he was hugging his old squad leader. “You’re officially the boss-lady now.”
She hugged him back, hard, and gave the rest of the company a little wave with one hand and she blotted joyful tears with another. The two instructors didn’t do anything but watch and smile. Even Janney didn’t look like the sadistic prick they’d known and hated for the last twelve weeks.
“Everyone report back to the barracks by 1400 and we’ll give out your orders. You’re dismissed.” Then the GYSGT and PO3 just walked away and left forty new privates and one new PFC with nothing to do.
“Let’s be smart everyone.” Eve naturally took charge. “Don’t go get wasted, don’t do anything stupid in the next hours. We’re all still on duty. The dining hall isn’t far so let’s all grab a bite to eat and then head back.”
A soldier never said no to food.
The lunch was a bit surreal for Coop and everyone else. They still had to follow the proper procedure in the lines, but other than that they didn’t have to shovel down the food. They could sit, talk, and laugh about all the crazy shit that had happened. Recruits looked on with awe at the newly minted soldiers eating in the dining hall, just like Echo Company had done countless times when they were still lowly recruits.
Eve still kept everyone on time though, and they all made it back to the barracks just before 1400.
“Everyone’s stuff needs to be out of here today.” PO3 Janney stated calmly as everyone filed in. “You cleaned this place spotless last night and this morning, so don’t screw it up for the next company that comes along. Your orders will be delivered to your new PADs in the next two minutes, so I’m going to need everyone to turn in their old beat-to-shit ones now.”
They’d already run back through the CIF at the end of the recovery weak and turned everything in. CIF made sure the equipment was clean before scanning it back into their inventory and later repackaging it for redistribution to the next group of recruits. The only thing they’d been allowed to keep was their PADs, and the new PVTs going into the regular infantry had been ordered to keep their scales. Everyone else had to turn the body armor back in.
Coop got in line, scanned his GIC, and turned in the old PAD to the PO3.
“Thank you.” The petty officer actually thanked Coop.
Coop checked his pulse to make sure he wasn’t dead. Then something hit him. “Petty Officer! Where did your accent go?” He could still here a twinge of it, but it was nothing like the almost unintelligible screaming he’d grown accustomed to.
“You all thought I was some back woods, sister-fucker didn’t you.” The PO3 laughed. “Half of you didn’t even think I had a brain between these two ears, and you unlucky fucks got smoked because of it.”
Instead of being pissed, or feeling betrayed, everyone laughed. That hell was over and they were all shooting the shit now. Someone even asked what the PO3 did before becoming an instructor.
As it turned out, PO3 Chase Janney spent his career before the training center as a crew member aboard a Spyder Assault Shuttle. “I did everything from loading, to making sure marines didn’t get themselves killed on a drop, and when we did drop I was the tail gunner.” He informed. “Had this b-e-a-u-tiful 3mm plasma repeater and I could rain hell down on anyone.”
Coop and the rest of the company had seen one of those plasma repeaters fire in weapons orientation. They were a fucking nightmare. You’d be able to take some hits from a 1mm gun in scales, but a 3mm plasma round could fuck you up good. There was only so much the nanite covered scales and duro-steel underneath could do against superheated energy and its kinetic punch. If you were lucky you’d survived. If your guardian angel was paying attention an HI trooper would come along and blow that gun the fuck up for you.
Coop was so engrossed in the PO3’s stories that he totally forgot about the orders waiting on his new PAD. He broke away from the group around the naval NCO and walked over to his bed. His new PAD didn’t look too much different from his old PAD. That was purely surface level. It was still a little thicker and more durable than civilian versions. This one didn’t have any cracks or build up shit on it from years of getting dragged into the field, and he was sure it had some internal workings that were upgrades to the latest and greatest the military had to offer.
Coop scanned his GIC and opened it up. His user account settings were the same because they were linked to his GIC. First thing he did was log onto his MWFAS account and check his balance. He’d received six payments over the three months he’d been in basic. At an E-1 pay rate, after taxes, that meant he had $6124.98 in expendable income. By Commonwealth standards that was pennies, but for a former Rat it felt like he’d hit the jackpot.
After doing a mental happy dance where he daydreamed about popping a bottle of expensive champagne all over Eve’s naked ass, he logged out and checked his email.
<Moment of truth.> There were a dozen emails to read, but the one on the tops subject line was Orders: Rank, Last Name, First Name, and GIC in bold print.
He opened the digital correspondence and only needed to read the first few lines. <Report time 0800, 03 September 2432.> Coop breathed a sigh of relief at his good fortune. <Two days.> He smiled and turned around to look for Eve.
She’d grabbed her own PAD off her bunk and gone back to the group. She was standing on the edge, reading it carefully, but looked up and met his eyes. They were unreadable and he had no idea what she was thinking until the corner of her lips turned up.
<It’s go time.> Coop could already feel his body reacting in anticipation.
Coop and Eve signed out together for their forty-eight hour pass. If the Staff duty NCO at battalion knew what was going on she didn’t seem to care. They left the training center and found a cheap room in the disreputable town around the base. Cheap meant two hundred bucks a night, but Coop didn’t give a shit. He’d been waiting three months for this moment. He would have given a kidney.
They were barely through the door and Eve was on top of him. It was primal, animalistic, and short lived; but it was a hell of an explosion.
And it was just the beginning.
Eve Berg sucked, jerked, and twerked Coop until his balls looked like shriveled raisins. It was like sticking your dick into a tornado, like humping an avalanche, or butt fucking a volcanic eruption. Eve Berg was a fucking force of nature, and Coop had to pull out every trick in his book to keep up with her. He didn’t even know some of the positions she got him into were physically possible. His mind wasn’t the only thing that was blown.
They didn’t leave their room for those entire two days. They broke the bed and just kept on going. Management was called twice because Eve was a screamer and other guests thought she was being murdered. The room would have looked like a fucking murder scene if you went over it with a blacklight.
On top of the destroying the bed, Coop accidentally put Eve through a wall once. He had her up against it and one thrust too powerful put her finely-sculpted ass right through it and into the other room. That’s about the time the MPs got called, but the two nymphos finished before they opened the door for them.
The MPs didn’t give a shit about two enlisted people fucking, and as long as they paid for the damages they wouldn’t write them up. So Coop and Eve continued their fuck-a-thon until they were both weak in the knees and everywhere else.
“Fuck me?” Coop’s lungs burned like he’d just done the fifty-kilometer ruck march all over again.
“Again? So soon? I thought you needed a minute?” Eve’s own chest was heaving from the sexual marathon.
“You only live once,” he grinned, flipped her onto her stomach and went balls to the walls while smacking her ass like a drum.
It didn’t matter if his tank was dry. He had no trouble getting it up with Eve’s naked perfection within his reach.
When they checked out the damages came to eight grand. They split the cost, both sacrificing two-thirds of their basic pay for forty-eight hours of blissful, tantric nirvana.
<I’d go again if I had the money.> Coop thought as he and Eve walked hand-in-hand back onto the training center and toward the spaceport.
They had the rest of their lives ahead of them and no idea when they’d see each other again.
But when they did it would be time for round two.