I said a dramatic good-bye on my last day of being a civilian. Evereen was crying, Ash was silent. It was almost as though I had died, and they were mourning me. I shook hands and said goodbye to the friends that showed up. I told Evereen to hold Shieta’s belongings and that I would be back for them. I said bye to most of the guys in my department and told Ash to say bye to whoever I missed. I was off to become a Force Marine. I new SEALs were good but I just didn’t want to be one. Basics was the same with both units. SEALs and Force Marines were part of the Special Forces of the United. I jumped on board my transport and headed off to the port. I would transfer to a frigate and shuttle to the planet M-100.
M-100 was a military controlled planet. Troops were housed and trained there. It was basically one giant fortress. It was protected by a series of cannons that had an extremely long range. They could fire and hit any ship orbiting it with extreme accuracy. If anything got past the cannons, there were a series of missile batteries that could decimate landing crafts. There was almost no plant life on the planet. It was covered by asphalt and had barracks all over the place. There were over 500 space ports for ships to load up with troops and gear and set out for war. It was rare that the planet would be busy enough for every part of it to be busy. It was usually just one section that was busy, mainly the upper left hemisphere. That was where the new recruits were trained. Much everything else was storing, housing, or manufacturing. Manufacturing didn’t take up nearly as much energy as it many thought. It was all automated and with the new technologies, it ran at extremely efficient levels so it barely looked like anything was happening. It was an extremely organized planet. Every building was arranged neatly with the others. It was built like the old city of Brasilia, but more modern.
During my trip to M-100, my thoughts stayed on the war. The Chattans attacked first, I knew that. Why they had done it, I didn’t know. I knew that the two races where under the United, an interplanetary union lead by humans. The fighting had stayed on A’Blam mainly. Somehow, something triggered it. The Chattan government had declared war on the Lupine government and there was nothing the Humans could do.
There were different governments in the United, known Houses. House Lupus consisted of any creature that was a relative of the wolf or anyone who pledged loyalty to it. House Chattan consisted of mainly lynxes and bobcats. There were tigers and other cat races, but mainly lynxes and bobcats. House Terra consisted of humans. There were other houses but they were minor and usually allied with one of the three other houses. The judicial system was the same for each government under the United. The Houses were like different countries. Each one had set territories throughout the galaxy, and each followed the same law.
The United was similar to the 20th century United Nations. Once the humans discovered the other races on A’Blam and began interchanging technology, they formed the United to keep peace. The standard language was made English for some reason or another. The native languages were kept, but made secondary. This caused some fighting between the different houses but was resolved quickly when the human scientists created a translating device. It was a simple chip that was put into a headset that allowed real-time translation. It was one of the more effective ways of communicating through different languages. I began a conversation with some of the new recruits next to me on the frigate.
“So do any of you guys know what started this war?” I asked.
The others looked at me.
“Just asking.” I said.
“They attacked us first.” A lupine said.
“Yeah, but why?”
“Because a lupine Ranger gunned down a Chattan in the middle of a city.” Said a Chattan. He was a black panther.
There was a murmur among the group.
“House Chattan shouldn’t have attacked back the way they did. They were just itching for an excuse to declare war.” He said.
“Hey, it’s cause of you faggots that the Wars started in the Beginning.” A lupine piped up.
A crowd was beginning to form around the black panther. I didn’t want to start a fight and I knew that if a Chattan turned toward House Lupus there was a reason. I jumped toward the side of the black panther.
“Back off!” I yelled.
“What have we here? A Chattan and his bitch.” The leader of the group said.
All of my fur was standing on end by now. I bared my teeth and growled.
“Let’s see how tough you really are.” He said and then tried to punch me.
A fight between him and me broke. The black panther held off most of the crowd that tried to help out the lupine that was trying to hit me. I dodged many of his punches and simply stepped out of the way. He threw a punch and I caught it. I twisted his arm and sweeped his leg so that he fell. I got on top of his back and put him in a strangle hold.
“Now tell your friends to back off or I’ll choke you until you pass out. Then I’ll rip your throat out.” I told him a very dark tone.
“Fuck you!” He replied.
I tightened my hold and he screamed. “Alright! Back off!”
“You heard him! Now back the fuck off!”
The crowd complied. The black panther looked at me with a look of thanks. I just nodded. We went to a corner where there weren’t that many around us. I introduced myself.
“I’m Shaul.” I said.
“I’m A’Shual.” He replied.
“So why would a Chattan pledge allegiance to House Lupus?”
“I don’t like the way House Chattan does things. They’re too… hating. They supported much of the terrorism that’s been happening.”
“Aye…” I remembered how Shieta died.
“You lost someone cause of terrorism didn’t you?”
“How…” I was surprised.
“Sixth sense. I can feel things others feel.”
“I get premonitions of what can happen.”
“Interesting. What did you do before you became a soldier?”
“I was a Ranger. You?”
“I was a negotiator.”
“Must’ve been easy with your Sense.”
We spent most of the rest of the trip getting to know each other. We shared similar interests. He was a year older than I was but was a hell of a lot wiser than most people I knew were. He had more reasons than just politics to be loyal to House Lupus. His family was killed by Chattan soldiers. That was the main reason. The others were minor. He learned about my past and got me to talk about Shieta a little. He sensed that I still had pain over her death so he let it go. I learned about his past too. He was going to marry a daughter to one of the governors. The death of his family, however, ended much of his relations to many of his Chattan friends. He wandered around some and became a negotiator for a police department close to where I worked. We were becoming Guardian friends and I was already becoming somewhat of an outcast.
We arrived at M-100, also known as “Parris Island”. The Terrans found some humor in naming it that. They said it had something to do with the old United States Marine Corps. M-100 was exactly how I pictured. Asphalt covered every inch of ground. Buildings were mainly single-story and were lined neatly in rows. There were guards at every access point to each building. I could see an obstacle course at the far end of the “field”. Recruits were busy getting past the various things set up, all the while DI’s yelling giving their form of support. . A Drill Instructor began to yell in our face. It annoyed me that it was a human and that I could easily rip him apart. Doing so would mean death though.
“GET THE HELL OUT OF MY SHIP! MOVE YOUR ASS OR I WILL RIP YOUR ARMS OF AND BEAT YOU WITH THEM!” He hollered.
I complied. I followed his orders to a room. I was issued new clothes and a Spatha. I went to another room where I changed. The new uniform was simple: a loincloth, leg wrappings, and a Spatha. It was the traditional clothes that the Loupians wore. It wasn’t the most modern thing but the military issued these to all that fought House Lupus. Humans were given different clothing. The traditional BDU outfits. Camouflage was worn only by grunts. Black was the color that DI’s wore.
The next week was the beginning of hell. I was constantly worked and yelled at. I was lucky that A’Shual was with me. He took things rather well. I just followed orders and tuned out most of my DI’s screaming. It was similar to the movie Full Metal Jacket, except there was more hell to go through and more beatings by the DI.
A month had passed and we were coming out of Basics. The DI had loosened up for those who had stuck it out. About 65% of our unit had dropped out and gone to be normal grunts. Those who stuck it out had gone through the worst of Basics and would easily become Force Marines.
Another week passed and our DI called us to line up. “Unit, report!”
Our unit reported and saluted.
“Those of you who are here today, have just finished Basics. Congratulations!” The DI said.
Our unit yelled out in happiness.
“Tomorrow, you will go through another 11 months of training. You will cover the rest of training and become Force Marines. Those of you who have stayed should easily do this. Congratulations. The rest of the day you are free to do as you please.” He said, and then went to a room and brought out a few footballs and a stereo system from his room. We erupted into cheers and began a game of football and had a small party.
The next day we began the rest of training. We went through group tactics, setting up ambushes, urban warfare, sniping for some of us, hand to hand combat, all the fun stuff. We went through a long time of this. A’Shual and I were the best in our class. We gained respect and acceptance. Even the leader of the group I had fought on our way here held us in high regard. I had even gotten a nickname, ALPHAwolfOMEGA. They gave me that name because I worked best alone. I was the Alpha and Omega dog. I was the lone wolf that was his own pack. That’s how they explained it.
I had attained the rank of Sniper and Swordsman, two extremely difficult ranks to attain. I had more skill and knowledge of sharp-shooting than most of the instructors. A’Shual had more skill with a sword though. He preferred the machete but had equal skills with a Spatha. The Spatha was the standard issue sword. Most of the men in my unit preferred small unit tactics. We did extremely well in mock-raids and assaults on compounds. We were extremely proficient with demolitions and rescue missions. Our training would be over in two weeks, and then we would use that training in real life.
The training was completed. There was a ceremony held in our quarters where we were given rank and issued weapons. We spent that day celebrating with actual food and drinks, something that was supposedly contraband. The next day we would ship out to A’Blam to fight for House Lupus. I had always wanted to see A’Blam, now I would.
To find a good and honest review about some place is next to impossible. Oh sure there are a lot of review sites, like Yelp for example. But you can’t be 100% sure of the review. Many that I found are slanted for some reason or another. Either they are written by someone who wants REVENGE or by the store owner or an employee. Because there is no other explanation for some of the reviews I seen. Like companies that do bad things, getting good reviews, and of course the opposite.
I know many of us look for such sites for help, but on most you do better by flipping a coin.
Some could say the lawsuits that come out of some reviews have sparked this trend. But it’s really hard to say. But one thing I can say is, you don’t want to post a bad review about some terrible place and get sued over it.
Speaking of which you heard South Park did a parody of Yelp recently and now Yelp is suing South Park.
From what I heard about that episode it’s 100% true, even right down the Cartman’s T shirt which states “Warning YELP critic”. It might be hard to believe but I seen T shirts like that this past Summer.