UNMC Reserve Academy
The plane rumbled on underneath the thirty new recruits. They faced each other in the windowless compartment, their backs against the walls, with nothing to look at but their fellow Reserve Recruits. They had all already undergone the processing, their bodies and minds checked out and found to be within acceptable variation to the soldierly ideal.
That's what the higher ups have been told, anyway. These young men and women knew their flaws. This one knew he was overweight, that one that her obsessive compulsions could spell disaster.
Patrick Wells brushed his hand over his head, feeling the bristles where his red hair had been. His hair had never been that short before. He tensed up a little as the plane jolted beneath him. He had never flown before and it made him nervous as he could feel the aircraft slowing down. The inertia pushed him against the girl to his left, and he blushed and forced himself upright again.
There was no taxiing, as soon as the plane came to a stop, the huge cargo door at the back opened, revealing a short stretch of runway, with a pair of men waiting for them.
“Hop to!” one of them shouted, “The last one into the bunker doesn't eat!”
The recruits launched themselves forward, running and scrambling to get out of the plane and into the bunker. When Patrick got out, he looked around, but couldn't find where the entrance was supposed to be. There was nothing but brownish scrub grass to the west(where the sun was setting) and some hills to the east, where he could already see stars.
This had been a very long, annoying, boring and also humiliating travel. How could she, Victoria Lancaster, 143 of IQ, who studied in Oxford one of the, if not the best institute of learning in the entire world, be with them, the reservists, the ‘Unsatisfactory’ items of the army? She had been writing on her laptop during the whole flight, her Doctoral Thesis, she planned on doing it during her free time, if she had any. She hopped this base would at least have internet, if not that would make her work impossible.
She held on to her computer as the inertia pushed her left against a wall. She turned to her right to see a red headed guy, about as tall as her, who had been pushed toward her. “Bloody Irish.”
So she said with a frown. Like any British person, she had a very low opinion of thousands of Irish immigrants that came after the civil war, flooding the job market with cheap, red headed, labor. She took her things, putted her laptop in her bag and began to hurry when the officer made his announcement, why she didn’t know, what kind of food could you expect from a military base in the middle of Siberia really.
Victoria stood up with her small luggage and left the plane. She stood next to the Irish guy that sat next to her earlier and looked around. What a piss hole. She however asked herself the same question as him, where was that bunker anyways? In the end, she decided to play the sheep and began to follow the largest group that seemed to more or less know what it was doing and began to ran… For a short while at least, after a dozen second she slowed down, already in sweat. She wasn’t fat, quite the contrary in fact, but never did she like this ‘Physical activity’ thing. “Christ, what’s the point if we’re supposed to sit down and pilot a damn machine anyways?!” Around her, some people in the same physical situation as her gave some approbation to this declaration.
Allan Redwood had finally arrived at the Reserve Academy as he was transported to the Reserve Academy. If only he was able to pass the physical examination at the end of the testing. He probably should have enrolled in more physical activities in middle school at the earliest. It was too late to change that, and now here he was about to be handed another few years of tough training.
Allan knew this place was going to be full of varying nationalities, but overhearing the fact that there was an Irish person made him concerned about where it was going. He could only wonder if he was going to get out of this place in one piece by the time he was done.
After overhearing the conversation among one of them, Allan could only worry, “Oh great… This is just asking for an uprising…”
As soon as the door to the cargo plane opened he heard one of the superiors warn, “Last one into the bunker doesn’t eat!”
As soon as he heard that, Allan rushed forward with, “Hey! Let me through!” As soon as he was outside though, he didn’t see anything that could be seen as a base. He turned to his superior and asked, “Uh… Where’s the entrance sir?”
She had been wedged into the corner of the windowless aircraft, right next to the heater. There, Lyric faced all of her fellow recruits. The space was limited, but she didn't feel uncomfortable. Rather, she enjoyed it and reveled in the small space that she was allotted. It had been a long, silent ride and sleep threatened to overcome her. Lyric squirmed in her seat, attempting to get rid of the sweet temptation of dreaming. The people on either side of her glanced, irritated.
“Sorry...” she murmured and sank back into her spot. The day stretched on, and Lyric found herself succumbing to sleep. Inconspicuously, she rested her head onto the person sitting nearest to her. Hoping they wouldn't be too mindful of her subtle action, Lyric shut her eyes. Instantly she was transported into a dream that was a reflection of the previous day. Echoes of disappointment clouded her mind, and the old, withered expressions of a tired man and woman looked down on her. They were mouthing something, but Lyric couldn't quite understand them. Each time they said the words, they got louder.
“Wake up... wake up.... wake up!” They exclaimed, nearly shouting at her now. The volume of their voices startled her, and Lyric awoke to a nearly empty plane. Almost everyone had exited the aircraft, leaving her still half-asleep in the back corner. She looked at the person who had woken her and mumbled a thanks before stumbling out of the exit. Fear of the unknown uncoiled in her stomach. What if she couldn't handle life here, in the barren land of Siberia? She had never been on her own before, not like this. The biting cold of the outside stole her breath away, leaving her stunned for a moment. Lyric quickly snapped out of the shock when she saw the recruits all running toward their destination and followed at a weaker pace. She found herself just behind a woman with an intriguing accent—British? At least Lyric would obtain some worldly knowledge, if nothing else.
As Ania sat, squeezed between to boys, she couldn't help but think how troublesome this whole situation was. When she had decided to give that simulation a try, she hadn't expected her life to become more problematic. Nonetheless, here she was, sitting in a loud dark plane with twenty nine other recruits. Sighing heavily, she tilted her head back so that it rested on the wall of the plane, though it was far enough away that it was hardly comfortable. She couldn't help but wonder how her family was doing. They had been terribly disappointed about her rejection. Well, she had done what she could, and was off to keep doing so, as much as it peeved her. This military gig required a lot of dedication, which she wasn't necessarily willing give. Crossing her arms, she sighed again, a bit more loudly, as she pulled her head back forwards, gaining a dirty look from one of her neighbors. Quirking an eyebrow, she glanced at him coldly.
"Problem?" She asked, her voice low and monotone, expressing clear disinterest in what he had to say. The man looked as if he were contemplating how wise it would be to punch her. Scoffing, he shook his head and turned away, clearly telling her exactly what he thought of her mere existence. "Yeah, feeling's mutual." She muttered to herself, lowering her chin onto her chest. No matter what though, she simply couldn't get an ounce of sleep. By the time the plane landed, she was irritated and tired, and altogether, not terribly willing to budge an inch.
As the cargo door opened, she peeked at it, still refusing to move despite the fact that others were getting up around her. As one of the men announced a lack of dinner, however, her eyes narrowed. A lack of food was definitely troublesome, especially since they would be doing quite a bit of physical exercise.
What a hassle... She thought to herself as she stood and stretched with a massive groan, before turning and bolting out of the plane after everyone else. She wasn't an Olympic athlete, but she certainly wasn't out of shape. She just barely managed to pass two people, and keep a steady pace, though she was breaking out in a sweat rather quickly. Panting, she slowly came to a stop, realizing, as others spoke up, that the entrance was either nonexistent, or very well hidden. Heaving another large sigh, she ran her fingers through her cropped hair, and came to stand beside some of the recruits, waiting to see how the events would unfold.
First she steals the best seat on the plane, Bosco getting the spot directly opposite which forced him to watch the woman enjoy his spot, and if he couldn't become more envious she managed to slip off into sleep on this death trap. He didn't know if there was anyone on the planet he could loath more on this planet right now than this woman with black hair. Their plane eventually landed, the flight ending as it had started with what he assumed being every bolt shaking out of whatever piece of the frame they were supposed to be bolted into. He would never become an engineer on this world, to understand how massive collaborations of metal managed to flat on water and fly through the air was beyond his knowledge. As the other recruits stood to exit the plane, Bosco could see the woman with black hair was still asleep. He could have left her there for the instructors to find her, her first week would have become a nightmare of punishment in the cold... It was just a seat.
"Hey, wake up" Bosco demanded, he shook her shoulder a bit before "Wake up... wake up.... wake up!" The woman woke startled, a quick look around the plane and she realized she what happened.
She mumbled something and rushed to the ramp, he wasn't even sure if she thanked him... that's whatya get, for doing the right thing. He followed the others off the plane and into the cold, the harsh freezing cold. He could see the other recruits were just as confused as he was with where the bunker was supposed to be, he looked to see if any of the regulars knew where they were going.
Don't throw up, don't throw up, don't throw up...
The ride was not a good one for Kaoru Loften; she didn't normally get sick like this, but she wasn't feeling too hot being in such a tight space with lots of people and their ride not going smoothly. She had her eyes closed, using every fiber of her being to not go and puke all over everyone. Not only would it literally kill her chances with any guy, it was just plain rude and nasty.
As if being a sign from the heavens, the fresh air hit her, and she scrambled to get out. The air felt so good, and she deduced that she must've been claustrophobic or something. Weird, she'd been in small spaces like that before. Maybe it was all the people. As she caught her breath, she got what she was supposed to do; find the damn entrance to the bunker. Some people were standing around, others were completely clueless.
She peered over the landscape. Bunkers were underground, but she didn't see anything that so much resembled an entrance. Shrugging to herself, she started jogging in a direction and hoped for the best.
“Christ," one of the girls exclaimed, "What’s the point if we’re supposed to sit down and pilot a damn machine anyways?!”
"Hey," the man from before shouted over the heads of the crowd toward her, "Why are you in the military if you don't plan to do some running? I already know half of you are going to be little bitches, let's see how long you can stay on the other side!"
The other man was smiling at the recruits, saying nothing. He seemed to enjoy watching them run.
In a few minutes the recruits were spread all over the landing strip, most not venturing very far, but a few walking off into the barren plain, and one or two climbing the hills. One of them, a tall black haired fellow, watched those climbing the hills, and noted that none of them came back. He bounded off toward them, passing up a few slower candidates, and crested the hill. When he saw the other side he turned back and yelled toward the milling group, "Hey! It's on the other side over here! Let's go!"
There was an immediate shift in activity as everyone switched direction and headed toward him, all running now that they had a direction to run. A great many fell behind, some way behind. Patrick was wheezing in moments, and actually slid back down halfway up the hill. When he finally got up, he could huge shining metal doors set into the ground, about thirty meters off from a tiny concrete square that all the other recruits were running to. Patrick realized he was the last one over the hill thanks to his fall, and he started running, desperate to catch up, but it was clearly too late. He slowed to a walk in the end, and almost didn't see the black haired recruit standing by the door, waiting.
"Go on, I can go without supper just this once," he sounded American, southern, probably. "Name's James!" He held out a hand that Patrick took gratefully, before walking through the doors ahead of him.
The two commanding officer's watched from the top of the hill.
The little concrete cube sheltered a long, straight flight of stairs that went down into the earth. Some of the more athletic recruits had already gotten to the bottom, where they found a large mess hall. The floor was concrete, the lights were old and the tables were bare, cold metal. There was clearly some form of food ready to be eaten, but before they were served, the recruits had to get in line for uniforms. They waited in line, told their sizes to the severe looking lady behind the counter, and were given various articles of clothing from out of plastic bins behind her.
The uniform was simple, pants that resembled fatigues, but plain gray, and a matching gray T-shirt. They were given a pair of socks and combat boots as well. They weren't allowed to eat until they were in uniform, and there was no place to change in privacy.
For a single pound, for a penny even, she would have left this place and never come back. Victoria considered this for a moment as an alternative to undress before her 30 future co-workers as well as those who had worked here for a while, officer included. Most likely hadn’t seen a real woman for quite some times and now, well, let’s just say she could guess what they were thinking about.
Still, after a moment of thought, as did some others around here it seemed, she decided it was now or never when others would distract the wondering eyes and not later after the confusion. Victoria tried to find a corner, but found none free, figures. She got next to a wall and turned around to only expose her back. In all honesty, she didn’t have much to show with her A-cups hidden by a camisole and her ass behind a boy short, even if that wasn’t the point.
A minute later she was changed and as she carried her clothes and her bag containing her personal items, she gave a dreadful look at the officer, the same one that had questioned her why she joined the army if she didn’t want to run. As she waited in line for the ‘Food’ they were being served, she had a silent grin, an arrogant smile as she considered that her life status was still better than that of this officer or probably everyone here. She had a diploma, was well underway to have a doctorate and in general, had a future outside of this dump. This was just temporary and soon enough, she’d have a decent salary, a house, a car… and something better to eat than whatever the hell this thing was.
She made her way to the other side of the room to take a seat, it seemed however that due to the very low number of places, she’d soon have company. Fantastic. She looked at her meal. Some kind of soup, stew or ragout, the texture and consistence being somewhere between the three. Victoria guessed that they pretty much took everything they had and putted it in a pot, cutting it all with water to increase the amount of… stuff, to give for the people to eat. Potatoes, beans, what was probably a road kill the supply truck grabbed on its way here. She took a taste. Way too salty, although this probably hid another even worst taste. This was bad, although as a poor student with no money or culinary skills, Victoria was used to this.
Bosco made it a personal race to get to get to the bunker before those that left the plane before him, charging through the snow and over the hill, retaining his momentum and sliding down the other side. His one advantage over many of his fellow recruits was that he was already a pinnacle of physical fitness, spending most of his free time in a gym rather than a library or a place of continued learning. The adrenaline he gained from working out and fighting was like a drug to him, he questioned how he was going to handle being in a mecha with such a condition. His thoughts were ended around the same time he was handed a uniform and informed he would be fed when he was dressed.
He couldn't help but notice everyone seeking some sort of privacy in changing, revealing yet another advantage he held over everyone else. He was numb to nudity, with living in Las Vegas it wasn't uncommon to find places where he saw a great deal of skin, as well as showed off his own. He undressed where he stood, unaware that he was still bruised from his families farewell beatings they brought on him. By the time he started redressing one could have counted half a dozen welts and patches of yellow skin from where his brothers hit him hardest. He wouldn't miss their surprise attacks at home, how he was volunteered into being their opponent in sparring matches, and how he lived in the family shadow as just another Railly boy. The stew he was promised had only one redeeming feature, being that it was still hot. It was another taste of a different life style than the one he was used to, but he would keep to his convictions and he continued to eat his stew.