“Left, right!” They echoed their instructor who led from the left.
“I don’t know what’s to come”, he bellowed in stride.
“I don’t know what’s to come”, they answered in chorus.
“But I’ll shoot ‘em down, all or one!”
“But I’ll shoot ‘em down, all or one!”
Seated in the hall, its freshly waxed tiles intimidating even the newest sneakers, he began to eye the healthy stock of paperwork he’d been handed. Name. That was easy enough. Cade Washington he scribbled in his finest chicken-ese he could muster. Date of Birth. That one wasn’t as easy to scribble down, but he did so anyway. Height. Six foot. Weight. He’d just wait and see what the scale had to say about that. He was confident but… well it’d be a minute since basic. Gender. Male. Are you currently a resident of Rhy’Din? He tapped the pen against his temple and decided to leave that one blank. What if any is your prior experience?
“Cade?” There was a knock at his door and from his bunk he reluctantly looked over.
“Yeah?” He managed to fit between the current diagram he was trying to memorize.
“What’ve you got there?” she asked, making her way inside and taking a lean up at his desk. “The Comet Mark-2. Isn’t that a little old school to be worrying about now?” She closed the book.
“It’s interesting. One day they’re going to look at ours and think the same thing you know.” He leaned back and rubbed at his eyes. “What time is it?” He asked, ignoring the proprietary digital clock on his desk.
“Late. You’re going to meet us out on Friday right? It’s the last weekend before graduation and we’re all going to get matching ink to celebrate.” She gave him a punch on his shoulder.
“Isn’t that so cliche though?” He rubbed his shoulder and a yawn escaped his lips.
“That’s just like you. All work and no play. Look at me, Mr. Cade, I’ve got a permanent stick up my ass and I’m just a grouch all the time!” She gave his chair a kick and made for the hall, pausing at the doorway. “It’ll be fun. Be there.” She said before heading out.
“Maybe..” He echoed in her absence.
What makes you a good fit for the Rhydin Air & Space Guard? Aside from my good looks? He snorted aloud and saw fellow potential recruits all glancing at him from their seats. Shuffling a moment, he began to scrawl some bullshit that might sound good to a suit. I am more than confident that I am qualified to fulfill all expectations to at least satisfactory levels. Yeah, they love that shit. The following pages were all legal jargon that they always recommend you read through and you never sign unless you have read. That was bullshit. He knew why he was there, everyone else knew why they were there and the people in charge knew why they were there.
One by one he saw the recruits led into the office. You could always sort out the would-be’s from the bullshitters when they left. Varying levels of excitement painted on their faces said it all: gripped with nerves, they wanted it bad. Elated and relieved, they didn’t want it to begin with. Ecstatic, they just wanted to soar.
“Listen up! You do not get the privilege of being called pilots! Not yet. Until you're fitted and dressed you will be known as Rainbow Flight! Just like the circus act you all are. You will be trained. You will be molded. You will succeed. Or you will be ejected faster than a shit in my toilet! Do I make myself clear?!”
“Sir yes sir!” They mustered as best they could. He didn’t break face, no he could only hear and see out of his peripherals as one poor kid keeled over and threw up right on the spot. Luckily it was grass, but still, the thought of it was setting his own nerves on edge.
“Disgusting! Is that what you think of this?!” He pulled right up to the poor shaken would-be and it was then he could catch a glimpse of that tag. Savage. He snorted when he read it. Instantly, like a shit-seeking missile he came up to him. Their height in difference didn’t matter now. “Did I say something funny, maggot?!”
It was now that Cade was about to learn the hard way that his sense of humor was less than.. Desired. “No sir.” He struggled to keep his smile in check.
“Funny how, cadet?!” He screamed in his face.
“Not funny at all, sir!” He stared past, trying to focus on anything, anything else than this hoarse lump in his throat and the cold sweat on his palms and neck.
“Say that to my face cadet!” Savage screamed.
The instant Cade looked over he was met with a balled fist to the cheek, he stumbled to the side.
“Don’t ever look me in the eye again cadet! Not until you’re worthy! Now straighten out and drop down and give me fifty!”
He could already feel it swelling as he dropped down and began pushing the terra beneath him as hard as he could.
“The rest of you join him, especially you, puke breath!” That was unfortunate, that one wasn’t going to go away any time soon.
“Washington?” She snapped him free of that memory and he rose up handing her his application. “Let’s take a look over and see what you’ve brought me today.” On her desk it read Lt. Ross, Application and Processing, RASG.