Billy Wallace sat watching a Tri-D action vid, stuffing popcorn into his mouth.
“This is the best part!” He said loudly, popcorn falling out of his half open mouth. “Just look!” He slapped the fellow next to him.
The other Marine eyed him carefully, deciding whether to take offense. He shifted his weight, scooting further away from the overly excited Wallace and focused again on the movie.
Billy stood, spilling the rest of his popcorn, striking a pose like the actor on screen. “By the power of Thor, god of thunder, I swear!” He said in unison with the actor.
Laughing hoarsely, Billy flopped back down on the couch. “Cool! I fuckin’ love this movie!”
Billy Wallace was a distant descendant of the brave Scottish warrior, William Wallace. Unlike his forefather, he wasn’t wild about battles, but since the military had fiddled with his DNA, he could do nothing else. Still a country boy at heart, he drank heavily, swore too much and chewed tobacco. The guys in his platoon called him Red Neck.
The comlink beside him beeped. He answered it distractedly, eye still glued to the screen. “Yeah, 23rd, Wallace. Go ahead.” He groaned when the hero got kneed in the crotch by the female, would-be love interest.
“Stand up straight when you talk to me, grunt!” The voice of command was unmistakable.
“Yes, sir!” Billy leaped to his feet, saluting the console.
The others in the room followed suit automatically as the visual flickered on. Their salute was returned casually as if the officer couldn’t be bothered by formalities.
“Which one of you sorry, low life bastards is Wallace?”
The Marine next to him pointed and Billy Wallace took a step forward, saluting smartly, even if he was in his skivvies.
“That would be me, sir!”
Ben eyed him critically. “You always watch a vid in your underwear, squid?”
“No, sir, Lieutenant Commander. It’s just wash day, sir,” he concluded lamely.
“At ease.” The men relaxed into their stance. “Wallace, get your gear, you’ve been tapped for a special ops. You’ll be picked up at 1800. That gives you forty-five minutes to pack and get to the shuttle pad. Pilot has your orders.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir!” He saluted again, relieved when the comlink clicked off. “Special ops?” He scratched his head. “I knew I shouldn’t have taken those specialty classes.
Throwing his gear together, he grabbed his only clean uniform, wondering how to cope with his wet laundry. “Hell, y’all send that to me later, okay?”
One of the others nodded agreement. “Hey, Red Neck,” he called after Billy. “Be careful, man!”
Billy turned and grinned, his shiny shaven head reflecting a small puddle of lamp light. “Will do! Don’t wanna mess up my hair! Their laughter followed him as he walked quickly into the night.
* * *
Walter Bennett was in the brig again. How many times was it now? He’d forgotten and he didn’t much care. Same charge as before: Insubordination and failure to follow orders.
He knew the guards by name and had beaten them all so often at poker, they refused to play him anymore. He was reading on his bunk when one of the guards came to the cell door.
“Hey, Walt! Someone here to see you!”
“So? Tell him to go the hell away, I’m busy.”
“Not a he, it’s a she and well worth looking at. But if you want me to tell her to go….”
“A woman?” Walter’s eyes brightened.
“Yeah, man. Cute little redhead, sweet tits, tight ass. You want I should tell her to go?”
“Hell no!” He smoothed his tousled dark blond hair, his green eyes sparkling with interest. “Show me,” he demanded, following the guard to an interview room.
He was ushered into the room and the guard left, locking the door behind him. The woman stood gazing out the barred window, wistful expression on her pretty face. She was a knockout! About five foot six, compact build, nice rack and an ass so tight he could bounce a quarter off it! Clearing his throat, he saluted as she turned around.
©2015 Dellani Oakes