"UCAC: United Cybernetic Air Core" - Chapter 5

Who knows when I’d feel like myself again. Hell, thinking back on it, I didn’t want to feel the way I felt before any of this shit, either! I wanted to feel new, just didn’t know where to start. Seriously, who wanted to fester on why they were miserable but the simple fact of the matter was that we humans are fragile creatures with delicate ways of dealing with things. And when these ways shatter and it becomes evident that we’re not indestructible, it requires as thorough a reevaluation on who and what we are as possible.
Despite the dressings of the cybernetic flight-capable armor, underneath it were us humans… Maybe I took it all for granted. I did, for a while, thinking I was just physically invincible. It was when people started to die around me, I realize we’re made out of meat which ya know, can be shot, cut up, seasoned and cooked. The thing was though, I made the realization we could die and took so many precautions but still, someone had to died… It made me learn I wasn’t emotionally invincible either, it probably being the biggest weakness I had.  Maybe I just had shit for luck…
Sitting here in this seat for hours though, eh, I was fine with it but Malcolm, not so much. Like a child with an attention deficit this order, he paced and prowled around the ship, looking for something to entertain himself. He wanted to break the silence but I probably was looking all kinds of ‘not wanting to be bothered right now’. In all honesty, I had calmed down considerably since the rampage earlier. I mean, I was still very upset, but in an out of control rage? No… It then dawned on me, he and I were alone on this ship for the next six hours!!! My stomach fluttered at the thought.  
He disappeared up the stairs of the airship for a long while. He came back down, nervously looking over at me.
“Denver?” He said hesitantly.
“Yeah?” I responded.
“General Aquil wants to speak to you.” He said, heading back up the stairs. Sighing, I walked over to the stairs, ascending them. We entered the conference space where a virtual live feed was set up. I stood before the camera.
“How are you, Denver?” He asked. I didn’t get the point of the question.
“Fine…” I shrugged.
“I wanted to talk about your little friend.” General said.
“Liam?” I asked. He gave a long pause, sighing.
“No, Jarvis…”
“Wow…” I sighed, jostling where I stood.
“You must know he’s… very like you in many ways. He saw his parents die from a young age, had to survive on his own for a long while much like you and face many of the same issues you had to face. Lucky for you, you managed to get past them in your late teen years while Jarvis is still very much haunted by his past. I’m not trying to justify your angst against him, I just want you to see the reason why he is the way he is.” General sighed.
“I mean, I figured he was...something was wrong with him but the last thing I want to hear is a correlation between he and I.” I said, truly feeling my stomach twist into knots of disgust.
“We interviewed him due to his request of wanting the highest level of punishment for you, simply to give him gratification and he um...let’s just say we deem it necessary to give him a psychiatric evaluation, for being a sociopath as well as for PTSD. Um, he said he was trying to get closer to the team because he felt he distanced himself and read each one of your detail sheets. He saw that you and he had a very similar ‘upbringing’. So, he started to gain a little soft spot for you and was appalled that you attacked him. As I said to you before, Jarvis is a very complicated person and his tendency to mix the truth with lies so seamlessly has us all worried. I don’t think he’s fit to be a Cyber Winger so I’m making sure he has a mental health evaluation.” The General continued. He seriously was beating around the bush, further upsetting me.
“Why are you telling me all of this?” I asked plainly, wanting him to hurry and get to the point.
“Because, I don’t know what part is truth and I need your help to discern it. Has Jarvis taken any interest in you lately, trying to hold conversations of any kind?” The General asked.
“Sure… He’s been trying hard to wedge himself in the midst of our relationships on the team and it was so sudden and out of the blue, I don’t know… I just wanted him away from me.” I said.
“So this tidbit may be true. Do you know his sexuality or anything that he could be struggling deep down with? Do you know anything about him?” I asked.
The memories of the the sexual assault Jarvis inflicted upon me lurked close to the surface. It was something I wanted laced from my memories forever. I just shook my head.
“No.” I responded.
“Tisk… this is gonna be tough to clean up.” The general sighed, full of frustrations, “I just hate there were so many witnesses. We can’t sweep this under the rug so easily, Denver. We have nothing to build this case against him either...”
“I’m sorry for that aspect… That’s the thing about Jarvis. He always leaves destruction in his wake but you’ll never find a trail to link him to it in totality. That’s what I was trying to get you to understand all along and now look what happened.” I said, arms folded.
“You don’t think I know that? I knew Jarvis was treacherous the moment he was enlisted. I feared the same for you! Both of you have undeniable potential and the same issues. Your issues just come to the surface in different ways because you two are very, very different people with two very different ways of dealing with loss. With you Denver, you fight...you put your all into it so you won’t have to face destruction again. At the same time, it leaves you feeling less than complete, like you are not living life. Jarvis is different. He feels that the only thing he has left...is himself and he’d be damned if that’s lost. So he sneaks and connives his way into places that makes him feel secure… by any means necessary. He’s afraid…” The General said, full of sympathy.
“And you’re telling me this because?” I asked, truly not caring.
“Denver, stop being so difficult and listen! Now I must be a caretaker for all my men and even though Jarvis has done some sickening things, he’s no exception. One day, whether you like it or not, you will be sitting right here! Who knows, maybe in a seat greater? My point is that I know people. I can tell when someone is not telling me something, when someone is harboring something. You… most definitely are! I’m going to need you to put all angst aside and think for the greater good when I ask you this question again. Is there anything that you know that can help me build a case against Jarvis? It’d be for your benefit in the long run…”
“No…” I said continuing to lie. I knew I was wrong but didn’t care. I just wanted to stop being reminded of my losses and Jarvis was the biggest reminder.
“Eh, I guess I’ll tell him you told us the entire truth and see what we can leach out of him…” I sighed.
“Be careful what you may learn. Lying to get the truth results in a answers you may not be prepared for.” I advised. General Aquil looked at me intently, knowing I was lying through the grit of my teeth. He said nothing of it though.
Interesting advice from you… I want weekly reports from you, Captain. You’re still under my command.” The General said. I nodded, giving the weakest grin of my life.
“Will heed.” I said. The video feed cut out, leaving me with nothing to do and again, alone to this wicked mind of mine.
“OK,” Malcolm began, warranting a sudden turn around from me, “What the fuck happened in there? I mean in the dome?”
“Basically, Jarvis let one of our good men get taken out when all he had to do was open his mouth. There was about twenty or so seconds of reaction space where he could have uttered something...a word. It’s the second time he let someone die…” I said, walking back down the stairs.
“I mean,” Malcolm said following me, “Did it really warrant that volatile of a reaction?”
“It felt right at the time but I promised him that I’d fuck him up if someone else got hurt and I kept my promise. For that I have no remorse. I mean, I failed to keep my word on keeping Liam safe and…” I said, sighing.
“I see. You and Liam must were really close?” He asked.
“Kind of, but not really. Since it’s just me and you, I’ll tell you. Liam was gay, struggled a bit with his parents as well as many other things at the base and I was guiding him through it…” I explained, leaning against the window. I looked at the billowing clouds beneath the ship.
“Whoa, dude…” Malcolm said, shocked.
“Don’t act surprised. He was a teammate of mine that I truly cared for. He invested every ounce of trust he could muster into me and I held that bond sacred. He told me stuff I never would have known and vice-versa. Plus, he still was a kid… Didn’t know much and was out in this world...” I said back defensively.
“No, I’m surprised more so at you rather than the fact that he was gay. I was under the impression that you were one of those types of people that put themselves first and everyone else came second…” He said. I turned to look him eye to eye.     
“Let’s keep it that way…  Keep your preconceived notions about me and I’ll persist to not give a fuck…” I said back, returning to starring pointlessly out the window.
“Ok, that was my choice of poor wording.” He laughed.
“It truly was…” I said.
“What are you being shipped overseas for?” He asked. I gave no response, steadily looking out the window, not really wanting to talk. He sat down sighing, obviously have nothing to do but attempt at pointless banter, “Dude, I’m so bored… just talk to me!”
“Um, I have a mission but I think I might have to get Captain training…” I finally said back.
“Wow, so you’re going to completely outrank me, huh?” He asked, teasingly.
“I guess so.” Silence descended upon us again. The boy began to get frustrated.
“So you’re not going to ask me something in return?” He asked, laughing. I turned to him, taking a seat.
“I’m so sorry,” I said clenching my head, “But it’s hard to care about anything right about now. I’m not my usual chatty ole’ talkative self…”
“Ask me!” He demanded.
“OK,” I laughed, “Why are you being tossed across the pond?”
“I am being retrained as a Stealth Cyberaeros… Of all the grunts in the Eurasian sect, I’m the only one who fit the bill…” He said proudly.
“Oh really?” I asked.
“No… I was the smallest of the Roc Class and they said my physical stature isn’t made to be a Roc Winger but don’t I fret, there’s something special for me.” He laughed, sounding very disappointed.
“Cyberaeros?” I asked.
“That’s what Wingers are called in the New World.”
“Oh god, that is so pretentious.” I said, clenching my head, the very word making me cringe.
“I think it sounds cool! Makes us sound fancy and shit…” He smiled.
“What are the Long Wingers called then?” I asked.
“Cyberaeros Interceptors…”
“Oh hell no…” I said, shaking my head.
“Dude, that sounds badass…”
“No it doesn’t!” I laughed.
“God, you’re no fun…” He smiled.
“I can be fun.” I said.
“Prove it. I remember those dance moves, boy.” Malcolm said.
“Don’t call me boy. I’m probably older than you.” I said.
“I’m twenty three!” He said challengingly and childishly. I smiled at him, having him beat.
“Twenty four…”
“GAWD!” He growled, getting to his feet. He made his way over to me.
“Um…” I said, unsure what he was about to do. He bit his lip, coming closer and closer. Considering he was a foot taller than me and weighed one hundred pounds more than I did, it had me nervous. He then sat down on the bay floor, looking at me with those smoldering eyes and that boyish grin.
“I lied… I’m actually training to be a Captain as well. I’m going to be the First Wing of the Stealth Platoon… We’re going to be training together for the next three months.” He said.
“Wow.” I giggled. He reached forward, tugging on my leg.
“Come sit with me…” He smiled. I did so, getting on the floor with him, shrugging.
“OK?” I asked.
“Tell me about you…” He said.
“I um,” I giggled, “I don’t know what to say… Are you really going to be a Captain?”
“Yes! I swear!” He laughed, placing a hand over his heart and holding up another hand to the sky. He seemed like nothing but a humungous, flirtatious tease.
“So, this Stealth Platoon...”
“I told you to tell me about you!” He said.
“I don’t know what’s interesting about myself…” I laughed.
“Don’t make me have to start asking the questions…”
“OK, I have a question…”
“...Ask away!” He smiled. It left me laughing, considering how adamant he was on me not asking questions just a handful of seconds ago. This was a rather serious question, though.
“What happened when I blacked out?” I asked.  
“You mean when you blacked out in the dome or when you blacked out, attacking Jarvis?” He asked.
“Ugh,” I laughed, amused by how he responded, “When I blacked out in the dome!”
“Well, Second Wing bombed the creature and we swooped in to pull you all out. The giant plant thingy escaped and flew across the ocean. We all were like what the fuck but we had to get you all out. Then we bombed the fuck out of that place… Liam was lost under the rubble but all the plants were destroyed. I’m not sure if that’s even a bright side to this...” He said.
“Awe, poor Liam… So they can’t recover his body?” I asked.
“I wouldn’t be too concerned about that. The recovery team is second to none.” He smiled.
“How can I not worry?” I asked, laughing.
“I saw how you and Liam would interact….like when you were trying to get him to dance and he wasn’t all that great so you started dancing equally as bad…,” Malcolm laughed, “...Until the thot music began. That’s a topic for another discussion, though. My point is that you were a great friend to him and I want you to think about what he’d say about you moping around right now.”
“Oh god, he hated seeing me sad. He hated it! He probably would do something stupid to make me laugh!” I laughed.
“Well I don’t want to see you sad either.” Malcolm said, smoldering me with those honey eyes, “Do I need to do something stupid to make you laugh? I really want to take your mind off of the miserable shit because it’s harshing my feel goods and I feel really good right now.” He put his hands behind his head, relaxing on the tarmac floor.
“I mean,” I began, “I didn’t know when the next time I would feel remotely well about anything but how you managed to do this… make me smile and shit…  I think you have powers or something.”
“I don’t know about that. But I tend to like to make people smile…” He grinned, still laying on the floor. I was left in a daze, staring at the boy. He was just a gorgeous being, not just physically with his custardy skin and short curly auburn hair. Not simply because he had immaculate cheek bones, a strong and powerful brow paired with juicy, full and supple lips, it was more than that.
It was who he was. He was this funny, genuine and passionate person who could so easily care for others. I tended to avoid people like this but this time, it was different! Maybe I had grown, not quite sure, though. I wouldn’t mind having someone this pure in my life though. This felt like the birth of something, something grand…
Sadly though, the inner slut was calling and I wanted him inside of me. I wasn’t even a bottom but with him, I wanted to do it. I don’t know, maybe it was how much bigger he was than I… I wasn’t going to be the one to make the first move though. No, I was trying to change those slutty ways. I had to bring out the sluttiness in him.
Not wanting the conversation to die, I had to think of something.
“I still don’t believe you’re going to be a Captain… You’re really going to be there with me?” I asked, trying to sound as bubbly as realistically possible.
“I’ll show you…” He smiled, getting to his feet. He grabbed my hand, leading me up the stairs. We walked across the platform to the computer module. He began typing up some prompts. An actuator brought down a strange Helm, flat in the front with draping chainmail. On the ends were strange magnetic bearings that were meant to make a seamless connection with armor it connected to. It was a gorgeous white.
“My new alias will be Snow. I get to meet my new team who also are botched members from other teams. Details are limited though, but there’s an ex Winger being retrained for a role… His name’s going to be Bubo… that’s all I know.” He smiled.
“Bubo?” I asked, “As in eagle owls?”
“Yep!” He said, giddy with excitement.
“And you’re going to be a Snowy Owl?” I asked, completely astounded…
“Yeah. My new armor is under construction,” He said, returning the Helm to it’s case, “But it is not why I’m excited about the New World though.”
“Why’re you excited?” I asked.
“It’s not like how it is over in Eurasia. In the New World, they accept you for who you are… No more hiding who I am because of ignorance.” He said smiling, truly full of anticipation.
“Interesting,” I said, walking over to a window, “So what kind of acceptance you’re looking for?”
“You probably already can tell. I’m gay Denver.” He sighed.
“Welp, so am I. Quite a handful of the guys at the Eurasian Sector are.” I chuckled.
“Really? I was so hard pressed to tell. It wasn’t like I could just simply ask or some shit!” He laughed.
“I used to make my runs… When I got bored of them, I then started venturing off on missions to do it with the locals… It was all on some pointless quest for fulfilment. I was hurting bad over some stuff in my past, trying to find something worthwhile… Maybe to erase my past… I think I was under the impression that pleasure erases pain. No pleasure postpones pain, and only recently I was able to come to terms with that.” I responded.
“I was lucky enough to lose my virginity before I joined the forces. It’s been a hard few years and being in a perpetual closet when you feel out is so fucking frustrating and I wanted to get away from it. Then this little blessing in disguise came along and I took the chance.” Malcolm said.
“I’m supposed to do this mission… and come back to Eurasia. Now that Liam’s dead, I don’t think I wanna go back. There’s nothing for me there and I really want to taste new wines.” I sighed.
“So you’re going to be heading back to Scandinavia?” Malcolm asked, sounding disappointed.
“Yeah,” I sighed, “I mean I don’t want to get my hopes up for this place! I mean, I want it to be terrible! I want it to have me running back to Scandinavia but at the same time I want to know what it truly feels like to be happy. The Eurasian sect is just not healthy for people like us…”
“You don’t care about your team?”
“A part from Marcell and Milan, no. Jarvis can rot and so can Everette… I will miss Captain Wallace though. I can say he almost was like a father figure to me… A father figure I’d have hot bendy sex with… Don’t tell him this!” I laughed.  
“I understand what Jarvis did, but why Everette?” Malcolm asked.
“Everette’s just dumb. Apart from being a gifted Cyber Winger, his head was filled with hot air. And he said some fucking hurtful stuff to Liam who really, really, really liked him. And to see Liam throw his life away to help someone who treated him that way… I don’t know if I can forgive Everette.” I said.
“I understand. You and I are polar opposites. I’d probably cry my ass off into a coma if I’ve lost what you’ve lost. But you… you fight. I’m a big soft teddy bear. Despite literally being a brick wall, I can’t come to hurting people unless I have a reason.” He laughed.
“I mean, I felt pushed. A lot of stuff went on behind the scenes and Jarvis was one manipulative bastard, pulling strings and shit. He tried doing the same shit to me that he did to Everette but the difference between Everette and I is that I’ve known Jarvis for the worst part of seven years. I know when something is up… Despite it all, I hope that Everette has waken up and he understands that Javis is not good for him.” I said.
“What did Jarvis do?” Malcolm asked.
“He tried to seduce me, putting his hand here and there. But when he realized it wouldn’t work, he tried to force me into sex. He wanted to get inside my head because he was threatened. I was inevitably going to be Second Wing and he didn’t want to give up the position, not after the amount of pawing and climbing he had to do to get there. He was a scared kid underneath the perky, arrogant demeanor, a facade so people couldn’t know who he really was and what he came from. If I didn’t hate him so much, I’d almost feel bad for him.” I sighed.
“Damn…” Malcolm said, appalled, “Sorry I asked…”
“It’s fine. He was just an under the rug type person and even then… I don’t know. His nature ended up getting one of the sweetest most innocent kids killed and…. I’m not capable of forgiving that. I simply am not.” I said.
“I understand. You sure you weren’t romantically attracted to Liam in some kind of way? I mean, someone that nice, you couldn’t just let them slip through your hands…”
“It’s strange. Liam had a big crush on me for a long while and I simply didn’t like the kid until I saw his little struggle and had to help him out. There were some feelings there but I’d never act on them. It’d feel damn close to incest…” I said.
“So you’d never bone cute little Liam?” Malcolm asked. I turned to him, disgusted.
“No….” I laughed, truly astounded he’d ask something like that.
“God, I ask some terrible questions. I asked that because I would… He was so my type with his tiny awkward ass. I could just pick him up and tote him places and sit him on my lap and...GOD!!!!” Malcolm said, fantasizing over the boy. It made me smile.
“I would have loved it if Liam ended up with someone like you.” I said.
“I wish I could have gotten to know him better.” Malcolm said, pondering on the past.
“You two would have gotten along great! You have virtually the same personalities.” I laughed.
“We do?” Malcolm asked, enthralled.
“Yeah… You both are inquisitive little cunts, love to be silly, and are so down to earth. I mean, you, personally, are pretty far from the Earth,” I teased, “But, Liam was kind of a stickler for the rules though but you, I don’t get that from you.”
“Yeah, I’m not really one for the rules if I can help it any.” Malcolm smiled.
“You’re not the only one. I often deviate from objectives...particularly the half assed shit they give us to perform.” I sighed. Malcolm laughed at me, feeling it was the truth.
“Now that is something I do all the time!”
“I swear it’s kept me alive.” I smiled.
“You seem like a genius, dude. What you do tactically is impressive.” Malcolm said.
“I am far from a genius. I fuck up so much… At least I’m able to come to terms with it… Also, I’m not the most reasonable person… Ask Raul…” I laughed.
“Huh? Wait… You mean the Levant Winger?” He asked.
“It’s hard to keep tabs on it all, I know but yes. He and I were a thing...a very complicated thing. But I fucked that up, made it so that I thought we were done. I was so spent on leaving that when all was said and done, and we could see what really happened, it was too late. I said somethings I thought were justifiable but truthfully, only to make it clear to Raul that we were really done. I’m just trying to figure out if it was the right decision…” I said, truly wondering.
“You are so vague. Nothing you said offered insight into why….eh nevermind.” Malcolm sighed.
“Well if you want to know everything, I’ll tell you.” I sighed, feeling I had nothing to lose, “As I said, I fuck up a lot and sometimes I do shit that… It tends to be very self centered and self-righting. If I could tell you why I did these things, I probably would be much better off right now...or maybe not. It seems when I act selfishly, shit like this tends to happen.”
“You’re no good at this are you? Are you purposely going off on tangents or is it hard to talk about or..?”
“It started in basics and I couldn’t overcome this alone feeling, like I was there all by myself. I tended to lash out on people, superiors and got punished for it. But I already was a hardened bastard from my hellish childhood so it didn’t faze me. However, this one persistent little dude kept insisting I stop bringing harm upon myself. I was like why the fuck do you care and he never had an answer. I didn’t have that much patience so after about a week of shit I don’t feel like explaining, I decided to fuck his ass up. Instead of fighting, we ended up fucking and I didn’t know he was a virgin… That aggravating ass kid was Raul. He was the person that kept me from feeling alone but not completed. Maybe I had to grow up a little bit and shit but eventually I did. I made him wait for far too long and he got tired. When he found someone else, I was crushed… Surprisingly though, I didn’t want to fight over him. That feeling of being alone though, it came back full force and I...for a about two hours, felt like I had no one. OK, it was longer than two hours, maybe a day and a half…? Raul caught me at a bad time though, after I had been chewed out by Captain, dealing with team drama and talked to Doctor Helm over some very, very, very dark shit. The last thing I wanted to do was deal with relationship drama, but it came. He followed me into Doctor Helm’s workspace and sat somewhere quietly and listened to everything that was said. He learned I was… leaving. Later, he confronted me over leaving and I was like, ‘you were eavesdropping? You are not over me! HAHAHAHAH!’ And he was like ‘you can’t leave.’ Being hurt still, I was like ‘oh yes I can and you can’t make me stay, so HAH!’ Then he brought up shit over how I said I loved him, and about how we couldn’t walk away from this when we just came to terms with our feelings for one another. I was like ‘Oh yes we can…’ He said something that really made me mad though, about how I was using my past as an excuse to get out of it. I started bringing up all the shit I’ve been through and how he knew I didn’t have anybody for a long time… I brought up all the shit I went through, talked about how he was the first person I ever learned to trust again and how he just snatched it from under me. He said it wasn’t fair for me to blame him and indeed it wasn’t. But I did it anyway! I told him he ought to have known what he got himself involved with, that I wasn’t going to be easy. I said something that made him not want to pursue me any further… it kind of was a blur. I was a bit upset. But I just wanted him and I to be completely done which is why I took the argument down that turn. I felt it’d be for both our goods, but now, I’m not so sure...” I explained, trying not to be as vague as before.
“Damn… Sounds like you two loved the hell out of each other. If you could, would you go back to him?” Malcolm asked.
“And be haunted by the fact that I hurt him so much? Be faced with the fact that’d he’d truly never understand what I’ve been through? No, plus he has this new giant hunk of man cake and I’m pretty sure that was a big deciding factor in our argument, that day.” I laughed.
“Well, I’m pretty sure you will find someone here you like… Here’s to ushering a new chapter.” Malcolm smiled.
“I don’t know about that. I mean, I love the idea of ushering in a new start in life but, finding someone else? I never thought I’d say this but I might just devote myself to my work and see where the experience takes me.” I chuckled.
“Well I wish you the best on that.” He said sounding disenchanted, “What’s your ideal type?”
“I never put much thought into it really…” I said, thinking hard, “I don’t care much for aesthetics. I do like a strong sense of adventure and I’d definitely need someone who can ground me. I am a bit crazy and denying this would be to detriment of the relationship! Um, a voice of reason to because as I said, I fuck up a lot and I need two heads on my shoulders. Logic isn’t always my strong point. Oh, and someone who can cook good mushroom curry. I’d devote my whole existence to them for that one thing alone.”
“Mushroom curry?” Malcolm asked, disgusted.
“It was the last meal my parents and I ate together. I used to hate it, then when they died it was all I wanted to eat.” I said, easing onto the floor. I don’t know why but standing on this platform was not very comfortable.
“Oh shit dude,” Malcolm said, surprised, “Your parents are dead?”
“Yeah,” I said, forgetting that I was the only person who really knew about it, “Now that I think back, I didn’t even tell my old team this much about myself. Feel blessed…”
“Man, I don’t know what I’d do if I lost my parents…” He sighed.
“I lost mine when I was nine… If you lost them early on, you’d be as fucked up as I am,” I laughed, “But I don’t know how different I would have turned out if they were still alive. If it would be better than the way I am now, I truly wish they were still around.”
“God, so how’d you grow up without them?” He asked.
“I… I didn’t have a very clean childhood. It involved me doing very grown up things before I grew the first hair on my nut sack. Now that is a portion of my past I am not really comfortable talking about. But I will say this. I had a strong will and was never discouraged…” I smiled.
“Well, my life isn’t all that interesting. I was born and raised in a village in Trinidad. My mom was a seamstress and my dad was a baker. I lived a normal village life until about fifteen which was when I was recruited, due to my stature.” Malcolm said.
“I bet you had no worries or anything, growing up. The next day would come and you wouldn’t be scared to wake up. I’m jealous of that.” I sighed.
“Don’t make me sad over my lame childhood.” Malcolm laughed.
“I’m not trying to, it’s just that...oh who the fuck am I kidding. I’m never having kids.” I laughed.
“You want kids?” Malcolm asked. I couldn’t tell if he was asking in disapproval or out of inquiry.
“Nah,” I said, “I kinda want to be the last remnant of my bloodline. The idea of it, the fact that I could die any given moment, though it terrifies me… I don’t know. It’s something about the tragedy of it all that makes me kind of feel alive. And plus, I’m the last person you want to trust with the life of kids...”
Malcolm looked at me intently for a long while.
“You are one intriguing dude, you know that?” He said.
“The same with you. I hate the last I’ll see of you is in basics.” I said, wondering what it’d be like to spend the rest of my life with someone like him.
“What do you mean?” He asked. It caught me off guard.
“I mean that after these three months, we’re splitting ways. I don’t want that…” I sighed.
“You’re saying?”
“I’m saying that when it’s all over, we won’t see each other again. We’ll be in two halves of the world… I just… I don’t know. It’s gonna be hard not getting too attached to you. I tend to do that.” I laughed.    
“You’re nothing but raw passion. Someone will love the fuck out of you one day!” Malcolm smiled, heading but down the stairs. I looked at him smiling. He disappeared from sight.
“Yeah, but I want you…” I said, with so much longing.
Maybe this was one of those things better left unsaid. I didn’t want to ruin a budding friendship over childish attraction. Still thought, I couldn’t help but fantasize about that fantastic frame of his. He was a lean wall of muscle and I wanted him to wrap me up in it all!. I wanted to know how those pink lips felt and how soft his skin was. I wanted to press my forehead against his and experience a new chemistry in a far off stretch of the world.
Maybe it was too ambitious and I was being stupid for falling for the first person I met. Hell, I even was developing feelings for Liam that I probably never would have came to terms with… Why would someone as gorgeous as Malcolm want a shitty ass person like me? I couldn’t even come to telling him about the dirt of my past for fears that it’d skew his perception of me. It may be destined for me to be alone in this period of time. Perhaps this was some type of retribution for something I did in a past life or some convoluted as shit along the lines…
It didn’t take long for Malcolm to make his way back up the stairs. He looked at me, wondering why I still was sitting on the platform.
“Why the hell are you still up here?” He asked.
“If I told you you’d probably look at me a little bit differently.” I sighed, smiling.
“OK…?” Malcolm said, making his way over towards me.
“I don’t like harboring feelings because they tend to explode, even feelings of these kind. Eh, it probably wouldn’t be too bad of these exploded… Oh God, I’m rambling,” I said getting so embarrassed, “ The thing is, I’m catching swift feelings for you…” I was so nervous about how he’d respond. He dropped to his knees in front of me, leaning forward. He placed a hand under my chin, gently bringing his lips closer to mine. I couldn’t believe what was about to happen. His lips came closer and closer. Ours lips finally met in an overwhelming warmth that just enveloped me. I never felt anything so fiery before… I lost it…
I clambered on top of him, my hands feeling every square inch of his body. They came across the throbbing bulge between his legs. The anticipation for greeting what was between his legs for the first time made me giddy with excitement. I began to unzip his jump suit, wanting more and more. He then suddenly pulled my hand away, looking at me with those big warm eyes.
“What?” I asked, unsure why he stopped.
“Let’s save the moment until after we graduate. It’ll be twelve times as gratifying…” He smiled. It was an odd request but one I was comfortable with.
“You better not forget.” I said.
“I won’t.” He said smiling, kissing me again. It was then I truly realized the type of man he was. He was not some guy who just wanted random flings to treat an urge. He wanted something real, believing in the anticipation of the moment! He had patience, something I’ve never quite seen before. It made me want him all the more!
It was unreal how he could just pull away like this, so easily. How could he deny himself of this, I don’t know, but I’d wait! If he said it’d be a decade and two days, my ass would probably wait on him still. Of all the countless men I’ve dealt with, something was very different about Malcolm and I was dying to know what! Now though, it would be a waiting game.
He kissed me one last time before, I got off of him. He held my hand though, not wanting to let it go. It was a new type of connection I had never before experienced, a form of intimacy that was just so exciting! It was so fresh and exhilarating, it left me starstruck.
“We’re about thirty minutes away from the shore…” He said as we sat on the platform, “We might wanna get ready. The next four weeks are gonna be hell…”
“I never thought I’d ever say I missed training… But I think I need a little hell.” I laughed.
Genuinely, I felt I did. A little physical hardship was like washing your face with chilled water. Probably the hardest aspect though was learning a new group of people. I seriously hoped I wouldn’t be introduced to my squad until my mission actually began. I didn’t want to bond with any new people the way I bonded with my old team. The sheer heartbreak was overbearing and as a leader, I’d have to be strong.
Malcolm got up, walking over to the window. A fleet of ships were near the Nova Scotia coast. There were Mers and Ocean Wingsuit pilots doing routine training drills. Ocean Wingers were some of my favorite wingsuit pilots to see fly. They were genetically engineered giant humans, some eight feet tall, some nine feet tall with wingspans over thirty feet. They were based upon albatrosses and petrels, capable of flying the length of the world without a single wing beat.
As for the Mers, most were simply cybernetic humans with a mechanical fluke and incredible back and thigh muscles. It was so they could swim at the speed of a mad tuna! They ranged in size from tiny to huge, just like Malcolm and I. However the ones that were genetically engineered were menacing sights to behold, the size of pilot whales and as fast as speeding marlin.
Since they functioned underwater, they’ve been wired to have incredibly long breath. They could stay underwater for fifteen and twenty minutes without having to surface. Their eyes could reshape to allow them to see in great detail under water. Their Helm contained an artificial melon that could produce some of the most detailed sonar technology could allow. It was truly wonderful. Not to mention, they had razor sharp scutes lining their tails so they can battle out against foes under water.
Now I respect the Mers and the UCNC all together, but seriously? All that damn swimming and shit? I’d grow tired of it! Flying is where it is at, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
“Come look!” Malcolm said. I got up, seeing a massive Ocean Wingsuit pilot gliding in close to the ship. It was huge, three times the size of the Merlin Suit.
“Wow,” I said, “It’s crazy how something like that can even fly…”
“It’s in the wings and metal armor.” Malcolm said.
“Our armor is made out of a gravitanium-titanium alloy that when charged, repels gravity. You don’t actually think we giants can get off the ground by actually flapping and being powerful enough?” Malcolm asked.
“I thought the liquid flesh contributed to our added power!” I laughed.
“It does; it’s a major contributor. But the other major contributor are the gravitanium scutes which form our wings. When they are charged, they reduce our weight down to a mere thirty to fifty pounds. That makes our wing loading virtually none existent and for it to be very easy to pump lots of power into our flight.” He said.
“Gravitanium… where have I heard that before?” I asked, trying to remember.
“You’ve heard it before?”
“I think Dr. Helm may have mentioned it. I don’t know...the past week has been one of the most dramatic of my life. So much has happened, it’s hard to keep tabs on. I’m happy for this change of pace.” I sighed.
“I’m happy for you too.” He smiled, continuing to look out the window.
“Labrador, here we come…” I said, giddy with anticipation.
When the ship touched down in southern Labrador, my heart pounded. We stood by our trunks as the bay doors opened. A drill sergeant stood there, looking fierce.
“OFF THE SHIP!!! OFF THE SHIP NOW!!!!” He screamed. We swiftly rolled our trunks down the ramp to the landing pad, “INSIDE THE BUILDING!”
We hurried down the stairs, the drill sergeant staying behind us. We entered a set of barracks with other grunts standing at attention. There were only two beds left, at the far north corner of the building. Malcolm and I placed our trunks in front of the beds, standing at attention with the rest of the men.
“Now that the two late comers are here, time for your debriefing,” The drill sergeant said, prowling up and down the thirty something odd men, “Each and everyone of you will be our next leaders, the ones who take initiative to take charge on the battle field. Lives will be in your hands and you will have the power to command over large groups.With that power comes great responsibility and this is what this place is for… To break you down and make you anew. If you think you were already broken down in basics, you haven’t seen shit! You will all wish you were in hell because this place will make you look at hell and say...damn. That’s a fucking tropical island resort right there! You all may try to be friends in here, but I wouldn’t recommend it. You’re going to be so exhausted after each day, you’ll look at each other and be like, fuck you… I’m sleeping. There will not only be controlled in the lab training, but there will be live training...on actual missions. As my leaders, you will need to learn to lead, to compromise, to support those who can’t support themselves and learn to sacrifice what needs to be sacrificed. Some of you will crack under the pressure, while others will triumph. I’m just gonna be real with you, I already can tell who is going to crack and who isn’t. I know who’s soft and has not a single bone capable of trudging through a challenge. I will rule you out, and eliminate you from my force! You all better be ready, because I know I am! Do I make myself clear?”
“YES SIR!” We all shouted.
God, this man was right! Right off the rip, we had to do a twenty mile jog. Then after, we had to do two hundred planks and five hundred pushups while he watched us. Not only that but we had so stand motionless in this cold, no shivering. This shit was so brutal and grueling, it lasted for three weeks. However, after about the first week, it was adaptable.
On an early morning Jog, Malcolm lagged behind. There was no particular reason, he just was last because of the way we lined up.
“What are you doing? You’re getting weak on me boy?” The drill sergeant asked.
“NO SIR!” Malcolm quickly responded.
“Get your ass to the front of the line, NOW!” The drill sergeant demanded. Malcolm quickly ran to the front of the group, returning to his pace.
It wasn’t the last time Malcolm was chewed out by the sergeant. He was the biggest toughest looking thing here. I know the drill sergeant wanted to see what he was made of. It was tedious watching because I wanted Malcolm to succeed as much as I wanted to be successful. Considering how we were trained to respond, it was hard to tell if Malcolm was taking it hard, any. God, it was nerve racking.
They called the time period for this segment of training, ‘Three Weeks of Purgatory.’ If hell hadn’t started yet, I was very, very, very concerned over what hell was. Once the three weeks were finished, we could not sigh a sigh of relief. No, our torment had only just begun. We stood at attention out on the field, freezing but not shivering.
“Now I’m surprised,” Drill sergeant said, prowling around, “...That you boys made it through Three Weeks of Purgatory without me having to send one of you home. Now I will send you to hell for the next three weeks…” A malevolent smile could have came across his face, but no he kept the same mug he always held.
“What you will be doing is surviving knife and hand out in the wilds for the next three weeks… No radios, no guns, no tents, no anything except a knife and a piece of flint. Not only will you face rain, wet and sheer cold, you will face off against some of the most formidable creatures in the world! There are mammoths, wooly rhinoceroses, megaceroses, direwolves, cave lions, smilodons, and the oh so grand arctodus... all brought back from extinction to kill you! You are to travel from the south end of Labrador to the north… There’ll be markers if you get lost...because you will. I have only one recommendation out there… Don’t die! Oh, and I almost forgot,” He said as he just began to walk away, “You will have partners… the first fifteen of you, go to the spinning barrel, pull the lever and let it dispense a name. That name will be your partner. Don’t try anything funny because I will know. Do not make bands to try and survive because that makes you a bigger target for shit that wants kill you.”
I was not the first fifteen. I stood there, very worried as the row in front of me went to the dispenser. I hoped that chance would allow my name to fall when Malcolm pulled the lever. The thing was though, he was number fifteen in the first two rows and I was number one in the last two rows. It was because we tried to walk together, not taking into consideration we were in the very middle of the group. Even when we lined up, seven by eight, it had not dawned on us then...not until the drill instructor gave us the news.
The first dude, went to the dispenser pulling the lever. A strip of paper came out like an automated receipt. He pulled it, looking at the name.
“Daniel?” He asked, not sure who it was. The third guy over from me held up his hand. He hesitantly walked over to his mate, the two walking over towards the drill sergeant. He handed one a survival knife and the other a flint. The two young men looked at each other, obviously being the first time they met.
“GO!!! The fuck ya’ll just standing there for??” The drill instructor demanded. The two boys looked on lost, unsure what he meant. Nonetheless, the two headed towards the nearest woods within the restricted area.
“Those two are going to end up bear lunch…” The drill instructor said, shaking his head.
It had me lost. Where are we supposed to going? We’re in the middle of base camp and not given any clues to what the fuck he meant. I looked around as another person dispensed a name.
“Rafael?” He called out. The guy behind me ventured forth, he and his mate heading over to the drill instructor. He handed a machete to the one who pulled the lever and gave Rafael a flint.
“Let’s see if you two get it right,” He said, watching the two boys wander around, unsure what to do, “Nope…” He sighed, waiting for the next two.
“What the fuck are we supposed to be doing?” I heard someone whisper.
“I don’t know.” Someone said back.
Still searching around, I looked to the fencing several hundred yards away. The gate was opened but it wasn’t clear why. I guess we were supposed to head out that way... I wasn’t too sure. Another name was called and another guy came forward. They two disappointed the drill instructor yet again.
Then something dreadful happened. My name was called and it wasn’t Malcolm calling it. It was some gross, hardened looking dude from...I’m guessing the Southern Remnants based on his accent. Seriously, this dude looked like he could chew me up and spit me out. We walked over to the Drill instructor. The ruffian was handed a stout blade and I was handed...not a flint but a scorcher… It may seemed that a scorcher was more useful due to how easily it could start a fire, but it was a trick… In a damp environment, a scorcher was useless and this place was fucking WET!!!!!
The drill instructor looked at us, no faith whatsoever. My partner was as lost as everyone else. He ventured forth, heading where the other guys went.
“Dude…” I said, grabbing his arm. He looked down at my hand, appalled that I touched him. With my free hand I discreetly pointed to the east gate. He looked for a long while, his vision not being so perfect.
“Trust me, dude…” I said.
He was full of reluctance. Still, I walked to the east gate, he having no choice but to follow.
“Thank you! Thank you for being the first dumbasses to get it right… Don’t die, now!” The instructor said, as reassuringly as he could muster. I looked back at Malcolm, wishing it would have been him I was partnered with instead of this mess… Malcolm gave me a discreet nod and it was all I needed. It just wanted to know he was fine with this. It felt strange, like I was cheating on him but...Malcolm and I weren’t even a thing… yet.
This gross looking dude and I headed towards the gate. Two armed guards gave us a nod. I was polite enough to nod back but not this dude. He was about my height, maybe a little taller. He was very, very bulky with broad muscular shoulders and an overly aggressive gait. His face was what I found gross. He wasn’t by any means ugly, in fact he was quite handsome! He just had so many scars, cuts and scrapes, and a permanent scowl that showed he was one not to be reckoned with.
As we passed the gate, he wadded up all the saliva in his mouth and spat on the ground. He put the stout blade in his pack and walked along, his fists clenched like he had something to prove. I didn’t know what I was dealing with but something had to give. We were simply walking aimlessly east, when we should be heading northwest.
“We’re heading the wrong way…” I said. He looked at me, surprised I spoke… I didn’t get it…
I turned heading northward. He gave an eyeroll and followed. We walked for hours, the giant pine trees seeming to follow our movements as we continued along. It was foggy out here with very low visibility. It was then I noticed all had become quiet, not even a bird chirped.
“Hey…” I said. The dude turned to look at me, not pleased that I stopped. Again, he said nothing.
“Something’s in these parts…” I said. He shrugged, unsure what the hell I was talking about.
“Something big and predatory is near us… I’m warning you that we need to be careful!” I said. He looked at me, unsure why I felt the need to tell him this, as if he already knew. He slowly turned back around, continuing forth.
I sighed, hoping this fool wouldn’t get us killed. I tuned in with my eyes and ears, for any sounds any possible threats. The dude simply meandered through the forest, making so much noise it wasn’t even funny. Still though, it was too silent. Despite the excessive noise he made, I could hear the faint growls of bear cubs...close!
As we neared a giant pine with a massive root blocking the view of a sloping riverbank, I grabbed the idiot pushing him flush against the tree. As soon as we did, an eleven foot tall short-faced bear reared up. She sniffed, smelling the scent of humans. I looked at the dude, utterly terrified as he could see the bear but it couldn’t see us. I grabbed his face, making him focus on me. I pointed up the tree, showing him that we needed to climb. I scurried up the tree, the boy following. We watched as the mother bear and her children fled the area, leaving an elk kill behind.
I looked at the boy, stupefied by the fact that he was just walking blindly.  
“You’re stupid…” I said plainly. He looked enraged, surprised by my nerve.
“Excuse you?” He said, challengingly.
“You walked right up on a mother short-faced bear while she and her cubs were feeding! Do you know how dead you would have been?” I asked. He was at a loss for words.
“Look,” I sighed, “I’m going to need you to drop this bullshit attitude you’re carrying and think about surviving! We have to walk two hundred fifty miles through taiga and tundra and I can guarantee you that this will not be the last time we run into some creatures…”
I looked around for any signs of the bear and her cubs. It seemed they had disappeared. I climbed down the tree, looking at the elk carcass. The meat looked fresh enough…
“Come on.” I said. The boy followed me down to the river bed. I constantly looked around, not being a fan of being at the lowest point when there was so much high ground around. The dude stood at the top of the embankment, nervous.
“Bring me your knife.” I said.
“No, I’m not going down there!” He said.
“Do you want to eat tonight?” I asked. He said nothing, but I knew his obvious answer, “Well I suggest you bring me the knife so we can get the fuck out of here!”
He reluctantly did so, quick to clamber back to the top of the embankment. I cut us some meat off the flank of the dead elk, placing them in resealable bags I snuck out of the camp. They would conceal the smell of the meat and keep the meat from spoiling in the air. I then washed my hands and the knife off in the stream, leaving no blood trail. I also put his knife in my pack, not trusting the boy with anything...even his own life.
“Come on…” I said, quick to make my way across to the other side of the embankment. He followed, constantly looking over his shoulder to make sure no creature was in pursuit.
We traveled quite far, eventually setting up camp on a wooded slope next to a large tree. Nothing could sneak up behind us and we could climb the tree if something menacing came our way. I started us a fire and made the dumbass collect bedding material so we could be warm. It was probably going to drop well below freezing here tonight. I hoped the other trainees were safe… especially Malcolm.
“So,” I began, “Where are you from?”
“Southern Remnants…” The boy sighed.
“I figured…”
“What do you mean you figured?” The boy asked, offended.
“The way you carry yourself, like you’re the shit… people from the Southern Remnants only do that.” I sighed.
“What do you mean?”
“Do you really want me to go there?”
“You might as well! You’ve been talking shit to me all day!” He said, very upset.
“Awe poor baby. I didn’t mean to make life and death seem so...ya know…. seem so much of a priority! I’m just saying, this little attitude you carry is so pathetic… You realize not everyone you meet will be white, you superiors will not all be white, your inferiors will not all be white, and this world you live in is not white! I know people like you! You’re from the Brunswick Confederacy. My mother was one of you and was shunned because she married a man of another race…”
“I don’t care about your mother…” He interrupted, the only thing he got out of it.
“It’s not about her… It’s about you kid… I’m trying to be nice to you because we’re going to spend the next three weeks traveling together and tell you what shit I will and won’t tolerate. Your little meandering and shit almost got us killed today… I don’t care if you are a racist… At least for the duration of this expedition, let’s put our differences aside.” I sighed.
“I’m not a racist…” He argued back.
“Keep lying to yourself…” I said, resting my head against the tree. He looked at me for a long time, obviously very angry. I thought it was because he was just as arrogant as I was as to why he spoke so little but no, he was a man of few words. I didn’t think he was all of that intelligent, and definitely not used to this climate.
“...Are you from here?” He mustered to ask.
“No…” I said, my response catching him by surprise.
“You know this place so well and have a funny accent. I just wondered where you’re from?” He responded.
“It’s hard to say. I was born in the Brunswick Confederacy… but quickly relocated to the Great Wind Fields, then to the Texas Swamplands, then back to the Wind Fields, then back to the Southern Remnants then to the Virgin Islands before I moved to the British Isles. The Caribbean and British accent stuck, I guess.” I sighed.
“Damn, I’ve only lived in the Brunswick Confederacy. I’ve never seen a person of another race. What are you?” He asked.
“Well… If you want specifics, Aryan, Semitic, North Mongoloid and Congoid. I know that’s how you Americans like your race talk…” I joked.
“I didn’t understand a word you said…”
“Oh, God… White and Black just…” I sighed.
“Why didn’t you just say that in the beginning?”
“Why couldn’t you have picked up a book and read this information for yourself? As a human, it’s your duty to know about your species…” I said, sounding very disappointed. I wasn’t really. He seemed fun to fuck with.
“I...I,” He stammered, “I only recently learned to read...like early this year. My parents didn’t allow books…”
“Eh, sounds like a cult…” I sighed.
“A cult?” He asked.
“I’m only joking dude.” I said, thinking he was getting defensive again.
“No, I mean what is a cult?” He asked.
“It’s an extreme religious group that brainwashes others and tries to make everyone function the same, beleive the same and fall in line the same… Scary stuff really.” I explained.
“That sounds exactly like what it is. My folks tried to kill me when I told them I wanted to leave. I told them I wouldn’t go...but left anyway. Haven’t spoken to them since…” He said.
“What’s the family name?” I asked.
“Cocovich…” He said. I smiled at him, surprised by the coincidence.
“We might be cousins…” I laughed, jokingly.
“What?” He said, leaning up startled.
“That was my mother’s last name. It’s not a very common last name down South… Her first name was Cynthia.”  
“Cynthia?” He asked, seeming to come to a realization.
“Ringing any bells?” I asked, laughing.
“Yeah… We definitely are relatives. My mother’s blood sister’s name was Cynthia and they said she was stolen by a nigg….um black person.” He said.
“I wouldn’t say stolen, maybe banished.” I smiled.
“I can believe that…” He sighed, ashamed of his grandparents, “What’s your name though?”
“Wow, my name’s Dallas.” He chuckled.
“That’s just weird… So I really do have family?” I asked, this being truly shocking.
“Why do you...wait? What happened? Did something happen to your parents?” He asked.
“Yeah, they died when I was about nine.” I laughed, not really sweating it.
“Awe, dude!” He said, full of sympathy.
“NOPE, don’t do that! If it’s one thing I hate it’s being pitied!” I said, shaking my head.
“What were they like?” He asked.
“Your parents?”
“Oh, they were tough. I thought they were super heroes growing up. They taught me survival stuff from the time I could walk and talk. My dad taught my sign language from the time I could sit up so we could communicate and I could learn. I don’t know, I had to grow up fast because we never stayed in a place long. But I’m thankful for what they taught me…”
“Man, I don’t know shit! The only thing related to survival that I know is how to start a fire…”
“We got three weeks. I can teach you all I know, starting with the fauna... The giant bear we faced, that’s Arctotherium. It’s the biggest land predator in the world and one of the fastest. Just because it’s chubby doesn’t mean it can’t hunt you down! It can maintain a speed of forty miles an hour for an extremely long period of time. Your best defense, scoot up a damn tree and pray that son of a bitch is too big to climb. You have your cave lions, smilodons and dire wolves… fortunately we can outrun them, particularly the cats. The issue with the cats though, you never see them coming. The dire wolves can sprint for quite a distance and will not give up easily. Unlike most other creatures, they are not scared of fire and are attracted to the smell of something cooking. Fortunately though, we can scurry up a tree from all these creatures… It’s best we stay in the forest and do not venture to the open grasslands unless it is of utmost necessity. In the event of this having to to happen, I want you to stay put. I’ll come back for you. In the mean time, we’re gonna have to make spears, maces and bows or whatever because that damn knife…” I sighed.
“Eh, OK…” He said, sounding daunted.
I didn’t think much of it. I did so rightfully because guess what, this boy was so eager to learn. The next few weeks blazed by despite the...being chased down and almost killed by a short-faced bear a handful of time and having to shoot and kill some wolves to send a message to their pack. Even a smilodon gave us a fright when we disappeared up a tree due to the creature’s twenty foot vertical. Probably the worst scare of all was when we got chased up a tree by a seven hundred pound lion. Fortunately our smaller frames fueled by cybernetic strength allowed us to climb out of reach of the massive ambush hunter.
When we reached the objective point, we were so relieved. To our surprise, we were one of the first teams to make it. Within the twenty four hours, nine teams had made it, some not unscathed. Each team had bows, clubs and other weapons built, the leading team having made pelts from wolf hides and blow darts from their bones. The six other teams were missing but thankfully, Malcolm and his partner made it. They were third, Malcolm having built a hatchet out of river stone and… mammoth bone? Eh, I don’t know…  His partner had a… yeah it was mammoth bone, club. They must have had to come across a carcass. Malcolm and I exchanged brief glances and smiles, not wanting to draw attention to our budding romance.
The Drill Sergeant came with other grunts in the back of his Jeep. He parked it in front of us, picking up his megaphone.
“You are our elite few worthy to be Captains of the Cybernetic Militia. You have proven yourself in this chilly hell and now are ready for the next step of hell… Now get back to base...you have one week.” He said. He sat back in the jeep, leaving us there in the wilderness, hundreds of miles away.
“So he’s just gonna leave us here?” Someone said, utterly flabbergasted.
“I almost died!” Another trainee cried.
“We got to travel all that way in one week!” A grunt groveled.
“I don’t even remember the way back…” Someone said, clenching their head.
The whole time, Malcolm and I looked at each other, smiling. I was so happy to see him with no restraints and regiments keeping us at bay. We may have been in a very dangerous location but it was nonetheless still nice. I walked over to him, unable to contain it. He wrapped me up in a big hug, lifting me completely off the ground. He kissed me, obviously having longed for me this entire time.
“Easy lover boys… We got a long walk back…” A trainee smiled.  


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