Kiraling – Part 04 (Chapter 10-12)
Written by anonxyzus :: [Friday, 14 March 2014 21:50] Last updated by :: [Friday, 26 August 2016 10:27]
Kiraling is set in a variation of Shadar’s Aurora Universe, and borrows characters created by Shadar.
Kiraling is a story of a wounded, and in some ways broken, human being who finds himself involved with three super women, and explores that relationship from his point of view.
Thanks to Shadar for his advice and counsel, and not a little bit of editing.
I took my meds, loaded up the car and started the long drive back to Federal Way. When I got to my parents house I made dinner and started to think about my future. I still had three years left on my contract with the army. Given my left leg still didn’t work right I thought my chances for promotion were slim. I couldn’t pass the timed run portion of the PT test. I needed to start thinking of what to do when I left the Army.
Whatever it was I was going to do, I didn’t think I wanted to do it out of this house. This is where I grew up and I had great memories here, but it was a lot bigger than what I needed. And it felt like mom and dad’s home, while the cabin felt like my home. So I thought I’d talk to my therapist about the idea of selling the house and moving on base when I had to be there and living at the cabin when I didn’t.
The next day I went to see my therapist and talked to her about my plans, and she said they sounded okay to her. She also gave me a surprise. I was assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion and between her and the other docs they had determined that I could return to light duty and I was informed that I would get CQ that weekend.
Oh great. CQ means Charge of Quarters. It is a 24 hour shift.
Let me tell you about the American soldier who is 18 or 19 years old. He’s highly trained and motivated to win when he goes into combat. He puts his mission above everything else and executes his orders to the best of his ability. And to him, “no man left behind” isn’t a platitude. It is his moral code. That’s the American Soldier in combat and the American people should be proud of him.
Now take that same 18 or 19 year old American Soldier, put him back in the states, take his weapon away, house him in a barracks with other soldiers who are old enough to purchase alcohol and give him a weekend off. Do you know what you have now? An 18 or 19 year old with too much time on his hands and too much money in his wallet and way too much energy.
To solve this problem God created sergeants and assigned them to CQ. Or the army did. Sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart. My job during CQ was to sit at a desk, near the entrance to the barracks, monitor everyone coming in and out, and make a private assigned to CQ with me keep the entrance restroom clean and check the laundry room.
For whatever reason, the occupants of this barracks had a curfew this weekend, and so I also had to perform bed checks.
Now I’ve had CQ duty before. Many times. But not since I came back from Afghanistan. I wasn’t worried, I knew how to be a sergeant, but I was apprehensive as to how they would react to my appearance. It turned out that I didn’t have to worry. It seems getting your face and head damn near blown off makes you something of a celebrity, and a number of the privates wanted to hear war stories.
Curfew time came along and I got all the children tucked into their beds and sat down to a long night of reading and bossing the private around. At about 2 in the morning the private was off checking the laundry room when I heard a tap-tap-tap sound on the window next to me. I turned to look and nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw Xara, upside down, with her hair hanging down below the window sill, smiling at me. She beckoned to me to come outside.
I went outside and looked around and nearly jumped out of my skin again when someone, it was Xara, tapped me on the shoulder. Christ almighty, if it wasn’t for my meds I would have chewed her out at the top of my lungs. Hint: Don’t ever sneak up behind a soldier suffering from combat related PTSD and tap him on the shoulder. It doesn’t do anything good for his heart and he’s likely to deck you.
“Xara!” I whispered, loudly, “What are you doing here?” I seem to ask her that a lot.
“Mom sent me. She wants me to get your measurements.”
“My measurements! What the hell for?” I asked her.
“It’s a surprise. Now stand up straight,” she said.
I did, and she just looked me up and down. Then she took my hands, one at a time, and held them straight out. Then she walked around behind me, and back to the front of me.
“All done,” she said.
“Wait, you didn’t measure anything,” I said.
“Sure did,” she replied, and then she rattled off all my measurements to prove it. I suppose I would have been really impressed if I knew my own measurements beyond my waist and inseam. But she got those right, so I just assumed she must have gotten the others right.
“How did you find me?” I asked her.
“I checked the cabin,” she said, “then your house then all these buildings around here. It didn’t take long.”
Then she gave me a hug, kissed me on the cheek, and said “bye,” before she floated up into the night and out of sight.
To: Chief Administrator Protector Corps
From: Chief Administrator Scribe Corps
Subject: Investigation into Scribe attack on Arions in Terra System
Jul’ie, as the allegations have been made against one of our Scribes, I feel it my responsibility to conduct the investigation and make the report to the Senate. I will dispatch an investigator within the next six months (Velorian time) and will share with you any information we are able to obtain.
I have also been informed by the Messenger Corps that one of their people may know something of this and he has been ordered to cooperate with our investigation.
The Warrior Transition Battalion had a brand new barracks. To be sure, the WTB is still under Madigan and is considered a medical treatment unit, but also helps soldiers transition back to full duty. Soldiers in the WTB are given the opportunity to create their own transition plans. Given my combat experience and the influx of new soldiers into the army I thought I could help with training.
First things first though. I moved into the WTB barracks and moved all my personal possessions out of mom and dad’s house and into the cabin. About a dozen privates from the barracks where I had CQ volunteered to help me move, which was a big help. Then I contracted with a company to hold an estate sale to sell everything in the house and donate what didn’t sell to charity, or take it to the dump.
After moving, I took the privates who helped me move to a local bar to buy them all a beer. Even though I was on my meds, I was a little nervous about this. My experiences going out in public in Bellingham and Federal Way had not been positive. I always felt like I stood out and got a lot of unwelcoming stares from people. But I was with a friendly group, so I thought the problems would be minimal.
The problems weren’t minimal. They were nonexistent. Much to my surprise I didn’t even have to pay for that first round of beers. People, civilians, came up to me all night long and shook my hand and thanked me for my service. Neither I nor the soldiers with me paid for a single drink. I wish I could tell you that after that everything was sunshine and flowers, but it wasn’t. Around base, as I learned, people were very friendly towards service men and women and held wounded soldiers in very high regard. But further from base the reaction to me was different. In Seattle in some places it was downright hostile.
From: Chief Investigator Alla’na
To: Chief Administrator Scribe Corps
Subject: Investigation into Scribe attack on Arions in Terra System
I have interviewed the Messenger said to have been present when the Scribe Shara’Lynn allegedly attacked the Arions. According to this Messenger the Arions had captured him, Shara’Lynn, the unsanctioned Protector Kara Zor’el, who the Senate tolerates on Terra, and her “daughter,” the illegal spawn Xara Zor’el.
The Messenger claims that all four had been captured and beaten by a team of Arions consisting of a Prime and an undetermined number of Betas. He further claims that they were rescued by a Terran male, who engaged the Arions with a primitive Terran firearm, then disarmed a Beta and used his weapon against him. The Terran then incapacitated the Prime long enough to free the two Zor’ Els and the Scribe. The Messenger says he was bound and blind during this activity and could hear what was happening, but could see nothing. He says that the Terran personally killed at least three Betas and the two Zor’ Els killed the Prime. He is not aware of any offensive activity by the Scribe against the Arions, though if his report that the Arions captured the Scribe is true, we have a justifiable action. He also claims that all four Velorians have claimed the Terran as a Kiraling Mate.
I am highly doubtful of the veracity of this information. The Messenger was bound and temporarily blind during the time the frail came on the scene, which in itself casts doubt on his report. However, after employing enhanced interrogation techniques it became clear that the Messenger believes what he said.
As you and I are both aware, frails, confronted by a Supremis, die. It is beyond belief that a Terran could have engaged one, let alone multiple Arions, and survived. This entire episode stinks of a plot hatched by Kara Zor‘el, no doubt to gain the good graces of the Senate and legitimize her bastard child.
I propose that the frail in question, one “Joseph Ricci” be detained and questioned. If you concur I would ask for direction in how vigorously I may interrogate him.
I met with a realtor on a Monday and put the house in Federal Way up for sale. The realtor told me the market was very bleak, and to be prepared to come down on my asking price, that there were a lot of quality homes on the market in the area and nothing was selling quickly. On Friday of that same week the realtor called to tell me I had an offer, for my full asking price, from some executive from a California pharmaceuticals company who was looking for empty properties that she could buy as an investment. A week later the sale closed and the realtor turned over the keys to the new owner, Lisa Banks, and I deposited a cashier’s check for a very respectable amount of money.
From: Chief Administrator Scribe Corps
To: Chief Investigator Alla’na
Subject: Interrogation of Terran male
I agree that the story told by the Messenger is outlandish, and agree that Kara Zor’el is likely behind this. I will inform the Senate that the Scribe Shara’ Lynn has been absolved of any protocol violation. The fact that the Arions captured her frees her to defend herself in any manner she may choose. If an Arion dies as a result, then so much the better.
I concur with your plan to detain and interrogate the Terran known as “Joseph Ricci”. I further authorize you to use all means at your disposal up to and including the use of lethal force to uncover evidence of a plot by Kara Zor’el.
Should you find it necessary to maim the frail, or if he is unable to survive your interrogation, the corpse is to be vaporized.
I further instruct you to destroy all communications on this matter. There are those in powerful positions who hold frails in much higher regard than you and I do.