Boris had something to take care of, and will come in shortly, as he said to Johnny.
The news gave me even more hope and energy for my new – and maybe last - so hard-looking mission...
„Hazy?“ Johnny must have noticed the expression on my face, as his tired blue eyes were now glued to mine. „You... have seen someone..?“ I lit another Nukaborro. So did Johnny, looking at me as if I was his own father. Who knows where his bones lie now? Poor kid... Lucky kid...
We were sitting in front of our commscreen. The dim lights dancing gloomishly on the concrete walls were enough for us to see and read each other’s eyes. Two tired soldiers in urban camo uniforms not knowing what lies ahead... Just as anyone else... IF there is anyone else, but us and Boris. If we just had a dog, or some other pet... „Ahem...“ Johnny was still looking at me expectantly.
„I saw... I saw my Dad, Johnny. And he gave me... us a mission.“ „You saw... the Colonel?“ „Yea... I did... And he spoke to me... Told me that Boris is nearby... Can you believe this..?“ „Yea... Seriously... I’m just a kid compared to you, but I know quite a lot.“ „Uh-huh. That’s why you are in this unit...“ He smiled. „I know a lot about the other side... Of the same coin.“ I nodded. „One and the same, that’s our and their side of the Existing, Johnny. Maybe we will be seeing a lot of the other side in the future... Any damn thing is possible now, son... Even the mission - that we will become the rescuers. And for me to re-form the Death Berrets.“ He rose an eyebrow, whispering slowly „The Berrets..?“ „Yea. You and Boris will be my students. And this structure and maybe the Ft. Constantine will be our training ground.“ „But... but... How do we get to Boris..? A-and how could you teach us the Art? Ya ain’t a Berret, Hazy.“ I stood up and went towards my locker. „I wasn’t, you mean.“ The locker door squeaked and I closed it, displaying to Johnny three black berrets with the distinguishing grinning white skull cocades on them. „These and a few more of these are all that’s left of the original Berrets. They’re all dead. Remember the story of my Dad’s last mission?“ He nodded. „Well, they all went there. None returned... And my old man had this delivered to me, to remind me of him. He trained me in all he ever learned. And I will train both you and Boris for I am... *heavy and kinda paiful sigh* For I am the last who may be qualified as a Beret...“ Johnny stood up and attenshun. “Truth, my old man ordered me never to join, but now, that’s history. He never mentioned what to do if a nuclear war happens, but this is exactly what he’d do if he were me now. Now, I have to use all I have - and more - and to rely on everyone I have – and that’s you two.“ I put my berret on my head, carefully setting it right. „Cpl. Jonathan-Johnny Anderson, I hereby name you a Death Berret Recruit.“ *Salute to each other* „Here’s your new hair, Johhny.“ I handed him his berret. „Wear it with honor of a good human and good soldier, as now you are nothing but that.“ It fitted him really nice. Some girl would fall for it, that’s for damn sure. We sat down again. I opened my flask of brandy and offered it to him. He took a good swing and smiled... „Huh?“ I also kinda smiled curiously. „The skulls are grinning at each other...“ *Staring at each other’s cocade...*
„Bwahahahahah!“ we were LOLing like this for a minute, or so. Well, you see, the stress’s gotta get out, right? What’s better for that, than laughter? Even now...
„Yea, just let them grin. Better these, than our own, right..?“ *Making a skull-like grin* „Bwahahahahah!“
Some minutes later...
„And how the hell’re we supposed to reach Boris, Hazy?“ I nodded towards the generator room. “There’s a door there.“ „Yea, I know of it.“ „But never opened it, as it reads: ’CP only.’ Well, behind it, there’s a really long and damn dark tunnel to Constantine. Never used so far, I s’pose. ’Ts gonna take sum guts to step in it, not ta mention reachin’ its other side. Waitin’ till rads die down to go there by surf’s abso-frackin’-lutely otta question. We don’t know a damn thing ’bout what’s out there. We gotto go there like rats, heheh.“ „No prob. I used to play Indiana Johnes in a deserted old fallout shelter and wherenot and, after all, the Iron Maiden’s ’Fear of the Dark’ is my favorite.“ „Hahah, they’re mine favs too. Here...“ I went to my locker again and took my MicroDisc copy of the ancient Fear of the Dark Album. Computer accepted it and the sounds filled our little room. „And also, you are a Johnny, righto?“ „Yea!“
As we listened to the disc over and over, waiting for Boris to come in, I was making Johnny familiar with my plans for the immediate future. „The supplies’re gonna last for some fifty days, kiddo.“ „Fifty? Wait... The Captain and others..? Dead..?“ „That’s for damn sure, kiddo. Unfortunately... The blast and/or rads killed ’em. Adams AFB was damn close and that was a damned 5 MT nuke. Such a monster would level an entire city, not to mention the open country. It was a ground-level explosion... A hell of a way to destroy an AFB. AND a lot of fallout... Plus that shockwave and fire... Gamma-photons and crap... Noone who wasn’t really well protected stood a damn chance, kiddo. Out there, it looks just like in the old video-games, that’s for damn sure...“ Johnny nodded slowly.
„We have to stay here at least for a month, until the rads let go in a way, and maybe longer. During that time, I will train both of you as best as I can and I’ll learn from you also – for a Sensei always learns from their students. We will also scrounge every corner of Constantine and SatCom 1 for anything that we need and stash it all so, as to be handy – guns, ammo antirad meds, food, etc. That, and everything else you find worthwile, you drag right to me, and don't forget to raid all the lockers but our, got it?“ He nodded.
„Also, we’ll definitely need to get a hang of WTF really ’appened in the world, what’s the situation out there, and whether there’s some intact settlement within a coverable distance. And we’ll need a transportation, too, if there’s anything that can run. Boris used to be a hobby car and robot mechanic and to tinker with any junk you could find. A real Mecha-Hudini, kiddo. This work of his might just as well be a runner... Or sumthin like a runner.“ „Well, yea, he mentioned sumthin’ ’bout runnin’.“ „Heh, did he? That’s it then. There’s a whole damn vehicle park park in Const... And also a whole frackin’ company-worth supply of Sentrybots, kiddo. Those mean madafrackers with gatling laser guns. That’s the way to guard a nukes storage... Waitaminute... When about Const... It wasn’t hit, and I really wonder WTH not. Hmmm... The Reds are definitely somewhere in the area, kiddo. I see no other reason why not. Such an explosion would level this part of the States, man. So yea, they’re here somewhere. If you see any, shoot to kill. We are at war. Un-frackin’-fortunatelly...“ Johnny listened to me even more closely.
„I just love their art and I also speak, read and write Chinese. And also Japanese. I know a lot about the Eastern thought. I also have a master degree in Jeet-Kune-Do, you know. Not just Budo. And I like their kitchen... And women...“ we both smiled for a moment. „My wife’s grandma was a pure American Chinese. Boy, was she a beauty. And now... Now it’s all gone. The States... China... Poof... Frackin’ finito, kiddo.“ We both wiped our new faithful little friends, the tears.
„Our mission...“ he nodded, listening carefully „...is ’to save women, children and men.’“ „Maybe I find someone... A girl for me...“ „You will, kiddo.“ I shook his shoulder. „And I will also, but I don’t really think I’ll have some more kids anymore. And when about kids... When the time comes... If you want them... Don’t rush, Johnny. First we’d have to find or create a reasonable surrounding for a kid wanting couple. And that could be a real problem...“ „Kids..? Now..? I dunno... I don’t really think I’d like to have any. I... I just need... Someone to be with...“ „Yea, son... Me too... Me too, my son... Don’t worry. Men like us have good noses for that. We’ll get ourselves some healthy women already... After we get used to this hell we’ve cooked for ourselves... Although it wasn’t really you and me. OK, and now put out that feg and get up, Berret. Time to practice...!
Edited by Shidentora, 13 January 2012 - 08:11 PM.