Shore Leave

I’m taking a different approach to Destiny with this offering and I’m not sure how it might be received so let’s see. This story uses characters from the clan I play with,   Part two is almost done,  if you like this part I will post it here for you.

Angelica had just returned from another recon mission when the company shrink ordered her and the rest of her team to take some down time.   When she tried to object it was pointed out that it was mandatory for all personnel with her EOS to take a certain amount of shore leave per quarter and she seemed to have been avoiding it, taking one assignment after the other for the last nine months.

Angelica or “Angel”  as her team had come to call her, wanted to protest but was afraid that the doctor might put another mark like the last one in her file.   Where the hell did this woman get off calling her “argumentative and moody” anyway?  What did she know?  Just because she had a bunch of official looking certificates lining her walls didn’t mean squat…  Did it?

As she stepped off the shuttle to the Tower complex she felt a breeze cross her face.   It had been a long time since she had been to Earth.   The Fox Hound SF and been stationed on Mars for most of the last year.   Maybe she did need a break.  She wore a black one piece jumper belted at the waist and zipped up to cover her chest.  Her iridescent blue skin and bald head made her stand out as did her almost glowing yellow eyes.   She had white tattoos along the bridge of her nose and over the tops of her cheeks which her ghost had told her were tribal but she had no memory of time before she was brought back.  She was a member of a race known as The Awoken and while they were not uncommon here they were still outnumbered by the humans.   It was said that they were desendended from humans but all the time that they spent in the Reef,  on the outskirts of the Galaxy,  had changed them somehow.   She just imagined that anybody that spent that much time in the cold vacume of space would probably turn blue too.

Her jumper was pressed and neat and always squared away.   She proudly displayed her Unit patch on her shoulder just below that of her Battalion.   On her other shoulder was her Hunter’s designation patch and her Lutenant JG bars were neatly pinned to her lapels. Although she had a drawer full awards the only one she wore on her uniform was her Sharp shooter’s pin with clusters that put her in the top five percentile amongst her peers. (Sometimes she thought that it would be cooler that instead of the clusters that it depicted a head exploding although maybe that was a bit much.) Everything was subdued and nothing about her uniform stood out. All the pins and patches were grey or black as was the habit with most Special Forces teams. She seemed to do everything not to stand out which is exactly why she did.  Her “dress”  combat boots reflected the overhead lighting in the gantry way in their polished surface and her pant legs were “bloused”  into the tops.  As she began to move in the direction of check in and the Commons she made very little sound, her training and natural tendencies seemed to govern her every deliberate movement which was almost cat like in its essence.

Check in had been uneventful after presenting her ID. They simply said “Welcome Guardian”  in that non-interested tone like the poor guy had probably done it a hundred times before her arrival that day.   She went past the gate and checked into visitors quarters in the military zone which were nice if not a bit overly fussy.   Definitely not the ground she had become accustomed to in the last months. She had grown to consider her cot a luxury.  She tossed her small duffle on the big bed and looked around.   She was supposed to meet some of her team here in about an hour or so but she was already starting to  feel out of place and more than just a little caged in.  She unpacked her Combat blade from her bag and slid it onto her belt in the small of her back and made her way out of her door and into the open square that was the Commons.

Angel conferred with a driod and got directions to the “Fine drinking Establishment”  as Wolf had called it that they were all supposed to meet up at.   As she made her way down the levels away from the Gaurdian’s compound and it became quickly obvious that not all of society had it as easy as the “Defender’s of the Light”  did.   Angel smelled incredible aromas of foreign dishes that she had never experienced mixed with the unmistakable smell of diesel fuel that powered the generators that kept parts of this section from total darkness.  The Tower was the largest structure in the city and while the Guardian’s complex occupied the top levels the rest was a combination of hobbled together shacks and businesses where the “real”  people ran their day to day lives.  This sort of polarity still shocked Angel and she couldn’t believe how far humanity had fallen since the golden age.

A small noodle shop came into view as Angel rounded a corner and she realized she had not eaten since she left the base…  “This morning?”  It seemed such a long time ago already,  space travel was so surreal.   The smells eminating out of the little stall made her stomach take charge of the situation as she found herself  sitting at the small modest counter glancing at the personal computer strapped to her wrist she thought to herself,  “she had time”.

The proprietor ambled over and peered out from under her odd wide brimmed hat.   She was an elderly woman that appeared to be of Asian decent.   She looked up at Angelica and her eyes went wide,  it looked as if they might pop out of their sockets.   She let out a shriek and Angel thought she had hurt herself somehow.   “Oh my word!”  She kept repeating.   She reached out to touch the Guardian repeatedly as if she couldn’t believe she was sitting in her stall.   All Angel wanted was a bowl of noodles.  She honestly didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.   She reached out her deep blue hands and clasped the old woman’s warmly doing her best to calm her.  Once the shop owner was able to catch her breath she explained that she had never had someone so important grace her establishment and that the Guardians were just so amazing for all that they were doing for the world and and and…

Angelica had never really realized how others might see her.   To her she was doing what had to be done and really nothing more.   It also didn’t help that the Tower broadcasted the exploits of the more notable units on the vid. (Although rarely did anyone hear about the select groups that were designated “Special Combat Units” )  Angelica looked around realizing that there weren’t any uniforms down on this level.   She did see a few knowing smiles on the faces of some of the people passing by and she began to wonder about the wisdom of leaving the compound in hers.   She was finally able to bring the woman back down to reality and she thanked her repeatedly for her support although the shop owner kept insisting that it was her that should be thanking Angelica.  All this attention made her nervous and uneasy but it also made her feel very humble.  These people were counting on her and her team as well as all the teams like hers to keep them safe and restore order.   She sat in her own thoughts as she slurped her noodles,  probably the best she had ever had.


She entered the bar a little late but she knew that the guys were probably going to be here all night anyway.   Ghost was standing up toasting his team and all his fallen comrades carrying on like a bellowing beast as he always did. He was proud of his unit and rightly so. They always seemed to get the job done no matter what it was above and beyond the parameters that the OP Sec demanded of them. His skin was about the same shade as hers. He, Yoda and Angel were the only Awoken in the unit at this time but like any good leader he was fair and just treating everyone equally.   He had always seemed a bit brash to her, zealous and ready to take on any challenge that was sent the group’s way.  She supposed that that was a good attitude for a Leader to have as they alway said that the attitude of the Commander was the attitude of the unit.   Today though it wasn’t his personality that hit her first.   “Ghost”  she raised her voice above the din of room “where the hell did you find that?” She pointed at what he was wearing.  He had  on what would be described back in the day as “An Hawaiian shirt”  and it was bright enough to light the whole corner of the room” Ghost looked up and Wolf,  sitting next to him, laughed along with Yoda and a couple of the others.   He just shrugged and quipped back “I don’t remember but if I do I will make sure and give you the address.” They all laughed and Wolf pulled a seat from an adjacent table and ushered her over to take it.   A mug seemed to materialize out of nowhere full of beer and the party continued as if she had been there the whole time.

The night pasted and most of the team headed off to sleep off the alcohol that was coursing through their veins.  Finally Angelica said goodnight to Wolf and started to make her way back to her quarters.  The streets were much quieter now and shadows stretched out to cover vast sections of the route home. She had started to feel “out of it”  when she decided to call it a night.   As she made her way along the narrow walkways her balance seemed to falter and she found her feet unsure of themselves as her eyes blurred.   Suddenly she realized she had been drugged but by then it was too late. She felt strong hands guiding her roughly into the darkness alone

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