Eclipse Star: Genesis Chapter Eight

November 15, 2008 at 1:19 pm (Eclipse Star: Genesis) ()

Eclipse Star:  Chapter 8

“Slow but Steady”


Recap:  Last time, the group moved into their new home at the main headquarters of the Legion.  Though Jack was reluctant to agree on giving private lessons to everyone, Chris and Lindsey were able to convince him otherwise.  Elsewhere, the Legion commander is already developing an opinion of everyone…and it’s not good.  He admits that he knows Jack has been overstepping his bounds and instructs his subordinates to make sure that the morning exercises are more than everyone can handle in order to break them in and break them down.  After a long morning of hard endurance training, the group makes their way very, very slowly to the woods to meet up with Jack.


Jack:  (Way too energetic).  Well good morning everyone!


Kyle:  (Panting heavily.)  We…are not…in the mood…for bright smiles…


Jack:  It couldn’t have been that bad, could it?


Chris:  (Bent over, trying to catch his breath).  It was suspiciously like our drill instructors knew we had things to do afterwards.


Jack:  Are you all alright?


Derek:  Pff, I’m more than fine.  (Pats his chest).  Self-conditioning training guys, do it.


Jack:  Derek’s right in this aspect, everyone.  In order to make solid progress, both with your drill instructors and myself, I highly advised that you do a lot of outside conditioning and stamina building.


Derek:  So, looks like it’s time to learn all that fancy stuff, eh?


Jack:  If you’re all feeling up to it.


Chris:  Derek, I hate to rain on this parade, but how many of us can even stand up anymore?


Derek:  Obviously I can, anyone else?


-Only Clinton and Kevin nod back.  Everyone else is either sitting or lying down and exhausted.


Jack:  Well, I guess we can see who’s built for stamina and who’s got some work to do.  (Relaxes a bit).  No worries, we’ll take it slow today.


Kyle:  (Falls back down and rests.)  Oh dear Jesus thank you.


Scott:  (Lights up a cigarette.)  My sentiments exactly.


Jack:  You guys just sit and watch and when you catch your breaths feel free to jump in.  We’re gonna start with some basic sparring.  I’ll throw in some tips as we go.  You and you, (points at Clinton and Kevin), you two pair off and Derek, you’ll be my partner.


Derek:  (Cracks his knuckles).  Oh I’m gonna enjoy this…


Jack:  Just don’t get cocky, I’ve got a bit more experience than you on the matter.


Derek:  (Hopping around in a fighter stance looking very excited).  Ring the bell.


Jack:  Ding, ding.


-Derek runs at Jack and tries to tackle him.  Jack flips onto his back and with his leg, flips Derek over his head and onto his back.


Jack:  (Leaps to his feet).  That was good, but you’re going to have to develop basic fighting strategies first.  I’ve got quite the leg up, so to speak.


Kyle:  Hah, leg up, I get it.


Derek:  (Derek quickly gets up and brushes himself off).  Look, I don’t mean to complain, but even I’ll admit that I’ve got a serious handicap against someone who knows detailed…things.  If however I were to fight, oh, let’s say Chris, I could show you guys just how good I really am.


Chris:  (Still showing great fatigue, rolling his eyes at Derek).  Yeah, you could probably hurt me pretty badly considering I’m about to fall over anyways.


Lindsey:  C’mon Chris, give it a shot.


Austin:  Yeah Chris, what’s the worst that could happen?  Maybe you fall on the ground a few times, but you just get back up, no worries.


Chris:  (Sigh).  Fine, I’ll take the bait.  (Stands up and shakes himself out).  Okay Derek, any rules?


Derek:  None, just the way I like it.


Chris:  Alright, (Tilts his head, thinking that through), I suppose.  Who starts?


Lindsey:  (From right behind Chris).  GO!


Chris:  Bah!  (Panics from the Lindsey’s outburst and quickly punches Derek in the face before he realizes what’s going on).


Derek:  (Holds his nose and drops down on his knees).  Ahhh, you son of a…  (Punches Chris in the testicles).


Chris:  D’oh…  (Grabs himself and falls onto his knees as well.  Derek and he are now facing each other at eye level.  Everyone else is laughing).  That…was a very low blow…


Jack:  You guys, c’mon now, no one is going to survive a real fight acting like that.


Chris:  (Both Derek and Chris slowly get to their feet and face each other).  One rule: no crotch shots.


Derek:  (Rubs his nose one last time).  And stay the hell away from my nose.


Jack:  Ready, and…begin.


-Derek and Chris rush at each other, ready to punch.  Derek goes high, aiming at Chris’ face; Chris goes low, aiming for Derek’s stomach.  Both of them hit their marks, although Chris doesn’t hit nearly as hard.


-Derek huddles a bit but Chris takes a shot clean in the side of the head from Derek, knocking him sideways and onto the ground.


-Instead of staying on his side, he flips himself onto his stomach and gets up to charge Derek.


-Derek straightens himself and punches at Chris again, who blocks with his arm.


-Derek swings with the other arm; Chris blocks in the same way, making sure to protect his head.


-Finally, Derek rushes Chris and knees him in the chest.  Chris recoils and huddles completely over.


-Seeing this as a good opportunity, Derek roundhouse kicks Chris in the side of the face, knocking him to the ground once more.


Jack:  That was good, that’s what I want to see more of from you Derek; more controlled aggression.


Derek:  (Smiling to himself).  And I’m not even trying that hard…


Chris:  (Getting up).  Cocky bastard…


Derek:  What?  You want a round two?


Chris:  As always.  (Chris runs at Derek, the two ready to continue pummeling each other senselessly).

*          *          *          *          *

-Two months have passed by and everyone has been making incredible progress with their basic training.  They have all gotten to the point of being able to run circles around the other recruits during morning exercises, and their drill instructors have been taking notice.


Commander:  They’ve shown amazing improvement.


Subordinate:  Yes, yes they have, sir.  I’m very proud, as must you also be.


Commander:  Don’t be a damned fool, you aren’t responsible for their rapid growth, Jack is.


Subordinate:  But…we’ve been working them extremely hard, just like you said sir, and each day none of them can stand up, let alone crawl off to another day’s worth of anything.


Commander:  You call that worn out?  (Points off towards the field where Chris and Derek are lapping everyone else in a race of their own).


Derek:  First to 100 laps wins the day.


Chris:  What’re we at?


Derek:  78…79…


Chris:  Forget this…  (Speeds up and runs past Derek).


Derek:  Don’t kid yourself Chris, you know I’m still faster…  (Speeds up and rushes past Chris).


Clinton:  132…  (Jogs past the both of them).  Amateurs…


-Chris and Derek look at each other and run harder, trying to catch up to Clinton.


Commander:  Explain that.


Subordinate:  It’s… been an easy day?


Commander:  Over there.  (Points to a few others working out on the bench-press).  How do you explain that?


-Scott is benching well over the standard weight limit for his supposed skill level and taking bets from other members of the Legion.  He’s got a cigarette in his mouth as he slowly fills his pockets after each successful increase.


Scott:  (Gathers up money from everyone standing around).  Come now gents, surely one of you will realize that I’m just going to keep taking your money.


Solider:  …D…double the weight!


Crowd:  Yeah…yeah!


Scott:  Double the money then.


Crowd:  (The soldiers exchange looks amongst themselves and begin nodding as they pull more money out).  Yeah yeah!  Double the weight.


Scott:  (Smiles and lays back down on the bench).  Alright guys, but I’m telling you, it won’t make a difference.  (Begins easily lifting the next weight as everyone freaks out and pulls more money from their wallets).


Commander:  That is not normal progress.


Subordinate:  (Completely dry, almost sarcastic).  No sir that’s…wonderful progress!  Hooray…  (Twirls his finger).


Commander:  How about in fighting skills?  How are they progressing?


Subordinate:  Oh, very well sir.  They’re at the top of their levels, of course.


-Another group of soldiers is huddled around watching Danny and Willy spar with each other.  The crowd is cheering and getting excited as the two combatants grapple, throwing each other unrealistically large distances when they get the chance.


Commander:  They’re far beyond their levels and you should be aware of it.


Subordinate:  But I am aware of it, that’s why I’ve been giving them extra details.


Commander:  Stop training them so much and just work them into the ground.


Subordinate:  Yes sir.


Commander:  Do I sense a hint of distain…?


Subordinate:  Not at all.  I mean, working them harder would only strengthen them more…but what do I know…?  (Walks away).


Commander:  (Standing alone now, annoyed with life.  He looks off to the group and away from Subordinate).  Someday, I hope someone kills that guy.


*          *          *          *          *


-Another month passes.  Though their drill instructors triple and then quadruple their workload, the group does nothing but improve faster.  Soon the group has shattered Legion records for their status and once again the Legion commander is more annoyed than proud.


Commander:  How strong have they gotten?


Subordinate:  I’m not entirely sure Commander; we haven’t taken their ratings for a while.


Commander:  You might want to do that immediately.


Subordinate:  Right.  (Yells off into the distance).  All of group C, regiment 5, report to the hospital wing for testing ASAP!


Derek:  (Jogs off the track after running a ridiculous number of laps).  Aha, so it’s time to see just how much we’ve improved, eh?


Jack:  (Hurriedly runs up to Derek).  This could be bad.


Derek:  (Almost laughing).  Why?  Let ‘em see just how good we’ve gotten.


Jack:  No, you don’t understand, you need to slip under the radar as much as possible.  (Kicks the dirt in frustration).  Damnit, I never got around to teaching you how to trick the readers.


Derek:  Hmh, I’d rather not hide in the shadows.


Jack:  (Contained anger).  What shadows?  You’ve all been acting like a bunch of kids with a fifty in their pockets.  You’ve been showing off to everyone and it’s beyond me how you’ve managed to keep your drill sergeants baffled up to this point.  If they find reason to suspect…(Throws his hands up in frustration).  Gah, I don’t know, just be careful.


-After everyone assembles in the waiting room, Jack explains the situation to them and does his best to make clear the severity of what it could mean if they take this moment to show off any more.


Jack:  Please guys, are we in agreement?


Chris:  Don’t worry, Jack.  I doubt we’ve even gotten much better anyway.


Jack:  (Squints his eyes at Chris, somewhat mystified).  You…really don’t know how much I’ve taught you guys, do you?


Derek:  Well, it would have been nice if you’d have covered the energy blasts in greater detail…


Jack:  I can only teach what I know.  I’ve taught you guys how to increase your natural abilities and a few extra little tricks, all of which is not information that you or I were suppose to have known.


Nurse:  Can I have the first patient please?


Jack:  That’s you Leena.  Please…  (Franticly makes a praying motion with his hands).


Leena:  Yeah yeah, I’ll be good.


-Everyone goes in one after the other until only Jack, Chris, and Derek are left.


Nurse:  Jack, they’re ready for you.


Jack:  (Stands up and walks into the other room.  He is told to stand in the middle of a taped off area where many lights shine from all directions.  He’s got a smug smile on).  Hi guys.


Commander:  (Complete lack of enthusiasm).  Jack…so nice of you to show an interest in the new soldiers.


Jack:  Well, I remembered how hard it was for me when I just started out so I figured I’d give them a few pointers to help them with stamina and the like.


Commander:  Oh?  That’s very thoughtful of you Jack.  Let’s take a look at how much progress you’ve made.  (Checks the chart in front of him.  The Commander starts becoming more and more patronizing).  Funny, says here that you were last recorded at a rating of 147.  That’s mighty impressive for someone your age.


Jack:  Why thank you sir, I’ve been doing a lot of-


Commander:  (Instantly stern).  Cut the crap Jack, I know you’ve been hiding things from me.


Jack:  I have no idea what you’re talking about.


Commander:  Fine.  Let’s just scan you then…  (A large machine circles around Jack, beeping and making random noises.  After a few seconds, it settles down with a final hum).  The results say that your rating is now an even 180.  Are you sure that you don’t have anything you’re hiding…?


Jack:  (Turns his head away and quietly responds).  No sir…


Commander:  (Blank).  Fine.  Go take a few laps and get some rest.


Jack:  Thank you sir.  (Smile and begins to walk away).


Commander:  (Flattly slips one last bit of information to Jack).  Oh, and Jack, you might find it interesting that all of your friends have broken ratings of at least 200.  (Jack is speechless.  The Commander smiles and waves Jack off).  On your way now, those laps aren’t going to run themselves.  Next!


Chris:  (Walks into the room looking very shaken up).  Hello sir.


Commander:  (Takes a look at Chris’ chart).  Okay…Chris, was it?


Chris:  Yes sir.


Commander:  Do you recall your previous results?


Chris:  Somewhere around 100?


Commander:  Says here that it was at 102.  (Nods).  That’s pretty good.


Chris:  Thank…thank you.


Commander:  How strong do you think you’ve gotten?


Chris:  (Looks upwards and starts doing estimations in his head).  Let’s see…it’s been a month so…125 or so…?


Commander:  (Very sarcastic smile).  We’ll see now won’t we?  (The test begins and when it finishes the rating reads…)  117.  Hmm…


Chris:  Something the matter?


Commander:  No, nothing.  You do know that you’re obligated to demonstrate your full potential, right?


Chris:  Yes sir.  I’ve always been a bit on the slow side when it comes to improvement…


Commander:  (Looking very disappointed).  Be on your way then.  Next!


Derek:  (Derek walks in looking very confident).  Evening, Commander.


Commander:  Ah yes, Derek, welcome to your monthly scanning.


Derek:  It’s gonna be a good one this month.


Commander:  I would expect so, with all the training you’ve been doing.


Derek:  How strong have the others gotten?


Commander:  Oh, they’re progressing rather nicely.  Most of them in the mid 200’s.


Derek:  That’s it?  Last month I was at 130, I’m betting that I’m at least twice that now.


Commander:  (Starting to break a smile out more and more).  Only one way to find out, right?  (He starts the tests and the results come back as…)  Indeed you have improved.  216, just shy of the record of your group.


Derek:  Who’s got the highest rating?


Commander:  That’s classified information Derek.


Derek:  (Pauses for a second).  …Hold on, test me again.


Commander:  But Derek, that would be unethical.  That’d mean you were holding back, wouldn’t I?


Derek:  I just think I could try harder with the right motivation.


Commander:  Alright, if you insist…  (The test begins.  Derek begins to close his eyes and concentrates.  The machine hums and buzzes and beeps (louder than before) more like an alarm sound than anything.  Finally the machine finishes with its usual hum.  The Commander is smiling a big grin now).  Derek my boy, you are clearly above your peers.


Derek:  (Gets a huge smile on is face).  What’m I at?


Commander:  492.


To Be Continued…


1 Comment

  1. The King of Zing said,

    NICE… I like how you did the whole “progession of events” from when they started training to when Derek gets rated at 492… Nice to just bust through it and not have a bunch of chapters about them training and instead get on with the plot… Though I would advice maybe one chapter about how the characters might be getting used to being away from their friends and family and getting used to being in a military situation… But still great chapter. I love how you are starting to use the Commander and I like how his character is coming out… I thought it was funny that the Clinton character was the fastest and Scott was the strongest. Anyways, very easy chapter to read and everything seemed to make sense, so yeah, great job.

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