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   Chapter 49 No.49

High Steaks By Christina Engela Characters: 5023

Updated: 2018-06-30 19:02

"Sarge?" Said Garfner, accepting them.

"Find me two more junior NCO's asap, and report back to me with them on the double!"

"Yes, Sarge!"

A few minutes later, Garfner reported back to Sarge on the porch, with two more ancient former NCO's trailing behind him. One of them was huffing and puffing with the effort of keeping up.

"What's your name?" Sarge asked the one who seemed slightly fitter.

"Phillip Sloat!" Said Phillip Sloat.

"And what rank did you last hold, Phillip Sloat?"

"I was a Lance Corporal, Sergeant! First Starmarine Battalion!"

"When did you last hold it, Corporal Sloat?"

"Thirty-one years ago, Sergeant!"

"That's excellent, Coporal Sloat!" Sarge nodded. "You must be very proud! Now, get a book and a pen from Corporal Garfner and go stand all the way down there, " he said, pointing to the left end of the porch. As Sloat did as he was told, and lurched off to the left-most end of the porch, Sarge turned to the second NCO.

"And you?" Sarge asked the other.

"Corporal Samuel Taylor, Third Starmarines, Sarge!" He replied.

"You been retired long?"

"I left the service after ten years, Sarge!" Said Taylor. "I sold insurance for twenty four years after that, retired five years ago!"

"See any action?"

"Guatamalia Four, Sarge!" Taylor replied proudly. "Took a blaster hit in the chest – been …trying to catch my breath ever since!"

"I see." Said Sarge. "Get a pen and a book from Corporal Garfner – and go stand over there, at the extre


* * *

Gary Beck blinked. Unable to see, he blinked again. It was dark, he realized – he hadn't turned blind! The place he'd arrived in, by means of the Remote of course, was underground. It was dark, quiet and smelled faintly of… dry, dead air? Plastic? Dust? All of the above?

Coughing, he felt for a control on the Remote, which when activated, made a circle of vaguely green light around him. Although it had no apparent source, the light surrounded him like a kind of aura, casting weird shadows in the darkness across what could only be described as a kind of bunker. Long abandoned, and long forgotten.

A mist of dust hung in the air, slowly settling downward and looking like very fine, very slow rain in the odd light.

Surrounding the open space Gary was standing in, were rows and rows of piled crates and boxes. A layer of dust made them all look gray and spooky – well, green, but still spooky – but he knew what they contained. Scrooby had briefed him well on that point.

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