Join Date: Aug 2007
Insert title here: An Excerpt
Ok troops, this just an excerpt of when I think the story gets interesting. I'm trying to portray a sense of all encompassing loneliness and desolation. Notice, no one has a real name except for the main character and most of the people our main guy meets will only have a number while a few get close enough with him to actually share their names.
If any of you have any suggestions, please share them. I'd be glad to have any and all input.
Jason walked down the narrow, dimly lit corridor. Everything in the building seemed to be dim. It was almost like the inhabitants were afraid of the light. He was also cold, he’d heard December in Colorado could be harsh. Jason was clad in only a pair of white cotton skivvies that were almost like tight fitting knicker bockers. He was barefoot.
“These are your’s!” The sergeant had barked at Jason when he threw them at him. Shortly there after, Jason had been stripped of all of his belongings. No cell phone, no pocket knife, no wallet and no identity. He was simply a number. His head had been shaved as well.
After the head shaving, the group of about forty men had been lined up and made to count off. There were men from around the world, and some of them responded in their native language only to be pounced on by one of the sergeants.
Following this nearly impossible task, they’d been marched down yet another hallway into a room where several people sat with what were obviously tattoo guns. They were ordered to sit and without any fan fare quickly tattooed with their ID numbers.
“This is your ****ing name now!” The taller of the three sergeants had yelled. “You’re a ****ing number now.” The sergeant had been walking to and fro in front of the line of them. He’d stopped in front of a shorter man who turned out to be from the Ukraine, pivoted and said “How does that make you feel? Feels pretty good doesn’t it?” When the man had hesitated just a split second, the sergeant had shoved him backwards and seemed to morph from a reasonably human creature to a beast from the deepest pits of hell.
Jason, still holding the 3 pages of forms in his left hand just as he’d been told, looked at his right forearm where the numbers were located. 63064 was his name. That was somehow the worst part. He’d always been Jason Franks. When he was in school, he was Jason Franks. When he had gotten married he was Jason Franks. When the cultists and her parents had finally gotten to her and she left him, all of the court paperwork said “Jason Franks” at the top. When she had taken the house and his children, he had been Jason Franks. It would be a long time before he thought of himself as 63064.
Jason had finally reached the door where he was supposed to report. He snapped to attention the way he had been taught and said
“Six-Three-Zero-Six-Four reporting as commanded!” in a firm manner.
“Sit.” The other man said in a faint English accent. He was wearing the black coat, white shirt and black tie that Jason assumed he’d be issued later on, but the man lacked the black kepi that Jason had seen the sergeants wear. The man also had a pair of green shoulder boards that were trimmed in silver chord on the shoulders of his uniform. The sergeants had not had these. The man himself was thin. He had short dark hair and a pallid complexion. Jason sat as he had been instructed. This room was just a couple shades off dark. There was one light above the desk and it seemed to be shielded by a heavy piece of clear plastic. The man shut the door and then walked around to the far side of the desk and sat down.
The man looked at Jason as if he were filth and said “Papers.” Jason pushed his left hand forward to give the man his paperwork. When he reached for Jason’s paperwork, Jason caught a glimpse of the blood red crosses on the cuff of the man’s jacket. It was bordered in silver. There were also 5 diagonally oriented silver bars about halfway up the sleeve of the uniform. It was nearly six weeks later that Jason found out those represented how many times that man had been in combat for over three hundred and sixty-five days.
The man looked at Jason’s paperwork disinterestedly. He made several marks in what looked from Jason’s vantage point to be small boxes beside lines of text.
“Name?” The man grunted.
The man sighed a “I can’t believe this ****”. “No, what is your NAME?” The man had emphasized the last word.
“63064, sir” Jason replied. It seemed to depress him even more every time he said it.
“Why do you want to join?” The man asked.
“So I can serve my country and God, Sir.” Jason replied, trying to fake an honest look.
“Are you prepared to die for your country and for God?” The man asked. Now he reminded Jason of the old Nazi movies he had seen as a kid.
“I am, Sir.” Jason said.
“What can you offer The Order?” The man questioned almost before Jason’s reply was completely annunciated.
“I am a loyal and a strong person. I have no ties, Sir.” Jason replied.
Now the man seemed to explode.
“I AM NOT A ****ING SIR! I AM A CHIEF SERGEANT! DO NOT CALL ME SIR!” There was a vein standing out in the Chief Sergeant’s forehead.
Jason recoiled and nearly fell backwards in the poorly balanced chair.
“Do you want to be a cop or a soldier?” The Chief Sergeant interrogated. Before Jason could answer the Chief Sergeant answered for him. “Soldier it is!”
“Take these and get out of my office!” The Chief Sergeant ordered. He signed the paperwork with a flourish and almost threw them at Jason.
When Jason stood he finally saw the small insignia on the Chief Sergeant’s shoulder boards.
The other recruits had finally caught up with Jason and they had bad been led down yet one more cramped hallway to a rather large open room. They were lined up again and ordered to walk past a waist high table with men standing in black colored battle dress uniforms. These men also did not wear the sergeant’s cylindrical hat, but they did have black rank insignia sewn onto the upper parts of uniform sleeves. There were large racks behind these men where similar uniforms were hung. Jason was again, the first one in line.
“Size?” One of the troops asked him.
“Your clothes dumb ass.” The troop spat at him.
“Large.” Jason said. There were 3 uniforms thrown at him. He caught these and started to walk forward down the line when he was almost thrown to the side.
“Go there!” The sergeant harped at him and pointed to a table where there were boots.
The rest of Jason’s clothes and gear had been acquired in this same manner. However, when he got to the final station he was not given the black kepi of the sergeants nor the white one of the other troops he had seen. Instead he was given a black beret with a patch on the front. The patch itself was grey (he believed it to represent the silver color) and a blood red cross in the center of the patch.
After this ordeal, they’d been marched to their barracks. It was a long room with beds stacked 3 high. The recruits had donned their new uniforms, complete with berets, and were marched to dinner.
Dinner was a whirlwind of screaming, food and near violence. There was barely enough time to eat the small portion of food that Jason had been given. There was some form of meat (he believed this to be a variety of fish), vegetables that were not completely thawed and coffee.
However, before anyone could sit down a man in a white robe appeared near the serving line. He had a long, gray beard but a shaved head like the recruits.
“Brother Prelate, bless us with the word of God.” The sergeant with the silver cross on the front of his kepi said. It was one of those phrases that was phrased as a statement but was more of a request. All three of the sergeants removed their kepi’s with their right hand and placed them over their hearts.
“Pray for forgiveness, Knights.” The Prelate said. He had a deep, booming voice that seemed to come from every where at once.
“Forgive us Father for we have sinned!” The sergeants said in total unison.
The hair on the back of Jason’s neck stood up. “They weren’t joking about this being a religious order.” He thought.
“Pray for salvation, Knights.” The Prelate said.
“Save us Father for we have sinned!” The sergeants replied, again in total unison. It was almost like they were robots repeating a read out of some sort.
“Pray for strength, Knights.” The Prelate said.
“Strengthen us Father for we are weak!” The sergeants responded.
“Bow Knights, pray the prayer of the Teacher.” The Prelate said, his voice still seeming to come from every where.
Before the order had been fully induced, the sergeants had knelt on their left knees, their heads bowed.
“PATER noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.”
Jason was impressed. He had never heard it given in that manner before.
“You are forgiven, my sons.” The Prelate said and then seemed to disappear.
The sergeant stood, re-donned their kepi’s and quickly began shouting again.
When about two-thirds of the recruits had finished eating, they were again stood up and led out of the cafeteria to yet another elongated room. The building had not seemed this big from the outside.
They were lined up again, made to count off again and then marched forward into the room.
There were requests for the recruits names, and when each recruit had responded with his ID number to the clerk with the clipboard the recruit was handed a rifle.
The rifles themselves were ugly things. They were black with a steel ultra short forearm with rails on it to mount various accessories. Jason noted that he believed the barrel of his rifle (and all the others, they’d been issued the same model) had a seven and a half inch barrel. He knew from his past life as a cop that it was some sort of M4 variant, but there was no manufacturer’s stamp or really any kind of marks on it save for “5.56 X 35MM” on the left side of the magazine well.
I canít remember how this got started
Oh, but I can tell you exactly how it will end
Every day is exactly the same