There was the sound of crunching snow as he moved across the tundra. The wind cut through the light jacket he owned, even then, he had grown out of it by now. There was a small alcove to his left, and a glowing light emitting from the base of it. He moved closer and saw the flickering glow of a small campfire, along with some people with heavy snow gear. He hesitated when he saw them, and waited. Eventually he noticed one of them going around back for a smoke, and quickly followed him. Matching the man’s pace as he went behind. Suddenly there was the sound of a body collapsing in the snow, and the men around the fire ran around the small cliff to find a man in a red jacket, too light for the kind of weather that they were in. They took him and sat him by the fire. After a few minutes of warming him with blankets and a hot mug of something, the stranger in the Jacket was able to move and talk again. He held his frostbitten hands to the fire as one of the group asked, “Who are you and what the blazes are you doing out here in that?”
The stranger smiled wide as he felt more of the warmth envelop him, “Oh no one important. Just a man looking for trouble.” With that a sound came from his pocket, and the men pointed weapons at the stranger. When the shots were fired, the four soldiers collapsed on the ground. The stranger stood up and started reloading his weapons. The clicking of a revolver’s hammer sounded behind him when another shot sounded. The stranger looked surprised as another man emerged from a blizzard that was storming on the right. The camouflage and face mask all too familiar. The stranger smiled again as his comrade walked up to him. “Thanks for the save Parker.” The stranger stood silent as the stranger started searching the bodies of the dead soldiers. “Time to put some actual clothes on again. Man! It’s freezing out here today!”
The two walked back with the clothing, fuel, food, and weapons that the encampment had, walking for hours in the freezing cold, but they were used to it in their standard gear. Along the way the stranger was talking to the man called Parker, “and then I found out that he was actually a chick as she blasted through my shield! It almost seemed like a movie, where the super awesome guy actually is a woman when she takes off the helmet! The hair flowing! Too bad she was cute, That meant I had to let her live, you know? Anyways, she tries stabbing me through my winter stuff which rips and I barely avoided getting gutted like a fish. I finally had to knock her out before checking out of the Tower. All I had was the jacket and my pulsar, but you know how bad those things are sometimes. Radioactive ammo isn’t fun you know. Moving on, then I walk for all of five minutes when I find this little cliff jutting out of the snow with a fire. At first I thought it was one of our scout entrances whe-”
“Could you just shut it for three minutes!” Parker interrupted, “I know what went down, I heard it all on comms! Now for Pete’s sake just zip it until we get back home!”
The stranger looked back at his comrade and friend and only said, “Well, I guess I’ll do it for Pete then.” Parker sighed and kept moving.
Soon enough, they reached this frozen waterfall. Parker punched in his code and a metal door opened, squeaking in the cold as lights and heat emitted outward. The stranger walked beside Parker for a while until he turned off towards a hallway. He strolled down until he saw it, the cafeteria. He almost couldn’t hold himself together as he got in line. He looked at what they were serving and his smile vanished, “What happened to the potatoes?” he asked the person serving the food. A gruff man with a long beard stared him down as he scooped a small spoon full of some gray mush and plopped it on the stranger’s tray. The stranger smiled and thanked the server as he went to sit down. He started eating and pulled out a small locket from his pocket. He stared at it, a sense of homesickness struck him, and he put it back in his pocket. Soon he was back to his energetic self as a man sat beside him. He was young, but growing some patchy facial hair. The chocolate brown hair and stone-like face was something that any girl could fall for. A definite soldier type. He started eating and didn’t look at anyone. The stranger looked at him and watched, trying to imitate his face and demeanor as he slumped his head down low to his food with shoulders raised.
The man next to him looked over and cocked an eyebrow as he spoke, “You trying to insult me ginger?”
The stranger looked back and smiled, “Just trying to make people laugh. It’s my goal now to make you laugh, soldier boy!”
“I don’t got time to laugh”
“Bull. I call bull.”
Soldier boy was unamused as he finished off his plate, brought it to the kitchen, and walked out. The stranger quickly scarfed down the rest of his meal as he almost ran after him.
“Where are you off to now, soldier boy?”
“Wow you are a soldier boy aren’t ya?”
“Come on soldier boy, lighten up! Girls can’t fall for you if you can’t be normal!”
“That coming from the ginger who can’t find any”
“What’s with you and ginger’s anyway? Crazy girlfriend?”
They now turned into this exercise room full of guys lifting weights. Soldier boy walked to a machine and started lifting as Ginger kept talking.
“You know that just because we are a resistance doesn’t mean that we can be preparing and fighting twenty four seven right?”
Silence again, except for grunting from the other men and the clacking of weights.
“I know! I’ll tell you a story! Just today actually-”
The man cut him off with the sound of dropping weights, “Look Ginger, I don’t care about any stories you have to tell, or anything you have to say really. So why don’t you be a good little child and go find your mamma to talk to.” he flashed a fake smile before returning to his lifting.
“You can at least call me by my name you know,” came the retort.
“Not if you don’t use mine.”
“I don’t even know your name! How am I supposed to know if you don’t tell me?!”
“Did you ever even ask for it?”
“WHAT’S YOUR NAME!”
“Now that’s just cruel!”
“Well call me Justin!”
At that Justin stormed out of the room. He lost again to the soldier. Some day Justin hoped to actually get to know him and see his brighter side.
Meanwhile the Soldier saw a memory as he was lifting. He stopped and closed his eyes. He was back home, with a nice breakfast being cooked for him and his family. Everything was the same as he had left it, no signs of the outside world around. He ate up two huge pancakes and started getting ready for work. A little kid ran up to him and said something to him. He couldn’t understand what the tyke was saying, but he remembered who he was. That was the day he got into the basement. Where he first figured out about the outside world. The world zoomed forward as he was walking away from a family photo. His Father was shouting at him while his mother tried to soothe the angry parent. He turned back to see his brother in tears as he called out to him. His sister standing behind His brother. The memories of the following days seemed to pass for ages, His father’s wrath, His sister’s turn to the Bible, His mother’s suicide in particular hung over him. Then finally came his farewell to his brother. His tears flowing in his last embrace before leaving to what he thought was going to be death.
He opened his eyes and saw Parker there in front of him. “Hey.”
Parker slid off his mask, showing a scruffy beard and sleek black hair, “I think it’s time.”
The soldier nodded, “Yeah, wait until he’s ready though.”
“You know if this fails, we’ll both be sent to the tower naked right?
“It needs to be done.”
Parker nodded, “It’s Barn right? just above the old store?
The Soldier responded, “Yeah. Just don’t be surprised if he’s angry.”
“You know he still has to love you right?”
“No he doesn’t. I’m the reason he’s probably going through Hell right now.” The soldier stood up and started for the door, ”I’m taking it to the higher ups.”
Parker shook his head, “I’ll be back in about five weeks. Just don’t lose too much hope, soldier.”
The soldier looked back at Parker, “Start GBJ, then DBL. Be safe and keep cool.” Then he walked away to start on his journey to Central Command, where he would offer up his plan to help win this revolution.
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