March 11th, 3048
Fort O’Neill, Alegro
Aces Wild Base of Operations
“Call.” Major ‘Blind’ Temple Smith said, throwing all his chips butthe last into the pile. The poker game had been going since Charlie
Company got back from their last mission. The Beer Bunker was filled with smoke and the smell of sweat and stale beer. The gamewas in it’s fifth hour.
“Full house.” Captain ‘Minoxen’ replied, gathering all the chips tohim as Major Temple Smith threw his cards on the table in disgust.
“You know it might be a health hazard to take all yer bossesmoney?” Major Temple threatened. He noticed a runner from theRegimental HQ enter the dark room looking for someone. The one eyed Company Commander for Charlie Company knew the kid was from HQ cause he was in the actual unit uniform. Charlie Company wore bits and pieces of their and older units uniforms as they chose.
“More dangerous than having his blind ass do fire support near
me?” Captain Minoxen, the Company XO, fired back. The other
‘Mech Pilots at the table got a chuckle out of that.
“Sir?” The runner asked?
“The Colonel wants to see you. We couldn’t reach you on coms.”
The private explained.
“Yeah cause I turned it the hell off. Tell him I’m on my way.”
The haggard Major answered rising from the table. With one hand
he grabbed his remaining chip. With the other he flipped off his
second in command.
“You want me to get everyone up?” Captain Minoxen asked as
his friend left the bunker.
“Hell no! I told you we’re standing down a day. There are eight other companies let them have some fun too.” Fact was Charlie was shot half to hell and out of everything that they could fire in anger. They had stopped the raid yesterday on the small city near their base but it had been expensive.
“Good. Who’s in?” Captain Minoxen replied as the card game resumed.
“Smart ass.” He mumbled. The Major was dressed in cut off fatigue pants and a old t shirt half filled with holes where coolant had eaten thru. No rank insignia was showing just the Regimental and Company emblems the shirt had printed on the sleeves. Half a lit cigar hung from his mouth and an eye patch made from some kind of reptile skin covered his missing eye. Past his prime the man was in his 50’s acted like a teenager and looked like hell. But he led Charlie and Charlie followed where he led so people listened.
“Sir!” An orderly jumped up as he walked in to the HQ.
“Sit the hell down.”
“Yes sir. The CO said go right in when you got here.” Blind said nothing and barged into the Commander of the Aces Wild’s office without knocking.
“Hey BP. Have drink? Don’t mind if I do.” He said greeting the Regimental Commander and abandoning all formality between the old friends. He walked to the small bar, flipping his poker chip in the air as he went and poured himself some of his CO’s whiskey.
“By all means help yourself.” BP snapped.
“That’s what I said.”
“Where is your report Blind?”
“It should be in the system it was filed right after the fight.” Major Smith sat and took a drink.
“Not the one you had Minoxen file. YOUR report.”
“I delegated it’s the same thing.” Smith replied as he flipped the chip higher into the air catching it every time.
“Just tell me.”
“They came in on the Highway. We met em outside of town, harsh language was exchanged they lost four mechs we lost none but are shot to hell. It’s a win.” Finishing his report he drained the glass and set it on the desk.
“Then why the hell is the Mayor there screaming at me over coms?” Colonel Fay asked now watching the chip fly in the air.
“Oh that asshat? He’s pissed cause the bad guys fire shot up his fine town every time they missed us. I told him that’s what bunkers are made for and to use em.” Major Smith smiled in innocence. He stopped flipping the chip and now danced it from finger to finger across the back of his hand.
“He said you tried to kill him?”
“He tried to stop me with his car. He got out in time and you’ll be glad to know his car didn’t hurt my Catapult’s foot actuator at all as we left. See a cost savings right there.” He smirked at the memory.
“What the hell is that?” Colonel Fay demanded.
“What’s left of my sad life savings, BP.” Major Smith tossed the poker chip to his friend and Commander.
“Where’d you get this?” Colonel Fay asked turning the chip over in his hand. It had the Regimental Logo on one side and Charlie’s on the other.
“Had some sets made for the kids to use in the Beer Bunker. Everyone’s started carrying them as good luck charms though. Keep it. Give it to that Mayor for his car.”
“I think we need more of these made…”