Party Part II

“So, Private, where you from?” Moore asked.

Gibson smiled, “The Western Desert, Red Sands.”

Moore’s face dropped. She looked back over her shoulder, “Steffie, get over here.”

A women walked over. She nodded to Gibson, “Corp Steffie Basset,” She looked over to Moore, “What you want Doe?”

“She’s from Red Sands.”

Steffie looked at Gibson, “You get news much kid?”

“Not really. Not a fan of reading,” Bessie responded.

“Two days ago a group of rebels in the Western Desert rose up and claimed secession from Ethslin. Red Sands was their declared capital. My sources say officers are going around and interviewing all soldiers from the Desert. So be ready to pledge your loyalty, or you’re getting pulled out.”

“My God,” Gibson’s mouth opened wide, “Did they say who’s involved?”

“No,” Steffie shook her head, “Just that they’ve seized a few storehouses of arms.”

“Lord, I hope those rebels get what’s coming. I always heard the talk growing up, but I’d never think they’d rebel in our time of need,” Gibson looked down, “So, is the army doing something?”

“They’ve cancelled the leaves of everyone there and called the militia up.”

“Those militia idiots?”

“Oi!” one of the older soldiers spoke up, “What’s wrong with the militia? I was a Corporal in the militia before the war.”

“Well they just walk around and think they’re important, pretending they’re real soldiers, telling us what to do, even though they can’t shoot straight.”

“I’m a fucking real soldier.”

“Now you are,” Gibson took a swing of the krupnik, winced, and continued, “But now you also have real rifles.”

“I’ll give you that kid, the SER Militia is shit. What genius decided that giving multiple rounds to the militia is a bad idea?”

“What the hell do you mean,” Steffie asked?”

“The army bean counters decided that since the Militia has less training, in any firefight they’d waste ammunition if they had a magazine, so they welded a cutoff in place. So with every shot you have to reload. It’s supposed to ‘encourage marksmanship.’ But since they can only afford about tenrounds a month, most of the militiamen are terrible shots. The only weapons that can fire multiple shots in a standard company are the officers who have Benett Pistols. Each Regiment has exactly one Blaire Gun, with pretty much no training. And that’s in the Newacre, where we have money. I’d guess the Desert has less.”

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