Posted: March 28, 2015 in Chat

It was early; the party still fumed from the mess of part empty glasses, cans, bottles scattered around the apartment.

He had been up since dawn. If he had ever slept; that was still a debatable question, to explain several lost hours, as the night had turned over towards day.
And the noise was the tv.

Friends and remotely familiar people still lay around the place; they were completely out of it, and no noise or moving around could possibly make any impression on their drowned senses. ‘Such irresponsibility’ he caught himself thinking, always the strategic thinking going on, the escape routes plotted, the alternative routes….

But he was baggy eyed, red-eyed, humped over before the tv. The twenty-four hour news channel. He knew this was coming, even the severity of drinking on party-nights could not block it out. The war in the south was not going well, and troop numbers coming home injured more than matched the numbers being trained and held in reserve.

When you sign up, you do not do it expect it to happen; you do it for the lifestyle, for the action, the physical fitness. And here they were, at the peak of their physical best, and now, as we watched them stretchered off planes, helicopters, they seemed just so much broken bone and torn muscle. Bodies, for all their hard biceps, their snap reactions and responses, bodies are just so much meat. Body armour, the new light-weight stuff, hard and resistant, can only cover so much of the torso; and training is how to hit the other parts, the more vulnerable parts. Well, as he can see here, it can be very successful.

He looked around the room; all his mates and their mates and… just who are those guys?… he guessed the girls had done the sensible thing and gone, or crashed out in more comfortable places. Like the bedroom. Always depend on a girl to do the sensible thing. Like Jan, crying-off at the last minute; she knew the desperation behind these parties, and they never ended well. Only one carted off to Casualty this time round, though.

Some ‘suit’ was on the tv; he turned his attention back to it; the ‘suit’ was now saying it, those words he knew were coming but most feared.

And then, somewhere in the house, his phone rang.

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