Chapter 23: Seth

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600th sol - 08:17

"Yo Seth! Wait up!" I turned to see Tom and Matt coming towards me. They both had their breakfasts in their hands like I had.

"What's up man??" Matt said as he got closer and came up on my right side.

"Nothing, it's just that Lexa pisses me off." I told him.

"Why?" He asked.

"Why what?" I responded.

"Why does she piss you off?" Matt said.

"Doesn't matter, it was a while ago." I said and took a bite of my sandwich.

"Fine, don't tell." Matt said and took a bite of his sandwich too.

"Duuuude, you're totally still into her!" Tom jumped in from my left.

"Shut your trap." I said as I heard Matt choke on his sandwich.

"No way! You and Lexa were a thing?!"Matt asked with a bit of surprise after he had survived his sandwich, unfortunately.

"No, yes, kinda, it was complicated." I told him. Unfortunately, Tom was there.

"No it wasn't! Dude, she totally broke your tiny little heart!" He said as he cracked up.

"Whatever, you're an ass." However, I couldn't help but smile seeing as he was just about on the floor from laughter.

"So for real though, how serious were you guys?" Matt asked.

"Oh, they were serious. Regardless of what he tells you, they dated for almost a year back in basic." Tom said before I could answer.

"Woah! So what happened?" Matt asked.

"She just changed. She got bossy and obsessed with records and things like that. I didn't even know there was a record for the most hours in the gym but guess who set it!" I said a little sarcastically. "Eventually she broke up with me because I was telling her to chill with all this crazy stuff. For the record, she didn't actually break my heart. I mean sure, I was a little disappointed an-" I didn't get to finish.

"And you cried for days!!" Tom added as he once again started to crack up.

"Not true! Dude, you're like a fisherman." I replied, a little irritated.

"What's that mean?" He asked. By now we had all finished our breakfasts and were sitting in the commons.

"You exaggerate the hell out of everything." I said. I would have said more but just then the rest of the squad walked in.

"Alright everyone, take a seat, it's time we talk." Lexa was using a very business-like tone as she entered and 'asked' everyone to sit. We gathered in the commons.

"I want to set some ground rules for everyone so you know what to expect. Every morning we're up at 7 sharp. No exceptions, today I gave you 10 extra minutes and it showed in our breakfast. Hour workout in the mornings then 20 for breakfast. We'll do our classes, war games, etc. During the day and we'll put 200 rounds through our guns after classes every afternoon at 16:00. The only exception is Lily and Seth. Twice a week, Lily, you'll be excused to work on advanced communications and twice a week Seth, you'll be excused to work on field first aid. The commander has decided that every squad needs a member to start training as the medic."

"What the heck? Why me?" I complained, I didn't want to be the medic, I fully intended to be a front-line solider in this war. "I'm a better shot than Tom, make him do it!"

"No, you're gonna do it." Lexa said with a tone of finality in her voice that left no room for discussion.

"Bullshit....." I mumbled.

"What?" She asked.

"I said, bullSHIT!!" Getting louder on the last word. "I'm a better shot than Tom and if we get into a fight, the medic hangs back. You went to this special academy and everything so you ought to know it's more strategic to have you worst shot go become your medic." I said getting more and more infuriated as I went on.

"You're right......" She said, a little more tentatively and I thought she was going crazy, agreeing with me and backing down. "I went to the academy, not you and I am now in charge of this squad, something you never were, which means that I call the shots!" She said all this getting louder and louder while always adding emphasis when she said 'I'.

"Screw you." I spat back.

"Now you need to watch it! I'm still your commanding officer, whether you like it or not!"

"Fine! Screw you MA'AM!" I turned and walked out.

I went straight to the punching bags and stayed there until 8:50. Our first class was at 9 today so I ran back to the commons and took a quick shower. I exited and Lexa was standing right in front of the door.

"Morning Madam Hardass." I said with a bit of faked cheeriness and a mock salute as I walked past her.

600th sol - 09:00

We were in the hangar this morning working on the ships. We are all ace pilots and the commander wanted us to be able to work on our ships as well. The head mechanic was assigned to teach us and I was BORED! Unlike the others, Tom and I already knew all of this stuff. We had mechanic's minds. We were always figuring out how things worked and ships and their engines were what we started with.

The class went fast. The only one who had any difficulty was Lily and her excuse was that she preferred computers over the actual machines.

We moved on after lunch to go talk with the Commander. He wanted us there along with the other squad commanders, both the adult and teen squad commanders. We were supposed to have a defensive meeting about how to protect the base from the Exos. I was still pissed with Lexa but this was something life or death and I was quite interested.

600th sol - 13:00

"Now that we're all here, we have business to discuss." The Commander started. "First off, Dragons, would you please give us your account of what happened on Pluto so that we're all on the same page and have the same information on what we're facing?"

And so we all gave our story, John started with what the original strike force experienced and what happened and what they have for a prison. The rest of us gave our story, mostly told by Rachel but we all jumped in to add details she sometimes missed. Lexa of course stayed quiet during this because she wasn't there. After we were done, there was silence.

The Commander broke the silence. "Well then, let's begin our planning....."

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