H Hour: The Story of Private Neeson Mayne

Discussion in 'Universe' started by ArcturusV, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Another little fan fiction thing. Less "Lore", and more traditional fiction. This is going to follow the story of a UGC Marine, Neeson Mayne, and his time on Apollo. It will not be a retelling of events in game because, well... that doesn't particularly tickle my fancy. Like all Fan Fiction, blah blah blah, IP Disclaimer, blah blah, thanks to The Man and Co, blah blah, you all know the drill. This isn't some official lore project. Just a fun story. Well, hopefully fun story. If The Man, XaVi, or others familiar with Lore and Back Story want to help or point things out, more power to them and I'll take it under advisement.



    [align=center]Prologue[/align]

    The room fell dark. Men and women, highly powerful figures all stared expectantly at the northern wall's large screen monitor. No one spoke. No one moved. Everyone in the room understood what they were about to witness, it was an affair too serious and solemn for idle chatter or drifting focus. As the screen flickered to life the glow lit up grim faces sitting around the large committee table. A few aides started silently typing, recording everything of merit and import that flashed across the screen.

    The date flashed 5/12/03, just over a month before the events that everyone here was concerned about.

    [align=center]***********[/align]

    "We're all smiles around here," UGC Private Neeson Mayne's face was centered in front of an image of a cramped deck. Men and women, most of them seemingly too young to be hardened killers and ass kickers that one might expect out of a UGC Marine unit were crowded around behind him. The banter was a loud drone, echoing in the cramped space, dozens of conversations all buzzing around into a mostly unintelligible noise. Occasionally a word would be clearly picked up by the cheap, small microphone on the recorder. It seemed to back up his claim, as overall the mood seemed good, and most of the fellow Marines were joking with one another, or talking about their shore leave exploits prior to shipping out.

    "Kind of exciting. I've never left Earth before. A lot of old hands, sons of commercial pilots or citizens from Apollo and Mars have been talking up the terrors of your first lift off. Everyone figured they were full of shit. Still got a couple of greenhorns that threw up," Neeson cracked a wide smile at this, gesturing over his shoulder and providing a shot of someone with Captain's bars on his lapel who looked about ready to pass out if someone so much as breathed on him wrong. Probably in a puddle of his own vomit. "Been givin' him a bunch of shit about it. Though I guess I should count myself lucky that they aren't going for a more traditional First Spacer hazing for everyone. Damn brass don't have any sense of humor or tradition. Or maybe just didn't want half the company too fucked up to report to duty tomorrow. We might have still done it anyway but they got eyes all over this ship. Even rumors of some hard ass Black Ops boys mingled in to make sure we don't cause no shit."

    The Private's face came back on camera. His smile was gone, and a more somber look came across his face. "Something strange... thinking I'm so far away from home. I think that's gonna be the hard part. Missing the old sunrise, sunset cycle, wind on my face, a good spring rain. Shit like that. Can't help but think of it. Lot of the old space born boys have been hammering that point home. Warning us about how hard it can be to adjust to it. I dunno about that... But I think I'll be more homesick on the moon than I ever would be on Earth."

    "Mayne, who's that you talkin' too? Got yourself a little somethin' somethin'? Makin' sure she ain't fuckin' around while you go off and kill those fuckheads for her?" A loud voice came from just off camera, and a playful swipe came by, smacking to top of the private's head. "Gotta tell 'em not to fuck around right off. Damned uniform chasers ain't got no loyalty to speak of!"

    "Nah, nah, ain't like that."

    "Yeah yeah, that's what all you kids say. Trust me, moment you stepped aboard, she was lookin' for some goober who was right there, not off shootin' traitors for the glory of the corps."

    "Gotta go," Neeson leaned in close, whispering to the camera, "Be safe."

    "Give her a kiss!"

    The feed cut off at this point.



    Next Time: Part 1: Landfall
  2. Nicarco
    • Warden
    • Donator

    Nicarco Warden

    Very nice.
    I sense a good story coming up. Can't wait to read the rest.
  3. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    [align=center]Part 1
    Landfall[/align]


    The screen snapped back to life once again. The date on the corner listed 5/15/03, the dull throbbing of engines was absent, the boisterous transport was now a quiet scene. Soft blue light barely illuminated the face of Private Mayne, rows of bunks and lockers stretched out behind him, some occupied, some empty. Men were hunched over portable devices, some seemed to be recording messages like he was. Others were purely locked into simple entertainment, a few seemed to just be laying in their beds, trying to get some rest, some busying themselves with simple maintenance and cleaning of their weapons and equipment.

    "It's been really tense," Neeson was a lot more subdued than he was just a few days ago, his voice came out as barely more than a whisper. His expression bore a certain amount of fatigue, there was a darkness around is eyes that seemed not to be related to the poor lighting alone.

    "It's almost like that time I was stationed in Cambodia, you remember?" He shook his head slowly, a barely visible tremor passed through his back and arms. "Guys go out on patrol... and we all knew there was a good chance someone wasn't coming back intact. All those landmines, booby traps, and knowing at any time everything in a mile of you might start shooting everything from ancient rifles to rockets at you."

    "It's not like that yet... but there's that feeling. Seems like no one wants us here. Everywhere you go you can just feel the eyes following you. A lot of tension, a lot of malice. It won't be long before something happens. I don't know who's going to fire first but unless something changes..." Neeson just shrugged as he let the unspoken words hang out in the air.

    "A lot of them are going to end up dead. I don't mind that. Everything I've seen and heard of these Apollo Colonists tells me they're just spoiled brats whining because they don't get everything they want. Life here seems a lot easier than it is back home, but no, that ain't good enough for them."

    Neeson grit his teeth, the fatigue that was in his body was replaced by the hard set of anger and annoyance as his mind went further down this track.

    "The hammer's gonna drop on them soon. I can't imagine the brass and stuffed shirts back home are going to put up with this shit too much longer. Gonna be just like Mars. Only regret I have is that we can't just do it right now. Rather not wait for them to start taking shots at us. Just run out into the night and take them out before they even think of starting shit with us."

    "Maybe that's the plan? We've been on standby since we landed. Captain still isn't feeling well, few of us are under the weather too. Apparently some bad vaccinations... some "Moon Flu" going around too. Doc Larwasa says they should pull through in a few days, but for now most of what they do is just sleep, puke, and groan."

    "Hell of a start... Never thought I'd miss my billet in Nambia. Least there we didn't have crazy Moon Bugs putting people under."

    Private Neeson leaned over, his hand hit the button on the recorder, the screen turning black again as the feed was cut off.



    Next Time: Part II: Celebration
  4. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    [align=center]Part 2
    Celebration[/align]


    The private's eyes were bloodshot as the barracks came into focus once again behind him. Almost no one was recording a message, reading a book, or putzing around. Maintenance seemed the standard of the hour this time, the mood was much more somber.

    The date flashed in the bottom right corner, 5/19/03. The feed was paused for a second, a voice in the background clarified, "This footage was recorded on Remembrance Day, a local holiday on the Apollo Colony."

    The feed started back up again without any further explanation.

    "I must have cleaned my C-14 seven times in a row now. I can stand it, I'm prepared enough to face Armageddon itself and the hordes of Satan. I had to do something else. I can't imagine I'll send you this though."

    The private gave a little laugh, "Must be looking pretty rough. It's been a long day, for all of us." He shook his head slowly, the heels of his palms rubbing into his eyes for a few seconds before dragging his fingers back through his hair. "Been up for 20 hours now... looking like 20 more to go. Everyone thinks we're going to be given the green light within the hour. Dunno what's taking so damned long." The tight set of his jaw seemed to show him grinding his teeth down as he glanced back over his shoulder at some disturbance not picked up on the recording.

    "You remember Danny right? Got into that scrap in Nambia with him. Good man, as you know. These locals, they got all riled up. I don't really know why. Doesn't seem that important to me. Some chick killed herself in order to create some program that opens doors and flips switches or something. I don't get it. But these fuckin' eggheads treat her like she's the Virgin Mary, crossed with Buddha, with a pinch of Helen of Troy thrown in just for good measure. To hear them talkin' about it you'd think this crazy chick went and pulled the Moon out from the Earth with her bare hands and created Helium-3 with her own blood. It's fucking crazy. I mean I never heard of this Doctor lady before I ever even got here... but it's like a damned cult up here. I don't know how else to explain it."

    "Well we're on Peacekeeping duties. Nothin' serious after all. These drunk lunatics are out on the street talkin' shit about us... tellin' us to go home."

    "One of them calls Danny a baby killin' bastard who should rot in hell right to his face. I don't know what shit the local security team here puts up with, but you know Danny... before the guy knew what was up he got cracked right in the nose with his rifle. Danny's delivering the verdict, tellin' him just how much shit he just jumped into and about to inflict some corporal punishment on the spot."

    "Guy pulls a pistol. We put him down. Their buddies run off right quick, we lose them after a short chase."

    Neeson let out a loud, slow sigh. He was shaking his head back and forth, as if he wanted to deny the very reality of the situation itself as much as lamenting the events that transpired.

    "Wasn't just us. Quite a few other incidents. Locals don't have any good sense. Fucking Moon-born Security Personnel ain't doing their jobs and keeping these people in check. Everyone thinks we're going to get orders to sweep Apollo, door to door, cracking down on them. We ain't going to let these whiny rabble rousers blatantly get away with shit like this. No one wants that."

    "This nexus stuff is fine and dandy. But I'm going to feel a lot better when we flush 'em out and put a bullet in them, in person. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways. Should have done that shit on Mars."

    Once again Neeson looked back over his shoulder. "Orders coming in now... I gotta gear up. See you soon."



    Next Time: Part III, Politics
  5. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    [align=center]Part 3
    Politics[/align]



    "Un-fucking-believable."

    That was the first words out of Neeson Mayne's mouth. The familiar barracks was gone now, replaced by the interior of a transport, probably a ground vehicle based on how the men rocked and swayed, and the loud rumble of the engine that droned on. The date was clearly marked 5/25/03, and Private Neeson Mayne, and indeed the other men within sight were clearly not happy with the turn of events.

    "Dunno what the fuck those pencil pushing morons are doing down there. Need to pull their damned thumbs out their ass and use the brains God gave them." A chorus of grunts answered the unnamed soldier's assertation, a few nodding along.

    "Ain't that hard. A few mags fired into the crowd, end this shit right here, right now. Pussy little moon colonists are all talk, they ain't got the backbone to do shit to us."

    Another chorus of grunts replied to the third soldier. All except one of the figures on camera, a younger marine from the look of it. Still very babyfaced and wide eyed.

    "We can't just go around shooting innocent civilians," he protested, "The UGC Field Handbook clearly sta-"

    "Shuddup about shit you don't know about!" snapped Neeson himself. He seemed to have forgotten about the camera itself, it wasn't centered on his face, but merely showed part of his body along the right edge of the screen. It seemed that he may have turned it on accidentally.

    "Ain't no innocents here. They're pissing all over us. Just little children being unruly. Just like any two year old throwing a tantrum, you gotta smack 'em until they get some goddamned sense! They think they're better than all of us just because we count on the mines here..."

    "Well there's half a million here, and a good 10 billion down there. I'm sure we can find lots of replacement miners... ones who haven't been so removed from reality to think they don't need UGC Law and Order. Fucking mooners think they got us by the nuts? They don't have the muscle to back it up. Moment that the Senate gets their act together and figures out what we already know? I give it a week, tops. These aren't hard bastards, just little nancy boy intellectuals who think they know better. A little blood and they're smarten up real quick."

    Everyone in sight was nodding along, even the fresh faced recruit seemed to understand, or at least be cowed enough by the group around him to start nodding along. The transport shifted down a gear, and the rumbling and bumps were much further apart. Men started checking their equipment, adjusting their packs.

    "Up and out, lets take this like a drill, no mistakes men!" The barked out order saw everyone standing up. The camera jostled around as Neeson stood up, giving a nice, detailed shot of his shoulder and the ceiling of the cab.

    "Aw shit," he muttered, his hand reached out over the lens and the camera blinked off.


    Next Time: Part IV, Culling
  6. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    [align=center]Part 4
    Culling[/align]


    5/28/03, every man in the room saw that date and could already guess what the contents of the recording would be about. The men shuffled in their seats, and a wave of discomfort and unease passed through the room.

    [align=center]---------------
    [/align]
    The camera focused in on buildings through the heavily reinforced view port of the barracks, past the parade grounds, beyond the security fence. Men, women, and children gathered on the street. Picket signs hoisted up, each one painted with a slogan against the UGC and the action it was undertaking. The voice of Private Mayne let out a nervous laugh as he zoomed in on some of the picketers out there. The sounds of the protestors were unable to reach the camera, but it seemed obvious that they were shouting and chanting out there.

    "... never seen anything like it..." Neeson muttered in narration as he finally pulled away from the window. He scrolled over the barracks, it was pretty thinned out from the last time it had been seen, a good fifth of the men missing and beds empty. No one seemed to think much of it. No looking for missing men, no signs of combat fatigue or casualties that might have explained the missing men.

    "Dunno if you'll hear about it..." Neeson kept talking as he looked through the barracks, lingering for just a bit to watch a card game, and one Sergeant lose a week's pay to a Corporal who pulled three jacks. "But today, shit hit the fan. The mooners throwing a hissy fit before? They're in a full on tantrum now. Fucking jackass suits back planetside caved into their little hissy fit. Agreed to some massive troop draw down."

    Neeson let out another chuckle. This one seemed born more of frustration than anything else. In any regards it wasn't exactly mirth that was flowing through him. The men left in the barracks seemed to be equally on edge. No matter what anyone was doing, even the Corporal who just cleaned up, no one dared crack a smile or joke around.

    "The Marshal though... well he's got a better head on his shoulders than the paper pushers down there. Every man and woman who calls this rock home with a UGC Commission was the first on the list to ship out. That's what's got them all riled up. First time so many of those Mooners were actually shipped back to earth for a tour."

    "... yeah, if it wasn't so messed up it'd be funny. I'm lucky if I can go back to the farm for a month every other year. They're freakin' out because for the first time in years some of these soldiers won't be a stone's throw from their families. Guess they never raised enough soldiers here to actually bother shipping out a full regiment, just kept them tacked on as a local garrison."

    "Ain't that just fucked up?" Neeson finally set down the camera, fixing it so it was centered on him sitting on the edge of his bed. He looked exhausted, more so mentally and spiritually than physically. "... I just can't help but hate them."

    He slumped his shoulders, and just couldn't stop shaking his head. Several loud thumps sounded out, coming fairly close. "Guess they're gassing those people out there right now. You don't want to see it. Looks a lot worse than it is. Just gonna make them run off and disperse."

    "Ain't many marines left here. Most of the transports have already taken off, heading off to Earth again. Wish I was one of them going back to where shit made sense."

    "Problem now is we still got these rabble rousers causing trouble here. We're barely a ghost of the forces we were before... and now..." he shook his head. "We're getting close to even numbers with their 'Security Force'. Local kids who aren't in our chain of command. None of us here like having these half trained brats running around with the same gear as us, throwing their weight around. Seems the bigwigs on this rock want to have their Security Force take over everything."

    "... All I know is that I'm not going to trust one of those fuckers to cover my back."

    A round of cheers came from the half empty barracks as they heard Neeson's words. The sentiment seemed to be carried by at least a sizable number of Marines still here. The mood soured even further, just the mention of the Security Forces and the draw down seemed to put a scowl on most peoples' faces.

    "We're on a 24 hour lockdown here. Driving me crazy to be stuck in here instead of doing my job. Guess I'll go get some chow. Not much else to do. See you soon."

    Once again the feed faded to black as the private shut it down.


    Next time: Part V, Reversal
  7. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    [align=center]Part 5
    Reversal[/align]



    5/31/03, and for once the Private was outside of confined quarters as the camera flicked back on. Neeson himself wasn't in frame, but there was a veritable sea of people all gathered around. Some of them bore the clean, trimmed, fit look of obvious military personnel, others obviously civilians. All of them were looking towards the stage and there was a constant buzz through the crowd as people spoke over each other in excited tones.

    The outdoor stage had a gigantic UGC Flag as a backdrop, no podium, no props or scenery to speak of. Two men, armed and armored in standard UGC gear, oddly enough bearing the markings of the local Apollo Colony's security personnel. No one seemed to mind however.

    "This man... one day he might make a fine senator or governor. Wouldn't be surprised if he ended up running this joint one day," Neeson's voice drifted in, loud enough and clearly picked up as if he were the cameraman in question.

    There was a loud noise and a wave of applause erupted throughout the crowd as a figure crossed the stage. He wasn't armed or armored, but definitely had a dangerous look about him. A weathered old man who seemed to be on the far side of middle aged. But he was certainly still a fit, able man. He had a sort of poise and tension that made it just as easy to picture him in the well tailored suit he wore now, holding a gun, or beating a man to death with his bare hands.

    "Old War Hero. Wish my CO was even half the man he is. Fuck, we'd be unstoppable," Neeson chipped in with more than a hint of admiration as the noise died off. The man stood at ease, feet at shoulder width, hands behind his back, great posture, staring out at the crowd with a commanding presence. This was a man used to being listened to, and no one here dared to cross him out of either respect or fear.

    One second he was just standing there, surveying the crowd, the next he spoke. It broke through as sudden and fierce as a gunshot. His voice had a deep, rich quality to it that reached far from the stage even without electronic assistance.

    "We have forgotten too much. Life here is quiet, easy. Our struggles on this land are not the struggles I faced in war. We have no enemies other than solar winds. We have no hardship beyond the labors of our works. We don't contend with the mistakes of the past, irradiated wastelands, toxic cesspools, and the consequences of those who chose comfort over right."

    "Apollo is in our hands. The things we do NOW will shape this place for untold years to come. This land is nothing more than a petulant child right now, unaware of the dangers in the wider world and so far sheltered from the dark truth of reality. It's easy to live in this bubble. I chose this bubble myself for that very reason, to be removed from everything and delude myself into thinking that all could and would be right forever."

    "We chafe at being told what to do by our elder, wiser states. We resent them because they slapped our hand, not even realize they did it so we would not reach for something dangerous. Let me tell you, I've seen these dangers first hand. I've seen the results where men and women have thought they knew better, that they could go it alone, and deserved more than their share. It has never ended in anything but blood and carnage."

    "Slow down. Accept the wisdom of your elders. There is no need to push so hard towards a fate that cannot be easily reversed. I have seen the best of the UGC. I have seen the worst. And I can tell you without a doubt, that we, not just as men, or citizens of the moon, but as humans, NEED the UGC. At least for now. The violence that has been escalating against UGC personnel must stop! It is a fight you cannot win, and should not be involved in. The pickets must stop. You are stinging a sleeping bear. They need Apollo, they need our Helium-3 and the fruits of our labors. But we need them as well. Apollo itself cannot support it's own population. No place on Earth or Off can. To consider otherwise, to think they need us, more than we need them will only lead to the downfall of both Earth and the Moon."

    "I call for you all to drop your arms. To consider reason and peaceful discussion to threats and violence. The UGC has been good to Apollo, and to humanity in general. To consider otherwise shows only how much of our history you have forgotten."

    "Loyalty does not mean blind obedience. It means putting aside your personal issues for the greater good of all involved. Don't let a few disgruntled men sway you by ranting loudly in the streets for all to hear. Listen to your own voice, and let it guide you. The UGC has protected you since before you were born. All the calm serenity, security, and freedom you enjoy here is a direct cause of their work. To deny that would be to go back to the anarchy and unending wars of the old world. It would destroy this paradise more than a thousand compliance nexuses or a million Marines. It would be a doom cloaked in the guise of a savior, you won't even notice the mistake you made until you feel their hand on your throat."

    As suddenly as he started talking, the man stopped. He closed his eyes, listening as a sudden wave of applause answered his speech, cheers and shouts coming from all corners of the gathered assembly. After 20 seconds of it he started walking off stage the way he came. Neeson filmed the crowd for the next minute, scanning across the whole of it. It seemed there was a good thousand there, perhaps a bit more. Hardly a majority of the colony, but it was a strangely numerous turn out for such an event. The camera flicked off as a chant started to build across the crowd.


    Next Time: Part VI, Division

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