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I leapt up threw the door open and ran over to where he was lieing.

"ARE YOU OK!?!?!"

"I think so." He said as he rubbed his right shoulder. He rotated his arm to make sure nothing was broken.

"I'll get some ice." I said, heading towards the freezer.

"Why did you run into the bathroom like that and why didn't you answer me?" He asked me with concern, and a little anger for having to run into a door just to get me out.

"I,...uh,.. don't know" I said getting the ice from the freezer.

He came and sat down on one of the chairs by the table "oh! That makes sense then!" he said sarcastically.

I used my sad puppy face, knowing he always caved when I used it "I'm sorry"

"No! Not the puppy face! NO!!!!" He covered his eyes.


She was using the most dreaded argumental tactic known to man. I had to resist the puppy face. "You can do this Brett, you can resist it." I thought to myself.

I then made the mistake of looking at her again. The puppy face was still there.

"Pweez Brett." She said in her sweetest tone of voice.

That was it, she got me. I let out a sigh of defeat and say. "All right, all right."

"Yes!" She cheered victoriously.

I added, "But, that wasn't fair."

"Since when am I fair?" She said with a mischevious grin.

I made a face at her.

"I'm going to bed." I said as I left. We had a big day tomorrow, even though I didn't know what to expect. The captain never told us what we were going to do today. If I know the military, it's going to be a lot of physical excertion (sp) on a very hot day. Why me?

"K, Night" She said turning back to the dishes.

I sighed and left

The next morning, we made it to the base a few minutes before Captain Gibson walked up, looking refreshed like he just came back from vacation.

"How does he do that?" I asked Marc-Andre. He shrugged.

"Atten-hut!" Captain Gibson yelled. "All right recruits, today we will be doing simulated combat. You will all be split up into teams and you will have specific objectives to complete. After we finish one scenario, your objectives will be passed to another team and their objectives will be passed to you until you have done every objective there is to offer."

I was impressed that he said all that in one breath.

"A big part of combat is communication." Gibson continued. "So I expect all team leaders to keep good, if not constant contact with eachother. There will be three teams. Recruits Brett, Matt and Marc-Andre, step forward."

We all took one step forward from the rest of the line.

"You are the three team leaders. You have all shown the most promise in your training and I'm going to need good and reliable soldiers with me in combat. The team lists will be posted at the mess hall in 5 minutes. You are all to be present at the training grounds on the north side of the base in ten minutes. Dis-missed!" He ordered.

"This should be interesting." Matt said.


"You look a little upset" A voice said.

I looked up to see the boy I talked to yesterday.

"Oh! Hi...?" I said

"Sorry! I never introduced myself. I'm Ryan"

"Hi Ryan"

"Are you ok?"

"I'm fine. Just worrying about some friends. They're going off to fight soon"


"Are you?"

He shook his head sadly. "I Have a bad knee. It plays up often so I wasn't able to join"

"Oh, I'm sorry." I said.

"Don't be. I'd rather have a bad knee than go off to fight and get myself killed." He said.

I must have had a surprised look on my face because he added "You look surprised."

"I just find it weird that a guy would rather not go off to fight." I said.

This was a change from the 'macho gotta save the world' guys I was used to. I had to admit I found it comforting to know that there was at least one guy here to look out for me. Brett wouldn't be much help on the other side of the country. Specially if he got himself killed. But I REFUSE to think that.

"Hey, we have lunch break in a little bit, did you want to come have lunch with me?" He asked me.

"Uh,.. sure" I said with a smile.

Chapter 15

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