23/08/2017 um 06:00
Daily Life of Spec Ops – A scene from the scrap pile
It doesn’t matter if your job is to survive the daily craziness of an office or to save your kidnapped cousin from some goons, having a partner to rely on, lean on or simply talk to is the best thing. I always feel that commercial romance focuses too much on the sexual attraction between two people, and not enough on how to have a healthy relationship or how to survive the insanity of daily life with each other. Truly knowing someone isn’t always as romantic or beautiful as it sounds.
Adelie stared at the humongous man, frantically trying to come up with a strategy to get rid of him. Her shoulder hurt and her cheek burned, she felt the swelling impairing her field of vision. His grip was pressing her against the wall, but he didn’t check to secure her legs. That was a big mistake, buddy. You’re not going to stop me from cuddling with Nate tonight, oh no! As his fist thundered towards her face she kicked with all her strength against his kneecap, making him howl with pain and loosen his grip just enough for her to dodge the fist, which burrowed unchecked into the concrete. The gnarly sound of knuckles breaking, another howl in pain. She didn’t wait for him to recover, instead she buried her knee in his crotch, and he doubled over. Before he could come back up again she dislocated his kneecap for good. His scream rung in her ears, but by now she was so worked up, she couldn’t stop. One last shove made him stumble backwards, trip over a conveniently placed cable and finally topple down the metal stairs he had come up. The heavy thud with which his body hit the bottom told her that he wouldn’t be a bother anymore.
She pressed the button of the comm-link.
“Nate, I’m back.”
“You sound out of breath, everything alright?”
“Little mix up… but now we have to get out fast.”
“Okay, straight ahead for a hundred meters, then turn left, and you should see the main gate. Currently no guards there, but you’re right, they’re closing in behind you. Turn immediately right after the gate, there’s a truck waiting for you.”
“Check. See you later.”
Adelie grabbed Cosima’s hand. The princess stared at her in a wild panic, almost struggling against her grip. “And now we have to run as fast as we can!”
“O-o-okay. Is he dead?” Her head jerked towards the stairs.
“I don’t know and I don’t care. Now run!”
In a mad dash they barrelled down the hallway, through the gate and indeed, there stood the promised ride, a heavily armoured truck, motor running. She shoved Cosima up the ladder and followed close behind, shutting the door right as a group of men bursted through the gate. Bullets whizzed through the air, hitting the outer shell of the vehicle as they made their getaway. She slumped against the wall, all energy drained out of her. Her lungs burned, her whole body ached, but she had to check on her cousin first. Cosima cowered as far away from her as possible, staring at her with wide eyes.
“What – what did they do to you? What are you? I thought you’re a pilot – not a… a… battle machine!”
“I’m a special operations soldier, Cosi. I fly spacecraft, I sneak into enemy ships, I gather information and disrupt their plans. I rescue hostages. And yes, occasionally I kill people. I don’t enjoy it.”
She could see that this was too much for a sheltered princess like her. Between being abducted, encountering a look alike that turned out to be her long gone cousin and then running half-naked through a fortress, dealing with violence was probably asking to much. Her cousin rested her head on her knees and wept silently. Adelie pondered if she should scoot over and comfort her, then she remembered the panicked look… better not. Instead she plugged in the earpiece and pressed the comm-link button again; she needed some comfort herself.
“Lieutenant, request for a private conversation. Are you still there?”
“Always, Commander. Why do you want to go off the air?”
His velvety voice made her smile, even though she was so exhausted she just wanted to curl up on the naked metal floor of the truck and sleep a thousand years.
“I just need to hear your voice and be alone with you – although probably neither of us is alone.”
“That’s nice. You should arrive in, let me see… 15 minutes?” She pictured him sitting in front of the holomap, his angular face illuminated by the green light, watching a little green point moving. He was smiling, she could hear it.
“Best thing I’ve heard all day.”
“You need anything?”
“Get the committee ready for the Royal Highness, she needs medical attention ASAP.”
“And you, Commander? You sound tired. Are you alright?”
She chuckled, leaning her head against the cold wall of the armoured truck. Her shoulder was on fire, her cheek so swollen she could barely see, and there was a nice collection of scrapes on her knees and shins. She could feel the little parcel of packed away emotions fighting its way into the foreground of her consciousness again, too, now that the excitement was over. No, she wasn’t alright at all.
“I need a hug.”
“Just a hug?”
“Yeah. A long hug.” And kisses, she didn’t add.
His soft laugh on the other end of the line told her that he had understood. Then he became earnest. “Get yourself here, Lily, you sound like you need more than a hug. You’re almost there. You can make it.”
“I’m not sure I will, Nate. I feel frayed.”
From the corner of her eyes she could see that Cosima had lifted her head and listened intently.
“Stay strong. I’ve to finish up here, get the welcome committee ready. See you later, Commander.” The way he said that made her stomach flutter. They had a later. She was so looking forward to it.
“Yeah, see you in a few.” She switched off the comm-link and closed her eyes. Just a few more minutes. She could make it.
“You… and this man… you sound so familiar with each other.” Cosima’s voice was small and tired, but curious.
“Lieutenant Havisham and I, we know each other for a very long time.”
“Oh dear me, sometimes I’m really thick. Of course this was Lieutenant Havisham, why else would you call him Nate.”
Adelie lifted her head and looked at her cousin. “How do you know about Nate?”
“You mother speaks very appreciatively of him, every time she tells me news about your whereabouts.”
“Yes. I always wondered if I would ever meet him.”
“Now you will.”
Cosima fell silent again, fiddling with her fingers. Then she said:
“You two seem to care a lot for each other.”
“We do. Sort of happens when you’re constantly in life threatening situations together. It welds a special bond.”
“It sounds nice to be with someone who understands you. I wish I had someone I could rely on like you obviously can on your Lieutenant.”
“The thing is, that when you go into battle together, you really get to know each other. You get to see sides of people they wouldn’t normally share with anyone. Fear, pain and panic do that. It’s not pretty. Neither is what you have to deal with if you survive.”
“So yes, he knows me. The bright sides, and the dark sides. And I know his.”
“This sounds so romantic.”
They fell silent again while the truck rumbled through the setting sun, getting them to camp and safety. Eventually they passed the gate and came to a halt in front of some tents. The door opened and the chilly air of the evening swept inside. They were awaited by the medical team Adelie had ordered.