Well like at the very least 100 million people I saw Avatar and it captured my imagination certainly, and it was a better movie than either Star Wars episodes I,II, or III. I however am not a mindless liberal and did not support the Na'vi. But politics is not the reason I'm here, there is a story to be told here, and it is about the Humans, specifically Colonel Quaritch, who along with Colonel Mathieu from The Battle of Algiers and the Soviet Colonel in Red Dawn is going to go down in immortality on the list of cool Colonels in movies.
Pumping Iron. Much as he beat his chest over it, Quaritch was too smart to actually enjoy this activity. He recognised it as a necessity, and especially on Pandora, it had to be done to keep at the peak of readiness in order to survive. He hated it because, he knew that was happening was he was making tears in his muscles and hoping he would not injure himself too badly, and on Pandora the temptation to go too far, to make yourself stronger was a strong urge indeed. But if you injured yourself it would make you weak.
Seventy his brain said, and eagerly he got rid of the weights, and took a short breather. He would now go for his morning run, it was seven A.M., he would run his forty minute five mile fun run, and then shower and go in for a good breakfast. Much as people complained, the company he worked for the Resources Development Agency on Earth did wonders at making food substitutes taste good. The scientists did wonders with the Seaweed and Algae they grew to make things have the same texture and taste as the food they were trying to imitate. All farm space was reserved for planting food, and not cattle, there were no more cattle for slaughter. Everything they made was of plant origin, except for some things, such as eggs.
He got up, and grabbed an exopack, and walked towards an airlock, dressed in the t-shirt and combat trousers he wore for exercise. As he neared the airlock door he put on his exopack and set the oxygen intake to high, in order to help him make the run as short as possible. He genuinely enjoyed running but he liked to keep it quick, as the job as chief of security was a busy one. He opened the airlock and ran out.
After about a mile he noticed someone else jogging, going slower than he was, he decided he would allow himself the luxury of a few minutes delay to perhaps speak with this person, as it got very lonely running alone all the time. As he caught up he saw a familiar face, but at first was not willing to believe who it was. He saw the panting figure of administrator Parker Selfridge, running. This was surprising to the Colonel as he had never seen the weedy administrator, whom he had assumed was just a soft civilian, not disagreeable, but soft, doing any physical activity. The administrator looked at him through his exopack, and said in a slightly embarrassed and breathless voice "Oh, hello Colonel."
"Hello sir, I've never seen you around here before, or running for that matter" Quaritch said agreeably.
The administrator seemed embarrassed by the fact that he had been discovered taking care of his shape. "Um, yeah...I try and..." he was gasping for breath in between speaking "...avoid being seen by anybody, as they'll probably tease me for even trying and that would make me stop."
Quaritch noticed his boss was running in a funny way "Problem sir?"
"What? Oh...stitch?" he said in grim determination as he kept running.
"Ain't you gonna stop sir?" Quaritch asked.
"Nope, about one thing...I agree with you... you can't afford to get soft here...not even the top boss...this world does not respect our hierarchies. I'd do it...if I had more time...but I don't. Anyway...feels like there is a breeze blowing against you here..." he said.
"Well I don't find it too bad" said Quaritch.
"Yeah well that is because you...'re a machine Colonel...I'm human" Selfridge wheezed.
Quaritch chuckled at the joke, "Well you don't worry about what others say, it's real good that you're doing this sir, keeping in shape, you keep at it. How far do ya go?"
"Thanks Colonel, twice round the base" he wheezed.
"Well keep at it, I gotta go, see ya later sir." Quaritch ran off with Selfridge starting to say something, but for need of conserving breath decided against it. Quaritch was glad when he went back through the airlock and to his quarters for a shower. It was May 19th 2154.
"You are not in Kansas anymore, you are on Pandora ladies and gentlemen, respect that fact, every second of every day." He said this as seriously as he could with a no joke look on his face. Even his fist was clenched, so serious was this matter to him, he wanted people to know that what he said was to be taken more seriously than usual, and he hoped they would all listen, as if they did not, they would be lucky to even get a funeral. He pointed through the windows to the fence where he saw a Scorpion on patrol "Out there beyond that fence, every living thing that flies, crawls, or squats in mud wants to kill you and eat your eyes for jujubes." That was just a bit of grim levity, so they how serious things were, but also so they knew he was a human being and not just a function. He saw in the back a man in a wheelchair hurrying along, he had his hair high and tight, was young, and looked at Quaritch, and Quaritch looked back. Normally he'd tear someone's ass off for being late to a safety brief, but this was obviously someone who'd been in some nasty stuff. "We have an indigenous population of humanoids, called the Na'vi. They're fond of arrows dipped in a neurotoxin that'll stop your heart dead in two minutes, and they have bones reinforced with a naturally occurring carbon fibre, they are very hard to kill." One of the science pukes, you could tell them from a mile away, glared at this, another oversensitive liberal who seemed to ignore the fact that it had been the natives who had fired first, yet somehow it was intolerable that humanity should reciprocate this act of aggression. "As head of security it is my job to keep you alive. I will not succeed. Not with all of you. If you wish to survive, you need to cultivate a strong mental attitude. You have got to obey the rules, Pandora rules, ladies and gentlemen." He hoped they were paying attention, the science puke, who did not look like a physically soft civilian, was glaring at him, thinking that you could somehow reason with nature, not realizing that perhaps nature could not be reasoned with. Quaritch hoped he was either dead, or had a near death experience within a week that would put an end to his romantic vision. "Rule number one, carry an exopack at all times, you already know about the toxic atmosphere of this planet." The new soldiers, even the paraplegic were all noting this down mentally, as were the new miners, the scientists obviously just thought of him as another dumb grunt. "Rule number two, even if you are not military keep a firearm with you at all times, with spare ammunition. We are in demand here as a source of protein for many carnivorous animals, do not hesitate to shoot." That was meant for the scientists. "Rule number three, keep a safe distance from plants, some actually want to eat you, if you wish to know which specific ones are dangerous, ask the scientists for a list and memorize it." He wanted to add, if they will give it to you. They think it would be wrong to get rid of all carnivorous plants are we would be damaging the environment. "Rule number four, if you see a Na'vi, you will probably live, as if they are seen, they want to be seen. If you don't see them, pray the arrow misses, look for them and take 'em out, violence is the only language they understand." He looked back know at the science puke, he had light brown hair and a goatee "We tried being peaceful but they still killed us, so we have to remind 'em that we are not to be trifled with." The science puke, looked at him with a cold stare that told him he did not believe him. "Rule number five, to all civilians out there, listen to the soldiers. Almost all these guys in this room, and all the ones who are already here have combat experience. If they tell you to duck, you hit the dirt. If they tell you to jump, you should only ask how high." He looked again at the science puke "We are here first and foremost to protect you, all we ask for in return is a bit of respect and trust." Now it was the last rule. "The last rule for all soldiers, listen to the veterans, take what they say as gospel, as crazy as it may sound it will be true, so even if you outrank 'em, even if you were goddamned SAS, and they were in an unfavoured unit in the goddamned Chinese Army, they know more about this place than you, listen to them. If you were Special Forces you should learn fast, those of you who suffer from the hubris of those units, will die faster than an untrained miner. If you have any questions, ask any of the officers here, if not find your work boss, and get work details from him, and do exactly as they say. I must go now."
He walked off, coming to the paraplegic "Hey there, welcome to Pandora" he said respectfully.
The younger man smiled back "Hello sir." Quaritch made a mental note to check that kid out.