There was an old saying that humans breed like rabbits. As far as Dwayne Hicks was concerned, that saying was obsolete. Not only were rabbit numbers well in check on Earth thanks to 22nd century technologies, but those same technologies could ensure that homo sapiens could act like rabbits all they wanted and not breed like them. So it was in this knowledge that as he glanced at Drake and Vasquez...acting like rabbits...he didn't give a second glance. Nothing to worry about biologically, and in the realm of court martials and regs against fraternization...well, that wasn't his problem.

" could shoot...just as well...without the..."

The corporal drowned out the sound from his mind. Smart gunners...they were crazy enough without wielding weapons that could kill them via optical link, let alone when they were actually wielding an M56.


Son of a...!

Sighing, Hicks entered the six bunk room of Gateway Station's barracks. He didn't know why Drake and Vasquez were hooking up in every sense of the word. Gateway Station was as sterile as Luna, but without the issue of dust. People were clean, well off if a little cramped and humans being what they were, would easily fall back on the simple pleasures to alleviate the tedium of handing materials and personnel. Both of his fellow marines could do what they wanted with any station jockey and not run the risk of being found out.

Or maybe they have been found out and no-one cares.

Well, Hicks had found out. And while being a non-com didn't count for much, he knew it was well within his abilities to interrupt the...sparring session and pull rank. Heck, maybe it would be for the best. He could afford to be lenient, whilst Apone and Gorman...well, not so much. Yeah, maybe that was-...

"Hey Hicks. Move it or lose it."


Spinning around, the marine only saw Vasquez enter the room. He didn't know where Drake was. Right now, he didn't want to know-the man was ugly enough without the grin that crossed languages and cultures in conveying that "I got laid." Still, if he had to guess, Hicks suspected that he was doing the same thing Vasquez was doing-getting into something that resembled a uniform.

"You know private, there are some of us who still believe in a dress code," the corporal murmured, turning away from the smart gunner as she slipped on combat fatigues.

"Blow it out your arse Hicks."

"Coming from you, I'm not even going to take that under advisement."

Vasquez glared at him. The corporal didn't regret his barb though, even if the private had got into USCMC gear quicker than the Company secured the rights to a world with even the slightest piece of terraforming potential. He didn't care what she thought, though considering the choice of attire, he was interested in what she knew.

"Why combat gear anyway? Trouble on the station?"

"Nah, just got word from Gorman. Some communications blackout on LV-something or other and we get to save the colonists from their own virginity."

"Which you'd know all about of course."

Hicks knew he was poking the proverbial briar wolf in the eye, but right now, he didn't care. He'd seen and done far too much in his years of service to waste even more of his life on a trip to fix a transmitter. A cushy job, and preferable in itself to some of the more morally ambiguous actions the USCMC had taken over the years, but hyperspace travel took time. Lots of time, even when factoring in concepts such as time dilation and hypersleep. Still, the likes of Vasquez and Drake had plenty of time left in this barren galaxy. So getting an earful from the smartgunner wasn't that surprising.

"Listen corporal, you can act as high and mighty as you want, but in case you haven't noticed, there isn't that much to do on this rustbucket. You can dream of the green and blue of the shithole planet this place is orbiting, but at the end of the day, you're on the same level as us."

"I've got an extra bar on my shoulder that might say otherwise."

"Fuck you man."

Hicks didn't watch the private as she sauntered out. He just wasn't in the mood. Human reproduction might put most people in a good mood, but right now, the concept seemed sour, even...primitive somehow.

Well, at least it couldn't get worse.

It wasn't as if there were nastier ways of reproduction awaiting humanity...