Chapter 6 – We Need a Montage
SG-42 stepped through the gate and arrived in Camp Hell. They were greeted by a man waiting at parade rest. When Major James was within a few feet of him, he snapped to attention and saluted her.
"Master Sergeant Ronald Greer, reporting for duty, Major."
James saluted back. "At ease, Sergeant. And welcome to SG-42." She then moved to shake his hand, Greer happily complied.
"Greer?" Eli finally asked after blinking away his surprise.
Greer turned toward him, and after a moment recognized him.
"Eli? My God, is that you? I could barely recognize you without the baby fat," Greer grasped his hand warmly. "Don't tell me that the Major suckered you into this, too?"
"I'm afraid so."
"So you're going to be our squad geek?"
"I prefer the term 'squad super-geek', but yeah, that's me."
"Outstanding. It's good to see you again."
"Sergeant," Camile greeted awkwardly.
"Camile," Greer responded back equally as apprehensive.
"Can't you just feel the love?" Eli said after a long awkward silence.
Major James felt an urge to sigh, but didn't. Making a point to actively stay composed she just spoke to Greer again.
"I've got some bad news, Sergeant. We're only cleared for three weeks of training here at Camp Hell, and then we report for duty back in Cheyenne."
Greer looked like he wanted to complain, but managed to stay composed as well. Three weeks was not nearly enough time to get two civilians ready for gate travel. Although he supposed that Camile and Eli weren't typical civilians.
"I'll revise the schedule and make sure the most important things are taken care of."
"Excellent. By the way, Sergeant," James said with a widening smile. "Were you aware that you're out of uniform?"
Senior Master Sergeant Greer stared at the new patch on his arm that made up his new rank. He just managed to get one set of BDUs finished. The rest would be taken care of in the morning. Thankfully Camp Hell came equipped with a laundry staff that could make alterations.
He hadn't had a promotion since right before being assigned to Icarus several years ago. Apparently punching out an up-and-coming colonel was not a good career move. Still, he didn't regret it. Telford had it coming. And from what the Major had told her earlier he still did.
Telford had apparently spent his time as head of Cheyenne Mountain doing everything he could to dismantle it. Greer had heard of the rumors of course. Stuck on a secluded off-world training facility for years, one can't help but overhear some gossip at least. No matter how hard one tried. But he had always just waved it off as people wanting to complain about their commanding officers. And that was every enlisted man's God-given right, whether there was any basis to the griping or not.
And now General Carter was in a position where she had to get this team ready to go in three weeks. And from the results of the first day of training it was going to be a long three weeks.
Today had just been a series of PT Exercises and classes. The classroom stuff went over well enough. As an instructor himself, Greer knew the information backwards and forwards. For James the classes had just been a refresher course. And thankfully Eli and Camile were smart enough to catch on quick.
The PT was another matter entirely.
It was just a two-mile run. They didn't even put gear on them. James had done as well as her previous scores indicated, which was impressive given that she'd been on a ship for nearly two years. He'd seen first-hand plenty of cases of soldiers letting their training slide on a ship. There wasn't much space to run and sharing gym facilities with fifty other soldiers could get frustrating.
Camile and Eli had finished the run, which was saying something. Not all civilians could their first time around. Still, their times weren't exactly stellar. Tomorrow they would do the run again. And the day after that they would do it carrying a full load of gear. As an exploration team, they would generally be packing light. Still it would be best for them to get used to the weight.
After all, Murphy's Law took on a whole new meaning off-world.
Greer stood in front of Camile, Eli and James at a firing range holding a rifle for their inspection.
"This, ladies and gentlemen, is the HK416 assault rifle. It was designed by Heckler and Koch as a hopeful replacement to the Colt M16 and Colt M4 respectively. God willing, this weapon will one day be in the hands of every US Armed Forces Serviceman in the known universe. As it stands this weapon is the preferred rifle of the Stargate program.
"It is a rugged, refined and lethal piece of modern engineering that humbles even me. I could quite literally talk about this weapon all day with a smile on my face. And if these were normal classroom conditions I would. Instead I will delve immediately into the more practical aspects of this weapon, including proper maintenance, optional load outs, and even the proper way to fire this bad boy.
"By tomorrow, you will be required to complete a qualification of this weapon. If you fail, than you will have another chance to qualify the next day. And if you somehow manage to fail even that then congratulations. You have just joined a very exclusive club. Because only three percent of the people that have ever touched this weapon in this camp were somehow incompetent enough not to qualify with it. Granted, they are usually given significantly more training with the weapon before testing, and have more than likely trained with either the M16 or M4 beforehand, and, not to mention, are usually selected from the best of the best of the world's various military forces. Still, I'm pretty confident when I say that none of that will matter when you hear the snickering in the mess hall.
"That being said, I have never had anyone not qualify on the HK416 in the two years I have been on this rock. And I do not intend to break that record. So let's get started."
Eli gulped, and then turned quietly to Camile.
"So no pressure, right?"
Camile stifled a giggle.
"I heard that, Eli," Greer said. "We'll see who's laughing when we get to the practical exercises of the Zat'Niketels. The first shot is on the house."
Today was the first day of running with full gear. Greer checked the stopwatch again and resisted the urge to growl. His team should have shown up five minutes ago, at the latest.
But then he spotted three figures huddled together. Major James was in the middle basically supporting both Camile and Eli.
"Well, that's encouraging," he said sarcastically.
Greer blew a whistle.
"Eli, keep those arms moving! If your head dips below that water again, I have to fail you, do you understand that?"
"Greer!" Eli said with a small gasp. He was nearly out of breath from the constant aerobic movement needed to keep his head above water. "Most Stargates are found – hundreds of miles – from bodies of water. Is drown-proofing – really necessary?" he managed to ask through fits of ragged breaths.
"I got one word for you, Eli. Atlantis."
Camile growled in frustration.
"Greer, my rifle's not working!"
"Check the safety, Camile. Again."
She fumbled with the weapon for a moment. "Ooh! – Hey! – I got it now!"
"Excellent. Now, take a deep breath. Check your sights and—" Greer managed to say before being interrupted by Camille firing several shots accidentally.
"Um – I'm sorry," she said in a quiet voice. "Those don't count, right?"
Greer sighed again.
"So how are they doing?" James asked Greer as they were sitting down to eat chow in the mess hall.
"Permission to speak freely, Major?"
Greer paused for a moment. "They're doing great," he said with a thumbs-up.
Greer clicked the stopwatch as Major James along with Eli and Camile finally showed up from their latest run with gear.
"Well, at least she didn't carry them this time," he muttered.
This seemed almost impossible. He wouldn't have believed it, if he hadn't seen it for himself. He pulled out his pen and signed off on the sheet.
"Camile Wray. You officially qualify for the HK416. Congratulations."
Camile Wray threw her hands in the air in victory.
"She passed?"Major James asked amazed. "That's great. I was worried she was going to tarnish you're record there, Sergeant."
"Yeah, don't remind me. But she didn't just pass, Major. Those were some of the best damn groupings I've ever seen in a civilian. She might just be a natural sharpshooter. Hell, with a little more training I'd have no problem sending her to Sniper School."
James smiled. "Excellent. What about Eli?"
"He qualified for all the weapons – slightly above-average score for civilians. His pistol scores were extremely good though. Now if I could just get him to stop making Robocop sound effects, I'd feel pretty confident in his shooting."
"I really don't see what the big deal was," Eli said, sounding annoyed and exasperated.
Major James and Camile Wray walked in front of him, looking pissed off and feeling embarrassed. Greer, in the meanwhile, was next to him with a blank expression on his face.
"I was just trying to help," he continued.
"Help?" James said in a growl. "Eli, you were supposed to listen in on the class of wormhole theory, and take notes so we can all take a test on it tomorrow. Not make snide comments, until the guy ran screaming out the door!"
"Well, he shouldn't have been such a crybaby about being wrong, should he?" he said, defending himself.
"Eli!" she growled.
"Look, Major. How about you and Camile make it to the next class, while I take Mr. Smarty-pants here on a fun little jogging trip?" Greer said, attempting to diffuse the situation.
James fumed for a moment, before nodding. "Just get him away from me before I shoot him." With that James and Camile stormed off.
Once they were far enough away the two men started laughing uproariously.
"Told you I could do it," Eli said between chuckles.
Greer opened his wallet, pulled out sixty bucks and handed it to Eli.
"Man, you actually got Kavanagh to cry! I've been taking that guy's crap for two years! Worth every penny!"
"Is it me, or are almost all the soldiers clapping Eli on the back?" James asked.
Camile just shrugged.
Greer eyed the stopwatch as James, Camile and Eli came in after their run.
"Well, I'll be damned," he said with a smile.
End of Chapter 6
Author's Note: Sorry about the time this took. But writing a montage is freaking hard. Plus I've been writing lots and lots of fluff for my gaming group. Writing fiction for something only six people are going to read is a weird sensation. In between that I also finally read Game of Thrones. Awesomeness.
Oh, hey, I'm throwing down a challenge. If anyone wants to add an omake of the training session I'll be sure to include them in subsequent chapters, providing that they're funny. They don't necessarily have to fit continuity since this is just for fun.