The Sailor's Stories

1020 Chapter twenty – The Sailor’s Awakening.

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God! I was still so angry…, I really just need to kill something! Man I haven’t felt like that in a long time…, not since I first heard about Mark. Back then I took some crazy risks, and nearly got myself killed so many times. If it wasn’t for the bond of my teammates, I probably would have. They knew I had lost a friend, but they never asked questions…, they just took better care of me, and kept a better eye out. I really miss that, especially now.

I was sitting outside fuming, at my own stupidity…, smoking my tenth cigarette, and on my second beer, of the afternoon. After our talk, the boys had dispersed to areas unknown…, I remember Corey mentioning something about the skate park…, to be honest I hadn’t really paid that much attention. Where the other two were, I had no idea. The talk hadn’t gone well…, I could see the extreme disappointment in the twins eyes…, it was both chilling and damning. Carl was slightly less accusing…, I think he felt that he would have done something similar…, if he was able to.

For the first time, in I don’t remember how long, I wasn’t overly concerned where the boys were. Even given the events of the day…,they were good boys, strong and resourceful for the most part. Wherever they were, I felt certain they would be safe. As it turns out, I would only have had to look over my shoulder, to find Carl. I didn’t know how long he had been watching me from the Kitchen window, though I had only been outside for about an hour. Flicking my smoke onto the ground, I reached a decision…, I really did need to kill something. It was then that I saw him.

I walked into the kitchen…

“You and Dale ok?”

“Yeah…, he’s asleep upstairs…, I stayed with him until he drifted off…, but I’m really worried about you, I don’t think they really gave you a chance to explain properly…, I thought they gave you a bit of hard time actually…”

“It’s cool little man, don’t worry about it…, I pretty much deserved it really…, was a really dumb thing to do.” I said, gently resting a hand on his shoulder, and giving it a reassuring squeeze. “It’s my own fault really…, for giving them such high ideals, of conduct and honour.”

“Yeah…, but even so…”

“Seriously guy, don’t fret about it…, you guys gonna be ok for a while, there’s something I gotta do?”

“Yeah…, I guess…, anything I can help with?”

His look was almost pleading, and really quite…, well…, Carl. As I looked into his eyes, there was just so much going on in there. Like a constant battle…, it struck me again, just how fragile he was. Having said that though, after what he’d said this morning, and where I was headed…, I knew I couldn’t tell him.

“Nah it’s all good, stay here with Dale…, I just have to go into the office for a few hours.”

“Ok.” He said, rather sadly, as I walked off and went up the stairs.

He was probably feeling a little rejected, by the way I said that…, but I couldn’t concern myself with that now. Right now, my needs were greater, and I knew that if I didn’t get this out of my system, I would really go off the deep end. I just couldn’t afford to do that.

I did, in fact, have no intention of going to the office, though I was headed for the base. In my room, I stepped into the ‘Walk In’ closet. I keyed in the electronic cipher, and stepped into the false wall. It was something I had had installed when I moved back in here, before the boys came…, I don’t even think they knew about it. Good thing too really…, would have raised some interesting questions.

I pulled a kit bag from the shelf, and loaded it with vest, holster rig, my .45, the M4, and finally a decent amount of clips for both. Satisfied, I stepped out, locked the door, put the clothes back against it, and set about changing into fatigues. Reaching for the bag, I caught my reflection in the mirror…, I didn’t even recognise him, to be honest…, I didn’t care.

Carl wasn’t to be easily deterred though, it seemed. I met him again as I carried my load of death down the stairs. He was standing at the bottom, arms folded with a look of confusion, on his normally somber face. A look that quickly changed to anger and concern, as recognition set in…

“I know what that is…” he said, the shock taking over as the dominant expression on his face, “It’s the same one you used when we went camping…, where are you going? Because you aren’t dressed for the office.”

No fooling him then…, smart little shit…

“Seriously little man, you don’t want to know…, just leave it alone…, I’ll be back soon.”

I made to step past him, but he blocked me…, Ballsy move for a squirt! I thought, there was no denying his resolve, and I had to admire his courage, foolhardy as it was. I tried to sidestep, but he countered again…

“Carl…, Stand down…, I have to do this.”

“You’re gonna do something stupid…, I just know it…, I’m not going to let you…” And then the tears came… “I can’t lose you too…, I’ve just found you…”

Everything I had been feeling up until that point, came crashing through me, as he fell to his knees sobbing into his hands. Acting on instinct, I dropped the bag, and fell with him. I caught him mid fall, as we came together, I wrapped my arms around him, holding him, trying my best to cushion his fall.

“Aww dude..,. I’m not.., it’s not what you think…”

“What is it then.., where are you going?”

I had to think of something…, and something fast. To be honest I had no idea where I was going, but I felt certain I knew where I would end up. I think in the end, the look he gave me, brought me back to reality. The love he was showing, was even more, than the bond I had had with my team, though any one of them would be doing the same thing right now. I had to come up with a good excuse for what I was doing…, and for the second time that day, I intentionally lied to one of my boys…

“I’m only going to the range, on the base…, I just have to get some anger out is all…”

“Then I’m coming with you…, I wanna make sure!”

“Look buddy, I know you mean well, and…, I really love that you care so much about me…, but I’m alright…, seriously.” I said.

Taking his face in my hands, looking deeply into his eyes…, I could see he wasn’t convinced…

“You know that I am going to the base. After what you said this morning…, are you sure you want to do this?”

“No…, not really…, but I’m scared about what will happen if I don’t.”

“Alright then.., go upstairs and put on some fatigues…, I may have to smuggle you in.”

His look was quite funny actually…, I could tell he was torn…, did he trust me enough to leave me down here alone, was this a trick to get past him. I was no mind reader, all this was obvious from the expressions on his face…

“You promise you’ll still be here when I get back?”

“I’ll be here bud…, you have my word. Now go…, before I change my mind.”

He wasn’t gone long, but long enough for me to call Reggie, to come over and sit with Dale. I had come back to my senses enough now, to be concerned about him waking up alone. Reggie was all too happy to do it, and said that she would fix some dinner later on. With him now changed, and looking suitably military, we made our way out.

The trip to the base, didn’t take long…, it never did. I got us through the main gate, on only my ID, and I steered us towards the training area. Once there we walked out to the range. Having spoken with the range officer…, I needed to clear, and sign a release, for Carl’s presence. I unpacked and set my gear, strapping on the vest and belt rigs. I don’t think Carl had ever seen anyone in full kit up close before. He was in awe, and also not a little scared at the sight. I handed him some protective eyewear, and a set of ear protectors, then telling him to stay, I walked out onto the range.

I let off a considerable amount of steam, in only a few minutes…, not to mention several hundred rounds, down range. He watched with growing excitement…, I knew this, as I had looked in his direction several times, to make sure he hadn’t moved. Even for a training area, a range can be a very dangerous place, for the unwary. However I also noticed, that the RO had come out to watch, and was standing by him. What they were talking about, I could only surmise, but it did appear that Carl was listening intently. Finishing the last clip, I went back to where he was standing to reload.

“Some of the best shooting I’ve seen in a while Commander. Haven’t seen you down here much lately.”

“Never seem to have the time Chief…, you enjoying your visit with my boy here?”

“Yes sir, I surely am…, he’s a good boy, listens well. He’ll make a fine sailor some day.”

I couldn’t help notice, Carl looked up at the Chief, with a proud smile, when he had sad that. He then looked at me, the rifle I was holding, then back at me again…

“Cam…, can I?”

“You tell him what’s what Chief?”

“Just the basics sir…, I thought the rest would be better coming from you.”

“Do you mind?”

“As long as no one gets hurt, and you’re supervising, I don’t see why not. I’ll be in the office though, so I wouldn’t see anything anyway.”

“Thanks Chief.”

“Don’t mention it sir…, seriously.”

I knew what that last bit meant, and I knew he was serious…, deadly serious. The Command Master Chief, would make even me have nightmares, if he ever felt so inclined. He was a good man though, and I trusted him completely. I spent the next several minutes, going over proper weapon etiquette. Explaining what everything was, and how it worked. The Chief was spot on, though I knew that already…, Carl listened very well, absorbing and understanding, everything I said. I stressed several points, and ended my lecture with…

“… the last thing I will tell you is this…, never ever point a weapon at anyone, unless you plan to use it…, I don’t care if it’s loaded or not. Seriously Carl…, treat every weapon as though it is loaded and ready to kill. These things are not toys…, understand?”

He nodded his head…, and I believed him. I handed him the rifle and a fresh clip, and watched as he walked onto the firing line. I Walked up behind him, and watched as he carefully loaded the rifle, slamming the clip home. He charged the bolt readying the weapon to fire. Checked that the selector was on single, he then toggled the safety. I stood there solemnly as he raised it to his shoulder and took careful aim. The recoil of the first shot, threw him a little, I don’t think he was expecting that much kick. But determined, he brought it up again, this time he was ready, and the round hit it’s mark, just a little off center.

As he got used to the weapon, he selected burst. I have to admit, I felt rather proud of him. Never once did he treat the weapon, with anything other than respect…, and to be fair, he really was a rather good shot. With the clip dry, he slid it from the receiver, and charged the bolt, to make sure the weapon was safe…, he even remembered to toggle the safety. Satisfied, he handed the rifle back…

“You did pretty well for your first time there bud.”

“Thanks…, not sure if I ever want to do it again…, but I like that I know how.”

“Come on,” I said, placing my arm round his shoulders. “I’ll show you how to clean it, then we can head home.”

Written by bigct/Octavius

December 17, 2009 at 14:32

5 Responses

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  1. I think your on the right track with Cam. He’s got anger issues he needs to work through. And… maybe the best thing that has happened to him in a long time is Carl. He appaers to be a walking, talking conscience. Kind of like having of of those little cartoon angels on your shoulder?? Keep it up. It just gets better.


    December 18, 2009 at 00:37

  2. I have found that the concentration required to make small tight groups calms me down every time. Shooting when your emotions are out of control usually leads to poor shot placement, it can be a very calming activity.

    I liked that Carl didn’t let Cam leave the house without him. And not trusting him to not leave without him, wonderful! Cam is heading for a big crash unless he can resolve issues from his past, his past and present is colliding leaving him no where to hide.

    Wonderful chapter! The next one can’t come to soon if you ask me!


    December 20, 2009 at 08:39

  3. Merry Christmas, Commander.


    December 24, 2009 at 02:05

  4. your two respondents are “spot on” as is said in the UK (not where I am or from). I never read a book twice if I didn’t like it. You have a great grip on this story almost as if you have lived it, as someone said in a post 🙂


    May 5, 2012 at 09:32

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