The Mars Wars
10 Chapter 9
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The Mars Wars
Author :Zedsdeadbaby
© Webnovel

10 Chapter 9

Stepping through the doorway, Trace entered a large room about the size of a dropship. Lining the walls on either side were squat bunkbeds, with some tables at the far end of the room. The bunkbeds were each decorated with personal effects and the like. Trace saw things like religious crosses, family photos, medals, and even a basketball. Noting that only about a quarter of the bunkbeds were full, Trace finished walking through the doorway and stood there awkwardly as everyone seemed to turn and stare at him. After a few seconds of stifling quiet, a large, grizzled man stood up and walked over. He seemed to look right through Trace, before bursting out and saying "Ah, you must be the new recruit! Trace Bellinger, right? Welcome to the 504th marine squad!"

"Thanks. I'm a newbie with the whole 'squad' thing, so would you mind showing me around or something?" Trace said.

"Of course I don't mind! As the squad captain, it's my duty to show the newbies around! I'm Raymond, by the way."

Motioning with his hand for Trace to follow, Captain Raymond turned and began walking through the room. Pointing at the bunks, he said "These are your fellow grunts and NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officer) who you'll be bunking with. Officers get their own rooms, so you have something to look forwards to if you get far enough up the chain. You can stay in any bunk that doesn't currently have someone staying in it, which you can tell based on whether there's personal junk all over it."
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Following the captain through the room, Trace noticed that in actuality, little more than half of the beds seemed to be occupied. Continuing to follow towards the back of the room, Trace continued to listen attentively.

"Back here are the showers and bathrooms, along with the break room. Whenever we have an upcoming mission or something to discuss with the squad, we generally hold a meeting in the break room. But most of the time we just hang out in there, have a drink or two, and relax."

Captain Raymond did a quick about-face until he was looking at Trace, before saying, "That's about it, for the quarters at least. Other than that, lights out at 22:00, breakfast is in the canteen at any time before lunch, and the squad meets up daily for training starting at 10:00. Now, go choose a bunk and get familiar with your new brothers-in-arms!"

"Yes sir. Thank you for the tour, sir." Trace thanked the captain.

The Captain chuckled lightly, saying "You can stop with all the "sir" business unless we're training or in the field. You're lucky, we're one of the fairly casual squads!"

Thanking the Captain again, Trace turned around and began to try and familiarize himself with his new home. Trace quickly walked to an empty bunk in the far corner of the room near the showers, and after a quick glance around, put his bag on the bed.

After 10-15 minutes of unpacking, Trace had everything he needed. He had a picture of some place on Earth, like one of those old farms, his wristband, and of course, his trusty sidearm.

After that, Trace turned to the people around him and politely said "Hi, I'm Trace. Who might you all be?"

The closest person to him, a grizzled looking man of large stature with a serious expression on his face, turned to Trace and said, "Ah, was wonderin' how long it would take ya to begin the introduction questioning. The names James, and I'm from Texas, United States. Or where it was, anyhow. Around here I'm the squads resident sharpshooter."

"A pleasure to meet you, James!" Trace enthusiastically responded.

After that came a flood of names, not all of which he could remember. There was a petite woman named Esther, an overly average looking man named Halmer, a tall but thin man named George but everyone called Ghost, a blond woman of small stature named Regina, and that was actually all the names Trace could pack into his now aching head.

Although the squad technically had room for 40 people, they currently only had 11. This was mainly due to the undermanning which the Terran Union was currently suffering from, but also partly due to the sheer size of a carrier being immensely more than the amount of people to fill it.

At roughly 9:50 PM, the Captain came into the room and yelled "Lights out in ten!", before leaving the room, presumably to retire to his personal quarters. And, coming as no big surprise to anyone, at 10 PM the lights went out. And as such, Trace began his first night aboard the T.U.C. Odysseus, his new home.


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