The Third XCOM Saga, part 14, RP Interlude 22

As written by Jeremy Ciccone…

What the bloody hell am I doing back here?

Once the usual post-mission poking and prodding was over, his weapon and remaining ammo cleaned and turned in, he wearily took what he referred to as his ‘home gear’ from his locker. He never felt quite right until the weight settled about his waist. Sure, it made some of the staff look at him oddly, but he would never be caught unarmed and unaware ever again. He’d had his fill of being caught flat-footed a long time ago, and it still irritated him, so screw the staff.  The ax and big, heavy knife stayed.

He went to the hangar door and stood in the opening. He had to. As much as he felt a warm and familiar sense of security of being in his room — his cave as his wife would have called it had she still been alive –he could only stand to be in either the darkness of his room or the open air.

Open air…that was a joke that held no more humor. This place stunk. No, that was uncharitable. It smelled wrong. He missed the clean smell of old-growth pine. He knew the difference between the real smell and the nearly, but not quite imitation, that came in a tank and would be hooked to the air scrubbers by well-meaning maintenance workers. The smell of real pine no longer existed. The old-growth forest of his youth had become a warped and twisted shadow of itself in the Great Disaster over fifty years past now.

He’d gone home after the last Xeno War, renewing his vows with a wife who was far more understanding than he ever felt he deserved. Poor Mary was gone now, died of a broken heart when the Lindbergh took two of their sons and a half-dozen grandchildren away in an unfathomable instant. Anthony still lived somewhere in this sprawling city, doing something with the baby-farms.  Yet another reason not to like this…replacement of humanity. Kyle had followed his brothers to the stars, searching for himself and adventure.

And Eric…first they had ‘cured’ him, and now he could only wonder if his middle son could be saved. Saved from himself and what Marsec had driven him to.

Jeremy hated cities.

But right now he hated the xenos more.

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