Captain Sexy gets punishment for his actions and Private Pretty Boy has to pay in return.
Being a captain isn’t easy, I can tell you that. Never in my life did I think that I’d end up here, but here I am. I was sitting in the office in front of the general and he didn’t look pleased. Here I was, biting my nails and pulling out my hair (figuratively, of course). I sat there for what felt like an eternity while he looked over what I’m pretty sure was my file.
He finally looked up at me and shook his head, “Now, I’m not an idiot here, Urie. Do you think I’m an idiot?” he asked, placing the folder back down onto the desk as he folded his hands over it.
I gulped, unsure what to say. Of course I didn’t think he was an idiot. I shook my head, “Sir, no, sir.”
“You better not,” he shook his head, “If Ross was out of his bunk after lights out, so were you. The only person that should have caught him would have been the guards. So why were you the one to catch him?”
I paused for a long time. I had no answer. And I knew what this meant. I knew this meant demotion or some kind of severe punishment. Captains were captains. They weren’t supposed to be out of their bunk. Especially not me. I had to go through a series of physical training after I got the prosthetic leg. I wasn’t supposed to be out late at night because I wasn’t supposed to fatigue my leg.
After a long silence, the general sat back in his chair, “Now, Urie, we only force you to stay in your bunk after lights out because of your leg and you know this. You were helping your squad when it happened and we all thank you for that, but…” he paused, “You understand the consequences.”
“Sir, yes, sir,” and I did. I wasn’t sure exactly what my punishment would be, but it wasn’t going to be pretty.
”URIE, STAND DOWN!” Calvin called to me from his position behind the trench. I simply ignored him, shaking my head as I kept firing. There was no way I was going to let those bastard Iraqis get away with this. They killed my best friend on the battlefield and they were going down for it, “URIE!” Calvin yelled once again, “STOP IT!”
I looked at him and yelled back, “NO. THEY WILL PAY FOR WHAT THEY DID,” I stood and ran across the field to where my best friend had just been shot. I knelt down to his side, pulling the gauze out of my pocket, “Come on, Jon, you can’t do this to me. I’m gonna get you through this.”
“Bren… Leave me be. I’m not gonna make it. You still can…” he coughed out some blood before he looked at me, “Just go. You’re a great Lieutenant, you know that. I know that, but you can’t save everyone.”
I refused to believe that. I grabbed his arm and pulled it around my shoulders, “No,” I responded and started to pull his weight across the field. Before I knew it, there was a huge blast and I screamed out in pain as I fell to the ground. All I could feel was the sharp pain in my left leg. On the ground, I turned my head and saw the blood coming from the stump of a leg I now had.
I heard the bullets whizzing past me and hitting everything in sight, everything except the now dead Jon next to me and myself. I passed out from the pain shortly after. Next thing I knew, I woke up in the infirmary. I shot up and looked around, asking everyone in sight where I was. When I got the answer of the infirmary, I was upset.
“Where’s Jon? Is he alive? Did you help him?” I asked frantically. I couldn’t lose my best friend. Not now. Not after everything we’d been through.
“Jon died after the blast. There was no way we could save him,” the medic responded as he came over. He checked my vitals and turned to look at me, “Fortunately, they managed to kill the sniper before you were killed. However, your leg is a goner.”
I looked down and I felt my heart stop. There I was with half of a leg on the table. I hadn’t noticed that I couldn’t feel my left foot. It hadn’t occurred to me. Only now, I was staring at the emptiness that was the bottom of my leg.
“You made a good Lieutenant, Urie. And you will again. And I’m sorry that it has to come to this, but it does. Now if you don’t tell me the truth, I may even knock you down to a 2nd Lieutenant. Why were you out of bed and why was Ross out of bed?”
I hesitated, but took a deep breath, “He needed extra practice. I figured I could help him out. I didn’t want him to fail like I nearly did when I was a private. I just wanted to help him out. That’s all.”
“So you went behind my back to help some ignorant maggot?” he asked in a stern voice, crossing his arms over his shoulder. I knew I was so screwed. Well, I’d already been demoted. How much worse could this get? I figured it couldn’t really get much worse, right?
I bit my lip, “Sir, yes, sir,” because what else could I say? No? Then I’d probably get slapped. The general didn’t look happy, “General Smith, before you tell me my punishment, could I please explain myself?”
He raised a slender brow and nodded, “Okay, go ahead.”
“When I first started here, as you probably remember, Sergeant Beckett was hard on all of us and he often threw me into the dirt. He wasn’t nice to me. He kept calling me a faggot and told me I was less than dirt. He told me I should give up and crawl back to my mommy. He started by calling me Private Pretty Boy, which turned into Private Crybaby. I didn’t want that. I hated it. I just needed some extra practice. I wasn’t very strong. I was stuck as this putrid piece of shit that couldn’t do anything. And that’s what’s happening with Ross and I don’t want it to. I don’t want him to go through the same hell I did.”
He sat up in his chair, studying me carefully, “Urie, did you know that you’ve come the farthest of your entire class?” he asked with a shake of his head, “Because he was so hard on you, because you hated yourself so much, it motivated you. It made you rise in the ranks. It made you become so much stronger than everyone else. Do you want to baby Ross? If you really do, go ahead, but he won’t go anywhere if you baby him. You have to call him a faggot, you have to be mean to him. He’ll die in battle if you treat him like a princess.”
I took this into consideration and I realized he was right. I was a Lieutenant and Jon was still a Corporal. He was so much lower than I was and I wasn’t sure how to take this news. I nodded slowly before standing, “Thank you, General Smith, sir.”
“You’re dismissed,” he turned back to his computer and started typing away. I took a deep breath and walked back out. So this is what it’d come to. I had to be mean to Private Pretty Boy, or else he’d never live through battle. That meant no private sessions of practice. This meant… Well, I didn’t get to relieve my sexual frustration. But that was okay. That’s what my hand’s for, right?
As I entered the field, I made my way over to where Sergeant Beckett was instructing my squad. I tapped his shoulder and whispered something into his ear. He saluted me and bowed, “Sir, yes, sir!” and ran off. I went back to my place and looked at everyone, “Okay, ladies. Today we’ll be doing the obstacle course. Anyone have any objections?”
Everyone yelled, “SIR, NO, SIR!” except one person. I knew immediately who it was when I met eyes with him. Private Pretty Boy. I saw him look around nervously before he met eyes with me again. I made my way over to him and grabbed his face harshly, “I didn’t hear you,” I growled. He still made no move to say anything, “I DIDN’T HEAR YOU,” he squeaked and yelled, “SIR, NO, SIR!” I grinned and shoved him away, “On your face and give me fifty, faggot,” and turned away from him, “MOVE, LADIES!”