Good Luck, Corporal
Good Luck, Corporal
Summary: Shem talks to Gars about his latest antics.
Date: 24 ACH
Related Logs: None

Shem steps through and closes the hatch behind him. He's carrying a brown folder with a subdued Colonial Marines logo. There's a few words traded with the guards before the lieutenant finds himself in front of Gars's cell. "Corporal." It's said almost ironically.

Looking up from his comic, Gars then goes to his feet and stands at at-ease. "Lieutenant" he says as he folds his arms over his back.

"Your name has been past my desk so many times, I thought we should meet," Shem replies. He opens the folder and looks down at it, reading through Gars's history of charges and punishments. "Those sound correct to you?"

"Sounds like you got it all, sir" Gars says, remaining at at-ease, not moving a muscle where he stands.

Shem closes the folder and lowers it down to his side. He asks, straightforwardly, "Are you trying to leave the Corps?"

"Sir, no, sir" Gars says, his face a stern frown behind the bars of his cell.

Shem observes, "This is what's going to happen if you keep going down this road. Are you aware of this?"

"The thought has crossed my mind, sir" Gars replies, his voice almost harsh as he keeps his replies short and to the point.

Shem nods. "And what are your thoughts, when these two concepts meet?"

"Sir" Gars says and pauses for a moment. "That the CO needs to send me into combat, sir."

Shem shakes his head. "Corporal, you and I both know you're not worthy to fight. Our Corps expect NCOs who can tell soldiers to run into enemy fire and have that order followed. This latest stunt cost you that respect."

"With all due respect, lieutenant" Gars says, his frown growing. "How the frak do you know what I am able to perform in a combat-zone? Have you followed me into combat, sir? Have you bled under my command? Have you served with me for nine years? If not, you have no idea what I am capable of in the face of enemy fire, sir."

"That is right," Shem replies. "But I have also met people like you, and it's self-destructive." He repeats the three core values. "Honor, courage, commitment. You have left the first behind, maybe not in your mind, but I am telling you now that you have." He doesn't say these words angrily, but carefully, as if trying to explain.

"Sir, with all due respect" Gars growls. "Keeping marines cooped up while there is a war on, on this scale, and expects us to behave like nothing happened… Is FUBAR on an unpresidented scale. I need combat. I need payback. It's that fraking simple, sir. I need to kill Cylons to honor this uniform. And you boys will need me before this war is over, for one simple reason; Im the best you've got… Sir."

Shem shakes his head. "The Corps doesn't need gangsters, no matter how good they are." He lowers his chin. "We've all lost family, and that doesn't give you an excuse to abandon the very attitudes that define us." He sighs shortly. "Since you're so ends-concerned, let me put it this way. If you ever want to hold a gun again, you need to put a leash on your ego. They're going to throw the book at you."

"The Corps needs every frakker they can get their hands on" Gars says. "Or do you expect a sudden surge of reinforcements any time soon? This is war, lieutenant; we dont have the luxuary of choosing who gets to wear this uniform anymore. If a man is willing to pick up a rifle and go into combat, he is given a uniform. It is how wars have always been fought. And dont pretend that this war would be any different. I have seen officers behave like children. I have seen NCO's piss their pants in battle, and I have seen enlisted that should have made frakking general. And I have seen bad evil men in this uniform, but none of us ever cared, cos they were on our side… And back then we had plenty of reinforcements… This is not about my ego… But more about yours, sir."

Shem nods. "This is how you feel, then?" he asks, plainly.

Gars is as ever a-ease, hands folded on his back, posture stiff and his face stern- "Lieutenant. I have served for nine years, seen alot of shit and shot alot of people. I think I know a thing or two about grunts in the field, sir."

"I'm sure you do," Shem replies, honestly. "But I think you know that my perspective is going to be different."

"It most likely will be different, sir" Gars says with a frown. "Your prespective is of a pencil pusher who shovels paperclips. My perspective is that of a marine who knows what it means to take fire and what dead friends looks like when officers like you makes the final decision on things… sir."

Shem nods. "Good luck, Corporal," he says, putting more meaning into it than typical. He turns around and walks away for the hatch.

Gars stands at attention as the officer turns to leave. Saying nothing, he just keeps a stiff, rigid posture, not a muscle moving.

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