John W Partington
suspend disbelief - have an adventure

Kombatt's Trial

"LT, the Major wants to see you, now."

"Thanks, Fredricks," I said as I eased off the rock I had been lying on. I looked across the bivouac site to the command tent two hundred meters distant, I had chosen this spot because I was relatively concealed and it would take a few moments for anybody to locate me. I had forgotten about Fredricks. I scowled at him as I started across the biv, he backed away in mock fear.

Corporal James T. Fredricks, battle scout. Cocky little bastard, but he knows his stuff. Fredricks is the best scout that we have, he can find any hidden LP, OP, hard point, anything. Maybe the reason Fredricks has such skill is because he will sit and wait for hours in a forward position and just lie there, waiting for something to move. Maybe it's because he's a lucky fuck. I could not help looking at his armour as I marched past him, he had painted it standard slate grey and then written the names of musical bands and his favourite lyrics across the armour in shades of white, black, yellow, and orange. Every time I look at him, I wonder why he ever joined the military. He would seem more at place as a concert promoter or the manager of one of the bands he listens to. He carries about him a total unmilitary bearing, he was not a six-foot goliath or even a particularly rugged looking individual, but the thing that really threw people was his hair.

It is common practice in the armoured cavalry to shave our heads to the scalp or reasonably close but there is no official regulation regarding the length of hair. A soldier must keep their hair out of their eyes and away from their ears so that they can see and hear without obstruction. I've been told that back in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries that it was necessary for males to keep their hair short while females could wear theirs long. That was determined to be sexist so females were also required to shave their heads. My understanding is that the women did not like the idea that much so the order was changed and males were allowed to have longer hair as long as they wore it in a proper military fashion.

Corporal Fredricks managed to maintain what he though was cool hair and at the same time maintain military regulations. The man kept his black hair less the sideburns in neatly trimmed four-inch dreadlocks. The major hated it but I personally thought it gave a good accent to his green eyes.

Armour is a very personal thing in the cavalry. Each man’s "horse" as we call it, is individual self-expression. Some are gaudy like Fredricks's and others are more subdued like mine. My command suit was painted olive drab with blotches of black, brown, dark green, and grey. Painted in the traditional camouflage of the early battle armour years it did not do much actually hide the three tones of plasteel I was walking around it. The only aberration in the pattern was a bright red blotch under my left shoulder.

I entered into the biv site from where I had been hiding, I mean waiting in a sentry position. Just because I was not scheduled for picket does not me that I cannot take it upon myself to maintain extra duties, an officer has to set a good example. Okay, so I was hiding.

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