It had been yet another quiet night. I had been on watch since the middle of the night – the rest of the young guns were certainly progressing fast, and after their display at Andy’s little ‘graduation ceremony’ there was no doubt that they were well on their way to being able to hold their own. But shooting targets is one thing. Shooting a rumbler (as I can say from personal experience) is something else entirely. So I’m pulling double duty for the next while.
Summer had been on last shift with me. Andy was right, she was going to make a good officer. She was the only other one of us that had fired a gun before landing on Alchibah, which was something, but she certainly didn’t have my background. Which, all things considered, she should be thankful for. That didn’t change the fact that she had the stuff.
“So, I heard Elana mention that you run?” I asked. We were just getting off shift. “You any good? And what events, anyway?”
She laughed. “Yeah, I’m good. 1500, 3000 and 5000. You run?”
“You could say that. I’ve been missing it. Any chance you’re up for a little early morning training?”
”Abso-freaking-lutely! Let me just go get John – he wouldn’t miss a good run for the world. Be right back!” I watched as she dashed off. Yup, definitely a runner, born and raised.
I went back to my own tent, leaving the rifle and quickly getting changed. John and Summer were just getting there as I returned.
“So, what’s the plan?” John asked. “I haven’t so much as jogged since I got on the Lancer.”
“I figure a few laps around the main town clearing should do for starters. About a mile a lap. Think you can keep up?” I grinned.
“Don’t worry about us hotshot. Just don’t fall behind!” Summer shouted over her shoulder, starting.
They were as good as her word. Better. Truth be told I had never found anyone, even back with the resistance, that could push me. Until now. After the second mile John piped up.
“Enough with this jogging crap. You girls ready to start running?” Summer rolled her eyes. I grinned.
“Follow me if you can!” I shouted, sprinting ahead. After that it was all we could do to keep up with each other. I think John could have won, if he had pushed to his limit, but we were pretty evenly matched. A half an hour and five laps later we all started slowing down together. By then the camp was awake. More to the point, the other young guns were awake. One by one they joined us, pushing to keep up with our slowed pace. They weren’t runners, that’s for damn sure, but they were young guns. They kept up. As we rounded the bend halfway through our last lap I saw Andy and Ash looking at us. I could just pick out what they said as we passed.
“Would ya look at that?” Ash exclaimed, “Voluntary PT. Remember when we that young?”
“I can occasionally remember that far. Never thought I’d see the day again,” Andy replied, “Maybe these pigs can fly.”