Entries in category "Harlan Lincoln"

"Pilot! Disengage! Return to orbit immediately!"

Private Harlan Lincoln lashed out his hand and mashed the transmit button. "Negative, sir! Task force is not accounted for! Repeat, task force is not accounted for!"

Suddenly, the small shuttle shuddered, a close mortar hit rocking the craft. Small arms fire pinged and ricocheted off the vessel's hull. A marine leaned out the open airlock and returned fire, the rifle's report loud and explosive. Spent brass tinkled on the metal floor. The marine, Kemple stenciled on the back of his body armor, barked at Harlan.

"Just five more minutes, man! Delay them! Just give Chestwick time!" He ducked back into hold as a hail of bullets slammed into the hull, cursing. The interior of the Remora shuttle resounded with the metallic chatter of bullets impacting on the steel hull.

Harlan twisted in the pilot's seat, looking at the HVT strapped into the acceleration rig behind him. The balding man looked up at him, eyes wide with terror. Sweat ran down his face, his pallor pale and chalky.

"Private! You are ordered to disengage and return to orbit!" Another explosion, closer the time. The blast threw Kemple down, his rifle skidding along the walkway. Dirt and dust rained down the exterior, obscuring Harlan's vision.

A small marine dove into the hatch, amidst a holocaust of gunfire, howling.

"Prezchek are all over this area. We can't hold them, we have to dust-off or we're toast!"

The HVT shrieked at Harlan. "Get me out of here! You need me! You need the information I have!"

The pilot pounded the console in fury. "FUCK!" He jammed down the transmit button. "Copy that! Disengaging and returning to The Hidalgo!" He released the button and palmed the hatch controls. "Kemple, strap in, we're out of here!"

The marine pushed himself up and scrambled to an open acceleration rig. "Goddammit, Lincoln! Chestwick is still out there. He'll be here in two minutes!"

"I know, goddammit!" The pilot threw the throttle open and yanked back on the stick, thrust crushing the entire crew to their couches.

"Harlan, are you okay?" Macree slid an overfilled mug of watery beer towards the pilot, the contents sloshing over the rim.

Harlan accepted the mug wordlessly, gaze on the pitted plastic of the table. The canteen was full that night, as it usually was after a major action. Despite the number of patrons, however, the mood was quiet and defeated. Though Operation Heavensent was nominally a success, thanks to Harlan's retrieval of the Prezcheck defector, the fleet and ground forces had taken a major pounding. Prezcheck resistance had been more fierce than Intel had believed, tearing a full 1/3 of the operation's forces to pieces. The death of friends was weighing heavily upon the crew.

"Harlan, hey! Talk to me." Macree prodded again. "You haven't said a word since you got back on board. Been here the last few hours." He glanced at the pile of empty mugs. "Drinking, it seems. And believe me, chum. I know drinking."

"Fuck, man. Chestwick is dead. Or close to dead. Or whatever the fuck." Harlan gripped the edge of the table tightly, his knuckles turning white.

"Chestwick? No. No way, man. That's impossible. . . ." Macree shook his head in disbelief.

Lincoln glanced across the table at his friend. He could see that Macree was taking the news hard. He and Chestwick were closer than Chestwick and Lincon, both of them having come from military families. They came from the same area and had similar upbringing. And their love of crude humor had cemented their friendship.

"How. . . how did it happen?" Macree's voice wavered, an outward sign of his internal anguish.

"When we set down on the surface, command had me send out two fire-teams to hit both depots, because Intel couldn't pull their damn heads out of their asses long enough to give us a solid lead on which depot the fuckin' switch-hitter was at." Harlan shook his head and chugged down half the beer. "Anyway, FT 1-Kemple was leading that one-made contact with the HVT and brought him back. Problem was, they brought about a billion Prezcheck potshooters with ‘em."

Got the HVT on board, tried to hold out as long as we could, so that Chestwick and his team could make it back. Command ordered me to disengage." He sighed painfully, eyes watering. "We. . . I left him down there, man. You know what those animals do to POWs. I'm sorry, Jordan. I delayed them as long as I could, but. . . ." Lincoln looked down. "I'm sorry."

"It's not your fault, man. People. . . people die in war. And. . . FUCK." Macree answered.

Lincoln understood. Sometimes there are no words to describe the hollow feeling in your gut, knowing that you'll never see a brother again.

Macree was quiet for a few minutes. The soft hum of the bar floated over the two friends as they drank in silence. After they both had polished off their beers, Macree stepped to the bar and bought two more, dropping one on the tabletop in front of Harlan.

Harlan gripped the handle of the mug tightly. He finally raised his eyes to Macree.

"To Chestwick." Harlan raised his mug.

"To Chestwick," Macree responded. "A damn fine groundpounder."

"The only knuckle-dragger in the whole damn mouthbreathing Corps worth a damn."

They touched their mugs together and drained them both. Grunting, Macree wiped foam from his mouth.

"So, I guess we go back to hating the jizzfists, huh?" He asked, suppressing a belch.

"Yep," Harlan nodded. "Lesson learned. Never again."

"Never again," Macree repeated.

And so the two fliers, through promotions and demotions, war and peace, kept Their emotions and friendships close.

Of course, nothing lasts forever.




Currently watching: The Young Ones
Currently feeling: disappointed
Posted by DrHeat on February 20, 2011 at 11:54 PM in Harlan Lincoln | Add a Comment

Dear Mom,


I know it’s been a while since I wrote you.  But a lot of things have changed.  War is here. Fusey and Alastair are dead.  Almost everyone in my entire graduating class is dead.  But, I’m okay.  So is Jordan.  We actually serve together, now.  We’re on the same ship.  We’re on a Georgian class cruiser, the Vigor.   


I actually think that he’s most of the reason I’m still alive.  Of course, he’d say the same about me.  We’ve been through some tough stuff.  War is scary as hell, Mom.  Battles are terrifying.  It’s not like pew-pew lasers of the movies.  It’s ships ramming each other in the dead of space.  Gyroscope craft spin huge spiked balls that slam into the enemy, tearing hull away.  Some have jury-rigged blades that slice through your hull and vent air, so your entire crew is sucked out screaming into the void.  And boarding operations, where you can hear your men being blown away and slaughtered, before you have to initiate massive gee-force maneuvers to pulp human beings inside your ship and hope the tug crews and repair teams can clean it out.  There are magnetic mines that are blown out of airlocks that attach to any foreign ships hull and blow the hell out of it.


It’s bloody and horrible and the stuff of madness. 


Doesn’t bother Jordan, though.  I think if it wasn’t for him, I would have gone AWOL.  It sickens me, now.  All the killing and fear.  It gets to you.  But, you know what, Mom? We’re good at it.  Jordan and I.  We’re the best.  No one can beat us, and we’ve whupped everything they’ve sent after us.


And then, there are times when it makes me feel alive.  That rush of adrenaline and terror make you feel like there’s nothing else in the world that matters.  I have a purpose, I have meaning.  I’m a soldier, a pilot. I keep my people alive.  Sometimes that’s good enough.  To know that I’m not alone, and that everyone else around me WANTS to be here, they ain’t some snot-nosed draftee.  I serve with enlisted men.  As much as I hate it, as much as it scares me, I think I belong here. 


Love you,



Posted by DrHeat on November 15, 2010 at 06:44 PM in Harlan Lincoln | 1 comments

Dear Mom,



How are things back home?  Did Fisher finally buy that gravbreaker he had his eye on for the last five years?  I know he wanted that thing so badly. 


I miss you guys.  Things are okay up here.  Our studies and stuff are really kicking up, with graduation in a month.   We’ve done a month-long tour around the system, Earth to Jupiter and back.  A couple of guys lost it and had to be put into stasis-comas for the rest of the trip, but I made it through okay.  I also did my first solo flyby and docking at Eden Station.  That was amazing.  Oh, yeah!  I also got the top score in my first blind atmosphere re-entry. It was kinda terrifying, though.  Maybe the most frightened I’ve ever been.


I’ve made a few friends up here.  There’s a kid who’s a real whiz with the navigation software that the ships run.  It’s neat, we really work well together.  His name is Jordan.  There’s also a cute girl in my class, her name is Fusey.  I think she likes me, who knows, maybe I’ll ask her out.  There’s also a really great pilot name Alastair, here.  He and I have a sort of friendly rivalry.  We get along just fine, we just like to sort of rag on each other, goad each other into performing our best.  The four of us are usually together, we get chow together, and spend our downtime together.  Call ourselves the Four Horsemen.


I know it’s really corny.


We keep hearing people talk about a war coming.  I don’t know, it kinda scares me.  I guess I just want you to pray that it doesn’t happen.  They also talk about inertial negation and mass suppression drives, so you never know what to believe.


Anyway,  I have an astrometrics class to go to, so I’ll write you later.


 Love you, tell everyone I said hi.




Posted by DrHeat on November 15, 2010 at 06:41 PM in Harlan Lincoln | Add a Comment

Below you will find a basic psychological prolfiling survey form. These questions have been designed to allow us to evaluate any potential issues that might be triggered by various factors such as prolonged time in an enclosed environment, HSDS, interpersonal interactivity with fellow crew members, cognitive function and other stressors. Please answer these questions as thoroughly as you are able. Your answers will be viewed only by the the Global Health Organization's phsychologist on-staff at Isley.

Thank you for your cooperation.

1. If you could wake up tomorrow anywhere in the galaxy, where would it be? Why?
            That’s easy.  At the helm of my own ship.  Anywhere in deep space, with no planets around, no asteroids, no wars, no people.  Just peace.

2. What’s the worst thing or person you could be trapped in a room with?

            Probably a ship with no engines.  Or my idiot uncle.

3. What would be the hardest thing, person or aspect of yourself for you to give up?

            My freedom, I think.  Having my personal choice being taken away, being tied down.  That sort of thing.  I guess you could possibly read this as a fear of responsibility, psych-analyzer.

4. If you were a character on a soap opera, what would be a shocking twist about you that would precede a commercial break?

            Maybe that I was almost directly responsible for the death of the entire crew of the Hemmingway.

            Or that I hate soda.

5. List three things you want, but are so unnecessary you would never buy them on your own.

            I want a signed Emmitt Smith rookie card, the original workprint of Star Wars, and a cruise of my own.

6. Tell about a time when you felt the most:


            The day I passed my flight test.


            My first blind atmosphere re-entry.  No instruments, no comm, just praying that my math was up to speed.

            The day my Dad took my car away because I failed chemistry


            I don’t know.  I don’t think I’m sad very often.  I think it’s kind of a useless emotion.  No point, doesn’t help things, ever.           

7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
            I think I kind of have a horse-head.

8. What’s a surefire way to elicit a good reaction from you? What about a bad reaction?
            A good reaction?  Tell me a joke.  A good one, and not just one that’s dirty.  Or make me a huge, greasy meal.  Like one that would be served at a diner. I love that stuff.  A bad reaction, well, probably insult my abilities.  I’ve been known to throw a few punches for that.

9. What is one of your pet peeves?
            I only have to name one?  This is the easiest psych profile I’ve ever taken.  People who call me flyboy,  but in that derogatory way.

10. What is the quality you admire most in yourself?

            I’m a survivor.


Posted by DrHeat on November 15, 2010 at 06:40 PM in Harlan Lincoln | 1 comments
« Newer · Older »