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In The Army Now
By Mega Raichu
Part 2

Two weeks into boot camp and Surge was already a PFC (Private First Class) and another promotion was imminent. The training the Major had given him had paid off big time. Pikachu was conforming to army life quite well. Surge was picked on once since he got there. But those that picked on him quickly learned what Pikachu was made of. Especially on the advanced training field.

It was early morning. The morning call had just sounded and all the soldiers and their pokémon stood at attention in front of their bunks. Pikachu stood at Surge's side, his gaze unwavering as the Drill Sargent entered the room. The Sargent was in a really foul mood today. He stomped in yelling and cursing at anyone he looked at. Surge silently prayed that he would not be a target. His prayers went unanswered as the Sargent stomped over to him.

"And what's your name soldier!?" The Sargent demanded.

"PFC Surge, sir!" Surge shouted.

"Sound off like you've got a pair boy!!" The Sargent hollered.

"PFC SURGE, SIR!" Surge hollered back.

"PFC Surge huh? More like PFC Growlithe Meat to me! It seems you and your... pikachu... were mysteriously bumped to the top of the advanced training list!" The Sargent shouted, with a huge sarcastic tone on pikachu's name. "Report to Sargent McLain at the advanced training field on the double! Move move move!"

Surge quickly scooped up Pikachu and sprinted out of the room. Once out of his Sargent's sight, he slowed to a quick walk. Suddenly, the Sargent's voice boomed from behind him.

"SURGE!" The Sargent shouted.

Surge whirled on his heels, quickly set Pikachu on the ground and stood at full attention.

"I just got today's promotion list! Guess who's sorry name is on it?!" The Sargent shouted.

Surge opened his mouth to answer but the Sargent cut him off.

"Your sorry name is on it Growlithe Meat! You have been promoted to Corporal! With a commendation! Someone up there really likes you, you sorry sack of Mankey dung!" The Sargent yelled. "After you complete the advanced training, you go get your new stripes! Do you understand me?!"

"SIR, YES SIR!" Surge shouted.

"Why are you still here!? Get moving! Move your butt!" The Sargent shouted as he went back into the barracks.

Surge scooped up Pikachu and proceeded out to the advanced training field. As he left the barracks building, he could still hear the Sargent chewing out the other soldiers.

"What the hell is wrong with all of you!? I haven't seen so many ugly faces since my days in 'Nam!" The Sargent shouted.

The Sargent's voice faded as Surge got further and further away from the building.

"I got promoted Pikachu. And I think I know exactly how it happened. We'll go pay a visit to the Major after I get my new stripes." Surge said as he entered the entrance to the advanced training field.

The entrance to the field was a small building. The inside was a drab military grey. Probably the only color they can afford. Surge entertained that thought as he went down the hall to meet his new Sargent. He emerged into a room that had a catwalk high above the floor. There was some large communications equipment, with screens that displayed various areas of the field. A door opened up by the end of the catwalk. A man dressed in a Sargent's uniform walked through the door.

"Okay scumbag! I'm Drill Sargent McLain, and I don't care what you did in your previous unit, but in here, we do things MY way! You have an electric type pokémon. And judging by the looks of it, it's not military issue. This is going to be a lot tougher for you and a lot more fun for me! Go into the next room. It is a dark maze. You will be expected to use your pokémon's special abilities to navigate the maze. Now move it!" McLain shouted.

A door in front of Surge opened and he and Pikachu entered. The area was pitch black, but Surge knew exactly what to do.

"Pikachu! Use you're Flash ability!" Surge ordered.

Pikachu complied. His tail and cheeks began to shine brightly. Pikachu was a walking flashlight. Surge lifted Pikachu off the ground and carried him through the maze. He quickly navigated the maze and exited via another door. Pikachu stopped using his Flash ability and the light he was emanating died down.

"Well holy hell, you made it! Now go into the next area and we'll give you training in using your side arm!" The Sargent shouted.

Another door opened up and Surge entered. There was a military grade magnum .45 sitting on a small table next to boxes of bullets. There was a firing range on the other end of the room. Surge picked up the weapon, loaded it, and went to the range.

"A side arm will more often than not, save your butt in a heated battle, especially when your pokémon have fainted. To prevent yourself from being captured in battle, use the weapon against your enemy's pokémon or your enemy himself! Now your goal is to hit each target! Start shooting!" The Sargent shouted over a loudspeaker.

Pikachu covered his ears as Surge opened fire on the bull's-eye targets at the far end of the firing range. Surge was able to compensate for the weapon's kickback as he quickly accomplished his goal.

"Good shooting scumbag! There might be hope for you yet! Move on to the next area for actual field training." The Sargent shouted.

A door opened and Surge entered. He passed a weapon drop window and deposited his side arm. He then emerged into a long field. The field was large. There were two wooden gates blocking him from the field. It was the basic training course that everyone in boot camp had to master. Another Sargent emerged from a door on a high balcony.

"This is my pride and joy! The 'Monster Mile'! It's one full mile of nothing but running, jumping, dodging, swimming, and crawling. You will master this before the day is through! I will bet my stripes on that!" The Sargent said as he hit a button. "You will not need your pokémon for this!"

Surge called Pikachu back into his ball. The wooden gates opened and Surge sprinted down the field.

"Go up that hill! Now go down that hill! Scale that wall! Now rappel back down! Now use that rope to go over that water! Come on! My dear sweet grandmother can do better than your sorry butt!" The Sargent shouted as Surge went through the rigorous course.

"That was almost impressive scumbag! On to the next area!" The Sargent shouted.

A door opened and Surge went through. Surge emerged into another long field. This one had barbed wire that he had to crawl under. At the far end of the field was a bunker. Surge had no idea what was going to happen now.

"In this area you will have to navigate the field by crawling ONLY! While you are crawling, live rounds will be shot over your head. If you stand up, you will be injured. The flak jacket you are wearing will take the brunt of the bullet but it will hurt! While you are crawling, live fragmentation grenades will be thrown in front of you. These are small grenades and will not cause any serious damage to you at all, even if one hits you. Now start crawling! I want to see your face in the dirt! Move move move!" The Sargent shouted.

Surge got down on his stomach and crawled forward. The soldiers in the bunker started shooting above him. Grenades were exploding around him. But nonetheless, he kept going. Within minutes, he made it to the other side. The shooting and explosions stopped. Surge quickly got to his feet.

"Bloody hell! You made it out alive! Move on to the next area!" The Sargent shouted.

A door opened and Surge entered. He was in yet another field. There were targets set up at the far end of the field, but they were very far away. On a table next to him was a large rifle and some ammo. Surge lifted the weapon. It was surprisingly light.

"What you have there is a PSG-1. One of the greatest sniper rifles in the world! Use it to hit those targets at the far end of the field!" The Sargent shouted.

Surge got down on his stomach and aimed his weapon carefully. Some of the targets didn't move but some moved up and down and left and right. Some were slow and some were fast. But Surge managed to put a hole in each one, only stopping to re-load once.

"Well hot damn. You did it! I might even consider lettin' you cover my butt in a fire fight. Alright soldier. You are dismissed. I'll send the results of this exercise up to my officials. They won't like these numbers but I'm pretty sure they'll be pleased that you survived." The Sargent said as he left through a door. Surge followed and found another deposit window and dropped off the gun. The Sargent from his barracks surprised him from behind.

"Surge! What the hell took you so long?! You should be lucky you survived that! But since you did, I guess you can have the rest of the day to yourself." The Sargent said and walked off.

Surge let Pikachu out of his ball. Then he remembered about his promotion. He quickly ran off to go get his new stripes. Once he had put his new stripes on his uniforms, he went to the Company HQ building. There he found the Major's office. He knocked on the door. The Major called him in.

"Corporal. Do you have some business with me?" The Major asked.

"Yes sir, I do. Permission to speak freely, sir." Surge said.

"Granted."

"Frankly, sir I don't think I need your help in this army, sir."

"Why whatever do you mean?"

"The promotion, and commendation sir. And putting me on the top of the advanced training list sir. You did do that didn't you sir?"

"Yes, but I had good reason."

"And the reason would be sir?"

"I know that you're going to make a helluva soldier. And I know that you wouldn't let your country down, right?"

"Yes sir."

"Then let me tell you what's been going on. There's a new terrorist group known only as 'The Rocket'. They've been causing us a lot of trouble. They've inhabited a large island to the south of Sea Foam Islands. We may end up going to war with them. I want you to be in that war. I want you to be able to lead a platoon of men in there, and stop The Rocket. You're good enough. It's in your blood. I was in 'Nam for Christsake! If you do good in this upcoming war, who knows what'll happen. But I can tell you one thing, you do good there, you'll do even better here." The Major said.

Surge was at a loss for words. He never pictured himself going to war. Staying up all night at an MP post, maybe. But war? It had never even occurred to him. He turned his gaze to meet The Major's, and saluted.

"Yes sir." He said.

"Dismissed." The Major said.

Surge walked out of the room both chagrined and changed. He now knew what was in store for him. Funny, though he knew what he was up against, the only concern he had was how to break it to Sophie.

AUTHOR'S NOTE : I used some of the Sargent's dialog and the whole Advanced Training from Sierra's great First Person Shooter Half-Life : Opposing Force.