“Man, when those radioactive Jell-O-filled containments suits went splat that was totally awesome!” Elixir said excitedly. “There was green slime all over the place!”
“Yeah that was pretty cool, kid,” I replied. I took another sip from my Slurpee. “You had a good plan there with the robots.”
“Yeah, but you had the idea about air dropping the suits. That was awesome!” Elixir jumped up and made a motion resembling a ton of radioactive Jell-O hitting the ground with his arms. “Ka-bloooie!”
Elixir and I were gettin’ kind of antsy just sittin’ around and waitin’ like this. So we went down to the Quik-E-Mart to toast our success with a couple Slurpees and hang out in the parking lot a little. I think he got grape, I got blue raspberry. Elixir’s a good kid. I don’t know why he’s all mixed up in something like this. Maybe I can take him under my wing and guide him. Like that one time I was a corporal and had a squad of my own.
“Never in my life have I seen a radioactive dessert fly like that,” I chuckled in between sucks on my straw.
“Yeah, but I bet you’ve gone on all kinds of cool missions though, huh?” the kid looked at me all doe-eyed. “I bet you’ve seen all kinds of stuff blow up.”
“Oh yeah I’ve seen all kinds of stuff blow up,” I replied all cool. “Tanks, APC’s, dropships… I’ve even seen a reactor go up and take out a whole colony.”
“Cool,” Elixir was all ears. He was itchin’ to hear some of the stuff I’ve seen. “You been on a lot of missions, huh?”
“Yeah, I have.” I slurped up some more frozen raspberry ice through its straw. “They weren’t all milk runs though. I’ve been on some bug hunts, holding actions, major operations, maneuvers, tactical withdraws, amphibious assaults, airdrops, spacedrops, joint operations, recons, Special Operations missions, decoy missions, supply runs, insertions, extractions, counter narcotics, EW, E&E, R&R, ECM, FM… Yeah, I’ve kicked a lot of tires and started a lot of fires.”
“Wow.” The kid was impressed. Real impressed.
“Haven’t you been on some missions with the X-Men?” I asked. “I bet you’ve seen some cool stuff, too.”
“Oh sure, I’ve been on some missions,” he replied. “But my skills really aren’t for fighting, y’know. Cyclops usually keeps me in the back to help out the wounded.”
“In the rear with the gear, huh?” I laughed. “So you’re a REMF.”
“You know, a REMF,” I replied. Jeez, someone needs to get this kid’s nose out of the book and into the real world for a little while. “You know, a Rear Echelon, uh, Mother, er, I don’t think I should say the last word in front of a kid.”
“Oh,” Elixir shrugged a little and looked down. I think he knew.
“Well, what kind of stuff have you done, then?” I asked, trying to get his spirits up a little. “Cyclops is a good leader, I bet he’s led you through some real shi- uh stuff.”
“Oh yeah, we fought the Brood once!” Elixir perked up.
“Brood? What’s that?”
“Oh man, the Brood was a totally evil bunch of space bugs.”
“Yeah. They were all big and slimy and they would get all up on you and be all like ‘aaahhhhhh,’ and you be all like ‘oh no!’ and they’d be like ‘arrrhhhhh’ and then they’d stick larva in you and stuff.”
“Oh yeah,” Elixir said excitedly. “They were real bad, man. We were lucky that we beat them all.”
“B… bugs?”(to be continued...)