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Renegade: Chapter 2

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Sergeant Josh Randall was suddenly and painfully yanked from a blissful sleep by the awkward squawking of the alarm clock on the nightstand next to his bed. With a sigh he rolled onto his side and slammed his hand down in the direction of the offending noise box. He palmed the snooze button, knocked the clock off the nightstand, and rolled onto his back. For several moments he simply stared at the ceiling. The fan spun lazily overhead, mocking his temporary laziness.

His thoughts finally began to catch up to his now thoroughly awakened body. Work. I have to be to PT in a few minutes. Can’t be late. He sat up and reached for the Army IPFU shirt and shorts hanging over his bed.

I’ve got to set that alarm a bit earlier, I hate rushing like this. But if I set it any earlier I’d never get out of bed. I know that. He smiled to himself at the argument in his head. There were many things about military life that he had grown accustomed to, even began to enjoy. Waking up early was not one of those things. He brushed his teeth, double checked his hair, and sat down to tie his tennis shoes by the front.

And it’s a run day. Why does it have to be a run day? Can’t a man at least try to enjoy the last workday of the week? But then, it’s the Army. When has anything ever made sense? He reached for his keys and phone and without a second look at either strode out the front door and into his car.

Twenty minutes later he pulled up in front of the 163rd Military Intelligence Battalion’s PT field. The grass on the field was growing long again. Sergeant Major will throw a fit if he sees that. Will need to assign a couple privates to get that done this afternoon. He parked the car and killed the ignition. A large bang on the front hood of his car caused him to look up suddenly. SSgt. Edwards and Spec. Thompson stood on the sidewalk, laughing.

Randall grinned and exited the vehicle,
“You think this is funny you little twerps? You’re going to put a dent in this beauty.”

“We figured the ones down the side weren’t enough,” Edwards shot back.

“Oh, no you don’t. You put an extra one in there and I’ll have you pay for all the body work. Maybe a new color too while you’re at it.”

Thompson laughed, “So the sergeant’s starting to get a taste for his new power? Better not take it too far or I’ll Spartan kick you straight through your precious little beater and have staff sergeant here write it up as an accident. ”

“I missed you guys too, no homo. Or can I even say that in this new Army?”

“I won’t report you,” Edwards slapped him on the back turned towards the PT field. “Think you can still keep up with the real men after your little vacation? Remember, it’s a run day.”

“You haven’t beaten me yet and I ain’t planning to start today.”

The three laughed, joked, and razzed their way to formation. “… oh, you’ll regret that. I’ll make you regret it.”

Randall’s phone began to loudly play Dustin Lynch’s “Cowboys and Angels”. He pulled out his phone. Blocked number? That made no sense. The last time he’d gotten a call from a blocked number was his clearance application. He stepped to the side and answered it.

“Yes?” He listened silently for a few moments, then the blood drained from his face, “Yes sir, I understand. I’m going to need you to explain this to my commander? Thank you. I understand.”

He closed the phone and turned back to the formation. Edwards stood by his side, “Man, are you okay? You look like you just seen a ghost.”

“Almost.”



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