Down Under: Chapter 1

Yes, I'm back. Yay! To be honest, I haven't been writing much of anything for a while, and it's been bothering me. I actually started this one back in August or September, but writing has been so slow that I haven't begun posting yet. I'm hoping that staying on a regular posting schedule will motivate me to keep writing. As always, let me know what you think.

First chapter's pretty short. They'll get better, I promise.

10 Sep 2014-Robertson Barracks, Darwin, Australia

Private First Class Joey Foxx hopped the fence to the motorpool, in too much of a hurry to even bother to check to see if the gate was locked. It usually wasn't, but on the off-chance it was, he didn't have the few seconds to waste.

He had to move, and he had to move fast.

Fortunately, Humvees didn't use keys, which meant he didn't need to search through a box containing all the keys in the motorpool. Unfortunately, he did still need to wait for the glow plugs to warm up. "C'mon, c'mon," he urged the vehicle.

He needed to get out of there.

They told them to stay away from those 1st Brigade girls, told them not to "fraternize", but there were less than five hundred United States Marines, and if any of them were female, he had yet to see them. There were more than three thousand Aussies in 1st Brigade, and it seemed like everywhere he looked, there were girls. Aussie girls. With their Aussie accents. And their Aussie asses.

So when one of those Aussie 1st Brigade girls asked if he and his buddies wanted to "go for a pint" with her and her "mates", it would have been stupid for them to say no. And then one pint lead to another, and the girls got a little flirty, and if he happened to get one of them to suggest that they make the party a little bit more private and move it to her room, well, that's just good negotiation skills.

He was pretty sure she didn't mean it when she started to say no, and it had been a really, really long time since he had gotten any action from anybody other than his right hand, so he kept going, and when she was crying after, he was pretty sure it was just because she had been drunk. But then she started sobbing, and she just got louder and louder.

He wanted her to stop, but he was pretty sure the pillow over her face might have been too much. Especially when he removed it and she was just…blue.

The glow plugs finally warm, he switched the vehicle on, wincing at the sound of the engine roaring to life, knowing that it would only be a matter of minutes before somebody—he didn't know who, but somebody—would be at his ass, waiting to take him in or take him out something, he didn't know. Somebody told him once that Australia was once some sort of large jail; he wondered if that meant that everyone who lived there was some sort of descendant of some sort of murderer or something.

He certainly didn't want to come across some serial killer's grandson or something, not when he was out for revenge about a girl.

He pulled the Humvee out of the parking spot and immediately gunned it, aiming for the gate he hadn't had time to open, and a few seconds later, he heard it crash under the wheels of the up-armored vehicle.

And that's when he saw the first signs that somebody really was following him; in this case, a group of Aussies with weapon belts and MP armbands. "Shit," he muttered, wondering how they got there so quickly.

Didn't matter. He had wheels, and they were on foot. With a burst of determination, he hit the gas and headed for the main gate.

It was only after he passed through the gate that he realized that, other than leaving Robertson Barracks, he didn't really have a plan. Before he moved to Australia, someone had told him that the entire country was Southern California, surrounding 1950's Montana. He had done boot at San Diego, and when it was over and they were allowed to leave the recruit depot, he found that Southern California was entirely surfing and girls in bikinis, so he figured that Australia would be a pretty good gig. Unfortunately for him, Roberston Barracks was more of the 1950's Montana than Southern California. Which meant that there was not a single fucking thing around for a couple hundred miles.

There was nothing for him to do but drive.

So he drove, and drove, feeling a bit strange driving around in a Humvee, but there was nobody around to see it, so he figured it wouldn't be so bad. Until he ran out of gas, still in the middle of nowhere, with nobody around to see him.

He groaned and rested his forehead against the steering wheel for a long minute before straightening and opening the door. Maybe there was a fuel can in the back. They were supposed to keep fuel cans in the back when they were in operations, but this one had been parked at the motorpool, and they usually didn't keep fuel cans in the Humvees when they were parked.

Nothing to do but check.

He stepped out into the vehicle into the morning that was just promising to be as hot and humid as they always were, and opened up the back to confirm that this one was lacking the plastic box that usually contained gas.

Humvee was out of gas, he was in the middle of nowhere...guess he had nothing better to do than walk.

The Humvee didn't have a rear window, or a rear-view mirror, and as focused as he was on getting away, and then looking for gas, he hadn't checked his side mirrors since he left the base, which is why he hadn't seen the car following him almost the entire distance.

By the time he registered the sound of the footprints behind him, it was too late. The crow bar had already been swung toward his head.