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Cold open


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[Context. A cold open is you are given the beginning of the Role Play. Typically called a opener. It's up to you to then play off it. In this case through a DM. Enjoy]

   The room was small and warm. Horizontal light coming in through horribly managed blinds on the right wall. The floor was old plastic tile in what use to be white with 70s style brown patterned lines. A typical staple of old run down military buildings. The table was a heavy steal one. Above them was a slow rotating fan. It didn't work but the AC did. As such it tried its best to compact the Texas heat and turn the fan.

  Across from the table sit two very different people. One is in a clean uniform. Holding the patch of the 1st Calvary Division. A large Nordic shield with a black line and horse head. On the other sleeve the 10th mountain patch. A New York Duty station that has no mountains. This along with some badging of airborne and air assault pegged the aged 44 year old LtCol as once upon a time Infantry. Now he was a physicist for the Army. Dark skinned, Grey short hair. Wrinkles by the eyes. Skin rough from the sun.

   In front of him was a packet of paper with boxes to check, some base readings, and a medical history. His brown eyes looked up and across to his counter part.

  A young man with an expressionless if not bored face. He had a tanned red face, a deployment tan from where head gear and ballistic glasses. Another tan mark was on his hand where a ring use to be. His uniform was lose and worn. His eyes blue but dulled of a light that should and was there in a not to distant past. On his shoulders sat a CAV patch on either side. No skill tabs but a combat action badge. He seemed to be studying the LtCol just as the LtCol looked over the young Sgt.

  "Jullian Graves?" He said in a questioned tone. The voice of the LtCol sounded like a black man with gravel in his mouth. A tone that held many years and experience. 

  "Yes, Sir." A quick country accent of a North Carolina variety.

  "So, we are here because your Platoon Sergeant felt it might be best. Your going through a divorce. Lost some friends. Leaving too.... Joint Base Lewis McCord. Well, it's nice up there." He smiled and waited. Nothing... "says you made Sergeant in 2 years! Well now. Fast tracking." He smiled. "Already got in two tours. That-"

  "Sir, with all do respect. I married right out of high school. I have seen my wife 11 mouths of our 2 years together. In that time I've deployed twice. Buying 6 of the best people I ever met in my life and I am not going through a divorce... she is gone." The young man's face harder into a scole. Aging considerably as this face seemed to be one her wore alot from the lines on it. At 22 he looked 38. "I'm hear so if I suck start a shotgun my leaders can cover their asses. I have an Afganistan rotation waiting for my in Washington. One I picked."

  The LtCol sat with his mouth open and his hands crossed. Waiting to speak as Jullian continued. "I am not saying I'm fine. I am fine. Now on that paper it says fit for duty. A duty I put above my marriage. A duty that I plan to see done. No offense Sir... but you're in my way."

   The AC cut off and the fan stopped. Closing his mouth and pitting on his reading glasses the Col looked over his paper again. Says here you have a sister, both parents... any plans to see them. You have over a 100 days of leave."

  Frustrated Jullian took a breath and rolled his shoulders. "I've came back twice now Sir. Each times it's. Oh its the cars aren't running that good. Or can't take off from work. Or we just don't have the money to fly out right now... No Sir I think I know where my family stands. They love me. They are just to fucking lazy to show it. Excuse my language."

   With a sign the man took his glasses back off. "Look Sergeant I will sign this but... what happened with your wife. You got to forgive her. Forgive yourself. Your only 22. The war won't be won by one person. When your at work. Be there. But this uniform... it comes off. Your not just Sergeant Graves. You've been Jullian for a long time too. Don't forget about him."

   Jullian looked elated now. Hands open and together as he looked them on the table. Starting off into a space beyond them. "Sir, I- .... I have lost more friends to suicide in this past year then both tours. They came back and took the uniform off and." He laughed. "It's like you push it all down. But it just builds pressure. It makes that other you get sick, rot, decay." He sniffed and wiped his face. "Right now it's like being underwater. You hear things and see things but it's distorted. Dulled. Muffled." He rolled his jaw and clicked his tongue.

  "I've done better than most. I just think... I just think it's because when I stop. When I hand up the uniform. Take my boots off. Let we warm water spill down my head and my back. I am fine because Jullian. He has been dead a long long time."

  The Stamp rolled across paper and Jullian stepped out into the Summer Texas heat. Even the smokers weren't out. Tomorrow he left for Washington soon... Afganistan. Taking a moment he pulled up on his dog tags. On it was a black wedding ring. The inside read, "forever." Rolling it over in his hands he gave it a sharp tug and left it there in the garage.

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