I am proud to announce the beginning of the next chapter of Iron and Ice: Hidden Home. In this chapter we’ll get to see a bit of where the characters live and what life is like when they’re not facing death at the controls of a giant robot. I hope to have regular weekly updates for the foreseeable future.
I’m also finishing up the next segment of the Oceans Burned, so keep an eye on Storyshift so you can read and vote on that!
Iron and Ice: Hidden Home
“So you really only stayed in the infirmary for one night?” Dimitri asked incredulously. He grimaced as a tough square of bread-like material was deposited on his tray. He shuffled down the line to the next server. Ahead of him, Yanin was haggling over the amount of mysterious, gray slop that was to be poured into his bowl. He ignored Dimitri’s question.
“Give me just a spoonful more, my friend! I am a sick man,” he was saying imploringly.
The heavy man in charge of the gruel pursed his lips doubtfully. “Don’t look sick to me.”
Yanin made a face of pain and sorrow. “On our last mission, I was nearly killed by an enemy’s terrible attack. They cut me right here!” He lifted his shirt quickly to reveal some stitches. “They don’t know if I’ll even survive the week! That’s why they let me out of the infirmary, so I could spend my last days on Earth as I choose.” Dimitri had to admire the effort Yanin was putting into this. He even thought he saw a single tear trickle its way down the other man’s face.
The mess officer’s frown deepened. “You choose to spend your last days eating this?” He gestured at the bubbling pot of gray-brown liquid.
Yanin changed tactics. His voice became low and menacing. “Dammit Yulian, when you smuggled that pet fox onto the base, didn’t I help you?”
“You tried to eat it.”
“But I didn’t, did I? You stopped me, and I haven’t told anybody else about you sneaking scraps to it have I?”
The mess officer paused to think about this.
Yanin sighed and folded his arms. “Stealing food from the mess is a serious offense isn’t it?” He turned to Dimitri. “That’d be a sure way to get sent to the front lines real quick.”
Dimitri didn’t say anything, but the mess officer grew pale. He quickly dipped his ladle into the pot and poured a generous extra serving into Yanin’s bowl.
Yanin beamed. “Thank you, my good friend. You are a lifesaver and a saint.” Yanin sauntered off to find a table. Dimitri shuffled up to the pot.
Yulian eyed him warily as he poured a single helping into the bowl.
“Don’t worry, I don’t think I could survive a second helping.” Dimitri turned away and followed Yanin across the mess hall.