Monday, 29th May 2023 - 15:48:03 pm

Sergeant Walker took an instinctive dislike to Steve Kincaid. He didn't like the way the other recruits looked to him for leadership. He didn't like the way he kept to himself. And he especially didn't like the fact that Kincaid was one of the few men in the platoon that hadn't fought in the first three weeks.

The drill sergeant decided to make Kincaid his special project. He was called out to do pushups on the flimsiest excuse or for no reason at all.

"Bonner?" the sergeant called out to another member of the platoon. They were in formation, preparing to march to a class. "Do mah ahyes deceive me or is yoah shoe untahed" Git out heyah and gimmee twenny." He looked along the line of men. "And you, Kincaid, you git out heyah and gimmee twenny counta yoah breathin."

That kind of thing gave the sergeant some satisfaction but it wasn't enough. Kincaid was of decent size and muscular. The sergeant desperately wanted to see what he could do in the ring. He watched Kincaid for a couple of weeks waiting for him to have words with another member of the platoon. Looking for anything that would give him the chance to bait him into the ring. The chance never came.

The sergeant got tired of waiting. He decided to confront Kincaid in front of the platoon. That night he got the opportunity just before lights out. The whole platoon was in the barrack. Kincaid was crouched over his footlocker straightening it out. His back was to the door. The sergeant could see him from outside.

A recruit in basic training is trained to call the platoon to attention whenever a non-com enters the barracks. The sergeant sent in a recruit to tell those by the door not to do that. So the sergeant was able to walk up behind Kincaid without him knowing he was there.

Walker bawled out "Kincaid" in his best parade ground voice while, at the same time, putting a boot into Kincaid's rump, pushing him head forward into his footlocker.

All of Kincaid's instincts told him he was being attacked. He came up with his legs twisting around and unleashed a wicked overhand right all in the same motion.

Two voices down the aisle shouted, "'tenshun!"

Kincaid saw who it was and tried to pull the punch as much as he could.

The sergeant leaned his head back a fraction so the punch just grazed his chin and landed on his right shoulder with surprising force. He staggered back two steps and stood there with his mouth open, his legs apart.

There was an audible gasp from those in the barrack. All were watching.

Kincaid couldn't help still being angry and it showed. He didn't like someone, anyone, coming up behind him like that and he didn't care who knew it. He didn't care if he got court marshaled for it.

The sergeant didn't like what he saw in Kincaid's eyes. This was not the normal wet-pants recruit he was facing. The man wasn't going to back down and the sergeant was in big trouble. He had waived the regulations when he had deliberately entered unannounced. But even if right had been on his side, he couldn't bring Kincaid up on charges. A competent non-com never let things get so far out of hand that he could get attacked by a recruit. Besides that there was the company "fight" program to think of. The base chaplain had already been complaining to the Inspector General about the company. A stink like this could finish the fights, and the sergeant dearly loved the fights.

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