On the wall was posted the human regiment’s code of conduct/safety instructions:
- Do not subtract from the population.
- Do not add to the population (looking at you Jared).
- Do not end up in the hospital, the news, or in jail.
- If you do end up in jail, establish dominance quickly. -- Anon Guest
It was a set of rules above the airlock door. Entitled, When Visiting. And could be summarised as, "No killin', no thrillin', just chillin'." Which every squad commander reminded them of whenever they were headed down for some R&R. Adding, "And if you must get in trouble, get out of it just as quick. Any bail is coming out of your own paycheque."
General sounds of disappointment followed by one wag saying, "I thought we were being let out to have some fun, Sarge."
"Yeah, we all know about you, Jared. Keep it in your pants." This earned ribald laughter from the squad. "If you can't be good, be careful. And if you can't be careful, then you're paying your own bail. Be told!"
Jared, chuckling at the extra admonishment, saluted. He was well known amongst the Human crew for sticking his wherever plumbing wasn't a problem. Plumbing was a problem on this planet, so his odds of remaining chaste were higher than normal. Nevertheless, there was a betting pool as to whether he would find a way.
Humans. To paraphrase one of their own songs: when they play, they tend to leave a trail a mile wide. Such was the case with Border Guard Patrol 472. They worked hard at making certain that more hostile races didn't make a pest of themselves in the Edge Territories, and they tended to play hard by attempting to drown in alcohol, partying so hard that they were on the upper edge of the Mohs scale, and determinedly attempting to get friction burns on sensitive portions of their anatomy.
Cigarettes, whiskey, and wild, wild women had once been the epitome of bad behaviour and sin. Those people weren't a patch on Border Guard Patrol 472. Within twenty-four hours, there was at least one soldier in every bordello, brewery, or bar in the city. If a Vorax even tried to threaten this town, they would be summarily shot for interrupting their fun.
Within forty-eight hours, five of them were arrested. Public drunkenness, public exposure, and public other things that should be performed behind closed doors.
Jared sobered up in a cell, facing his angry Sergeant. "Aw shit," he drawled. "It happened again, didn't it?"
"Bad news, good news, bad news, Jared," cooed Sarge. "Bad news: There goes your holiday pay. Good news: I won the unit betting pool. Bad news: It pays for the rest of your bail and I'm going to take it outta your miserable hide!"
Jared sighed. Yep. It had happened again.
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