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darknation

A rare story from the legendary darknation - Three Marines

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Three marines, red, blue and green, walking across the surface of Mars. They are lost, without food or water and breathing recycled air.

Red: “Remember our trip out?”

Blue: “Yes, Red.”

Red: “It was a funny trip.”

Green: “Shut up.”

Red: “Never seen anyone barf in zero gee before that.”

Green: “Shut up.”

Red: “And the way that the hostess had to chase it around the compartment with that hoover. That was a funny trip.”

No one acknowledges Red. They trudge forward in silence as the brown shadows lengthen.

Red: “Hey guys, you think that Green’s barf is still out there? Like, when they flushed it from the ship? Like, Green’s barf is boldly going where no barf has gone before?”

Blue: “Probably yes, Red.”

Red: “Barf Trek!”

Red hums the Star Trek theme-tune. Everyone else plods along regardless.

Red: “You know, for such an old Tee Vee prog, Star Trek got a few things right.”

Blue: “Yes, they did.”

Green: “Like how the motherfuckers in red always got themselves shot.”

Red: “No, I was more thinking, like, how everyone drinks Earl Grey tea. And aliens! Whoo, yeah, aliens! Think we’ll find aliens guys? Like, here while we are walking around?”

Blue: “Maybe.”

Red: “Like, Spock or the one who spoke funny. Ermm…. Yeah, Kirk. Technologies so far in advance of our own. Phasers and stuff. Teleporters that don’t have a 33% chance of turning you inside out. You think aliens can do that?”

Green: “No. I’ve seen aliens. They are squidgy blue things. They don’t have brains.”

Red: “Those aren’t aliens. Aliens should be intelligent.”

Green: “Listen, idiot, they are fucking aliens. Not from earth, smell funny, look like bowls of blue snot. Aliens. Aliens don’t look like us. That’s the whole fucking point of aliens.”

Red: “What about Yellow? He got abducted by aliens.”

Green: “Yellow got drunk and got his guts sucked out by the zero-gee toilet. No big loss.”

Red: “Ah, that’s what they want you to think. I heard he got abducted by aliens. You think he got abducted by aliens Blue?”

Blue: “Not really.”

Green: “Fuck sake, no, he was not abducted by aliens. I had to clean out the fucking toilet afterwards! Me! Moi! It’s always fucking me! Everytime that fucking toilet malfunctions and sprays shit all over the pod, I always have to clean it up! Why doesn’t Red take a turn next time it goes ballistic and wallpapers the fucking place in Red’s shit! It’s always Red’s shit as well, he goes to the toilet and next thing you know Ol’ Faithful’s blowing itself up again!”

Red: “It’s not me that’s causing the rec. unit to screw up.”

Green: “Of course it’s you. You go once a week, you are there for about two hours and next time I go in I have to bring the spatula.”

Red: “That’s not my fault. You know that the rec. consumables constipate me. You can hardly blame me. You don’t blame me, do you Blue?”

Blue: “Can’t be helped.”

The trio plod on. The sun begins to set behind the red mountains.

Blue: “Wait. Spatula? What spatula? We only have one spatula. We cook with it.”

Green: “Well, what the fuck do you want me to use? My fingers?”

Red: “…”

Green: “What? I washed it, didn’t I?”

Blue: “…”

Green: “Oh, in the name of fucking Hubbard, it’s all the same shit.”

Red: “The food from the rec. unit is sanitized. It’s not the same.”

Green: “It’s a block of baked shit with pepper. Don’t kid yourself.”

Blue: “I know, I don’t want to know and I don’t want to talk about it. Let’s just keep walking. There must be an outpost around here someplace.”

Red: “Remember the outpost at Rim?”

Green grunts.

Red: “Good times. Good times. Real water. Virgin water actually. You remember the water, Blue?”

Blue: “Yep.”

Red: “Why don’t they ship the water out here? They could make some lakes.”

Green: “You want to go swimming without your G-suit?” *snorts*

Red: “No. It would be nice to look at though. It’s not like the moon, it wouldn’t all just float away. How come they don’t ship water out here, Blue?”

Blue: “It would freeze, boil or evaporate. It’s twenty below out there right now.”

Red: “Oh. Yeah. It’s getting cold. Think we’ll make it back to the pod before the big freeze, Blue?”

Blue: “Maybe. I don’t know how far out we are. GPS is shot. Those idiots up on Phoebus are going to catch hell if they screwed it up again.”

Red: “What are we going to do if we can’t get the signal back?”

Green: “Freeze.”

Blue: “Dunno. We’ll go up higher, might be we can get a sat channel better from up the hill. And we stand a better chance of seeing the pod or an outpost from up high.”

Red: “If we can’t find the pod, we might have to walk around like this forever!”

Green chokes back.

Red: “Maybe we’ll have to wander around for years and years till someone finds us.”

Green: “We’d fucking starve before long. And freeze. We’d dehydrate, but we’ve been drinking our own damn piss for six months now so that won’t make any fucking difference. We’ve got fucking beverage on tap but no fucking food or fire.”

Red: “We could make a fire.”

Green: “Out of what, Einstein? You got a tree stuffed down the back of your pants? Maybe you can dig for coal. We should have brought the spatula, it would have made the digging easier.”

Red: “We could laser some rocks till they went hot.”

Green: “You got a laser?”

Red: “No.”

Green: “Shut up then.”

Red: “Maybe we’ll have to eat each other.”

Green: “Shut up.”

Onwards the three marines trudge. The cold begins to bite through their G-suits.

Red: “We had better find the pod soon.”

Blue: “We will.”

Red: “Really soon.”

Blue: “We won’t freeze yet…”

Red: “No. I need to go to the toilet.”

Blue: “So? You’ve got your hose and your bag, what’s the problem?”

Red: “It’s a number two.”

Green: “What, already? It’s only been about a month since your last one.”

Red: “It’s not funny. I really need to go. It’s an emergency.”

Green: “Just go behind that rock. It will save me spatula duty when we get back.”

Red: “But it’s twenty below. I’ll freeze. It will freeze halfway out.”

Green (enjoying himself immensely): “That’s ok. We can thaw it out with your laser.”

Red (bouncing up and down): “It’s not funny!”

Blue: “Can’t you just, you know, go, and tip it out the back when you are done?”

Red: “But there’s no toilet roll!”

Green: “Well, fuck it, hold it in, see if we care.”

The three marines start off again in the twilight, one walking funny.

Green: “God, I’m hungry. I haven’t eaten since this morning.”

Blue looks at Green, looks at Red’s trousers and decides to keep quiet.

Green: “Someone must have some munchies on them. Red, you fat fuck, you always have a Twix or something on you. Divvy it up.”

Red: “Half a Twix. But it’s in my pocket and it will be frozen.”

Green: “I don’t care. Gimmie.”

Red: “But how are you going to eat it? You can’t get a Twix inside your helmet.”

Green: “Watch me. I’ll open the seal a little and shove it in.”

Red: “You can’t do that! The pressure will pop your eyes!”

Green: “Nah, I had an old Gunnery Sergeant who used to do it all the time. She used to breathe out and take her helmet off for seconds at a time.”

Red: “And that works?”

Green: “No, her brains exploded eventually. But the theory is sound. Pass the Twix.”

Red roots in his pocket and passed Green the half Twix. Green unwraps it and tosses the gold wrapper over his shoulder.

Red: “Hey, you can’t do that!”

Green: “What, ‘Keep Mars Beautiful?’ Piss off.”

Red: “That’s probably the first piece of litter on the planet!”

Green: “Good. Make the place feel more like home.”

Red: “Pick it up!”

Green: “Up yours, shithead.”

Green reaches for his helmet seal with his gauntlet.

Blue: “I think this is very ill advised.”

Too late. Green pops the seal and a tiny jet of gas begins to spray out as Green’s Oxygen supply begins to piss itself out into the atmosphere. He jams the Twix finger into the hole; it jams halfway in but stops the leak.

Green: “Bollocks!”

He releases his grip on the chocolate a fraction and the Twix finger, propelled by gas and pressure, shoots out of his hand and sails away in the reduced gravity, never to be seen again.

Green: “BASTARD!”

Blue: “Hubbard Christ, seal your fucking helmet!”

Green makes to chase the chocolate.

Green: “Out of my way, bastard! I can still catch it!”

Green bounces forward as the Twix disappears from sight. He collides with Red and the two go down sprawling.

Green’s helmet seal pops fully. Air whistles from the gap all around his head.

Green: “Arrrrgh!”

Blue runs over, tosses Red aside and feverishly re-seals Green’s helmet.

Blue: “You alright?”

Green: “I feel sick.”

Green barfs inside his helmet. What little contents he had in his stomach are now sloshing around in his faceplate.

Green: “Arrrrgh!”

Red: “You know, this reminds me of our trip out. You remember our trip out?”

Blue: “Yes Red.”

Red: “It was quite a funny trip.”

Green: “Shut up.”

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