Growing up, Daryl never had brothers or sisters, but he now found himself sharing a living space with 29 other males in an open living space called a barracks.
The barracks was a one story, cement block building without any distinguishing features except for a 001 posted on the top of the entrance. On the inside, however, there were two lines of bunk beds that ran down the long sides of the building, and separating them were lockers. The beds leaned up against one set, while on the other side was six feet and the lockers dedicated to that bunk.
Daryl walked down the center of the room, his suitcase rolling behind on the gray epoxy floor. He looked around for an empty bunk, but most bunks were taken. He saw some guys laying in their bunks, others were setting up their lockers, but in the back Daryl’s eyes were drawn to a muscular boy sitting lotus style on top of his bunk. His eyes were closed and he sat perfectly still, like a statue.
As Daryl passed by he nearly ran into another.
“Watch where you’re going!” said a tall boy with short brown hair. Daryl turned to look at him. He had arrogant eyes, much like an old enemy of his. He could tell they were definitely not going to get along.
There was a shorter boy next to him with red, poofy hair and freckles. He looked bored as he sighed at the taller boy’s agitation, almost as if it was such a nuisance for him that his mind was fixed on a humdrum plan of action that often remedied his friend’s state.
“Ted,” he said calmly, “We’re not fighting every person who looks at us funny.”
Ted smirked. “No way to know how strong these guys really are until we fight them.”
Daryl’s body quaked in anticipation. He hadn’t had to fight in a while, and something about this guy made him eager.
“You scared, Fro boy?” said Ted, not backing down.
This caught the attention of the others instantly. The boy on the top of his bunk, had also opened his eyes.
Several of the boys came over to Daryl’s side, including a boy a little shorter than him.
“What do you have against fros?” said the boy stepping in between Daryl and Ted.
“Navy, huh?” said Ted looking down at him. “Couldn’t be a Marine?”
“That’s right. My recruiter said I was too smart to be one, so I went Navy.”
“Too smart? Or too chicken?”
Everyone had moved to the center of the barracks now. Daryl had began to notice that most of them were wearing uniforms. Four different uniforms; four different military Branches were present.
Another tall boy walked into between Ted and the other boy. “Guy’s come on. We’re all here for one thing. Hunting monsters. There’s no reason we have to fight each other.”
“Shut up, chair force!” said Ted, while the other boy glared at him.
“Why don’t you both shut up,” said another boy entering the fray. This one, however, was one of the biggest guys there. He locked eyes with Ted.
“Stand down,” he said. “We all just arrived; we’re all a little tired. Just go back to your bunk, and chill out.”
Ted looked down at his name tape. “Womack. I’m coming after you.”
“Soon, I hope,” said Womack.
Everyone dispersed, going back to their areas.