He that lives long & desires death much is ever the King among the Kings.
The land to the immediate southwest of Osirus is a natural hotspring slowly winding down in activity; a fading reminder of the disasterous tectonic upheaval that created the new continant. Although lush and brimming with the buds of what will in a few generations become a magnificant forest, the ground is still craggy and treacherous. These conditions drove Reid Magnuson to choose a ten mile path through it as his training grounds in the months leading up to the mission.
With only three miles left on his current circuit his muscles screamed with fatigue as his lungs churned out steam and his veins pumped acid. A feeling he was more than used to, but never thought he would welcome it. Fifteen years ago this feeling would never have occured without a disciplined subduing sense of panic, the deafening concussion of a thousand ane one different kinds of explosions, the crack of cumbustion firearms and even louder railguns, the shrill sound of splitting air from laser fire, and the symphony of niose made by thousands upon thousands of humans in a battlefield. This time though, it was so serene and with such purpose as to make Reid all the more nervous and driven to finish his run. This was a rare and bizzare sort of masochism only seen in old, battle-hardened soldiers.
The end of the trail was coming up. Reid could spot Colonel Rogers in the jeep at the bottom of the hill. By this time it was time to turn the body off of auto-pilot and begin slowing down. for the last twenty minutes he hadn't even felt the ground slip rythmically beneath his feet and it was always more effort trying to stop. but he managed to a few dozen yards before the jeep, gulping in barrels of air at a time, and feeling his age catch up to him.
Col. Rogers shook his head as he stopped the timer. "Jesus, Reid. Twenty-nine minutes and fourty-two seconds." he said with scolding disbelief.
"Yeah..." Reid managed to say between gasps. "I'm not as... young as I... used to be." He concluded before drenching a fresh towel.
"Yeah, no ****. Keep this up and you'll kill yourself before the launch."
Reid stood up, his exhaustion seeming to vanish. "I don't think I could be killed." He said as he climbed in the jeep. "Even if I wanted to be."
"Heh, well try not to think like that on the mission."
"No way. As much as i love this ball of dirt i see the is whole Apollo thing as a well deserved vacation."
"That's not what I had in mind."
Reid remained silent, temporarily lost in one of his doldrums of thought for the majority of the ride back to the base.
(This message has been edited by Sargatanus (edited 03-02-2004).)