Alpha 17's eyes snapped open, as he was woken from the lovely dream he was having, to see a very nervous cadet at the foot of his bunk.
Missing left front tooth, regulation haircut, rumpled uniform. He squinted. Either Fox or Wolffe.
"Uh. Alpha 17?" Ah. Just a hint of a lisp. Fox then.
"Yeah buddy?" He yawned, already rooting around for his shoes.
"Um. Cody fell off his bunk and there's blood everywhere and we don't know what to do."
Well that changed things dramatically. It wasn't just that someone had another bad dream and needed a hug. "Shoulda led with that vod'ika." He told him gently, before sprinting out of the room, the cadet trailing behind him like a baby duck.
He groaned upon entering the room, because it was much worse than he originally thought. Fox wasn't exaggerating when he said there was blood everywhere, head wounds really did bleed a lot. And the kid on the floor had a pretty nasty gash tracing the line of his eye socket. Alpha 17 squatted down and tapped the cadet lightly on the shoulder.
"Kote, hey buddy, can you hear me?"
"M n'mes not Kote anymore. 's Cody. F'x can say it bet'r." Cody mumbled from the floor. "I loss a toof."
"Well now you sound like your brother, good thing it's Cody now, huh?" He chuckled softly. "Alright, look at me." He tilted his head up with his hand, checking how both pupils reacted. "Now I'm gonna tell you a couple words that I want you to remember, okay?"
"Loth, shovel, and gungan. Can you remember those?"
Cody nodded again, tears welling up as he moved his head and more blood spilled. "Ow."
"Nasty fall you had there. How'd you do it?"
"Um. Fox sneezed real loud, an' I fell off. Don' rem'ber more."
Alpha looked at the other cadets, and Ponds gave him a solemn nod. "Alright, good to know. Wolffe, can you get me a rag or some bandages please?"
"Yep! I'm on it!" Wolffe nodded enthusiastically, skipping off to retrieve the items from the supply closet.
When Wolffe made it back, Alpha had already begun to rub off the flaking blood with his sleeve. Wolffe tapped him politely on the shoulder, and held out his spoils.
"There we are. Thanks champ." He took the proffered rag and held it against the worst of the wound, nodding at Wolffe in appreciation.
"Remember those words Kot- Cody?"
"Loth, sh'vl, gung'n." He sighed. "C'n I go to bed now?"
"Yep. No concussion. You're free to go." He stuck a few of the bandages that Wolffe had brought and adhered them to where blood was still sluggishly trying to seep out. "Sleep well vod'ika."
"G'night.." Cody yawned, climbing into his bunk.
Alpha looked at the other cadets. "No other pressing injuries? No nightmares? Anybody want water? Might as well do this while I'm here."
They all shook their heads in succession.
He turned to the mess. "I should probably get a mop, huh?"
"It's okay sir." The youngest of the five piped up. "I already got a cleaning droid."
"Thanks 52, I appreciate it." He smiled, and walked to the door. "Goodnight."
As a chorus of goodnights reached him, some more coherent than others, Alpha 17 turned off the light. When the room was plunged into darkness, he finally shook his head in disbelief. Only Cody, that clumsy cadet, would be able to injure himself by falling off the bottom bunk.
Alpha 17's guide to CC cadets
- Cody is prone to falling, even when he's sitting down.
- Fox has a lisp still but it's getting better; try to get him to practice saying "T" words
- Do not let Wolffe's mouth near you when he's upset. He bites. Really hard.
- Stickers are your friends when they're crying
Alpha 17 was eating lunch with the rest of his batchmates, when 18 turned and kicked his shin.
"What was that for?" He hissed.
18 raised an eyebrow and pointed. "One of your kids is here."
"One of my what?" He said outraged. "I do not have - oh, hey there bud."
Alpha 17 was going to pummel 18 just to wipe the look of contempt pleasure off his face. He was going to wipe the mats with him. But he couldn't when CT-5052 was there. It set a bad example when you tried to murder your own squadmate.
"Hi. Cody's bleeding again." 52 said cheerfully.
18 just smirked harder. Bastard.
- Have at least twelve band-aids at any time
- Have at least fifteen band-aids at any time
- Have at least two boxes of band-aids at any time
"This is what, the fourth time this week?" He sighed, putting a fresh band-aid on.
"I'm sorry." Cody looked down, and shuffled his feet.
Alpha sighed. "I'm not mad at you, I'm just worried."
He snorted. "Because with how often this wound is opening, it keeps increasing the chance of it getting infected."
"Oh. That makes sense." Cody nodded. "That's when it gets all green and gross right?"
"Yup. Alright. Off you go." He stood up from where he'd been squatting. "Don't keep your squad waiting."
"Okay! Thanks!" Cody gave him a brilliant grin, showing off the gap where his tooth had been knocked out.
He shooed him away. "Scoot."
Cody nodded and ran off. As if in slow motion, Alpha 17 watched in disbelief as the cadet tripped over his own feet and fell face forward.
Opening his scabs.
Alpha 17 sighed and pulled more band-aids out of his pocket. This was going to be a long day.
- Cody's shoes should be contact adhesive based. He is not allowed shoelaces anymore.
- 52 hasn't picked a name yet, and doesn't like being called 52. "Buddy" and "Champ" work pretty well.
- Fox isn't allowed to call Ponds "ribbit". Ponds will sulk.
Alpha-17 held out a fresh towel and took the bloody one to be disposed of. This was becoming ridiculous.
At least Cody hadn't given himself any new injuries.
He heard a slip from the shower and resigned himself to taking the kid to the medbay.
- 5052 is Bly now
- Cody has the single most impressive immune system and the single most dismal inner ear balance
- Fox is NOT ALLOWED near Alpha-26. The bastard had Fox hide contraband again, without giving me any
Cody stood sheepishly in front of one of the CMO trainees.
Who was an entire batch younger than him, and appeared to be six standard.
Alpha-17 stood behind Cody, and tried not to be intimidated by the fierce scowl the cadet was giving the both of them.
"Are you telling me that you've had this injury for almost two weeks?" The trainee gritted out from behind clenched teeth, setting his hands on his hips in a clear gesture of disapproval.
"Uh. Yes?" Cody squeaked out.
The cadet turned his attention to 17. "And you. You just… didn't come to the med bay? Where it's our job to do this?"
"I'm sorry?" He offered weakly. "We're here now?"
The trainee gave him a look of disgust. The younger clone fixed his gaze Cody and pointed over to a cot. "Sit down, don't move and don't touch anything ." The kid looked back at 17 and said, brooking no argument, "Get out of my medbay."
He left, glancing back at the cadet that he felt he was abandoning. "Cody, let me know when this little terror has patched you up!"
The look of fear that was shot at him made him want to simultaneously wince and laugh. He settled for a smile that was meant to be reassuring, but probably just looked like a grimace, judging by Cody's reaction.
- FROM NOW ON IMMEDIATELY TAKE KIDS TO MEDBAY, OR FACE BEING INTIMIDATED BY A CADET WHOS ROUGHLY 3 FEET TALL
- Ponds has discovered the concept of betting. He's a shark about it. Do NOT make a bet with him or you will lose everything you hold dear
- Fox has discovered the vents as a way to escape bedtime
Alpha-17 would've sworn that the cadets were shorter yesterday.
Because he was 99.98% sure that Fox and Bly didn't come up to his elbow when he put them to bed last night.
What the kriff.
It didn't help that the growth spurt had broken the newly healed skin on Cody's face.
He pulled out the band-aids, and made a mental note to get them new uniforms.
- The cadets will eat their vegetables if you lie about them making you better at ARC training
- The cadets will try and convince other squads that eating vegetables makes you better at ARC training
- The commissary needs to requisition more vegetables.
The cadets were ten now. Only a few days away from being deployed. Alpha-17 couldn't even really call them cadets anymore.
They'd all grown into fine young men, exceeding the standards he'd put into place for them. Hell, they had destroyed the benchmarks for ARC troopers.
The war had been in swing for a handful of months, and Alpha-17 had placed each one where he thought they would do best. Fox and his silver tongue on Coruscant, Bly with a non-traditional Jedi, Wolffe with a man who Alpha-17 had immediately realized was a truly good person, and Ponds with someone who was equally no nonsense.
And Cody? Well, he'd placed him with Kenobi. Alpha-17 could only handle so much of the ginger, and he knew the two of them would get along like a house on fire. Preferably with less arson than he suspected, but they'd balance each other well.
It helped that the Jedi was the most graceful person he'd ever met.
Alpha-17 looked to where Cody was hastily applying a thin layer of bacta to his temple, which he'd broken the stitches on.
Maybe the gracefulness would wear off onto Cody. Well, it probably wouldn't, but a man could dream.
17 pulled a bandaid out of his pouch as he saw an errant piece of armor drop from the railing above. He didn't even have to guess the trajectory, not when he heard a yelp of pain.
Some things would never change.
- Band-aids now come standard in every commander's kit.