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The Crypt Needs a Cook

  • Profile photo of Bradley Henry

    Mess SGT Henry
    The Crypt: Kitchen

    Twang!
    There is something about the sound of a 14” ceramic infused titanium chef’s knife imbedding itself in the wall a slim two inches from your face that can wake you up to reality. For Specialist Nick Hirdler that also translated into, “oh shit…what rule did I break this time?”
    “What the fu—,” was all that LT Kryszko could get out before the booming voice of a 6’4” monster of a cook broke in to stop him.
    “What rule did you just break “PRIVATE”?” said SGT Henry
    “SGT Henry you can’t be throwing knives at soldiers,” retorted LT Kryszko.
    “With all due respect to your rank, shut the frak up LT, this is none of your business. Besides if I meant to hit either of you I wouldn’t waste my best knife on it.”
    At this point SPC Hirdler wasn’t sure which of the three things he was more worried about the comment about “private,” which of the hundred rules to the kitchen he must have broken, or being between a ticked off SGT Henry and an equally mad LT Kryszko. He decided that figuring out number two was the most important thing to do. That one would take care of number one and besides he knew he was too far down the pecking order for the lieutenant to give a damn about him.
    “SGT I broke rule number three?”
    “Are you sure, private?”
    After a quick calculation of the events that had just passed he nodded and dropped his head. He knew it was number three, “don’t take shit from anybody…this is your kitchen.” The lieutenant had been giving the young spec grief the last month about not having any snacks out for him and the young soldier was caving in to the pressure to make the officer happy.
    “You’re damn straight you broke rule number three! Now go back in that kitchen and start getting the meal online we service in 15. I gotta have a talk with the LT.”
    “SGT Henry if you don’t apologize right now I am going to have you put up on charges of insubordination with the commander!” said Kryszko.
    “If you want me to inform you that you are a sorry LT I am more than glad to do that. If you want to put me up for insubordination with the commander feel free. Just remember that last I checked the commander still enjoyed my food and desserts and if I recall you were assigned to ammo detail.”
    “You haven’t heard the…”
    “LT if you ever come in again and bother my cooks I will personally gut you like a Scklorno guts her sister for the stew pot! Now get the frak out of my dining hall.”
    As the LT walked out muttering under his breath the commander walked in for a cup of coffee.
    “Good morning SGT Henry, how are you doing today?”
    “Fine Commander Wang, thank you for the new blend of coffee for the troops. It seems to be a big success with the troops.”
    “Not a problem. I am glad to know that it is a big hit…I found it back when I worked on a cargo ship as mess cook to pay for college.”
    “No wonder I like you sir, is there anything I can do for you?”
    “What is for dinner?”
    “We are having Chicken Cordon Bleu, Rice Pilaf, Asparagus, and Apple Pie. It should be a good meal. I was thinking a little surf and turf for Sunday.”
    As Commander Wang turned around to walk out the line of troops lining up for dinner started to grow outside. The smell of food wafted out the door to the soldiers making their mouths water. Then from somewhere down the line a voice was heard. “What the hell it smells like a round bug crawled up someone’s ass and died. What kinda gosa are they serving us tonight?”
    The commander stopped dead in his tracks. The sucking in of breath from troops was audible and there silence was even worse. Nobody but nobody realized how fast the 300lbs SGT Henry could move when he came flying out into the hall. “Who the hell was the scum sucking Ki bastard who signed his own venting order out here?” Commander Wang stood there in awe at his reflection in the shiny surface of the chef’s blade held in the hands of his head cook.
    “Calm down sergeant, I am sure whoever it was didn’t mean it.” said Wang.
    The glare from the face of Henry could have melted the titanium alloy bulkhead as he looked down the line of troopers trying to spot the soldier who had pushed the envelope of stupidity to new levels. There standing near the back of the line stood a smug LT Kryszko smiling like he had SGT Henry caught between bulkhead and space station door with the commander standing there.
    As t
    he knife arced through the cramped hallway toward LT Kryszko the smile quickly disappeared and was replaced with one of horror. As the blade ripped through his pants, between his legs, and impeded into the bulkhead for the second time in 20 minutes the “twang” rang out to echo down the hall. The scream let out sounded more like a six year old than an adult.
    “I missed???” roared SGT Henry, “I never miss it must be even sma
    ller than I thought!”
    As Henry raced down the hall LT Kryszko stood there unmoving. He wasn’t sure he could outrun SGT Henry, besides he was worried if he moved the scalpel sharp knife might just change his religion and that was something a Purist Nation Spy could not live with, it was bad enough not having his tat on his forehead anymore. He knew he couldn’t poison the command teams’ coffee until he rid himself of the one man who took care of the commander’s personal urn. So, from his point of view the ass whipping he was about to receive was going to take was worth it. SGT Henry in the brig or better yet vented would get him one step closer to taking command away from Wang. It was worth the beating , he thought, “High One” be praised.
    Kryzsko had a morbid fascination though with the fact that the Henry’s hand was as big as his face. The fact that he didn’t punch him was unnerving as well. What happened next would be talked about for years to come. Sgt Henry picked him up by his jaw. LT Kryszko’s pants finished splitting like a hot knife through butter as Henry lifted him over his head. Henry then began to stuff a rations cube down his throat with his other hand and said, “you think my food is shit, well enjoy this you little piece of crap. Kryszko gagged and tried to find some way to breathe as the cube went down his throat. “High One” Kryszko thought please let me live through this.
    If things weren’t bad enough for the lieutenant when the MP’s finally reached the two it took three stun sticks to take down the big cook. As the energy coursed through both soldiers sweet blackness finally filled Kryzsko’s eyes as he passed out.
    The next day SGT Henry woke up in the brig to see LT Kryszko smiling at him with a look of satisfaction. “So, sergeant how does it feel to know you are going to be vented for trying to kill a “Superior Officer”?” Silence was the only response he got. “I hope the court martial doesn’t take too long I want to see your blood boil!” Silence still.
    “Guess what sergeant?” said Kryszko in a whisper as he moved up to the energy barrier at the brig door.
    Henry moved close so he could here, “What?”
    “Just so you know you were my pawn in the plan to kill your commander and there isn’t a damn thing you…”
    Henry’s hand shot through the energy bar burning as he wrapped it around the lieutenants’ neck and dragged him into the energy field. Kryszko would have screamed if he could have, no air could leave his throat as the vice like grip squeezed his throat shut. The final thing he saw on his face as it bubbled away under the energy arcing across it was SGT Henry smiling.
    Later at the trial as the facts got out it was realized the extent of the Purist plans things were looking good for the sergeant. As SGT Henry sat at the table waiting for the verdict he looked forward to getting back to his kitchen and taking care of his men. When the Admiral came back with his decision Henry was shocked.
    “Yes, you saved Commander Wang from an attempted murder as the facts have shown. Your record shall show that you saved the command and ship from a Purist Nation attack. I must though say that insubordination to this extent though cannot be permitted. I have no choice but to sentence you to venting for your actions. I do give you one other option…You may take a two year tour as the head cook on PUV James Keeling instead. Your records will be cleared after your tour is complete. Iit is your choice.
    “I will take it.”
    As SGT Henry was escorted out Commander Wang came up and asked for a moment to talk to the sergeant. “SGT Henry, these will be waiting for you at your next post.” As he said it Commander Wang opened up a box which held a certain chef’s knife and bag of coffee beans at the bottom.

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