foot-soldier

coronalthoughtejection  asked:

How far can a foot soldier reasonably travel in a day if he's alone, in enemy territory, and traveling light? I know this sounds terribly cliche (and even a little moronic) but it's not quite as bad as it sounds. Probably.

Honestly, don’t worry about a concept being cliche! Deep down, nothing is original, right? Just do it in your own way!

Assuming the character isn’t hurt, is in good shape, is traveling light, (say twenty pounds or less of gear, which isn’t much as your boots and weapon are at least eleven pounds on their own, assuming it’s an M16) has had food and water, knows how to handle the terrain, isn’t in extreme conditions, and has cover? Probably up to ten miles.

We’re expected to be able to march 10km (about six miles) in full gear, rain or shine, so I’d say most soldiers should be able to do that much in a day in ideal conditions and light gear, although I’d say each consecutive day they’d be doing progressively worse as they get tired and sore. Walking that much is exhausting for even the hardest soldier.

But every little thing can affect that. Are you in a desert? Too hot. Better travel at night. But you can’t see where you’re going, so you’d still be lucky to do four miles. Is it snowy? Snow is hard to walk on, especially when you’re leaving a trail in the snow in enemy territory. Have they eaten or drank? They’ll be slower if not. Is the terrain familiar, i.e. do they know how to navigate a jungle, desert, etc? Are they in good physical condition or a bit out of shape? Are they infantry or a pencil pusher? Whether they can camouflage themselves matters too, especially if there’s not much cover, because then they have to be more cautious about movement. How alert is the enemy - are they actively searching for you or are you just on their terf?

I guess carefully consider each obstacle in your soldier’s way and be fair. That’s the most important thing about writing: you don’t have to be mean or nice, just be fair.

And remember they need to rest, sleep, and eat. We’re specifically taught that in survival situations we need to sleep and eat, because running yourself ragged in enemy territory is bad and exactly when you can’t afford to pass out. We’re all supposed to know how to boil water properly and how to tell whether the local flora and fauna is edible. That includes bugs.

Btw. We are also taught that if it came down to dying in the wilderness or being captured by the enemy, after making a good faith effort to get to safety, we should choose capture, after disposing of anything valuable or containing intelligence. We do the same if we know capture is imminent. We keep our dog tags. It doesn’t sound noble, but soldiers cost the army a million bucks a pop to make, and if you die that’s another $400,000 paid out to your family and now they have to find someone to replace you. The Army would much rather keep you alive as a POW. But ultimately whether the soldier chooses to be captured is up to them.

You know, in all those “humans are the creepy/fucked up alien species” posts I can’t believe we haven’t touched on organ donation yet. 

 When they heard that the human general had fallen ill to a disease of the organ known as the liver the troops began to hope that it might turn the tide of the war. Research indicated that such diseases could be fatal after all. The organ did something similar to the flagulaxin in that it filtered out toxins so when it stopped functioning the human would slowly be poisoned to death by his own body. Or so they believed.

But then he came back.

A foot soldier was captured and answers demanded. Was it a medication? Had the sickeness been a ruse to fool them?

“Nah, man. This kid on a motorcycle wiped out on the I9 freeway so they gave the general his liver since they were a match.”

“They…what?”

“They gave him his liver. The kid was dead, and he was an organ donor. And he was a genetic match to the general.”

“They…cut the liver out of one of your young and placed it in an elder and it…worked?”

“I mean, he wasn’t that young. Mid twenties or something. But yeah, that’s essentially it.”

The interrogator and his assistant both regurgitated their most recent meal and ran from the room. Living in places like the “Australia” were one thing, but taking the organs of dead bodies and placing them in the living? What was WRONG with this species?

Things everyone forgets about Castiel:

1.  In his true form, he probably looks something like this:

These nice looking fellas here are angels, as described in Ezekiel 10:14.  They’re said to be massive in size (hence the Chrysler building remark) with at least six wings and four faces. 

When asked, Misha said that Castiel’s four faces consist of a lamb, a zebra, (unsurprisingly) a sock monkey, and (even less surprisingly) a cat.  No wonder he likes cats so much – he’s literally part cat himself.  They are his people.

2.  He wasn’t just a “random foot soldier.”

I see Cas described this way in a lot of fanfics, and it never fails to irk me.  For one thing, Cas isn’t just some run-in-the-mill, middle-class angel: he’s a seraph.  According to the Christian angelic hierarchy, this is the highest-ranking and most powerful form of angel.

Here are two of them guarding the Divine Throne, literally placing the Seraphim closest to God on the Biblical hierarchy.

“Attending Him were the mighty Seraphim, each with six wings.”  (Isaiah 6:2)

Not only that, even among the Seraphim, Cas has always been exceptional:  he was the leader of his own garrison, and charismatic enough to establish leadership among the angels, leading a rebellion first against an archangel (Raphael), and then against “God” (Metatron), even after he’d already established himself as a dangerous and unpredictable figure in the other angels’ eyes.

In short, he is a legitimately terrifying force of nature.  Fear him.

3.  He’s actually incredibly smart. 

In “fanon,” it seems to be an increasingly common trope to depict Cas as a helpless, incompetent child with no life skills, completely dependent on the Winchesters for protection.  This makes very little sense, considering he not only has eons of military experience, but he’s strategically brilliant.  

Case in point:  remember that time he took out a room full of angels by carving an Enochian Sigil into his chest?

Or the time he hid from heaven for months on end in an eerily similar cluster of chain restaurants, while simultaneously hiding an angel tablet under his skin?

Or the time he escaped from the angelic equivalent of the Overly Attached Girlfriend by buckling his seat belt and crashing them into a ditch?

Even as a human, he was incredibly resourceful, getting masking symbols tattooed onto his skin, and ultimately killing at least three full-fledged angels, completely without the use of his own powers.

It’s also important to note that in this season, he also proved himself to be able to function as a hunter without Sam or Dean’s assistance.

Even his most ill-advised decisions were actually completely logic based:  his deal with Crowely was made in order to defeat Raphael and stop a second apocalypse (which he actually did), and his most recent “deal with the devil” was made in order to defeat Amara, which even Sam subsequently acknowledged to be their only option.

So don’t be a Metatron:  “mentally deficient puppy” vibes aside, Castiel is no idiot. 

4.  Even as angels go, he’s extremely unusual.

Another thing that bothers me is that I often see Cas’s eccentricities attributed to his species:  his enduring social awkwardness, refusal to wear anything but a suit and trench coat, off-beat, understated sense of humor, and Aspergers-y inability to catch social cues, perceive sarcasm, or express emotions (despite being one of the few angels to actually have them to begin with) are often attributed to being standard characteristics of the angelic race.  

But let’s have a look at some of the other angels we know.  Do we ever really see them do any of this?  At all?

And before you attribute this to the fact that Cas has less experience on Earth, take a look at the other angel who hasn’t been exposed to humanity in quite a few eons:

Bottom line is, Cas isn’t just “weird” by human standards.  As an entity, he is singularly odd.

God (literally) made him and threw away the mold.

5.  Jokes aside, there is virtually no way he’s heterosexual.

I can’t help but find debates over angelic sexual preference within the fandom to be slightly ridiculous.  While ninety percent of the fandom enthusiastically screams, “He’s gay!” there is a small percentage that firmly insists he’s straight as an arrow.  Roughly two percent of the fandom claims he’s pan or ace, which honestly are the only sexuality headcanons I find logical.

Because, not to make anyone uncomfortable, but Castiel isn’t a guy – he isn’t even technically a “he:”  Angels are canonically WITHOUT GENDER.  This means that while he obviously does experience sexual (or at least emotional) attraction, it would make absolutely no sense for him to be attracted to women exclusively.  He physically *cannot* be straight. 

Keeping this in mind, it also makes scenes like these even more suggestive (if that’s even possible):

Seriously, for those of you wearing your heterosexuality goggles, just imagine Cas had a female vessel.  Then imagine just how “platonic” these scenes would look.

The episode would have been much better if instead of steven and bismuth fighting bc shes the angry black women and she’ll fight anyone, even a child, they had a discussion about how the gems they could potentially be using the weapon on are just foot soldiers following orders, and could also be liberated, and then they work together to make a plan to take it directly to the Diamonds and shatter them. You know, instead of invalidating her and making her the big bad unstable extremist who is just as bad as her oppressor :))) and then just poofing her and bubbling her away :)