because some things work better in english.
A nondescript bar, early evening, still empty, TV on but the sound is muted. Would-be rock music playing from a stereo which has seen better times. Like 23 years earlier. Two old men sitting beside each other at the counter, faces worn, haggard, skin like old leather. Hands gripping their almost empty beer glasses, they don’t talk, but their silence seems comfortable.
The barkeeper comes and shoots them a questioning look, the older one nods and grunts. The barkeeper brings them their beer, looks at them, offers them a glass of peanuts. The blond one shakes his head. „I’d rather have cookies“ He elbows the other „Eh, Unknown, cookies? get it?“ „Oh shut the eff up Runtime, you’re not funny any more“. The barkeeper goes away, shaking his head, he is usually good at reading people, but he just doesn’t get those two, they have the air of military men about them, but they just seem too old. Maybe veterans.
A young man bangs open the door and runs in, now he, he looks all military. Freshman, probably in his first year. He does not quite fill his uniform, his hair needs a fresh cut and he looks way too young. He stops as the two old men, takes a deep breath, salutes and barks „General Failure, Major Exception! Sirs!“ „Eh? What’s your name Private?“ the blond one, Unknown Failure asks. „Sir! Private Static Sir! I wanted to ask Sirs if they have seen the medic. Medic Patch Sir!“ „Nah, he left … I don’t know … half an hour ago“ says Runtime Exception. „Why? Something wrong?“ The young man deflates „We have a Code Five Double Zero situation at HQ, Commander App kind of went nuts. Staff Sergeant Context told me to fetch the medic asap“ The old men exchange a worried look. „Nuts? What did he do this time?“ „He brought a cat Sir, and it’s running through HQ and shredding reports, and generally pissing everyone off and he does not care, he just hung up on everyone who called to complain“ „Fuck me, he brought in his fat tomcat?“ asks Runtime, looking aghast.
„Looks like it Sir. Says he feels lonely. That’s why I was said to bring the medic. Staff Sergeant also runs a trace on Corporal Stack. Maybe a new injection will help. I have to go, the Sergeant will kill me if I don’t find him“ He throws them a haphazard salute and runs off.
„Not like the old times eh? Maybe he should try Gin, would get his juices running“ mumbles Unknown. „Bah“ grumbles Runtime, „back in the old days, you just handed him a new sun jar and he was happy for a while, today you might as well ask an oracle what to do about him. It’s the war, man, that always drives a man crazy. And all these new methods, that staff meetings, all this new BS they try to keep their men happy. You heard about that trust fall thingy? You fall, and the others have to try and catch you. Like that does a man any good. It’s still a war.“
They fall silent, drink their beer and think of better times, days when they were young, when the world was easier. „I miss Spring“ Unknown mutters. „Everything was easier then. You collect your beans, hold them together and everyone depends on that and it just works“
„Yeah, think we should show up there?“ asks Runtime, „I feel like fucking things up, just for the fun of it“ „You’re a mean bastard, but I like the idea, I’m bored senseless anyway“. They drink up, throw their cash on the counter and amble for the doors. „Heh, they will never know what hit them“ „Yup“, says Runtime, „that’s why they call me unexpected“