This story is set in the Guard universe.
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Base Number 8007 was placed in the mountains among Le Blanc’s woods, a forest area with 150 square kilometers, inside a natural reserve. The European Union State had designated more and more areas as natural preserves were no human activity was allowed.
The dark limousine arrived to Base’s gates. Guardsman in his dark insect like tank uniform stood at the checkpoint. His left arm ended not in a hand but in something that looked like the mixture of a multitool and gun.
“Your ID and papers, please.”
Gene gave him ID.
“What’s purpose of your visit, Citizen Winters?”
Gene showed him black card.
Suddenly, Guardsman stood at attention.
“Good afternoon, Sir. This one must check your card.”
“Of course, take it.”
The Guardsman inserted the black pass in multitool. Green lights flashed on his left arm. Information about Eugene was relayed to the Guardsman HUD.
“Oh, excuse me, Master! This is the first time this one sees a civilian male inspector.”
“It’s OK, Guardsman. Can I have back my ID and pass card?”
After a moment of hesitation, Guardsman return cards to Gene’s hand.
“Of course, Master. Welcome to Mount Le Blanc!”
When the gate opened, the Guardsman alerted the control room. On ordered of them, his butt-plug pulsated and the soldier in the tank uniform received one minute of pleasure.
In that minute, the entire base turned into an alarmed beehive. All Guardsmen who slept after their shift were woken up. Rules and orders demand that during inspection as many Guardsman as possible are ready to be inspected.
Between the gates and the mountain, there was a road, but it was not long enough to give Guardsmen opportunity and time to hide any offenses of the Guard’s rules.
After they entered the a long tunnel, they came to a larger cavern. Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) were parked there. B-6550-368-088 waited for Eugene. He was a muscular Guardsman, with a swimmer’s build, well defined cheekbone. He knelt.
“This is B-6550-368-088, this Guardsman will be your guide and aide while you inspect Base 8007. Please allow him to show you around, Master.”
“Thank you, Guardsman. You may raise. By the way, I know that you often use only the three last digits from your number for chatting with each other.”
The Guardsman stood at attention ramrod straight and answered:
“That’s right, Master.”
“Can I call you Zero-Eight-Eight?”
“It would be a pleasure, Master. Actually, this one is called by others Double-Eight.”
“Oh, it sounds much better.”
“Thank you, Master!”
“Well, Double-Eight, first of all, as I am inspector I must to go office of the Base Commander.”
“Of course, Sir. Master, can this Guardsman offer to you place in our vehicle? That transport is more fit for moving inside mountain.”
“Ok, let’s go, Double-Eight!”
“They stepped into vehicle which was smaller than APC and parked in opposite side from Carriers.”
The capsule had three seats. Double-Eight and Gene moved on cave’s road and in ten minutes were near the office of the Commander. Here dominated the same gray concrete walls. They entered inside.
The office was next to the command center and very spartan. It contained a simple desk and two chairs that had been coved with material similar to that of the rubber uniforms.
B-6550-368-088 came to attention: “Guardsman B-6550-368-088 reporting with Citizen Inspector” and saluted.
“Welcome to the Le Blanc training facility, Master” The Guard Commander saluted and shook hands with the Eugene.
“Please, be seated… B-6550-368-088, you may wait outside.”
That small and spartan working space was surprise for Gene, he thought that Commander’s office would be much bigger.
“What leads you to us, Citizen Inspector?”
“I want to inspect the following features and objects: parade ground, Material’s education process, Punishment Park, Materials’ and Guardsmen’s rooms. And, actually, the main reason for my inspection is GUMS’s log.”
“Why are the logs the main reason?”
Oh. Inspector Winters…Winters…Is Director your wife?”
“Yes, Commander, she is.”
Commander stood at attention.
“I see, Sir. Master, I must confess you that this Commander made sexual pleasures for Mistress Winters. You can punish this Guardsman as you want.”
“I will make decision after I will see the logs.”
”Of course, Master!”
“Will Double-Eight guide me during inspection?”
“Yes, Master, if you wish.”
The Commander instructed GUMS to call for B-6550-368-088.
Double-Eight returned at office.
“Guardsman, escort our Inspector during his work. He will check our parade ground, Material’s education process, Punishment Park, Materials’ and Guardsmen’s rooms and then examine the GUMS logs. Guide and show him everything that he wants to inspect and offer him full courtesies.”
“See you, Inspector Winters, later.”
“I will return later, Commander, see you.”
Double-Eight lead Eugene to the Parade ground. A batch of Materials was exercising basic drill commands.
There were 100 Materials. Ten rows with ten guys in each one.
They marched with parade step. The Instructor shouted commands. If someone got slower or missed an order, he was struck with the instructor’s pain stick. Usually the individual would scream in pain, some even collapse.
“How long has this been going on, Double-Eight?”
Double-Eight consulted with GUMS on the tablet he had taken along.
“They are in parade training for about 3 hours now, it wil go on for 2 more hours, then they are scheduled for feeding and watering”
“This training looks very exhausting.”
“It is!” Double-Eight smiled.
“How many Guardsman are being trained in this facility?”
“The Le Blanc underground facility trains around 500 new Guard Material at any given time, currently we have 600 in training, about 200 Guardsman live here continuously.
The annual output is around 1500 Guardsmen. Depending on the need the of the Union. As you know, the Guard is organized in a decentralized fashion in order to reduce vulnerabilities as big hierarchical institutions have them.”
“So, six batches of Materials are in this Base?”
“Yes, Master. Our Base is not large because it is inside this mountain. We can’t expand working space because we have natural limits.”
They walked to other edge of parade ground and Gene saw eleven Guardsmen in gas masks . Yes, there were real Guardsmen, not Material, they were not young as these 100 guys which marched now and would march for many hours. They were standing at attention and shouting Guard’s mantras loudly.
“Why are these Guardsmen wearing a gas mask?”
“Oh, these Guardsmen are learning to be instructors there.”
“Are they punished?”
“Oh, no, no. It’s not a punishment! It’s an exercise. They must shout words of mantra so loud that we can hear them. The gas masks are reducing their voices. It’s one of the methods for training of command voice. Materials must hear you clearly. If we can hear future instructor through his mask, than it means, without mask, all recruits in the batch will hear instructor’s voice, too.”
“It makes sense, indeed!”
“I think so, Master!”
Suddenly, Winters saw three figures. They wore rubber uniform like any Guardsman there, but their faces was restrained by muzzles and on their uniforms were chrome like shackles and a yoke.
“What are these?”
“Guard Cadets on their rotation from the academy. They are here to learn how to lead and command. But this batch has just arrived so some of the trainers are giving them some encouragement training. For 50 days, these boys have the opportunity to taste normal Guardsmen’s life. It will stimulate them to learn better because Cadet’s life is much worse than ours.”
“I see, these muzzles are tools of studying, too.”
“Exactly, Sir! But, normally, Cadets don’t wear muzzles here during their base rotation”
“And what does that mean?”
“It means, Master, that these Cadets had bad results in the Academy. This is the last chance to encourage them to do better learning. They can see that their life in the Guard could be much easier.”
Eugene could not see the faces but the training seemed to be rough.
“We want them to be stronger than the Materials, because they will help with training them.”
“Can I talk to one Material?”
“Sure, Master. Which one?”
“This.” Eugene randomly pointed with this finger to a Material.
“Wait.” Double-Eight went over to the Material and stopped it in its training. The young lad walked over to Eugene.
As he approached he saw it was a chisled looking young lad with red eye brows and light skin. Presumably the guy would have red hairs if they hadn’t been shaved off. He was handsome except the large ears and impressive nose.
It was difficult, but Eugene hid his smile because his face’s exterior was peculiar.
“Master, Material A-8007-399-165 reported as ordered, Sir!”.
The big eared Material crisply saluted.
“How do you like your training?”
“The training is rough. But as the recruiter described. Sir.”
“Why did you join up?”
“This one wants to show the greatness and power of the Union State to all its citizen.”
Eugene thought for himself: “That’s naive”, and said: “That is a very jumble but reason”. He didn’t want to demotivate the young Material.
“Have you noticed any changes to yourself?”
“Yes, this one has noted how the GUMS changes him and that it gets programmed. At the beginning it was difficult to accept the programming and this restitet, but now it has noticed how the programming helps him to perform and behave. Also it has become much stronger and more foused.”
“Well this one really likes the feeling of fullnes in his ass through the plug.”
“What will be your position after training?”
Material jokes: “Certainly not Honour Guard with these big ears, Material hopes to become a Guard Medic.”
“Medic. Good purpose, Material! Do you have any skills in that subject?”
“I was the best student in Biology and Chemistry at school.”
“Yes, it’s sounds like you able to become Medic. Civilian physicians study in Universities 7 years to become a doctor. Is the same time of studying in the Guard for Medics?”
“In the guard its a step by step approach. First you qualify for base level medic, that is 100 days of training. Then if you perform well there you can get recomended for studying and become a guard field surgeon.”
“If you want I could recommend your for transferr to Guard Medics courses”.
“Thank you, Master, this one would really apreaciate that.”.
“Double-Eight, how I can send my recommendations?”
“Take my pad, Sir. Just a minute. I will open electronic blank. That’s it.”
Gene took 088’s pad and fill the blank and pressed “Sent” button.
“It’s done, Material.”
Gene saw the message “Recommendation is accepted. A-8007-399-165 will be deployed to Guard Medical Academy after training course.”
Inspector showed pad’s screen to young Material. A-8007-399-165 smiled.
“Thank you, Master!”
‘You are welcome, Material. We’re always needing people saving lives. Learn well, A-8007-399-165! Don’t disappoint me!”
“Yes, Master, I won’t disappoint you!”
“Raise, lad! You may return to your training!”
“Yes, Sir!” A-8007-399-165 marched to formation.
“We can only hope he performs well.”
“Why do you say this, 088?”
“Oh, this one is just concerned that you interfer with the training proces, it is better to let GUMS decide if a Guardsman is good for a job. It knows or performance and psychological profiles.”
They walked on to a large auditorium style classroom and watched from above how another batch of Material marched in. Each of them stood in front of one seat.
“Be seated” their instructor called out.
The material sat down and latched itself into the chairs. A strap came over the shins and boots, another other their chest. Then two claws fixed their head and acted as headphones. They latched on their left arm. Finally they put down the right arm and an automatic clamp fixed also that arm. With their feet and and fingers the cadets could still respond to input.
Now the screens in front of them started to show a series of pictures.
“Do you want to talk to the instructor?” Double-Eight asked.
“Yes” Eugene replied.
They walked up to the front of the classroom where the instructor D-5050-040-365 sat and watched on a bank of monitors the performance of his material.
He was a strong man, with a wide jar, his polished head shinining in the lightining, on his belt was a pain stick and the ceremonial red whip.
“What are you doing here?”
“This is a fresh batch of material, so ware still in the basic stages of programming and conditioning. Today it is conditioning of sexual responses and some basic ethos.”
Eugene looked at zoned out stares.
“Here, on this screen you can see how well the uptake works.”
The instructor dialed through individual material profiles and there were bars going from left to right, some progressing faster, some slower. Some items already showing green others still yellow and red.
“So what do we see here?”
“These are the Personality overrides we are doing. In this batch we are aiming for the standard ground personality, these are the guys you see later patrolling the streets. So you can see the sliders here in the big five personality traits.”
One sliders was headlined “Openness to experience” and very much to the left indicating close to zero.
“We aim for cautious guardsman who enjoy a strict routine but are not very independent”.
At the Conscientiousness slider it was even more to the left.
“in this dimension we aim for self-discipline, guardsman who act dutifully, who are eager for the achievements that we open for them, and prefer planned instead of spontaneous activities.
With Extraversion there seemed to be some latitude in the sliders.
“Indeed here our aim is not to change so much. The Guard environment is already very controlled and we do not need to change so much. And to much extraversion would be counterproductive. So we aim for Energy, positive emotions, sociability but we do not change when it comes to the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others, and talkativeness, as you may have noticed some of these are more talkative then others.”
“like me” double eight laughed.
At the Agreeableness the slider was turned up.
“Sure we ant them to be very agreeable even if they might make a naive or submissive impression on you.”
“And then at the end of the treatments we reduce Neuroticism, so that they have a stable and calm personality, even though they can be seen as uninspiring and unconcerned.”
“Are these the same treatment for ever Guardsman?”
“No. No. If these were destined for another role the programming would be different. For example for us instructors our agreeableness is down, we are conditioned to be dominant. And for double eiths role the Opens to experience is way less reduced.”
“Of course this can not be achieved in one session, because we are changing personality traits but our techniques allows us to mold the material as we need it…. it makes them actually more happy, we have scientific evidence on that.”
Eugene looked at the material deeply engaged in the learning process.
“As the instructors you have quite a lot of control over the new guardsman.”
“Ye we have, but we call them Material.”
“Aha. How is your adherence to the regulations and rules ensured?”
“This one thinks Double-Eight should show you.”
“Double-Eight will, if you follow”
While Eugene was on the way of being showed how discipline was maintained in the Guard, Double-Eight showed him to gym style room.
“What are these running wheels?”
In the room were 8 running wheels mounted and in each of them was a group of Guardies running, paroled over by several instructors.
“This facility has two purposes: First it created some of the energy for our facility and mildly overweight Material is trained here through running, cycling, rowing and attached to these machines. A strict diet and strenuous exercise reduced their weight. Their training takes longer but they leave in top condition. We are proud on this program.”
“What do you do if someone is really fat?”
“With a massive obese material, they will undergo an operation where the fat deposits are removed, parts of the skin is removed and maybe adjustment to their stomach. This is not done here. Here in the medical facility we only do standard surgery like penile enlargement.”
They walked on a catwalk to another place in he facility and watched from above.
“What is this?”
The room was rather large, well lit, even some flowers grew there, it had the feeling of a garden like thing. The area was actually also the nicest place on the guard station Eugene had seen so far. Around the park like structure were seats for those off duty to watch and sit and chat with their Guard brothers. On the sides there were Guardies sitting in their rubber uniforms, some in couples and holding hands, some actually kissing and making out, some sitting in groups and chatting or playing a game. Others were playing soccer or trying certain calisthenics things.
“We call it punishment park.”
“Yeah. Most of Guard stations have one, this is the area were most Guardies are when they are not on duty.”
“And why do you call it punishment park?”
“Can you see the more or less nude guys in the center with the black cups on their eyes and ears?”
“These guardsman are getting punished and they are doing a punishment workout.”
“If a Guardsman get punished he does his deeds here.”
“And what are these Guardsmen doing?”
“Let me check.” Double-Eight consulted his pad.
“B-2727-788-011 has made some mistake with fitting one of the tank suits, so he has been ordered to do 200 pull ups”
“It will help him become a better Guardsman and being well exercised is always good.”
“And the guys around him are cheering him.”
“Sure, and just to point it out, these other there seem to have a real good time.” Double-Eight pointed to a couple kissing heavily and laughed.
“Is this for the material?”
“No these Guardsmen are all working here in the facility, these are trainers, instructors, technicians and so on. Material is punished through different means, mostly pain.”