Thursday. The Coffee Break 10 Nov 2016.
Thursday, for us here in Western Canada it is technically Friday as Remembrance Day is a stat holiday (a good portion of Eastern Canada simply observes it but does not declare it as a stat holiday). Tomorrow we remember those who served in our armed forces and who gave their lives to fight for a cause greater than their own – those who survived and return home are to be remembered as well as we cannot simply remember the dead but also give thanks to those who still live (and live with the scars of war).
This subject is dear to me as the military has always been a cornerstone of my mindset and way of thinking. Earliest inspiration in life was a fictional military character by the name of Ibram Gaunt who some of you might know from the novel series Gaunt’s Ghosts by Dan Abnett. Gaunt is the Colonel-Commissar of the Tanith 1st and Only and through a series of trials (books and short stories) he evolves to become a very strong and effective leader both on and off the battlefield. There are numerous sequences in the novels where he has to deal with the politics of the Imperial Guard – Officers in the Guard tend to hail from Aristocratic families and those who do not tend to find that they are scoffed at and looked down upon as a: “peasant who has risen past his station.” Gaunt tends to fall into neither camps, having been an orphan of a famous Imperial Guard officer Gaunt was raised in the Schola Progenium where he was chosen to become a Commissar during his studies. Cutting the story short he gains his rank of Colonel upon taking command of the Tanith 1st later on in his career (and to which our story begins).
What really stuck out for me in all the novels is how the entire team in the Tanith 1st – Gaunt included – endure some of the most horrific warzones known in the Sabbats World Crusade and during that 28-year long fight they continue to soldier on and endure, something that isn’t easy when you shift from theater to theater and the only rest you get is between deployments onboard transport ships. Even with the rest time on transport ships it isn’t drinking beer and watching TV, rather the rest period is a chance to take courses, to prep gear, and to upgrade existing combat skills in preparation for the next battlefield.
Endurance and courage, I think, are what sets Imperial Guard troopers apart from planetary forces. True enough Planetary Defense Forces train to the same degree and fight the same battles, but PDFs never leave their homeworld, whereas the Guard sends soldiers all over the galaxy and sometimes a soldier may retire on a world that is not his homeworld – to settle in an alien environment after being away from home for so long and thrive is truly something unique and should be seen as inspiration to better oneself – sure it is a dystopian story, but the concept of endurance and courage can be shared without having to face the horrors of war.
Moving on, I think the sleep patterns are starting to work out rather well. Last night after disabling the instant-on feature on the Xbox One I discovered that I woke only once during the night and that was to change T-shirts (it was warm and you sweat when it is warm so you need to switch out shirts). Apart from that I slept well, and I think the experiment is thus far proving to be a successful test.
Okay folks, I am out of subjects to discuss for the day – feel free to check out my Patreon page when you get the chance, and I shall see you next time.