“That’s gay,” a voice accused over the group’s voice chat. The tone was snide and insulting. Charlie pulled a hissing breath between his lips, hoping it could be one isolated incident, a micro-aggression that could be endured, and not the first flake of a snowballing avalanche of hate.
“Damn right it is, son,” replied Sarge and Charlie hunched his shoulders in his computer chair. Sarge was called Sarge because he was a Marine, old and battle scarred and using the internet since it was a military intranet that DARPA was considering letting the public have a version of. “Gayest shit ever, and I should know, since it takes one to know one.”
The line echoed with shock from everyone in the pre-fight room. “Sarge, you… you’re gay?” Charlie asked.
“Yes I am and I did not lose a damn leg to be told that’s wrong by some young fool on the net.”
“But… you were in the military! The only reason I went DARPA instead of joining up was because I was afraid what they’d do to me when they found out!”
“Probably what Oscar and Delta teams did to me,” Sarge said. “Ask why that was relevant and buy a shit load of lady-boy pin-up mags to find a better model for my unit’s tattoo, since a sexy woman tattooed on a gay man don’t make much sense.”
“Eh, you’re lucky Sarge,” Micro sighed. “I came out to my squad and they requested a transfer for me. I didn’t much care since when the Brass found out why they dumped me in with the ladies and those gals could party.”
“You were military, too, Micro?” Saph asked, her tone happy and light. “I didn’t know that.”
“Navy, Saph, not as macho as the Marines. I wasn’t even a SEAL, so it’s not like I carry that with me.”
“So, wait a second,” Devorak said. “Sarge, Micro, and Charlie are gay, Sarge, Micro and Saph were military, and I’m a lesbian defence contractor. Except for the newbie, we’re the Gay Army up in here.”
“Oi, I’m a fan of Taco Tuesday myself here, love,” Saph protested as the team laughed and Charlie watched the username of the new player wink out, resetting their wait time. Somehow, he thought nobody would care, they were having too much fun modding their avatar’s armor to design a uniform for the Gay Space Army Guild that Devorak suggested.
The lovely and perceptive Pizilden over on Habitica has composed a march for the Gay Space Army, complete with voice re-enactment of the fateful discovery of Sarge's orientation.