Jason Heath arrived at the Foreign Legion Induction Centre with ten minutes to spare. On the journey here, he had nearly turned back about five times. But in a way, the Legion was really the only answer to his problems. Relations with his family had reached an all- time low and then three months ago he had lost his job and his flat. He felt he had nowhere left to turn. And the Legion really did promise a new start, with almost no questions asked or answered. Hed been for an initial interview at the recruitment office in Manchester over a month ago, and a week later he had signed up. There and then they gave him a cursory physical exam and took a blood and urine test. A week after that, the results came through and he was in. Hed been told to report today at 12 noon at the Induction Centre. And, after second, third and fourth thoughts, here he was at the gates. The guard took his name and checked it off on a list, then directed him to the white building off to the right. There he had to sign in and hand over his personal belongings to a sergeant at the desk. His first port of call was an office where he was told to fill in a series of forms, most of which seemed to involve signing away all rights to the Legion. The sergeant then took the paperwork and quickly checked through it, before handing him one last form. This last one was a blue card on which he had to give details of his date and place of birth, childhood diseases, education, work experience, religion, next of kin, and so on. When he had completed it, Jason handed the card back to the sergeant who read through Jasons answers--more carefully this time, it seemed. The sergeant countersigned and dated the card and handed it to Jason, saying Youll need this later on. Dont lose it. Your next stage is to present yourself for a preliminary physical assessment. Go back to where you came in and just follow the signs to Room 26. He retraced his steps to the entrance lobby, from where he followed a rather dingy-looking corridor which had a sign saying Rooms 21, - 26. He easily found room 26 which was marked Medical Inspection Section, Male Personnel only. Please knock, and enter. He tapped the door, and then, pausing briefly to check how he was dressed, opened it and went inside. At a small desk opposite him, sat a thin, rather bored-looking civilian in his late thirties. His hair was brown and rather longer than Jason had imagined would be permitted on the base, but then it was clear from his casual clothes, and somehow from his demeanour, that he was not a member of the Legion. As Jason entered, the man looked up from some papers, and beckoned him towards the desk. As he approached, Jason noticed a small name- plate on the desk which said simply Medical Orderly. Name please? the orderly said, without much expression. Jason Heath, he replied. The man shuffled through a file of papers and brought one to the top. Age Twenty. Have you got your blue card? he asked. Jason handed the orderly the card which the sergeant had given him earlier. The man glanced at the card for a few moments, and then asked Jason if he was aware of any physical disabilities, or deformities. No, he said. I think everythings in working order! OK Heath, he replied. Just get undressed now. He pointed over to the right. There are some canvas bags over there for your clothes behind the bench. Jason took off his jacket and struggled to get it into the bag. He wondered how far he was meant to get undressed. He sat down on the small wooden bench, with his back to the orderly. There was not much privacy in here. While he was undressing, there was a knock at the door. Jason turned round to see who it was. Another couple of lads had come into the room. He heard them give their names to the orderly, who asked them both the same questions he had had to answer. He then told them to get stripped off, and they joined Jason by the bench. Hi, said one of the lads. Im Justin, and this is my mate, Enroy. Both the boys were very good-looking. Justin was tall and dark-haired, about 19, Jason guessed, and was wearing a pair of figure-hugging 501s. Enroy was a really attractive black guy with amazing dark eyes and straight eyebrows. He was slightly shorter than Justin, but was probably still about 5 foot eleven, and maybe a year older. Jason introduced himself, and couldnt help watching as the other two shucked off their clothes. As Enroy was just wearing a pair of jogging pants and a T shirt, he was the first to get undressed. He stood by the bench for a moment, obviously wondering what to do next. Just then the orderly looked over, and said, Mackenzie, take your socks off. Ill be wanting to look at your feet, however embarrassed YOU may feel about them! Enroy sat down on the bench again and tugged off his socks. Dressed in just their underpants, (or, in Justins case, a pair of boxer shorts), they stood waiting for further instructions. But, for the moment, the man seemed to be engrossed in his paperwork. Then he looked up again and said: Line up by the wall next to the door. When I call your names, come up to the desk and stand on the white line. He pointed to the floor by his chair. The boys formed a sort of queue against the wall, and waited for their names to be called. At that moment, two more lads came into the room. The orderly processed them, just as before, and told them to get undressed. One of the boys, whose name was Sean, was quite young, no more than eighteen and quite skinny. The other one, Kevin, was stockily built, like a young rugby player, somewhere between 18-19. Though they were very different in some ways, the pair looked as if they might be related.