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A Fathers Courage

The blue clothed Admiral looked out the view port. The battle raged outside the ship, miniature fighters buzzed by the larger ships, they looked like insects compared to their larger counterparts. "Private Michelle has Commander Madison contacted us yet?" Asked Admiral Blanes. "No sir," she replied. "Very well inform me if he does." "Yes sir." He watched as a fairly small ship was blown apart violently by an explosion sending fragments of it flying through space. All this for a crappy piece of swamp he thought to himself, gazing at the murky green planet below. "Admiral!" Shouted a white uniformed man running through the door. "What is it?" Asked the admiral while turning to face the newcomer. "Good news sir," he said while trying to regain his breath. "Well out with it boy!" Snapped Blanes. "Admiral John has arrived from portal four, and the Asmerks are caught in a vice." Blanes gazed at the carnage outside. "Good now we can finally end this accursed battle." He looked back to the messenger. "Private Mulgen, send out all Raptor and Hellcat fighters, target all forward batteries at that cruiser!" He shouted. He turned to the messenger again. "Go back to the your quarters boy," he said. When he turned back he saw the enormous bulk of a Capitol class ship coming out a dark blue hole. He smiled to himself confident that he'd get to see his family at least one more time, before a large explosion ripped through the bridge killing him and his crew instantly.

"Sergeant Migen, the Asmerks are fleeing the system. Tell Colonel McCoy that he needs to make a final push to make this victory solid. Tell him two more battalions are on the way, colonel Cole's and Genron's, and one thing tell him to hurry we have to end this battle quickly before the Asmerks come back." "Roger that." Said the Sergeant turning off the COM on his black armor. "Hey sarge who was that?" Asked another man in black armor. "That was commander Cave, he wants us to make one more push to eliminate the Asmerks." "Really? Does that mean that the space battles over?" He asked, "Yeah but we lost some really good people up there." The Sergeant said solemnly. "Really, who?" The Sergeant paused. "Well we lost Admiral Blanes, Corin the fighter pilot, that fleet commander at Saturn, Marine Commander Geldon, and the leader of this whole operation General Jacobs. But now that it's over we have this last fight before it's over and I think it's gonna be bloody."  Migen grabbed his helmet and turned to the other man, "See ya around," and with that he ran out of the tent and into the rain.

"Colonel, Colonel!" Migen shouted as he trudged through the murky swamp. "What is it?" Asked a man in dark green armor. "Colonel McCoy?" Asked Migen approaching him. "Yes," "It's Cave, he wants us to end this battle quickly," "Wait what. With 400 men, is he crazy." The Colonel said repetitively. "We have two more battalions coming in, Cole's and Genron's." "Marines or Regulars?" "Well Cole is Marines and I have no idea about Genron." The Colonel walked towards a small tent, "Come on Sergeant, we have to plan." Migen followed the Colonel into the tent. "Tomorrow General Miller takes the rest of the division and going on a full frontal assault, if we have any chance of ending this soon then we'll have to take all the skiffs we have and go behind them and crush them. It'll take a lot of casualties but if we succeed we'll be out and done with this mess soon." The Sergeant took a deep breath. "Well Colonel personally I think it'll work."

"Marines! We are about to embark on a great venture, we are about to crush the Asmerks for the glory of the Earth Empire!" Shouted the large man in the blackish blue armor. "Yes sir!" Shouted the crowd of soldiers in similar colored armor. Each soldiers carried a large rifle at their sides. They each had a large emblem of an eagle etched on their helmets. "We will be boarding Dragonfly skiffs and heading behind the Asmerks and catch them unaware while they are fighting off the frontal assault. Now I know it goes against the principles of marines but we must defeat the Asmerks now, because it's..." "Now or never!" Enthusiastically interrupted the soldiers. "Now mount up!" He shouted as loud as he could. The crowd erupted in cheers and climbed aboard the large black skiffs that hovered a few feet of the ground. "When we stop get off and run towards cover as fast as possible." Said Sergeant Migen. He stood next to the ramp on one of the Dragonfly skiffs, holding a large sphere like gun with three barrels. Behind him a man threw up the contents of his stomach into the murky green water below. One of the soldiers nervously drank from his canteen. Another man had his head down in prayer. Another man started shaking uncontrollably until a reassuring smile and a hand on the soldier by the Sergeant eased him. "It's OK Jim, you'll be fine." "You think Sarge?" The Sergeant smiled "Yah Jim you'll be just fine." "Sergeant Migen?" Tentatively asked a man who had just walked to the front of the skiff. "Yes." The Sergeant said turning to the man. "Cave doesn't want the skiffs damaged so I have to drop you and your men off now." What is that blasted idiot thinking, thought Migen. "Alright then, men! That fool Cave wants to save his precious skiffs so we'll be continuing on foot from here. Now get off." The ramps started to slowly lower and the soldiers shuffled out into the swampy waters. They filtered into the rest of the mass of men wading through the waters. "This is bull," one of the soldiers said angrily near the Sergeant. "Yah well Cave's always been this way, never caring about the soldier on the ground only about his precious machines." The Sergeant said bitterly, "He never will either, cause his precious mommy won't let her darling perfect son fight, pansy." Another soldier said spitting into the water. "Well fellows no offense but a Rhino tank or hell even a Mongoose would be most welcome on this little endeavor." A soldier behind the Sergeant said. "Man if my parents could see me now they'd be so proud." "Yah I can't wait to see my wife got four kids, three boys and a daughter. My oldest is serving in Carged and my other is in Venus in college." "Hey Sarge you got any family?" Asked another soldier inquisitively. "Yah my wife, I haven't seen her in a year, after this get to see her and my new daughter, her names Jamie, god, can't wait to see them." "Hey George what about you got anybody?" "Yah my new wife, we got married before I set..." A stream of blue flashes tore the man in half from his left shoulder to his waist. He went down into the water as another flash went into the head of a nearby soldier sending a disgusting mix of blood and brain matter flying out.

"Get down! Get down!" Shouted a man ducking behind one of the twisting trunks of the trees. The Sergeant ducked behind a tree before more flashes hit the water. He pulled a man up next to him only to realize that he had only his top half left. A nearby explosion ripped through a tree sending shards into any unlucky enough to be near it. He saw a young woman behind the tree her hand bloodied by the shards of the tree. "Over here!" he shouted gesturing to his tree. She dashed towards him only to be cut down by the flashes. Two men jumped down into the water next to the Sarge sending swamp muck into his face. "God this is a freaking slaughter." Said one of them wiping sweat from his eyes.

"We have to move up!" Shouted the Sarge. "What?" "We have to move up and take out those boxes he shouted, gesturing towards a dark green box carefully concealed in the murky water. "Ok!" The group started to run through the water towards it. Many joined coming to help do what ever it was that needed doing, while most joined in a lack of something better to do. Soon the invisible gunner saw the mass of troops and targeted them sending a stream of flashes towards them cutting down many. Almost there, thought the Sergeant as he ran towards the pillbox gritting his teeth the whole time. He felt a large stab of pain in his side, he gaped in horror at the sight of a bloody mess were his waist was. No! I can't die, not now. He thought, I can't die yet, if not for me then for Jamie. Yes, for Jamie. He grabbed a grenade from his armor, slammed the activate button down and tossed it into the slim opening from which the gunner had massacred his men. He felt woozy and dropped into the water. A man rushed towards him and shouted something he couldn't hear. The Pain was incredible yet all he could think of was the daughter he would never see. For you Jamie, he thought as more men gathered around him. A picture of a beautiful baby girl flashed before his eyes.

A young woman opened a white envelope, dreading its contents. As she read tears filled her eyes. She collapsed on the ground and started to sob uncontrollably. A man seeing her ran to help her. He picked her up and saw a letter fall to the ground. Picking it up he read it.
Dear Mrs. Gerdom, We regret to inform you that your husband, Sergeant First Class Migen Gerdom was killed in action on the swamp planet Fargond in the service of the United Earth Empire. 2061 A.D. do to accounts by soldiers near him when he died; he fought valiantly and died while taking out an Asmerk pillbox. He saved many lives doing so. We understand that his death leaves you alone and with a child and no job, there is a check for 3000 credits here along with a check for 1000 every month, we are truly sorry for your loss and like many other families who mourn we wish all the condolences we can give. (© Robert W. Mullen)
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