The Only Wars

‘Two drinks was not enough,’ thought Emil as a sudden shift in the craft, slammed him hard into his seat. Notch sat stoic as ever next to Emil. The transport hull was dimly lit by the emergency lights. Red silhouettes of his squad mates was all he could see.

The ship rocked this way and that, luckily the seat harness held him solid. With shut eyes he began muttering, “oh holy lord, bless this craft so that is can deliver us onto war. So that we may die in glorious battle in your name…”

A nudge from Notch brought him out of prayer. Notch’s other hand was pointing out the view port, “what do you make of that?” his deep voice cutting through the roar of the craft’s engines and banging of equipment.

Emil looked out the view port, but didn’t see anything. That was just it though, the usually star filled sky was black and void. Warning klaxons blared as the ship cranked hard. Knocking the wind from Emil’s chest. He looked out again and he could see the silhouette of a long sleek angled black ship against the light of the planet beneath them. Tiny black specks began zipping quickly away from the void. “Fighters…” uttered Notch.

Their transport craft suddenly became engulfed in the fires of reentry. Clutching tightly to his harness, Emil cried through clenched teeth. “I knew I should’ve downed the whole bottle.” Notch let out a slight chuckle, padding the Amasec flask in his armor.

Through the flame riddled view port, hundreds of beads of flame hurtled planet side. Each bead a transport or gunship. His weapon specialist team was scattered amongst these various beads. They had all been through the training together.

“Grip the harness, tug the cord for initial burn, release your muscles, relax and land. Grip, tug, release, relax.” Commanded drop trainer Jax, pausing for chuckles. “You lockers will need to remember this should the landing not go to plan. I suggest a Iho stick on any successful landing.” He looked like any of the other Genos, tall, blonde hair, blue eyes. Tattoos of various drops were displayed across his body.

Jumping from the upper decks to practice grav chute deployment. Emil twisted his ankle on the first day of training. Though his injury cost them the first mock battle, he persevered and healed quickly. Continuing to practice the jumps on and off duty he and his team became adept during the months traveled. If he knew this when he was younger, it would’ve prevented a few broken bones.

“Grip, tug, release, relax.” repeated Emil. This mantra kept him focused at the task at hand. Get to the ground. “Grip, tug, release, relax. Grip, tug, release, relax. Grip, tug, release, relax.” Sarge lost his lunch splattering the front side of the cabin.

“Grip, tug, release, relax.” Something tore a hole in the side of the ship. Blood splattered everywhere.

“Grip, tug, release, relax.” Doc was pinned to his seat by something.

“Grip, tug, release, relax.” Blood oozed out the side of Constantine’s rebreather, he curled over in pain.

“Grip, tug, release, relax. Grip, tug, release, relax.” Sarge released his harness to help. He was thrown about the cabin as the ship jerked. Knocking the wind out of him.

“Grip, tug, release, relax.” His squad a shouting.

“We’ll be coming to a stop, get ready to bail out. I’ll be taking the wounded.” Announced the pilot over the intercom.

“Grip, tug, release, relax. Grip, tug, release, relax.” Inertia buried Emil in his seat, and drove Sarge into the floor grates.

“Grip, tug, release, relax.” Doors opened. Seat harness released.

“Grip, tug, release, relax.” He was airborne and hurtling towards the tree covered planet. He had his gear.

“Grip, tug, release, relax.” With white knuckles he grabbed his harness.

“Tug, release, relax.” A Lighting flew beneath him. Imperial aerospace fighters were dog fighting with strange sleek black ships.

“Tug, release, relax.” A quick pull of his igniter and his grav chute whirred to life.

“Release and relax. Release and relax. Release and relax.” A ship exploded overhead. Covering Emil in coolant and debris.

“Release and relax.” Steering away from the trees, Emil headed for the drop zone.

“Release and relax.” As he neared the landing site, he blocked out the chaos around him.

“Release and relax.” Then just as he did in training, he boosted the pack arresting his momentum. Then gently settled on the ground, next to Notch. With a sigh of relief…“Relax.”


100 xp

Cracking the Sky

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