He looks down at the empty amasec glass, ice glinting in the dim light. Walking over to the decanter, he refills the glass, gazing over at the bloodied shirt, discarded after that final battle. The humming dataslate waits, it's minute machine spirit awaiting, ready to record everything he says.
'I've never been much for introspection,the life of a soldier doesn't lend itself to such things naturally but I have lived a very long time, for a human anyway. But something Brad said made me think... And not just him, the pirates too. I don't look back, but I do remember. Someone has to.'
He drains the glass, refilling it again, a clear familiar motion. He raises the glass to his lips, but then lowers it without a sip, turning to the wall, hung with weapons and trophies. His eyes fall upon a cap, similar to his own, lying next to the torn shirt and rent armour, but stained darker, a single hole through the peak.
'I left the schola, so many years ago, filled with zeal and fire, ready to go out and be the shining example of imperial leadership I was raised to be. It didn't last long, the battlefield saw to that. I earned my cadet cap at 16, and was assigned to a callous old bastard of a commissar named Jacobs. He died in my first week out. He shot the Colonel of the regiment we were stationed with,the'
He pauses, brow furrowing with memory.
'218th Moridan Mechanised I think, for refusing to send a platoon of men to recapture a fortified promethium dump. It would have been a suicide mission, and the dump was frakked, she made the right call but he shot her for cowardice and tried to order the attack. That was right until the second in command shot him through the head. I still remember the look of surprise on his face. The newly minted Colonel turned to me, his newly minted senior commissar, laspistol in hand and asked me what my thoughts were. I told him we should blow the dump, send a fireteam. We both knew that was a suicide run too, but this one seemed acceptable. He wasn't a coward, neither of them had been, they had just been against throwing away lives needlessly. So we sent the team, the dump blew, and not one man made it back. I wrote there names in the notebook Jacobs had given me to record his supposed teachings, and assumed my new role. That's how it all started'
'I learned the importance of lives that day. That one life could be worth 25, or that 5 men could do more good than 50. They don't teach you that in the commissariat. So every name, of every man and woman I sent to die, ever one who I led into a charge they never came back from went into the book. And soon the book was full. So then it became another book, and then another. Thousands of names now, thousands of lives lost, and many more saved by their actions. But even as I recorded the names, I lost the connection to them I once had. I lost so many friends, allies, that I became detached. I have only truly cared for a few souls in the past 50 years, and all of those were soldiers too, people I was prepared to lose if it came to it.'
He pauses, looking down at the painted bullet that hangs over his bare chest, a chest covered in scars and pockmarks, most healed, some fresh and downs another measure of the smooth brown liquid in his glass.
'Nox is my closest friend, my oldest friend, and even he is a man who I have always been prepared to kill if needs must. And then I meet these insane people of the consortium. I make friends who hate what I do, and others who aren't even soldiers. I find people I care for, who make it their mission to live, not to die, and it makes me wonder. Will they remember, my name, or will theirs be written in the books alongside the others. Will anyone weep for me when I pass, or am I much to old to find that kind of person now. But this rambling has gone on too long. I have a victory celebration to attend. The Queen of Ravens is dead, and I live so I must still be doing something right. It's not like anyone will hear this while I am still breathing.'
He pulls on a fresh shirt, and even here, in the depth of this familiar ship, buckles on his blade. He picks up the decanter and walks to the door turning back to the slate.
'Aye, I am far older than I look, but somebody has to remember.'
- Commissar Tomas Rexuz
- Posts: 43
- Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:52 pm
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