Die Writing

Some last advice

Posted in Neuropilot by erdaron on September 22, 2010

The cadets sat silently in their seats. It was the last day at the Academy. It was Transfers Day. Later in the afternoon their first field assignments would be handed out and everyone would start packing for the deep space stations. Needless to say, every cadet was euphoric, totally and absolutely. But no one dared to show any signs of it in front of the Combat Psychology Instructor.

It was an academic title, but the Instructor couldn’t be farther from the ivory towers. Unlike other instructors here – pilots, engineers, doctors – he started out his service as a marine. In the branch of service where fighting was done by machines, he was the only one who’s killed with his bare hands. He almost always chose fatigues over dress uniform, even on this special day. His skin wasn’t so much scarred as calloused. Large stiff hands that could crush bones. A stare that had a palpable, frightful weight. He talked slowly, with few, sometimes too few words.

“Last advice,” he said after a lengthy pause, patiently staring down the class. “Same as I’d give to your enemies. Kill. Kill fast.”

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