|Section 8: Evolution
Author: Hawki PM
Oneshot: As much as the USIF pushed against the ARM, as much as its weapons and technology improved, Stone knew that nothing would change. Knowledge that was in error as the case was...Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst - Words: 513 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Published: 01-28-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6695177
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Evolution...what a joke."
"Careful Stone, I think I hear Charles Darwin turning in his grave."
"After he made God turn in his. Besides, that's not what I meant."
Colonel McNeil decided to ignore General Barrett Stone and focus on the wonderful blackness of space. Sure, there was the occasional star, the occasional planet and as the USIF pursued the Arm of Orion further into the galactic core, the number of both stars and planets expanded dramatically. Yet it was still black. Black and boring.
"We took back our eyes and ears from the ARM..." the colonel murmured to himself. "Yet we can't detect an ARM ship from one of our own this far from Sol."
"Yeah, well, technology gets better over time," the general murmured, joining his subordinate at a viewport of the USIS Texas. "But that hardly matters."
Crap. He isn't giving up...
Apparently an O-6 paygrade entailed the job of listening to a general complain. Yay.
In fairness, McNeil couldn't blame Stone. New Madrid had been a complete turnaround in a war, the point where the ARM went from the offensive to the defensive. Yet the bastards were either everywhere or nowhere-everywhere when the scum could afford to be rooted out, and nowhere when they couldn't afford to. Maybe Stone took it personally, having been part of the New Madrid campaign. Either way, McNeil supposed he should listen. It would be eleven hours till the ship arrived at Alpha Sagittarii, and even then it might end up doing nothing.
"Weapons get more powerful over time as well..." Stone continued. "The soldiers, we get smarter. Better trained. And more efficient at what we do."
"But what we do is still the same," Stone grunted, summing up the thoughts of the Empire in a sentence. "We fight. There's nothing evolved about fighting, no matter what flag we wave. It's been the same since the beginning of time. We fight to protect what's ours. And take what's theirs."
"And which of the two are we doing general?"
Stone glanced at him, looking slightly surprised. McNeil wasn't sure whether that was a good or bad thing, that he was starting to agree with his superior, or that the second-highest ranking Armoured Infantry officer on this ship was succumbing to the same apathy that was gripping all the USIF. Because that was the case.
"I'm past caring," Stone answered eventually. "You shouldn't care either colonel."
"Because we're not paid to ask questions?"
"No, because it's been this way since the dawn of time. We fight over differences...out of fear...out of prejudice...trust me colonel, the ARM's just the latest faction against which we get to vent our petty emotions. Nothing's going to change that."
McNeil remained silent. Partly because he agreed. Partly because an aide had just walked in bearing a file. And partly because of what that file was titled...
USIF Genetic Engineering Program.
Stone was wrong. Fighting would evolve...