The Good Fight
By Frank Ray
When we read a history book, it tells us a lot of things such as how many people were killed and how many wounded in some distant far away land. However, for the grunts at the front line, right in the thick of it this war was personal. They did not fight for the future of you or me, they fought for each other. This story is dedicated to them. This story is also dedicated to my wonderful friends, Randal, Mike, Zaire, Breanna, Wiseman, Brittany Reed, and 1st Sgt's Vaughan and McKenzie.
Chapter 1: history (past, present, future)
I was just 18 when I joined up. We had been at war with the muldines for two years and all my friends had joined up. Some were infantry, others were doctors or pilots.
No matter what, everybody did there part. When I graduated, I began to ask myself if I should do the same. I talked to my parents and after a long debate we had come to a decision. The next day I joined the drop-ship infantry.
Chapter 2: don't forget
I climbed off the transport and was "greeted" with the pleasant smirk of a smug drill sergeant. There was a holo-gram board that told your name and your placement. I was in 1st platoon, 44th brigade. I reported to my barracks after receiving a uniform. I won't go into to much about training. All you need to know is that it was no easy task and was extremely tough. After basic training, I went on leave for a few weeks. I stayed with my friend Elijah and after two weeks I got a letter, it read:
Private Frank ray,
You are hereby ordered to report to the federal cruiser Lansdowne. You are also promoted to the rank of corporal.
I don't think I have to say anything else.
Chapter 3: strong but sensitive
Before I go into any further details about my experiences, I should state that in the galactic union both men can women are allowed to serve in the military, and while they are allowed to have relationships with civilians, it is against the rules for an officer or enlisted man to date with another soldier.
My first few days on board the Lansdowne were pretty easy. Everyone was new so no one knew what to do (including me). My squad consisted of 4 other kids. Ghost was pretty quite but he looks like someone I could trust. MJ was a cool kid but not the kind of guy I would trust around my sister, Zaire was pretty laid back, he just wanted to stay out of jail. Then there was Little Bit, she just joined up to follow her father's footsteps, he fought in the last war. I was amazed, for a soldier so tough; she looked like she couldn't hurt a fly. She was cool but she seemed to have a bit of a temper.
As night winded down a call came through, an aid station down on the planet surface required support and needed to evacuate the wounded.
We answered that call.
Chapter 4: baptism by fire
As the transport hit the surface, we piled out carrying heavy weapons for tank battles. Bullets hit the ground around us. Two guys from B Company went down instantly. We ran for cover a couple of times before getting to the aid station. Ghost laid down some suppressing fire while Little Bit and I helped load wounded onto MJ's transport. We made it back but we lost a lot of people.
As we docked with the cruiser we were for the most part, in a daze. We couldn't believe what had happened. We did everything by the book and still lost a lot of men. I looked over and saw Ghost staring out the window, I tapped him and he jumped but said nothing. We got off and went to our quarters. We were given a week of R&R afterwards.
Chapter 5: back in the saddle.
When we got back from R&R we had a bunch of new crewmembers. One of them was a chemist named Brittany; she was a nice girl but seemed kind of weird. To be honest I was kind of attracted to her even before I got to know her. We sat down at breakfast one day and started talking. Ghost walked by and gave me an odd look. Brittany then told me that ghost was her brother.
Ever since our first mission, ghost has been acting really weird. He had a blank look on his face most of the time, but who could blame him. I guest, when you see a man get blown up, you tend to loose a bit of sanity. On this ship we have to act crazy just to keep from going insane.
Even though technically we were on active duty, we still had fun. When little bits birthday came around, we threw a big party. I met her boyfriend at the party he was a nice guy, but I told him that if he ever did anything to hurt her than I would jettison him into the sun, after all in our band of brothers, little bit was the kid sister.
We got a call later that night; a unit was under heavy fire and needed help getting there wounded out. Why does it seem like we get all the tough assignments?
Chapter 6: Our great crusade
It wasn't like our last landing. They knew we were coming. Anti-aircraft rockets exploded around us. As we touched down artillery hit the ground around us. I jumped behind a wall of dirt just as a mortar round hit. I caught a bit of shrapnel. Little bit picked up a field dressing and patched up my arm. I nodded and she left. I didn't see her for the rest of the battle.
When we got to the downed units position I walked into the medical tent and saw little it lying on a bedroll with stitches in her leg. When she was finished, we reported to the commanding officers tent. The C.O. was a man named Lt. Vaughan. He told me his situation; they lost 4 men and had a critically wounded pilot. They needed help breaching the enemy road blocks. We contacted the ship; we would try an evacuation tomorrow.
Chapter 7: Yankee Doodle Dandy
As we moved from cover to cover I feared that the groans of our wounded pilot would give us away any minute. Then like something out of an old western, muldine infantry fired on us from a roadblock. One of our men had a machine gun and strafed the enemy. We ran behind a wall and I checked our TAC map. We reached the landing zone.
We threw signal flares out as a beacon to signal the landing craft. When we arrived back at the flagship we were met by Capt. McKenzie, our C.O. he informed me that I was to be promoted to Drop Sgt. As part of this promotion I would be transferred to another unit for a month. Little bit was promoted to corporal.
Chapter 8: Friends old and new
I was sent to the 18th brigade to assume the position of Drop Sergeant, assuming that I completed this month of relocation; I will go back to the field to command and actual company as 2nd lieutenant. The 18th was just a training brigade that trained drop troops for the 44th brigade. Drop troops were the elite; they were sort-of like the long gone heroes of the air cavalry back in Vietnam.
As I walked into the barracks which could be entered by either male or female sergeants, I was highly disappointed by the condition of the barracks, there was a television on and no one bothered to call the troops to attention, I quickly found the Private first class in charge of the men and relieved him of command as my first order of business I ordered two military police officers to smash the television.
Not everything was bad about my time with the 18th brigade. I do happen to remember one soldier whom I trained with back in basic. Cadet Pvt. Garvin was a short soldier training to be a heavy weapons specialist. He was my star pupil and did go on to serve in the 44th.
Chapter 9: The tide turns
We've had string of losses after the landing back last year. It was time to take action. Now that I was back with the 44th brigade, I was reassigned to be
2nd lieutenant in charge of scientific research. This was a nice way of saying that my job was to lead an "elite" squad of men who would "utilize new technology as a means to better combating our enemy"; at least that's what the Captain said. I would be working with Brittany, who was chief of research, she designed it, and we wore it.
We were called into the C.O.'s tent. He informed us that we would be using a new flame thrower pack in the next landing. He told us the plan. We were going to raid the muldines main base on their home planet. We would be under the command of lieutenant colonel Gravedoni. God help us, Gravedoni was a good desk jockey but he lacked "in-the-field skills". I wanted to say something but it wasn't my place. I could tell this would be a flop.
Chapter 10: The big show
Every one was going in, doctors, pilots, infantry, and us. We were right in the thick of it.
We touched down under heavy fire. Armored vehicles had already landed and laid down covering fire for us to move on the capital. There was a trench surrounding the city. As we charged the trench, I came face to face with a muldine soldier. As I pulled up the barrel of my gun, I heard the click of a gun behind me. I felt a thump behind me and I hit the ground, I can't remember anything after that.
Chapter 11: The death march
I learned a new thing about the muldines, they are ruthless. I can't help but cry when I think of the march that they sent us on. We were sent to the muldine prison planet of Asmuth. As we moved through the jungle one of the prisoners collapsed and a guard shot him on the spot.
We arrived at the prison complex just before sunrise a week after we landed. They took our cloths and gave us a tethered cloth smock. They then searched us and sent us to our quarters, which consisted of a metal table and chair, along with a small wax candle. They interrogated us with the aid of a machine that sent electric shocks throughout your body. Then thy moved us again. If you fell behind you died.
Chapter 12: Jailbreak
After about a month, rumors began to spread of a raid by G.U. – better known as the galactic union- forces. If these rumors were true then it was up to us to do what we could to aid our boys in the attack.
That night, it happened. There were explosions all over the camp. I saw a transport land. For soldiers ran out, it was my old team, turns out that they joined the special weapons regiment a few weeks after me. As a guard ran by, I punched him and grabbed his rifle. I helped my self to one of his grenades and used it to blow up the wall of my cell. I shouted for little bit, she ran over and helped me get back to the ship. Turns out, I was the main objective. As other prisoners ran to seek refuge on the transport, lieutenant colonel Gravedoni pulled out his pistol and shot the prisoners. Three others were allowed on and that was it. A medic tried to look at my wounds but I pushed her away. At the time, I didn't realize it was Little bit.
Chapter 13: Collateral damage
About 4 years into the war, the "enemy", as they were called, began attacking our ships with long range rockets. We lost a couple of ships did get hit but we never lost a life due to it, until now.
We were repairing the shield when the first rocket hit that day. It destroyed the one section of the ship and started fires in the quarters. I ran to the area in an attempt to help. As the fires eventually went out, we found hundreds of burn victims but the worst was ghost; his arm was completely incinerated and his leg was half gone. A medic ran over and was able to stop the bleeding, later on we found out that he did survive and went back home.
"How do I tell Brittany that her brother was so badly wounded?" I thought.
Chapter 14: The breaking point
After the attack on the ship, we were sent the rear to assist with the moving of the wounded- which included ghost- to our hospital on the moon. Brittany was with us to comfort her brother but hardly ever spoke. I walked into her quarters to find her crying. I felt so bad.
They were rationing like crazy now. You needed a permit to buy medicine, at least that's what my mom said. No one ever talked, not me or even M.J., and Zaire had been hit in the foot sometime ago and was confined to quarters for the next few months.
We had lost all hope and were therefore useless at the front so we were ordered to return to earth to assist with the defense of the planet against an invasion that slipped right under our noses. What we found was extremely depressing.
Chapter 15: Life at home
When we touched down on earth, we were speechless. The invasion had been fought back but the damage was devastating. We quickly got to work. M.J. would go with Garvin and help at the capitol in D.C. while me and Little bit would go to Baltimore with Brittany.
When we arrived in Baltimore I rushed to my house. My mother and father were there with my best friend who was in the galactic home guard. Thankfully he and my father fought of the muldine looters and hid in the basement. We met up with M.J. and Garvin. We all found our families and would fly them to stay with Garvin's family in North Carolina; we would form up with the rest of the 44th there.
Chapter 16: Why we fight
Although the U.S. had been secured, Mexico was still under enemy control. We were to be sent on long range patrols in Texas. This was my first fight on earth.
We heard reports that he muldines had been using civilians for experiments but we didn't believe them until we found a camp full of dead civilians. I hope no one else ever has to see what I saw that day; burning bodies, dead children. There was nothing we could do here. I saw, the now, Gen. Gravedoni taking pictures and filling out papers. To him these were not casualties; they were just numbers and percentages in tomorrow's paper. I hate this war.
Chapter 17: Ultimatum
After the discovery of the prison camps, President Johnson issued an ultimatum to all Muldine forces occupying this or any other allied planet.
"To all enemy forces, lay down your weapons and return to your home planet or face total decimation."
When the Muldine soldiers laughed at this statement, we knew there was only one way to win this war, total all out invasion.
Chapter 18: End game
We could feel that the war was coming to an end as we prepared for one final assault; the muldines had retreated to there on system but still launched bombing assaults. The only way to win was to quickly invade the planet and
Kidnap the muldine minister of war, and then they would be brought to their knees and forced into negotiations or better yet unconditional surrender. With Gravedoni transferred, we would be under the command of Capt. McKenzie. It was time for revenge.
As all of the transports landed, our artillery and armor laid down cover while we got of the ships. As we moved into and alley way inside the town I took the lead, firing six rounds from my rifle into the chest of a muldine soldier. As we cleared the alley I saw an anti-aircraft gun firing at our air support. I called little bit up and she fired a rocket and destroyed it. M.J. popped some smoke and we ran to a rally point outside the capital building. This was it.
As day two of the invasion began we readied for our attack, we moved swiftly through the street and arrived at the door. Garvin placed explosives on the door and we ran in. we fired ad the guards and turned the corner just as a soldier fired a burst from a machine gun at us. Little bit dropped to the floor. I screamed for a medic and this girl from Delta Company named Mel came running up and took her away. M.J. got a call from air support; we had five minuets to get the muldine war chancellor out before they flattened the building.
We busted into the chancellors office and tossed a flash grenade in. I grabbed the chancellor and put a pistol to his head. We ran out just as F-42 strato-fighters came in and dropped white phosphorus in on the building. We dived to the grown as the heat singed the backs of our uniforms. We had won the war. The call went out to all muldine soldiers as the chancellor addressed his people. He said: "To all muldine fighting units in the area, you are to lay down your weapons and cease all aggressions against galactic union forces in accordance with the cease fire agreement. You are to hand over your weapons at the following locations…" we had won the war.
After the war M.J. went to Georgetown University on a full military scholarship. Ghost returned home and married his nurse from the hospital. Zaire lost a limb but was able to become a district attorney for the state of Maryland. Brittany and I dated for a while but went our separate ways; we still stay in touch today. Me and little bit stayed in the military. She went on to be a drop sergeant and I became supreme commander of the allied effort in former muldine occupied areas to help with the disarming efforts.
The war left all of us with our own scars, whether they are on the outside or the inside. No one is sure who truly won the war and it's not for me to say either, history decides the winner. All I know is that this fight, our fight, the good fight, is over.
-Gen Frank Ray, G.U. Army