The Last Squadron
This is the tale of the Lone Soldier, to be a message to those who stand.
The ground shakes, rumbles, and roars as the shells fall. The Earth itself torn asunder by the power of invention; lumps of stone and sand rain in a torrential downpour as the last squad left to retreat huddles alone in one of the few remaining buildings.
This torture of sound and soil was brought by those who love war, who seek rage rather than peace, whose very existence is to visit pain on those who they disagree with, to change minds and souls by force and fury rather than love and logic.
This squad and the remnants thereof are those of might and merit who are willing to stand up and say, ‘This is wrong!’ when those enemies of peace seek to demolish society.
Of said squad, five remain.
The first two had fallen in battle, gunned down by the enemy while they held their ground against the foe.
The second three fell while they ran, following the sounded retreat as they fled through the town. The first shot in the back by a coward, unable to face the one he slaughtered. The second blown apart by a shell, his body split apart like an apple under a guillotine. The third crushed in a collapse of an unstable building, finally relenting under the sleepless bombard.
The soldiers that remain stay silent as the air screams, each shell tearing its way through the calm, silent air, ripping apart the peace that once lived there. The earth grumbles with anger, explosions collapsing its long cultivated curves and edges, maring its beauty with rage.
Then, the screams stop. The grumbling settles, and the silence is broken.
“Sergeant, what do we do?”, echoes a quiver in the air, emitted from a shadow of a man, clad in military garb, clutching a rifle with a hand shaking more than the ground once had.
“Retreat, Private” utters a slightly more stable emission, breathed quietly by one of the two remaining men who did not shake and shudder. Taking a quick glance at his remaining men his eyes lock onto the first speaker. “Since the shelling has stopped that means they will be moving in to ensure the slaughter was effective, we need go now.” He states clearly, the remaining troops quickly collect themselves and prepare themselves, each stepping into their place in formation and following their Sergeant.
The squad quickly moves from one destructed building and shelled structure to another, taking care to watch for both structural collapses and enemy troops. An hour or two passes as the Sun droops lower into the sky, the light itself mourning for the damage done to her Earth by its children. Coming close to the edge of the town however, the last squad comes also upon a problem. The enemy soldiers they had attempted to avoid now lay in front of them, at least thirty men to their five. The squad takes refuge in a nearby, mostly intact, building.
“Sergeant, what now!” utters the same shadow who spoke before, the courage that led him to stand now bleeding out with his brothers lives.
“I don’t know private, all I know is that we will make it somehow… let me think.” the Sergeant replies, his face now fallen as well, his own heart barely limping along now, following the route of the primary speaker’s.
“Sarge, we aren’t getting out of here without a distraction” states a man who had previously sat silent. A simple soldier, a name emblazoned on his heart, Lone.
“That would certainly help Lone, any ideas?” replies the Sergeant, eyes flickering under his eyelids as his mind flails.
“No way Lone, I won’t let you throw away your life” the Sergeant growls, his eyes opening and snapping onto Private Lone.
“Then you’d better make sure to live” Lone replies, standing, gripping his weapon firmly, and opening the door into the orange-red light of the saddened sun.
The other four in states of shock and confusion all sit there agast, unable to move as they watched Private Lone stand, silhouetted by the light of the burning sun. Until Sarge hissed between his teeth “Run”, and their legs remembered their function. They ran.
The lone soldier stands not alone;
The thirty-three fighters stood clustered around a tent that had been erected, their leader quickly ordering and writing plans and tactics for clearing the now demolished town. When suddenly there is a voice, a language that none knew but all recognised. The Enemies!
As the outer ring of troops turn they see a sight.
A lone soldier; an enemy, standing along, a darkened doorway behind.
The soldier raises his weapon, shouting in a long noise that carries through the field.
But at that moment, no one else moved, nor spoke. For they were outnumbered
The lone soldier stood not alone. Every onlooker met his eye, a mad rage sat within them. The anger not of a single man, but of a legion. Each fighter looked and saw a new truth. They could not win.
The lone soldier stands not alone; for as he raises his rifle, the lone woodcutter next to him raises his axe, the farmer raises his hoe, the fireman raises his hose, the painter, his brush, and the writer his pen. These men and women stand behind him, their tools being forged into weapons, their hearts being sharpened like swords, their souls pouring down like a rain of fire and brimstone.
The lone soldier stands not alone; even as he is gunned down, sacrificing his own life for his friends, the others do not fall, they hold him up and carry on, them and their children watching the brave, lone, soldier stand. And even as the anger in his eyes fades, the rest pick it up and carry it on for him. The anger of a nation, and no one can stand before it.