The pressurized door closed tight with a satisfying clunk as metal pressed against metal, the hydraulics groaning as the inner workings applied an enormous amount of force sufficient enough to keep out the deadly extremes of outer space. The final transport shuttle was ready to depart, ready to take those lacking sufficient mettle to the awaiting interstellar cruiser that sat just outside the atmosphere. The cruisers were taking the human race to the far corners of the galaxy so that they may escape certain annihilation!
Those that remained on the ground whistled and jeered as the transport departed, derogatory names were yelled and the occupant’s courage questioned. Less than a thousand soldiers remained on what was once Earth’s most important military outpost and they each believed that they had been chosen to strike the enemy first. To deliver the initial hammer blow before the Earth fleet mopped up the rest and the war had been won.
Kombat-Major Ed Urquhart strolled among the men he had been left with, a smile danced on his lips as he watched them dig in with no fear at all, the optimism brought a tear to his eye. These were good men who would go to any lengths and would risk everything for the human race…and boy were they going to be pushed farther than ever before! The marauding Alien race had been named by Earth’s media as ‘Ugliens’ a typical tabloid amalgamation of the words ugly and aliens!
The Ugliens had let slip over their comms channels that they intended to take the outpost moon for themselves but Urquhart and his cohorts were ready to thwart their nefarious schemes. The alien’s numbers were going to be overwhelming, their will unshakable and their weaponry devastating but the only person who seemed aware of that fact was Urquhart himself…hopefully he could keep it that way.
The defenders of the human race were pumped up for a rumble and ready to slaughter the alien menace. Urquhart milled around among his young and enthusiastic charges, actively encouraging the bravado laden stories and promises of heroics to come. Some vowed to kill hundreds while others aimed much higher and all to a soundtrack of whooping and hollering from the others in attendance. One or two of the squad commanders gave Urquhart a funny look or flashed a knowing glance his way but most were blind to the truth concerning the battle that was on the cusp of eruption.
Kombat-Major Urquhart fell back to a command post once the military compound had been sufficiently fortified, there he remained on his own with just a command console for company. From the console he could view the battlefield from helmet mounted cameras that each soldier carried and also each armored vehicle, orders could be issued to either groups or just individuals. The pieces of armor were evenly placed but the infantry were spread thinly around the perimeter…too thinly.
Repelling an Uglien scout party would be tough but even making a dent in the vast invasion force that was coming was suicide at best! Next to the console he placed his great grandfather’s Colt .45 for when the defenders of Earth had been slaughtered and only he remained. Rather than fall into the grasp of the enemy claws he was going to go out on his terms and forego the agonies of the Uglien torture chamber.
The soldiers in the know, those who had realised that the end was very near were surely cursing their luck and calling Urquhart all of the cruel names under the sun but they were more fortunate than their commander. He had seen the Ugliens and their capabilities up close and knew that the remainder of humanity could only run so far and all that they would achieve is to delay the inevitable…all would perish!
Urquhart’s men would be the first of billions to die and at least it would be quick and they would have each other at the very end. If they are going to be killed in action then it should be amongst friends and comrades that they ascend to Valhalla or wherever they think they’ll end up. Urquhart was going to die alone and nothing is worse than that.