Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1015306-R10-Prompt-One---Reputation
Printer Friendly Page Tell A Friend
No ratings.
Rated: 18+ · Book · Sci-fi · #2256133
Round Ten of the World Weavers' Championship
<<< Previous · Entry List · Next >>>
#1015306 added August 8, 2021 at 1:26pm
Restrictions: None
[R10] Prompt One - Reputation

The wounded prisoner fell to the ground, exhaustion and blood loss taking their toll. He could walk no further, earning a boot to his ribs. The trooper charged with guarding the captives taking all of his frustrations from the drawn-out battle on this one prisoner. Daring to intervene, a captive threw herself between them, the Sargent’s vicious punch to her head knocking her prone over her Lieutenant’s unmoving form. Drawing his foot back, the trooper aimed a blow at the stunned woman’s head.

“Sargent!” The unexpected voice panicking the Troopers. A tone that commanded respect and promised discipline. “Why are you beating prisoners who have surrendered? Who are these people?”

“Sir — Admiral — M’Lord” stammered the flummoxed noncom, “these are the last of the scum who held the enemy Command Center —

“You mean the troops who honorably defended their objective —

“err, yes Sir — M’lord, this one toeing the Lieutenants prone form fell and refused to get up when I urged him to move, this one interfered."

A wave of his hand commanded the medic in his party forward to check the prisoners. Looking up from the ground, the Doctor mumbled to himself as he performed his examination. Turning to face Lord Bilton, “blood loss and trauma, nothing that can’t be fixed, but he needs help now.”

“Harper, a medical shuttle, if you please, forthwith.” Taking in the beaten but still proud captives, “and a transport for our new guests.” Turning to face the offending Sargent, he finished, “see them cleaned up, fed, and well treated. Now, as for you, Sargent. What shall we do with you?”

Wilting under Bilton’s steady gaze, the noncom could barely speak, “M’Lord — I don’t — I didn’t —

Bilton cut him off, “did you recognize the woman’s rank markings?

“Ahh, no, Sir.”

“A Sargent, a Sargent just like you,” his voice almost fatherly, “a Sargent protecting her officer and troops. Troops who fought hard and lost yet still fought with honor. Did she do any different than you would have Sargent?”

“No, no Sir, I’m sorry Si —

Bilton waved away the apology, “you set a poor example for your troops, and you have abused your power over helpless prisoners, Sargent; you will report this incident in full detail to your commander. He is to forward to me his recommendation for disposition before implementing it. Am I clear?”

Strangely relieved, the Sargent managed a more trooper like “Aye Sir!”

As Bilton and his staff walked away, Doctor Willows caught up to Bilton, “you know that man expected to be stripped of his rank and whipped around the fleet.”

“I’m sure he did,” answered Bilton, “but I would have lost a battle-tested noncom, and missed an opportunity to enforce my standards more positively, Doctor.”

As a civilian put aboard Her Highness' Ship Canopus by the Hospital Board, the Doctor was one of the few who dared to question Bilton. “But, surely, his misdeeds can’t go unpunished —

At the ramp of his barge, “rest assured Doctor Willows, the Sargent will be punished, his commandeered will have him flogged, likely on the flight deck in full view of the ship’s company, and recommend a reduction in rank. I, of course, will reluctantly concur with the flogging but will reject the loss of rank. The Sargent gains the honor of atoning his wrongs. Rank means more to him than the six or so strokes he’ll receive.” Smiling as he walked up the ramp, “and I gain a more experienced noncom; who knows, I saved him from losing something he treasures.”

Word Count

Signiture Item...I'm only the trombone player!

© Copyright 2021 Richard~ Word By Word ~ Slowly (UN: brennus at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Richard~ Word By Word ~ Slowly has granted Writing.Com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.
<<< Previous · Entry List · Next >>>
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1015306-R10-Prompt-One---Reputation