by Robert Noble
Started on this fairly recently. This is a rough thousand words for thought, etc. Enjoy.
|"Human-kind was not created to live forever. We were created as a disposable race, just as any other. Death is a cruel fate, though as humans, we are powerless to fight against it. Technological advances are able to prolong one's life, but to think, if we were capable of being immortal, the world would be a dark, monochrome existence."
"Cut the loudspeaker, Duke."
He heard the request and looked up to meet eye to eye with his captain smoking on a cigarette; a worn man, whose face, riddled with scars, is still that of a leader's. His gray hair and drooping of his face made him seem aged, but wise. He’s a veteran in his own right.
“Aye, cap’n.” Duke replied with a sort of sarcastic tone. A man of average make turned the knob on the radio. Other than his gray uniform, he wore a beard no longer than a few millimeters. The room grew a shade darker without the illumination from the radio’s display.
“Tell me, Duke.” “Have you ever really looked at the ceiling in this room?” He was referring to the multitudes of color arranged on the ceiling.
“No, actually; I can’t say I have.”
“Just a bunch of color to you, right?”
Duke glanced away from the ceiling for just a moment to see the man staring up. Duke could only look in bewilderment. He couldn’t see just exactly what the captain meant. To him, it all seemed like a jumble of different shapes and drawings. Nothing of which seemed important.
“That, my friend; that is a relic.” “One of the very few true pieces of art left behind from your ancestors.” Duke, still confused, just stared. Thoughts raced through his mind as he tried to make sense of the man’s words. “Did you know that they want to demolish this building?” “They say that the world doesn’t need any of these old things. Just structures from the past that mean nothing.”
“Oh Fremont, what are you going on about now?” The voice came from a man who had entered from behind.
“Just giving a small history lesson to the boy, Judas.” Fremont said in reply to man.
“Ah, “history lesson”. Is that what you’re calling it?” Judas’ tone suddenly altered. Fremont stared back, quizzically. “What is it, old man? Words hard to spout out in your old age?” Fremont stood quiet. He knew there was nothing he could say. “Keagan Kale Fremont, age sixty-three, leader of squadron thirty three A. The misfit group, right, Mr. Fremont?”
“You could say that,” Fremont stated, “I like to say misunderstood.” As witness to the conversation, Duke sat still. He couldn’t muster up a sentence. The words misfit, misunderstood and the tone of Judas’ voice just didn’t seem right.
"But nonetheless, Fremont. Are they not weaker than you and I? Are they not just pawns as we are the leaders? Do we not stand for a greater cause to protect the saplings before they fall victim to a fire?" Judas broke Duke's train of thought. Duke now had a glare of disgust that was undoubtedly for the newcomer.
Duke spoke up, "If you don't mind me asking, just who the hell are you and why do you speak so far down to me?" Judas drew back and let out a small snicker, then a laugh, then a cackle, then into a boisterous inhaling and exhaling of breathe that sent chills down Duke's spine.
"You're but a mere child. I don't expect you to know me. Your captain here? He got the pleasure of making my aquaintance yesterday as I spared him his life." Judas looked into the eyes of the distraught boy. "Oh, now there's a story to tell. Has he not told you?" Duke looked at his captain. Fremont stood perfectly still with his eyes shifted in Duke's direction.
"Told me what? What is he talking about?" Duke exclaimed to his captain.
"Nothing, it's nothing Duke." Fremont seemed uneasy. "Settle down." "As for you Judas, you do not bring that meeting into conversations where it is not fit!"
"What is it, old man? Afraid to tell your little saplings that someone other than their very own captain was the one to throw them out of the licking flames of a fire?" Judas began his laughter again. "Do you not wish me to tell him how it was I who told Adilah not to relinquish your miscreants of their post. Or, more importantly, their lives?"
Duke's face grew pale. His mind rushed around thoughts that he found unable to be put into words. He slowly slumped down the stone wall that had at first been his rest. Now, it seemed to be his crutch.
"Fremont. You are to come with me. Adilah wishes to see you personally. She wishes to apologize for judging you so severely. Come and leave him. Bring what you wish, you may be gone a while." Judas paused for a moment then lifted a finger to gesture Fremont away. Duke, still motionless on the ground, still thinking, was greeted by the hand of Fremont.
"You try and forget what happened today. I'll explain when I return. I wont be gone long, so don't do anything you would regret if I had seen it." Fremont finished his thought and followed Judas out of the building.
"Come along, we shall not waste time. The misses waits for no man."