A bright, mute ray. Brilliant. A sudden flashing, that's all I saw. The rest is darkness. Now what? I can't move, or risk being hit. I have to take off my helmet, I can't breathe. There, now I have more visibility. The wheezing you hear is my own. I don't even know why I keep recording: Who can ever recover these files?
How did I end up like this? Why did I re-enlist? A peaceful life, two wonderful children, a home and a job, rare things these days... I was happy.
I remember that while I was under fire, in the last battle where I played it out, I promised myself to end it. No, I didn't promise myself, I promised her. My wife.
"I swear to you, I won't fight anymore."
She believed me.
Maybe it's best not to think about her, about my children. The suit is squeezing me, bothering me, suffocating me. The weapons charge is at a minimum, but I can still try to find a strategy, after all, I am trained for this.
The problem is that I don't know what my enemy has been trained for. I haven't seen him, I don't know who he is or what he is. He is not like the others, this one started shooting at me as soon as I went into this quadrant. To understand you, the rocky quadrant, full of caves, ravines and refuges from which to flush out enemies. That was the mission. I no longer remember the name of the quadrant or even the mission code, nothing. Panic is draining my memory. This is going to be the worst report of my life, but maybe the superiors will keep it for good, since it will probably also be my last.
I need to focus on useful information. Maybe I can give meaning to my life by dying in a useful way. That’s what a soldier does.
Wait, I heard something, a kind of sharp hissing sound, then a pressure on the ground, like a very heavy footstep. The ground is shaking, almost like a micro-shake. I can feel my soul sweating.
Whatever it is is approaching. My weapons check is negative, my hands are shaking as I try to activate any emergency procedure that would allow me to fire a shot, at least one shot.
I made a promise to my wife: Don’t get me killed.
There was a soldier.
He was smiling with a hollow joy.
He rests profoundly alone,
as he lay in the dark.
He got up at dawn just to catch the green flash.
But at battle he was cowardly and sad,
The sweat of his hands was like a cold.
He had a desire to be strong.
He had a bullet in his brain.
No one ever spoke of him again.
But his eyes were shining when he shot himself,
and a kind of crazy smile on his face.
No one, no one had killed him at last.
Master of his trigger,
kept his word with fate.
Damn. I am afraid.
The three officers gathered around the table look at each other, and one of them interrupts the recording file.
“That was actually the worst report of his life,” one comments.
“Yeah,” whispers another.
The third sighs, “But at least now we know what we're up against.”