Serialized Science Fiction.

Silent, Deadly, and Unobtrusively
Tom Haynes

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We hit the ground rolling. Never mind the fact that we had just had four years of service abroad. It didn't matter. Even if it was home. When getting out of a troop transport, you went rolling. Always do it the right way, the only way.

The reason no one saw us was that we did not wish to be seen. Us Marines enter home just as we left (silent, deadly, and unobtrusively). Besides the sleeping gas, which filled the air, would take care of any unforeseen spectators. And the mumbo-jumbo being broadcast by the ship took care of any electronic eavesdroppers. We were unseen.

There was no ENEMY. Still, you never know for sure. It always pays to scout ahead. The reason why there was no ENEMY was because the war was over, and this was home. The ENEMY never knew from whence we were recruited. Thus, they never knew about home. Yet, you could never be sure.

Our company had been the elite of the Marines. We suffered ninety-nine percent casualties. No wounded. Not with weapons today. We were up front, the thick of the battle. The attrition was slow, for we were hard to kill, but it was there.

There never were any replacements from home. Never. Anyway, most of the people back home hardly even knew we were out there fighting. They wouldn't care anyway. So what if we were fighting for our home itself. It didn't bug them, so why should it bug us?

But it did. And the worst part was there was no news or letters from home. It could have been wiped out by a disaster, and we wouldn't have known. However, if the ENEMY ever came near it we'd know. That was one thing they couldn't keep from us.

For we would recognize our home, when we went rolling on the ground to look for the ENEMY. We aren't as dumb as people say Marines are. This is today, the future. Don't let anyone fool ya.

Anyway, we were the cream of the crop. The best. All of us were the chosen few. Even now that there are less of us, we're still the best. 'Cause we lasted the longest, survival of the fittest, life.

We had our full gear with us. We had paid dearly for it, in the bodies of our comrades. They had to give it to us anyway. It was all personalized. No one else could use the stuff, much less figure out what to do with it.

Besides, the gear was part of us. It had been with us since boot camp. The clincher of it all was that we wanted to keep it. And, who could take it away from us? We were the best, Marines. They didn't care what we did with it, unless we became the ENEMY.

We wouldn't do that though, for we had paid too high a price. And they knew it. So, we kept it. It was better for us to have the stuff legally anyway. They knew we were killers, combat veterans, and justifiably paranoid. We wouldn't feel safe unless we recreated the gear we had had!

They knew we could do just that. So, we kept our gear, and our gold. Oh yes, we had gold. Four years back pay.

We didn't get our pay before now 'cause we didn't need it. No place to spend it. Not when we were always looking for the ENEMY. Yeah, we had our rest and relaxation, but we didn't need any money then. The Marines care for its own.

Believe it or not, not one of use needed the Black Market. There

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