Serialized Science Fiction.

Silent, Deadly, and Unobtrusively
Tom Haynes

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We coped, in a strange way. We died. But, we, time and time again, saved the world. That's what the young were for, their idealism. It saves a stagnating, boring race. Idealism. We didn't fight for the minorities, for peace, for the President and Congress, for the Reverend Moonies out there, or for democracy (in a Republican nation). No, we fought for our land, for our species, for money, to alleviate boredom, and for the grandest of reasons, survival. The right to live ten seconds after everyone else is dead. Anyway, we were Marines.

We fought, we won, we died, and we lost. Nine hundred and ninety of the cream of our society's crop of young lie in graves dug in foreign soil, or float around as smoke pushed by foreign winds.

For after we rolled, we died. Slowly, but surely our attrition rate reached ninety-nine percent. We went first, and when we died, we died first.

We passed from life unrecorded, except when we took notice. Our families heard nevermore from us, except our new families, us. We died, as Tom Mix and Jesus Christ did - for your sins. We paid for our flesh, and yours. But as we died and entered Valhalla, we would remember six things:

We were Marines.

The ENEMY could be anywhere.

Always Enter, and leave, silent, deadly, and unobtrusively.

Roll first, ask questions later.

We were the cream of the crop; the best Earth had to offer.

Our comrades would avenge us, 'cause they cared.

These thoughts would sustain us, as we readied ourselves for each battle. Then it would start, as we entered the arena of war. Always silent, deadly, and unobtrusively.

We hit the ground, rolling.

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