The Letter

Commander Radford leaned back into his seat and swung his feet around up onto the desk. It was late, and he’d been in HQ since 6am that morning, but the day had been eventful. A battalion of his troops had engaged a heavily armed squadron of wanders on the western border, a new wave a recruits had been inducted, three council members had been shown the research and development sector and two deserters had been heard and sentenced at trial. He’d also received one very small, very intriguing letter.

In short, he’d been run off of his feet, but now the rest of the work was done, and he could focus on his letter. His desk was sharply organized, as always, and his computerized tablet was set up on the desk, displaying a unit status page. This particular status page belonged to one H. Oakes, member of the 5th Special Forces Unit, code-named Nex. A bold red square dominating the left of the page indicated that SFS Nex was currently deployed. Commander Radford tapped a few buttons, and set the program to alert him when his soldier returned.

Radford took the letter from his pocket, and scanned over it for the 100th time that day, and then placed it with the utmost care on the table next to his tablet. Next he drew forth another sheet of paper, this one with three rows of names, the most of which had been ruled out until only seven were left. He studied these seven names, questioning his decision over and over. He had to be sure these were the seven he needed.

The tabled buzzed, Nex was back. Radford quickly dismissed the notification, and tapped in another command onto Oakes’ status page, ordering his immediate presence in the Commander’s office. No more time for questioning. The seven he had would have to do. Radford moved his attention then to the two silent guards standing on either side of the entrance to his office.

Standing at an identical height of 7 feet, and covered from head to toe in the latest version of the Hector armour, the guards made an impressive sight. Honourguards, they were called, and they were the elite of the Eastern Highlands military force. Their signature polished black with golden rim armour was always immaculate- a tribute to their discipline. They were handpicked from the Special Forces Units, based on their combat ability, handling of the Hector armour and their discipline.

Radford looked up at them, and pushed the sheet of names across the desk. “Find the other six, and have them report here in an hour. If they’re in the field, use the aircraft, and bring them back.” The two stepped forward, studied the paper, saluted abruptly and left without saying a word.

Radford waited until they were gone, and then sighed heavily and pulled himself from his chair. He paced the room for a moment, before facing a mirror he had resting between dusty bookshelves. What he saw, was a very tired looking young man. At 26, he was one of the oldest men left in the Eastern Highland, and indeed the planet… and he sure felt it.

The End

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