Gunnery Sergeant Flint MarshallMature

The air is still, not even a breeze stirs the leaves in the trees.  I lift the binaculars to my eyes again and scan the fort.  I nod to the leutenant crouched beside me and he signals for the men to move forward.  My company of a hundred-eighty men seperates out into ten seperate platoons of eighteen each. 

My men crouch low waiting for the signal from the platoon leader at the far side of the fort.  Soon three short whistles in quick succession reach my ears and I signal for my men to move forward.  It doesn't take long for us to scale the wall and I smile proudly to myself at the success of this mission so far.  This couldn't have been easier if I had tried.  I drop softly on the otherside of the wall, expecting to have to bash someones head in when I land, but surprisingly there is no one to meet me.  I glance around nervously, something's wrong, very wrong.  Why are there no guards?

a shout from somewhere on my left reaches me and I look just in time to see a missle crash into the wall destorying the wall and certainly killing the men who had been standing there moments before.  "We're under attack!"  One of the men from my platoon shouts.  The meaning of his words strike me and I realize that we had been set up...ambushed.

"Retreat,"  I shout at whoever can hear me as I run for the rope ladder that I had scaled just moments before.  I turn to shout over my shoulder once more, but before I can even open my mouth a missle lands not twenty feet away from me and I'm blinded by the blareing light.  A moment later I'm knocked forward and I feel something cut into my hip. 

I roll over onto my back and try to sit up only to find that it's impossible.  A pool of blood is forming around me and it hits me that I'm dying.  It's becoming harder and harder to breathe and pinpricks of darkness are blurring my vision.  Men run about me in a panic, none pausing long enough to notice me lying there in a pool of my own blood.

A shadow fills my view and I blink in the hopes of clearing my sight well enough to see who it is, but I relize that it doesn't matter, I'm going to die and whoever it is will have to relay to my family that I'm gone.  The figure gets closer and even kneels down next to me and then blackness completly overtakes me.

                                                                        ***

I wake up to find myself in some kind of a hospital room.  IV's are hooked to my arms and a machine to my right announces every beat of my heart.  It takes me just a moment to remember what happened and I realize that I shouldn't even be alive.  I try to sit up and find that I'm able to do so painlessly.  How long have I been out?  I remember getting hit in the hip and touch my side tentitivly only to find that there's no pain.   I can't seem to feel my feet and look down to be sure they're still there.  They are and I wiggle my toes just to be sure.  They move but I still can't feel them. 

I begin to panic, what's wrong with me, where am I and where is everyone.  Most military hospitals I'm aware of don't have seperate rooms for patients even high-ranking ones such as myself.  a nurse enters the room and seems surprised to see me up.  "Sgt. Marshall, you're awake!"  She says, like I couldn't figure that one out for myself.  "How do you feel?"

"I can't feel my feet!  Why can't I feel my feet?"

She smiles sypathetically and I can tell immediatly that I don't like her, "I'm sorry Sergeant, you were badly injured by the missle, we had to remove the entire lower half of your body."

"YOU WHAT!"  I scream.  I look back down at my toes and wiggle them again.  How can she say that when my feet are right there in front of me?

"We managed to replace it with cybernetec parts, without losing you.  It was a long a guelling process but we managed to hook it up to your higher functions without losing you.  Though we have not had a chance to restore your nerve endings to the mechanics."

I stared at her trying to comprehend the meaning of her words, "You mean to tell me I'm a cyborg."

She looked at me for a moment as if she'd never really thought of that, "Well now, I suppose you are."

The End

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