Mission 8

OEPRATION BANISHED BREATH
ALIEN ABDUCTIONS
BALTIMORE, UNITED STATES

“So you have experience fighting the aliens?”

“Yes sir.”

Medusa opened the dossier in front of him, looking over the words without reading. The United States had sent a medic, Sergeant Silla Thakilla, after a successful mission and Medusa was trying to get a feel for his character.

“Where at? Stand at ease, by the way.”

The new sergeant relaxed his posture and said, “Once the invasion started, I was assigned to a task force that operated mostly in the northeast, doing cold weather skirmishes with the aliens. Picking up where XCOM wouldn’t.”

“Couldn’t, Sergeant,” corrected Medusa, “It’s an unfortunate fact that we can’t be everywhere at once.”

“Yes sir,” replied Thakilla.

Medusa looked back down, flipping through his list of assignments. He was impressed by the list of engagements, and said, “Do you want to be here, sergeant?”

Instantly, Thakilla replied, “Not particularly, sir.”

Medusa chuckled and looked back up at the new arrival, saying, “I thought as much. Why’s that?”

Thakilla took a deep breath and paused for a moment, before saying, “XCOM’s been in operation for, what, 2 months? It’s supposed to the best and the brightest with all sorts of crazy technology, but we still had to respond to attacks with old equipment. Lots of civilians died, and after, lots of soldiers died. XCOM should’ve been there, a lot of lives could have been saved but I guess we weren’t deemed worthy.”

Medusa stared at Thakilla, making sure he was done, before replying. “I appreciate the honesty, Sergeant. But here’s the thing you have to understand: the aliens are smart. They have the resources and capabilities to hit multiple places at once and that’s exactly what they do. We are not here to save the United States, we are here to save Earth. You have my condolences for any soldiers you may have lost, but while that was happening, we were somewhere else, saving other lives. If less people were concerned what was happening in their own borders, and more concerned about what the planet was going through, maybe we would have the resources to be in different places at once. But we don’t, and that’s just how this goes.”

Medua looked up at Thakilla expectantly, but after a full minute of silence Medusa said, “Well, you’ll come around. Or maybe you won’t. It doesn’t really matter since you’re here now. Do you have any questions for me?”

Thakilla’s face finally cracked, showing a hint of thoughtfulness, before he asked, “It’s sorta strange you don’t have a medic already, sir. How have you guys been faring in the field?”

“We had one, Corporal Achus. He was killed out on a mission a couple of weeks ago. Anything else?”

“No sir.”

“Good. You’re dismissed, Sergeant Hudson will orient you to the rest of the base.”

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