Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori
Thu, 01/28/2010 — Rev. Ragu
My Darling Henrietta,
How I miss you, my sweet; your hazel eyes, the feel of your lips as we kiss, the warmth of your stomach as we lay together, all the love we made on bright and moonlit nights. It is, quite simply, hell to be here, so far away from you. We've been camped out in this city for a week now, this unnamed city in the border regions of Blue Moon, painting buildings red, red, the colour of my allegiance, the colour of my blood. My dearest Henrietta, I remember your tear-streaked face as you held yourself to my chest, begging me to reconsider my decision to enlist, and I now wonder if you might have been right. I joined this fight thinking myself to be doing the right thing, for love of country and love of you, and how I would give anything to protect both you and it. Ah, but I was so young then; perhaps my patriotism was only the young man's need for adventure, excitement, for glory and honour and all that nonsense. Here I am now, my uniform stained with mud and blood; both my own and of others, my face drawn, my body in perpetual readiness despite the sheer exhaustion from the sleep I could not get even if I was allowed. We hear the rumbling of tanks, the exploding of shells, and with each great roar of battle an inevitably agonizing silence follows. In the suffocating stillness our minds fill in the blanks, of all the dead men, the injured writhing in agony, machines lying smouldering and their occupants rent to dust. Maybe we'll be next.
My fellows pace around me nervously, awaiting the next command from our CO with dread. Was I right to do this, Henrietta? Our Commanding Officer is a spunky twelve year old boy with a never-say-die attitude. He never says die because he certainly pays no heed to the mangled and lifeless bodies strewn about his last great stratagem, of throwing a unit of infantry against the enemy's mobile anti-aircraft guns. Or when he blocked the highways with, as he called them, "cheap units", to slow down the advance of an enemy Midtank; there were entire batallions of good, brave men mowed down that day, entire towns of brothers and husbands and sons. Andy - he doesn't like adults looking down on him. He sent a thousand men to their doom when the enemy's CO, a bearded, incompetent fat man with a personal grudge, said he was "just a kid". He won that battle, and was awarded an "S Rank" for his masterful tactics. Perhaps Andy's success will give comfort to the grieving widows.
I realize something now, my sweet, that those we rain fire upon and those who rain fire upon us are our brothers. We are all the same; each of us beings of infinite potential, commoditized, catalogued, and set forth as mere pawns in this macabre chess game of the powerful. When my unit came down upon a damaged recon unit and tore it into pieces with our machine guns, I saw the burned and disfigured bodies in the wreckage. I felt a twinge of remorse at that moment, but it quickly passed, they were a victim of the same cruel circumstances we were; maybe they would not have been there if their general was not a clumsy young girl with bad luck.
We are to move out in a day's time. Our mission is to hold down a bridge to keep the enemy from advancing. I must tell you this, even knowing how much it will hurt you: This is a suicide mission. None of us expect to survive the week. My darling Henrietta, I will think of you as they bear down on us, and as I gasp my last breath. I want you to know how much our time together meant to me, and I hope I will always be in your heart. Please do not mourn for me; my only wish is for you to find whatever happiness you can eke out for yourself. And please, let the world hear the truth about this awful conflict. If my sacrifice can help to prevent any more Advance Wars from happening, then I will have died for something.
I will always love you, my Henrietta,
Lt. Takahiro "T. Himoto" Himoto, Orange Star