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Krow Ames

Unnamed Short Story

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A short story I wrote for OID. I only read through it once (recently) and fixed some typos. The main character is unnamed. The anonymity in the story is a good thing, as it keeps people from being jealous. I don't write about any particular person. Consider the officer featured in the story to be a sort if an "NPC" in Ordo. I also don't post a lot of the work I do because I don't like being judged. I just file it away and never use it for anything. This is really the first time I'm sharing a piece of work I've done. It's a short story and shouldn't take any longer than a few minutes of your time. I also don't have a name for it. I suck horribly at naming stories.

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I ran up the last few steps of the citadel and passed through the blue security door as I'd done so many times in the last two years. I felt an odd sort of longing for that door, but more for it's familiarity than the door itself. It was the last time I'd pass through it. I tend to get attached to my surroundings, you could say. The citadel was empty, aside from a few soldiers loading essentials into steel boxes. I didn't interrupt them. Our window was closing, and the schedule we'd set two years ago was nearing it's final moments.

I ran up the stairs, past the Schola classrooms, and up further still to the meeting room. I poked my head in the great auditorium for only a moment. I'd stood in the stands and watched many an address from our Imperator and his staff. I was always silent, but always listening. My gaze fell to one side as I thought back, but I was returned to the present by the alarm of a Gun Cutter leaving the citadel's hangar. I turned away from the meeting room and ascended further into the Citadel Tower to the hangar where my honor platoon waited. Several troops behind the Honor Platoon that was lined up were loading more cargo onto another Gun Cutter while the pilot primed it's engines. The floor of the hangar vibrated with the power of those drives.

When I approached the Honor Platoon, they raised their hands in salutes. I did the same. Most of them were faces I'd seen every day. Clean shaven, armor polished and nearly sparkling. They were all good people. While we waited, I paced in front of them, though more out of boredom than anything else. After a while, a small drop ship entered the hangar, engines whining until it sat down on the hangar floor. A man exited with several soldiers, and he had just as many stripes on his jacket as I did. The Honor Platoon saluted, as did I, and the officer returned the salute to us. His face was stern and rigid, with fresh scars. No doubt he was part of a larger force returning from a successful campaign somewhere in the universe. I could look at him, a high ranking officer fresh from combat, and know that his Legion earned their time as the Imperial City's garrison force.

We shook hands, firm but brief. The Honor Platoon right faced and marched aboard a waiting Cutter, a process that took several minutes. The other officer and I stared at each other until I filed in behind the last man in the Platoon and boarded the cutter. The changing of the garrison was a simple ceremony. A lot of the pomp and fan-fair were cut out of it to facilitate faster troop movements. The cargo ramp closed behind me and that was the last natural light I ever saw from the Imperial City. I could feel the ship lurching forward and I knew The Imperator's Fist was off once again on a campaign to conquer sectors of the galaxy.

We left the atmosphere and moved to dock with a much larger ship so we could join the fleet before it was under way. My hand fell to the pistol holstered on my hip. I'd affectionately named it “Winona.” I never liked space travel and touching the pistol was the only form of comfort I had right now. It was some time before our ship got clearance to dock.

Despite my rank, I had no idea where we were going, or what the future held for the men and women of the Ordo Imperialis. There was nothing else in my life that I was more proud of, however. No matter what the future dealt them, these men and women would fight to the last.

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