The Stand

The subsonic rumble of plasma warhead detonations rolled through the narrow passage, interrupting our hushed conversation while we waited for our bytehead to crack the blast doors open.

I gazed back, paying my last respects to the uncounted millions who had just perished in the cleansing light of subnuclear plasma detonations. They would be close behind us, I knew. Heart and head heavy, I motioned at two of my soldiers and directed them to the defensive barriers in front of the blast door as it ground open.

They took their positions without question, not a trace of hesitation. I passed them the last of our ammunition, not thinking about what I had just asked them to sacrifice. The doors closed, and I saluted the men I had left to die.

So many I had started with. So few were left. The passage stretched on, sloping downwards towards the last of the evacuation nodes.

It wasn’t long before the gunfire started.

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