A Day in the Life of Marine Captain Cross before the Zoastra Affair Part Eighteen
The shuttle found its landing in the forest as planned. Cross feared an attack. Hunter setting them up scared him far more than the enemy. Ensuring that his men stayed at attention became easier as the recruits gained more battlefield practice than anyone ever counted on.
At the Academy, Cross remembered his instructor explaining to him that the EarthSeekers planned a peaceful colonialization. Cross had never heard of a peaceful colonialization in his life. Two years later, he heard that the instructor died had in a battle. The EarthSeekers never went out to pick a fight. But when someone sets up in the backyard near your planet and you have a space ship, everyone fights.
The pilot touched ground. In a second he’d get everyone up and moving. He expected the worst. But he always expected the worst and a betrayal. People betrayed you. It was better not to invest emotional energy in others if possible. Life taught him this. He signed up to find the fight. Great. If he found the aliens who started life on Earth, that would be great too.
The optimists might have been right. If there was a grand scheme, if aliens had once looked at humans like monkeys in the zoo, well, then the inmates were escaping. And he wanted his freedom.
His men seemed ready. They picked up their gear, and fixed anything that fell in the landing. “Let’s get our crewmates and get the hell off this rock,” Cross bellowed.
“Yes, sir,” The men shouted back.
Major Newman put his hand on his back, indicating his agreement. The man wanted his wife back, and Cross couldn’t blame him. Grace Newman had that special something.