Alright this is the end of the story. There have been no changes to basic plot so please enjoy. Thanks for reading.
“Where am I?” Alex asked, blinking his eyes rapidly as he sat up on what felt like a slim slice of metal attached to the wall. He looked around the room to see nothing. The entire room was blacker than night. Alex continued to blink his eyes attempting to gain vision in the darkness. It was to no avail and eventually he gave up and laid back down on the cold metal surface. His combat suit had been removed and Alex was now freezing in his unknown location.
“I’m in cell, I’ve got to be. I’m going to be court-martialed.” He told himself over and over. More for his own comfort than for the point of remembrance. He continued to stare into the black, hoping for some sort of light t come through and reveal the world once more. He sat for an unknowable amount of time. Passing the time by humming, counting, even recounting the events of the day, though never finishing. He could never bring himself to what had happened to those people in the mine. Their faces still imprinted in his mind, breathing living but frightened. Frightened by him.
Finally the door, he at least assumed it was the door, opened. Light flooded into the room blinding Alex momentarily. A large man stepped in front of the lighting giving Alex some relief.
“Let’s go.” The man’s voice called out into the room.
“Yea,” Alex returned, his voice sounding almost foreign. Like it didn’t belong anymore. He stood, somewhat pulled to his feet by the impatient guards and exited his cell. The guards shoved him into the hallway that lay beyond. A long bleach white hallway, well lit by several thousand fluorescent lights. Several grey metal doors had been lined up along either side of the hallway. Prisoner’s screams, wailings, howling and other in-human noises came from the cells behind the doors.
“Move it,” the guard said loudly, followed swiftly by the heavy neosteel hand, shoving Alex down the hallway. His bare feet froze on the ice-cold grounds as the slapped into the floor. The handcuffs chafed and scratched Alex’s wrists, causing him to bleed ever so slightly. The light tank-top and orange prisoner pants that he had been given did little to stave off the freezing temperatures in the hall.
“Can we get-t the heat-t turned up-p?” Alex asked his teeth chattering together. The guard smiled a cold grin towards Alex.
“It’s not like you’ll be here long enough to appreciate it.” He said shoving Alex along.
The trio of guards continued to shove and mock Alex for the entire walk. Though it only lasted for a few minutes, coming to an end at a large out of place blast door. The main guard walked towards a small radio and pressed a blinking red button. A small ‘ding’ sounded and echoed through the hallway, becoming mixed and eventually inaudible in the increasing shouts and cries of the prisoners.
“Prisoner’s name and reason for exit.” A nasally voice came from the other side.
“Alexander Tironis, judgment day.” The guard replied smiling back at Alex. The door again dinged and it slide open. Seemingly forced open by tired turbines and motors. The group walked through the doors into a small room behind it. Several hallways led off into different directions. At work in the room were several military suit dressed marines monitoring what seemed like hundreds of cameras. Alex was led down the hallway to the right. Several more minutes passed until he was led through a small metal door into a much large court room.
“Welcome to your death sentence,” the marine said leaning forward so Alex could grasp the full meaning. There were a few people in the chairs, namely David and a few other squad mates. In the prosecutors stand sat a black suited man next to Captain Doran. In the desk opposite to the captains sat another suited man. David was lead to this desk.
“Hello Alex, I’m going to be your representative in this court, Mr. Farmar.” The tall brown haired said, his dark black eyes examining Alex thoroughly. His hand was extended expecting a simple handshake, despite Alex’s restrains.
“Yea I’m Alex, you can sit down Mr. Farmar.” Alex returned sitting without shaking the extended hand. He cared little for pleasantries anymore. Humanity wasn’t worth it anymore.
“All rise,” the guard’s voice rang out over the small, quietly mumbled conversations. A rather small, militarily dress man entered the room. His red face breathing heavily as he climbed the steps up to the judges platform. He ran his hand through his thinning grey hair as if expecting there to be a great deal of it.
“Be seated.” The man’s booming voice echoed in the room, “Mr. Johansen, if you would please begin.” He said showing his hand to the other lawyer.
“Yes your honor, we are here because Captain Doran has raised charges of disobedience un-becoming of a Dominion marine. Punishable by death.” The man’s grim voice chilled the room.
“I know the punishments for crimes, thank you Mr. Johansen. Mr. Farmar, is the defendant pleading guilty to these charges?” The man said looking at something on his desk.
“No, your honor. My client would like to see the evidence against him.” Farmar replied standing slightly.
“Very well, Mr. Johansen please show us your evidence.” He twisted around towards the Captain and shoved him out of his chair towards the witness stand. The captain quickly took the stand and sat down, uncomfortable.
“Do we really need him to sit in the witness stand? He can’t just tell us what happened form his seat?” The man said looking up suddenly, “Are you going to start?” He said turning to the captain impatiently. David snickered a little in the audience.
“Well we were out on a unusual assignment, and had began marching-“
“Why don’t you start at the very beginning? Like when you were born?” The captain looked up at the judge a puzzled look on his face. “Get to the point, did he disobey your order or not?” The man said his face reddening more than it normally is.
The lawyer turned to Alex a grim look on his face. “What do you think?” He said.
“Does it matter what I think?” Alex said disgusted with the question. It wasn’t his job to be the attorney, “Is there a possibility for me to get out of this?”
“No, not with his testimony.”
“What about us? There are seven of us willing to testify Alex is innocent.” David said suddenly. He and the rest of the squad had slowly worked their way up to the table and now all stood. There uneasy faces all had a combination of anger and sadness.
“He’s a captain, your all privates. In our legal system if a captain says something it takes at least a thousand privates to even put a thought of doubt in the judge’s mind. It’s screwed up but it’s how it works.” The lawyer said, speaking primarily to Alex.
“Then there’s nothing we can do.” Alex said turning back towards the judge. Farmar nodded his head slightly to the judge.
The next few hours went by in slow motion. David went off in a blaze of anger, cursing, and screaming after the judge read off Alex’s death warrant. He had to be restrained and escorted out of the courtroom. Alex himself was escorted back to his small cell and again left in darkness. He sat unafraid. His mind didn’t race for rationality. He didn’t cry, nor vomit. He simply sat in the cell waiting for the guards to come and escort him out. Waiting to be escorted to his death.
The only thing Alex thought of in his cell for the two hours he had to wait. He thought of home. Not a particularly happy place to think of but important to Alex none the less. He remembered the grey skies of Tarsonis. He had always sat on whatever grass he could find just to look up at the sky. Always looking for that one blue patch in amongst the grey, it had always calmed him. He saw his family, over and over again. The family portrait that had been hung always seemed to come to mind.
It lingered in Alex’s mind as the guards escorted him out of the cell two hours later. They walked down the hallway again, the screams of the other prisoners continued. The little ding when the button was pressed sounded again. The squeaking of the doors hinges sounded again as the door slide open. They walked straight this time. Out into the actual daylight, towards the outer perimeter of the complex.
“Would you want any specific letters to be sent out, family friends or something?” A small marine asked when they arrived to a small ditch. Alex shook his head.
“Very well,” The man said as the guards shoved Alex to the very edge of the ditch and turned him around towards a small firing detail of five men. The men stood in there combat suits, helmets lowered, Gauss rifles in hand. David and the rest of the squad stood behind them, the captain smiling a devilish smile. David stood shaking his head, mumbling something.
“Ready.” One of the marines called out. The others readied their rifles. Alex stood calmly waiting the gunshots. His heart and breathing rates normal. Stay calm; don’t give them the satisfaction of your pleading. He said to himself over and over again.
“Aim.” The marine called out. David grew increasingly unstable, and began walking forward. Straight passed the firing squad, stopping right next to Alex.
“What?” Alex said quickly.
“Nothing, just if you’re going to get shot by the firing squad. Well I’m not letting you go alone.” Alex opened his mouth to protest.
“Don’t start. How many things you tried to convince me of? Trust me you’re not going to start now.” Alex wanted to say something but he couldn’t. His throat closed and his eyes watered as he turned back to the firing squad. This is where they stood. Side by side as always. Friends permanently, no matter what tried to separate them. Unified they stood and unified they would fall.
“Fire!” The order echoed, followed by the unison of five marine gauss rifles.
This is where we stand, the thought echoed one last time In Alex’s mind.
I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving -- we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it -- but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor. -Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841 - 1935) Thank you to everyone and anyone who read this story. Specifically, great thanks to AAHIMGONNADIE for his help in editing. Hopefully it was good. Thanks again.