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When I Heard the Buzzards' Cry

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xCaptainHaddockx avatar xCaptainHaddockx
Level 28 : Expert Narwhal
29 August 2370

I was 21 years old when I first heard the Buzzards' cry.

It was nearing sol 200, and the Martian poplars had begun to display their array of beautiful yellows and reds when my squad arrived at Kimoni Naval Base near Minerva. We had been called forth to be trained as some of the earliest pilots of the new Dart-Class Starfighters after our success during the Battle of Xi-wang.

At the time, I was still a Private with only 8 months TIS, but Sgt. Cameron, my squad leader, had taken a liking to me after watching my performance during basic. He kept telling me that I had "the strength and spirit to succeed beyond any obstacle" or something like that. It would be three more years before I fully understood what he was talking about back then. At the time, I was just glad to have someone higher up the ladder on my side. I figured that I could get to be a Master Sergeant within a decade if I set my mind to it. Little did I know that I would be commanding a frigate in that time.

22 years ago, I was still a wide-eyed youngster passionate about everything that had to do with spaceships. I was jumping at the chance to be one of the first ever to test a new starfighter. I had so many questions racing in my head. What engine would it have? What weapons would it be equipped with? Was it easier to maneuver than the old clunkers back in the Gliese system? After three weeks of ground training, I was finally able to fly the Dart for the first time, and I was more than satisfied with its excellent speed and maneuverability. I went to bed that night excited to get up for another day of flying.

That night, October 16, 2348, the Martian Harvester Rebellion erupted in full force. Tensions had been rising for several decades between the farm executives and the harvesters within Mars' massive agricultural industry due to the ever-increasing prevalence of automated harvesting. You've probably read about it in history class, and if you have, you're probably laughing at the very thought of the Harvester Rebellion, but trust me, if you were a soldier or government worker on Mars at the time, you would understand how terrifying it truly was.

Around 2:30 in the morning, a mob of thousands of angry harvesters burst into the barracks, and they rounded up all the soldiers and dragged us 10 kilometers to Boeing Stadium in downtown Minerva, beating us along the way with fists, pipes, sports equipment, and nearly anything they could get their hands on. I think they planned to amass anybody with any sort of political or economic power in the stadium and drop a K-bomb on us. I have no idea what they hoped to accomplish in doing so, but I don't think they did either.

The insurgents were confident that they could conquer Minerva before spreading all over Mars and establishing an independent Martian state. Somehow, they seemed surprised and horrified when they learned that Grand Admiral LaSalle was on his way with the entire Sol Defense Armada at his back. They quickly forgot about the couple hundred thousand people they threw in Boeing Stadium and took to the skies in commercial ships, mining ships, recreational ships, domestic ships, and whatever military ships they could commandeer, tugging some old plasma guns, a few haphazardly mounted miniguns, and a couple K-bombs the rebels had no idea how to use.

The Earth Defense Armada quickly recognized how futile this rebellion was, so a couple of ace pilots, I think John Hendricks and his gang, convinced LaSalle to let them "test-fly" the new Buzzard Starfighters that had just rolled off the production lines.

I remember watching the battle from the middle of the field in Boeing Stadium. When you're on the surface, all you can really see are the occasional flashing lights of the heavy cannons firing and the bodies of mutilated ships falling to the ground after their destruction. The battle was quick, but the aftermath was rather intense. Fuselages, cargo bays, and cockpits rained over the Northern Planes for nearly an hour, many massive vessels cleaved cleanly in half by the Buzzards' unending fire.

I remember wondering what could have so easily carved the immense mining ships the rebels had hastily carried into orbit. My answer came to me when the night was pierced by a loud screech unlike anything I had heard before. A squad of 12 Buzzards came swooping down from the exosphere above to wreak havoc upon the Juan Tithers Building, the temporary base of operations for the harvester insurgents. Within 5 minutes, the building was entirely destroyed, and the rebellion was declared suppressed. I was in shock. I had never imagined such a vicious fighter in all my life. From that moment, I knew I would do whatever it took to become a Buzzard pilot.

In total, battle lasted around an hour and 20 minutes. 57,000 insurgents were killed. There were no U.N.A.F. casualties, save for 37 who succumbed to their beatings at the hands of the harvesters. There have been no uprisings on Mars since the Harvester Rebellion.

For the past couple months, the Office has been constructing a series of reports on the various spaceships available to the U.N.A.F. under the orders of the Kepler Field Armada. When Lieutenant O'Hara submitted the Buzzard's report to me, it reminded me of my glory days as an ace pilot. Sometimes I long for my time on the front lines doing whatever I could to protect those I hold dear. Alas, I'm getting older, and having that sort of stress on my body and mind had made me wearier and wearier through the years. I suppose I was happy ten years ago to finally settle down and accept an administrative position within the forces. After all, spaceships and their operations were what originally drew me to the Navy, so the Director of Naval Technology seemed like a perfect fit for me.

Sometimes, I wish I could have done more with my life and with my time in the Service. I guess these are just feelings that anybody gets when they start ageing. I suppose I could say I have a lot of regrets; a lot of things I wish I would have done or said. However, I keep telling myself that I did the right thing in life. I tried my hardest, and I did anything I could to serve humanity and protect the U.N. from those who would try to fracture it. And in the end, that's what it's all about, right?


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