Survival and Combat
I wrote this in college as part of a writing journal for a tech writing course. I was reading a lot of military sci-fi and World War II history at the time. I don’t pretend to know what real combat is. I can only imagine and I commend those that risk their lives every day – first responders and military. Thank you for your service, sincerely. This is just a work of fiction, probably something I write late at night when trying to get an entry written for that week.
Someone once asked me ever since the war – what does being in combat mean to me? My guess is they were asking me because they wanted to know if I suffered for post-traumatic stress of galactic war. Am I one of those people? No, man. Not me.
The meaning of combat is different from solder to soldier; different from planet to planet. Some say it is just for killing – killing anything and everything. That’s usually the kind of soldier that ends up in the ward with mental issues. Meanwhile, others say it’s for glory, honor or patriotism. Zll good things, I suppose.
I feel while it differs from situation to situations, there is some commonality to it. That one thing is survival – if you out survive your opponent, you win.
For instance, I was on some bum-fuck planet in the Tri-Meton sector – Nurr 4 or something like that. The planet itself made it difficult to survive. The combat zones always seemed to take place in the worst swamplands you ever saw. The water was undrinkable and it was more like slime, it was so thick with bug eggs from a creature similar to a Terran mosquito. The water itself was infested with things we called “nipaways” – little fish creatures with claws that would nip away are your armor until they found skin, laying eggs in the wounds they caused. Many died from those infections – and it wasn’t pretty.
We had to sleep in trees on hammocks, fairly high because the gator-like creatures could jump. But you had to worry about the things called divilons – rodent like birds that were extremely poisonous. You had to keep your sleeping bag sealed up tight or you’d find yourself divilons snuggle up inside with you. They liked warm places. They are cute as hell though but you don’t want to take on to your mommy, unless you wanted your inheritance early or something. They’d kill a mountian chewda flat out.
That planet was a bitch. And no one explained to us why it was so important. They kept on calling it had “strategic importance” but for what strategy. The enemy on the other hand had it made – this was like their homeworld. That was the excuse our commander gave when were forced to retreat.
Combat. Survival. Out last the other guy. Shoot him before he shoots you. make it harder for him to survive. All central to the meaning of war and the meaning of combat. How many sons and daughters have I taken from their families. I don’t know and I try not to think about it. As long as they don’t take this son away from his momma, I am fine. Maybe I love her more than they loved there. Who knows.