by Harshan Jeyakumar (5D)
They line up in single-file. Two lines. 10 soldiers. Brave. Passionate. Willing. It has all come down to this moment. This one moment. They have entered the warfare and there are only two outcomes. Death or victory.
The Man stands tall. Booming voice. Rules aplenty. But no one cares. The moment is coming and instinct takes precedence. The whistle blows, the clock starts and the anarchy reigns. Three seconds is all it takes. With bodies strewn across the floor, in a desperate scramble for the last remaining grenade, the death count is remarkable. But it’s a miracle! They continue to attack as though it never occurred. As though they had never cross the blue line of no return. That forbidden zone across the battlefield. And the battle resumes.
Morality. Goodwill. Compassion. Honesty. Bandied about, for some less than a year ago, in an episode of pure marketing bliss. But now they have achieved their dream. The course has been bestowed upon them. So will they take this opportunity to show their humanity? No. This is no time to display such ineffective tactics. This is war. This is when the world stops to witness who will stand tall. Who will return home to their families proud and heroic. Who will never be the same again.
And then there is one. One man. Always a man. He has achieved the impossible. He has lasted. His army crumbling around him, he remains. The hero? The champion? Can he achieve what many have dreamed of? What many have attempted but few achieved? Six-versus-one. Can this lone lieutenant, abandoned by his men, hold fort? How did he come to this be in this position? How was he the one left behind as the others succumbed to the relentless pressure? One reason. Always the collector, never the firer. Behind the action, avoiding the frontline. Until his moment arrived. His moment, when heroes emerge. When his team stands in awe of this courageous warrior. He has already achieved what he set out to do. Praise and adoration. Accomplished.
He fights valiantly. Holding the weapons of destruction as the opposition attempt to maim. Collecting. Always collecting. But why? What plan? Thought? It does not occur.
The whistle blows. Time has beaten all. Our warrior defeated. The chance at history seized from his mindless grasp. And we hit repeat.