April 25, 1961 First Attack
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The USS Constant
April 25, 1961 Captain’s Log
The ship’s doctor slowly closed his eyes and he seemed to breathe a little smoother. He shrugged forward for a moment, then straightened himself. He had a very long day.
It was the end of the first alien attack. My crew fought back as hard as they could. It was just amazing the way they stood their ground. I had studied their response to the first encounter with the aliens, and had thought it impossible for my crew to act out in a panicked way. They did. It was the fear that got to them. Then they argued with me about the value of fear. They claimed that it was needed to build on. And they said it as if they needed to justify their fears.
I made my case clear to them that the invading aliens were unknown. And it was that unknown that brought about the fear. There was no shame in displaying fear so long as you carried out the duties. And they fought like brave soldiers. There was not a coward among them.
I wanted them to clear their minds, and get ready for the next wave of attacks. They needed rest and food. I wanted my crew to eat then sleep.
My second in command stared at the gray fog and it seemed to scream at him. It was as if my words did not sink in. I stood beside him to offer comfort. A small gesture, but a gesture nevertheless.
His blank expression was that of a man who had lost courage. It was as if he allowed the gray fog to call him a fool and a coward all at once.
I knew my second in command very well and he hid his overwhelming emotions from the crew. Although the nightmare had caught him off guard he had put up a good front. No one suspected anything, but me.
I told him we would have handled things differently if we had been prepared, but we didn’t. No one in command knew that the invasion was coming. No one knew what the aliens would look like, and we are the only stand against them. The other warships from other countries never arrived. But we were still here, fighting.
I realized my comments gave him no comfort as we stood as a commanding unit staring at the gray fog...
© 2011 Frank Atanacio
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