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Birth of a Berserker

Posted on Thu Jul 25th, 2019 @ 1:31am by Major Brynhild Keil

"Computer, begin log.

"I'm fairly certain that there is a God of Coffee, and I've been praying to him with more fervor than I've ever prayed to any god in my life. I'm about to create an altar out of mugs and sacrifice bags of coffee grounds, if the ship's replicator is kind enough to make some for me. With the way every system and every crewmen has been beat to shit, who knows what will happen with pretty anything at any time.

"My flight deck is a half-converted shuttlebay. By half-converted, it really is just that we're here. By our presence, we have converted it. Out of thirty-six fighter planes, I am left with eight that can go into the air. And beyond that, there are three that now exist of piles of scrap in the corner. Beautiful birds now feathered and gutted, with the hopes that those pieces can help the others live.

"I have more pilots than planes to put them in, but it keeps up a rotation. Ten, including me. Out of thirty-six lives... All those souls, taken. May they rest in Valhalla. Computer, pause recording."

Brynna felt emotion choking her, which she stuffed back into the footlocker it had to stay in. Squeezing her eyes shut, she rubbed them and leaned her head back against the armrest of the couch that had become her bed where it sat in her new "flight deck" here on the Nogura. No one else was here in her little corner of solace.

"Computer, resume recording.

"What do the shrinks call it... Survivor's guilt? Yeah, that. We're all feeling it. Pilots are herd animals, really. They might joke about us being loners and mavericks, but we're really not. We hunt in packs. We follow the order of the pride. Whatever other animal metaphors I can come up with. I wonder what wolves would do if they suddenly saw nearly three-fourths of their fellows torn to shreds. Dead or assimilated, the same thing.

"But we are not any other wolves. We are the wolves of Odin. We are the berserkers. We will be the berserkers. Set us loose and we will demolish everything in our path, in the blinding rage of righteousness.

"It's all we have left now. Computer, end recording."

She put her arm across her eyes with a weary sigh, hoping that sleep would come soon and that she would not dream of all the pilots she had lost.


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