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In Defense

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Invasion F-004

Starfighter Command Kelgaron Invasion Archives

 After Action Battle Reports on Ant's Well and Thomas A. Andrews’s Personal Log

   The raid on Ant's Well was well planned. It was a planet that the bugs claimed as theirs. We would not have minded if they had not used the planet as a fuel dump and staging area for attacks on the surrounding sectors. I was to be one of the advance scouts and spotters for the attack. A quick night flyby and I and others were dropped off in the upper atmosphere of the planet.

   It was a long fall before I opened my parachute a few hundred feet above the ground. The bug town that I was assigned to scout was just a quick jog away. I was able to set up my position on a hill overlooking the town well before dawn. The bugs had no idea that I was there spying on them. It was hardly worth my time.

   The tiny spaceport posed no threat. It could only hold one -- maybe two -- ships (if they were small) at a time. The town was a farming community. It was not very threatening but I was required to stay at my post observing the town for the next 30 days sending regular reports back to Starfighter Command every couple of days. By the end of the fifteenth day I knew every bug in the town almost by his or her first name. My favorite was a school teacher. She was really good with the children. I loved the way her long black hair wrapped around her shoulders on a windy day. I chided myself; I figured I must have been in space far too long when I started to like one of the bugs.

   Orders came and the day of the invasion was set. All I had to do was sit tight and let the army do the rest. Early one morning a troop carrier set down on the spaceport platform. Soldiers began to pour out killing everything in sight. It was all so unnecessary -- I could have secured the town all by myself. Bugs were running every which way trying to escape, and our soldiers, made up of mostly mercenaries, killed everything that moved. I got up, checked my guns, and started down the hill to put a stop to the useless carnage. As a Starfighter I outranked anyone there.

   Two soldiers broke through the front door of the school just as I came through the back door. I could see them smile as they took aim at the teacher and the children behind her. I heard her tell the children to close their eyes. I never gave the soldiers a chance to fire. I shot and killed them both. The teacher was more than a little surprised when she opened her eyes again. "Stay here -- I'll be back.," I told her. Then I went looking for one of the soldiers.

   The soldier that I found was firing on a group of unarmed bugs that had taken cover behind a low wall. He didn't take much notice of me until I stuck my gun in his face. "You can stop shooting now. They give up," I said.

   "The only good bug is a dead bug," he replied defiantly. A brave thing to do with my gun in his face. He said something into the microphone in his helmet and suddenly I had the attention of all the soldiers. I was right about one thing. They were all mercenaries.

   I suddenly found myself in a running battle not with the bugs, but with the soldiers. I was all that stood between the soldiers and bugs and a total massacre of the town. The command center was not listening to me and my pleas for help. They informed me that they had reports that my area was an extreme hot zone with a large military presence. Of course I told them that they were misinformed -- and I told them so none too politely as I was being fired on at the time. By the time I reached the school again it was filled with bugs, mostly children.

   Surrounded and out of options, I did the only thing I could think of at the time: use the system against itself. I called the command center and requested immediate fire support as I was surrounded and under fire. A short while later the town around my position was bombarded by two Starfighters. They set their fighters down next to the school after strafing the area around me.

   I can’t blame my fellow Starfighters for their look of surprise when they walked into the school and saw all the bugs; though I did not need to explain myself to them. There are rules by which we fight, and one of those rules is that unarmed civilians, be they friend or foe, must be protected and escorted from harm’s way. It did not take long to discover that they had set their ship down in the wrong area. It had not been necessary to attack this town at all. That still did not change the fact that nearly six hundred unarmed bugs were massacred.

   Later as I sat on the steps of the school I wept. I cried not only for the dead bugs but for the men I was forced to kill in their defense. I felt a hand caress the top of my head. I looked up into the eyes of the bug teacher that I had saved. "I wish that there were words to say what is in my heart," she said as she offered me a cup of water. After I took the cup she sat down beside me. “Thank you for saving us seems like such a poor choice of words when compared to the deed. My people will not forget what you have done here this day, and I will not forget either." She leaned over and kissed me on the cheek and then put her arm around my shoulders as we both sat staring out at the smoky remains of the city in silence.


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