[01.09.02] » by Alexander Spoerer
The last meal.
I never thought I would see it.
It was a pretty nice spread
too, the steak actually looked like
a real steak and not the usual
SynthMeat that they served us. The baked potato was large with a
generous serving of butter, sour
cream and chives. Something
that looked like a small tomato also
graced the china plate in front
of me. I held up the silver fork a generous chuck of
meat atop the
gleaming trident, and stared at
it. This meal would have cost most
families their entire ration card
for the year and I sure as hell had
not ever eaten like this before.
I guess there are some perks to throwing your life away.
A snort half laugh escaped me as I devoured the chunk of meat,
savoring the juices expelled into my
mouth. It felt as if I were
eating a peace of heaven, basking in
its succulence. Any sort of
guilt at eating better than most of
the inhabitants in Selene was
pushed to the back of mind as I
concentrated on the piece of ambrosia
within my mouth.
"Enjoying the meal, Pilot?"
A chunk of sour cream drenched potato followed the steak into
my mouth as I calmly looked up at
the person standing before my
table. The crude smile was short in coming as I
Commander Amika Navasen's presence
before me. I always loved doing
that half-leer at her; it made her
shift her feet as if she were
trying to control her involuntarily
I put down my fork and looked over her from top to bottom,
absorbing all of her, the lithe
medium frame and smallish pert
breasts, the mid-length mousy-brown
hair framing her thin, hawkish
face and tiny mouth, offset by her
large green eyes. Amika was not
the most incredible looking woman,
but a woman she was nevertheless.
More than likely the last one I'll
ever see, too.
At least she didn't remind me of her.
Then I don't know if I
could go through with it today.
With narrowed eyes she broke the silence, "Well?"
"Well, what?" came my slightly annoyed reply.
"Are you enjoying your meal, pilot?
After all, many families
would kill us both to get the food
I looked at Amika for a second or so before returning my
attention to something a hell of a
lot more interesting, "It's
heard a sigh come from her as she slowly eased into the seat
in front of me. Damn, she wanted to talk to me. Why in world did
she want to talk to me?
And why do I want to talk back to her.
Maybe she is reminding me of her.
"Solenn, how are you feeling?
You didn't stop by earlier,"
I felt the edge dissolve from her
voice. I really did not want to
see her. Not like this, especially not before what I
have to go and
Damn you Amika!
Her sudden silence caused me to glance up at her. Those big,
beautiful eyes looked right back at
me with barely contained emotion.
God, those eyes... I feel like I could curl up inside of them
fall asleep, wrapped in a blanket of
My voice eventually returned to me as I diverted my gaze to the
wall of my quarters, "You
shouldn't be here, it isn't allowed to
visit a Pilot before his
"I know, but I had to see you alone once more before my duties
require me to only act as your
Commander. I...," her voice
as she continued, whispering softly,
"I needed to know if it really
Please, no, Amika. Don't ask me a
question I should not answer.
Especially since I can't do anything
about it. I don't want to think
or remember it. Not now.
Her whispered plea caused me to return my eyes to hers. She
looked for an answer, the question
coming across in those twin seas
Looking into her eyes, I was reminded of those nights. When I
saw her face covered in small
droplets of sweat, her eyes heavy
lidded with low moans of
pleasure. Nights where we crossed the
between pilot and commander joined
together in mutual passion.
Before then I had felt nothing but
afterward the feeling returned
into my life.
And it scared me.
Perhaps it did matter to me, since I had lost Nadi when I joined
the Selene Earth Recapture
Forces. Nadi was almost like a distant
memory but I still remember the
tears flowing down her face when I
told her I had volunteered to be a pilot,
to throw my life away. I
had loved her more than my own life
and knew if I stayed with her I
would have been happy. But, I had something else I needed to
help not only Nadi but everyone in
Selene by bringing this damn war
to an end. After I left her behind, the flame of life
waned and threatened to snuff itself
out. I was the perfect pilot,
nothing to loose or hold me back
until several weeks ago.
I was brought back by the gentle demand in Amika speaking
my name. This time, I did not look away or let my
as I placed my knife down, lifting
my right hand to gently caress
her left cheek. She closed her eyes at my touch, bringing her
up to stroke mine in a return
gesture of affection. I felt my own
resolve crumble within me as she
began to nuzzle my hand.
My meal forgotten I stood up from the table and walked around
it to face her. I then helped her stand and picked her up in
arms. She wrapped her own arms around my neck as I
brought my lips
to hers in a gentle kiss. After a moment or so, I broke the kiss and
rubbed the tip of my nose against
hers ignoring everything around
me except her as I spoke so softly I
surprised myself, "It mattered,
Watching her face begin to glow in an emotion I thought I never
would see again, I carried her
toward the bed of my quarters for the
last time we would have alone with
each other. The last time I could
openly share my love with someone
who felt the same about me as I did
Before I had to abandon them entirely.
"Thank you for coming, please be seated."
I sat down in the relatively plush chair of the large briefing
room. Looking side to side, I noticed that at least
fifty or so
pilots used to come here for mission
briefings but now they only
needed three. No need to throw away fifty men when three
could do as
much good. The logistics in organizing sorties and
casualties in a full squadron were
staggering. With a flight of
three, the planning was cut down
only to the initial briefing and
launch. No need to be concerned about the inherent
search and recovery or strategic
retreat to a re-enforced position
Since they were not coming back.
"Before we begin, I would like to say a couple of things.
Pilots of the 723rd Special Attack
Wing, the city of Selene is
honored with the sacrifice you are
about to make. Your selfless
act will enable us to get all of the
reconnaissance data we need to
end this war against Earth as
quickly as possible and avoid a costly
repeat of the First Lunar War. Selene is forever in your debt."
God, it was so amazing how she said it with a straight face.
Amika looked nothing like she had a couple of hours ago after
our final time together. She was all business in her Selenian
Navy uniform, beginning the mission
briefing. As she began, I idly
wondered how many times had she said
that particular passage before?
Ten times? There was no way for
me to know and she
sure as hell wouldn't tell me how
many had come before me. Maybe
she loved a couple pilots before me
as well and she was trying to
forget them. Would she do the same when I launch not too
So many questions.
"....Pilot Valior, you will be taking Theta vector, which will
put you right into the Imperial
capital city. Your course will take
you through several different
facilities our intelligence has
identified as strategically vital to
Earth's war effort. Your
command computer will relay further
orders during the sortie."
I nodded in acknowledgment as she read my marching orders.
They still had the nerve to call it
a sortie instead of what it
really was. It almost turned my stomach.
After a couple more minutes of her dolling out command
directives, Amika paused and looked
at all of us, "There is one final
thing I wish to say to all of
you. All of you represent the last
mission for this operation. After you finish, Selene will launch
a full scale attack on the
Earth. Your information is the last
needed in order to ensure the
success of that assault. You will
report to the launch deck at 0830
hours. I wish you all good
I stood to salute Amika as she left and looked toward the pilot
to my left, Renas, and silently
shook my head. He nodded in morbid
acknowledgement as we began to walk
out of the room. The last
mission. I wasn't sure what to think of it. If I had volunteered
later perhaps I would not have been
selected for this mission and may
have lived a longer life. Maybe even with Amika.
Again I shook my head. No, I
would have never even met her if I
had not been selected. She is the commander of this operation
and I was only an ensign. In a sick and twisted way, I am glad to
have been selected for this
unenviable job. At least I had met her
and it was enough for me.
Time to get ready for my voyage down the Styx.
"Auxiliary flight system?"
"Primary flight system?"
"EOS comm. link?"
"Frequency open and receiving command and telemetry data."
"Secondary weapons interface?"
"Primary weapons interface?"
"Manipulator arm system?"
"On-line with full mobility."
Amazing the amount of pre-launch checklists we went through.
It kind of seemed silly considering
I was not expected to come back.
Then again, I could see why they
wanted to make absolutely sure
everything worked so I would be able
to stay alive long enough to get
my mission done.
"That's the last one, Lieutenant.
You're ready to be
transferred to the main launch
I nodded in acknowledgement of the flight crew chief under the
cockpit and gave the thumbs up
symbol to him. The crew chief began
to move from the fighter when he was
startled by Amika walking toward
What the hell?
She climbed up the boarding ladder, and into the pilot's
compartment, her body now blocking
my view of front monitor. For a
moment I just stared at her before
retracting the reflective
faceplate, "What are you doing,
"I wanted to say goodbye to you."
"You already did, sir," I heard the professional edge in my
voice. What was she doing here? Was she trying to make this as hard
as possible for me?
She shook her head and leaned in toward me, "That was the
commander saying goodbye. I wanted to tell you as well."
I sat there, mildly stunned as moved her hand toward my right
cheek and softly running her
fingertips against it. I felt a tingle
run down my spine as I watched her
hand retract. Strong feelings
churned within me now that I had
taken a couple of hours to get under
control. Damn it, Amika, I did not need this! It was hard enough
getting into this fighter when I
knew there was something worth
living for but now your making it
down right unbearable. I could
feel the frustration build within me
as I realized that I could not
bring myself to say what I had just
thought, since I knew it would
hurt her more than anything.
I am so pathetic.
I tired to look away from her face but the compartment
was not large enough for me to fully
turn around, so I focused on a
flight crew working on Renas's
fighter. I uttered a choked whisper,
"Command....Amika, please don't
do this to me. It's hard for me to,
to see you."
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed her nod, "I know, Solenn.
But I just couldn't let you go
without saying goodbye....it
would have hurt too much."
I turned to face her, not bothering to avoid her gaze, and she
shifted forward onto my lap and
kissed me passionately. I embraced
her as best I could in my flight
suit, her seemingly fragile body
within my covered arms.
Oh god, did I not want to go.
She broke the kiss and rested her forehead against mine looking
into my eyes, "Goodbye,
Solenn....I love you so much."
I could only nod slowly as I dared not break out mutual gaze,
"I love you too, Amika. Goodbye."
Amika slid off of my lap and out of the pilot's compartment
before the bottom was sealed by the
I watched her walk off the secondary launch deck and out of my
life for the last time. I quickly closed my eyes trying my best to
keep tears at bay. A sudden hatred for the entire mission washed
over me like a tidal surge. I was to throw my life away for some
god-forsaken war when the one thing
that I ever wanted is now out of
"Transferring fighter to primary launch deck."
I almost ignored the EOS's voice as my fighter lurched, being
moved the primary launch deck to
begin my mission. Automatically,
my now monotone voice replied into
the comm., "Acknowledged,
initiating final flight
I had never had anything worth living for before, even Nadi was
not a reason for me live.
My fighter reached the primary launch deck and was secured
to the launch catapult.
"Catapult ready, waiting for final checks."
And now it was being taken away from me before I even had a
chance to embrace it. No way I was going to let that happen!
Like a robot, I had completed the final checks and looked out
toward the bright blue surface of
Earth before me, "All systems
green, ready for launch."
"Acknowledged, Flight 2.
Prepare for launch in 5, 4..."
As I opened up the main thrust of the fighter, I thought about
how the survival rate of these runs
were so far zero, that the only
people who volunteered for this duty
were either prisoners, Mars
exiles, or people with nothing to
live for. It was a sure ticket
to a glorious death someone had told
me once, but I silently vow to
myself I will get out of this alive.
Someway, somehow, I will get back to Amika and hold her in my
Even if I have to destroy the entire planet below me.
My fighter jumped forward as it rushed down the launch ramp
toward the Earth in front of
me. Shot out of the ship at such speed
that in no time I would contact the
atmosphere and begin re-entry.
Another feeling began to rise within me to join the love I
already felt, a feeling I had not
felt since childhood it seemed:
I now knew I would come back.
All I need is to hope.
[Author's Notes] Well that was a
good run for about couple of hours.
I wrote the story after thinking
about the game Einhander. The
premise of the game was of a
sucicide pilot sent down to Earth. In
the prolouge, it had mentioned that
"he remembered her eyes when he
had told her he volunteered to be an
Einhander pilot". The phrase
struck a chord in me and I began to
think just what might have
happened the day before he was to
fly his suicide mission? Out of
that came this story. In a way, this could be a fanfic for
Einhander, but there is enough in
there for it to stand on its own.
Either way, I liked the way it came
If you have any comments, pleas feel
free to e-mail. I love getting
feedback and it always improves my
writing. Of course, flames will
be sent to the circular file for
further referance. ^_^