The Command Center looked like a bomb had hit it. Dust covered everything; papers were strewn over every surface; wires stuck out where the paper was missing. Plates, with half eaten meals, stacked on a table.
Major Goals was written into scene in front of a pile of clothes dumped in a corner.
He looked at the mess. “Jesus, you want to tell me what happened here, soldier?”
The troop he addressed snapped to attention. “Sir. Yes, Sir.”
“At ease, soldier,” the Major smiled, kindly. “It looks like you’ve been through the wringer.”
The young man slumped. “It was a massacre, sir. We’d all seen the signs – a couple of hours lost here and there, an evening unaccounted for but no different from any of the other border spats.” He swallowed. “We just weren’t prepared for the ferocity of the assault when it came.”
Goals nodded. “Casualties?”
“Many, sir…” The young soldier stopped. “We….we lost Free Time, sir.”
The Major blanched, his hand finding an edge of a table to steady himself. “Free time?” His voice was strained. “We..we came up together. I can’t believe he’s gone.”
“I’m sorry, sir.”
Goals was angry. The emotion spilling into his words. “Who did this, Private? Where did they come from?”
“It…it came from out of nowhere, si-”
“Nowhere? Those bastards!”
“…Sir?” Not the response the young Private has expected.
“Every attack I have ever faced was initiated by them, every one, came out of Nowhere.” The Major pulled straightened up, a new resolve found. “Well, no more, soldier. No more. Today, we take the attack to them.”
The soldier was completely confused, so just nodded. “Yes….sir.”
“What’s your name, soldier?”
“Dreams, sir. Private Dreams.”
“Dreams, hmm? You remind me of me when I was coming up.” The Major looked at the disaster area, thought about the loss of his friend.
“Dreams Send the broadcast. We have an attack to plan.”