Previous Next

Ruminations from a marine's bunk

Posted on Tue Apr 16th, 2024 @ 3:25pm by Gunnery Sergeant Roderik Kos

Mission: Mission 0: Everybody Has A Story

"Dear father, who art in Heaven. I beg your forgiveness for I have not been to Church in two years." Rodi was knelt next to his bed, his elbows resting on it and his hands folded. Nestled within his hands was his silver crucifix, a gift from his father when he first went off to Marine Basic Combat Training. It had been nestled within Rodi's hands for every prayer for the last eighteen years. It might be his most prized possession.

"Forgive me, my Lord, for I have taken lives once more." Rodi whispered. Memories came to him unbidden. A firefight in an submerged base. It had only been a few days ago. A cobbled together combat operation to rescue Colonel Garlake and his wife and lieutenant Xiong. Running around in old shorts, a combat jacket, and his phaser rifle. As his first squad leader would call it, real cowboy shit. And Rodi had loved every moment of it. Terrified, excited, driven, and almost gleeful to be back in the fight. But now, as the dust had settled, his feelings calmed, and a moment of contemplation was taken? He felt a sense of shame. Those people, The enemy he had fought. They were someone's child, someone's kin. He had dispatched them without hesitation.

"Forgive me, Lord, for I have lost count of the lives I have taken." He had been a marine for eighteen years, and counting. Every marine is a rifleman. Before any professional training, every Starfleet Marine was a rifleman. But Rodi had taken the opportunity given to lay down his rifle, and become a healer. His mother had shown him that there were marines that saved lives. He had followed her, studied hard, and become a Marine Corpsman. But even his time as a corpsman was fraught with danger. Marine Corpsmen are not assigned to Starfleet's medical facilities. They are serving in combat units. Each of the four years Rodi served as Corpsman lead to him serving on the frontline. While patching scrapes and plugging up holes in damaged marines, the times he employed his rifle were even more memorable to him.

"Forgive me, God, for I shall take lives again." Rodi's mind wandered to his future. He was still young enough, quite fit, and still very much willing. Each of his eighteen years weighed on him at times. Times when Rodi found himself contemplative. When he cast his eye back, he saw the life of a man who committed his life to his service. But he also saw a man who had very little in his life. Two failed relationships, each only lasting a few months and leading to years of being a bachelor again. A man who hadn't been in his family's life for the last six years either. A man who had lost count of the times he deployed, the times he fought, and the times he had killed. When Rodi looked back through that lens he looked back on an empty life. But that lens also hid all the brothers he had found in his time, the new families he had developed on each posting. The lives uncountable he had saved.

"Amen." He finally spoke, rising out of his kneeling posture a touch stiff. He stretched his back out, the popping sounds filling his quarters loudly. The crucifix and its chain found its way back around Rodi's neck, tucked safely under his uniform shirt.

"Bradley to Kos. Gunny, are you still joining us for our training run at 1600?" Sergeant Bradley through the combadge.
"Affirmative sergeant, on my way." Were the clipped but not unkind words in reply from the no-nonsense Marine Gunnery Sergeant, his religious and personal historical contemplation once again securely locked away.


Previous Next