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Location: Ravenwood Outpost; Planet: Ravenwood; Galactic Location: Scutum-Crux Arm
"You picked a hell of a place to die, Marine," I told myself.
This planet had no economic value, no strategic value, and no scientific worth. The outpost, with its naked concrete walls, was just a primitive fort on a barren planet surround by plains and ice. Every Marine in every platoon that came to defend this spot ended up missing in action--a polite way of saying they were dead… gone to the halls of Montezuma. Semper fi, Marine.
As I walked through the halls of this shit hole, every boy stopped to salute me. "Ready at your post, Marine?" I would ask, pretending that it mattered.
"Sir, yes, sir!" they would shout, still naïve enough to believe that enthusiasm counted for something.
And I would grunt lines like "Carry on, Marine," and salute, then move on knowing that nothing any of us did mattered. These boys were dead. Fresh out of basic, loyal to their last breath, and served up to die. I could not save them anymore than I could save myself. In a couple of days, a patrol would come looking for survivors and find the base abandoned. The Corps would list us as missing in action, some officer would say, "Damn, not another platoon," and send another 40 men to replace us.
Legend had it that space monsters prowled the surface of Ravenwood. Most of my boys believed it was space aliens attacking the fort. Facing their deaths, these boys turned back the clock to the days when authors wrote books about alien invasions. But those authors were wrong. Once we entered space we discovered that we were almost alone in the galaxy. The only thing man had to fear was man himself.
Up ahead, a couple of my boys knelt in the shadow of a doorway and prayed. "You do that," I mumbled. "You pray. Why not?" Once the guns are loaded and the troops are in place, God and chance are all you have left.
Even as I thought this, I realized that I didn't care what became of these boys. In fact, I did not care whether or not I made it off this planet alive. I had the urge to survive, but that was just instinct.
It was because of the lie. Plato’s lie seems innocent but it leaves you alienated from everything.