Author : Roi R. Czechvala, Staff Writer

Drop capsules are virtually impregnable to anything man or xeno can throw at them. They have consistently proven themselves many times in combat under the onslaught of increasingly sophisticated weaponry.

We don’t feel anything during a drop since we are in complete stasis until planetfall. Hell, we really don’t exist until we smack into whatever little dirtball we are fighting on. I am basically a holographic version of myself that coalesces into a brave, stolid, exceptionally handsome Lieutenant of the Alliance; or whatever passes for handsome on the planet I slam into.

I began to feel my senses flooding into my new body. I caught a glimpse of myself on the mirror bright inside surface of the capsules leaf before it peeled away. On this planet, handsome apparently runs to the dark, squat and lumpy. In short, I became an anthropomorphized turd. Oh well, I’ve been worse. Ask my ex-wives.

I opened my neural band and scanned for my drop group. No signal. That’s impossible. If they were dead, I’d still pick up the static from their bands. I couldn’t even raise the orbiting ship. Something was seriously wrong. I grabbed for my weapon, determined to find my men in this thick jungle. My plaz weapon wasn’t there.

“What the hell is going on here?” To my ears, my voice resembled large boulders crushing a family of terrified and generally pissed off cats. I thought back to my orders. To my shock, I realized I had no orders. Or at least I had no memory of my orders. I had no memory of the ship, of downloading into the cube, nor even of prepping for this mission. I had no clue who I was, where I was, and the means of my delivery in the drop capsule were already quickly fading from memory.

Panic began to well up within me. “Okay, okay. Calm down. You’ve been in worse scrapes than this. You’ll get through it. Rely on your training.” I reached back to the years of military training I had undergone. What training? I wasn’t even sure what army I was in, or who I fought for.

This wasn’t making any sense. I was on a planet that must have resembled Venus before the greenhouse effect went into overdrive. Through the dense foliage I could see more turd-people moving towards me through the thick, barrel-like trees. Were these my men?

The creatures gathered around me and one by one, embraced me with their thick rubbery arms. They began to make a low noise deep in their throats. Again the sound of very tired, but still pissed pussy cats being pummelled in a landslide, washed over me. It felt strangely soothing.

I crouched down on my stubby haunches and tried to make sense of all this while the others continued to stroke my back and make consoling noises at me. Suddenly, I felt as if my skull had been ripped open and was blinded by a wonderfully painful flash of light.

A man in the uniform of a Confederation colonel, appeared in my pain wracked brain. “Lieutenant Ito Yokamiso of the Asiatic Alliance; for the high crime of genocide against the innocent civilian families of the Confederation colony on Europa, you are hereby sentenced to 300 years exile on the penal planet of Thulcandra. May God have mercy on your soul.” My memories flooded back.

Crooning their consoling wails, my fellow inmates led me to a ramshackle collection of hut’s that would be my home for the next three centuries. I lowered my head in shame.

Who knew turds could cry?

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