Author : Michael F. da Silva
The siege lasted two years and we were about ready to throw in the towel by then.
We had no air support, had been pushed back to the fortified bunkers all the way from the enemy’s beachheads and under heavy shelling. It was taking a toll on our morale. Not only that, but the last we heard from GalCom said that fourteen other incursions had been made all over Human space. FUBAR, as the expression went.
Local command tried to keep our spirits up by keeping up a steady trickle of low-scale sallies. When Espareth ships were too far off on the other side of the planet for close air support, we’d hit their ground forces with everything we had and charged them fast enough for blade work. We made good advantage of the hardened tunnel systems for that. Something GalCom got from the history books about static defence and asymmetric warfare.
Near the end though, we were about done. We were low on ammunition and able bodies. The civil engineers were holding the water replenishment systems together with spit and baling wire. There were a few cases of dysentery whose rumours couldn’t be quashed before some of the civilian authorities started to push for surrender. I have to hand it to Colonel Abrahamson. That man was a rock for the duration.
And you can bet he was just as glad as anyone else when a relief task force broke through. The Espareth had spread their forces too far too fast across Human territory and their contain-and-invest strategy hadn’t worked as well as they had hoped.
I was right there with the mechanised infantry brigades when the blast doors opened outward fifty clicks Northeast of New Lisbon. Colonel Abrahamson was the age-old avatar of chivalric glory as he carried the sky-blue banner over the crest himself in his own gauntleted hands.
We pay homage now, assembled in full regalia in front of that same gate, two years later. The military band plays solemn tune as the banners sway in the breeze in front of the Abrahamson Cenotaph. He fell in that final battle that annihilated the remnants of the invasion force. His was the death to which every great soldier aspires; in victorious battle.
There is popular support for renaming this rock after the Colonel. Worlds should be named for those who sacrificed the most to build them, people say. No matter what the Colonial Office says, we will always know this is Abrahamson’s World.
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