The gnawing of guilt


They don´t know the burden of command, to control and what it feels to have the lives of men in your hands in balancing act that can fall with just as slight breeze.

We´ve seen terrors that many people can only begin to fathom in their darkest of nightmares and who are deadlier and more cunning than anything that dwelled on Earth, yet mankind´s unquenchable curiosity, spurred by greed and a lust to conquer, propelled us forward and upward into the stars.
Now we travel between the blips of light on the sky, the spaces filled with voidstuff with the hum of engines as the only thing to distract us between missions and the gnawing guilt, the doubts of what could have been if only I was braver to disobey my orders...

Could we have saved him? Perhaps, we are warriors of a different breed. In the far past of our ancestors they fought with spears of iron, shooting arrows and covering themselves with suits of metal and leather. Then came gunpowder and they held the roar of thunder in their hands, and upscaled it to artillery that could even deafen the mightiest storms

Now we hold the weapons of the future, plasma rifles and explosive bolts, our bodies surrounded by forcefields and decked out in the finest technology available. All to be the mightiest killers in history. And yet, underneath it all, we are the same frail and weak humans our ancestors were, our minds as fragile as robin´s eggs and our morality... Bought and sold so long ago. Some things are so inherently human.

Nothing but mercenaries, but no amount of credits will bring him back, when the order to retreat arrived we followed it and he didn´t. I never asked for command, and I knew the risks and the burdens involved. Tough choices needed to be made yet I can still see it in his eyes, the rage, the betrayal, the sadness... Until I could see no more. It was either to save him or to save the rest of us, but how can I choose who lives and who dies? Under what right?

The thoughts won´t recede, brotherhood under arms sold, camaraderie just another ware to sale.

The hum of the engines takes us to a new frontier, to kill and to slay, but no matter how loud or how soft, it won´t drown out the feeling of guilt.

nathan-anderson-9o-VrJSwGuw-unsplash.jpg Image available at:

This short story was the result of dynamic we have going on #Freewrites, were a prompt is given and you have to write something with it in 5 minutes or less. If you want to join and participate, feel free to look us up or to follow the link


And as always, thank you for reading

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Great freewrite!!!!
My 100% upvote will not get you anything on this post so, even though I love it, I am going to upvote your comment on the challenge post so that you actually get a penny or two from me.
Thank you for your participation!!!