Before the Next Rep
The Front Line
"What is it, private?"
"We can't continue. It's too much. Look at the troops. They're starved and fatigued. We must withdraw."
"There will be no withdrawal until we get direct orders from central command. Our job is to hold this place until we win or we're broken and you will do just that. Do you understand, private?"
"I know it's tough. You're a new recruit, right?"
"Yessir. Came onboard during the last battle. A bunch of friends and I were recruited. I guess central command decided that more men were needed."
"It's more than that, private. You do understand what we're trying to do here, right?"
"Well, sir... Not really. I mean, I've heard stories... We all have, but I don't know what to think."
"Forget the stories. What were do here is a crucial piece of the mission. Over time, we've developed an entire communications network and cargo transit network. This entire sector is more lean and efficient because of the work we do. What we do here may not seem like much, but it's important. And that's why you need to do your job when the time comes. And I fear that time is soon."
"Look over there. See those roads... Lately, there has been an increase in the amount of cargo lately. Supplies, fuel, food, porn. Everything to keep the troops happy and motivated. "
"But don't we get a steady supply of that already? What's different?"
"Well, word has it that the transit network to the processing facilities has been greatly restricted. Usually that only happens during battle. It prevents disrupting the system and allows places like here to get more resources. With the processing facility resources so constricted, it's safe to assume that the war isn't over yet. Sometimes I wonder if it's ever going to end. Other times, I relish the challenge and await battle... Not only to improve the entire place, but for glory and honor."
"Wait... when's the next wave?"
"I'm not sure. We are waiting word from command on what the current situation is. All we know is that it doesn't seem to be over. The boys in Spindle Unit Gamma have reported our current situation."
"Spindle Unit Gamma. They are the boys who report back to central command on our current status. They are a separate unit from Attack Unit Alpha, which of course, you belong to. Your job is to await the orders that are based on the recommendations of Gamma. This network is so extensive, you have no idea. The abilities for communication that we have are like any other, especially when compared to the abilities of our advers..."
"Sorry to interrupt, sir. I just wanted to let you know that I've talked to the men and they want you to know that they are ready for the next wave of attacks."
"Alright! Good to know! We'll need them at full strength. Tell them to get ready. I expect the worst attack yet. See, private, we're good to go. Are you ready? Are you excited?"
"Um, yeah, sir. I guess. When do we get word? How will we know?"
"There is a unit in Peripheral Command that is listening for our status and they coordinate with Central. Once the orders are issued, they'll pass the information down along the motor pathway. For security and integrity purposes, the order will come directly to our listening unit, uninterrupted, on the lateral edge of the sector via a long continuous stream of automated messages. This is to ensure that we not only get the message, but the amount of message determines our actions. Once the threshold is reached, we attack. If the message ends before then, we hold our position and wait longer. The Listening Outpost also has two units: Bravo Easterase and Charlie Lipase groups. Bravo group destroys the messages. Charlie group initiates the fight."
"Destroy the messages? Why? We'll already be attacking, what the hell's the difference?"
"Wouldn't you want to know when to stop? How would you know the difference between the old messages to attack versus any new messages to change the attack or stop altogether. By destroying the message once we get it, we know exactly what we need to do and can prepare for our next command."
"Sigh. Now I'm really getting anxious and excited."
"That's the spirit. This is a big day. After today's battles, we'll be stronger. We'll recruit more troops. We'll be more efficient and everything will run smoother and better."
"Arrrggghhhhh. I wanna go for it now!"
"Ha! That's the attitude I want to hear from our new recruits. Now go get ready. There could be a message coming down through the Plexus Sector any moment now."
"The Listening Post has received the initial commands to attack! We are awaiting notification of threshold."
"See, private, your time has come. Let's go."
"Oh man, this is exciting!"
"ATTENTION! Gentlemen, word has come down from Central. The first messages appeared moments ago from the musculocutaneous communication channel and the potential to fire is beginning to build. When the command is given, the men on the distal front will fiercely grab hold of the medial humerus while those on the proximal line will grip the coracoid process for dear life. Those in the middle will follow my command and hold the lines. Red Unit will follow take a processing unit to provide them with onsite resources. They will provide our long term support. White Unit... We fight. Take extra fuel with you, leave everything else behind. When you fatigue, get the hell out of there and save yourselves. I promise the rest of us will be right behind you.
Men... now is your time. It's your time to prove how strong you've become. It's your time to prove your worth. You will fight and hold this sector together. You will protect this joint. Without you, we fail, the mission fails, and we dislocate. We cannot lose the shoulder! So I say go! Fight! ATP will be burned! Sacromeres will be torn! Fibers will be damaged. But we will live to tell the story of this day!"