By Michelle Pichette and Holly Cushing
"For our fallen comrade, we will fight!" There is a loud voicing of agreement.
"He fought alone! Now, united, we will attack and gain vengeance!" More enthusiastic cheering answers the statement, now accompanied with the stamping of a multitude of feet.
"In his name, we will be successful in our mission and make his murderers pay!" The response is now almost deafening.
"Forward! On to victory!" There is a feral response and a barely organized rush in the direction the group’s leader had indicated. Ships, scores of them, line the ocean’s floor, behind the line of advancing troops. The soldiers are determined and have been incited to fanatical desire to destroy the dwellers of this planet for weeks now. Attack and victory are the only things that they are able to think of.
Then the troops see the enemy. "They’re giants!" one murmurs, faltering slightly. The soldiers behind him keep him moving forward, none the less.
"We outnumber them a thousand to one!"
"For our fallen advance guard!"
The troops charge and a massacre ensues. Much to their surprise and horror, they are not on the winning side. Few escape to tell the tale of the rout, but the stories of terror that they carry back to their home world are sufficient to quell any further conquests of this place. Tales of these barbarous creatures are used to frighten disrespectful children for generations to come.
* * *
"Look at the size of this one!"
Kowalski looked up from the fire he was building and grinned at the gorgeous, bikini clad girl. He, Patterson, and Riley were on leave in Florida and had gone diving for lobsters with some of the locals. The catch had been great and they had easily caught their limit, despite the large number of divers out that day. And the lobsters were huge! Kowalski doubted that they’d be able to consume their entire catch. Large pots of soon to be boiling water on the fires that lined the beach were going to cook the lobsters, none the less. The participants at the clambake were going to do their level best to finish off every tasty morsel. Ski was sure that everyone would make a good accounting of themselves. They had all worked up quite an appetite on the dive.
"If you think he’s big, you should have seen the one we had on the Seaview a while back," Patterson commented, flashing a grin at Kowalski.
"Oh, sure," one of the other young ladies scoffed. "I bet he was as big as you!"
"Bigger!" Riley responded, relieving the first young woman of her burden and dropping the squirming creature into the staked out area with the rest of their catch. There had been several escape attempts, but none had been successful.
"You men and your fish stories," another young woman laughed, shaking her head. Kowalski returned her bright smile. So, no one ever believed them about half of the crazy things that happened on the Seaview. At times like this, surrounded by good friends, pretty girls, nice scenery, plenty of delicious food and cold beer, he didn’t really care. He fed the fire, secure in the knowledge that no lobster, earthborn or otherwise, was ever going to get the best of him.