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UN, City of Falledge, SDF Camp Parade Grounds

"PARADEEEE! ATTEN... SHUN!" The SDF Regimental Sergent Major roared out. Hundreds of boots stomped down as the gathered SDF troops stood at attention. Over two thousand soldiers gathered at the SDF Camp's parade square in the morning, save for those on duty.

The Falledge SDF Commander walked stiffly to the podium set on a stage and cleared his throat while constantly throwing nervous glances to the black clad soldiers on the other side of the stage.

"A- ahem!" The SDF Commander cleared his throat again and tapped on the microphone before addressing the gathered troops. "Men of the SDF, Falledge regiment. You have performed well and bravely in defense of your city!"

"A day ago, the evil Imperial Forces attempted to breach the City walls," The SDF Commander spoke in a dramatic way. "But with your bravery and courage! You withstood the enemy's attack and held the city!"

The Commander clapped his hands to congratulate the troops but his applause quickly ended as only a handful officers applauded with him. The atmosphere turned awkward as he looked over the silence troops at attention before him. "Eh... I also... want to say-"

At this time, a black clad officer strolled over the stage and took over the podium. "Alright, what your Commander wants to say is good job and keep it up."

"Now, to more serious business," The black clad officer ignored the embarrassed Commander who stood at the side of the newcomer. "As you, all know, it was a close one that night."

"We could have done better, lost fewer men to the enemy," The black clad officer continued. "But... due to some people's selfishness, we had lost brothers to the enemy that their deaths could be prevented if not for some people."

"I am First Lieutenant Tavor," The officer clad in a black trench coat said. "I run the Intelligence Division and temporarily assigned to weed out the bad."

He turned and gestured to his men at the side and a short while later, a row of people in orange prisoner wear appeared on the stage and the black clad guards forced them to kneel in a row. A low growl came from the soldiers after seeing their appearance on the stage.

"Behind me," Tavor jerked a thumb back. "Are those officers who should be standing shoulder to shoulder with you on the front lines."

"They are the officers who should be leading you to victory," Tavor continued.

"They are the officers who should be giving you commands and looking after your welfare," Tavor said. "Some of them are your brother in arms, yet they too ran when asked to face the enemy."

"These men have betrayed your trust. By running away in the face of the enemy." Tavor growled. "These men had abandoned their duties and their oath to you and the United Nations."

"Under the United Nations Code 899, Article 99. Misbehavior before the enemy," Tavor spoke in a solemn tone. "Any member of the armed forces who before or in the presence of the enemy..."

"One, runs away."

"Two, shamefully abandons, surrenders, or delivers up any command, unit, place, or military property which it is his duty to defend."

"Three, through disobedience, neglect, or intentional misconduct endangers the safety of any such command, unit, place, or military property."

"Four, casts away his arms or ammunition."

"Five, is guilty of cowardly conduct"

"Six, quits his place of duty to plunder or pillage."

"Seven, causes false alarms in any command, unit, or place under control of the armed forces."

"Eight, willfully fails to do his utmost to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy any enemy troops, combatants, vessels, aircraft, or any other thing, which it is his duty so to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy, or,"

"Nine, does not afford all practicable relief and assistance to any troops, combatants, vessels, or aircraft of the armed forces belonging to the United Nations or their allies when engaged in battle."

"Shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct." Tavor finished reciting the military law.

"Of these nine laws," Tavor turned and glanced at the kneeling men. "After careful investigate and eye witness reports..."

"These men are guilty of seven listed laws of Article 99!" Tavor slammed his fist on the podium for effect. "Under Wartime Executive Orders granted by the Highest Ranking Officer of the United Nations, I hereby sentence you all to death by firing squad for cowardice in face of the enemy!"

The kneeling men hearing their death sentence being declared trembled in fear and started pleading for leniency. Tavor ignored their pleas and cries and turned back to face the soldiers on the parade ground. "Let this be a lesson to all!"

Tavor gestured to the side again and this time, a troop of SDF soldiers in battle gear marched neatly up the stage. The SDF Regimental Sergeant Major marched along side with them. "Squad... Halt!"

"Squad... Face... Leeft!" The squad turned and faced the condemned men. "Squad... Ready Arms!"

"Take Aim!" The Sergeant Major barked.

"NOooooo!"
"I don't want to die!"
"Money! I GOT MONEY!"

"FIREEE!"

The detail of twelve randomly selected soldiers fired their rifles at the twelve kneeling ex officers and they screamed as they got shot. "Squad! Shoulder Arms!"

Tavor strolled over to the slumped bodies and pulled out his newly issued .45 pistol finished in matt black paint. He dropped the magazine and did a quick check before he slapped the magazine back and half pull the pistol slide to check if there was a round chambered in.

Once he was satisfied, he thumbed the safety off and stood before the first body and fired a single shot into the head before he walked over to the next body and repeated his actions.

BAM! BAM! BAM! He fired ten times before pausing to reload at the eleventh body who was still struggling for life on the floor. The condemned laid gasping for breath pleaded with his eyes at Tavor who coldly slapped in a fresh magazine and squeezed off a shot between his eyes before moving to the next body.

Once the deed was done, he gestured the men to carry the bodies off the stage and stood there watching with his hands clasped behind his back. "Bring the next group."

Another group of twelve condemned soldiers was brought up to the stage and the execution was repeated. Finally finishing off the fourth group of deserters, Tavor returned to the podium and addressed the soldiers who were fully alert and shocked by the sudden event. "Now, this nasty business is over."

"I hope that like what your Commander had said earlier that you will continue to bravely and courageously fight the enemy," Tavor said. "I do not wish to see you here and me wasting a bullet."

"Is that clear, gentlemen?" Tavor asked.

"SIR YES SIR!" The troops on the parade ground answer as one.

Tavor gave a pleased nod before he turned and looked towards the VIP viewing stand at the side. He threw a salute at the podgy City Governor watching there with the other VIPs before he patted the SDF Commander's shoulder and walked off stage with his men.

The Commander wiped the sweat off his peak cap and tugged at his collar before he stood over the podium. "A- ahem... Erm... Like what Lieutenant Tavor has said... Please do not run from the enemy and abandon your men..."

"N- now, I will like to give out awards to outstanding personnel for their acts of valor," The Commander licked his lips nervously. He turned to the Regimental Sergeant Major who took out a list from his buttoned pocket.

"SDF Falledge Regiment, Second Company, Second Squad! Private Menak!" The RSM roared out. "Front and center!"

The Private stepped out of formation and quick marched over to the stage and stood before his regimental Commander who read out a short telling of his exploits, "Private Menak, single handedly held off a troop of twenty Imperials with a machine gun and grenades when all his squadmates were disabled."

"For his act of valor, he will gain a Silver Star and be promoted to Lance Corporal!" The Commander declared. The troops on the parade ground burst into loud applause and cheering, surprising the Commander who gingerly joined in.

"Next, SDF Falledge Regiment, Fourth Company, Third Squad! Corporeal Bock!" The RSM called out next. "Front and center!"

Bock was surprised that he was called. The men around him immediately broke out into cheer as they heard of his actions in destroying some of the enemies siege weapons and leading a scattered group of troops together and helped fend off the Imperials heroically.

He quick marched over to the stage and stood before the Commander who took out a small red box that held a silver star medal. Bock saluted the Commander and stared over his shoulder at the botches of blood already turning black and sticky on the stage.

-----

UN, City of Falledge, SDF Camp Parade Grounds, VIP Stand

Etoro, Governor of Falledge watched the ongoing execution with a slight distaste on his face. He visibly jerked each time the black clad Intel Officer fired his weapon and he felt a shudder of iciness down his spine when the execution ended and the Intel Officer threw him a mocking salute from the stage.

"Ar... are you hoomans all like him?" Etoro asked in a low voice to the UN Military attache standing next to him.

Marine Lieutenant Collins gave a small shake of his head. "Not really..."

"But... this is military discipline..." Collins said. "I am sure even in the armies of other kingdoms have similar punishments."

Etoro sighed, knowing that was the truth. He covered his nose with a handkerchief and asked, "But do we need to attend such a bloody event?"

Collins nodded and cast a side glance to the rest of the invited VIPs which consisted of local prominent merchants and residents. Some of them were showing excited expressions of seeing blood others were pale and frightened.

"It's to show the people and troops that we take our duties seriously..." Collins explained. "The law is the law... no one is above the law. You break it, you pay for it..."

Etoro followed Collins and threw a glance to the side at the rest of the audience in the VIP stand and shrewdly said, "And also to warn people off from doing what they shouldn't be doing right?"

Collins grinned. "Of course."

"Well, I guess it does make my business of governance easier if the nobles... No, ex nobles... and merchants behave," Etoro smiled. "Hopefully we this act could scare them more into submission."

Collins gave a sneer as he took another look at the richly dressed audience. "Some of them still think this is a joke. They will happily switch sides to the Empire if they feel our weakness."

Etoro frowned. "Will the UN win... this war?"

"This war?" Collins returned his attention to the stage in which they were giving out rewards and promotions. "No, this war is unwinnable for both sides."

Etoro nodded as he too came to the conclusion long before. The Empire was just too massive to swallow with just a couple of cities of population of the UN. He just wanted to hear the confirmation from this short eared hooman.

"But we will never lose the battle," Collins grinned. "As long as those boys below hold their ground. The Imperials will break their teeth trying to eat us."

Etoro nodded again. He knew that the hooman was right based on the results of their past battles and weapons. "Is this also why you hoomans staged all these to the troops?'

"Hmmm..." Collins rubbed his chin as he pondered on the question. "I would not say it's staged. Military discipline, as I said before, must be held, especially in times of war."

"Now that they know we care and recognized the effects of each soldier down to the lowest ranker," Collins rephrased the words Captain Blake briefed him in regard to the plans of the SDF. "They will have a sense of belonging, a brotherhood of warriors."

"This is how we shall grow the soldiers to have a sense of loyalty and patriotism to the nation!"

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