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A note from Necrontyr525

Last Adress is unabashedly a HFY mini in the military vein. It was tossed out origonal between Aris Cretu chapters 64 and 65, So I guess I was in the mood to write somthing martial at the time.

/shrug

I did mention up front that not all of these would be good.

The shrine was a place of quiet pilgrimage. A place of remembrance for any and all who cared to visit. It was not a large place, but it didn't need to be. A simple stasis-fielded display, flanked by two walls of black granite, atop a lonely hill on the Academy grounds.

The display held only three items. A broken combat knife, blade still stained with the blood of the dead, the missing pieces buried in an unknown tomb. A sidearm, locked open on an empty chamber, muzzle blackened from uncounted firings. A combat helmet, a deep gouge from a near miss right across the temple, the lens of its data-recorder watching silently.

The inscription below was equally simple. "In memory of Haskir Dellaria, General of the Army, and the men and women under his command."

The walls seemed to go on forever, but that was just a trick played on the eyes. Every centimeter polished to a mirror-bright finish and inscribed with a name, a rank, a date, and a place.

The Commandant stopped at the display, then turned back to face the graduating class of Officer Cadets. His clear voice carried easily in the silence, "You are all graduating tomorrow, with all of the pomp and ceremony that entails. You have all studied our history and know of General Dellaria. His triumphs and glories, his decisive victories, his final stand and the acceptance it bought humanity in the galaxy.

"That is not why we are gathered here today. That is not why every Academy class since the dedication of this monument has gathered here on the eve of their graduations. You all know our motto, our tradition of victory. All of your instructors, myself included, have taught this to you to the best of our abilities.

"We have gathered here for your final lesson at the Academy."

The Commandant paused in his speech and knelt down, activating a holoprojector hidden behind the walls. Text scrolled up the display, an after-action report detailing the final days of a long ago campaign, General Dellaria's last. A combat heads-up display came into view, hashed by static, overlayed with archaic contact icons that hadn't been used in centuries. Data-enhancement kicked in, smoothing away the static to vacuum-clarity, overlaying outdated icons with their modern equivalents. The sullen crimson glow of hostile contacts vastly outnumbered the handful of green friendly icons, all too many ringed with the blinking codes of wounds and combat damage. The engagement played out, crimson icons ground away by unrelenting fire, green icons winking out one by one as their ammunition was spent and their weapons jammed. Eventually no green icons were left, and the display was blinded with muzzle flashes. Eventually they slowed and then stopped, the ammunition counter blinking on 0. The man wearing the helmet charged forwards into the mad swirl of melee combat, then slammed to the floor. The projection faded to black, then a single Combat award glowed into view: The Banner of Terra.

The Commandant stood tall as the projection faded, "gentlemen and ladies, the tradition lives.

“Class dismissed."

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Necrontyr525

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