Daarran. Day 37 of detached assignment.
(Daarran is a veteran of the Argon Front, tasked with integrating lancers into special units across the Federation.)
I begin. Today we run, despite their weakness. Never has there been a sorrier bunch of keeners than these four. I'm their pivot, all around see my altitude, and yet they can't hold a simple line against a single charging kumas. If even one falls out or drops a lance tip into the dirt, I will drag them by the neck until the rest understand why there is no time limit on war. There is survival, and there is slavery. Middle ground is for poets and politicians. Soldiers serve...or die.
I continue. Furon has disappointed the squad yet again. "Dust in his fur?" I don't think so. Five leagues in he casts aside the shield to examine a crystal formation, then collects insects with a net. A net! Held upside-down over a cliff for discipline, he remarks on how pretty the clouds are on the rocks below. For this, I left the glacier?
The temptation to let go was strong, but no amount of gratification would be worth explaining his "absence" to Sersine. That Elf's eyes can freeze a campfire at a hundred paces. So calm on the outside, but all who remember her casting spell after spell into the oncoming Argon tide--blood flowing down her face all the while--know better. Even today's obligatory duel with that insufferable Castanic Shiriya--this time because she does not care for the curve of my horns--will be easier than explaining to the commander why I came back with fewer soldiers than I should have.
I ponder. Kubel walks among us. Sersine hides her excitement after meeting him, but her not-smile is happier than I've seen in years. Rumor says he seeks a cadre for an "expedition." - One that will challenge true soldiers and forge legends from common men. We who serve are lifted by his example--I will listen. Perhaps there is finally something worth doing on this continent.