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Cry to Heaven

rated PG-13

Place: Wolf Den Military Base
Person: Walsh, Joseph
Time: 2084-05-11

Cry to Heaven
(by Elton John, 1985)

He threw his uniform jacket over the back of his chair. It was late... It always got late when one of them got wounded.
     Durhardt, Quentin... one of the Hypnotic-Mind-Controllers. 
     A datapad – the physicians' assessment of Quentin's physical state – lied on his desk. 
     Not now... 
     He activated the music player on the shelf behind him, inserted one of the old disks which he found stuffed into a paper box when he took over the office... 
     It doesn't matter.

I found a black beret
On the street today 
It was lying in the gutter all torn 
There's a white flag flying 
On a tall building 
But the kids just watch the storm
The kids are the storm...
     He took the bottle out of his desk drawer and poured himself a glass of brandy. Regulations forbade drinking while on duty... 
     I've done things far more against the rules than this. 
     He took a deep sip and leaned back in his chair. 

Their dirty faces 
Pressed on the windows 
Shattered glass before their eyes 
There's a mad dog barking 
In a burned out subway 
Where the sniper sleeps at night

He remembered the cry when Durhardt was hit. Killbane fired. Killbane always fired. Whether or not somebody was in the way.
     He'd be a too expensive soldier... even in interstellar wars. But no one listened to me when I explained it.

No birthday songs to sing again
Just bricks and stones to give them 
Wrap them up in your father's flags 
And let them cry to heaven

He took another deep sip of brandy as the pictures of Durhardt's wounds flashed through his mind... the burned flesh and the molten bone of his leg in the middle of it... The others jumped over the wincing body and ran on. Shane left his group and stayed.
     He was the only one who cared...

No birthday songs to sing again
Just bricks and stones to give them 
Wrap them up in your father's flags 
And let them cry to heaven

No one will ever sing for them... but no one will ever dare to throw stones at them, either...
     Another sip. He had to refill the glass.

There are many graves
By a cold lake 
As the beds were when your babies are born 
And your rag doll sits 
With a permanent grin 
But the kids just watch the storm

There won't be any graves for those who lose in this.
     He'd seen the wounds of the other losses, remembered what they looked alike. He didn't need to look into the physician's file. 
     Quentin has no chance
     He glanced at the filing cabinet where the hard copies of prime orders were kept...

I saw a black cat
Tease a white mouse 
Until he killed it with his claws 
Seems a lot of countries 
Do the same thing 
Before they go to war

...he still knew the exact wording of the order, though it was more than 17 years old – it dated from November 2066 – "Abandoned and invalid objects must be transferred immediately to Project Genomtoxin. The development of a battle gas against genetically engineered soldiers is considered as important as the development of the soldiers themselves."
     Black cat and white mouse... I don't want to know who's who.

No birthday songs to sing again
Just bricks and stones to give them 
Wrap them up in your father's flags 
And let them cry to heaven

He saw in his mind's eye a different trooper collapsing to the ground, dangerously wounded ...
     I don't have a flag to wrap him in... 
     In a sudden attack of fury he threw the half emptied glass across the room. It crashed against the wall next to the door, left tan spots on the paint and sharp splinters on the carpet...

No birthday songs to sing again
Just bricks and stones to give them 
Wrap them up in your father's flags 
And let them cry to heaven

I've got to stop this!
     He opened the music player, fetched out the old disk and looked at the label. It was published in 1985... 99 years ago... They hadn't thought about genetic warfare in those times. They couldn't even imagine it...
     He dropped the disk onto his desk and started the terminal in front of him: "Object-ID: 1567236 - Durhardt, Quentin - Date of Incept: 2066-01-21 - Date of Decant: 2066-09-22 - was deemed viable at 2068-10-02." He added the "L" for loss behind the date in "Status" and wrote down the date of today under "comments". Then he turned to the "use" column and changed "STP" into "GTP". 

Let them cry to heaven
Let them cry to heaven

There would be no heaven for Quentin to cry to.


Glossary 
GTP: Genomtoxin Project, see: Walking through Nightmares 
STP: Super Trooper Project

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