Volume One The First Marine: Rarrakas Story
Posted on Mon Sep 16th, 2019 @ 2:12pm by MAR-Sergeant Major Rarraka Natail
The First Marine: Rarraka's Story
The battle for Harris was over. It had ended in tragedy for so many, citizens and marines alike. At the end the words spoken was all about one man. Mike Redmond. He saved them all. Staff Sergeant Natail looking back at the last twenty four hours had fought off the insurgents all day long. As the night fell her platoon had retreated to the final fighting position they could. It would be the place of their last stand. The church. It was selected as it had solid walls made of large stones. It all happen so quickly. The citizens panicked, marines were quickly overwhelmed. As platoon sergeant, it was her mission to keep them fighting as best they could. Her platoon commander Lieutenant Light had never seen combat like this and at first was speechless. He did recover and once seeing the insurgent force they were up against told the young staff sergeant to gather the wounded and head for the church as he destroyed the mobile Headquarters tent and all inside it.
Rarraka and three squads arrived to the church setting up a strong perimeter. As the lieutenant arrived with the last squad he seemed more confident of their overall survival. He had a powerful amount of firepower. Several marines were wounded, but none critically. Water wasn't an issue but the heat certainly was. The day progressed with sporadic fire directed towards them. At 1600 hours they received a message to attempt recapture of the town. It was clear that marine units all over were being attacked and ambushed. Relief could be out a few days. Lieutenant Light armed up the first squad and ten man section over the wall into Harris's center. He was worried. His marines were on a peacekeeping mission, they weren't issued battle gear. But orders were orders. A recon had to be done to determine what these insurgents were capable of.
It was just a few minutes after the first squad had moved down the main street before all hell broke lose. All at once a terrific cascade of gunfire was heard. The marines in the church compound all jumped and scattered at it started. Withering gunfire erupted from close by buildings and the cemetery right behind them. Marines dropped instantly. Natail saw several insurgents running towards the wall and she took them down with a short burst of fire. But to her blind side a smaller device was tossed over the wall and exploded vaporizing the marine in front of her and taking a good sized chunk out of her right thigh. She was down but not out. The marines pushed back the assault as the Lieutenant and his squad returned at a full run to the church. All were wounded some badly. As he called for a com connection as a bullet snapped his head back as he stood, the wall behind him exploded as he was hit by a rocket. Rarraka curled into a ball as the lieutenant and debris fell all about her. Her head was swimming, ears hissing from the noise overload. Dust everywhere. She tried to stand as her marines were repulsing another wave attack from the cemetery. The lieutenant dead beside her. It was her fight now....
The com was out as darkness fell on them. The power was out in the city and the north end of the city was fully engulfed in flames. The insurgents had placed snipers around them, return fire was out of the question. The marines waited for a final rush, and might be able to stop them as they came over the walls. The wounded increased during the night. The sergeant was convinced it would be their last night. It was six am just an hour before dawn when they heard gunfire, a lot of it. It was to the west side of their position. But it wasn't directed towards them. It was relief. Marines were attacking the insurgents and hard too. She yelled out to her marines to check fire. The street on the other side of the wall erupted with fire and rockets. She saw the silhouette of a Marine in full battle armor flying over the wall landing in front of her. He was huge and his armor was literally smoking as he had passed through a fire. The marine stood and she could see captain bars on the back of his black full face helmet. She watched as he got to his feet and was clearly talking into his mike. His fire team was moving past the church putting out rounds on insurgent positions down the street.
The captain raised his dark visor and asked her for a report. He took a knee beside her and checked the dead platoon commander. She responded with an accurate situation report. And it sure wasn't hopeful. The rest of his small team vaulted over the wall one of them with a nasty head wound he was not likely to recover from. The Captain was talking to another unit, a plan was made quickly. He looked into her eyes. He told her she had to hold the church. He and his team were going to move into the city. She wanted to go with him but he wouldn't allow it. Her marines had fought all day and didn't have the armor his team had. They would only slow him down. He reloaded and told her his medic would stay with them. Things were moving so fast. The captains team gathered a few rifles and extra ammo. He was reloading as rounds swept through the compound hitting another of her marines. He turned to her, all she could see were his eyes. They looked tired and defiant. The sun was starting to rise it's orange glow reflected off his black armor like a the glow of a fire. “Sergeant, you have to hold. My call sign is red mike. We're moving up now. But may have to fall back here if things get bad.” He smiled and shot her a wink. “Help is on the way.” He gave her shoulder a pat and took off at a full gallop over the wall and ran across the street. Fire directed at him. Rounds bounced of his armor like sparks as he dove through the front window of a store. Flashes of light could be seen as he engaged those insurgents inside. Suddenly the other two marine were in motion taking the same path the captain did./ But this time there was no rounds coming their way.
In the compound the new medic was busy indeed. The fire towards her position had stopped. But the fire up the street as the Captain and his small team were fully engaged. She walked over to the medic, she could hear the coms clearly as the captain continued to move and attack. The medic took his helmet off and set it up on the small wall so they could all listen to what was going on. Rarraka asked him who was that captain? The medic chuckled. “His name is Mike Redmond, he's an intel officer or something. I've never seen him in the regiment before but he's been around a while from what I heard. Hell, he put this mission together like a well seasoned company commander. He took out six of these assholes single handed before they knew he was there in the middle of them. That captain fights like a madman.” The medic didn't see that coming from a staff officer. More of her Marines gathered around the helmet and listened as the fight became very ugly. They could here explosions down the street, and here them through red mikes sound activated helmet mike. They winced as he they could hear his heavy voice as he ran, cursed and attacked. They shook their heads as he just didn't stop. More than a few older marines smiled. They hadn't seen a guy like that in many years. It was clear there was only one marine on the planet right now, and he was taking names the hard way.
The sun was up. The city of Harris was moldering. One of the marines in the perimeter called out to Rarraka. “Look here sarge” She turned and could see a full company of marine walking out of the clearing on the other side of the cemetery. They were checking the dead bodies of insurgents as they swept through the area at a fast walk. They too looked like black armored monsters, deadly and determined. But the battle to the north continued on. Several marine shuttles were landing now, many marines dismounted and moved up the streets towards the sounds of red mikes personal war zone. She turned and was surprised to see Major General Former coming towards her. She tried to stand at attention but just couldn't pull that off. Medics were rushing passed to assist the wounded and get them out of there. General Former was from Bajor and could feel the intense emotions all over the battlefield, the entire city. It was of emence power. She spoke to the young staff sergeant. The young marine was in a disturbed state as most were in the compound but they all had one focal point. That was the man they only knew as red mike.
Rarraka looked at the general. “He saved us, he save us all.” Tears were rolling down Natail's face. “Where do men like that come from Ma'am?” Former really didn't have an answer for it. She had seen many over the years but nothing even close to this quiet captain.
The marines stood listening as the engagement was winding down. Several loud explosions then silence over the coms. They could her units trying to make contact with red mike. Several calls to him went with out his response. They stood and waited.... Then the call came out from one of his team members. “Control, red mike is down. I need medical up here right now. The areas clear.. he got the last of them.”
Major General felt the instant pain of every marine in Harris that day at that very moment. The collective pain that nearly drove her to her knees. She turned and bolted down the street her security team behind her.
Rarraka put her hands to her face. She felt like no other time in her life. Instant , a dark wall that slammed into all of them. They were speechless. Was he dead? They waited.
General Former walked the seven blocks of total destruction. It was a ghastly scene. There were hundreds of them. Armed insurgents blown to pieces. They were the artwork of a killing machine in black armor. She could see the medics now, more than a dozen of them. As she approached she could feel the desperation of their very souls as they fought to save this man. She had to stop. To stand back. Her team surrounded her. All were quiet. She glanced at Major Beck. “Get my shuttle up here, land it in that park over there.” He nodded and called for the machine. Marines of the relief force had gathered at a respectful distance from the medics. All radio transmissions had ceased with the exception of the shuttle request. Former took a deep breath and walked to the medics. She looked over and saw the captains condition, she had seen too much and looked away. A medic looked up to his regimental commander. “Unresponsive Ma'am, but he still lives.” The word spread quickly through the entire command. She watched as he was secured and the team of medics rushed him to the shuttle. All looked skyward as the machine took red Mike from the battlefield. The captains fate would be unknown for days. By then the entire marine division would know his story...
Staff sergeant Natail was transported last from Harris. She was close to shock. But she wouldn't leave until all of here marines had been removed from Harris and the church. Her first stop was the medical facility on Marlow Four. It was full of wounded from all over the planet. They all knew that “The Captain” as Redmond was being called was there too. Her wound required minor surgery to repair torn muscle tissue. She woke later that evening, still exhausted from a long fight and the mental despair they all seemed to share. Her nurse came in to check on her. The older woman looked down and knew well in advance what question would be asked. As everyone knew of the Captain they also knew about the young staff sergeant who fought at the church. The tears came again as she heard the news that the man was still alive. A man she had only seen the eyes of one early morning in a savage pitched struggle.
In two days she could walk with a brace on her leg. She had a visitor. A Marine Colonel from Fourth Division public affairs. “Your going to be released this afternoon Sergeant Natail. The press will be out there and certainly expect you to make a few comments.” She looked up from the chair she was seated in beside here bio bed. “What? They have no reason to speak to me all sir. I lost half of my platoon in that fight.” She looked down. She was broken.
“Its been called 'The Church'. That fight is just part of an epic fight Rarraka. You were a big part of it.” The colonel sat down in a chair beside her. “The press, well some of them see it differently. They are calling for the Marines to investigate the actions of Captain Redmond in the fight. Rumors are circulating he killed civilians that day. We know that's untrue. But you can set the story straight.”
Her eyes narrowed at the mention of the press accusations. “Thats the biggest fucking lie I think Ive ever heard.” Rarraka's face was getting red. The Colonel handed her a report, she threw it across the room. “No, that's not what happened at all. The insurgents went on a damn killing spree before the sun went down. I heard it happening along with every other marine in that fucking compound.” She covered her face with her hands.
The Colonel stood and gave her a photograph. She looked up and recognized the eyes she saw that morning first. It was Redmond, she stared at his face a long time. He was smiling. It was him. She felt so strange. It was him. The one some were calling 'The First Marine, Red Mike'.
He turned towards the door. “Tell his story sergeant” she looked up and nodded.
True to the Colonels word two days later she was released from the medical unit. A press conference was arranged. She wouldn't be taking any questions but releasing a statement to the press in person. She took her time in writing it and studied it until the words burned in her brain. She had another visitor as she was getting ready. Major General former stood at the door of the bathroom. Rarraka looked up from a makeup mirror. She walked over and hugged the smaller woman, rank just didn't matter anymore.
They held each other. Rarraka spoke first. “How is he?” The general took her by the hand and lead her back into the room. “He's in deep stasis yet. But strong as an old tool box I'd say. Gonna be a very long recovery. With an uncertain outcome as of yet.” Both women knew how gravely Redmond what wounded. Rarraka sat on the bed with her head down. “What do I do now. I have just lost all direction. I feel like a very foolish girl again for some bizarre reason. It hurts me to think about him, and I don't even know the man.”
The general could feel her suffering inside. “Things will be much different now. You and Mike Redmond will be linked together in history. The history of the fourth marines, the history of the battle of Marlow four, the stand at the church. All of it. Both of you survived it against all odds. Your lives are all over the media. Every living marine knows who you both are now. Your not celebrities Rarraka. Your legends. And that's quite a few steps above heroes of a horrible battle on a distant planet who most will forget. But they will never forget your names or what you did that day.”
Natail looked up again. “He saved us all. Will they know the truth?'
Former smiled. “Yes they will several other marines who were in your command have spoke out. Actually quite a lot of them. The actions Mike took are widely known now. Yours too by the way. Your part of that fight are clear. So tell your story young lady.”
I have something for you. Former went to the door and opened it. She returned to Rarraka and took a dress marine jacket from the suit bag. It bore the stripes of a marine sergeant major. “You are the first. Those are more than earned for the service you provided.” Rarraka was again stunned with the promotion. The general held the jacked for her as she slipped into it. It instantly felt right to her.
“I have made some other adjustments too, The new sergeant major will be assigned to Major Mike Redmond's staff. You shall be in charge of that detail young lady. I assure you it won't be easy either. The major, as I said before is still in stasis and could be for some time. And his fate is unknown to us. I just pray he is as tough now as he was at Harris, that's all we can hope for.”
The youngest Sergeant Major in the Starfleet Marine corps stepped up to the podium. The room was brightly lit with guests from every media outlet that could get there. The room was quiet as she started.
“I have witnessed what few beings will ever see. What they shall never experience. The spirit of humanity. The spirit of a man so determined, so driven to save others he disregarded his own survival to accomplish it. He is known to us all now. I speak of Major Michael Redmond. A man I knew nothing of until one morning at church. But this was not a church I had ever seen before. It was a desperate stand of tired and wounded marines. Sixty Six marines waiting for the end of life, certain they would never see another sun rise.
I, or any of the other marines that fateful morning knew nothing about him. He appeared in the hour of our greatest need. His command presence gave us direction and hope when all we had was gone. Major Redmond saw a totally different outcome to the situation that morning, as he and his small team broke through enemy positions and arrived to the church. As the situation deteriorated he took the fight straight into the teeth of those who were determined to destroy all of us. We may never know what type of man Major Redmond is. He fights for his life in this building as I speak. But my heart, and the hearts of sixty six marines shall never, ever forget what he did for us that day. The courage he showed us should inspire all of us to greater things in our own lives. I pray that soon you shall be here listening to Major Michael Redmond. Thank you.”
She turned and left the stage quickly before breaking down in tears. The applause continued for several minutes. Her statement was broadcasted to every outlet imagined, in may dialects and languages.
She met General former in the wings. “Can I start my new assignment now Ma'am.?”