I awoke with a screaming headache, and realized I was in a bed; so why was I in full uniform? The memories came crashing in as I rolled upwards and saw Mariana on the other side of the bed.
“Guess that’s all the rest we get Uh?” she drawled.
“I hope so,” I replied noticing that there was no longer a rasp in my voice or a wheeze in my breathing. Looking at my wrist comp I cursed, “Damn another six hours. It’s well into Day Two down there and we haven’t even started back. This damn thing is way beyond anything I expected, those Aliens change everything.
“What went down while I was out of it?”
Marianna paused for a moment, “We got everyone stuck. We put Ash and Digger down about an hour after you along with Dragon and May. I joined you an hour later. Monroe is rotating his people through rest cycles, Jai and Natasi along with their Wizzos are in a rest cycle. I will certify Strike Forward as ready for duty as soon as you and Gabe get through depleting the Emergency Rations. Summer and her Wizzo are already up, they also had a light case.”
I paused in thought, over the years we had developed a habit of slipping in and out of Official Mode and I knew I had just heard a report from the Chief Medical Officer. I had to think for a few moments. “You know this is worse than we thought, the smart thing might be to surrender. There is no way we have a population base deep enough to fight a long or protracted war.”
I came off of the bed and right into Andy’s face. I grabbed his chin in both hands and stared into his eyes. “Andrew William Waker Stuart. I have gone to War beside you, and I love you more than life itself. I have borne you two children that I thought could never be. Do not tell me for one second that you would consider allowing those gifts from the Gods to live as Slaves!”
I felt the weight shift and moved to grab him under the arms. In my mind I felt the war going on in his mind; I was a ringside viewer to something that the Psych Pukes said could never happen. I watched and felt a split personality heal before my eyes. It was like nothing I had ever seen or felt before. Suddenly the weight came off my arms and the big SOB I had married was staring me back. Only the eyes had changed. Shit they might even be more dangerous!
“You know,” Andy said. “This would put us in to a win or die situation. Are you truly prepared to live with that?”
It was my turn to leave reality! I came around with those big damn hands holding me up; for the first damn time I was Magic and Mariana at once. “I am! Is the rest of this crowd?”
He grinned at me, “Let’s find out!”