Chapter 5

    The lieutenant shook himself as if trying to clear his thoughts, poured himself some more to drink, and then began.
    "My brother and I ran an entertainment business for gentlemen in Europe, that required a constant supply of pretty young women.  The Spir dried up our resources in Asia and Africa.  We were even having trouble finding recruits in Europe, so my brother started coming to the U.S. and recruiting young women here.  He could talk a woman into anything!
    Well, things went well for a year or so, then some of our American recruits began to get upset about some of the things the customers were requiring them to do. And the amount of their income we were taking for expenses.  A half a dozen of them escaped one of our entertainment centers.  We didn't think much of it, happens all the time, they find some local heroes that spirit them away from the big bad slavers.  The next time my brother came to the States to recruit however, The Spir were waiting, seized him, turned him over to the authorities who surprisingly took their complaint seriously.
    Well, I couldn't put up with my brother spending most of his life in an American prison.  So I came over and hired some locals to eliminate the witnesses because without them they had nothing.  But when they went to the place where the witnesses were supposed to be they weren't there.   It was a set up!  All but two of the locals were killed.
    As they were bringing them in to be booked the police released my brother, telling him his credit cards had been reactivated.  That he had $1,000 in cash to get on a plane and return to England.  My brother started screaming that it was a set up, a trick.  He hadn't betrayed anybody.  The locals didn't believe him, he only got as far as the airport.  He was stabbed right in the middle of the main floor, right in front of everybody, but nobody saw a thing!  
    The locals gave me to the cops, in exchange for life imprisonment, testified against me.  I got thirty years for conspiracy.  When they offered me a chance to fight I said "Sure as hell!"  I met the locals a few days ago.  They finally figured it out that The Spir had set my brother up.  They didn't have enough to get him executed so they got them to do it.  Hell, we treated our girls better than most.  None of them were ever killed.  They always got a good percentage.  Sometimes the customers were a little rough, but that's the kind of thing that happens in that business.  My brother had done nothing to die for.  That's it!  No more to tell!"
    "What about you, Moore?" the captain asked.
    The lieutenant stared into the fire.  "my family was having a hard time," he began, "there wasn't any work, so we began growing some weed.  It was our only income.  Then, my brother got freaky, said my father was doing things with our sisters.  Father swore it wasn't so, but the girls insisted it was.  Mother took up with The Spir, left, went to one of their colonies in Nova Scotia or some place with the girls.  Dad was real messed up.  
    Then, one afternoon we went to check on the crops.  The Spir had bought the resort on whose land we'd been growing our crops, and when we got up there we found they'd found them.  they had the sheriffs' deputies and some road workers and they were burning it, all we had in the world!
    Dad freaked out, told us to spread out and start shooting.  We killed two of them but they killed my two older brothers and caught my younger one.  I went on the run and have been running ever since 'til I heard The Union was taking volunteers, no questions asked, and if you fought for the duration you got a full amnesty.  So I joined up, and like the rest of you I'm ready to do some butt kicking!  I don't know how I ever ended up an officer, but I'll do my best tomorrow.  I just want to pay these animals back for all the damn years that I've had to run and hide, not even being able to send my mother a letter with a return address, for fear she'd turn me in.  The damned bastard!  They turn your own flesh and blood against you, your own loved ones will betray you!  
    I can't tell, I can't put into words how much I hate them!  If they'd just leave other people alone they wouldn't be that bad.  But they can't DO that, they've gotta put their nose in everybody else's businesses, tell everybody else how to live, destroy peoples' livelihood just because they produce something they don't like.  If there is a Hell I hope every god damn one of them rots in it!"
    "Amen, brother!"  one of the men screamed, "Gotta be!  Gotta be!"
    The major looked around. All the commissioned officers had told their stories.  All that was left were the sergeants.  "How about you, top sergeant?" he asked.  "What brings you out here to fight the bitter foe?"
    The top sergeant shifted his weight and looked around.  "Well, actually," he admitted, "I haven't really GOT a big story to tell. I ain't all that mad at The Spir, really.  I'm just an old soldier that got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak.  I was in charge of the base payroll. This gentleman came up to me one day and said 'Look, you give me 500 from the payroll, I'll give you  $5,000 in counterfeit that's so good even the banks have a hard time telling!  You slip a twenty into each pay envelope, take out a real one.  The soldiers will pass it, and nobody will know the difference.
    Well, it was a real sweet deal and would you believe I got away with it for two damn years?  If I'd have stopped I'd have probably never been caught, but I just kept going until finally the MPs caught up with me.  My trouble had nothing to do with The Spir at all.  I don't think any of 'em were even involved with arresting me.  I'm just a soldier doing his duty.  Glad they let me out to fight!  I'll do The Spir the best I can because that's my job.  but it will be nothing personal.  Don't misunderstand me. I fully respect everybody's feelings. I just don't have a tale of woe about The Spir.  But I understand everybody that's got one.  They sure have a tendency to irritate people, they sure as hell do!"

Page 8

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