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[2007: JAN-FEB] "Bed of Roses"


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Bed of Roses

“A revolution is not a bed of roses. A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past, a mark against the oppression you suffer. It is gained through force, through violence…”

Johnny looked up from the padd. Hudson was at it again, spouting his speeches to the colonists. They had been living underground for as long as he could remember, but here that old Starfleet commander was again, showing them what life was going to be like, trying to tell them that this way was the way forward. And many believed him, which wasn’t surprising.

The paramilitary group had been established on the colonies, the need known throughout the Federation and the colonies themselves. Everyone knew what they were about and they only kept it quiet to those who could make a difference. It was hard at first, and many who joined kept their identities hidden from the outside world. Children were brought up in the catacombs, learning their trade and learning to fight for what they believed in. That’s what they taught in the schools, “Revolution is gained through force…”

The disrupter hit the metal deck in front of his feet and he looked up.

“Suit up, it’s time,” the Commander said, his own disrupter mounted on his back, the light armor not even enough to protect from a gust of wind.

The small craft they possessed had been outfitted with as much heavy machinery as they could. According to Hudson, striking fast and striking hard would deal more of a blow then any light-fighter could accomplish. The group saddled up, entering their fighters, more to the point their small craft with weaponry and got ready for it.

It wasn’t hard to fuel hatred. Their home worlds had been attacked, their families poisoned, shot dead in the street or worse. It was easy to hate, not easy to forgive and once he was standing over one of them with the rifle in hand, revenge was simple too. One rifle shot, one phaser shot in the back of the head, in the front of the chest, one could easily blow a limb off. Revenge was on everyone’s lips.

His own mother had been subjected to the attacks. The raids on the colonies were only the half of it. Slavery. People were taken for slaves, shackled to the decking of a crew ship and commanded to do all sorts of tasks that would make the mind shun away the mental images. It was too cruel to think about. He had tried to defend her, tried to kill the invading parties, tried to defend his own home but as a child he could do nothing except cry underneath the floorboards and pretend he was somewhere else.

Now older, wiser, more battle worn he could defend her but he didn’t know whether she was alive or dead. What was the use in defending someone who was probably long gone from this life? Johnny resigned himself for dealing a blow to the invaders for anyone who needed it. He could do it now, he could hold a rifle in his hand and know how to fire it, aim it at the invaders and deal a blow like they did. Kill as many as they did. Hurt as many as they did. Repay them, take revenge.

He looked out of the window at the once proud civilization. A group of people, watching them with admiration for what they were doing. Their lives were at stake; the operation could not fail. He couldn’t come home and see their faces and know that they had lost a decisive battle against the invaders. The craft lifted off silently, the engines rumbling as they careened through the underground belly of the planet and through the atmosphere into space.

He leant his head against the window and watched the outpost come up through space, glowing in the distance, ships coming and going from the ports. It wouldn’t be long now. The target was on board. It’d take a quick dock and the rest would be left up to the squad commanders. Johnny was designated to stay on board and wait for the target to come back.

They would get the Cardassians. They would take the revenge. Gal Dukat would not live to see the end of this, he would not invade the DMZ and Sisko would not become involved. Revolution, the freedom of their species, the time to take up their weapons and throw off the shackles of their oppressors was at hand.

Johnny remembered that book, “A revolution is not a bed of roses.”

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