Doesn’t Have to Be

It doesn't always have to be you

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

“It doesn’t always have to be you.”

The words echoed inside Ahuva Strong. The equipment’s hum couldn’t drown out Rayan’s accusation. Ahuva stared at the metal wall, until the cycle completed, and a flash forced them closed.

Beneath the brilliant sun the breeze felt cool and unable to ease them as Rayan neared the pond path. She lowered her pack to the porch. “Tell them no. You retired.”

The coms surged into a flurry of voices. Snapping her eyes open, Ahuva’s fingers raced over the controls as engines responded to her mental commands, transmitted through the link to her spine.

Her fighter dropped from the frigate into void space. She called out pulling a formation close about her speeding toward the Helard’s wing. Their energy weapons blazed brilliant.

Sunlight reflected from the transport’s windshield, idling in the drive to collect her. “I have to go.”

“No, you don’t.” He started away but she still heard him. “And I don’t always have to wait.”

A voice screamed in her com before falling silent. Heat burned her through the link. Ahuva pulled back from the controls. The Helard swarmed them burning through their defenses.

The simulation fell apart about her and she found she faced the observation room. And the admiral. His voice snapped loudly, “What was that?”

Ahuva shoved open her pod, placing a hand over the still hot implants. She had no more runs before her mind burned. She glanced at the other pods. They had new recruits. “I’m retried.”

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