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Father Russia Part I"Yulete, was it?" my sister asks. He nods. "We're interested, but if we're harming anyone we demand a pay of @ least 900 rubles!" she orders pounding her fist upon his desk. I'm hiding behind a pillar in the warehouse office listening to their plotting in fear of me being mentioned, I don't kill. I just don't. "So, you understand. You and your brother blast the gang - and Van Rook - you get plans and money - leave the cryptids. When that is finished, I'll handle the rest... and Van Rook..." I cower in intimidation of his power, I hate feeling weak. Yulete notices my disposition and asks, "What's with Twiggy over there?" "His name is Aaron. He's really quiet today, usally he talks until his lips turn blue. Guess he doesn't like the topic of... conversation..." knew he did not enjoy the killing of anything, but we needed money... I looked back at Yulete and kept my voice strong. It was a gift to make this façade, one of calm control, and it really did come in handy with situations l
A Turning Point in the Clockwork WarA war of attrition
depends on supply and drawdown,
how much you have and how much you use up.
With personnel, the balance concerns
the influx of recruitment versus
the outflow of casualties, deserters, invalids.
There is only so much loss
that a fighting force can sustain
and still fight.
Pilot Claude Archer was the first
to challenge his invalid discharge.
"I don't need legs to fly," he said,
patting the healed stumps of his thighs.
"My Osprey runs on elbow grease."
The members of the discharge board
paused and looked at each other.
What he said was true.
The Osprey-class fighter jets
relied on hand controls,
and a sharp eye and iron nerve.
Fingers flicked through the stack
of discharge papers -- so many, many pages.
So many soldiers lost, never to fight again.
They could not afford to let slip even one
who might be retained, somehow,
to face the front line once more.
Far less could the war effort spare
one of its best pilots.
So they put Pilot Archer back on the roster,
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