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Title: What Author:Yossarian

"I said kill it. The next one of those bastards you see I want you to blow its damn head off. All right? You got that?"

Billy took the dull, heavy mass of metal and admired it in his hands. The pistol was covered in blood, some fresh, some dry; yellow on the muzzle and red on the grip. Some of it from the dying sergeant he was kneeling before.

"I...I...we're not, I mean, I was never trained for, for something like this," the young BOB whined, "I could accidentally shoot someone or myself or, if I run out of ammo, I...Jesus, I don't even know how to load one of these things..." His face twisted between grimaces and smirks as he talked, his bright blue eyes were beginning to water up. He tried to give the gun back to the old sergeant.

"Some things," said the tough dying man, "are inevitable. You can't expect to live a life, or even survive this if you will never fight. Fighting is the one of the most natural things in the universe. It's as natural as hunger, as birth, as death. Listen. When the gun stops firing, push this release to unload the clip. Shove the next one in. Pull the trigger. Kill the aliens.”

He was losing blood. It rolled smooth in tidy scarlet rivulets down his tan jumpsuit, spilling out of the gashes under his right arm. He layed his head down on the cold stone floor, the floor carved out of what used to be the moon of a planet far away. That planet was called Mars. It was a planet in the system Sol, where the sergeant had once lived and where Billy had only seen in the archives. His palms opened and he looked towards the ceiling. The expression on his face was not one of fear, remorse, or bitterness. He seemed content. He stared at the dim lights and heard the gentle hum of air being circulated by the ceaseless rotating of thousands of fans throughout the ship; things he had always lived with on the Marathon, things that had run nonstop for their entire existence. Sort of like him. His final thought was to wonder how much longer they might push the air....maybe another three hundred years...

Billy was afraid. As all others born aboard the Marathon, he had never witnessed a death. People were not supposed to die in relay stations, corridors, or ventilation shafts. They were supposed to die in warm cozy rooms designated for death, far away from those who were living happily. "It's all right, man," Billy said to the corpse speaking reassuringly, "I'll get you out, I'll get you to the infirmary and...and we...I can't hear the fighting anymore, its stopped...if we just keep moving I can..."

Anybody watching the scene would have been touched by Billy's hope, his compassion, his innocence, and his ignorance. But there was no one watching him. He was all alone. He stopped talking.

He felt sick. He wanted to go home. He wanted to play football on the plastic grass with his friends, all of them as stupid and blissful as himself. So was the life of BOBs. So now was its end. Here now he was covered in blood, with a weapon in his hand, kneeling next to the last human being he talked to, in a part of the ship he never knew of and had never wanted to be.

Billy was frantic. The fighting HAD stopped. This must have meant something, he thought, and he felt that it was nothing good. His stomach heaved and he fought the urge to vomit. His vision blurred and his hands started to shake. He wanted to drop the gun and run for the darkest corner and sit with his ears and eyes closed until his parents came and told him everything was going to be all right, all right.

He began to do just this when one of the aliens stumbled upon him. "Nyuh ah uh!?" asked the intruder in a silly, terrifying, obscene alien voice. The thing reached for its weapon and stiffened itself, preparing for several successive recoils . One alien finger tightened around a trigger.

But not before 18 year old Billy put three magnum rounds through its head.

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