Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Microstory 753: Triadamant

One to die. One to fight. One to run. Walk under moonlight, stop at the sun. If danger comes for you, remember this pledge. It’s written in blood drawn from your own edge. Protect not each other; that is not your role. Saving the sovereign is your only goal. So it says in the first part of the Pledge of the Resolute. There is a galaxy where this credo codifies the military force that formed upon the beginning of the war with an enemy galaxy. The organization is built in threes. There are three major branches of the military: aidsmanship, defense, and assault. Each soldier carries with them three primary weapons: their gun, their blade, and their body. And each unit is composed of three warriors. They study together at the academy, and train together after full conscription. They eat at the same table, sleep in one bed, and travel together on missions. To see one member of any given triadamant apart from the other two means something is wrong. The idea of maintaining groups of three is an old one, and was not done to protect the group itself. If attacked, hopefully one of them will die before the other two. The survivors do not both start fighting back against the enemy. Instead, one of them will draw upon all their might, fueled by an adrenaline rush—a technique every soldier learns allows this to happen inorganically, if necessary—and keep the enemy distracted. The third will run off and return to the nearest friendly stronghold to warn them of the assault. Of course, this approach was more effective in the days before aerial and orbital battles, when fighting on the ground was the only thing that ever happened. And of course, it was never thought to be totally perfect either. It was always entirely possible for all three members of a triadamant to die before one of them can run away. And it was also possible for an outpost to be attacked by a larger consistency all at once, as opposed to minor ambushes. Yet the sentiment was kept through the centuries as technology advanced warfare. Soldiers still operate within an internally democratic triadamant. And they still use the first line of the Pledge of the Resolute as a battlecry: one to die! One to fight! One to run!

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