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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Microstory 1208: Adolphe Sargent

Adolphe Sargent was not a leader during the Franco-Prussian War. He was just a regular soldier who was trying to do his part for a cause he believed in. After a near death experience on the battlefield, with an enemy combatant who would come to be known as The Warrior, Adolphe was conscripted by the powers that be into a group of fighters from all over time and space called the salmon battalion. He was not meant to be a leader here, but was arbitrarily assigned the rank of Sergeant, theoretically just to be funny. There were a few hundred other members of the battalion, who were sent to various wars throughout time to alter their results. They usually didn’t impact the culminating outcomes, but they did change the course of history in less dramatic—but still very important—ways. Over time, Adolphe proved himself to be a great leader, so he was given more responsibility. Since the battalion didn’t answer to some sort of higher institution, like a national government, the hierarchy was a lot less established, and far more fluid. His title never changed, though his scope expanded. Eventually, he was running the entire group, getting missions directly via the battalion’s resident psychic, and handling the schedule. He made sure that this schedule was fair, and that no one was overworked, like he was. This was not the life he would have chosen, but it was the one he had, and he knew that he wasn’t picked for no reason at all. He joined the military of his own accord, and these were the consequences, as outrageous as they might be. The truth was—and maybe he would never admit this—he didn’t want to do any of this, but he just didn’t quite understand at the time what he was getting himself into. Perhaps he was just too young to see what it would do to him. He never thought he would turn into a psychopathic killer, but he figured his patriotism would carry him through. He was by no means a pacifist, but he also didn’t care much for war, and he certainly didn’t belong with the salmon battalion. The powers never let him go, though. They just kept feeding him mission after mission, and he continued to accept them without question. As he grew older, his body started failing him, which was something that time did to everyone, even a time traveler. The greatest, and only, gift the powers that be gave him was the persistence of his mortality. They could have quite easily turned him into an immortal, and though he could have never been killed, he could have become worn. He was never fully replaced, but as his physical well-being diminished, he delegated more responsibilities to others, and led his people more from the sidelines. He was granted retirement, but it was but a year from his death, from the perspective of his personal timeline. The battalion did not live on without him. Since they were time travelers all, and the powers could see all of time and space from beyond it, every mission that ever needed to be executed was already taken care of. Adolphe Sargent was the salmon battalion, and no one could have argued against this truth. His legacy as a leader, a fighter, and a good man, rings through eternity, and can never be silenced.

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