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WhenHeLookedBack - KH, AkurokuThis couldn't be happening...
Axel ran as fast as he could along the sidewalk, his hurried pants visible in the cold night's air. His throat was aflame, his muscles ached, his lungs were burning, but he kept running ahead. Usually this kind of thing only happened in nightmares, but this was reality, and the nightmare was almost a mile in front of him. The wind that was once pounding his back was now hitting his front, and he cursed the Dallas winds with everything he could muster at this moment of fatigue and exhasution.
This familiar path was only a blur now, as was nearly everything around him. He was barely thinking, if at all, and he hardly paid attention to the turns he took; he was going to have to thank his subconcious for that. It lead him to the place he went every day, five days a week. The high school was so close, but so damn far. Even though the distance was a grueling one to run at night in January in unpredictable-weather Texas, he was glad it wasn't anywhere else.
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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