You watch Bergiere as he leads his squadron of aerial combatants back to the mess hall. You know that technically you are a member but they all have a way of talking to one another. They have a connection beyond being squadron brethern. They have a bond deeper than anything you have ever experienced. And Bergiere leads them almost flawlessly into and out of battle.
Bergiere is more than a pilot or battle commander. Though young, he seems to be the squadron’s father figure. You have already witnessed firsthand how the team goes to Bergiere with their concerns and requests. He is confident, quiet, and holds his head high. His very presence demands authority and respect.
You watch him hoping he forgets that you, a rookie, doubted his experience, skill, and leadership.
You were afraid for the man, whom you heard had so many fantastical combat reports. He was the one cadets whispered about in the halls of the academy. You remember wanting to be him. To be better than him.
It does not matter that Bergiere seemed to have difficulty shaking some lousy flyers. Maybe that was his genius? Yes, that must be it. He pretended to be in danger to provide the enemy false hope, leading to a trap. But that matters little now, since you questioned him during battle.
You stay at the rear of the charismatic squadron as they travel through winding corridors to get grub, so you do not bring attention upon your self. You don’t belong and that is ok. You joined to be safe from the Coalition. This is a passing fancy. You are a child still, living out a dream of flying with a hero.
“Hester!” Someone slaps you on the back. It’s a communications offficer you have yet to meet. He is scruffier than others on the station. “Next time you see Bergiere in what you think is trouble, just sit back and watch.” He lets out a harty chuckle, at your inexperienced expense. “You’ll learn something!”
Don’t be upset you tell yourself. This is only a passing moment until you are safe on the colony with your family. Remain amazed with your commander, you tell yourself. Bergiere will keep you alive.
Everytime the Black Fox squad returns from a skirmish, I push my way to see them. They are local heroes. They have the best fights and have always kept the Coalition at bay. One day, I’ll be one. Sometimes I can get Bergiere to stop and chat with me; it makes the others in my class jealous. I tell him how I want to be a pilot, and he always replies with “war is no career.” He’s modest that way. That’s why he is so awesome. I look at him everytime he finishes a mission. He always leads his squad to the mess hall for eats. Then, most times, he makes the team go to our rec hall. Once he told me that a good soldier needs to reminded of why they sacrifice, so downtime in the rec hall was perfect. Other times Bergiere eats and disappears. Today may be a day like that. I can tell because the Flagship Commander’s daughter Dessa is smiling and poking Bragiere’s pistol holster. I don’t know where they go or what they do. I bet its something boring like combat training. Heroes always train like that.
I reach out and try to get Bergiere’s attention. Just as I am about to grab ahold of his arm, my mother snaps, “Tyl! Come here!”
My mom is great, most of the time. She doesn’t want me to be a pilot, saying that soldiers are horrible men with no moral conscious. I still don’t know what that means but I know Bergiere would tell me if I remembered to ask. I watch the squad enter the mess hall, laughing at something that was said to the new guy. I don’t like the new guy. He looks sneaky.
“Tyl, get over here!” my mom calls again.
I will ask Bergiere later what he thinks of the new guy.
Dessa drops down to the flagship hanger bay steel floor with little effort and even less sound. She is a warrior and combat stats show it, top of her class. Bergiere has been the only pilot to best her. It may be why she finds him alluring.
Bergiere is an enigma of frustration and attraction, and Dessa has spent years trying to find out his secret for combat piloting. During her search for answers she fell in love.
It is not the pure love of a Fairy Tale, but rather one of convenience, and mutual admiration and respect. Bergiere is one of the few pilots that still respect the old code of chivalry. Dessa loves that he has ancient ideals, and still respects her as an equal. Dessa is not cannon fodder or some man’s fondling toy bag. She is a fighter and survivor. Bergiere recognizes this and agrees with it.
Dessa cannot help it but to get riled after combat. As the squadron makes their way to the mess hall she grabs Bergiere by his pistol holster. It is a symbol that she “craves and needs” him. She doesn’t even realize that she has a grin on her face, stretching ear to ear. She also doesn’t realize what jokes are being made at the expense of the rookie. She only knows that she must subnit to her desire. Bergiere says nothing, but turns and nods. Does he know that he ia grinning, Dessa thinks to herself. Oh yeah, he wants me, she concludes. Dessa promises herself she won’t fall more in love with Bergiere, but knows it may already be too late.
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