No one thought the Fields of Shantara would be the decisive battle against the tyranny of the Verbeni. For a dozen generations, the invaders of the colony world of Grazoria had ruled the human race with cruel efficiency, and although the resistance fighters were outgunned and out manned, they were courageous. Their harassment of the enemy gave the populace hope, until their exploits became legends for their children and their grandchildren.
Lana was one of those grandchildren. Every Freedom Day, she stands on the Cliffs of Forever facing the Northern Sea watching the Starbirds launch, then sail west to re-enact Shantara. There would be fireworks afterwards, and great orators would tell tales of bravery and honor in the face of almost certain doom. They would relate how victory was snatched out of the jaws of defeat by a defiant humanity. It would be an inspiration to adults and children alike on the 50th anniversary of freedom.
Yet young Lana shed a tear as the fighters rocketed before her. Her grandfather, shot down in the last few minutes of the battle, she would never know except as a hero.
It’s been a long time since I’ve participated in one of these challenges, and the short length of my submission may be disappointing. I’ve been busy writing and submitting stories to periodicals and anthologies, and so far, nine of my stories have been accepted for publication. You can find all but one (I don’t have permission to market it yet) on my publications page.
Since today is the American celebration of Independence Day, I thought I should write something about the sacrifices needed to attain freedom. There are many kinds, but none, I think, are as keen as the loss of human life, especially that one person who you were never able to meet. As a Grandpa, I happen to think Grandparents are important. For Lana, that’s a relationship that freedom has forever cost her.