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The Unit.


The Unit knew that the moment they had all been waiting for was nearly at hand. Everywhere alarms were going off, and nerves were like they had never been before. Everyone was falling in line with a degree of perfection that reflected the endless hours of drills and lessons, and their lifelong devotion to the cause. The Admiral had made his way to the head of the troop and was yelling last minute instructions everywhere. This was it; The Unit was ready.


Derek had waited his whole life for this moment. He had devoted every second of his existence to the unit, and knew, like everyone one else there, that everything rested on his performance from here on. There were millions around him; the unit was huge, but he was special.

Deep inside he had always felt that he would be the one. He knew that he was the fastest and the strongest of them all. He had memorized The Mission completely before anyone else had, worked out long hours after everyone else had stopped, and was a personal favorite of the Admiral, whom he followed around endlessly, trying to learn more about The Mission.

The Unit was The Mission and the The Mission was The Unit; the two, it seemed, were inseparable. Every young member of The Unit was told of The Mission, and was expected to memorize it completely. This wasn't very hard, for it comprised only of one objective; The Target.

Derek remembered how he had felt when he first heard The Mission. He was in a group of a few hundred thousand, and the Admiral, whom he had seen for the first time then, had just begun briefing the troops. "The Mission", he had begun," will take you far from your homes, and none of you will ever be able to return. It is what we have spent our lives preparing for, and we must be ready when it is time. If we are not ready, we will all die, and it will be an honorless death. For, my young comrades, although out of the millions here only one of you will make it into The Target, that one will be special; for that one will Live. If we fail in our mission, none will Live. The road to The Target is a long one, and many of you may be lost along the way. Of those of you who do make it to The Target, only the first inside will Live. Work hard, my young comrades, for only the fastest and the strongest will get in first." It had been during that speech that Derek had felt that he was special, that he was the one, that he would have to be the fastest and the strongest -- and so he had worked harder than everyone else... And now it was time.


"Comrades!", yelled the Admiral, trying to make his voice heard above the turmoil that raged around them, "It is time..." Staggering to hold his ground, he thundered his last command, "Forward!" His majestic tone echoed among the ranks crashed into depths of the surrounding walls. It had begun...

Derek was thrust forward by a force so powerful that he thought he would die of it. He couldn't resist it, and knew that he wasn't supposed to. He remembered the Admiral's words, "You must be one with The Force, use The Force, and surpass The Force." Using everything he had, he propelled himself to the head of the troop; there were millions behind him, and none in front. The speed he was going at terrified him, he couldn't control it, he got faster and faster...

Derek yelled, he was free, floating, then falling -- he yelled again. Why was he falling? Something was terribly wrong. He looked around. Everyone was falling. There was fear everywhere, screams filled the air; painful, ear-deafening screams. Had they been betrayed? The Mission; was it all a lie? Had the Admiral fooled them into devoting their lives for a scam? He screamed, as he hit ground. He felt pain for the first time; it was everywhere. He flipped aimlessly on the ground. He felt he was slipping. It did not matter; nothing mattered. Frailly looking up, he could just make out the Admiral. "Why...", he uttered with his last breath, "why...?"

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