I don’t miss my kids. That’s the thought that popped into my head as I was flying to my death. I love my kids but I don’t miss them. Does that make me a bad person? I’ve been here, I don’t even know how long because they took my watch off before they freeze-dried me and stuck me in the ground, and in all that time I never really thought about my kids.
I miss my wife, not as much as I miss Martine or Roxanne but still, I miss her. I think about my wife almost every day. Still. It’s funny, Martine is the one that everyone gushes over and says is such a great beauty, and she is, but Roxanne is much more fun in bed. She really gets into it. Must be a quality of redheads.
It’s just my luck that the only people that survived the cave-in were all men. Lucien might be into that kind of horseplay but not this cowboy. No way. My father always told me that looks don’t matter, just turn them over and do your business, but he wasn’t living in a René Barjavel novel. He didn’t have to deal with women who look they escaped from a zoo exhibition.
I’ve thought about taking a run at that Ela woman that Lucien obeys like a whipped dog, and maybe I would if I wasn’t about to die, but I can just tell by looking at her that she’s lame in the sack. Some pretty girls are you know? They don’t have to work for it so they never develop any skills. It’s a real shame.
I said to Martialla once that she must be French with that name and she gun-butted me so hard that I still haven’t regained my sense of smell or the feeling on the right side of my face. She thought I was making a pass at her, which I was, but there was no way she could have known that. I was just laying some track for later. I basically just said hello to her and she hammered me in the face like John Henry. I hope wherever she is right now one of these Morlocks grabs her and teaches her some manners.
I find that I’m not afraid to die. Not because I’m some bad man like Lee Marvin or Charles Bronson. And not because I saw action in Vietnam. And not because there’s no way home. The reason I’m not scared right now, flying to my death, is because I’m really truly surprised that I’m still alive at all at this point. I’m surprised any of us are.
An hour after we were revived we were in a firefight. And since that hour it’s been one thing after another ever other house since then. I don’t know how we’ve survived at all to this point. The whole idea was that we would be trained first and then put in the ground. And when we came out there would be thousands of us and a bunch of equipment to get us started. Not fourteen people with no training and literally no equipment to speak of. And a deadly enemy already on top of us.
I’m not afraid to die because I’ve expected to die every day since then. We don’t belong in this world. This is a world of animal savagery and cruelty and people from our time have no place in it. The Roman Empire fell over a thousand years ago and a legion of centurions that was transported forward all that time would be better suited to surviving here than we are. We’re soft and this world is sharp.
I’m in plane that looks like it was built by a six-year-old who got a hold of some tinfoil and a welder. I’m alone and I’m facing least twelve enemy fighters. Below me a couple thousand people floating down the river in canoes and upturned barrels armed with crossbows and harpoons are going to war with some other people that look like Star Trek aliens.
Afraid to die? That would be ridiculous at this point.