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Orwell

[FEDNET] Interview with Sgt. N. Pfefferburg

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[THE FOLLOWING IS AN AUDIO TRANSCRIPT FROM CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN

FEDNET CORRESPONDENT PVT. DAVE FOSTER AND SGT. NEIL PFEFFERBURG, DATED APRIL 7, 2298]

 

The recording begins. The sound of life support systems and the bustling of hospital orderlies could be heard in the background.

 

DF: Full name and rank for the record, if you would.

 

NP: Neil Pfefferburg, Sergeant.

 

DF: You've been in the MI for how long now?

 

NP: I enlisted shortly after Operation Breadbasket.

 

DF: Where do you hail from?

 

NP: I was from the Seychelles, on Earth.

 

DF: My condolences.

 

NP: My family was lucky enough to be some of the first to get out. 

 

DF: You were in the Aeneas system, lately.

 

NP: I was. Our company, Harrison's Hoplites, the 74th, have been making patrols along that stretch of space since Faraway fell.

 

DF: We're sitting in a medical bay right now, in the Castus system. 

 

NP: Yeah. I've spent the last few hours in surgery getting bits of metal picked out of my back.

 

DF: You were on Feronia when they first hit, yeah?

 

NP: Yeah. We were stopping to lick our wounds after we got into a brush with their armada. Our barracks got blown out into space, along with any personal stuff you might've brought. For a lot of guys that was all they had. It's tough when you and your buddies' bedroom is in the line of fire.

 

DF: I can imagine.

 

NP: It was rough. We were hanging out, standing guard while technicians worked over our ship. Sirens were blaring- we'd finished clearing civilians out of Diedenhofen and Nuevo Potosí. When Sanctuary came, they were still movin' people out. Just nowhere near us. 

 

DF: How long did moving all those people take?

 

NP: Hours. You've got cities with millions of people, and we're scrambling to try and make as many evacuation points as possible. Towards the end we were evacuating anybody and everybody until they were ghost towns. 

 

DF: Anybody stay behind?

 

NP: God, I hope not. If they did, I don't know how they'd be alive. Sanctuary about damn near leveled Diedenhofen from what we heard, and gave Nuevo Potosí a proper beating. 

 

DF: Where were you when the attack started?

 

NP: I was eating when we saw the first ships pop up. The sirens started up again, and before we had a chance to react the bombing started.

 

DF: Is that when you got wounded?

 

NP: Sort of. We lost our ship, which was a sitting duck on the ground. After that, I figured our fate was sealed. Being on the receiving end of an OB is a terrifying experience. Constantly hammering the ground, one after the other. A real saturation bombing.

 

DF: Jeez.

 

NP: Our company got split apart in the chaos. I managed to get inside a storm drain with some guys from our medical detachment. Had no idea where our RTO was, had no idea where our CO was. Lots of walking in the dark, shouting into our radios- constantly worrying if the next blast was gonna' send the earth above us collapsing down and bury us alive. 

 

DF: How'd you get out?

 

NP: Eventually, we managed to get a hold of our CO. Our RTO bought it in the shelling, so she commandeered the LRR and tried to flag down anyone who was nearby to get us out. We were finally able to regroup in a shopping mall, with about half of our guys missing. The ones we couldn't find, we were forced to leave behind. It was awful. That's one of the worst things you can do as an Infantryman.

 

DF: I see.

 

NP: ...We had an insane pilot who actually flew through the bombardment to come get us. We owe our lives to that crazy flight lieutenant. When the boat was coming, that's when I got wounded.

 

DF: How'd it happen?

 

NP: An explosion tossed me into an alleyway, bursting my eardrum, setting me up with a concussion, and peppering me with a healthy dosage of foreign metals. Being bombed like that- feels like the ground underneath you gets blown apart- because it does, and you just get manhandled like a ragdoll by the tremendous force. I don't even know who loaded me into the dropship.

 

DF: Sounds like you were very lucky.

 

NP: That's a criminal understatement. It was a mad house. Infantrymen are meant to adapt to any and all situations; but being on the receiving end of an OB almost always leaves you on the run, or in hiding. And if it's the latter, you better pray to whatever God you believe in it's a good one. Those rods they drop from space are meant for bugs, a species much hardier than us. Even a marauder'd buy the farm if they got caught in one of those blasts. There's not much a single trooper can do against that kind of firepower from the ground. 

 

DF: You'll spend some time recuperating from your injuries here, but what do you plan on doing next?

 

NP: Once I'm cleared for combat, I'll be going back with the Hoplites, and Captain Harrison. Those Sanctuary bastards took the lives of good men and women, and destroyed the ship we called home, along with its staff. Despite appearances, I'm eager to let those bastards know what happens when you screw the Hoplites, let alone the Coalition.

 

DF: It goes without saying that FedNet wishes you a swift recovery and all the best in your company's future endeavors. Do you have anything else you'd like to say before we wrap up?

 

NP: Yeah. I want to say that I hope we go back to Feronia. If there's anybody from the 74th still alive down there, they belong back with us. We've been having to write too many letters to next-of-kin. Next time, I'm gonna make sure we show Sanctuary how much we suffered, thrice-fold.

 

DF: Indeed. Thanks for your time, Sergeant. 

 

 

[TRANSCRIPT END]

 

 

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