When Viola exited the workshop, the convoy of vehicles arrived to the base. Many soldiers jumped from the sides, their weapons still in hands. Instead of rushing to clean themselves, they went to the back and started pulling the body bags, stretchers and loot they took from the dead.
My group was barely formed on the street, but mission had to wait. We needed to bury the dead.
I waved at my deputy and he nodded knowing what I wanted to order.
“Grab the shovels and picks! Head north to the park!” His yelling at simple soldiers alerted the others who lived here and without words they all got back home and took what we needed for the ceremony.
There wasn’t a column to send off the dead, only a few crying women and children that knew the fighters who laid their lives so we could move on. I felt the tension in the group of warriors that responded only to Viola’s voice, and so I bowed my head not tempted to rush the questions about the battle.
Graves were not that deep, but we always had a cart full of concrete parts, bricks and rocks ready for this sort of things. Two civilians pulled the cart near the pit where the bags were placed and Viola stepped in the clear sight of the crowd.
“Rashid Onuz, Semyon Mirnaev, Chen Fang Lin, Anusha Sergeyevna, Tayron Berdwick, Roger Grinfield and others who flied with me into the battle, I thank you for your courage and lives you gave protecting the weak. I beg of you to watch over us, send us signs of trouble and protect us from the other plains where you will continue to fly as our battle Wings and gaze over the mortal world. I wish you the eternal bliss, my friends.” She said and threw some dirt over each body like the members of her team after her.
She stood at the end of the holes and watched the stream of people pass her, while the nervous soldiers passed a bottle of drink and had conversation, waited for the ceremony to end. As our customs dictate, I threw some dirt and waved the men to start covering the bodies. The Exo soldiers were kind enough to handle the chunks of armored concrete and stack them over the grave.
“My condolences Viola. You’ve lost plenty of soldiers in the last fight. Do you need some recruits? I have five to spare.” My facial expression spoke more than my words could ever, yet steel made maiden nodded and grinned at me.
“I don’t have time to train them. I don’t need your pity, not here, and not in this place. Save it for someone who gives a shit. They are far better heroes than any other idiot that roams the city. Be thankful, they saved all our asses.” Her tap on my shoulder wasn’t friendly as it looked, and I felt her anger in the squeeze of hand, where her double smile stood like a mask for what she really wanted to do to me.
After a quick exchange of looks, she went back with the chalk of men following her. The ceremony lasted for another hour where I sat on one pile of rocks and observed the park. Once this was a happy place where students came to read, old folk fed the pigeons, kids played on the swings and lovers kissed in the shade.
Now, the threes were cut for fire, the sidewalks were demolished for burial and land is cultivated for food where dotted out, the rock piles occupied almost the half of the park.
This is a place where we are all going to end in.
“You just wait Viola. I have plans for you too.” I said it to my self inserting a bullet in the barrel.