"Not like this... NOT LIKE THIS! If I'm going out I'm taking you bastards with me!"
They fly their small, damaged, fighter, the nuclear engine warning of imminent detonation, toward the large hulking warship. It'd been a massive firefight as they defended the escape of the civilians from the raiders.
They awakened in an ICU drawer recovering from radiation poisoning and major injuries. And a military commander's face congratulating them on a job well done. -- Anon Guest
Some lay down their lives for glory. Some for love. Many, so that some rich bastard can get what they were otherwise forbidden. Oh, they're told they're fighting for their nation. For parentals. For a common but tasty peasant dish. For a common sporting passtime. They're never told what they're really fighting for, or they wouldn't fight at all.
Par was fighting for five more minutes. Ze was flying an antiquated nuclear hulk that leaked air. Hir livesuit had maxed out the rads shielding ten minutes ago. Ze was going to die and ze knew it. It didn't matter, as long as everyone else got away.
This wasn't for vainglory. It wasn't for honour. It was so that one more evacuation transit got through the wormhole and the flakk away from the raiding Vorax fleet. There would be no statues, no songs. Just the buzzing click of the geiger counter ticking away towards Par's certain death. Which, if ze didn't become a brief star in the darkness, would be weeks after ze returned to civilisation. The fact that there would be a civilisation to return to was why ze was in this hulk in the first place.