Brigadier General Paul King came out onto the steps of the Parthenon. Dimitri Igoumensita stood next to him, looking sullen. After the other two came Bruno Olensheim, who looked and felt somewhat out of place.
"The Eastern Bloc has surrendered!" said King epically, "The Last War is over in Europe!"
Throughout all of Athens, and, indeed, all around the world, people cheered. Parades and parties were thrown together on the split second, impromptu and amazing affairs. But the American brigadier had something else to say.
"We shall be having a large victory celebration..."
"Peace celebration!" Igoumensita interjected.
"Peace celebration," King admitted, "At which we will be having beer. The beer, however, will be served in champagne glasses."
"More concessions were made for the Eastern Bloc than for America!" yelled out Igoumensita, "And the Union will not be dissolved."
"There will be severe limitations on the military, however," said the Olensheim.
"And I, Dimitri Igoumensita, will not be serving as supreme general of the Eastern military any more. I must face judgement for the crimes I've committed during The Omega War. I wish to say now, before the world, that I accept responsibility for my war crimes, including the executions of civilians, but that I am not remorseful for them. In the doctrine of total war, terrible things must happen. There has been no more total war than The Omega War.
"Generals," said Igoumensita in English, turning to King and Olensheim but acting for the audience, "You are both fine soldiers and I would never surrender to men of less than your caliber. You have defeated me, and so the glory of accepting this surrender is yours."
That certainly explained why the Greek had insisted on surrendering to King, rather than the commander of Allied forces in Europe.
In Greek, King replied, "I have been an instrument of war for so long, I am only happy I could be a small instrument of peace. You are a finer soldier than I, general."
"General," said Olensheim, "It is no small feat to take on an entire world opposing you. You are no mere soldier, you are a true warrior, a man of legend."
"Thank you both. The Omega War is over, here, at least. Let us celebrate peace, then," said Igoumensita, taking a snifter of beer into his hand.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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