Thursday, February 1, 2018

Black Planet

Black Planet
By Michael Cannata

The world that had once been a bright green and blue planet had gone black. His depression became so bleak that he could no longer see colors. All he saw was dismal shades of grey. He no longer saw the sunlight. He only saw the shadows it cast.

He was a man raised to follow rules and obey his orders. He joined the military and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was supposed to be a soldier, but he felt more like a target. He carried a gun but wasn't allowed to use it much. It's impossible to fight a war if your soldiers have to ask permission before they could shoot back. He'd seen a dozen good men, his friends, killed because they weren't allowed to fight properly. They were expected to die before risking a civilian being killed.

He had enlisted thinking that he would be a soldier for life. The day he was sworn in was the proudest day in his life. But after eight years his feeling about the military, his service and even his country had changed. He loved his country but it had become obvious that the battles he fought, the people he killed, the reasons he was even there had nothing to do with defending democracy. He was a pawn being used to defend and expand corporate interests. Oil and land meant more than human life to the military brass. He didn't bother to reenlist even though he was repeated asked by his superiors. He returned to the states a disenchanted man without a country.

He decided to join the law enforcement community in the city he grew up in. He felt that maybe he could make a difference defending the people of America. When he joined the police force, his special forces training made him a natural for the tactical squad. The gear he wore was familiar and made him feel like he was still a soldier.

Still, despite the need for men like him to fight criminals that were as well armed as most police forces, nothing had changed. The people he had again sworn to defend looked at him as the enemy. He was helpless to respond to the insults, taunts and rampant disrespect the public showed him. He was handcuffed as sure as any felon under arrest.

Political correctness and the need for his superiors to look good on the evening news were more important than making good arrests; especially an arrest that required force being used against the criminal. Appearance took precedent over any need to respond with immediate and proper force. Every move had to be analyzed and approved before anyone could make a decision or take action.

God forbid that a public citizen, regardless of how insane, should ever lose their life at the hands of a trigger happy policeman! Officers that dared fire their gun to prevent a crime or respond to a threat wound up being vilified in the press. Often, it meant the end of their career.

The enemy was having a field day, violating laws with complete disregard for the consequences. He had spent most of his life training every day, practicing techniques that transformed him from a human being into a deadly weapon. Yet, everyday, new procedures and protocols were put in his way when it came to using his talents. He decided it had to stop.

He strapped on his uniform and got ready for combat. It seemed fitting that his SWAT gear was all black. It was going to be a black day for the enemy. He knew where the enemy was hiding. They were hiding in plain sight; dressed like your average shopper in your average shopping mall. That was where he headed today. He intended to use his skills to defend the public from itself.

Civilians be damned!

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