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Old 10-09-2020, 6:29pm   #1
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Cool A FAL's rebirth, written from the rifle's perspective



The Story of Number 27

I was a refugee…

For many long years I was dragged from place to place, knocked about, and only occasionally allowed to perform my mission. Many men put their hands on me, abused me, and finally left me – marked and abused, covered in red dirt, and barely recognizable. I was just a number, Number 27, crudely painted in garish yellow across my butt.

One day, all of us forgotten, cast-off guardians were unceremoniously piled up and carted off to a different place. The clanking of machinery could be heard, hammer blows, the clatter of broken metal, and, finally, the most horrible sounds imaginable. One by one, we were torn to pieces, our backbones ripped out, and then, the crunch of Doom – as our very spirits seemed to cut in two, and thrown away. The remnants of our once shapely forms were bagged, tagged, and piled in what looked like coffins. Sadness filled the cramped spaces, as we slowly settled into a shapeless heap, suffocating the very life from our mangled corpses.

We seemed to drift, afloat on the memories of what we had once been – Protectors of Home and Farm, Guardians of Liberty, Right Arm of the Free World. Now, we were banished, banned, and on our way to oblivion.

A bright light filled the air above us. One by one, we were carefully removed, still in our bags, and examined by faces we had never seen before. Gone were the gunracks, the familiar aroma of gun oil. These men had no uniforms. They stacked us in piles, and occasionally would take a few of us, place us one by one into smaller boxes, and then, the boxes would disappear out the door. One day, my turn came. What was to become of me, the Ghost of Number 27???

I was tossed, I was thrown, I slid around in the tiny box, until finally I was handed to someone. Suddenly, the handling was gentle, like a soldier who once loved me had treated me. Carefully, I was taken to a small shed, where I recognized the tools and smells of someone who worked on things, and liked doing it. Carefully, tenderly, he examined each and every part of me. Sometimes I would sit alone for days or weeks, but then he would appear again, a kind smile on his face, with a new part or tool that I knew he had gotten – just for Me!

Finally, after the workbench was crowded with things, my new owner came in with a look of determination on his face. "Number 27, I have never done this before, but I have tried to learn everything I can about your needs, and today – Today, you will be reborn…"

I was excited, but scared! The Armorers in the Old Place had sometimes performed cruel torture on us. Some of my mates just disappeared. Many of us wore scars from their labors. What is my new owner going to do to me?

The job that had been started in tearing me limb from limb was completed in the shed. My rusty, worn, weary parts were twisted, scrubbed, oiled, wiped, and lined up in the bench. Sometimes I was stubborn, and would only let go with a shriek, by my owner patiently worked. I saw the new backbone lying there, and, soon, I found that I was whole again. Missing pieces were replaced, and with a final "Snap!", my two halves were made whole again.

My owner carried me into the house, and carefully placed me in his room, where I could near the rack where he puts himself each might. Yet, as happy as I felt, there was still a great emptiness – was I doomed to be an ornament? Would I ever know the joy of making Fire and Thunder again?

Well, Today is a Special Day – Today is when I once again have truly become Whole. Even though my new owner was awkward with me, twisting my knobs, jerking my trigger, and tentative of my recoil, he never once slammed me to the ground, or banged me into trees. In spite of my battered plastic, and discolored, mismatched finish, he gazed at me with fondness, handled me with affection, and shot me with determination. We made Fire and Thunder, and we produced Hits! One, then two, then a dozen, and finally many dozens of Hits! Gleaming brass filled the grass around us and holes filled the targets we acquired. We are tired, we are grimy, but we are One...

Rejoice with me, all my fallen comrades! I dedicate my revival to all those who will Fire no more. In your honor, I pledge to be a faithful friend to my new owner.

I am a refugee no more - Number 27 lives. The days of Fire and Thunder have returned!

Originally written by the late FAL Files forum member Radio
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