Monday, 1 December 2014
-Poul Anderson, Young Flandry (New York, 2010), p. 6.
I wouldn't have said it was that bad. The Terran Imperial Navy includes Max Abrams, Ilya Kheraskov, Dominic Flandry and presumably some others like them.
But let's see some marines in action. It is their invariable rule to obliterate when one of their own is shot dead in an ambush. This happens while they are brutally annexing Brae. Buildings have been smashed, anti-Imperialists are being exiled and a collaborationist government is being installed. When a single marine is fatally wounded by a shot from a house:
another squad member instantly flips a tracer dart from his belt;
the dart follows a trace of ions to the front of the house;
a rover bomb is launched from a shoulder-borne rack;
the front wall of the house is destroyed;
the squad attacks with debris striking their helmets;
Flandry's marine escort, joining him around the dying man, look wistfully towards the sound of blasters and bombs.
So, yes, they do sound like guys who live for war, oppression and maybe also anti-intellectualism.
When someone in a crowd throws a missile at the police, it is the police's job to identify their assailant and to make their way through the crowd to arrest him, not to attack the crowd. We might say the same to these marines: attack your attacker; do not destroy an entire building with anyone else in or near it.