>He did not truly lead them. A Commissar held no authority over a Marine. Certainly, he was capable of directing their wrath; manipulation – now leadership – was one of his greatest talents. This was not the greatest amongst his abilities, however, as he would soon prove. It was the reminder of his insignificance that truly shaped them.
>This small, mortal man, they realized, who fought alongside immortals, possessed greater spirit than any of them. He equaled their anger and challenged their worth on the battlefield, despite his mortality. Despite his flaws of body, his flaws of character shone brightest, amidst both of their infamy. Even now, dying within their vessel, silent, he inspired them.
>“Old man,” they jokingly called him. In truth, he was a child in comparison, in their eyes. Witnessing his slow death over the past years was enough to drive them, if they should ever fail. Beholding his death, this day, enraged them. This child amongst them would die standing, vigilant for the fight, still waging the war. What had they accomplished in comparison, gifted as they were? What right did the enemy have to take his life? Who was the man to have done this to him? None would survive the day. John’s body would lead the charge. He had already won this battle.
Indeed. Most of it has nothing to do with the Marines. Which is probably thankful, since there's only so much you can do with them.