|"The Last Word"|
|Series||Domination of the Draka, created by S.M. Stirling|
"The Last Word" is a short story by Harry Turtledove, published in the anthology Drakas! (Baen, 2000), and set in S.M. Stirling's Draka timeline. It is set in 1998, shortly after the Draka have defeated the Alliance. United States Navy Commodore Anson MacDonald, marooned on land when the Drakas swiftly defeated the Americans, prepares to take part in a guerrilla force opposing the invading Draka forces.
The title has a double meaning. The guerrilla war in which MacDonald participates is in effect the last word which the Americans left on Earth would ever say before passing out of history (Stirling's later book discloses that the Draka conquerors would wage a decades-long genocidal war throughout North America, and that the few surviving Americans would be quite literally bombed back into the Stone Age). But there is also a more personal last word, with the captured MacDonald defiantly telling his captor that while the Draka army was expending its energy on crushing the last resistance in America, the Americans who escaped into space would establish themselves outside the solar system and carry on the war from there (which would indeed come to pass and be described in detail by Stirling).
The story is very similar in theme to Turtledove's standalone short story "The Phantom Tolbukhin," which deals with an overwhelmed Soviet resistance force which remains hopeful in a clearly lost cause, following a German victory in World War II.