In a distant future where the galaxy is wracked by galactic war and genocide a group of young graduates are flung to the fires of war to defend the dying planet of Zosen IV.
As the dust settles from that bloody conflict the wounds are still fresh and the war rages on and two people find each other in the dark.
The sun slowly rose above the horizon, its' bright light playing up shadows and silhouettes across the desert and touching all in its' path with its' path with a pinkish taint.
Jonathon sat atop a dune overlooking the HAB staring out across the shifting sands, his jacket loosely held about his shoulders, the new born light was dancing on the silver rank insignia.
His mind meandered and he wondered about the last time he had seen a sunrise, he scolded himself for being in Space for too long. He ran his fingers absently across the Galactic cross at his throat, the cold metal sending a shiver down his spine and he pulled his jacket close around himself and tightening his grip on his copy of Werther with his left hand.
Claire would have thought this was truly beautiful. Her lose still hung heavy in his heart as if it were yesterday, though the searing white hot pain had lessened to a dull pounding ache that hung on him. The Galactic cross was all he had left of her now, in fact apart from her parent's house and the grave at Zosen there was little in the galaxy to show she had existed at all.
He could still see her now in his mind's eye with her mischievous smile, the light dancing in her eyes, so full of life. He clenched his fist around the medal feeling the metal dig into his palm.
Charlotte was stood behind him. He had sensed her approach, even on the sand he had heard her, now he could see her out of the corner of his eye, the sun highlighting her features and the warm morning breeze tousling her mousy blond hair. He didn't want to acknowledge her yet, she had a way of disrupting his pool of calm like a storm front that brings deadly undercurrents and whips up the surface water into a swirling maelstrom- But why?
"I was worried." her voice broke through the silence, soft but firm and he wondered if she genuinely had been worried or if it was just observing polite convention. "Have you checked the trap?"
"Not yet." his voice sounded alien to him, dry and croaking. "I was just watching the sun rise and thinking."
He felt her name slice through him to the bone. He had spoken to people about Claire's death before but something about Charlotte asking him seemed like a fresh wound. He wondered how she did that.
"You were close." It really wasn't a question but he nodded in response anyway. He really didn't want to have this conversation with her. Claire was his memory, his pain and he kept it close in his heart.
"She was an amazing person. It is indeed rare for me to connect with someone so easily but... she was open and friendly despite my barriers. I wish I had had the chance to know her better." She said wistfully.
Jonathon just stared forward, his mind wandering back to that cursed air raid, the explosion, the death.
"JONATHON!!!" he heard that scream every day in his mind first thing - yanking him from his restful slumber.
"I don't want to talk about it." he muttered as he closed his eyes.