The Morril asteroid field sprawled out in all directions, a seemingly endless chandolier that hung over Apex, the moon of the gas giant Sedis-5.Looking on from a viewing port on the United States Navy Heavy Cruiser Ticonderoga, Corporal Second Class John Murray observed the gigantic rocks that appeared so small from five hundred Kilometers away.
He'd soon be embarking on a Retaliatory Offensive against the Taliban in the aftermath of three million deaths due to a Terror Attack on a civillian world four years ago. The U.S.N followed the suspect vessel to the Morril asteroid field, which turned out to be their home base. So the Navy blockaded the field. A Stellar storm hung over the asteroid field, preventing travel through it, and Sedis-5 was just a bomb waiting to be ignited, so ships were ill-advised to travel near it. this created conditions in which a ring blockade was possible.
John had never seen a Taliban, not many people had, but he had heard enough about them to hate them. After the destruction of Earth, and the Assimilation of Nations Law, religion was forbidden in any form. This caused a purge of religious fanatics, drastically reducing the population of the U.S, causing an inter-ship famine, and pushing the US to the brink of collapse. Afterward, the Luna Archives, which stored ancient information on Earth's civilisations as they once were, suffered a serious breach. Documents regarding the Islamic Faith were stolen, and within a year, the newly-formed Taliban declared a 'Holy War' on the U.S.
John remembered the briefing of the Offensive back on Luna. It detailed, among other things, the savage nature of the Taliban. how they performed twisted rituals of cannibalism and human sacrifice to their God. Of course, most of it was propaganda-ist bullshit, but it came from top Brass, so it must hold some truth.
"hey, Dumbass!", it was Carter.
John snapped out of his reverie, and smiled at her.
She was a Corporal Second Class too, so the banter was acceptible.
"Two hours until we suit up", she smiled, "hope you're ready."
Ready? to fight a vicious enemy bent on their destruction?
No, he thought, I'm not.
"as ready as I can be", He lied.
She raised an eyebrow.
"what?", He responded.
"Nervous?", she asked with a trace of mocking.
"No", Said john, with such confidence that he almost fooled himself into believeing it.
She raised her eyebrow again, and John grunted in annoyance.
Carter cracked a smile and made to leave.
"follow me", she called from the door,"Lieutenant wants a word."
She slipped out of the room, leaving John at the viewing port.He looked out at those lethargic rocks.
where he would fight.
where he could die.
John turned and strode hurriedly towards the door Carter had exited through.
Lieutenant Evans didn't like to be kept waiting.