Strictly Buisiness

All That Glistens

14 asteroid belt

Date: Late Evening, 365-1107

It’s just a few hours before Holiday 1108 and the war is in full swing, but that doesn’t bother you now. Glisten, the jewel of the Marches, is safely away from the frontier and the war. Duchess Muktheswara is a shrewd woman who is well known to take a keen interest in overseeing the deployment the 100th Fleet since war first broke out.

You mustered out just a few days ago here on one of the many asteroid starports on the Glisten belt, you’ve said goodbye to your former colleagues and are ready for something new, but not tonight. Tonight is the night for celebration. There is a tremendous vibe of excitement in the air, the concourses are packed mostly full of young men and women about to leave for Imperial military service and, no doubt, eventually the war.

You see faces everywhere, smiling, laughing, some already in their service dress uniforms, some in fancy dress, a couple in hooded cloaks, marines, security personnel, SPA workers, a few merchants & traders, Navy and others like yourself who seem almost out of place. Most people are off duty, people trying to get to bars for the traditional midnight festivities. You’re lost in a sea of people; glancing in the bars you see partying, drinking and mirth. There are exotic dancers and loud party music coming out of nearly all the bars.

Time slows, the light shimmers off your surroundings and the pressure in your head grows. White light flashes blinding you and you feel yourself lifted into the air and carried away as your overloaded senses fade; you pass out. You didn’t hear the actual explosion that lifted you off your feet; you didn’t see scores of young people being torn apart by the bomb.

Date: Early Morning, 001-1108 (Holiday)

You were on of the lucky ones, just a mild concussion. You awake suddenly hours later, unsure of the exact time; you’re on a stretcher on one of the concourses, not far from the scene of the bomb blast. You seem to be just one of several apparently with minor injuries. There is a woman in a navy uniform with a medic patch busily tending to the injured, unaware of your awakening. You can see a few emergency workers and security personal dealing with the aftermath of the explosion. The scene is reasonably calm and quiet, although an occasional body bag is still being removed from the scene. Much of the debris has been cleared and there is a semblance of normality.

A sick feeling runs through your gut as you wonder if there are any more bombs waiting to go off. Perhaps getting out of the starport would be better sooner rather than later. This wasn’t exactly how you’d hoped your holiday would be spent. Announcements are being made, signs have been posted, it seems the Glisten authorities have imposed a ban on the public taking shuttles to the asteroid cities, but they can’t close the starport, only the SPA can restrict ships leaving for Imperial space lanes.

A flickering screen catches your eye, looks like the job board was slightly damaged by debris in the blast.


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