Ascension: In Transit

The shuttle opened the throttle to break orbit. Even restrained within my seat, I gritted my teeth to the spikes of pain that shot up my arm.

“So how bad is it out on the borders?”

Hart looked up.

“It’s bad. For most of the colonies, nothing dramatic yet – some trade disputes, diplomatic problems, delays and irregularities in finances. But a few worlds are practically in all-out rebellion. Attacks on freight, refusing tax payments, insurgency on the ground.”

“Were you involved?”

The Master Sergeant looked grim, nodded a bit.

“Yeah. Ugly business, ambushed us in convoy. Four hours of fighting to get ourselves out, and some of us didn’t. I’m back on duty, but they wanted me to take it easy for a while, so here I am.”

“Babysitting injured birds?”

He smiled.

“It’s not all bad. Least I’ve got one with a sense of humour.”

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