the Family and the Home

Holographic light has a soothing feature about it. The light is gentle slowly pulsing from thin air. The commanders seat was always a bath of holographic images bouncing around the room. Telemetry data, heading, maintenance reports, weapons systems, all swirling around the commander in the dance of blue and red. Normally this is a position Taher would have relished. Not today though, today was bombardment day. Though the sea of dancing light he heard a voice call out to him; "we have received conformation of enemy positions, command has ordered fire in two minutes." The voice was Nandir, his second in command, from his own seat not too far from him. There seats where facing slanted to face the roof to cushion the crew in high g burns, still it was discomforting not to see your crew mates. Taher returned his focus to the display, dots of lights where appearing now on his top down view of the solar system: One clusters was his battle fleet the other, across the system, the Dynasties. The little orange dots that represented their ships far outnumbered their little blue ones. The fear stuck him again now, it had been happening more and more lately. You were supposed to get used to war, but this was the first time Taher was in command. "Weapons, status?" he called out. Again the response came from outside his range of vision "Rail gun online sir, slugs loaded and ready to fire. Forwards shields at full strength." Masheek, his tactical officer. Taher watched the countdown now only ten more seconds left…nine…eight…seven….six…My god it's almost starting…four…three…I'm not ready for this…….two…….FIRE!

The farmhouse house was a simple one. It had a spirit to it, the type a place only gets when it has been lived in. It is a place that memories were made, and families were raised. The house was the type that could be featured in motel art, to make far flung travelers think of home. A carefully maintained grass field surrounded it, on one side it quickly met up with a thick forest, forming a natural border for the property. The field had it's own magic; you could swear in the evening the ghosts of the children, who used to spend their summers their, could be barely visible in the dying sunlight.

With his order the ship rocked back back as the large gun fired it's first slug, a few seconds later another one followed. Taher slowly sat up from his seat, taking a moment for his eyes to adjust to the darkness of the bridge. He noticed the half a dozen strong bridge crew doing the same, rising from their holographic coffins like the zombies they might soon become. Now for the worst part, the waiting. It would take days, maybe weeks, for projectiles to cross the great expanse of a star system. Then a wave of metallic death would engross both sides until they reached combat distance. The metal was indiscriminate and random, one moment nothing, and then a ship would blow to pieces. Everyone knew the number, thirty percent, thirty percent of men would die before being within 100 thousand kilometers of the enemy. The ones who survived didn't have a brighter future, weeks of close quarters, twenty four hours a day, combat. Corvette class vessels lacked any sort of windows to maintain structural integrity, more then likely they would never see the enemy. All they could do now was wait, and hope they weren't scattered among the stars.

Nine kids used to live in the house. Nine kids and two parents.

Ship destroyed

Children moving out

Heat of battle

House old man waiting for the last of his sons to come home

Suicide run end of the line

Son returns home

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