I know it’s been a while since I wrote you. But a lot of things have changed. War is here. Fusey and Alastair are dead. Almost everyone in my entire graduating class is dead. But, I’m okay. So is Jordan. We actually serve together, now. We’re on the same ship. We’re on a Georgian class cruiser, the Vigor.
I actually think that he’s most of the reason I’m still alive. Of course, he’d say the same about me. We’ve been through some tough stuff. War is scary as hell, Mom. Battles are terrifying. It’s not like pew-pew lasers of the movies. It’s ships ramming each other in the dead of space. Gyroscope craft spin huge spiked balls that slam into the enemy, tearing hull away. Some have jury-rigged blades that slice through your hull and vent air, so your entire crew is sucked out screaming into the void. And boarding operations, where you can hear your men being blown away and slaughtered, before you have to initiate massive gee-force maneuvers to pulp human beings inside your ship and hope the tug crews and repair teams can clean it out. There are magnetic mines that are blown out of airlocks that attach to any foreign ships hull and blow the hell out of it.
It’s bloody and horrible and the stuff of madness.
Doesn’t bother Jordan, though. I think if it wasn’t for him, I would have gone AWOL. It sickens me, now. All the killing and fear. It gets to you. But, you know what, Mom? We’re good at it. Jordan and I. We’re the best. No one can beat us, and we’ve whupped everything they’ve sent after us.
And then, there are times when it makes me feel alive. That rush of adrenaline and terror make you feel like there’s nothing else in the world that matters. I have a purpose, I have meaning. I’m a soldier, a pilot. I keep my people alive. Sometimes that’s good enough. To know that I’m not alone, and that everyone else around me WANTS to be here, they ain’t some snot-nosed draftee. I serve with enlisted men. As much as I hate it, as much as it scares me, I think I belong here.