Published by David Evans at Smashwords
Copyright 2013 David Evans
Cover art by Andrew Dudek
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He opened his eyes and slowly scanned the shuttle’s chronometer. Only a few microcycles had passed since his last check. He had been avoiding sleep as much as possible on this long, boring voyage. He did not look back at his passengers and queried the shuttle for a status. Once again, not much had changed.
It had been mostly silent since their drop-off at the tactical beacon. He tried to hide his mild frustration from his passengers as he recalled the sequence of events that led to his being out here at the edge.
He was an aspiring assault ship controller. His skills had been sharp; his attitude focused, and he was fairly well connected within the warship community. That was until the most recent two full-set cycle of military equilibrium. The resulting stalemate had ground all battles to a halt. Promotions in combat units slowed as a consequence.
The adversaries were balanced warship for warship and neither was able to get ahead in new production. They were so balanced that new warship production had even been halted. This was unprecedented.
It was not a peace. It was not a war. It was nothing!
The lack of battles for the combat-trained proved excessively boring. Left to their own devices, they were often consumed by their own poor choices. Excessive use of enhancers, holotainment, and in his case the combination.