The alien Shang attacked us in 2304. They blew Yosemite Station out of Earth orbit and dropped it all over the western half of America. They obliterated Washington DC with a missile bombardment and brought nuclear winter to my home. We stood back up, we fought back, and we hit them in hundreds of systems from one end of known space to the other. And then we sent out the call to rally the fleets for a coordinated strike on their heart of power near Earth.

I am Captain Jack Hart of the Republic of Texas Marine Corps Fighter Attack Wing 112, the Cowboys. It was our job to protect the fleets from Shang spoiling attacks while they organized themselves into a cohesive assault force. It was our job to watch the flanks and keep the system secure. It was our job to be ready to investigate any unidentified contact entering the system.

Most of those days were boring. A faulty transmitter. Or somebody showing up ahead of schedule or long after they were supposed to arrive. And some days it was far more exciting than that. This was one of those days.


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