Fire

There was frost on the window. It was supposed to be summer, but since the last conflict began, every season had been extended. A fleet of enemy carriers lay still in orbit just outside of normal battalion fire, visible through the large viewscreen window, but they did not move. General Dana Blain looked out over the debris of thousands of warships as it floating up above the atmosphere in the night sky, watching as some succumbed to the gravity of the planet and became shooting stars in reentry.

Her blue eyes stared into the stars as her hands found each other behind her back. “Ensign, I need a status report of the orbit.”

Red lights flashed for days, and the people felt it all over the globe. Ensign Webber punched in the codes and looked upon the glowing screen as he read the statistics to the General. “General, the report from the Scientific Data Association reads us at an orbit increase of twelve days, sixteen hours, forty-three minutes and fifteen seconds.” The ensign paused while a droplet of sweat moved down his temple. “That’s…”

“An increase of almost double over last time. Yes, I know.” General Blain walked over to the console and punched in a few numbers to see for herself. Her expression was blank and disaffected, as it had been since the third conflict of the war.

A screen to the right of the panoramic view blinked on, displaying the features of a man nearly as stoic as the General. “General Blain, this is Senator Ruger! Peace negotiations are beginning with the Dek’a. You are to cease military advancement immediately. This planet cannot take another blast. Do you-”

He hadn’t finished before the General’s finger flicked over the console button and cut off power to the screen. Everyone in the room turned to her, their faces glazed with astonishment. “Ready the cannon, Ensign Webber,” she said as the eyes of every person in the room focused on her with undisguised astonishment.

“But-” the ensign protested with what the last remnants of his confidence.

“Do it!” As she snapped, she fixed him with a glare more potent than any weapon’s force. Ensign Webber nodded. It wouldn’t be long before they would hear the rumble of the weapon rising to the surface. The cannon was the most deadly weapon in their arsenal.

A science expert’s voice finally broke through the silence. “General, another blast from the cannon will push us out of orbit,” she said quietly

While the scientist stood in defiance, the General waved a hand to have her escorted off the bridge. In that same moment, she watched the planet, her planet, shine its weapon of destruction towards the helpless fleet of carriers. It was that stone cold look that now filled her being and pushed fear like a drug onto her crew.

“This is for John,” whispered the woman, as she avenged one man with the motion to fire.

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