Chapter 14 - Queen to Knight

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3rd December 2310 12:56 EST - It had been a hard slog the past few months for now Sergeant Jason Scharn.

The three two month rotations had been challenging on the planet Loki. For every two sectors of the planet gained, the Ceti's had regained another one. While key sectors had been retaken in order for the dwindling medical supplies to be restocked, it came with a monumental cost. New troops were being flown in every few weeks but simple numbers stated that whoever had the most troops would win.

Fortunately, at this time, the Ceti's numbers were not increasing.

Of the 1.5 million souls currently lost on the planet, Jason had lost a fair few comrades along the way. It was great to see the likes of Private, now Lance-Corporal, Gisseux and Lieutenant Daniels back on active duty, with Private Schuldermann's smarts still serving him well. But others had long gone, and he had received no news from Aurora since their last encounter.

That hurt more than anything else in this damned war. The torn look in her eyes and the bitterness in her voice broke Jason's heart just to think about it. With that and still no word from his father who was laying low after allegations of corruption and treason were being laid at his feet it simply didn't give Jason any time to relax or even smile.

His rotation breaks mainly consisted of training for the next rotation. His life now revolved completely around this war.

Then suddenly a few days ago Jason had been pulled off active duty and was being made to prepare for a trip to Sol. It couldn't be much further from the front lines.

No one stated why or for how long, though gathering by the need to take all his equipment it seemed likely that he'd be away from Loki for some time.

Towards Loki, Jason had admired the stars, as he returned home, however, he had confined himself to his room with nothing but reading material to try and take his mind off the situation. Not that it helped much. He was intrigued to know where he was going, with every waking moment hypothesising the reasons behind his return. When he did venture into the observation deck he recognised the constellations quickly. Aquarius, Cassiopeia, Gemini, Orion. They were back in the Sol system and likely a few million miles past Mars.

Within a few hours, they dropped out of FTL flight and the beautiful view of the swirling clouds over the blue and greens of Earth could be seen.

Jason had never been to Earth.

To visit the human confederate capital was exhilarating. To see everything from its overpopulated satellites, space stations and the vast array of vessels to entering the atmosphere and seeing the skyscrapers and traffic all heading in various directions it was simply a sight like no other.

It had an air of antiquity about it. The buildings on Europa were far smoother, far more eloquent and far richer than the buildings that towered towards the heavens, but there was sophistication and superiority in the architecture that Earth had to offer.

Despite all the history articles explaining the arrays of green on the homeworld, there wasn't much greenery anymore around his final destination, Moscow. As one of the USM's top military headquarters, it was heavily defended by a vast array of defensive systems.

What Moscow displayed in defence was also displayed in beauty as buildings like the Kremlin and the Red Square had been protected and maintained to allow visitors to view the impressive culture.

Unfortunately, Jason would be unlikely to have an opportunity to experience that culture as he entered a side entrance of the heavily guarded Kremlin.

Walking through the high ceilinged spotless corridors, Jason felt the intimidation and awe he was expected to feel, as large wooden doors automatically opened when he gradually neared them. Real wood, something he never felt he would see in his lifetime.

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