Chapter 15 - Blue Ravens

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12th April 2311 12:56 EST - Jason couldn't help but admire the diamond that sat upon the shoulder of his uniform. Despite officially receiving the rank of Lieutenant just over a week ago he still felt some pride when looking at his pristine overalls also displaying the threatening-looking insignia of the 17th SORu Blue Ravens, widely known as the most efficient of the Special Operations Recon units.

If they were the best of the SOR units, and SOR units were the best the USM had to offer...

That thought made Jason smile.

For over three months he had been training to become a member of the team. Fifty-two people entered, but only four made it into the unit. With Vladimir's help, he was placed into the Blue Ravens.

The war was still continuing strong. Intelligence believed that a breakthrough in the war was still another eight earth years away. They did not say to whom though.

This was making the people back home restless and as a result, President van der Meyde was being placed under considerable pressure. Every mistake in the war was now having the blame placed on him. Even within the last week, he had authorised the rescue of twelve hostages only for these hostages to be captured by an unknown pirate gang. A paid ransom later was not looked on too fondly by the people of the Human Confederate.

'Election season starts soon. Another pointless headache' Jason thought to himself.

Jason sat down in a cubicle and as the cubicle closed itself around him he took a deep breath. Straightening his uniform he sat as upright as possible.

As the words 'connecting' flashed across the screen, Jason had not felt so nervous throughout this whole war.

All he was doing was calling home.

It had been almost two years since he had last spoken to home, and those words were not a fond memory. Plus with his father's quiet dishonourable discharge a couple of months ago, he could not imagine the mood would be good to play the prodigal son.

He cleared his throat and looked directly ahead until the screen cleared and a middle-aged woman could be seen smiling around a kitchen area fiddling with a load of electronic equipment.

"Hello?" She responded before taking a quick glance. The quick glance became a long stare and a huge smile "Jason!"

Jason smiled, "Hi mother." He knew if she could jump through the screen to give him a huge hug she would have.

Instantly she stopped everything that she was doing, instructing a robot to continue her tasks. "It's been far too long, where have you been?"

There was a lot that he couldn't tell her, especially about the last three months of intensive special forces training or the initiation into the Blue Ravens which in itself was initially cold and difficult.

While discussing with his mother he remembered how he was instructed in his first few hours as an official member of the Blue Ravens to be outside in the glorious London weather in nothing but his underwear. Apart from it wasn't glorious, it was only twelve degrees centigrade and raining, made worse by the commanding officer bellowing instructions inside his office in full uniform.

His commanding officer, Colonel Furuk Wafi El-Hadji was an imposing and intimidating figure. His dark eyes showed no remorse or empathy, they were eyes of hate and strife, ones which did not like the sight of the former General Scharn's son. For every hour that Jason suffered, it seemed to give the Colonel much delight.

Jason, initially, wondered if this initiation was some sort of joke, but it wasn't until he was greeted by Major Elijah Turner a huge bulky dark-skinned man, a man who appeared far more intimidating than Colonel El-Hadji, that things appeared to change. He was extremely Intimidating until he opened his mouth and greeted Jason with a warm smile. Turner had instantly taken Jason under his wing after his five-hour initiation ordeal and a bond of friendship formed very quickly after. It didn't take long for Jason to start to understand the life and requirements of being in the special forces.

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