Chapter 19 - Behind Enemy Lines

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5th June 2311 09:23 EST - There was always nervousness when stepping foot into a drop-ship after Jason's experience on Loki. The gut-wrenching feeling of spinning frantically during free fall had always stuck in his mind. Watching helplessly as some of his colleagues were sucked into the atmosphere were some of his most harrowing memories.

Landing onto Vidar would never be the same type of experience. The satellite was mostly dense vegetation. As a result, areas around the satellite could not be defended by anti-air weapons.

With the correct flight plan, good stealth technology and a competent pilot it was possible to get to the forward operating base (FOB) without a single shot fired.

There was still an air of uneasiness about this trip. Ceti's controlled a good eighty percent of this satellite and all of the orbital weaponry. The nearest support vessels would take at least three hours to get to the surface, fortunately, the FOB was well fortified.

The trip down had been somewhat uneventful. Despite all the time spent with the unit, there was not the same cohesion within the Blue Ravens as there was before the assassination mission a month ago. Some would glare whenever Colonel El Hadji appeared, the rest glared when they saw Jason or Donnelly.

At least it was becoming obvious whose side everyone was on.

And then there was the woman herself. Lieutenant Jacqueline Donnelly.

Despite Jason's desire to spend time with her outside of normal routines, he had avoided doing so. She had made it clear that a relationship of any sort between them was futile. However, every time Jason caught her eye he could see her face light up before fading as if she initially embraced his desire before remembering that futility.

The last month had been awkward and now to be placed on the front line again was a welcome relief.

The Blue Ravens had been called in due to some high profile targets being located on the satellite Vidar. One of the targets was a Ceti equivalent of a General. Unlike the Generals of the USM, the Ceti's Pros'hek fought on the front line with the rest of their troops.

This specific Pros'hek, codenamed 'Achilles', has been a bane to the troops on various satellites in the Alpha Centauri system, including Vidar. He was a brutally efficient warrior, an excellent tactician and a boon to the morale of Ceti forces in the area.

To capture 'Achilles' would be a major win for the Blue Ravens and the USM.

To challenge a Ceti of such stature was a welcome distraction for Jason, plus it was a reminder of what this war was actually about, winning for humanity.

"ETA FOB Bogotá, five minutes" called Major Turner as he raised his hand displaying each of his fingers.

Jason had come to really appreciate his dark-skinned commanding officer. Turner had been a calm head over the last month and the pacifier of the unit, maintaining order where sometimes it seemed impossible. His official stance on current situations, orders and agendas was 'I'm a soldier, just tell me where to point and I'll shoot,' his unofficial stance was of deep worry and regret. He knew things were not right but until enough proof was found, he was very much on the sidelines.

Jason envied that impassive stance. Sometimes he just wanted to hide in a corner and forget everything that happened. He also knew it was not possible; he felt compelled to act and deal with the unprecedented situation.

The five minutes quickly passed as the dropship ducked and dived through the terrain. Initially over the dense forest before pushing up towards the mountainous region where the FOB had been set up.

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