The office had a makeshift feel about it.
Designed to house and cater for the needs of the Navy, in times past the Mria System had been at the forefront of the Union’s commercial interests. Materials, trade, tourism had made their way to the Upper Arc, with the Second Space Fleet keeping a watchful eye on everything.
Now, Mria was on the front line of the fight with the Hegemony. The Fleet had been forced into a holding action, with the Arvonian carriers all that prevented Kralien and Torgoth ships from their depradations.
And they had lost one of their own.
Leaning back in the standard issue office chair, he looked over the final entry in the personnel file, loosening the stiff collar as he did so.
It had been some time since he’d worn the dress uniform, Korczynski mused. When the Division had mobilised from Promethean, and a temporary assignment to the Sabre turned into regular duty. Before rejoining the 4th Light, dress uniform was standard wear.
Now it was a reminder that regardless of how many missions they had completed, and even through the loss of ships, that the crew, the people they served with, were mortal.
The time had come to close the file. But not just yet.
Reaching into the back of the desk drawer, the Martian officer produced a bottle filled with clear liquid and two shot glasses. Pouring a measure into both, the captain reflected on the ribbons, one in particular. A Meritorious Commendation, earned by the crew of the Sabre and the Horizon for an action in the Sumri System. They’d fought to hold the gate, a modern retelling of Horatius at the bridge, without the hero falling.
Raising a glass in salute, the words did not want to be said. But they had to be.
“To Eric Aramond of the Horizon. We will never see your like again.”
The liquid burned in his throat as fiercely as the memories of serving together. The spark may have gone, but the legacy would continue.
“Computer, close file.”
Leaving the other glass untouched, frame cap slightly askew, it was past time to join the rest of the Division at The Bar.