Thursday was the latest session of the VA OT Creative Writing group I’m participating in. I’ve missed a few sessions because of issues mentioned in a previous post. The writing prompt for the day was “Night”. This is what I came up with.
We own the night.
For as long as there have been commando and special operations units, that’s been the unofficial slogan for all of them. Between the advantage of blending into the shadows and the weakness of human eyesight at night, quiet professionals work behind the scenes and usually minus the headlines. The inventions of infrared and night-vision systems produced greater advantages for the warriors who live in a world mostly colored by blacks, greys, and fluorescent green.
When the U.S. Space Command (USSC) stood up, it was only a matter of time before the first “ground” units were created, and, of course, since space is one endless night, they were spec ops from U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). The days of the large and clunky, but deadly and almost silent helicopters yielded to the slightly larger and more agile, but even deadlier, and actually silent drop ships as bases of operations shifted from static forward operating bases on the surface of Earth to the mobile Sheppard-class battle cruiser space ships operating beyond the asteroid belt.
While ground troop units now include non-special ops forces (sof), the sof units still hold the status of first in, last out, no matter where USSC deploys.
When the Aldrin, the newest of the Sheppard-class battle cruisers, ventured out towards Saturn, part of its unit component was two spec ops teams and their specially designed Artemis-class drop ships. When the Aldrin disappeared from the Sol System, while taking a shortcut over Saturn’s northern pole, enroute to an emergency on the moon Titan, on the non-Earth-side of the planet, it took with it the first two Artemis-class drop ships.
What was to be the first operational deployment of the military’s newest toy, instead became the USSC’s biggest nightmare. Worse, details returning from observatories, satellites, and other operational ships in the area display and describe an event not one observer believes their eyes on.
As the Aldrin passed over Saturn’s north pole, the hexagon previously believed to be a storm, much like the infamous red circle on Jupiter, turned into the base of some kind of hexagon-shaped box that formed around the Aldrin before filling with a purplish cloud. When the cloud cleared, the Aldrin was gone.
The USSC eggheads are still trying to come up with a theory to explain what the observers and camera systems recorded. Some say the ship’s destroyed. Others say the ship’s moved somewhere else. Either way, they’re lacking evidence to support either theory as no trace remains of the Aldrin within the Sol System.
In the meantime, USSC has twenty-four hours to come up with a way to explain to SOCOM how its newest assets are lost in space.