You are a year into your military tour. Your campaign? The War for Mars.

A Terran marine is a terryfying thing. And not because they’ve got kinematic armour, or terrahertz visors. It’s because they’ll just start shooting. Shooting. In a dome!

I grew up in Olympus. Or more to the point, my mom raised three kids in the shadow of the Mons, and was more concerned with scoring a hit of dust than taking care of us. Now, as the eldest that meant I was always the one protecting my siblings. There’s not much room in the hab-blocks, so a fight always turns into a big public spectacle.

Jump forwards a few years and mom’s gone, little sis is off on an archaeological dig out somewhere and my brother has decided to follows in mom’s footsteps. I’ve got nothing. My e-grades are crap. No-one in the big domes will take on a Mon-rat and so I go to the only place that’ll take me; the Martian Army.

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t because of the name. My local unit, the 201st, are called the Olympians. Here was a place I had camaraderie, someone to give me direction and something to give me purpose.

Martian soldiers aren’t like Terrans. They learn to go into an apartment superscraper and unload mag-rounds into anything that moves. You do that in a dome and next thing you know, all that precious O2 has rushed out of the neat row of holes you punched. You need O2 I found out.

So everything on Mars is LTL, less than lethal. There’s a pretty thin line there as well, some of these weapons will stop your heart, but they won’t punch through a plexi-membrane.

Eleven months in, celebrating the solstice and the Hammer drops. Quite literally. The Terrans had dropped a kinetic driver. A big lug of metal from high orbit. The rim city of Marineris vanished. Just gone. We felt the impact and then the echo.

That was war.

But nothing compared to their troops. They wanted Olympus. Needed it. It was the biggest hub, the beating heart of everything Red. Hab-One had twenty thousand people, a huge cluster of domes with schools, shops, recs and dorms. I don’t know if Peyton, the Terran commander, thought he was been kind by sending in troops versus an orbital strike, but the result was the same. Safety baffles are pretty useless when there’s no air left to trap.

Twenty thousand people. My brother.

Now it’s my war.


Prompt originally posted by HCroaks on reddit and received 3 upvotes.

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