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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Another Day in Paradise...

Sarah looked up at the sky between bites of her sandwich. Not that there was much to see past the dome through the noxious mix of carbon dioxide and other thicker gasses that made up the atmosphere of her current home planet, but if she tilted her head and squinted her eyes just right..

There.

Another one, a brief blast of light, still faint through the haze of the atmosphere, but plainly visible, brighter than the foggy sunlight from their own star. The supernova of a capital ship succumbing to its wounds, the life support's carefully curated atmosphere igniting from the blast before dissipating into the unforgiving vacuum of space. So the battle was still raging, as it had been for days. How many ships? She didn't know.

Not that it mattered. Not yet, at least. The warning sirens reminded silent, signifying a battle raging far from the colony with no need to man their localized defenses.

She washed down the last of her sandwich with a swig of liquor, a bold vintage from the homeworld they had brought for a special occasion when volunteering to colonize this hostile world in hostile space as part of the war efforts. Wasn't exactly the sort of occasion she and her fellow colonists had envisioned when secretly stowing it away in their food stores, and drinking on the job was typically forbidden, but with water prioritized for usage in the war fleets, and the focus on battle preparations... Well, everyone had been too busy to ration out the remainder, so they had to make due.

Still, she knew what she was getting into when she volunteered for this. Or thought she knew. In truth reality was never equal to imagination, but there was good in that too. Aside from the weekly drills she hadn't needed to participate in any defense of the colony, not like the crew members of the ships in the battle raging above, almost invisible through the angry swirling atmosphere.

She raised her glass towards the dome, and the periodic bursts of light breaking through the gloomy sky. "Good luck out there." She stood from the bench to gather the remains of her lunch, stealing one last glance, looking up just in time to watch the sky light up with a brief but fierce display of light. "Someone just lost a lot of ships," she mused. "I guess we'll find out who soon enough." If today was the first time she put her training to use... Well, she was ready.

Bzzzzzzt! There went the alarm, lunch was over.

Returning to her post she was greeted with a loud bang, a large grin, and a very untamed beard. "Just in time, Frank!" she grinned back before rummaging through the new box of parts sitting on her workbench.

"That's m'job!" Frank returned, tipping an imaginary hat with a lopsided smile. "Gotta get these surveyors out the door, can't have too many eyes in the sky in times like these."

Sarah watched as her coworker drove away, off to deliver the next batch of parts needed to install the surveyor's engines further down the line. Yup, just another day on Crabsmash. Just another day in paradise.