Not NS related.
"Ms. Felman!" Jane Felman jerked her head up. She had been caught sleeping in History 11A again. She looked up at the angry teacher and mumbled an apology. "Well, now that you're awake, perhaps you can tell us the immediate cause of the collapse of the Inter-system League." said the history teacher, Mr. Gail. The question was easy enough, Jane had read it in Dorinn's History of the Galaxy the night before, "The withdrawal of the Collective of Forinth." The history teacher seemed annoyed that she had gotten the question right, "Correct...and the collapse was followed immediately by a millenium of war within the present day boundaries of the Alpha O Sector, the sector where humanity originated from." The teacher was walking around the class, looking for inattentive students while lecturing about the Interstellar War, "This period was marked by constant strife and economic depression, as governments diverted resources to a wartime economy." Jane felt her attention slipping as the teacher droned on, "One especially prevalent method of warfare was the employment of strike teams that destroyed key research and industrial complexes, as various sovereign entities pumped massive funds into scientific research in key fields: weapons development, hyperdrive technology, fusion, and nanite systems." Boring, thought Jane. Her eyes drooped; she hadn't gotten a lot of sleep last night.
First Sargeant Mike Thaiden surveyed his team as he cocked his rifle. They looked determined and resolute, he thought. Mjolnir Squad of the Strategic Assault division was heading towards a key research space station that belonged to the Torelli system. Mike gave his usual pre-mission speech, "Right, guys, you know the job. You know what we're here for. Just do your job and don't do anything stupid, and we'll be okay." The eight other men in the small ship nodded. Thaiden continued, "ETA is three minutes. You've all studied the station's layout. The job should be quick and painless if we act fast. Opposition should be just a few scientists, they aren't well trained, and they're poorly armed. Remember the plan, and we'll be back in Kelmaria in no time. Haul ****." Thaiden look at his squad once more and shouted, "Kelmaria!" Eight fully armed marines shouted back in unison, "Far may we reach!" and ran to the docking bay.
Jane was in trouble. She had been caught again. As the students filed out of class, she had to stay behind. "Ms. Felman, you have a chronic problem of fatigue in my class. What do I have to do to make you pay attention?" Jane gave a noncommital response while staring at the floor. Frowning, the teacher spoke again, "You have a personal assignment, worth two test grades. Write a three page essay about the Interstellar War and its impact on interstellar relations. Your assignment is due on Friday. You may go." As Jane walked out of the classroom and towards the lunchroom, she felt extreme frustration, she was going to the big Aerogame match with her friends tomorrow. She let out a resigned sigh and walked into the lunchroom.
"Crack the security system, Jaeger." said Thaiden, as he covered the R&D entrance corridor. The bodies of three scientists were scattered across the floor, their labcoats were searched for access keycards. Private First Class Jaeger sat on a chair and started hacking the security system. "Mallon, Shinseki, check the auxiliary communications room. Thompson and Raker, go to system controls. Make sure that the surviving scientists haven't called for help." Four marines ran out of R&D, into two separate corridors that went opposite directions. Thaiden and three other marines stood guard while Jaeger cracked through the system. Jaeger spoke, "It's done." He popped the datadisk into the computer. The other three marines then started setting explosives around the mainframe. One minute passed. Jaeger ejected the datadisk and stood up, "We got it. Let's get the hell outta here." Thaiden was about to speak until Mallon and Shinseki ran into the room. "Sir, they've activated the distress signal. Torellian strike teams are en route." said Mallon, while gasping for breath. No more words were spoken as the nine marines raced towards the facility's auxiliary docking bay. As they ran, Shinseki gave a grunt and fell down. Thaiden looked behind, "Shinseki's dead. Keep moving. They're right behind us." As the team ran a new corridor, they could hear plasma burning holes into the wall behind them. The team finally reached docking. Jaeger and Mallon hurried into the ship, while the six other marines stood guard as they prepared for departure. Ten Torellian marines entered the bay while the six Mjolnir marines opened fire. Plasma rounds were exchanged, and by the time Jaeger's voice thundered in Thaiden's comm set, three marines had fallen. Thaiden and the other two marines then ran onto their corvette. The ship engaged its hyperdrive systems and it was gone in an instant.
As Jane talked with her friends, she was thinking about how to complete her essay so she could go to the game. Cameron started speaking again, "Gail's such a bastard. We haven't even gone over the Interstellar War yet. Do you think you'll still be able to make the game?" Jane answered, "I'm going to go whether I complete the essay or not." She didn't care about history that much. It was mainly memorizing a bunch of legislative acts, people, and dates. That was it. There was only one break from the monotony, the first and only interstellar war. And even then, it seemed pretty boring.
Back on their ship, the five marines were standing over four beer cans. Their little, unofficial ceremony was almost over. They stared at them for a long time. The four cans were ejected into space, and they watched, silently, somberly as the cans floated out of sight until Thaiden spoke, "To our fallen comrades. Citizens of Kelmaria. Soldiers of Kelmaria. Defenders of Kelmaria." The other four spoke in unison, "Far may they reach."