They’d gone out on patrol early in the morning. Their horizon blue uniforms blending in with the vegetation surrounding them. Their orders were simple: 1) Patrol the area, ensure there were no hostiles in the area. 2) Make sure all the motion and sound sensors were still in place. 3) Ensure the Colonials were safe. They had already met the first two mission orders, that only left the third.

They came down the road towards the Robert’s Farm, a family which had been settled here for the last fifty years. They were good people, hard working, and most of all, they had three daughters, none of which was ugly. As the corporal on point sighted Elsie, the eldest daughter, out by the creek filling a bucket with water, he smiled to himself. She was twenty three years old, and wanted to go out and see more of the galaxy. She was also sweet on him. He waited for her to see him, she waved at him, he waved at her. He smiled again, this time at the fact that he could hear their Squad Automatic Team bickering, it reminded him of his ex_wife. “Why do I always have to carry the ammo? Why can’t you carry it and I carry the FAR?” He tried not to laugh, the FAR (Ferrelli Automatic Rifle) weighed about twelve pounds unloaded. The ammo drums it took weighed one and a half pounds each, that was the five hundred round version at least. “Because I can actually hit what I aim at, you couldn’t hit the broadside of a starship with it, Ruiz.” Murphy replied. He always loved how they sounded like a married couple. It was better than watching old episodes of Johnny Carson.

Elsie waved and smiled at him as he drew within twenty feet of her. “Howdy Corporal Klein, how y’all doin’?” She asked as he came closer. “Well, we’re fine, bit worn from walkin’ all over this territory.” He replied, always glad to be able to speak as he had when he was a boy in the Colonies. “So, I reckon y’all be wantin’ somethin’ refreshin'” She said, her smile showing what she wanted. He had been raised with the traditional rules of Colonial Courtship, his father had been from Earth originally, his mother from Alpha Centauri. She seemed to have other ideas as to that. She came up to him and kissed him, drawing a course of whistles and comments from his squad. He ignored them, used to the abuse. “Well, I suppose should be getting you in to see pa.” She said, also ignoring his comrades. Her father liked him, he wasn’t like the rest of the “Damned Fed Bluebellies” that were here. He wanted to help them, to protect them, they’d treated him like family since day one. He didn’t agree with the way the Colonials were being treated by the Federation Government. But he was a Marine, so he had to follow orders.

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