My breathing came fast and heavy, amplified in the cockpit of the spaceship. It was a one-man ship, possibly the only one to make it past the initial wave of enemy forces. It was a few steps up from the standard SIG and VIG units that the Federation Government was using, but I wouldn't be surprised if they had some prototypes up their sleeves as well.

The Federation Government. Our opponents. They had overwhelmed our forces, taken or destroyed all of our bases... At least, that's if you believed what their leader claimed. Our long-range array had been broken for over a week before the bombing of our mothership, so we had no way of confirming this. Looking back on it, I can't believe we all missed it. It hadn't been some freak accident that disabled the array.
It was sabotage, pure and simple.

We should have looked more thoroughly at the men we picked up on the last planet leave. We should have been alert for potential security risks. But our forces were forced too thin already. We ran the cursory screenings, but didn't have the time or the resources to look deeper.

And because of our sloppiness, my comrades are dead or dying, and I continue their fight in deep space. I have to destroy the numerous enemy ships and cannibalize their parts just to keep myself alive. How many waves of enemies has it been? Twenty? Thirty? They come so fast that all I can do is target, fire, dodge. Target, fire, dodge. Hair-trigger reflexes are all that keeps me out of harm's way, all that stands between me and explosive decompression. No time to think, no time to breathe. Target, fire, dodge.

And then, it's over. I get a reprieve, with just my thoughts to keep me company. The emptiness of space is maddening, and the echo of my breath is amplified in my space suit. I'm stuck here, and all I can do is to wait for the next inevitable wave of enemies to arrive.

It's times like this that my mind drifts. I try to make sense of everything that's happened to me in the last 24 hours. Why did the Federation Government ally itself with a known terrorist? Why did I survive in my ZIG unit when all around me, people were dead? And CATS, what were you thinking?

Why did you set up us the bomb?