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The huge metal structure over Ilan was quite busy. Since the Headquarters of the Response Fleet 4 were dispatched into the quadrant the space-station over Ilan became a hub of trading, not only a military outpost.

The quadrant was a rogue region, and the Human Directorate decided to pacify and control the region. It was believed that the region had important resources, and besides, a mostly human region left out of the HD's control? That was outrageus!


The man walked with enough self-confidence to show that he wasn't a push-over, but his face expressed the curiosity and energy of a youngster, not the calm and self-control of a fighter-pilot.

- Hello.

- SIR!

- Excuse me, room 5893?

- Right, left, right and right again. That is the 5800's sector.

- Er... Thanks.

- No problem.

The man picked up his sack and moved on. Quite a weird appearance: a guy in a parade uniform with a sack on the shoulder full of clothes and God-knows-what.

- Hey, man, wassup with the outfit?

- Well, I like it better.

- Look at the guy? Hey! I'm talking to you!

The pilot stoped, turned and walked to the soldier who was looking for trouble.

- Well, fly boy? What'cha gonna do? Fry my ass with yer lasers?

The pilot slowly put the sack down and in an instant had his hand deep in the soldier's throught.

- You were saying?

The soldier tried to say something while cluthcing his hands on the pilot's arm.

- Listen, man, don't bother me with this shit again.

And the pilot let the soldier go, picked up the sack and moved on the endless corridors.

At a crossroad, a rather small screen showed the lates news:

"... light skirmishes at the HD - Kvash border... new planet colonised in the Goran system... the HD military continues bombing of Foth rebel planet... "

But the pilot though all of this was normal. He grew up with this kind of news.

As he reached the 5800 sector he realised that was the "fly-boys'" sector. On the corridor he now saw dark-blue-ish uniforms, not the dark-green uniforms of the soldiers. The guys were playing cards on the corridor, or drinkig, or just chatting.

- Wha... a new guy... said some shaggy character. Peace, man, I'm Snarl.

- Hi there... Snarl. I'm ... Spot.

- Wha?.. That's not a name!

- Callsing.

- Ah! I'm... er... Mark Gomar.

- Sven Parr.

- Wha... what a name...

Sven looked round at the other guys that were, by now, staring at him.

- Snarl is a bit high right now. But he's one of the best pilots here, said a rather dark guy in a doorway.

- No, man, I'm the best there is! shouted someone a bit far away.

- No way shithead, I'm the best!

- Er... good to see I've got good comrades.

- Yeah. What's with the outfit?

- You're gonna laugh, but it was my only clean thing I had.

- Well, then I ain't gonna keep you if you're stinkin'! the black guy laughed. By the way, I'm Bob "Hatch" Jefferson.

- Yup. Nice to see you.

As he eneterd the room, Sven felt right at home in the small metal coffin that was called "quarter". Enough room for a bed, a small table and a storage compartiment. Seemed like the Military really tried to make the men bond. No individuality.

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