Peter Flynn pulled out the bottle of Antares Whiskey and a couple of shot glasses from his private stash and headed out of his cabin. He joined Lt. Kimball in the common area of the ship. She already had a bottle of Ember Spirits on the table cracked open. The spicy spirits already started to perfume the room. No doubt the bottle had already warmed itself up.
She filled the two glasses. Together, they raised them.
“To the Corinth colony. Never forgotten, always mourned,” Flynn said.
“Five thousand souls passed on to the Celestials too soon,” she agreed.
They clinked glasses and drank their shots. The spirits went down Flynn’s throat, immediately warming him, but not due to the alcohol alone. The unique liquor was exothermic on contact with oxygen, warming to the temperature of a cup of coffee almost too hot to drink.
Eltie went first. “I remember I was stationed on the Miranda when we entered the system. We emerged from jump only to see the coronal ejection half way to the station already. But we were already too late. The flare had already swallowed up the station.”
They poured and drank again.
Flynn cleared his throat and coughed. Normally Eltie would give him a hard time about how sailors couldn’t hold their liquor compared to marines, but not today.
“I was a month on the Indus as her second officer. When we went to patrol Archon Bay. It We dropped out of jump into the system to see the detonation on the star and the formation of the plume. Our sublights outdistanced it, but Archon Bay had eighteen thousand people on the planet. The math was perfect. The planet’s revolution and rotation would expose the domes to the ejected plasma. We tried to coordinate evacuation, but ten thousand people didn’t have a way off the planet, and the domes shattered.”
They told the other stories, these related to us by others who had been there. The simultaneous attacks of Decimation Day by the Imperium had cost the Alliance over one million casualties. All civilian.
Though the war was over, the memories remained, as they needed to. Flynn and Eltie drank until they finished the warm spirits and went to work on his whiskey until they had finished all of the targets during that horrible campaign.