Over the next several months, the term ‘mobile infantry’ earned a whole new definition. No longer was there anything that might be called a ‘base’. All of their operations were centered on the big transports. Camps on the ground were few and brief at best; no one slept out in the open any more. Chow might be heated over a campfire occasionally, but more often than not, it was cold. Even the fuel and ammunition was stored in transports and when they began to run low, more would be parachuted down to them from orbital carriers. Sentries always stood watch both in the cockpit, over the sensors as well as on top of the transports with binoculars, long-range motion detectors and radar.
Even with the hard work of the guardians, keeping structures standing was proving to be all but impossible, so they kept moving. Those guardians who had been embroiled longest in the war had become quite powerful, but the enemy spell casters were powerful too. The only way to keep fighting was to keep moving. Casualties were minimized this way, but it was hard on everyone.
Reed looked up from his latest disc-letter from Jennifer where she was tickling his son, trying to wring giggles out of him so daddy could hear him laugh. It was such an infectious giggle; it made him smile every time he heard it. He watched the letters over and over. It helped him to remember just what he was fighting to protect. He wished so much he could be there instead of here.
Other men in the transport were doing much the same thing. Some were watching their own letters, some were reading a book or magazine, a couple was playing chess and at least half of them were sleeping. Everyone looked haggard and tired; it didn’t help that none of them had taken a bath or washed their clothes in weeks; they were doing good to scrape the hair off their faces and keep the rest out of their eyes. There was an exception though. Somehow, Stenner managed to remain relatively clean and groomed.
Reed rested his head back against the cushion and just listened to the voices of his little family. They were due to pick up more supplies tomorrow. With luck, there would be a new letter in there from Jennifer. He missed her.