Five years had passed. Five long, long years. Five years ago, the ring gate had opened, and five years ago Humanity had gone from a civilization locked from one solar system to hundreds of new systems to explore, claim, civilize, and murder each other over. It had had serious repercussions - the dream of Mars was gone. No longer would Aden's children or grandchildren ever likely see an ocean on Mars. Mars itself had been gutted - perhaps a tenth of the population had fled the red planet for the great unknown, leaving the Fleet after their mandatory service was up. The fleet, at least in Aden's eyes, seemed weaker. In places, it seemed that the Fleet had not kept up readiness standards. Ships not fully crewed, training lax. To a point. The MCRN was still a force to be reckoned with, but with so many eyes to the beyond, not enough remained behind. Aden had re-upped past his mandatory tour, and had risen through the ranks because of it. But it still was different. He hadn't seen anyone from the battles of Ganymede or Io for quite a while. That is how Aden found himself, five years later, promoted to Chief Petty Officer and the senior NCO onboard the MCRN Harenae, a Morrigan-class ship currently in orbit of Mars. Aden himself was not on the ship, but instead in barrack housing at CentCom on Mars - MCRB Persephone. He was there until standard maintenance on the Harenae was completed, but it did lead to him being bored. There was only so much training that one could do. Today he walked the halls, listening to the click of his boots against the floor as he walked by in the point-four g of the home planet. He wasn't some crazy jarhead, one-g was saved for the most extreme scenarios. He turned right at the next bulkhead, sliding doors opening and shutting behind him as he entered the mess hall, winding through to get some food. Most everyone he knew was out at the slow zone and beyond, either retired or stationed elsewhere. But somebody had to stay on Mars, at least until the next rotation came through. Perhaps some exposure training later, but right now, he'd kill for some good food. Unfortuately, barracks food would have to do. He sat down at an empty seat, and began poking whatever it was he'd been served with a fork, pulling out his hand terminal and looking down the latest reports. The room hadn't caught his eye very much, a handful of Naval persons, a gaggle of Marines in another corner and a force recon jumpsuit or two in the room, but nobody he recognized. He turned his attention back to the hand terminal. Maybe something there would catch his eye? But today the guns were silent. The skies did not rain with death. With no mission to complete, or a task at hand, he sat alone and waited for something to happen.