Chapter Two: Objective Orange

By: Andrew Dunn


We first saw Objective Orange on the ship, a simulation of it anyway. The intel-types dimmed Ready Room lights. After fidgeting with a laptop and projector, a glowing ochre hologram of a spaceport near the Rouvenman coast appeared. We saw everything—from the overall X shape of the place with a launch tower in the center, to the control building, dorms, and open spaces full of construction equipment and supplies. Each of us took turns on the laptop zooming in, out, and studying it from different angles to clue ourselves into our first objective.

“For operational purposes,” Chief Herrera said, “we’re calling it Objective Orange.”

What a relief. It’s Rouvenman name was something that reminded me of the way my grandmother slurred her Vietnamese when she drank bourbon. People always said I had a knack for language, but I was never able to learn Vietnamese and couldn’t understand a word of it my grandma said drunk or sober. Objective Orange was just fine with me.

“It’s unfinished?” Fargo asked.

Chief Herrera didn’t miss a beat. “Unfinished but usable.”

Lieutenant Russ pounced. “A straight answer Chief. Please?”