The smell. The constant, disgusting invasion of that scent. Tinging the air that entered my body every second of every day that I spent on that wretched planet. Somewhere between old urine and rotten cabbage. There was a sound that accompanied it. Made by all the new transfers, the ones experiencing the planet and the base for a first time. Like a deep clearing of the throat, that there was some enormous phlegm blocking all your passages and the only way to get rid of it was by irritating your throat hard enough that you vomited it up. The invasive nature of that climate hit you in so many ways that your bodies very first reaction was to try and get it away from you. But it never could. That smell went everywhere with you. Every hour of every day. The snorting and the retching lasted for a week. Maybe two. Some say three. But in my experience, those who had it that bad usually found a way to transfer out by that point. The rest of us were stuck with it, though. And those of us who survived will never be able to smell anything but that. We'll carry it for the rest of our lives. What happened that night can never be unseen. They told us, after, that it was worth it. That we had secured a great place for ourselves and our fellows, a place where we could exist free of devil and torment. But if they had seen what we had. Fought it. Lived it. Smelled it. They would laugh at such naïve thoughts. Those thoughts would be driven so far out of their heads it would feel like they were never anything more than fever dreams, foolish misrepresentations of reality brought on by disease and delusion. That smell is one that has become an intrinsic part of my world. And its funny how it's been exploited. It's been touted by the spokesmen (Snakes! Saboteurs!) that it was once an idyllic world. A place from stories, they said. What they never said was that these stories were nightmares. And I know you don't believe me, when I speak of fever dreams and nightmares. But you weren't there. You weren't there when the hammer fell and our ranks were culled, as if retribution for all our sins. But you will believe. You'll believe once I burden your soul with my story. When I tell you about my time in the war. What I saw, what I lost. The scars cut into my skin and soul. When I tell you about my time on Arlon.