“Move, move, move!” she shouted. The closer the threat, the more her harness tightened, shielding her behind the combat couch’s blast-resistant wings. It felt as if somebody were hammering her coffin lid down while she was paralyzed but still alive.
This particular fear was a well-worn track for the 24-year-old private. To suppress the panic, she angrily gloved a salvo of 30 thumb-sized diverters skyward. She quickly followed them with a pair of 4-inch pulse-mortar rounds. Those would float gently down on parachutes, shorting out anything electronic within a 5-meter radius until they exhausted their batteries. Her haptic suit pinched her to let her know it was overkill for the incoming threat, but it still felt right. She could answer for it when she wasn’t as worried about dying — whenever that day might come.
“Steady all. Shift to position Delta-6,” said Churchill — the Marathon’s commander — in a comfortingly steady voice.
This is how an essay on future combat by August Cole opens in this month’s U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings magazine. Click here for the fascinating glimpse into where military operations may be headed in the not-so-distant future.
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