Somewhere there is an enemy preparing to strike. That has been a given throughout the centuries and is still as true today. Our nation, our planet, our species. Even when it's no a matter of life and death it's about money, liberty, happiness, territory, technology or something like that. That is what the soldiers on UN mandate are taught when they do their take on training. Most soldiers think that these are fine words. They are here to fight for humanity after all. Most soldiers start the training as believers. After a few years most of the believers are not so sure. Most long service veterans think that these are just words. Like be the best or be all you can be. Words to make the minds of men push themselves a little bit further
Still many hundreds of thousands joined up. There was never any shortage of replacements. Across the globe soldiers joined their national armies or the UN. The young and not so young idealists. All looking to save their country or mankind from forces in the wings waiting to strike. It's what happens to them in the service that makes them an agnostic when it comes to political bullshit.
Most keep doing it though. All leave eventually and mostly by choice. Not because they are believers. True believers are far from common in this line of work. Society tends to call them fanatics or psychopaths and sometime things that are far worse. None of them are born killers. There are screening techniques to weed them out. Most have a sense of duty and like the thrill and ways to find it. The thrill of free fall. The thrill of dropping out of the sky like a meteor. For the soldier there is a certain thrill to be had from combat. At least when you are winning.
As humanity was quietly going about it's business on more than two dozen worlds there was something going on that would make all soldiers and just about everyone else a believer. Beyond the frontier of human territory an alien race humanity had yet to encounter was preparing for an attack. This was not War of the Worlds, not at all. They were out there and they were coming.
There were four human systems that did not know what was about to hit them. Well over ten million people who were living lives that they were about to lose were in blissful ignorance of this particular trauma on their horizons. Most of the inhabitants would be grateful that the suffering would be brief. For most of them they would either be dead or beyond caring about their problems within a couple of days. In many respects it would be those that weren't in the first strike area that would suffer the greatest. It would be the ones who saw what was happening, blow by blow on the Vid for days. Pearl Harbour, 911, Westminster, Ontario and Adelaide magnified a thousandfold.