These vignettes are excellent, Bry! I feel like I'm immersed in an old Otto Preminger war movie as you shift to different scenes and situations involving the Third Cutter Squadron.
You've done a masterful job of capturing the tension, fatigue and frustration of these Border Dogs as they continue to face daunting challenges with dwindling resources. There is a desperate feel to these stories and the imagery of blood, sweat and fear are palpable.
The characters shine through as well - not with over-the-top heroics but with believable responses from professionals who, though working to a point beyond exhaustion, continue to carry out their duties to the best of their abilities. And while the Talarians may be the "little cousins," it's apparent that the Border Service remains the poor, ugly step-sister to Starfleet. Semper Paratus, Border Dogs!