It’s 2001. I am fourteen years old. I really shouldn’t be in the army, but I am. The UH60 Helicopter carrying my squad has just touched down, and I have set foot on the low-resolution landscape of Everon for the first time. We march quickly atop a tree-covered ridgeline, and in the valley below lies the village of Morton.
Half a mile away an enemy rifle crackles, and the soldier beside me crumples to the ground. Whilst my squad returns fire I throw myself onto the earth, panicking, trying to locate the chunky cluster of polygons that resembles the enemy force. As my squad advances the Lieutenant screams at me to return to formation, but I lie still, gibbering as gunfire hisses overhead.
It’s 2009. I am twenty-two years old. I can grow a respectable beard provided I concentrate hard enough. I open my eyes to the dawn, and the island of Skira is revealed before me in all its grassy glory. The mission begins with minimal preamble, and I lead my three-man squad forward, our task to eliminate a series of enemy spotter teams.