one-offs

Alpha Zeta is a non-canon story set ina different world and timeline. it has nothing to do with BHotR, but is quite a fun read, and a good place to unwind. JP's are spur of the moment and last hours, resulting in way too many words, and way too much fun.

one-offs

Postby Kai » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:23 pm

Roland Gilly was led to an interrogation room unsurprisingly, even though they had told him it was to be a debriefing. This would probably be their preliminary investigation to spearhead a future court martial, if all went horribly for the Mechanical Petty Officer. The only thing he could think to do was play along, answer honestly, and do his damnedest to paint the positives of his actions in a clear picture.

The man that eventually sat across from him- and the only other person in the room at that time- was a Lieutenant Dirinkovchka according to his perfectly kempt uniform. He had a few sheets of paper before him which were mostly empty, and a single ball-point pen. Dirinkovchka- or Diri, to his family and closest friends- was a straightforward and blunt kind of soldier, and still had the edge of a drill sergeant even though he'd been sitting behind a desk for the better of a decade. To begin, "This conversation is being recorded, and I will be making my own personal evaluation as well. Please state your rank and name, soldier."

Very plainly, he answered, "Mechanical Petty Officer Roland Gilly, sir."

"Very well. Roland, please explain to me the events that led to you piloting a MAGE."

"I was in the armory, taking inventory for the end of my shift when I noticed the Commander running training drills take off to engage approaching HARMs. A couple of the Recruits followed after him, asking for assistance. I noticed no one else was going to aid them, so I climbed inside the nearest ExoFrame and went to help."

The Lieutenant leafed through a few of his sheets to find the one he desired. "Your record here states that you have attempted and failed the entry examination twenty-two times. Why is that?" He obviously had the answer before him, but Roland entertained the question none the less.

"It is on record that there's a 15% chance that I may become unstable in extreme conditions such as combat, that my reflexes are not quick enough to handle the fast-paced combat experienced within an ExoFrame, and my decision-making skills were determined to be too slow and sloppy in the quick-response section."

"The same results twenty-two times. Some would call you insane for trying so hard."

"Or obssessed. Or passionate. Or stubborn. Yes, sir, I've been called many things, but I've only ever dreamed of being called one: MAG."

"I can see that, Roland. Despite these twenty-two failures, you still chose to get in a MAGE and engage two hostile Neci Maras. Why is that?"

"No one else was going to help them, and they certainly needed it. Furthermore, I know all of the MAGEs like they were my children. I've been maintaining almost every MAGE we deploy for the last fourteen years, sir. I know these ExoFrames better than most pilots. With this knowledge in mind, I felt it would be irresponsible for me to not take action."

"Did you consider the possibility that you might be making a mistake, Roland?"

"Yes, sir. I determined that if I was making a mistake that I would pay for it with my life. I also have enough in savings to pay for a quarter of the suit, should it have been damaged; I could only hope that my sacrifice for comrades and that money would be enough of an apology."

"Duly noted. Now please continue." The Lieutenant was then handed a cup of water by a man that had entered mere seconds earlier, only to leave immediately thereafter. Diri began to gulp it all down while MPO Gilly explained.

"I grabbed a shortsword and automatic rifle, then sprinted toward the scene."

"Why those weapons?"

"I needed weapons that would handle well at close range."

"Why not long range?"

"I don't trust myself to be accurate enough not to hit friendlies in my field of fire, and felt it would be best to be on scene, should anyone need immediate assistance."

Dirikovchka nodded. "Proceed."

"On my way there, one of the NMs- the Neci Maras- fired a mortar amidst our MAGEs. Everyone took heavy damage from what I could tell, but the Commander was still in fighting shape and the Recruits seemed capable of taking on the other NM. As I got closer, though, the Commander and Recruits were further disabled. That's when I stepped in, shooting one Neci Mara while charging the other. I emptied my gun on the one, and impaled the other before tackling him."

"Sounds like a very reckless tactic, Roland."

"I had the element of surprise, and both were already slightly damaged. I felt there was no better way to make use of my advantages and still maintain everyone's well-being, my own included."

"What happened next?"

"The NM I shot down was disabled by the Commander. The other one was beat up."

"By you?"

"By the Isaac Risa I was piloting. The Commander locked it up before the HARM pilot was critically injured, but he's in Intensive Care I imagine."

"Why the distinction, Roland?"

"If you don't know, sir, the IR's are programmed to utilize nerve impulses in addition to vocal commands to increase their performance in combat by using the two sources of input in tandem with its own processing speed to increase response time and action speed. However, this makes it unpredictable for less knowledgeable pilots that do not fully understand its needs. I did not recall this information until it had begun to wail upon the NM without my input. I would have set it straight as well, but the Commander was able to act faster."

"Seems like things could have gone terribly wrong if he hadn't been there."

"The same could have been said for any Recruit, sir, but they also have basic training in the use of MAGEs. In my defense, sir, I was able to climb into a MAGE and defeat two enemies almost single-handedly using only the knowledge I've gathered from my time as a mechanic and manuals I've read. And although I did break the rules as an unqualified user of a MAGE, I also saved lives by my course of actions."

"Very strong speech, Roland. Seems like you have something else to say." Reading people was a skill this Lieutenant had picked up quickly and mastered over the last decade or so.

"Yes, sir. I would like to formally propose that my performance today be added to my record insofar as my potential as a ExoFrame pilot is concerned. I feel that I displayed exemplary intuition in standard maneuvers and combat, and that I should be considered for MAGE BASIC."*

"Is that so?" Lieutenant Dirikovchka seemed, in Roland's opinion, to be teasing the mechanic.

"Yes, sir. I mean every word of it."

"Anything else you'd like to note?"

"No sir."

"Very well then. You're free to go, but we'll be in touch." The Lieutenant rose, pausing only at the door. "Good luck, Roland. I have a feeling you'll need it."

"Thank you, sir. I believe you're right." Dirikovchka nodded and then left. Roland sat for a few minutes, contemplating all that had been said, only rising when a MP entered and ushered him out. The interrogation/debriefing had done little to settle his nerves. The Lieutenant had been impossible to read with his stonewall expression, and his words had been very flat. It was impossible to tell what they were going to do with him. With nothing left, Roland Gilly simply prayed to the forces that be.

*BASIC: Basic Actions Simulations for Intuitive Combat. This comes after boot camp, and is basic training for all MAGs. Its overall course can be described as the repeated simulation of the core maneuvers of ExoFrame combat with interspersed open-combat simulations- all designed to ingrain said maneuvers into reflexes that can and will save the pilots' lives.
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Re: one-offs

Postby Kai » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:23 pm

"MAG number: 0624081, Rank: Sergeant Major." Stated the heavy jawed and middle-aged man as the Officer leading his interrogation entered the cell for the third time this week. The Officer ignored his captive and motioned with his gloved hand for one the bodyguards to enter the room.
"Check his manacles again, I've given the old fool a few days of alone time, he might have tried to do something stupid." The Sergeant Major winced as the guard did as he was told and clamped the set of ring even tighter around his raw wrists. As the guard left the HARM officer gave his captive a big, friendly, white toothed smile.
"Sergeant, you're a funny man, I just can't seem to figure out why you were outside our base even before the war had broken out. I also, no matter how many times I check our own records, can't get a hold of MAG number: 0624081's actual name. So I had to go a different route." The officer pulled an ornate lighter from his pocket, it was decorated with a small unit badge. "It was very sad Sergeant Aleron - may I call you that, no wait, of course I can as I am the host here - but, yes it was very sad the sight of your Corporal." The officer flicked the lighter, Aleron's lighter, onto the ground. "He did very much so want to see this returned to you, said you dropped it the night before you left. Regretfully I never found out where you left from, as, well a human body does only have so much blood and when you're doing the work of Heaven you find you tend to get a little over excited."
The Sergeant Major attempted to break free of his bonds, but all that he managed to do was break open the wounds on his ankles and wrists again, causing blood to flow. The HARM officer just laughed and then clapped his hands. He nodded to the two guards who entered. "I'm done here for today, but before either of you leaves would you mind giving the dear Sergeant a haircut, after all we can't have prisoners looking like the rest of us, can we?" As the officer left the cell both guards advanced upon Aleron, combat blades out and ready for work.
Four days passed before the Officer was back, the cuts on the Sergeant's hairless scalp just recently scabbed over. The HARM Officer actually looked tired this time, his uniform disheveled and his gloves missing. A feverish light had entered his eyes. "Aleron, you'll do a favor for me, won't you?" He asked, a strange quiver punctuated the Officer's voice. "You'll do a favor for old Lieutenant Garkin, right? Where is your ExoFrame?" All of a sudden Garkin's face twisted in rage. "Where is it! I need it Aleron, I need it to show my boss, my officer, that I'm doing my job. If, if only I hadn't killed that Corporal...if only..." The Lieutenant had begun to mutter to himself and then stopped, looking at the Sergeant Major with hope in his eyes.
"MAG number: 0624081." The Sergeant said with pleasure as he spat in Garkin's face.
The Lieutenant looked stunned, and then he began to sputter. "You, you... I'll see that you never again leave this cell! I'll have you strung up behind these very bars!" Garkin said nothing more, but wiped his face off with disgust and marched from the cell, slamming the door shut as he left.
The next night, Garkin returned. The Sergeant had to give him credit he was alone, and had dismissed the guard before he had entered. But, he had also brought a thick oak rod. When Aleron open his mouth to say something the HARM Officer gave him no chance, slamming him across the side of the face with the makeshift club.
The Sergeant spat a thick glob of blood and a tooth out on the floor. Then looked up at Garkin. "What boy, can't use your own fist?" He asked mockingly. Garkin's face turned red in fury and he slammed the head of the rod into Aleron's stomach.
The blow made the Sergeant Major's eyes tear up and brought forth a spout of painful coughs. Garkin smiled. "Where is your ExoFrame?" He asked again.
Aleron shook his head, clearing his thoughts. Then he cracked another grin. "MAG num-" Before he had even finished speaking Garkin had rewarded his captive with another blow, this time against his right arm.
"Where is it?"
Aleron said nothing this time and eventually another blow came. Then, he looked up at the Officer and saw desperation in his eyes. The older man just cackled cruelly. "You said you would see me strung up behind these bars, but I'll really hate to hear what your boss does to you from the guards. With a look like what you got on right now, it can't be anything good."
Garkin backed up for a second, then raised his club high and charged. His boot, just before the last step, landing on something shining and the HARM Officer slipped, falling to the ground head first with a loud crack.
The Sergeant Major thanked the late Corporal silently one last time before he finally managed to work one hand free of the manacles, and slowly, but surely the other one came free too. Garkin had been right, give old Aleron a few days and he'll most likely work his way out of anything. Searching through the HARM Officer's clothes, the Sergeant found a key and used it to unlock his ankles.
As Aleron stood up and stretched he could feel his muscles and tendons burn from the abuse they had received as of late. But, he was also now half-way to the path of freedom. Picking up the club he jabbed the end into Garkin's throat with a sickening crunch, making sure he was dead. Then, methodically stripping the Officer's corpse the Sergeant pulled on the clean trousers and boots, followed by the black undershirt. Tossing the corpse's undercoat in a corner, Aleron picked up his lighter and stuffed it in his pocket. Prepared to leave the Sergeant Major stopped for a second and then, grabbing the cap Garkin had been wearing he placed it over his crudely shaven head.
Stepping out into the hallway, the MAG Sergeant saw no guards around. As he strolled casually he kept both his hands and the club behind his back. His cell guard apparently hadn't gone very far though and was leaning against the wall right of the door to the outside. Aleron waved to the guard, trying to get his attention while also giving the image of being friendly.
It didn't work. The guard had good eye sight and he could see the wounds covering the Sergeant's face and knew something was automatically wrong. Sadly, the guard hadn't been thinking something like this would happen and his weapon was more than ten feet away leaning up against the opposite wall.
Bringing the oak club to bear Aleron charged. The guard attempted to meet him grabbed for the Sergeant's weapon arm. But, the Sergeant Major hadn't gotten his rank for nothing and had spent a long time in a service which had honed his whole body into a living weapon. As the guard grabbed the arm holding the club, his other hand snaked out connecting with the enemy's throat and crushing the wind pipe. The man fell to the ground, his grip on the Sergeant's other arm going slack.
Aleron smiled as he grabbed the guards rifle and quietly slipped through the door and out into the night air. It felt good to feel the wind against his face again and for a brief second he paused, taking in the warm midnight breeze.
But, the Sergeant's sensibilities quickly pulled him back into the pressing matters of the present. He surveyed the courtyard of the base and saw that, most likely due to the outbreak of the war, it was heavily guarded. The most direct route to the outside and his frame would be to head out the western gate, but that was also the one used to get to the front and had a half-squad of guards stationed to it.
A little further down was a slightly darker section of the fence, and if he worked at it, Aleron could most likely sneak to it and cut a hole with the knife he had taken off the fallen guard. As the Sergeant reached the section of the fence, an alert guard saw him and ran over finding Aleron's actions slightly suspicious.
"What are you doing out here? I don't recognize you as part of the guards for tonight." The soldier's rifle was already pointed at the Sergeant's chest and he was very willing to use it. Thankfully, due to the dark, he couldn't quite make out any the wounds on Aleron's body.
"Another team called in a report of something moving out here, the inside," The Sergeant jerked a finger back towards the main building. "Sent me out to double check. So, now I have stand around here looking out into the pitch black of night for nothing for the next twenty minutes."
The younger guard gave a little yawn and smiled, "Heh, yeah I've had that happen before. I came out and the only thing I saw the whole time was a rabbit. Well, seems nothing is out of place with you, I have to continue with my patrol old timer, just be happy that tonight isn't cold."
Aleron nodded and waited until the young soldier was out of sight, then crouching down he began to work on cutting through the fence. This base was older and because of the sudden onset of the war, it could use some repairs. The links of the fence quietly snapped as the razor sharp knife was expertly manipulated.
The Sergeant was too eager to escape though, as he slipped out another patrol came by and saw him. Whistles blew and officers began to shout, then the crack of small arms fire broke out and Aleron was running for his life.
As he neared the gully in which he had hid his ExoFrame a jeep came busting out of the gate, one of the passengers fired a long range rifle and the shot grazed the Sergeant's leg, tripping him. As he fell he reached just inside the range of his Jin Qamra's defensive programs. Touching his hand to the microphone embedded in his neck Aleron spoke in a commanding voice. "JQ, activate pilot defensive program 04."
The jeep slowed as the fallen MAG pilot multiplied, the ground now occupied by the real man himself and five phantom holograms. One of the images leaped to its feet, firing the stolen rifle at the jeep. Its actions were followed by Aleron mimicing ones as he fired his weapon.
It was dark and the shot was nothing but luck, yet still the fact that it slammed into the gunman's chest shocked the driver and he pulled back or risked his partner dying of a sucking wound. As it pulled back though more and much more heavily armored vehicles had left the base. The Sergeant Major leaped down into the gully, murmuring a few words to deactivate the Jin Qamra's stealth systems before climbing into the back.
As the ExoFrame lifted itself up two AFV opened up on it with 50mm autocannons. The first burst of fire slammed into the JQ's right pauldron, damaging the hologram projector inside. Luckily for Aleron, the second gunner wasn't as good, his shots going wide of the target and illuminating the empty night.
The Sergeant responded by firing the grenade launcher in his right arm, the explosive flew straight and true crashing through the second AFV's windshield before exploding. With a grim smile the pilot turned to face his other target planning to get it back for damaging his suit.
The gunner wasn't daunted by the MAGE though, he had been trained to kill them and another burst of fire slammed into the JQ, pelting its chest and causing structural damage.
Swearing, Sergeant Aleron realized the team was better than he had expected, he activated his holograms, but as the right side was damaged they only appeared on his left and he couldn't make use of his normal confusion tactics.
In fact, the holograms where little use at all, the AFV's gunner keeping his target and keeping up the brutal onslaught of fire against the Sergeant. Slowly the damage to his unit rose to over 20 percent.
Charging forward, a blade extended from the ExoFrame's left arm, surprised by the sudden and direct attack the AFV crew had no time to respond before their vehicle had been sliced in half. Turning towards the gate, Aleron turned off his holograms, and then the solitary figure fired two more grenades. The first one sent the next pursuing vehicle flying through the air and the second dissuaded any others from continuing the chase.
Standing among the wreckage of the two vehicles, the Sergeant Major activated his Jin Qamra's stealth systems and started the long journey back to base. The death of a comrade weighing heavily on his shoulders and the knowledge that as soon as he got back he would be back to the war making the trip stretch much farther ahead of him.
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Re: one-offs

Postby Kai » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:24 pm

Katia Minos knelt in front of her Haldis Sakti, a cigarette perched in her lips, trailing smoke as the ExoFrame pilot worked. The Frame's right leg panels had been removed, each heavy piece of armor lying in a special cradle made to remove and install the pieces, because they were too heavy for a normal person to carry. The 'Magnitude' system inside was partially taken apart, a small component in the woman's hand, as she made a disappointed clucking sound. It seemed that one small part had broken in the training exercise the other day, and now a replacement had to be found; hopefully one that was stronger. For now, she had a direct replacement ready to go in, but knew it would probably break under normal use and definitely shatter under heavy stress, probably doing more damage to the system than simply making it work at less than peak efficiency.

After a few minutes of contemplating the small, misshapen piece of hardware, the Commander replaced it with the new piece, and began reassembling the interior of the leg, the sensitive, but powerful system steadily returning to its normal state. As she went along, Katia made sure to calibrate each and every part, slightly off from the factory settings, to where she personally was comfortable when she used it. It took all of half an hour for the adept woman to reassemble it, and then she grabbed the cradle, wheeling the armor plating to where she could attach it to her frame, but she stopped there, and sat down, resting her eyes and taking a break against the frame, the cigarette taken out of her mouth so she could blow a cloud of smoke out of her lungs.

Neaw slid into the hangar and walked over to his Martina Nekane. It had done well on the frontline, but hadn't gotten away without a bit of damage. Still, the Cadet had more respect for the unit than originally, it was flexible and always managed to do just what he needed. Repairs had gone well and the unit no longer had the chewed up look it had after the fight with the AFV and the enemy pilot.
Shaking his head as he remembered Isao's screams as the acid had melted his body Neaw walked over and patted his frame's leg. "We did good." He muttered quietly. Then, suddenly catching a whiff of the cigarette smoke the pilot turned around, seeing Katia against her frame he grinned.
"Ah, didn't think anyone would be out here this early in the morning." Neaw shouted across the hangar. "An HS pilot too, yah wouldn't happen to be the other Commander besides the Chief here who's been working over us recruits?"

Katia took a drag from her cigarette as she opened her eyes and looked over the man in front of her. "Yes, I am Commander Katia Minos, Head of secondary instruction here at Blackwoods Training Center." she smiled at the man, and sat herself up straighter, in a more official position, before looking over Neaw and continuing. "And you are Neaw Neawson, the first Recruit to pass the final test this cycle." She nodded to herself, thinking over the report and the loss of yet another soldier to the harsh training and the realities of war brought upon by the existence of ExoFrames.

"Haha. I didn't think I would be hearing both the full name of the TC and myself so early in the morning." Neaw laughed once more and leaned back against his Martina. "I can see why I'm the first to pass now, your both straight and precise, what a horrible combination to sick on the others! Their complaints and complements from that mock battle of yours have a new meaning now that I've gone and met yah in person." The Cadet just shook his head. "You gonna be taking them out for the final little hurrah or that the Chief's job again?"

"The Chief?" Katia asked, not knowing who Neaw was referring to. She wasn't quite up to date on slang, or nicknames. "I suppose you mean Shaoran. He is the only one that can administrate the final test, I simply make sure that the students who were having trouble learn to work together well enough to pass that test." she explained, looking over the Martina Nekane Neaw was leaning against. She recognized it from the last round of training. "You know, the last pilot to have that frame before you died in it." the commander commented, offhandedly, as if it were casual conversation.

"Really, now? Huh - well, she always did seem a little crowded." Neaw reached above him with one fist and knocked on the metal. "Yah hear that you free-loader, if you got far enough to be able to die in failure you should at least know how to aim. Either that or it is your job to look after our walking stick, it didn't deserve to be melted like last time."
Turning his head downward and looking at Katia again, the pilot shrugged. "If he is taking up that space I could be using to stretch my legs a bit more then he probably got the message. Though, I'll have to talk to the maintenance crew next time I see them, they do a good job, she looked new when I first got in her." A small grin was on Neaw's face as he waited to see where the conversation would go.

"Well, the ExoFrames cost enough that it is worth refurbishing them even if they are nearly destroyed. It would be a shame to give a damaged one to new recruits." the woman answered, standing up from her resting position, and stretching a bit before activating the cradle containing the leg armor, raising the piece up into place.

"Eventually, you will need to learn to service your own machine. Sometimes they are damaged in the field and you have no mechanics or technicians to help you." she explained, grabbing a special tool and beginning to attach the Haldis' thick armor plating to the lower leg.

"Damaged frames going to recruits? I think that's a wonderful idea. I imagine only the talented ones could get out of basic with a unit that only has a single leg or one of the arms lags behind." Neaw was was joking as he tapped the side of his face with his index finger, acting as if he was in deep thought. "Though, you wouldn't have the problem you just stated if yah did that, give 'em damaged units and all the good ones would inquire about how to fix them. Arrogant ones would go around expecting to make it through with the handicap or expect outside help."
The Cadet shrugged as he finished speaking and walked over to a tool bin, pulling out a large mallet. "Maybe I should just go ahead and see how my good ol' Martina works then, after all, with me and ghost boy working together we should be able to struggle through it."

Katia merely looked over Neaw as if he was about as exciting as a snail, and went back to reattaching the Haldis' leg armor. "You do not need to know how to fix your suit just yet, your operations envelope should never go beyond our ability to fetch you should problems arise. Beside, the Martina Nekane can repair itself to a point." Katia did eye the mallet, somewhat worried about why he would need it, but then she remembered that a person was unlikely to harm an ExoFrame without some serious hardware.

"That's still pretty stupid, like picking a fast frame just because you want to be able to dodge, but never actually training to do so." Neaw sighed as he put the mallet up. "And to think I'm going to have to go and dock you some points when you were doing so well." Sticking his hand in a pocket, the Cadet rummaged around before pulling out a crumpled piece of paper and a pen. As he wrote he muttered and the Commander could catch words like "Haldis Sakti" and "overblown", after a second he looked up. "Mmm, how do you spell Katia by the way, got to make sure the record is in order, y'know?"

"We train you how to use the frame here, but since the war has started, we do not have time to teach you how to fix it, especially since we already have people who know how to do such more thoroughly than you ever will." Katia explained, completely ignoring Neaw's question about her name. This man was very odd, and she was starting to wonder how he passed the Psych evals to become a MAGE pilot.

"May I ask why you decided to volunteer as an ExoFrame pilot?" the Commander ventured, curious.

"Hmm, I don't know, honestly I could spell it out for you rather quickly but I'm not sure if this conversations been friendly enough and - y'know a little bit of politeness can go a long way in getting someone's cooperation." Neaw twirled the pen still in his hands and then pressed it back to the paper and muttered again, this time a string of repetitive letters all beginning with either a "K" or "C" and promptly followed by odd combination of vowels and other, clearly, wrong spellings of the Commander's name.

"K-A-T-I-A" Katia spelled out, annoyed now. "You Should know the names of your superiors and peers, this is a Military after all." She finished up the last connection on her ExoFrame's leg, and then moved over to Neaw, and looked over the Recruit-Cadet. "Politeness may be helpful, but respect is another quality one must have before they can expect anything in return.

Neaw tucked the crumbled piece of paper back into his pocket, nothing on it except for a few dots from pressing down with the pen and the occasional stray mark from pretending to write. "I prefer to get my information straight from the horses mouth, good thing about the Chief I doubt I'll ever find myself going round and about when he's involved."
Looking at the reconstructed Haldis the Cadet let out a low whistle. "She's a nice piece of equipment I gotta say that, gotta be fun romping about with it. Though, I doubt she would beat the Nekane if we only had to do a bit of marching." As an after thought Neaw switched to answering Katia's question. "Eh, I joined up because there wasn't anything better to do. Should've done it earlier, would've gotta in at the proper age like most the recruits and most likely be farther along in life."

"Perhaps you simply need the proper push out the door. Sloth is one of the Seven deadly sins after all." Katia told Neaw, blandly. She looked over the Martina Nekane, and started to run a hand across its armored 'skin' After a moment it seemed she was lost in thought, and she remained quiet for a while, looking at the faceless head of the machine. "You know, this unit was named after my sisters. All those years ago. I was.. Four? at the time they first made these. They are so different by now..."

Neaw chuckled at the mention of deadly sins and wondered if he should mention the leg he took as a trophy. But, after taking a good look at the Commander he realized now was probably not the time. Hell, the Cadet was definitely surprised at the turn the conversation had taken, even if he wouldn't let it show on his face.
"Hmm, I gotta say I'm glad they didn't get named after someone from my family. I doubt I could imagine what it would be like if MAGE recruits all over were crawling into a "Neaw". Though, at age four, well - I would definitely have been proud of it back then." Neaw shook his head not really sure were he was going himself. "I do hope you thought up nicknames for those sisters, Martina Nekane would be a mouthful for anyone, no less a youngster."

Katia chuckled, realizing just how out of touch with the world Neaw seemed to be. Martina Miona was the name of Mionaria's current queen. Nekane Miona was the second in line for the throne. "Take a moment to think about your nation's leadership, Recruit Neawson, and maybe you will figure out who I am, and perhaps guess as to why I am here." She turned away from the 12-foot tall mechanized suit, and towards the slightly younger man. "The Type MN means quite a bit to my family, which is why it was not scrapped when newer designs came out, and instead grew as our nation did."

It was Neaw's turn to laugh. "I can't say much about our rulership, as you probably figured from what I told you I didn't join up to defend the crown. Honestly, as far as it goes for me the current ultimate leadership is the Chief. If he told me things went bad down in the Capitol and we needed to blow some rockets into the palace, I would. If he asked me to do the same to my home town I can't say - I might have problems with it." Neaw shook his head, slightly sadly. "It's bad and I know it, but that's how I am. Personal loyalty to my field commander and my team are first." Then, a huge grin cracked out on the Cadet's face. "No offense to your family of course Commander. As to why you are here, I assume the same reason as me, yah got bored."

"Earning one's way in the world is much more satisfactory than having it given to you." the Commander replied, looking over the odd recruit. "Perhaps you should keep trying, maybe you will find a way of life that will keep you from boredom." Katia smiled at Neaw, and then turned on her heel, walking slowly away. She made her way to the door and then paused, calling back "Please don't try to break your frame and fix it yourself, We want you alive for the graduation ceremony."

Neaw let out one final laugh before turning his back and switched between looking at the HS and observing his own MN. He shook his head, wondering how she hadn't seen that this was the last job for him, he would either end up dead in his own cockpit or happily yelling at his squadmates. Though, the Cadet really was interested in a bit of improvement now, if him and the Martina could take down the Commander in a fair one-on-one - well, that would just be fun.
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