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MECHAPOCALYPSE! TEARS OF THE LOST


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Prologue I

Deep underground hidden from the humans aerial eyes and bombs, the Audug stirred the primal pool while the smaller Gallu, in segments of three or four carried nutrients and mass, to pour into the swirling viscous liquid.

Deep in the pool something stirred.

Prologue II

Sadeev spurred his mount the last hundred meters into the wood beyond the narrow path before reigning the sweating horse to a halt. He leapt off the saddle and pulled the long barreled high-caliber sniper rifle from it sheath and while the horse panted and shook from its long swift climb, Sadeev ran then dropped down and crawled on his belly to the edge of the wood where he had a clear view of the path.

 

He glanced to his right his eye following the path up to the slim land bridge still a kilometer away and beyond it to the ancient walls od what was once India’s mightiest fortress and today stood as the last remnant of that once great nation.

 

The Great mountain fortress of Gawilghur was constructed sometime in the 15th century and was the major stronghold of the  Maratha Empire, its walls unassailable it stood supreme and unconquered until it is impregnability was overcome by the British in 1803.  The British gave it back to the Marathas after their war but it was abandoned. Still it stood empty occupying the sky above the plain of the Deccan Plateau an impressive, imposing site, only visited by tourists and historians until the Kaiju Invasion.

 

India had been spared from the devastation of the second meteor strike but that had proven a calm before the storm. As refugees from the islands and nations to India’s east poured in to already overcrowded cities and town, food already in short supply was exhausted, famine and disease threatened but would never get to wreak its foul toll for a greater death dealer was on the horizon. Or rather under it.

 

Two months after the meteor strike a horde of small Kaiju erupted form the ocean to swarm the coastal cities of India. It was the largest number of the creatures yet seen. Thousands of the eight to ten-foot-tall beasts and hundreds of the larger fifteen to twenty feet, a bestial horde which overwhelmed the army though they fought valiantly. And that was just the first wave. India was over run in less than a week. India was written off by the west.

 

 

I

Operation Stormfront had begun. For five years mankind had been rocked back on it heels, fighting a defensive battle on all fronts in this the strangest most horrifying war the world had ever witnessed.

 

The Kaiju cut a swath across Asia the middle east and Europe. They dominated north Africa but found the conquest of the southern part of the continent difficult due to natural barriers which slowed even their monstrous progress. In the Americas further ocean meteor strikes devastated coasts and monsters born from the missile from space assaulted the coasts but the numbers were not as great as those in Asia and so the beasts were held at bay for the most past.

 

Eventually the International Alliance Mecha Corps was established, and  devices designed from the ground up to fight the monster invasion were built. Tested and proven in combat the IAMC was to become the forefront of the war against the Kaiju.

 

Based on French Island in Australia the IAMC built a large state of the art mecha factory and training center. A naval port, air strips, housing, and two nuclear power plants turned the once pristine nature reserve into a futuristic manufacturing and Military fortress. Hundreds of Mecha were built and thousands of the new Personal Powered Armor suits.

 

On October  1st 2025 those mecha, PPA suits, and the personnel to operate and service them were boarded onto a huge fleet of surface transport ships accompanied by the largest naval force assembled since world war two and set sail for China.

 

China had been the beginning of the apocalypse and it was from china that the monsters seemed to replenish their forces outside of the meteor strikes of which none had occurred since the first year of the invasion. The location of the central ‘base’ of the Kaiju was known and every attempt had been made to destroy it from long range to no avail. Even the most fearsome weapons in the human arsenal had no effect. Every nuclear weapon fired or dropped into the region failed to detonate with a nuclear yield although the normal explosives seemed to function. There was no explanation. And so it was determined that a strike at the heart of the invasion was needed and so the greatest military operation ever planned was being executed.

 

But not everyone was involved. As the ships set forth, those remaining at IAMC Headquarters watch as their friends, lovers, brothers, and sisters sailed off into harm’s way. Those left behind were a few fully trained Mecha Drivers and those who had not yet completed their final training but were in the process of being fitted for their machines.

 

Two days after the fleet set sail Trooper 1st Class Aiya David, former member of the Israeli Defense Force now a recently graduated mecha trooper stepped away from the serving line carrying a tray of breakfast containing eggs, waffles, whole fruits, and juice. She looked around at the scattered people  seated in ones and twos across the wide, virtually empty dining hall. She did not immediately see anyone from any of her classes as all of them had left with the fleet. She had been left behind due to a mix-up in paperwork of all things and still the bitter disappointment brought the tears of anger to her eyes, tears she refused to shed.

 

 

Spoiler

this is a couple of days after the fleet set sail your characters were left behind for various reasons that have nothing to do with your performance i.e. clerical screwups, no open positions for your mechs type in any squad, etc. its breakfast time and the two of you are there. you can either know each other already (probably do to some degree) or may be alone now like Aiya whose entire battalion has shipped out. Both of you are troopers. and of equal rank while Aiya is a trooper 1st class which is basically the same rank but maybe half a step up. basically if the three of you were in the same squad while all of you are the same rank she would be the the squad leader.  Feel free to post as you fit.

 

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Melvin nodded to Trooper 1st Class David as he began his trip up the breakfast line, picking out scrambled eggs, turkey sausage and a waffle, along with some grapefruit juice and coffee. His hair was disheveled and his glasses were slightly down his nose. He sat down alone, looking around at the others. His hair was a dirty blonde, almost a very light brown, and his eyes were a bright blue. Behind his glasses, Melvin's eyes were full of fierce, almost manic energy.

 

Melvin sighed and muttered to himself, "Damnit. I wanted to get a chance to study those Kaiju close up." His legs started to bounce, as if he had too much energy to contain. 

 

It seemed that his Mecha, Sage, wasn't able to be utilized easily in the campaign overseas due to it's nature. Sage was his pride and joy, when he helped design it, but the nature of it didn't lend itself to an overseas campaign easily. It's unique weapon had limited uses, and was of less use in an open field environment. He would've love to be with the big mission but he guessed some drivers and troopers had to stay behind to guard the facility and to monitor the situation. 

 

Once he finished his breakfast, he got up, refilled his coffee and looked around the room, his eyes seeking someone he knew.

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Katarina was seething inside, beyond even her default refugee-survivor-with-a-ship-on-her-shoulder-and-something-to-prove baseline.

 

First, a mix up in admin kept her from being sorted into a unit in time for the big offensive, condemned to the dregs left behind while they broke this thing's back. Malicious paperwork she was willing to bet for all the smiling clerk claimed otherwise. Yeah. Right. *That* sulk, and a missed salute, had gotten her noticed by a junior officer with nothing to do but schedule her for a kit and quarters inspection, and dear holy God did she hate those. The grudging sliver of sympathy for a man who clearly wanted to be anywhere but here wasn't quite enough for her to forgive him taking that out on her because she had been a little bit sloppy and on edge after leaving admin. Second or third hand shit was still shit she didn't want to deal with.

 

But that was done and breakfast time was on. Toast. Egg. Definitely-not potato. Cup of caffeine.  It was food at least, and she'd been taught better than to let a bad day get in the way of taking care of yourself. Half way through her meal, she spotted one of her classmates from basic piloting. A bitter smile settled onto her lips, and she gave a wave of greeting and possibly invitation to sit down. 

  

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Aiya had in the end sat alone and ate her food. She wasn't particularly in any hurry as she had no duties until she received some orders, but it was impossible to eat slow when you were alone and so she finished sooner than was normal. as she deposited her tray she noticed another pilot she had had a class with, a man named Grahme, getting some coffee at about the same time she saw another trooper who had been in her basic piloting class several months ago. the girl, a Russian whose name escaped her at the moment waved and motioned her over .

 

Aiya raised her cup and pointed tot the coffee station and sauntered over. where the other trooper was finishing preparing his beverage. " Hey, trooper, I think we were in navigation together. I'm Aiya and I got left behind as well. I was about to join another troop I had piloting with you want to come join us?"

 

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Melvin smiled and nodded to Trooper David, "Of course... those of us left behind need to stick together. I'm Melvin, but call me Harvard. Nearly everyone does." He said with a horrifically dense Boston accent. He motions for Trooper David to lead the way and follows right behind her, his eyes focused on his soon-to-be table-mate. He sat down gently, placing his coffee cup on the table before him. "Good to see you again... I don't think I properly introduced myself before. Melvin Grahame, but everyone calls me Harvard. What's your specialties?" His eyes and head traversing between the two other people at the table.

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She took a moment to finish chewing her current bite and swallow before answering, a crooked smile flickering across her lips, taking the measure of the two other pilots.

 

"Katarina Balasnikov, scout pilot Trooper and victim of paperwork or else I'd be on my way to proving Hot Potato and I are worth twice our weight in tea," she reeled off with a laugh ever-so-slightly tinted with bitterness, "Friends call me Kat, and if I'm not having a bad day, I don't kick their ass on the sparring mat for it. Vaguely remember you two, so since we're all stuck in the dregs together, suppose you're close enough to have that privilege."

 

She took a sip of her coffee, "Do they have any make work to keep you two out of trouble today or is it the usual Simulator-Study-Sacktime routine?" 

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"Haven't heard anything yet," said Aiya as she leaned back in her chair cupping her coffee in both hands. "I would expect command to remember us either later today or tomorrow. I'm an orphan now. Do you still have your groups or are you floating too?"

 

Her glance takes in both Harvard and  Katarina as she sips.

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"I guess I'm floating as well. I'm not sure command knows what to do with me. " He quickly gulps down the remainder of his coffee and sighs, "Hopefully the group I'm assigned to will be able to help me in my task. I think you'll get a kick out of Sage when he gets to go all out." He smiles weakly. 

 

Melvin shrugs his shoulders, "I have my research to keep me busy when not doing the usual training and sleep bit."

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Melvin's comment got a laugh out of Katarina, "To each their own. Guess you're one of the geniuses who help with the updates to our HUDs and paint pretty red circles around the joints, throats, and vital organs of the monsters?"

 

She took a pause to cut up and chew some more breakfast, thinking how long she'd remain a floater after get on the bad side of Mr. Oh-So-Exalted Boehmer this morning. It hadn't been her first or worst infraction in IAMC, oh God no, but attention was attention. And it could very well be another pain in her ass. Oh well. If it ended up tripping her up again she could always take it out in sparring or dancing at R+R. Not like she'd have a shortage of willing partners there. Perk of being herself.

 

The ghost of a smirk dance on her lips as she mused, laying into her breakfast.

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Aiya retrieved her phone from her uniform breast pocket and began scrolling and tapping, "I'm cleared for all types of the mecha and was assigned a Behemoth Assault but it shipped out with the fleet while I was caught in the snafu. I have no idea right now what they will do with me.

 

I would assume that they will put those who didn't ship into new units as well as sending some of us to the training center to fill assistant instructor positions. In the mean time...." She flips her phone around so they can see the screen ," If you are up to it i have booked us some simulator time in two hours?"

 

As Aiya waited for her new friends to reply she glanced at the coffee service and spied another troop she knew from training coming out of the breakfast line, Delaney Cazatino, "and here is another orphan who can join us," she said, as she waved to get the mecha drivers attention and motion her to join them.

 

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The woman that Aiya was waving at seemed oblivious to the offered hand at first. She was sort of dance-walking, moving her shoulders and hips to some beat that couldn't be heard by anyone else. In another era she might have had earphones in, but right now there was nothing to explain her grooving as she expertly balanced her tray in one hand and mug in her other. On the mug was a picture of a gear with a smiling face in the middle.

 

Spoiler

 

What is on Delaney's Fabulous Playlist right now?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRqeA4ah6Mk

 

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Of special note was that her right hand...and wrist where it could be seen vanishing into the sleeve of her jacket sleeve...was cybernetic; black metal of the same basic shape and proportion of a living human arm. Her tray could be heard clacking against those metallic fingers as it jostled from her boogying.

 

Del was a slim-figured young woman, with a fair oval face and straight black hair that hung down just past her shoulders. Under the olive green of her uniform jacket was a black T-shirt, and she had a pair of black jeans on as well, instead of the usual regulation pants. She'd gotten maybe halfway to another table, still without noticing Aiya's attempts to get her attention, when her hair started falling forward over her face and she nearly gave herself a splash of coffee reflexively moving to push it back behind her shoulder. In the process she accidentally looked at the table with Aiya and the others. Her dark eyes widened and Del reached up to tap her left ear.

 

"Ah, hey guys! Wow, sorry I didn't see you before. I really thought I'd be the only one still here." She laughed and hauled her meal over to their table, picking a spot across from Aiya.

 

After a second to assess the faces, she nodded and said, "I remember you from class, Aiya, but I don't think I've seen Melvin and...oh shit...uh, I'm going to get this wrong. Super sorry. Ballis...nick...oh, no it's just Katarina. They have you backwards in the directory. I can...totally fix that."

 

Delaney offered her artificial hand across the table to shake. "Melvin, Katarina, I'm Delaney."

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Aiya laughed, " He goes by Harvard, Katarina, Harvard this is Del probably the best mechanic to come through training since it began. And saying that is not a boast to win favor she is very good and...equipped."

 

She faces Del, "And, Del, why are you still here and not with the fleet?"

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"Oh, that. The timing was all off. The orders came through so fast, I still had GMB up on blocks in the garage." She laughed at that, with a rueful edge to it.

 

"My CO was pretty pissed off, but it was too late to argue over it, you know? And I had all the permits and requisitions on file. It was just really bad timing and not enough notice. If I'd had even a day, I could have rushed the refit through but...nope."

 

Del shrugged.

 

"How about you guys?"

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"The invisible bane of paperwork," Katarina chimed in once she'd swallowed her current bite and sent it on it's way with a hearty gulp of coffee, "Always tripping us up in the name of good public order."

 

The Russian brunette all but made the last three words a curse despite the smile fixed on her lips. Her parents had never trusted the system. The system had torn her away from them and into a series of state homes where it was sink or swim under uncaring guardians. And when the system got really pushed by these nightmare aliens? The system, literally, killed her parents and didn't even leave her a grave to visit. It was only a matter of time until these 'western democracies' showed the same indifference and abuse in her mind. She was sure of it.

 

She gestured at Aiya, amused by Delaney's fair effort to get her family name right, "She's arranged some simulator time for us. Game for a pick up session? It's always better with comrades and not bots."  

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"Sim time? Gives me an excuse to tweak Sage further. I'm here because my Sage wasn't going to be "Useful" in what they expected to be a massive free-for-all battle. It's a bit of a mashup of combatant and constructor." Melvin sighs, "I don't think they would have liked me trying to take samples in the middle of battle either." 

 

He looks over at the new arrival and smiles. "Going back to your earlier question, Katarina, I am researching Kaiju biology to keep them from breeding, and to determine the best way to attack them, so I guess I am one of those that makes your computer tell you weak points."

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A few more cups of coffee and minutes of small talk and the four young displaced troopers departed the mess hall to run errands and get ready for their afternoon sim.

 

Meanwhile, in another part of the sprawling base. Captain William Hogan of the Intelligence section was resting on the corner of the Commanding General of the IAMC, General Sir David Wesley’s  desk. The General, who was staring down his long nose at the tablet the intel officer had given him, scowled and made a harrumphing sound, much like clearing his throat but from way down deep in his chest. He looked at Hogan, who pointedly look everywhere but at his commander. “And tell me Hogan, why am I just now hearing about this right after virtually my entire command has set sail for china?”

 

“Well, sir, our whole estimate of what’s occurring on the India subcontinent is obviously mistaken. As I told Levene…”

 

“General Levene, Hogan.”

 

“Yes sir, of course sir, pardon me, General Levene, sir.”  Hogan exaggerated his Irish Brough as he said this which deepened Wesley’s scowl.  “As I had been saying to General Levene, sir, the drones and satellites can only give us part of the picture and part of that picture would be the people tryin to hide from the beasties which means tasking cover and going place the beasties can’t suss them out. Or the drones and the satellites for that matter”

 

The General tossed the tablet face up onto the desk, “For gods sake, Hogan, how many of them are there?”

 

“Well sir,” Hogan said with a sniff, ”according to the report this Sadeeve fellow got out there are roughly eight hundred to nine hundred thousand all crowded into that old fortress and probably three or four times that in the mountains around it. And they are starving sir.”

 

“My god, over four million…” Wesley whispered then picked up a pencil and started tapping it on the desk as he stared off out the western window of the office. “I can’t cancel the offensive; it is too bloody big and we have been on the defensive for too bloody long.  I’d might as well step down and let Garrison take over because that would be the result if I did.”

 

“God forbid sir,” muttered Hogan, looking down at his shoes.

 

“Alright Hogan, you  wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have a plan. Let us hear it.”

 

 Hogan chuckled and stood to face his General, “Well, sir…”

 

The laser beam streaked by burning a new scar across the nose of David’s Mecha, the Behemoth. Huge over armored and over gunned but horribly slow, David spun to try and track the small scout Mecha only to find herself the target of an undetected missile barrage. She screamed in frustration as the ariel bomblets, not missiles , pelted her. The tiny bomblets were designed to defeat the lesser kaiju and were not much of a threat to the Lumbering Mecha but they served their purpose as a distraction allowing, Katarina to come out of cover and deliver a devastating head shot to the Behemoth taking David out of the fight.

 

The girls had been running sims in various configurations for the better part of three hours and each had proven their worth in the virtual electronic fights with simulated kaiju, bu for the last two sims they had paired off and ran mecha vs. mecha scenarios and David had become somewhat frustrated with her assault mechas slow movement. Sure it could smash its opponents but only if she could hit them which she had been having a hell of a hard time against he smaller mechs and even the larger but lower standing ones which could more easily take advantage of cover.

 

She punche the over intercom button, “Hey, let’s take a break I’m thirsty>”

 

Spoiler

and yes i have ripped off a couple of semi-literary characters from a popular series and updated them for our adventures. bonus xp if you know where from (send answers in pm)

 

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There was a chuckle over the intercom and a good-natured taunt from Katarina in Russian, "And David goes down like Goliath."

 

She pushed her VR headset up and off of her face, sitting up from her mock control couch and releasing her death grip on the twin trigger grips. It had been a close run thing trying to put enough ruins between her and David, waiting for the chance for her lightning in a bottle to lance out and score the kill. A grin threatened to split her face. Sure it had often as not been her going down to the superior heavy fire power of the bigger mechs, but this heat was her and Melvin's victory. She'd had her doubts about the American's chosen chassis, but a Support mech was a Support mech end of the day and you were better off with one at your back. 

 

"Sounds good," she continued in English, "first round of drinks on me tonight after hours for any of you not on watch. Nice job, Melvin.

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Melvin took off the VR headset, "Looks like Sage is working out well. Just need some tweaks here and there. You've got a sweet little mecha there. Drinks sound good. I don't think I have watch tonight." He smiles and stretches all the way from his head to his calves. "I just can't get one hundred percent comfy on that couch. I prefer a basic chair instead. But I think that's just me. At least we don't have to stand up, and walk for the mech. That would be awkward for Sage and me. I don't think I can grow 2 more legs."

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"I'd be worried if you could, American," Katarina intoned mock-solemnly, "I'm sure there's someone we're supposed to report alien infiltrator mutants to."

 

The note of glib cynicism in her voice continued into another satisfied chuckle, still high off of the win, "And thanks. She's not the only MEKA model out there, but Hot Potato is mine. Good job cross qualifying on platforms, David. Far from the easiest trick with how... varied the control schemes are."

 

The brunette flexed her fingers, working out the hint of future soreness from gripping the mock up of her mech's twin handgrip controllers. Intuitive for something that packed twin tesla coils, but still tricky.

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The four troopers closed up the sim room and walked the short distance to the departments breakroom where they could get coffee and snacks and discuss the simulation. after serving themselves they sat at a table and launched into a rapid and even sometimes heated discussion about tactics and the pros and cons of the Mecha they drove.

 

"... hopefully the next generation Assault Mecha will overcome the engine weight to power issues and make them more maneuverable. As is I think putting them in the battle line as anything but support might be a mistake."

 

"I couldn't agree more, Lass," came a voice with a heavy Irish accent from the table behind the group. None of the girls had much noticed the slightly overweight officer that had been sitting there when they had sat down, but now all eyes went to the mustached Captain who had intruded into their conversation. "And i must commend you on excellent use of the light frame scout mecha, trooper."

 

 

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"...Thank you, Sir. I was taught that you don't get downwind of a fat deer by tromping at them through snowdrifts," she returned after a second of appraising thought. 'Hogan' on his name tag with an Engineer's patch. She didn't *think* she'd pissed off anyone in that department aside from a mechanic after her latest bit of overdoing it on the urban drill course. And she'd made a point to get him a little something extra afterward, too, so she didn't think was trap... Might as well roll with it.

 

"Was lucky enough to meet an engineer who could put that feeling into plastic and steel for me," she wrapped up, pausing to look at her Bostonian team mate before quoting an Americanism she'd read in her training, "A man is only as good as his tools." 

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Over the Pacific...

 

The plane had been sparsely populated, only a third full and all of them techs or other support types. He was the only driver on board. The flight had been long and tiring the plane taking a longer route than normal due to flying demi-kaiju being spotted along the normal route. Still as the plane banked to come into position Max could see out the port close to the Horizon the massive armada heading to China to begin the first real offensive against the kaiju.

 

Max Croft, senior test Driver looked down at the tablet in his hand with his orders. Orders that had come some thirty six hours ago.

 

“We are going to have to replace the entire shoulder assembly to make those changes MAC. You are going to have to get the man to sign off on this before I have the boys start okay?”

 

Max smiled “No problem I’ll have the work order in your hands in no time.” He glanced up toward the third level entrance to the Mecha bay and saw his friend, mentor, and boss, Takiro Kurosawa, standing leaning on the rail. When Kurosawa saw he had been noticed he waved max up to join him.

 

With a display of youthful vitality Max didn’t bother climbing down instead he went up through the scaffolding swinging and climbing like a gymsets until he was level with the landing Takiro stood on and with a herculean effort het swung himself out into space  did a somersault and landed perfectly  and only a little winded.

Kurosawa scowled at the unnecessary showing off and held out a data tablet. “Looks like you have gotten your wish… trooper.”

 

Max had been reaching for the tablet but stopped and looked at his mentor’s face shock in his eyes. “Trooper?”  Max had been denied entry in to the Mecha corps due to his war effort job as a chief test driver of the vital machines used to fight the Kaiju.

 

“Yes,” said Kurosawa, “You have been called up despite my objections. You leave immediately for Oz. You are to report to a Captain Hogan upon your arrival.”

Max had looked at the orders and that was the gist of it mostly it was travel information and now there was OZ but the Army wasn’t there anymore and he had to ask himself, Why do they want me here now?

 

Spoiler

You can have max arrive and be directed to captain Hogan in the simulators canteen

 

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"Come on Tak, you know it's not like that.   I know our work's important.   The new systems onboard are gonna revolutionize how we can fight, but there's only so much sims will tell us.   Actual combat stress tests are needed, just like they were with the GM-9's.   I survived those, I'll survive this too.   I can't let us look like we've just been wasting time, money, and resources.  I know a real field test is why they called us up.   Just be thankful they didn't call us to go in the main assault."

Takiro looked at his test pilot and arched an eyebrow.   "Shying away from a fight, MAC?"   

"Nah, more like knowing to pick my battles.   I wanna run field tests, and yes engage some actual Kaiju.   That doesn't mean going into the middle of a full on invasion with a machine no superior's really going to know how to deploy properly."   In theory the Tesseract was the next generation Trooper -type machine, but with its special equipment, it was somewhat unique, and therefore an unknown quantity in the field.

"Good, you actually use the brain in that thick skull.   That's why I wanted a Ranger, not a Marine."   He smiled at him.   "You have a work order for me?"

"Yeah, Whole shoulder assembly's got to be replaced.  I was thinking we'd use that new design you were working on.  We've tried everything else, so we might as well give it a go."  Shoulder mounting  Tak frowned.  "Thank god I designed it to be able to disengage the weapon mounts."   "Yeah, there w\ouldn't be as much use to the OD if using it broke the weapons every time."   It was true that they'd reinforced the structure and and armor of the machine to the maximum, but the OD system let it exceed normal physical limits.   This was incredible for the boosts in speed and strength, but as was quickly learned, the ranged weapons wouldn't survive long if used melee combat. They simply had too many moving parts.

Takiro added his digital approval to the work order.  "Fine, get it done.   I won't waste my breath saying to be more gentle, but remember that this will eventually become a production unit, We're not like the others.  I don't want flaws in my machine, where normal use can break something important."   Tak was all about quality, his name rested on that, and the fact the M-7 and M-9s were still heavily used machines, despite being abit older spoke highly of his capabilities as a designer.   

"They're just sending you though, we'll be along soon enough."  Max looked at him, and nodded.  "Hard to be a test pilot without anything to test."

That had been hours before, and Max was honestly feeling abit out of sorts.   Without the Tesseract he was fine, but going back to a GM-7 or 9 just wouldn't be the same.  Sure he could handle them fine, but it wasn't what he was going to be as comfortable with.  Still they'd not just call him over without planning to bring over the GMX-7, so he'd make do.   He was missing the main fight, but there had to be a reason for the call-up.
 
He took his gear on his shoulder and debarked the plane.   He reported to the officer on duty, a Lieutenant named Soldano, and was directed to head promptly to Captain Hogan, who was currently in the canteen s near the Simulators.   He'd have preferred to square his gear, but he didn't have the luxury of that so he soldiered on.  He was still a Ranger, after all.

He heard voices, and knocked.   "Pardon the intrusion, but I was told to report to Captain Hogan, and that I could find him here.   I'm Max Croft,  test pilot for General  Motors, and newly called up Trooper."   He saw Hogan's name tape, and nodded, then offered a quick salute.   "Reporting as Ordered, Sir."

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Grace leaned over to get a look at the new guy, one eyebrow raised as she choked down an irreverent reply or three with an officer who didn't appear to hate her present. Not too bad looking. Maybe even fun if the keeness was just for show. Sucked to be him getting tossed in with the scraps during the big surge.

 

The Russian Brunette grinned welcome and made to get up, allow the Captain to do what he was evidently here to do instead of overhear her half-cooked theories of mech combat doctrine. 

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Hogan twisted around in his chair to face the American Trooper standing at attention. "Ha, there you are lad, was wondering when you'd show." He waves his hand dismissively as he turns back to the others, "Enough of that we are somewhat informal here, after all we are nothing but the dammed and the defiant. Hmm good moto. that, maybe.

 

Pull up a chair lad and sit. These are Troopers, Balasnikova, Grahme, David," he pronounced it Dah-Veed, " and Cazantino. They like you have been seconded to me for a very special operation."

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