Occupation: Lead Translator within the Federation. He is part of no section of the military, but his language skills and ability to communicate as well as talk circles around anybody has allowed him to quickly become one of the most multilingual people in the entire Federation. He speaks a few dialects of alien language as well as a few from what was once Earth, for the few families on the ship who do not speak English.
20 years prior to present date.
The megapolis of Vichtim burned. Tracers from fired rounds burned through the air as soldiers and A.N.H.S's fought across the vast highway systems and in the neighborhoods of the cramped city streets below. All around them, grotesque creatures sliced through the soldiers as easily as a knife could cut through thin paper. The A.N.H.S units, still relatively new in development, were bombarded from the nightmarish creatures from above as their dull, shrill cries rang through the burning systems. If the bio fluid didn't burn through their suits, the pilots within were quickly lacerated by the towering, eyeless brutes that tore apart the metal with relative ease. That night, on Vichtim, the gods had unleashed such terrible power that it seemed hell was dragged from mythos into reality.
Far away, in a building that saw only the top of the roaring fires, Caldarus stood as he watched in complete despair. His work was never meant to bring about such destruction. The Minare, the ultimate source of energy that could supply and grant any wish had called them. There was no doubt about this. He stared with tired and weary eyes as the door to his office opened. A pair of guards, clothed in dark black and blue battle fatigues stood as they snapped to attention. Caldarus watched them as another figure, a tall towering auburn haired man, walked in.
"Have the contingencies of protocol 248 been implemented?" asked the scientist as he walked towards the armed men. "The Organization cannot afford to waste this opportunity."
The auburn man nodded. "I-Los has stationed guards within the locations stipulated by the plans." He fingered his rifle. "They know the sacrifices of volunteering to stay behind. We shall remember them through the plan, sir."
Caldarus nodded as he walked to his desk and pressed a number of keys. A red screen flashed in warning as he hovered his finger in hesitation. Before him, the order read 'proceed'. "May this usher in an age where things such as power, war, famine, and death never plague the world." He leaned back as sweat dripped down his forehead. "That is ... why I established this Organization. To chase the dream where no government can exist. To destroy home and hurl our species into the far reaches of space. I believe this will be the catalyst to that dream." He stared at the man. "I've sent the remaining protocols to the Primarch."
The soldier looked in confusion. "Whatever are you talking about? The Primarch, excuse my rudeness, stands before me and my brothers behind me. We await your orders, and we will die here, today, if you so tell us. We care not for the Federation, for we believe what you have seen. This, we have accepted this outcome. Have we not?"
The sound of growing drew closer as the streets below the tower lit up with the tracers light. They were getting closer. If the shuddering of the ground couldn't be an indication, the roar was more than enough to alert the Primarch and his legions that death drew ever nearer. The beings, they were a byproduct of the Minare. It was a phenomenon that couldn't be explained. It was as if the Minare, the great discovery of mankind, was instead Pandora's box. Within its irresistible power rested great evil that the foolish homosapiens had unleashed. But could they really be called evil? Was it not mankind's hunger for power - power that could surpass gods - that drove the spirits into their frenzied madness? It seemed that - even with the power of technology that humanity had at its fingertips - this was the forbidden door that was ever suppose to be viewed by man, for it would only fester and grow the sickness - human nature for power.
Caldarus silenced his thoughts. "One must remain behind to forever cast this abomination into the vastness of space. No one can ever have access to its power. If you trust my authority, then you will leave immediately. This world burns from the toils of my labor. It is only fitting that the creator - the instigator - should perish with what he has sown."
"I shall not," said Caldarus in a heavy, authoritative tone. "If you are so angered, use it and carry out the protocols that I have stipulated. I-Los, the organization that is to guide humanity into equilibrium, must persist. You must persist, for my legacy shall be shown through your efforts."
The soldiers didn't speak until they began to file out. The auburn haired man looked back. "Farewell Primarch. Will you find eternal slumber in the life after this."
Caldarus smiled as he pressed the button. "Leave now. This world - this system - shall disappear and shall become a place where life cannot exist." He turned to watch the world burn. "A fitting reward for a man who tried to ascend the very gods. As Icarus paid for his transgressions, so shall I."
Naomi was sitting within her quarters as she listened to a group of Marines joking and shooting the shit. Her squad was aboard the Palemecia, a Federation class III warship. They had just returned from a rotation on the outer rim, and it had been relatively quiet. The planet they were stationed on was said to be the next target for the Namosis. However, nothing showed up. The detachment just sat around all day in their fortifications pissing their time away under the hot sun.
She looked over and arched a brow. "What?"
"We're starting up a round, you want in?" The Marine smirked as he shuffled through a pack of cards. "40 credit buy in. It'll be a ball; join us and risk some to gain some! Tempting no?"
"You do know gambling is against regulations, no?"
The Private continued to smirk. "Don't be like that, ma'am. It's all for the spirit of fun! Right boys?"
The others roared in approval as credits begin to spill into the middle of the table.
"See? Everyone's with it! come on!"
Naomi sighed as she got up and headed for the door. "I'll take a rain check. Unlike you grunts, I've got some things to take care of." It was true, she had received a notice - 10 minute ago - to head towards the bridge. "Don't let the Lieutenant catch you all. You know the drill. If he makes my life hell, I'll make yours worser off."
She smirked as she heard obscenities and crude remarks. She couldn't really have expected anything else. Within the the conflicts that arose between anti-Federation and the Namosis, one never knew when death came knocking at one's door. So when the ability to enjoy what life was left within this warring era, what was left of humanity enjoyed every second of it. As she walked through the corridor, Naomi thought about the Namosis, the bane of mankind. She had only encountered them once, and she never ever wanted to see one again. To this day, the creatures scared her like a nightmare would to a child. Instead of them being fictitious, these nightmares were more than real. She had seen what they were capable of. The big ones could tear a lone A.N.H.S to pieces with little to no trouble at all. The images still made her sick; no amount of therapy she had undertaken could remove them from her mind. They were a sickness.
As she neared the bridge, her personal personnel device beeped. She took it out and connected. "Corporal Piazzolla."
"Corporal, did you get lost? Move your ass! The order was sent ten minutes ago!"
Naomi's heart dropped as she heard the Lieutenants voice roar through her ear piece. She broke into a run. "Almost there sir!"
"Better damn well be!"
The line went dead.
She rounded a corner as she saw two Marines stand at guard to the partition that led to the bridge. They saw her and allowed her to pass. She slowed to a walk as she saw the Lieutenant. "Took the scenic route? Jesus, Corporal. If this didn't take precedent, the repercussions would be more severe! I assure you."
The Captain coughed as he joined the two. "That can wait Lieutenant. Corporal, good of you to join us."
She saluted the Captain who motioned for her to stand comfortable. "We've received a distress call from a nearby Federation planet. As per orders, we are to assist." The Captain handed over a tablet as Naomi accepted it. "Currently, we have no eyes on the planet. Oddly, the whole place has been radio isolated. The distress call barely made it through."
"...What do you need me to do sir?"
"We need intel, and you've just been volunteered."
"Son of a bitch!" One of the Marines shouted, slamming his hand on a table. It was only moments after the Corporal had headed out the door, Quincy was sitting back in his chair with a small smile on his face. The Marines around him were huge, and still quite massive compared to him. He had the type of physique which could hold up against theirs, but he lacked pure size, he was just... generally smaller, despite his fitness level. Regardless, he had just played a Royal Flush and called the bluff of one of the other players. How did he get that flush? Very, very carefully. It took him years of practice and a few small-time failures to learn how to gamble with the odds being on his side. Luckily, they set a limit on how high the pot could go and so he hadn't won anything. The translator stood up with a small smile, taking the credits for himself, "You can't honestly be mad at me because you thought that your three-of-a-kind for 9s was better than what I had. You play that risk when you pull a trick like that, sir," The man said with an eyebrow raised and a small, smug smirk on his face. The other guy just grumbled, clearly sour after his loss.
Quinten knew he had to be in the same place as the corporal. However, he was graced without the requirement of walking, as luck would have it. He owned his own personal vehicle, an ATV, for personal use. They were military-grade when he used them, but he was allowed to take them out as long as he had somebody to take them back to a garage. His was parked just outside. "Sumner, you wanna come with me, I need somebody to bring the ATV back once I'm up there," He asked as he crossed his arms. The Marine merely nodded. Despite the fact that Quincy was given no official rank, he still had his authority and areas of jurisdiction. His feats for the Federation were absolutely legendary, as he was one of the key peacemakers in the war effort and an absolute asset for his language and communication skills. He'd been trained and even deployed with squads to certain places. Though he wasn't often geared for full-blown combat, nor expected to engage in it, he was still given the necessary equipment to defend himself.
He was specifically called to this squad, literally assigned with Corporal Piazzolla as his partner or "battle-buddy." It was more like she was his... escort? Combat aide? Something of the sort. However, the roles may have easily been reversed, as he was not yet fully briefed on the mission, and he could just as well be her translator while she conducted a specific mission. He'd done both, and preferred neither, really. As he and the other Marine hopped on the ATV, he turned it on, his identification being verified as he did so in order to prevent theft or some other mishap with the vehicle from those who they did not belong to, it sprung to life. It wasn't long before the translator was revving the engine and on his way out. He drove quickly... So fast, in fact, that those who rode with him, often avoided ever having to. Of course, he was very safe and very skilled with it, but it just seemed like he was so rushed, which wasn't true (as he enjoyed the thrill more than anything). He actually managed to speed past the Corporal, who was apparently running late, but he didn't kick dirt or dust at her, he just drove beyond, business-as-usual.
He arrived exactly on time, dismounting the ATV as the Marine behind him scooted forward, flexing his fingers. He'd been gripping the vehicle rather tightly, as most did, and it only made Quincy laugh slightly. He stepped past the partition, pulling his holotag-ID from under his shirt and around his neck. It stated that he, as a translator and communications specialist, had top-secret clearance and authorization to pass. The allowed him through, and only moments later a Lieutenant was stepping in as well. "Better damn well be!" He shouted into a device.
Quinten rose an eyebrow, but didn't ask... He honestly didn't care very much. The Captain was soon there and then, a few minutes later, arrived the Corporal. From the sounds of the very short briefing, Quinten figured that this mission would be less one where diplomacy was an issue and more of one where he was the emergency interpreter. This could be fun, he thought as he gave a small smirk.
The Corporal kept her facial inflections as passive as she could as she listened to the Captain. She noticed the Federation translator, Quentin she believed was his name, standing to as well. Of course he would have come. Given that he had been assigned to her squad for the duration of the previous rotation, she wasn't surprised at all. He had quite the resume as well. He was the leading figure of differing ethnic governments who had broke away from the Federation and committed acts of aggression towards them. Though the Federation was vast with regards to the most populated, the threat of the Namosis had severely thinned their numbers. It was a miracle that the threat had been kept to the outer rim colonies who were under constant attack from the nightmarish fiends. It was logical that they be the first attacked, for they bordered the Vichtim Uninhabitable Zone, V.U.Z for short.
"If I may, Sir?"
"Go ahead Corporal."
"Were there really no reports sent? Deploying with no eyes is risky at best." She kept standing at attention as she thought of what could have happened to the planet. "Best case scenario is just a radio blackout - maintenance faultiness. However, if it's insurrection or them, a single recon squad won't last that long against either of the two elements."
The Captain nodded to the Lieutenant who stepped in. "We've thought of that already Corporal. Given the current situation, it'd be more advantageous to lose a single squad rather than a whole platoon or battalion - it does depend on how things are reported." He noticed her taken aback gesture as he smiled. "Don't give me that look. We're not sending you unprepared of course. Two A.N.H.S.s will accompany you until you can report the full extent of the situation. Once your report has been received, our task force shall respond accordingly. Nearby Federation ships are converging on our position as well. Within the next four hours, so don't expect to be alone for too long."
All Naomi could do was nod. She didn't have the rank nor authority to challenge the man, but her gut feeling, which had been accurate on so many encounters, had told her the current force, still depleted from their returning rotation supply wise, was not going to be enough. Something else was happening on the planet below, and she didn't like it one bit. If anything, she wanted to tell the captain to deploy recon drones, but the two ranking officers were dead set on sending her team.
"If that's all," said the Captain. "You're dismissed. Dust off will be 45 minutes from now. I suggest you and your team make haste Corporal. The A.N.H.S. and their pilots shall be awaiting within the hanger. One more thing." The Captain gestured to Quentin. "Undoubtedly the two of you are already acquainted. As per ordered, as well as following protocol, he will be accompanying you to the surface. Make sure we don't lose him. His safety is priority though we do expect you to fulfill your original mission as well."
Babysitting again? Naomi saluted the Captain and the Lieutenant. "Understood. Once we've finished our assessment, a recommendation will be sent to the Palemecia. If you'll excuse me." She clicked her heels together as she turned to leave as she casted a 'lets go' glance to Quentin. As she stepped out of the bridge, she triggered her communication unit as her Lance Corporal answered. "Decasta, tell the squad to suit up. Hanger bay in 45 minutes. Earlier would be better, you copy?"
"Yes ma'am ... weren't we scheduled to leave? We just finished a rotation though we did jack shit."
Naomi laughed as she stood outside the door waiting for their resident translator. "Change of plans. A little exercise wouldn't kill you." She checked her watch. It was an old style clockhand one fixed within a modern day aperture, a nice blend of old and new combined into one. "43 minutes until drop. Get a move on Lance Corporal. I'll brief the squad on our descent."
"Wilco ma'am. We'll be ready."
She nodded as she stopped the transmission. "Now, where's that translator?"
Quinten didn't say anything as the soldiers spoke, he merely listened. He wasn't asked his opinion and he cared not to share it, as he went where he wanted. He could deny the mission if he so wanted, but he honestly didn't want to. He loved adrenaline, and it helped him stay focused on the task at hand. As the meeting was adjourned, he looked at the Captain and spoke up, but the Lieutenant continued on. "Excuse me, captain... What am I allowed to take with me on this one?"
The Captain rose an eyebrow, folding his arms, "What are you usually allowed to take?"
"I take a knife, my uniform without a rank, a pistol, and a couple of extra magazines, sir," he stated easily, clearing his throat. "I would appreciate a little bit more for... y'know... In case something goes... awry."
The Captain looked at him for a moment, "You can take another pistol and a couple more magazines, but no rifle. You're with a squad of amazing Marines, you'll be just fine with the Corporal on you. You're well-protected, son," He said with a nod, preparing to turn away.
"But, sir, with all due respect, if the military lost me on your orders because you didn't give me permission to carry a-"
"Look here, boy," the Captain said, turning around and scowling violently. "I make the orders, you want a gun, then sign the papers like the rest of us. Just because you can translate for just about anybody and your contract, doesn't mean anything. The rest of us did the footwork, you just read a few books, so if you step out again like that, I recommend you grow a pair and commit to the service first." The man stormed away and Quincy was left standing, bewildered at what had just happened. He didn't think he was stepping too far out of line in the request... Regardless, the man just rolled his eyes, muttering under his breath in a tongue full of clicking sounds and low growls. As he stepped out of the door, he still wore the same furrowed brow and angry expression, one hand in his pocket, the other clenched into a fist at his side as he stopped talking quietly to himself and looked over to the Corporal, "Alright, I'm ready," He said shortly.
Naomi noticed the translators agitated state as she beckoned him to follow and led him through the ship towards the armory. Hopefully, they'd run into her squad her were also getting ready. She had been given explicit orders the civilian be given an unmarked light armor apparatus. She also noted the order that he was to be given one side arm with ammunition. She mentally shrugged. She'd rather not have an untrained combatant fire within live situations anyways. There was no time to teach nor afford any possible mistakes or friendly fire.
"Your name is Quentin, right?" she asked to kill the awkward silence. "We haven't formally met other than the fact that you were assigned to my squad for the duration of your stay aboard the Palemecia. Tell me, have you ever been in live combat?" She thought it pertinent to ask since it'd determine how well this individual could manage his stress level under immense pressure. Sure he could keep up with the word and negotiation war that was involved with peaceful diplomacy, but both their professional fields resided on opposite ends of the spectrum. A good soldier didn't make a good politician while an adept politician didn't equate to a strong trooper. "If I remember correctly, Diplomatic Corps has the option for small arms training, correct?"
She rounded a corner as she nodded to a pair of Privates whom were hurrying down the hallway. The stopped to salute her before moving on with their task. The Palemecia was surprisingly active for a returning vessel. It wasn't surprising given the fact that a skirmish may arise. If it really was them, then everyone on board had to be on top of their game. The Namosis, though lacking the technology of the Federation were a force to take seriously. The things those creatures did ... it was barbaric and sickening.
Eventually they came upon large bulkhead doors that led into the armory. As she suspected her squad was already inside as they were in the process of changing. Decasta snapped to attention - still half geared - as he shouted, "Officer on deck!"
The others followed suit almost immediately as Naomi gestured for them to be at ease. "At ease. Suiting up takes precedence over formalities I think." She went to her locker and thumbed the read out pad as her compartment opened. She looked over her gear before turning back and motioned to Quentin. "The Quartermaster is just around the corner to your right. He'll outfit you with what you've been cleared to carry. If you need help getting the armor on, come find me. You can also ask one of these fine gentlemen here as well."
A Marine scoffed as he pulled his chest piece tight. "Baby sittin' a god damn civvie on a recon? Ma'am, I gotta say, that's a massive amount of FUBAR. How we suppose to sneak when we got to take care of him?"
The Corporal had already begun to take off her casual fatigues and change into her battle-type outfit. "Since when do we complain about an order, Miller?" She zipped up her shirt as she took out her armor piece and began to clamp that on. The thing was bulky, but it was light at the same time. It was definitely a product of tempered engineering that was way above her knowledge level. "If the higher ups want him to tag along, then he'll tag."
Miller mumbled to himself as he did a final check and grabbed his rifle. "Aye aye Ma'am. Private First Class Miller heading out." He began to walk out as four other followed him. Only Decasta, Quentin, and herself remained.
Last but not least, she grabbed her helmet as she did a final check herself. She turned around and nodded to Decasta. "I'll see you at the hanger. Got to make sure our guest is doing okay."
"Got it," he said. "Shall I brief the A.N.H.S. pilots?"
"Make it brief. I'll go into details on the drop."
Decasta nodded as he hurried out of the room.
"How's it going over there," she asked Quentin. "If you need help adjusting tell me now. I'd rather not do it on the field."
The translator looked over and sighed, rubbing his forehead to clear the frustration that had built from the Captain. "Live combat? Yes, on several occasions, but never a situation where we were left outnumbered or anything was too out of hand. I get outfitted with enough equipment for those, but your Captain has denied me right to defend myself better than a handgun..." He said, shaking his head as he rubbed the back of his neck. "Yes, I believe the Diplomatic Corps is allowed training with small guns. I'm not in the Diplomatic Corps, though, I'm privately contracted, so whereas they're allowed training with SMGs, I'm not. Regardless of if I could pass a test or not, they won't let me use their weaponry or my own..." He said, rolling his eyes and crossing his arms. "I'm no stranger to weapons, but they won't let me do shit... Makes me a liability, I guess," His tone was rather passive-aggressive at the system, but he didn't much care at this point.
There was a little less conversation from there as they walked. Often times, he was an excellent speaker and kept great conversation as well as being very friendly, but he did have a few nerves. As they reached the armoury, he knew where to go. As he was given the things he needed, there was a short argument about how he didn't "have it in writing," so he had no authority to ask for a second pistol. He was putting on his gear a little distance away when he heard them complaining about taking him. His gaze shot over to them, "I'm sorry if you've a problem with it, Marine, but I think you should realize that I'm the 'civvie' you're babysitting." He smirked slightly, "Those credits I took from you? Yeah, gambling isn't my only specialty. I only bet when I know I'm gonna win, I can probably sneak around better in this than you can in that... Hell, I'll bet you I'm quieter than you even if we were both in the light stuff," He said seriously. "I'm quick on my feet, I can point a gun, and I don't make a sound when I move; I highly recommend..." He said, squaring off at the Marine who'd started to eye him angrily, obviously growing frustrated with the blows to his pride. "That you show a little bit of respect for the only guy within twenty klicks who can communicate with the enemy or talk 'em away from you."
The Marine just shook his head, muttering before finishing his gearing up and leaving. Quinten didn't react at all, he'd been completely flat for the entire thing, dead serious. He knew that it wouldn't make him the most popular, and that they wouldn't like what he had to say, but at the very least it would keep them from thinking he was some spineless street urchin with a knack for tying his tongue. He didn't want to be viewed as the one who needed to be "babysat." He hated that perspective, he'd been taught better and was raised with just a little more pride than he should have been. Regardless, he strapped a pistol to his thigh, put a few magazines into his vest, pulled on the rest of his gear, strapped his knife against his shoulder, as it was his personal favourite place for a sheath, though he would have liked to have two, just in case.
"Do it on the field? No offense Corporal, but this isn't my first time in gear... If I need to be escorted somewhere, I still have to wear it, but that's not what this is..." He cleared his throat and walked beside her, "I don't wanna come off as arrogant, so I'm sorry if it seems that way with how I've been acting. The fact is, I'm not like this at other times, I just find that, for me, it's easiest to fight back and show some backbone when it comes to these guys... That's just how it works for my situation, when they try to push me off or some shit, it happens with every squad I'm tagged with until they face laceration. If I say nothing, I'll be another chore, if I stand up for myself a little bit, I might actually have a shot at surviving a while," He explained with a shrug.
The fact of the matter was that if he was given the right stuff, he would be just fine. When his mother remarried, and he was young, his step-father had started to take him out almost everywhere... She said that the man who he called 'dad' was very much like his biological father, with a few other interests. Sports were a big thing when Quincy was growing up, he was a natural-born runner and sportsman. His aim with a bow was dead-on, but he didn't do it to hunt, he did it because he loved the speed and aerodynamics of the arrow, for the sportsmanship of shooting, nothing much more. His mother was very linguistic, and she had said once that his biological father was quite skilled with it too, that was one difference between his step-dad and his "father." He was also a good wrestler and knife-fighter, because he was quick and he could slip around strikes and move with the opponent. He was, all-in-all, a sportsman, though he was no soldier. He wasn't a survivalist or a natural-born killer, his skills were almost all theoretical and very strong in controlled environments, but he'd never actually needed them in an adrenaline-induced, fast-paced, real-life fight. He was often very skilled at wriggling out of violent situations or ones where he was in danger using words or body language.
Naomi listened in silence as she backed off. If this wasn't his first get up, it would definitely make her job much easier. She sighed as he began to explain his actions with regards to how he reacted to one of her men. Admittedly, she didn't approve of Cade's remarks, but at the same time, she could understand where he was coming from. Whatever was seen as a liability was immediately zeroed in and quickly isolated. "I understand your point, but please try to see it from our point of view as well." She leaned against a locker as she safely pointed her weapon down. "Unlike a standard Marine detachment, our squad resides within the Forward Observational Unit. Given your line of work, you may or may not have seen the statistics of the survive rates of a Federation Marine. Against insurrection groups, the number amounts to seventy-five percent. Against the Namosis, the number drops to ten percent." She grimaced as she continued. "Now, take those numbers and half them. That's what my squad and all other F.O.Us have to come to terms with each and every sortie we're given.
"Cade didn't mean what he said if you took it as looking down upon you. He - like the rest of us - are ... uncertain about coming back from each sortie, and if we can maximize our survival, we do it. Unfortunately for you, you happen to be seen as the very reason why our stats drop below the projected numbers." She shrugged as she stood to again. "We'll talk on the way to the hanger. We can't be late, or it'll just make matters harder for the both of us."
She locked her personal locker and proceeded out the war as she heard him follow. Within the hallway, she saw many Marines suited up - preparing for the worst case scenario. "The Captain, in my opinion, was correct not to offer you a fire arm." She glanced back with a neutral expression. "Think about it, I assume you've never fired a Nocturne P-42 Assault rifle, right?" She gestured to her primary. "Other military standard weaponry are also quite different from Diplo and other non-military personnel. In any case, we don't expect you to fight at all. I believe your role is auxiliary. If everything goes smoothly, you'll use that brain of yours to talk to the populace while the heavier things are left to us."
The two had finally arrived in the hanger as her squad was gathered around a drop ship. She saw two humanoid-like robot suits being loaded into the ships hull as the pilots, no doubt inside, were quickly attending to pre-activation protocols. Ever since she was a kid, she had always shown an affinity for being a leader in team related activities - especially the popular Federation sport Blitzball. It was basically a more violent version of ancient football. She missed the days of school. Though she never knew her real mother, she got along with her step mother okay. They weren't the buddy-buddy mother and daughter that her friends had with their mothers, but they tolerated each other enough. When she was old enough, though her father was adamantly against it, she opted to do her service to become a Citizen of the Federation. Citizens had more rights, preferred for better jobs, and allowed to become involved with governmental positions - particularly military administration. Though that was her initial goal - to transfer to a higher governmental position for her Aptitude and Examination scores far surpassed the minimum requirement - she had fallen in love with the Federation Marines. Though the life style was harsh and dangerous, there was something about it that drew her to the action. She loved the leadership; she loved the camaraderie; she loved the good fight.
She began to descend towards the ground level of the hanger as she noticed three other squads - along with a pair of A.N.H.Ss loading up. She arched a brow at her second. "What's with the company? I wasn't notified of other teams joining in on the recon sweep."
Decasta shrugged. "Your guess is as good as mine, Ma'am. The more the better though, right?"
She nodded as she looked at the rest of her squad. "Alright gentlemen. Gather round. Earlier today, we received a distress signal from the planet that the Palemecia is currently in orbit of. Though the establishment of contact was pursued, the planet is currently experiencing a global-wide black out. As the Captain ordered, we are to break on the surface and report the situation on eyes." She looked around as they all nodded. They had done this countless of times before; however, the other times they had intel on what they were getting themselves into. "You all know the procedure. Haul aboard, buckle up, and enjoy the ride. Time to planet fall should be quick and easy. Don't pull any heroic or stupid stunts, and we should all make it back in time for a fresh round on me. You get me?"
"We get you ma'am!" the Marines shouted in unison.
Naomi smiled. "Then get your asses on board. Pilots, what's your status?" The Marines did as they were told as two men, clothed in the trademark jumpsuits of the A.N.H.S integration suits gave her the thumbs up. "Great," she turned to Quentin, "you ready to move out then?"
Quentin shrugged, "I have not, but they won't train me to either. I understand I haven't signed any time to these guys, but I'm also not asking to keep a rifle," He explained, running a hand through his hair for a moment, shaking his head. "But I do see your point," He agreed with a shrug. As they entered the hangar, he looked out to the other squads and rested his hand on the grip of his pistol. He didn't appear anxious to pull it out, it was just where he was conveniently resting his hand. The translator stood near the Corporal quietly, still somewhat bitter toward the way that the Federation treated him. He was proud of his position and cared greatly for it, as he respected the Federation, but he wished that they respected him a little bit more.
The man was looking around, though he didn't have much else to be doing, so he waited patiently. He took out the pistol he was given, chambered a round, and clicked on the safety before shoving it back in its holster. He saw the one called Cade walk by, ignoring him completely, so he just rolled his eyes. It was almost childish, really, but Quincy just let it by. "I'm ready, Corporal," He told her as she turned to him. He would admit that he was a little bit nervous, but it wasn't anything he couldn't handle. The translator boarded after the Corporal and buckled himself in beside her, it was all very routine, as he did it very often. He did, as a matter of fact, have training in HALO and HAHO drops though... It was strange what they allowed him to learn for their benefit, no matter how willing he was to do it, but the things they wouldn't. He had to question why they'd teach him how to jump out of a ship and parachute to the ground, but not how to operate a rifle or a shotgun. However, he actually did enjoy that feeling, regardless of if this mission called for it, because the wind rushing past him... it was like running without effort, and it was just magical. The speed was what he enjoyed more than anything, really, but apart from that he also liked to become at least a little bit more useful.
As he felt everything begin to start up, he looked down to his lap and cleared his throat. The build-up and the suspense were probably the worst parts of a mission... the waiting... Quinten was a generally patient person, but he could only be patient for so long and when things drew to a close he grew less and less able to fight the anxiety.
The last of the team took their seats and strapped in as they each toggled their secure icon. The bulkhead doors slowly closed shut as the whole entire craft begin to move out horizontally. A speaker system filled the troop compartment as a low voice crackled throughout the darkened space. "Good evening ladies and gentlemen. This is Valkyrie. We have the pleasure of having your company today. Buckle in tight, for our descent is predicted to be bumpy. Stand by; drop in 10."
Decasta spoke up as he grinned. "Who's the god damn jokester? Wait, didn't we fly with Valkyrie before? Anyone remember?"
"Only difference is the pilot," said a Marine who sat near the back. His shoulder pad was imprinted with Marx. "Vespen. That's when we were assigned to this fine piece of equipment."
"No shit?" replied Decasta. "It was the Insurrection camp--"
"Drop!" said the Pilot as the transport dropped into freefall. It was the giddiness and most terrifying of experience. "Hang on tight boys and girls! We'll make landfall soon."
Naomi sat unfazed as she listened to various voices holler out in dumb adrenaline highs as she felt the g-forces press down on her. She indeed remembered being bused by Valkyrie. It was the sortie on Vespen where an anti-Federation insurrectionist group had taken control of the mining planets capital. Production was cut to dangerously low levels as they completely destroyed the factory district. It was a blood bath. Her squad had killed so many during the month long campaign. While other forces within the universe killed off thousands, Vespen was the very symbol of discord amongst the human race. Ideology still crashed with ideology; that was the main instigator of war.
She looked over at Quentin as she smiled at him. "How are you holding up? Ever down a hell jump before? Nothing like it."
"Him doing a hell jump?" Come on Corporal," Cade spoke up as he stared at Quentin. "I bet he's just shitting his pants."
She glared at the soldier. "Watch your mouth Cade." She looked back to Quentin. "Try to ignore him."
As the descent continued at high velocity, the force from the propulsion systems began to kick in as the passengers were pushed against their seats. "Thirty second to land fall." The pilot's voice sounded strained as he and the other co-pilot were no doubt fighting off the g's being exerted on their bodies. "Fifteen seconds." The reverse thrusters began to kick in as the force was reversed. Instead of the falling feeling Naomi had experienced minutes prior, she now felt a great force pushing up as the descent began to slow down. It was almost game time. The ship shuddered as all motion stopped. "Contact."
"Pilots to your machines! Squad, secure the landing zone, perimeter Theta!" she shouted above the roaring of the ships engines as the Marines began to pour out. The thunderous footfalls of the A.N.H.S units began to thunder against the ground as they too began to fan out. As the the transport emptied, Naomi flashed a thumbs up to the pilots as they began their return to the Palemecia. They would be needed to shuttle in more troops if it was needed. She motioned for Quentin to follow her as she gestured for her squad to move out. "All ears. Check the street sides and buildings. Miller, give me a report. Any life?"
Miller wore a pack of some kind on his back as he shook his head. He continued to scan the buildings for movement but it yielded nothing. "Negative, ma'am. I'm getting nothing. Radio's still blacked out."
"Contact though muffled ma'am."
She sighed to herself as they continued to move through the quiet streets. Something was wrong with all of this. She could feel it.
Quinten rubbed his hands together and cracked his neck while he waited for the countdown, a small smirk on his face. He heard the whoops and excitement around him, but he kept his cool, looking over to the Corporal as she spoke to him. He had to concentrate to hear what she said, and only laughed when Cade made a snarky comment about him not experiencing a hell jump before. He leaned back in his seat, "I've made several, Cade," He told the man honestly, "I've been doing this for quite a while, y'know." The man smirked. He wondered if they'd actually been part of the group that was on Vespen... He'd been there after the initial fight had ended, being put at one of the stations to help with the diplomatic side of things. However, this wasn't his first time being sent into danger either, it just so happened to be the most dangerous one he'd been on. Oftentimes when it was something with some risk, the risk wound up being moot or easily taken care of.
The feeling of gravity pulling and pushing on Quinten's form wasn't an unfamiliar feeling, but it was one that he always enjoyed. As they made contact, he unbuckled and followed the Corporal out, pulling his pistol from its holster, but not holding it at the ready. His job wasn't to look intimidating, he had it for protection, and he supposed that it might not be the worst thing to not have a rifle, as it gave off a feeling of trustworthiness when he wasn't waving anything large around. Regardless, it didn't help with the uneasiness he felt at the quiet that the planet held. His eyes remained focused on each building, window, and back-alley as they moved. His feet didn't make a sound with each step... Most people would at least have a noise for their boots, but his didn't. It was such a soft touch, such a careful movement, that it was nearly impossible to hear it from him.
The translator kept his pistol pointed downward, toward the floor as his steps were cautious. He stayed right beside the Corporal, but not in her way. She seemed to carry herself very confidently... He could see the way that she and her troops connected. It was really quite spectacular. As an expert in communication and relation, he saw that she had a knack for connecting to people, a certain authority in her voice which one couldn't help but respect. Quinten sucked the inside of his cheek for a moment, as he did when he was nervous. She felt it too... uneasiness... something was here, but... where? They weren't even sure if it was the Namosis, but whatever it was, he really hoped he spoke its language.
The man kept his voice low and looked over to the woman who was leading the group, "Corporal... What's with the silence? I've never known the Namosis to be the patient, quiet type..." He said, his brow furrowed in curiosity... What was out there..?