g - e - a - r - s:
(OOC is here)
The heat of the summer noon-day sun beat down on the streets of Darthanur, one of the largest towns of Landren. Some fifty miles from the capital, the town was its' own modern and bustling hive of activity, in no small part due to the Landcruiser Port facilities there, and the substantial military bases. However, it also boasted excellent shopping, restaurant and food culture, nightlife and numerous green spaces and wildlife parks, and was a clean and safe place to live, for the most part.
All of this was evident to Lt. Col. Silverwind Blade of the LDF, and commander of the 107th Roughriders GEAR unit. Riding in the passenger seat of a Landren Defence Forces UTV (Utility Transport Vehicle) as it cruised down one of Darthanur's main streets, he had the luxury of looking up at the immaculate skyscrapers of steel, concrete and glass interspersed with the vivid green of trees and the blue of artificially placed waterways.
The open-topped UTV purred along, its' fuel-cell engine and electric motor very quiet, as was the rest of the traffic around them.
The fox was purposefully looking around, searching the buildings and surroundings vainly for any clue as to what to say and how to direct his new unit once the UTV arrived at the Landcruiser Port, and he boarded the Parvan's Claw, the Landcruiser he'd be assigned to, and where his newly-formed unit waited.
He'd been called back into action, coaxed by an old friend out of a destructive spiral of alcohol and bombed-out nights that blurred and swum into bleary days spent trying to make the ache inside go away, or at least match it with the one his heaving stomach and thumping head felt after bottle and bottle of cheap, nasty spirits with no name or brand.
He'd had sense shamed back into him, and been roughly reminded of the man he used to be and the skills he'd had, and how far he'd fallen; not least by how much he'd let others down. And now here he was, planning to take command of a new unit. Half of it's members he'd picked himself, the others pushed onto him as part of a compromise. But he'd take them: If no one else wanted them, then good. He'd make something of them. And their records were his to look over: He'd seen they all had skill in their GEARs and out of them, and that they were all brimming with potential: all they needed was a chance. Much like he had, back in the day.
That thought firmed his mind and feelings, and he was glad of it as the suburbs gave way to the warehouses, cranes and docking cradles of the Landcruiser Port.
Hull shapes and super-structures rose above the rooftops, and vehicles loading and unloading the massive land-ships trailed back and forth. Loading GEARs, trucks, forklifts and all manner of vehicles, along with swarms of Arvarans all shouting to one another and busy at work doing their jobs to keep the wheels of the LDF, as well as the trade between nations, towns and cities running smooth.
The huge ships were left behind as the driver turned for a smaller berth, and Silverwind couldn't help but smile, and feel his tail wag as the familiar shape of the Claw came into view.
Still attached to 'shore' by the umbilical cables, and with supplies being loaded aboard the smaller, faster Landcruiser was almost ready to ship out, the equipment on the docks alongside stacked small and dwindling as he passed.
The UTV drove up the ramp and into the portside of the paired huge bays, and then came to a gentle stop.
"Welcome aboard, sir," the driver said, as the vehicles engine powered down. "I'll grab your bags and take them up to your squadrons' rooms. The rest of your squadron should be here soon, sir - Their GEARs were delivered earlier today and loaded aboard-" the red panda gestured to the stalls, the diverse array of GEARs berthed there, and having techs look over them, making last-minute adjustments. "-So the pilots shouldn't be far behind. They've all been directed to meet you here, as you requested".
"Thanks, Erri," he replied to the woman. She'd been talkative and helpful in organizing his arrival and collecting him from the local airport, and he liked her attitude. He'd been quietly pleased when he found out the young woman was going to be acting as a gofer for his unit.
Nodding as she departed, the vulpine smoothed his tropical-weight BDU shirt - the sleeves rolled up - and ambled down the line of GEARs in their stalls, taking in the radically different types on display, and going over what information he'd gleaned about each pilot as he did so.
It would be his job to weld them together into a fighting unit. It would be a challenge, but it was one he was looking forward to and embrace. Maybe, in time, they'd be the equivalent of the unit they'd taken their name from. He certainly hoped they'd be as close, but avoid the same end his old comrades had met, torn apart by deceit from within.
Either way - this was their first meeting, and their first mission, after the Parvan's Claw left port would be the next day. A simple recon of a suspected bandit position, before pulling into a stopover at another town. If there was any activity from the bandits, then they'd plan a strike mission against them, and chase them off, or wipe them out, before securing the area against any further incursions. All nice and straightforward... in theory, anyway.
Reaching the end of the bay, he turned and leaned against a nearby pile of boxes, pulling out his PADD from one of the thigh cargo pockets of his desert-cam BDU trousers. Powering up the device with a touch, he flipped through the names of the squad members. Who'd be first to arrive? Who was already there?
He was excited to meet them, and apprehensive; but he had an impression to make. Squaring his feelings away, he pushed them away inside, stood straight and waited.