“Roger, lead,” was Edric's curt reply to Capt. Hart's orders. Ever the utilitarian, Edric kept his voice over comms minimal and to-the-point. His head, however, was abuzz with suppressed excitement. The cadre was, for once, doing something other than routine equipment tests or getting slaughtered by the Star Guards in simulated battles. For that, he was thankful. Admittedly, there had been a wealth of knowledge gained from each destruction at the unit's hands, a wisdom beyond the basic coverage of academy lectures. But that didn't make the washouts any less dejecting.
The horizon bubbled under the heat outside as Edric scanned the terrain for a suitable location to take up watch. Some days, the cadre had taken to wearing their cooling vests just to go outside. He didn't fancy the thought of battling both the ambient heat and that of his weapons. For that, he felt absolutely no envy for Han's laser-heavy WLF-1, nor its nine standard heat sinks. A quick glance to the side showed Lyris and Peter on the move to their own perches and Edric followed suit, gunning for an outcrop that gave him both adequate cover and a good field of vision.
With a depression of his pedals, his Valkyrie lurched from a running gait and Edric felt the ground disappear from its feet. The 'Mech bounded upwards toward the spot he'd pinpointed, and after hitting the apex, Edric gritted his jaw as the inertia tickled his innards. He positioned himself for landing, his neurohelmet filling in the blanks, and he touched down with a soft rumble, servos whining under the weight of the 'Mech. From here, he could pick out the Star Guards' advance, and the rest of the cadre maneuvering into position.
Edric confirmed his position over the comm and settled into his chair. As he looked down from his canopy, there was a feeling of invincibility worming its way to the surface of his mind. Of course, he knew that was hardly the case, but there was a mysticism that came with sitting in the cockpit of a BattleMech that never truly died.
Blinking, Edric banished his fantasies and tightened his grip on the control yoke, roving the landscape with his eyes.