January 17th, 4901 YDC (Yllendyr Dynastic Calendar)Imperial Auxiliary Garrison, Dominion of Kitagawa
The Chronicles of Squad 6, 27th Auxiliary Legion of the Yllendyr Imperium
"Hey, Luna, wait up!" Lunastri looked around for the familiar voice calling after her as she walked out of the officer's barracks. Lieutenant Amara was waving at her as she rushed to catch her. Amara had been her closest friend for the past two years, after she made Lieutenant. The two regularly chatted in the mess hall about the grief their respective squads put them through. She was a sun elf noble, and therefore of considerably higher social status, but Amara couldn't care less. That was one of the things Lunastri loved about her.
"How's it going, Amara? Come to see me off?" Lunastri slowed to accommodate the panting elf girl.
"Absolutely. You're getting assigned a new squad today, right?" Despite running down the length of an entire huge hallway, Amara was as cheerful as ever. Lunastri wondered how she was ever able to keep up with this girl's energy.
"Yep. I have no idea what I'm going to get this time, so it'll be... fun, I hope?" Lunastri shrugged optimistically. Amara gave her a sympathetic look.
"I actually was also told to give this to you." Amara handed over a small package to Lunastri. She gave the sun elf a quizzical look. "What's this for?"
"Er, um... apparently they had an extra chainmail shirt lying around from a high officers' shipment, and they wanted to give you something as compensation..."
"Compensation?" Lunastri was dumbfounded for a moment, and then as Amara waved goodbye and started backing away, it clicked in her head. "Hey, get back here! What do I need to be compensated for?" The speedy girl was already basically gone, so Lunastri sighed. She had no idea what she was getting into, but now she was sure it wasn't good. Lunastri threw the package in her backpack and reluctantly walked the rest of the way outside.
She made her way to the spot where her new squad was supposed to report in, and then briefly balked when she saw them from a distance away. This was... without a doubt, the most eclectic band of misfits Lunastri had ever seen. She had to pause for a second, mentally steel herself, and then approach. The officer who was holding down the fort for her began, "First Lieutenant Lunastri present! All troops, attention!"and then nodded so as to say "good luck" before departing.
Lunastri made her way down the line, looking at the thirteen members of her squad present. Apparently there was one not accounted for, some horned elf with no sense of time. Lunastri sighed and figured it was to be expected, but was glad at least it wasn't an even larger dragon than the one she already had.
"Good morning, soldiers. You're now officially members of my squad, Squad 6. My name is Lunastri, you can either call me that or Lieutenant, either is fine. Let me just say that I know half this auxilia
are filled with officers that have sticks so far up their asses they can't even bend over to tie their own shoelaces, but Squad 6 is not one of these. I may be Yllendyr, but I'm a soldier, same as you, and I intend to respect you as long as you can respect me. I've been a commissioned officer for the last two years, since I was promoted from Sergeant Major. I can see that you're a diverse group, so I'll do the best I can to accommodate, but do know that I expect you all to follow orders promptly. Finally, I'd like to get to know all of you, so I'll start at the end of the line here and I'd like you to tell me your name, rank, and any other pertinent information that you think I might need to know about you to best facilitate your membership and cooperation in this squad."
Lunastri looked at the first member in the line.
"Corporal Raenys Syrzolny, reporting for duty, Lieutenant!" The first one said whilst saluting. "I'm a Wood Elf hailing from Endaria." She began to relax herself as she continued in her smooth, urban Yllerian accent. "I'm supposed to have been made a Commissioned Officer, but for some reason, I was told that there was an...oversupply. So they've made me a Corporal until they can find a vacancy for me! I'm quite proficient in the use of lightning and swordsmanship, and if the proper requisition forms can be filled out to get me a horse, a skilled cavalryman as well!"
Swordsmanship, the woman said. Luna had had a few of those. They were always hotblooded, and didn't care much for staying in line with the others. Still, this girl looked like she was hardly going to be the worst problem of the bunch.
"Iolaos of the Sostratos bloodline, ma'am! Coming from the land of Ithaké, Fenician Republic. I am a shaman and qualified as a pathfinder. Graduated with high marks, at your service!" The tall man with four legs stood in attention. He was a centaur, although on the leaner side which made him more athletic than strong. His tanned skin and loose uniform suggested a person more comfortable outdoors. His goatee and fu manchu style mustache made him look borderline threatening. Such visage befitted the Yllendyr stereotype about centaurs as 'noble savages'. This person also admitted to be a shaman. Magic users generally earn preferential treatment in the Auxilia but shamanism is perhaps exception. Its indirect nature, questionable reliability and unchanged traditions make it borderline impossible to adapt for standard military use. The fact this man became a specialist in spite of this stigma implied he knew more than just his ancestral spellcasting habits and must have worked hard to earn this title. His solemn yet reserved demeanor radiated professionalism.
Proud and professional. Iolaos met every expectation Luna had about centaurs and then some. She appreciated having someone so experienced, but worried nonetheless that he would end up being a little insufferable. It was then out of the corner of her eye she saw someone approaching the squad from behind them.
"Oh dude, what's the time?"
Rina wasn't asking this to anyone in particular, in fact it seemed that everyone in the temporary bunk she'd been given had already upped and left without her. Probably because they were all too kind to disturb her sleep and nothing to do with the fact she was a drugged out Lierin, at least that was her assumption. Not that she would have made a concerted effort to actually hurry herself had she been waking up on time or not, even so she went through her waking schedule with a fairly laid back ease. At first she sent a few combs through her hair that did little to halt the generally wild and slightly feral look they gave her, although she felt that was rather fitting for her background so always left it that way.
After her nice and relaxing morning routine she finally turned to the matter of getting herself properly dressed to go out into the camp and while she and for that matter Lieria had a different idea to the rest of the world as to what "properly dressed" meant she still was going to take a lot of care over this one. The first step was to get her uniform on and make sure it had something, it really didn't matter what to Rina, but it had to be there that wasn't quite right about it. Next she ran through her small if not substantial collection of earrings before choosing the one she always wore when she wanted to show off: a small bone set carved into miniature skulls, she'd had to work hard for these and in a way they were her most treasured possession.
She would have gone further had a craving not set in deep within her chest, one that she was all too obliging to fill. Not even bothering to hide it she rolled up a joint before lighting it with one of her matches that always seemed to be produce somewhere from some new pocket.
Now she felt she was ready, her uniform all set, her earring in and an otherwise total obliviousness to anyone looking strangely at her as she went through the camp, deep in her own self-contented haze.
Upon moving into sight of the rest of the squad she sent one hand to run through her hair, doing absolutely nothing to solve anything, she wanted to look appropriate for the situation after all. Her eyes cast one glance over the rest of the crew, they were a ragged lot, but to her eyes it looked the peak of military professionalism. It took a few seconds before her eyes properly alighted on Lunastri and a flicker of recognition appeared within the junkies eyes. "Oh dude, you must be Luni our squad leader, it's totally great to meetcha!"
As she spoke she strolled forward with the confident air of someone who had no worries that they needed to care about, extending a hand in a friendly greeting towards her squad leader.
Lunastri looked askance at the young woman bumbling towards her straight through the line who was probably, no, definitely high on something. She had the instinctive urge to facepalm, but resisted it. "Nice to meet you too, Rina." she said exasperatedly, tentatively shaking hands with the elf. "The name's Lunastri, and do line up with the others, thanks."
As her extended hand was taken and shook, Rina would offer Lunastri a beaming smile, one that would do very little to hide the fact she wasn't entirely heading into the line yet. "Yeah I'm Rina, I'll be one of your privates."
It would take a few seconds before she actually released Luna's hand and moved back towards the line, almost as if everything was doing everything on delay, which considering her state, she almost certainly was. At least for now it looked like she wasn't going to do anything else, right up until she was one or two steps away from entering the line when the spun around, her eyes sparkling with the same sort of glint that would usually be associated with inventors perfecting their designs. "Oh Luni, you're new to this squad too right? Maybe we could ... like hang sometime or other, get to know each other better and maybe ..."
She trailed off slowly, a look of sheepishness which didn't really look like it had a place on her face stealing across it, if only for a second. When it left it was replaced by the seeming default of happy obliviousness that had been present so far in their meeting. "Nice uniform though, looks good on ya." Lunastri just kind of stood there, flabbergasted.
When Rina had found her place at the end of the line, the lieutenant continued, shaking her head.
Aslan doesn't make any effort to move himself hastly in the line of the squad, as ordered. He's one of the last to properly step in line, still puffing the remaining inch of his badly rolled tobacco. Since the time he ended up in this squad, he's been doing nothing much but procrastinating and lamenting his situation, calling the Empire 'a bunch of authoritarian fucks', of course, only in his head. He switches his gaze at the lietuenant dark elf, seemingly unimpressed. By the time she arrives to Aslan, he'd just prepared his speech as he threw down the cigarette under his boot quickly.
"HAIL YLLENDYR!" says Aslan, obviously with a smirk on his face as he mocks both the Empire and the military salute. Some other squad members briefly, but quietly, show signs of amusement.
"Private Aslan's my name. Don't bother learning it cause I ain't planning to stay much longer. I come from the Northern Range Mountains, Aurelia. Backstory? I grew up mining and then I...decided to become, how should I say, a mercenary? Hehe." continued Aslan, keeping the same dumb smile on his face.
Luna glances at his dossier, which states his criminal record of racketeering, intimidation, robbery, assault, public misbehaviour and indecency, and plenty more unknown to her. Clearly this guy was some kind of a joker. As if the squad needed another one.
This was not a good sign for things to come. Taina stood at attention in what might pass for a "line" among her squad members. She'd had military etiquette drilled into her for as long as she could remember. How could she not, when her father was the Field Marshal himself? Despite that, it seemed that not only was she one of the very few who even bothered to stand at the ready when their leading officer came, but was also one of the few with a kept in check uniform. Taina was certainly no stickler for the rules, as some previous commanding officer would be quick to tell, but this was ridiculous.
The dark elf introduced herself accordingly and gave a decent enough first impression for Taina. Soon, it was her turn to speak. "Ma'am! I'm Corporal Taina Adron, formerly of the Winged Fusiliers of Avalia! I've come to serve my part for the Imperium!" she said, remaining at attention. A standard enough answer, if she wanted any more then she'll have to ask for it. As for the rest of the squad, Taina was.... unsure of. Some seemed half-way confident, others...others shouldn't have even made it past basic training, or even recruitment, let alone to a full squad. The horned elf that had simply strolled up to the officer nearly made Taina's jaw drop at the level of self importance this woman had to be so brash. That or drugs. Definitely drugs. At least see seemed like a nice druggy.
Either way, it seemed to Taina that if this officer managed get through the month without having or getting one or two of the members of the squad lined up against a wall with a cigarette in their mouth, then this dark elf was worth following anywhere.
Little did she know that a month later, the entire world would have drastically changed. Taina's brief response made a slightly positive impression on Luna, she was glad to have someone who didn't seem to carry much personal baggage... she hoped, likely in vain.
Upon seeing her new squad Emanuae had been excited, giddy even. Whereas an officer might have seen the motley band as a nightmare in the making, Emanuae saw only the chance to interrogate the most interesting new people about their lives and homelands. Well, interesting aside from the Dragon. It wasn't that she unconditionally despised all Dragons, despite their fraught history with the lizards not even Dryads could honestly say that, but rather the fact that this one had managed to irritate her without so much as a word spoken. From the obsequious behavior of the lizards attendant to the obnoxiously haughty air of the Dragon itself, Emanuae was unimpressed. There was a difference between expecting respect and demanding worship, and it seemed that this example of the Draconic species hadn't learned that. Of course, it being a child among a race of children was a mitigating factor, after all the pathetic thing likely couldn't light a campfire, let alone assault the forest like the great drakes of old had.
Still, one aggravating lizard was worth it if she got to talk to all the others assembled here. Valkyrians, so much like her homelands Harpies, and yet so different! Centaurs, from what she'd heard they were truly a peculiar species! Even a... What was it the Weavers called them? Emanuae wasn't sure she'd heard a single term, but they all roughly translated to 'Annoying Snack'. Well, snack or not the little thing seemed nice enough. She hoped it would be able to hold a conversation, but if it couldn't she wasn't without other prospects. Why, there was even a Vaspen in the squad!
Alas, her musings were cut short when Lunastri came to Emanuae's spot in line. Well, demanding an introduction was rather rude, but she was expected to follow the 'orders' of the Elves so long as she was in their army after all. Standing tall and puffing out her chest as to strike a more respectable pose than the slouching Horned elf had, Emanuae spoke with a great deal more self assurance than anyone of her rank had a right to, "Private Emanuae of The Old Forest, Lieutenant! I am here fulfilling the treaty obligations of the Forest, pleased to meet you!"
"Pleased to meet you as well, Private. It's an honour to have a Dryad in my squad." Luna nodded approvingly at Emanuae before continuing.
And then she came across a youth that had been standing quietly at attention in the middle of the line. He looked so ordinary that he was nigh-invisible, and in his face there was no apathy or hatred or friendliness...just the robotic feel that one might expect from one that toiled every day on some monotonous assembly line. He took a step forward and called out, "Private Hirst, standing ready." There was an accent to his words, and his stoic disposition betrayed a hint of frustration as he tried to find the words. The elven language was giving him some difficulty, but he was at least passably fluent. "Aurelian by birth, here to serve honorably. And get paid," Gideon finished before falling back into the line.
"Nothing wrong with wanting that too," Luna chuckled. The boy didn't stand out too far to Lunastri, just another everyday human.
Suda Totoya stood at attention with his back straight as a ruler. Staring straight ahead of him, Suda gave his name and rank to Lunastri when she walked over to him. Being just a private and a Yamato, he had a hard time believing that she will respect him given the human slavery practiced by the Yllendyr. "I'll be serving in this squad as the recon scout since we are in the Home Island." With that, Suda simply shut up and remained still as a monk statue.
Yamato, brittle as usual. She simply exchanged looks with the man before passing on.
Smoog thought the ceiling looked funny. He'd seen a lot of ceilings, and forgotten most of them. There was an elf in front of him... looking at him. Smoog thought the ceiling looked funny. The elf was still there. Suddenly, Smoog remembered exactly *why* the elf was looking at him. "Pravit Smoog, da mijit... FUR DA IMPEERUM!" His shout had a confidence about it only a child could have when playing war with their friends, oblivious to what the title they professed to hold even entailed. He accompanied his declaration with a left handed salute, as his right hand had a rifle hastily lashed to it with a length of rope. His gaze slowly drifted from the elf, ever upwards, all the while maintaining the saluting posture. Smoog thought the ceiling looked funny.
Why this goblin had even found his way into the auxilia Luna had no idea, but she appreciated his loyalty, at least. Hopefully this wouldn't be too much trouble.
Next was the 'other' Valkyrian - a male for once. He was tall, rigid and perfectly at military attention. He wore medals of military service already, a jacket covering only one arm embroiled with gold and a large black furred hat with feathers sticking out above it. His face... was one of clear annoyance, maybe even disgust. It was obvious that he probably was not supposed to be here. He looked to his side to the next member in the lineup, as if to get permission, then turned back. Luna noticed the obvious relationship here., and noted not to try to disturb it.
'Lance Corporal Artyem of Guineyveadr of the Vaurgemyrean Winged Hussars, reporting for duty, Lieutenant. I am an Air-knight of the 3rd Air Regiment, and am here as a vassal and retainer of the Lady Guineyvea... I do hope that you will respect the intentions of our superiors and understand the... 'special' circumstances this assignment has led to.' The stern man said coldly, looking with contempt at the rest of the gathered soldiers, particularly the humans.
The Dragon didn't even bother to pretend to salute or stand at attention. She wasn't even in anything resembling a uniform, and in fact seemed to be wearing a combination of silk, gold and feathers in the approximation of a highly flamboyant dress. Luna hardly expected it to be otherwise, but it was disappointing nonetheless. Still, few squads could claim the privilege of having an actual dragon, even if this one was considerably smaller than those she had heard about.
'Humph' The Dragon voiced, almost squeakily so, while performing what was what Luna could most closely equate to a cat stretching. 'And that lady would be me. I am the Lady Guineyvea Hermasliz Vurmulagon-Slathing und Sauumr and incidentally a Private for reasons beyond me. That was very insulting mind you - I will make sure your General hears from my father, the Lord Sauumr'. The Dragon, Guinevyea, then stood up to its full height which was barely above that of an adult human male. 'Until this foolish mistake by your leaders is corrected, you have the privilege and honour of being graced by my very own presence. My tutors say I am the best mage they have ever trained, which means I'm probably the best here! Oh, also, hum, I think I'm also a medic or some-such.
Oh, this was going to be fun to deal with. And she thought the centaur was bad.
Finally at the end of the line stood an old school Vaspen soldier, dressed in standard Yllendyr military uniform the only difference being the special spiked helmet that Vaspen soldiers used to wear decades before. His face is stoic, and disdainful upon looking at his new CO. As Luna took in this sight she noticed the scars on his arms and legs from what seems like old wounds that hadn't healed properly.
Upon seeing Luna reach the end of this motley crew of soldiers, He looks down at Luna and says: "Dietricht Burkhalter, Sergeant." He gives the standard salute and continues "I've been in the police and army for the past 20+ years, I've seen many of my brothers in arms die by my side so forgive me if i don't get too close to any of you all." looking down the line of misfits he says this and then turns back to facing forward and looks straight over Luna's head into the distance with a blank face.
Lunastri had seen many rough-looking soldiers in her time, and this one was definitely pretty high up there. She didn't expect to get much out of him, but hopefully on the other hand he wouldn't cause trouble either.
When Luna had passed along to the end of the line, she sighed. Amara certainly wasn't kidding when she said that she deserved compensation, but it would take a lot more than a fancy chainmail shirt to make up for this. "All right, Squad 6, very good. We're going to be conducting some rifle drills so I can see how you all are keeping up your skills. Sergeant Dietricht, will you lead everyone to the firing range?" The Vaspen nodded, and barked the traditional orders of command. As the squad half-marched, half-leisurely strolled or stumbled towards their destination, Lunastri knew the road ahead of her was a long one. She was glad that she was due to be discharged in a couple of months. Hopefully, she'd never have to lead this highly incongruous band in anything more than a training exercise.