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10 mos ago
Uncharacteristically positive status bar right now. Good vibes.
11 mos ago
If a gym was haunted and the ghosts moved the weights around would the ghosts make gains or not?
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12 mos ago
When conducting interior painting operations, do it naked.
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12 mos ago
File your taxes as married filing separately or they'll come after you even after your married.
1 yr ago
Today is my 12th wedding anniversary- we're out having a good time.


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Western Continent, Espia
NPDRE Outpost F-10
18 April, 3030

Park checked his watch. They would at least make the departure time. Not by much, but they’d make it. He gritted his teeth. Sending the forklift operator to the medbay and taking a man off the job probably wasn’t the best move for their time, but that bastard could have killed them all. Unbelievable stupidity. He shook his head. The rest of the dim lot had got the picture though and loading was moving along at a newly found, fast pace. Still, something felt off. He couldn’t place it. He shook his head observing the fear in the laborers faces as they glanced at him unsure of what new trespass they had committed. However, his suspicions were confirmed when another lift operator rolled up in front of him outside of the designated travel path. His hand almost involuntarily moved for the whip at his side, but this man had a more seasoned appearance and knew the rules. Park stayed his temper.

“System’s down boss,” The operator said, pointing at the small screen attached to his machine. A simple program kept the receiving and shipping organized and monitored the inventory for the small depot.

You’ve got to be kidding me.” Park growled. He marched up to the large machine furiously; however, another twinge of something familiar struck him, just for a fleeting second, like something moving under his foot, just as he stepped up onto the large forklift. There was not enough time to even consider it as he looked at the screen.

“Stuck on the staging screen sir,” The operator said with a shrug. “I can’t get my next pick.”

Park hammered one of the large buttons on the keypad with his thumb furiously, but the screen was frozen on the driver’s previous order from the system. His eyes darted around rapidly at the small screen while his hands tried various combinations of commands to reset the computer to no avail. His heart rate accelerated. They couldn’t afford a system outage at this time. It would take days to get someone from Balya Gora out to F-10 and his superiors wouldn’t be interested in tech failures as excuses for not making his shipments on time.

Something stirred beneath his grip as he steadied himself on the machine. Something under the handhold, under the machine, more than just the idling of the engine. He was sure of it this time, though as he looked up he immediately noticed the whole operation had come to a standstill. None of the equipment was running. All stopped with operators trying the same reset commands he was attempting. A grotesque wave of nausea swept over him briefly and It felt like he could literally feel minutes of his life being subtracted as the work had come to an abrupt halt right in front of him.

He jumped down and keyed the mic attached to his lapel, but a screeching tone of piercing feedback erupted from the small speaker directly into his face and across every other radio around him before he could get a word out. Almost like he didn’t believe his eyes and ears, he cautiously touched the small button again, sending another blast of painful distortion through all the speakers on every piece of equipment and every handheld on the channel. It was deafening and a roar of shouts and curses went up as soon as he let go of the mic again. For a moment he was at a loss. Nothing made sense. What the hell was going on? The realization struck him broadside as a solid tremor stirred the ground under his feet, shifting the dust on the prefab construction and causing ripples in puddles of saltwater rain.

Mechs inbound.

The situation had gotten much more exciting outside the walls of F-10 for the small quartet of Strikers and Scorpions. Sensors had taken a dump all at once, along with all comms. Unaware the other units were having the same problem, the commander of the lead tank, a Striker, had slowed and popped open the hatch to get a look at his antenna array, however instead of finding trouble with his equipment, he instead found a rapidly approaching full lance of mechs on the horizon. Panic quickly set in so much so that the commander completely overlooked the much lower to the ground Von Luckner and instead wheeled around rapidly firing signal flares in an attempt to get the others attention amidst the dead comms.

The reaction among the rest of the column was poorly inadequate with the Green Knights bearing down full bore. The other Striker continued on unknowingly at first, however, the trailing Scorpions had seen the distress flares from the head of the patrol and began quickly maneuvering back towards the supply depot. Their turrets rotated quickly, but getting steady aim off their regular, compacted patrol path was difficult. Of the mechs they could see in the dense morning mist, both the Raven and the Phoenix Hawk moved too fast to track along the rough terrain. A shockingly rare Ostroc and a Shadow Hawk were at a better angle as they turned, but were still moving at a rapid pace in their own right. What looked like an Archer brought up the rear but the best shots were going to be towards the Shadow Hawk and Ostroc. The pair opened fire as they retreated closer to the perimeter of F-10.

Reya Wyatt

There wasn’t much advice Master Sergeant Dalton knew to give or at least that he knew would be expediently helpful. The Colonel had mentioned that her mind worked about as fast as a super computer and often faster than her legs would carry. Further, he would have to keep her focused or she’d think herself into a nervous wreck before they even got halfway to the initial point. Bringing her along had changed his calculus a bit along with the unsaid message that if anything happened to her, he might as well not come back. He agreed with the sentiment and would hold himself to that standard whether it was implied or not. In his infantry career he handled similar missions with more variables. If the mech jocks did their work then he had no doubt the boys could handle the rest. As far as keeping their little guest occupied until showtime, he knew just the thing and it always worked to calm the nerves of the greenhorns. What was unusual was she didn’t seem at all put-off or surprised when he offered the flask. Almost as if she expected it. “Just enough for the edge,” He’d said as she winced at the taste. “Colonel needs your mind sharp and so do we.” They went over a few protocols and instructions in addition to the briefing he gave the volunteers. Once they moved in and cleared the zone, one of the boys would escort her personally wherever she needed to go and considering her appearance in comparison to most of the Green Knights, there was no shortage of volunteers for escort detail. “Miss Wyatt is considered VIP,” He told the squad. “She gets a scratch, you get a dent.

The morning was crisp now, full of mist and a saltwater dew that could be tasted like sweat in the cold air. Dalton watched from atop their lead APC along with the rest of the convoy parked in a small depression among the rolling hills. Through his binoculars he watched the mech lance moving in along with the Von Luckner, feeling the dull thud of their steps through the armor of the machine beneath him. He let out a huff of amusement and shook his head at their banter before glancing down at one of his men getting a read for the wind with a wisp of fieldgrass. Weather moving in. He thought to himself, same as the Colonel had said, maybe even ahead a bit. He needed it to hold off a little longer. A deluge didn’t lend well to a firefight, particular when they had an extra head to look after. “How we lookin over there, Miss Reya?” She was sitting behind him, indian-style, on top of the APC behind a large mobile sensor pack that folded apart like a suitcase.

We should a get a call from the Colonel anytime now to-Reya answered, finding herself interrupted by Colonel Wayne’s voice over the comm.

"Activate the ECM and begin your approach. Good hunting and godspeed, Green Knights. The operation is a go." start.

Hearing the sound of the Colonel’s voice, the rest of the Buckshot Boys finished off an energy drink or a cigarette as they knew Dalton’s orders were forthcoming.

There was a brief moment as the mech lance and the tank checked in with Ingrid and Reya looked over the top of the display in front of her in the distance, scantly able to make out anything clearly. She breathed in through her nose slowly. Another swig from that flask wouldn’t hurt. She could feel the tension growing in the air, like she was going on stage for some grand performance and her turn in the spotlight was fast approaching, unavoidable. The small arrows representing the Green Knights moved over the topographical sensor display in front of her eyes: Ingrid, Ziska, Marit, Raven, Aroxty and his crew, Tarak… A fleeting thought blinked through her mind about his antics and his stupid mix tape. He had brought her a gift, which meant he was thinking about her.

The screen froze and the image pixelated a fraction as Ziska made the call on the initial point.

Reya tapped a few keys rapidly as her attention snapped back to reality and glanced up at Sergeant Dalton. “It’s working.

Dalton nodded affirmatively and tapped a finger on his forehead firmly back at her. The sign to stay focused. “Put the drone up and get over there with Charlie and Delta.” He looked down to see the squads already moving in anticipation of his order. Solid men, moving like a team without a word of instruction. He felt a good bit of satisfaction, but still barked at them like they were new recruits. They’d have felt let-down if he didn’t: “The rest of you slags, get it crankin! We got work to do!” He pointed skyward and moved his hand in a circular motion.

Among the tools and hardware she managed to throw onboard a transport when the Green Knights bailed out of Balya Gora was a small drone. Not that she thought it would be particularly useful at the time, but because it just happened to be close when they were making their mad dash to get away from the city. It was not of any military issue or brand and she’d only bought it as something useful to check out salvage when they were in the field. It had a few camera modes, one of which was thermal- something Dalton found very appealing. She closed up the sensor pack with a heavy thud and opened the much smaller case next to her containing the drone. A few quick taps on the controller tablet caused it to raise up with an excited whir from its tiny rotors. Reya let out a small sigh as she watched it jump up and hover overhead obediently. It was bright orange and red, not even close to designed for what they were going to use it for, but if it helped that was good enough. She hoped everyone was too busy to notice it, though it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it got destroyed. She’d lost much more important things in the last few days.

Dalton watched her scurry away to the second APC as the engines came to life once again. He glanced up as the small drone started to follow her like a pet before he synced his own wrist computer with it causing it to turn around and come back to him. As long as one of them kept line of sight with it, it would follow and obey commands, she explained. However under the Raven’s jamming, it wouldn’t find it’s way back home and would likely wander off if a direct signal was broken for very long. His controls would have priority until they were ready for her to come outside the APC.

Everything was set for his command when it was their time to take the stage.

Reya Wyatt

The briefing began to disperse with a noticeable element of purpose in the steps of the remaining Green Knights. Malaise and uncertainty had ended. There was now a mission and an ambient chatter returned as the crews, techs, staff and infantry set about their preparations. Reya glanced down at Sunny. It had been a while since either one of them had anything to eat and she partly wanted to investigate the rumor that the tank crew had voluntarily disassembled the mobile mess while she scrounged up something for both of them. However, an increasingly odd feeling returned and not one she’d ever considered before they were forced from the capital: Being a female with a child under her care. Even in their current state, many of the men among the Knights, particularly the ones from the more chivalrous districts of the Great Houses, seemed to go out of their way to provide what they could, whether it was a helping hand, food, drink or in one case, a mix tape.. She knew Lena never entertained such patronage, but those were different times. Often the help wasn’t needed though turning them away would have been in poor taste.

She let out a small sigh and felt cold air touch her skin again. Glancing back towards the small table next to the Raven for her jacket, the Colonel caught her off guard and she involuntarily tensed a bit at the sound of her last name. He had a gruffness in his voice that seemed to be made to speak through the external speakers of a battlemech. She ignored a few quiet murmurs from the last of the assembly as she directed Sunny to catch up with Pops for a bit while she spoke with the Colonel. Turning to meet his gaze, she immediately felt very unkempt and not up to her usual high standards of presentation; being not much cleaner than an astech after crawling all over the Raven for the last few hours. She was not a military type, but always presented herself with a strict air of professionalism when dealing with the Colonel, particularly when talking about the fitness of the Knights’ battlemechs. He was hard to read, having the weathered appearance of an old statue come to life, making her unsure what might be on his mind. If it was about the Raven or any of the other equipment, she could answer with complete mastery. If it was about Lena or her overall mental state, she wasn’t sure what she’d say.

"Yes, Colonel?"

Reya Wyatt

Reya stood for the briefing alongside Pops who held one hand over Sunny. She didn’t expect any kind of public recognition for tuning up Ziska’s Raven to produce a signal about ten times more powerful than it would normally. It wasn’t the Colonel’s style and it most definitely wasn’t his style towards anyone from Kurita space. She had long accepted this reality. Maybe that was part of why she chose the Green Knights. It wasn’t a challenge she could just beat with intellect alone. He was an old warrior and he had fought some of the Combine’s most heralded commanders. Gaining his approval in spite of his prejudices, even if it was just a gruff “good job” or “thanks”, filled her with purpose and strength. She knew he was a good man and not being able to pilot a mech was killing him, particularly in their current circumstance. The thoughts reminded her of how much she missed their dropship captain, Sally, who was always an encouragement to her and a buffer against the Colonel’s sometimes darker moods.

Pops gave her a pat on the back and she turned briefly to find an approving nod of the head as the Colonel continued on about the total comms blackout the small mech would now produce. She could see some murmurings. Any of the experienced techs would know the baseline ECM equipment on a single Raven couldn’t generate the cover that he was describing and she listened on as the questions came up, replaying the array of setup screens and bypasses in her head. The same replay she’d mentally jogged through several times even in the small passage of time since the changes were made. The mech would have to be reset again to factory standards or every wiring harness inside the machine would eventually melt from overload. At least the weather on Espia would most likely continue to be in their favor- Cold and damp. She had all of the Knights beam weaponry trimmed beyond standard wattage and still operating at peak efficiency which provided an extra punch as long as the weather stayed bad… or good in their case.

The weather. She remembered.

The Colonel kept taking questions and seeing his eyes pass over her and Pops as he addressed the concerns back to everyone she mouthed the words at him to silently remind him, standing up on her toes as she did. “The weather.” Poor conditions were going to make the Raven’s jamming a better sell against NPDRE observers. A morning thunderstorm or hard rain would help them blend in with regular sensor disruption and cover them from any air patrols that might get dispatched. If it was a broad, sparkling clear morning. Then they would likely only have the estimated fifteen minutes or less before someone noticed a blank spot on the map and got suspicious. The forecast for the mission operations area was going to be a major factor in how much time they would have and subsequently, how much loot they would be able to grab.

Another thing occurred to her as she glanced across the other pilots and saw Ziska eyeing her with some curiosity. The Green Knights had never done anything like this that she could remember. The Colonel had always watchfully guided operations and commanded the field whenever they were deployed, however as soon as Ziska activated the jamming sequence they would truly be on their own. He had made it clear that they were to comport themselves professionally and it wasn’t her place to question tactics, but she wondered, when the time came, if they ran into something unexpected, who was going to be in charge?
Reya Wyatt

Reya couldn’t help but smirk a bit at the ridiculous performance put on by Tarak nor could she deny that it really felt good to smile for a change. There was no secret among the surviving Green Knights that she had taken Lena’s loss especially badly and that as a result, approaching her had become even more precarious than usual. Tarak was the first person within the last few days to even attempt any level of comedy towards her and it was like an unexpected medicine in her veins. She could feel herself relax just a bit from his antics, however, the Colonel’s call to assembly meant things were again going to start moving quickly. She hopped down first to the scaffold and made her way to the bottom level carefully watching her step across the hasty construction, displaying surprising balance as it swayed slightly beneath her. “If that were the case, then you’d do better with the former.” She said referring to the trademarked metal riffs of the Lyran Commonwealth he’d first mentioned. Taking his hand, she deftly sashayed off the bottom step as daintily as if she were in a formal ballroom and walked past him towards Sunny at the small table. “See, he gets it.

Sunny rolled her eyes and continued reading.

Unfortunately, I don’t have anything to play it on.” Reya continued, removing her gloves and pouring a small cup of tea from a thermos. She examined her nails briefly and scratched General Kerensky behind the ears who, very ungracefully, rolled over on her back for further scritches to the belly. “We didn’t exactly have time to haul my stereo from the dropship.” She said turning back towards Tarak, seeing Ziska arrive with her usual bravado. She crossed her legs and took a sip as the Raven pilot began naming prices as she approached

Oh is that all?” She said to Ziska with a raised eyebrow and took a sip. The large feline under her manicured nails stretched out and purred audibly even over the din of activity around them.

@Th3King0fChaos@Abstract Proxy
Reya Wyatt

Her mind always wandered when she worked. Most tasks, particularly with battlemech systems were so prosaic that thinking about something else for Reya was almost automatic. Three screens glowed in front of her, three tablet-size computers, one weighing almost as much as a brick and two more with a hydra of wires spilling from the top and bottom coiling into the exposed inner systems of Ziska’s Raven and leading out through the open hatch to the torso where the armor plating on the sides of the machine’s birdlike frame were carefully propped open rather than fully removed. If something went wrong, she cautioned, she wasn’t sure they’d have even the basic means to reattach it, but there was enough room for Reya to squeeze underneath and that was good enough. One hand hammered away rapidly on the heaviest of the tablets that rested on her thigh, the bottom of which featured a set of basic keys used for commands and made a surprisingly satisfying snap with each press. The chattering sound filled the mech’s cockpit and she barely looked at it as monochrome green command lines blinked, changed and scrolled rapidly. Occasionally, the haughty sword and arm motif of House Liao would blink on screen in pixel art with a strongly worded warning and she would blast right by it with another command. She reached up from her somewhat comfortable position against the back of Ziska’s front folded seat, her feet propped against the rear bulkhead over the removed panels, towards one of the screens but her hand slowed slightly and her fingertips hovered over the touch screen.

The thoughts always came in a crashing line and she couldn’t put them away for long. Even doing so immediately left a sick feeling of guilt. Almost like a betrayal, like she needed to hold on, like someone needed to hold on. She wasn’t a warrior. She knew the others could just move on and deal in their own ways, it was their life, but at the same time watching them press forward; leaving the dead behind them made her feel like she barely knew them anymore. All her relatives of a similar age were male and throughout schooling all of her social associations were carefully scrutinized and curated. When she had set out on her own and bought-in with Colonel Wayne, she and Lena had instantly clicked together like sisters and now her sister was gone, just deleted from life and it felt like a physical piece of her soul had been removed. The sinister, hard-logic, inside her mind always piped in to tell her that this was a part of the business for which she had voluntarily signed-on and she could feel nothing but revulsion at herself for the thought. That logic could apply to assholes like Golden Boy, but Lena was better and worthy of remembrance. The recurring image of Lena’s empty bunk and the last glimpse of the room they shared back on the ship as they scrambled to escape the capital city cut Reya like nothing had ever done in her life. Her fingertips trembled over the small screen and she could feel tears rolling down her cheeks and she looked right through the patiently waiting prompt.

With a tiny motion she pressed one finger meekly against the weathered surface of the tablet and cried as the internal workings of the Raven reacted to her command. Unseen systems hummed and whirred around her as she buried her head in her knees and sobbed alone in the dark.

Moments passed and the Raven’s interest in its newfound programming subsided. She could hear the movement from the bustle outside and breathed in deeply, tilting her head back to stare up at the cockpit ceiling and letting her thoughts roll away again like a thunderstorm passing into the distance. This was what made her different she reminded herself. Not being smart or talented or even good looking. This was why she was different from her mother. Not sitting back home in Tabayama making court with her father’s bureaucracy sycophants. This was real, this was living. She breathed in heavily again through her nose and rolled the bottom of her shirt up to wipe her eyes, brushing some loose strands of her disheveled pony-tail away from her eyes. The habitable climate on Espia normally required a jacket and their adopted cave home was equally cool, but she had been moving around enough to be down to a tank top and her regular leggings. She sighed and raised herself up slightly and unfastened the tablet from its magnet hold shaking her head thinking to herself grimly that it had been such a week of firsts: First time running for her life, first time being shot at, first time losing someone she truly cared about and as she glanced up out the top of the Raven’s hatch at the roof of the cave- First time being in a cave.

The hard casing of the tablet thudded against the top of the Raven as she climbed out and the cool air quickly found her exposed skin and light layer of sweat. The deep mineral smell that permeated everything was again prevalent before her rather than the somewhat unique aroma of Ziska’s cockpit. She glanced around briefly, having been down in the cockpit for some time, but her first attention turned to the base of the battlemech where a proper small table had been set out, complete with a makeshift cloth and one occupant who sat reading along with a rather large calico cat that seemed proudly contented on top of the table. The very young blonde girl, no more than ten years old, looked up at Reya. “All done?

Reya again brushed back hair that had become a mess from being in the cramped space and sat down with her legs hanging over the side of the mech. She wiped one hand over her face. “It’s ready.

Were you crying?

Reya looked at the girl. Sunshine “Sunny” von Kemp was Lena’s younger sister. She had escaped the chaos with Reya. On the table next to some more books was a green Marauder action toy that she knew belonged to Sunny’s brother, Diego, who did not escape. The happy cat was Ziska’s personal pet. The great, or depending on who was being asked, infamous, General Kerensky.

Is that Never Ending Hearts Revolution again?” Reya asked, not answering the child’s question.

Uhhhhh, of course!” The girl smiled. Proudly displaying the front cover of the latest issue of the Draconis Combine’s most popular manga about the power of love and friendship at Suribashi High on Luthien.

You know, I’ve been to that high school on Luthien. It’s not that exciting.” Reya said with a teasing smirk.

Oh whatever, you went to boring engineering school at the Imperial Institute.” The girl shot back. Somehow she simply did not believe Lena had been killed and that was final. Any attempted conversation about it abruptly ended with an indignant crossing of the arms and shaking of the head, punctuated by a stern, She’ll be back. However, she did believe that Diego was in trouble and had to be saved. She missed them both terribly and Reya had essentially become her immediate caretaker.

A voice called from the otherside of the Raven and she glanced over her shoulder to see Tarak approaching. Before he could even speak, she glanced across the cave to the makeshift mechbay that had been assembled for his Phoenix Hawk. Everything that had been or was currently in service of the Green Knights sported top performance weaponry. Her weapons shot farther, faster, ran cooler and reloaded quicker than anything that could be purchased brand new on Terra. Darkly, she had thought repeatedly about how the Crimson Fists must have had a field day with the salvage after the battle for Balya Gora and that there was a distinct possibility they’d soon be facing off against some of her creations. She was going to have to get creative to give them another edge, but for now they just needed to survive. She crossed her legs and tilted her head slightly as if regarding Tarak with some amusement from her elevated position. “Trying to woo me with a mix tape, huh?


Thinking about an engineer/tech type character similar to Naomi from the Expanse to keep the mechs in service. Got a few ideas.

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