GGNOVEL > Xuanhuan > Daedalus > Chapter 19 : M1 - Term: 1, Round: 1
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Chapter 19 : M1 - Term: 1, Round: 1


Attendance at Fortescue Military Academy M1 Y:2142

House Thoth, Squad Zero

M1 Rank: ?/1275, Tier 3 M-Rank: Null

Term: 1, Round: 1


Each morning the squad had the obstacle course booked at 0600. Strictly speaking, there were no other official squad scheduled activities until the Gauntlet at 1800. Daedo followed the 0600 obstacle course with PT at 0645. Or as close to 0645 as he could achieve. A few other squad members did the same.

Picard and Barran both loved PT. They would do too much at the expense of other subjects, that they needed to improve, if they didn't keep themselves in check. Barran would argue he needed it for stress relief, which was a good argument in his case. Academic subjects did wear on him.

Mace was quiet but she had begun to open up to Daedo, especially if they were not surrounded by the other squad members.

"I didn't think you would like Physical Training so much?" Mace asked.

"I don't," Daedo answered.

The pair had left the gym, finished their morning meal and were at the Gunnery range. Daedo's morning was the same all week up until 0900. At 0730 he ate and at 0815 he attended the Gunnery range to either research weapons or use it was it was for; improving his marksmanship.

"You are up to three a day if you include the obstacle course," Mace said. She had noticed his schedule. She was usually at the gym with him in the morning and had seen him there yesterday afternoon.

"I am working hardest on my weakest area. I am going to spend less time on Math and Physics and more time on PT," he replied.

"Commendable and smart," Mace complimented, "and what about tech and the ;

"To be honest that is going to take most of my time. I think we will learn more by doing. I will have to do Math, Physics and even AI nurturing to improve our exo." Daedo said.

"It sounds more like advanced engineering than M1 physics to me," Mace replied.

"Yeah, but we all need to do a Tech and Physcis project. So we should work on something that will improve our exo and our Arena performance," he responded.

Mace looked thoughtful.

They were both testing weapons from of assault rifles to railguns.

"I like the railgun," Daedo announced suddenly between loadout changes.

"Hmm, why is that?" Mace asked. She had her own but wanted to see what Daedo thought.

"It has so much potential. Low energy and the velocity of the round will result in much better damage for a mech or an exo. The could be superb if the field was more precise. And you could load virtually any metal into it. You could shoot anything. Almost," he qualified.

"I see," Mace replied thoughtfully.

Axelzero appeared out of nowhere when their gunnery was coming to an end. Daedo wasn't sure if she had bugged him or had just tracked him down. She hadn't messaged him to find out his whereabouts.

"Come to the cafeteria with me, everyone is waiting. We just got word that everything has been finalised and we can take tonight."

Axelzero led the pair back to the M1 cafeteria in a rush.

"This is exciting!" Axelzero , "tomorrow, we go and our very own workshop, warehouse, whatever it is."

"Shh," Barran said waving a hand downwards, "keep it down. We don't want anyone knowing what we are doing."

"Why?" Axelzero asked slightly perturbed that her exuberance was being squashed.

"Because that is how it's done. You never let your enemy or competitor know what you are up to," Barran Although it was a vague lacking any real specifics, it sounded like he was parroting his parents.

"It cannot hurt to hide what we are doing, but I do worry about how we are going to transport the light suits back and forth," Vannier said.

"We should get a carrier vehicle," Barran said excitedly, "a VTOL and capable of MACH-4 in the lower atmosphere."

"Um, I don't think that is necessary for just up the road. We could probably just rent one as needed or speak to Master Nader. Surely the Academy uses something for offsite exercises and ," Vannier suggested.

"I have my bike, how are the rest of you getting there? Are you going to run?" Barran asked, changing the topic slightly.

"How do you have a bike?" Axelzero asked.

"I have an EU restricted license for robot-assisted vehicles. Which means as long as my bike has a robot backup I can ride it through unrestricted roads and engage the robot on restricted," Barran answered.

"There is no age limit?" Axelzero asked.

"No, they just cost like fifty bitcreds," Barran answered.

"You know we can just order a couple of hovervans. One with lifter-arm capacity would be sufficient to carry five light exos," Daedo said. He would have said they could just wear the light exos and run there in them, but that was against the rules.

"Ugh, public transport?" Barran disparaged, "I have never gotten in one of those hovervans. Rent an ATV carrier at least. Please."

A member of Shu squad one stood by the Thoth squad zero table, and the stopped.

Soon after three more Shu-squad-one members stood behind him. "I have been wondering," he announced suddenly without ,"why Shu squad zero practices with you when you are so shit?"

Vannier: Daedo can you please let him know, in your usual way, why he is wrong.

Daedo: (sigh), ok.

"The time you spend wondering is probably better directed to learning strategy," Daedo answered and proceeded to ignore the members of Shu putting on his helmet and bringing up transport rental and purchase His squad followed his lead, donning helmets.

The Shu members hung around for a minute, and it seemed they could not think up any other insults. The Thoth squad zero members were ignoring them while looking up rental vehicles, the Shu squaddies soon got bored, turned on their heels, and left.

Daedo: Barran can you drive a robot-assisted transporter as well?

Barran: anything with full robot control in the EU. If you get a vehicle like that you don't even need me.

Daedo: true. I was just I am looking at the Marais four four-m mech transporter. It would be able to handle over eight heavy exos. It is massive, but we can leave it at the workshop, just call it when we need it.

Barran: I like Marais, let me have a look…

Barran: damn these aren't cheap.

Vannier: coming from you that must mean it is super expensive.

Axelzero: why don't we just rent one two times a week until Daedalus can afford to purchase its own transporter.

Vannier: that's a good idea.

Barran: fine but I am taking my bike.

Axelzero: what would you be doing anyway?

Barran: ah…learning? Watching the magic?

Mace: lol.

Picard: the Shu guys just stormed off after you insulted and then ignored them.

Axelzero: it was a beautiful thing to watch. I think CyberMech also schooled you in smack talk.

Daedo: I never talked to anyone in CyberMech. And I was just telling the truth.

Mace: lol.

Barran: is Mace hacked?

Mace: no. I just find you and Daedo funny. For different reasons.

Barran: now everyone is practising sledging. I warn you Mace, I am a master sledger.

Mace: a Master would not need to announce that they are a Master. It would be evident.

Axelzero: oh burn. I think you have met your match Barran.

Barran: we will see. Remember she cannot catch me on the obstacle course or Gauntlet.

Axelzero: do not speak too soon, she is improving faster than you, and look at her she is forty centimetres shorter and twenty fewer kilos than you.

Barran: why are you arguing for her? We should compare each other, stop bringing in ring-ins.

Axelzero: very well, let's see who ranks higher at the end of week two.

Entry ranks had Axelzero at six, only ahead of Gaumont in squad zero, while Barran was fourth behind Mace, Vannier and Daedo.

Daedo began his philosophy tutes while sitting at the table, his lunch was over, and he wanted to spend the entire week-end working on the light exos and the launcher.

The rest of the squad, excluding Gaumont who was presumably in his quarters, kept bantering and for the weekend. Axelzero booked a suitable transport.

After another forty minutes, Vannier left to report to Master Nader. Barran moaned over Math tutes, hoping someone would offer assistance, Axelzero, Picard and Mace seemed in their respective virtual learning environments.

Vannier saluted Master Nader, "reporting as ordered Master Nader," she said upon entering the Master's office. She had not seen the Master leave this office, nor take off her helmet. There was a strong possibility that there was another entrance to this office other than through their quarters, it was impossible to tell if you did not have to the room controls.

" Vannier," Master Nader ordered, "sit." She pointed to a stool on the opposite side of her desk. It was not something you could in nor was it As usual, everything Nader did was to the nth degree.

"I wanted to discuss this week with you. Summarise for you what I have seen and my thoughts. Anything you glean from this you can take back to your squad and enact course where needed. You will lay the of what is to come as well," Master Nader began.

"I am not often wrong in my forecasts Vannier and in terms of squad zero's potential I have forecasted correctly with six out of seven cadets. Initially, I had you pegged as squad leader, your profiling was excellent, and your skills are superb for an M1 cadet. But I am going to issue a course , it is apparent to me already that you will operate better as a leadership team."

"You mean Daedo?" Vannier asked.

"Of course," Nader replied. "The profiling tests are designed to measure a large spectrum of capability. They unreliable when you veer into the realms of genius. They cannot discern the difference between a mathematician of quality and one who is capable of solving problems no one else in the Academy is, including Chief Albert. And this is just scratching the surface, I have early results of his bandwidth. It surpasses that of the best U3 cadets. This is improbable, if not impossible. But more of his background was revealed during this week, so now nothing will surprise me when it comes to Cadet Daedo. Other than if it was to turn out that he possessed Alien DNA," Nader informed.

Vannier looked concerned. It was like hearing one of your friends was possibly an enemy from outer space.

"Do not fear, his DNA was tested and retested this week, there is no trace of Alien interference or characteristics," Master Nader said.

Vannier was shocked that they took this so

"Now, that brings us to what needs to happen in the squad. We can go one of two ways, and I would like you to decide which you would prefer. If it is a path that you desire, then your performance will be of a higher level," Master Nader began, and Vannier nodded, uncertain what she was talking about, but she would find out soon enough.

"One path is that you squad leader and Daedo acts as your tactician, strategist and lead technician," Master Nader announced and seemed to watch Vannier closely to discern her It seemed because Master Nader was enclosed in her full armour and helmet, she could be looking in the opposite and still observe Vannier closely.

"The path," she continued, "is we make Daedo squad leader, and you perform the role of diplomat and act as his right hand in terms of dealing with squad members moral and performance."

Master Nader again paused for a short while.

Before Vannier could respond Master Nader continued, "it is as I predicted you prefer the latter You would rather he lead, and you assist. This is quite admirable and speaks well of your healthy ego. I am a little concerned with your lack of , but we shall see if this can be directed into for squad zero instead of you personally."

"Now, we shall continue to have these talks. I will handle Daedo quite differently, and I want to direct certain of the squad through you. Picard needs pushing, she has strong self-, but her self-worth assessment is too low. She will respond to strong leadership, and Daedo has supplied some. Follow his lead. Do not allow her negative thoughts to pervade, challenge them."

"Gaumont; leave him be. He will need to learn the hard way I am afraid. You will have many years together for him to realise what is important and what is not and if his potential slips, well. Remember anyone in squad zero is All I need to do is order it. Do not advise him of this in his current state of mind it will push him further in the wrong ," Master Nader said.

"Master," Vannier interrupted, "why do you not have a word with Gaumont, surely he would listen to you."

"Vannier," Nader said , "you are training to be a leader. Would you like me to pilot your exo and fire your railgun also?"

"Sorry Master, I ," Vannier replied.

"We did discuss this in our last meeting, please work hard to remedy your forward thinking. If in doubt, give Daedo a problem to solve and see where his forward thinking takes him. He sometimes even surprises me. This workshop for example. This has never been done before, and although I assisted, I am quite pleased as is the Commander."

"The Commander knows of it?" Vannier asked horrified.

"Of course," Master Nader answered , giving no extra intel on what the Commander was or was not aware of.

"At the end of next week, new House rankings will be issued as well as squad leaders assigned. You are dismissed cadet," Master Nader ordered.

Vannier shivered and left Master Nader's office.

The week ended the same way it had begun, with a Gauntlet followed by two exo combat The strategy of drilling specific skills with a lack of focus on actual results remained the same. Even Shu squad zero caught on to the tactic after four consecutive days of strange maneuvers and began to copy Thoth zero by practising a few themselves.

Squad zero loaded up their exos into a rented transporter and headed to their new workshop late on Friday night. Vannier and Axelzero handled all the paperwork with both the Academy and taking over the workshop. The others shareholders just had to submit their digital signatures.

Daedo was surprised to see his Father waiting when they arrived at 2145 on a Friday night.

"How did you know?" Daedo asked his Father.

"The lawyers told me, I had to give guardian approval for all your dealings during the week. Companies, purchases, everything! I did not expect the Academy to be like this at all," Ikaros answered.

"It usually isn't. We are doing things a little differently," Daedo answered. "Some of the others will bring in outside help, work on their equipment in the on-campus workshops, but being in Thoth we know ours will be crowded, and we wanted privacy."

"I got your And I have some ideas already," Ikaros said as they began to walk through the workshop. "This isn't bad," he judged, "how did you afford all this. I saw in the paperwork that you are fifty percent owner."

"The creds from spacebuild and CyberMech are paying for it," Daedo answered.

"You mean all those early morning tournaments paid well?" Ikaros asked.

"Yeah, they paid really well," Daedo said waving his hand to indicate the workshop.

"I am not going to ask you if you can afford to maintain this , I will just assume you have all that in hand," Ikaros said.

"Don't worry Father, my squadmates have a lot of experience and support with this sort of thing," Daedo said.

"So I can come here each weekend to help you?" His father asked expectantly. He was happy that Daedo was getting along with his squad, so much so that he showed faith in them. It was scary that all this took in a week, but if his son had not made any friends, and had zero trust in his squadmates, that would be much much worse.

"Of course. We will be relying on your hands-on experience, even if it is with robots," Daedo said.

"I have worked on security bots," Ikaros stated.

"Really?" Daedo asked.

"Yes, Fortescue has thousands of security bots and drones. Who do you think keeps all the ones in France ; Ikaros asked rhetorically.

Daedo laughed, "Let's see what you can do old man."

Daedo along with his Father and Mace toured the workshop. Vannier, Axelzero and Barran were working in the office and living areas.

"This is a fully equipped shop," Ikaros , "you did well. The only thing I would is upgrades to the machining nozzle and better for testing. This equipment is passable, but for the best measurements of alloy , motor and fine hydraulic tuning you need an open and feed the raw data into a bespoke analysing program."

"I agree," Daedo said thinking of utilising Myrmidon for analysis and coding analysis tools. "Is the foundry adequate?"

"Yes, yes. All that matters is garbage in and garbage out. It is like an oven, you just need to put the right mix in and have the ability to control oxygen, carbon and other inputs. Which this system will do quite well."

"Where will we get an upgraded nozzle from?" Daedo asked.

"You need one for each fabricator and machining centre. That is seven altogether of varying sizes. I will build them for you from my workshop once I take the sizes and socket The machining centre cutters look good, but we may want to increase the fidelity to a nano level, this will require a rewrite of the software and the control mechanism," Ikaros said.

"That sounds expensive," Mace said.

"No, not if you make it yourself, it is just time-consuming," Ikaros said.

"I know where you get it from now Daedo," Mace said. She was impressed his Father would manufacturing parts for a machining centre, let alone improve and industrial model capable of repairing and building military mechs.

"Did you look at my launcher problem?" Daedo asked his Father.

"Yes, let's leave that for tomorrow, but I do have an idea to test," Ikaros said.

"What launcher problem?" Mace asked.

"The one where you have to hold a launcher or a sword. Why can't the launcher sit on your shoulder or attach to your chest or arm?" Daedo said.

"Oh," Mace said. "Oh!" She excitedly as the drills came back to her. Daedo had himself, and she performed drills all week with either sword or launcher.

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