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Chapter 56 : M1 - Term: 1, Round: 5 End

Daedalus

Attendance at Fortescue Military Academy M1 Y:2142

House Thoth, Squad Leader, Squad Zero

M1 Rank: 1/1275, Tier 3 M-Rank: Null

Term: 1, Round: 5 (End)

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The cadets stood in the auditorium where they began the term when they were assigned houses. The bodysuit colours inline with the House banner as the Commander droned on about duty, diligence and other crap about Fortescue.

Thoth squad zero were at the front, with squad one behind and so forth. They had won the M1 tournament which then reflected onto their grades and subsequent rankings.

Due to Fortescue squad zero not competing in the M1 tournament their rankings had taken a beating. The Chiefs for piloting and gunnery always maintained that the end of term tournament performance would have a significant impact on their grade. The other main input was the Gauntlet.

Rank T1 R5, Cadet, House

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1, Daedo, Thoth

2, Mace, Thoth

3, Vannier, Thoth

4, Delcroix , Amun-Ra

5, Gallois, Osiris

6, Almeras, Osiris

7, Lazard, Shu

8, Fortescue, Horus

9, Picard, Thoth

10, Barran, Thoth

11, Moreau, Horus

14, Axelzero, Thoth

19, Gaumont, Thoth

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The -ranked Horus was from squad two, Moreau. This gave squad zero more delight than Daedo's rank one. Aside from the overall that the entire squad was in the top twenty ranks and their own personal achievement. These ranks were by performance across all ten subjects, from Physical to Physics, it was an of their overall strength.

Daedo's weakest subject was still physical, and it was the in this area he had worked the hardest and improved the most. His time in the obstacle course was now in the top one-hundred and fifty out of the almost thirteen hundred cadets in M1.

As the Commander spoke with his monotone delivery, Daedo wished they had donned helmets so he could communicate with his squad. It was Friday the last day of term and the last item on the agenda. It came after all the finals from M2 to U3, which were enjoyable until the cadets from M1 had to suffer through the speech from the Middle Academy commander.

Year levels M3 and M2 and already left the Academy. It probably had something to do with pecking order where the lowest year level had to wait for the longest before being dismissed for the term.

Finally, the Commander finished, and the cadets before the exodus began. Literally, hundreds of cadets his squad as they passed with a small number making snide remarks about the M3 Shu match forfeits.

"I'll be to be out of here. Today just took forever," Gaumont stated as they made their way back to their quarters for the last time.

"It was good to see the mechs in though, I can't wait to get in one," Axelzero

"Are we going to get a headstart on them Daedo?" Barran asked. "There was a massive difference between the U1 mechs and the U3 models. The U3s were so much faster."

Daedo nodded, "I am going to spend the entire break at the workshop. Other than our Munich trip. We may even put some work into Old Dawg."

"Awesome! I'll come visit for sure," Barran replied.

"Who else is going to the workshop over the break?" Vannier asked.

Most of the cadets had to spend time with their families, and it was difficult enough getting time off for the Munich trip. If it was up to Vannier, she probably would have stayed at the workshop the entire break as well.

"I will be there as well," Mace said shyly, "my parents will fly through Munich while we are there."

Picard announced, "Once we get back from Munich I am coming to the workshop until term two."

"I'm still working on it," Axelzero said sadly.

Vannier nodded, "same here."

Gaumont remained quiet. He wasn't sure if he was invited to Munich or not.

All the important equipment was being packed into hoverbins. They wouldn't leave anything vital in their quarters. It would go with Mace and Daedo to the workshop, and the rest of the squad were being picked up by parents.

Daedo still wore his bodysuit, he didn't bring any other clothes. Mace stayed in hers for solidarity. Barran, Vannier, and Axelzero got changed into their everyday clothes which were increasing levels of garish, ending with Barran at the top.

"It's great to get out of and white," Barran preened in his red and yellow tight fitting faux leather.

Vannier got changed into a yellow jacket over a white bodysuit and while Axelzero wore a different style purple bodysuit.

"I like not having to worry about what to wear," Daedo volunteered to which the squad laughed.

"That's so you Daedo," Vannier observed cheerfully.

"Need all your brain power for the physics, ay," Barran teased imitating the Physics Chief's voice.

Axelzero announced solemnly, "my parents are here." She proceeded to give everyone a hug before off into the hall. One by one the squad left in the same

Gaumont had a small tear in his eye, "I guess this is really goodbye for me."

Daedo shook his head, "no, we will still work together. If you need anything to be sure to ask."

"Ah great," Gaumont said sheepishly, "can I get eight exos?" And then laughed nervously.

Vannier looked to Daedo, unsure what to say.

Daedo nodded, "sure. But you will have to pay us back with something fantastic."

Gaumont was dumbfounded, he did not expect that response, "like what?"

"Why don't you work on a weapon or an energy shield. The ion shield is only good for PPC ," Daedo suggested.

Gaumont nodded, "we will." He shook Daedo's hand firmly before Vannier roped him in for a final hug.

"I guess that's me," Vannier said leaving Daedo alone with Mace. "Don't get into trouble you two."

"Like a physics brawl?" Daedo enquired.

Mace , "we won't," before hugging Vannier.

Vannier gave Daedo a long hug and whispered, "you changed my life Etana Daedo. I am so happy we met."

"I'll be seeing you next week right?" Daedo asked sedately after the sudden outpouring of

Vannier nodded and left with a tear in her eye as well.

"I guess its just us, all this gear and a rented hovervan," Mace said smiling.

Daedo nodded, "let's get moving, we have a lot of work to do."

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"Are you sure your parents are ok that you are staying with us?" Ikaros asked Mace for the third time.

"Yes!" she answered with a small show of

"Dad, voice them, you have their contact details," Daedo added. "And I have no idea why it would be a problem now, we've spent every weekend here for the last nine weeks."

"It's just," Ikaros stuttered, "there's only two of you now, and it's out of term. I know I would be upset if you didn't come home Daedo."

"There's no one at her home Dad. They are travelling on business. If anything she has more here," Daedo argued.

Ikaros held up his hands in defeat, "ok, ok. What's for dinner?"

"If you don't have anything I was just going to follow Picard's meal and drone in some meals," Daedo replied.

"Sounds good, I don't mind her food," Ikaros stated. He it as Picard's food because she designed the made to order meals which were droned in from a local bot-kitchen to their warehouse.

"Better make that four," Cisse announced as she walked into the workshop. Cisse had finally taken the plunge and was sporting a new set of legs. It appeared as if she wore thigh high boots, but they all knew what must have been underneath.

"Woah," Ikaros was surprised. He immediately approached Cisse to admire the workmanship.

"Dad. Cisse is a woman, and they are her legs!" Daedo announced trying to point out the impropriety of his Father's in order to effect its change.

"They look great," Mace complimented.

"They work great too," Cisse said. "It only took a few days for me to get used to them. Cisse had her own with an AI assistant, a civilian gen three model, unlike the cadets restricted military model. "My helped a lot."

"So what do we have for the holidays?" Ikaros asked.

"Holidays?" Daedo asked smirking.

"Your term is finished, and you are on a break. In my books that is holidays," Ikaros replied.

"Oh, it's only a break for the Academy. Daedalus isn't on holidays," Daedo said firmly.

Ikaros whined.

"The bots do most of the work, stop Dad," Daedo stated.

"We have heaps to do," Mace and Cisse said at the same time.

Ikaros looked from one to the other and shook his head.

"I need to finish building the containment field for the reactor and centrifuges on sub-level three," Cisse stated.

"No more rocks coming out I hope," Ikaros asked with concern.

Cisse replied with a shake of her head, "all done."

Cisse had taken every spare robot hour that Ikaros could provide her to construct the sub level. It involved tonnes of rubble removal, drainage and before they even started converting it into a lab.

"What's going on?" Mace asked.

"We've been keeping it under wraps," Cisse said embarrassed. Daedo had that Mace could find out when the term was over.

"Cisse is building a test lab for a new reactor concept," Daedo said.

Mace nearly said shit but covered her mouth quickly.

"Exactly my thoughts," Ikaros said smiling.

The thought of an and brought solemn silence to the upbeat gathering.

"We know the risks," Cisse said comfortingly, "and we are taking every ;

"And we are going to create a new structure for R and D," Daedo said changing the subject. "Gaumont is leaving to squad one. We need to assess where we are at with current projects, create the specialist fields list and reassignment to those fields."

"Wait. Gaumont is gone?" Ikaros asked incredulously.

"To be squad leader of squad one," Mace supplied.

While they ate and for the next hour the small team of four went through Daedo's list, added deleted and refined. It had to be a list of specialties that seven cadets and the two of them could manage. It also had to try and cover all the specialties involved with Mech and Mech armament development. Anything to do with an exo would have to come from these fields, and there was nothing that was needed for exo development that wasn't needed for a Mech.

Daedo pulled up the main board with the org chart. The subcategories were found in the and third layers of the chart.

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Design and Construct Mech Main Categories

Mech Engineering – Structural and mechanical design. The overall bringing together of the finished product; power, weight, defence, ability and mobility.

Power Engineering – reactors and power storage for mechs, exos and vehicles.

Metallurgy – Analysis and of materials fit for purpose in other fields.

Mechanic – construct and maintain infrastructure and equipment.

Chemical Engineering – Research into advanced polymers, fluids and gases. Research and develop fit for purpose

Specialist – research into for mechs, exos, missiles and vehicles.

Electronics and Coding specialist – methods, sensors, sensor data sorting and interface. Electronic Warfare; Including dampeners, hacking, interference and shielding from external EW attacks.

Physics and Quantum Physics – Pure research into areas such as , Fields and Gravity.

Drones – Research into warfare and sensory drones. Combines inputs from , sensors, and

Melee weapons – development and improvement of melee weapon loadouts.

Ranged weapons – development and improvement of ranged weapon loadouts.

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"Some of these areas feed off the pure science from a supporting specialist such as drone specialist relies heavily on and chemical engineering," Daedo said.

"Isn't that speciality light. For example, Coding and Electronics have a massive , where Drones is quite small," Ikaros observed.

"I altered these with the eventual responsible person in mind. We only have two areas from the main where we don't have a specialist," Mace answered.

"Let's look at the assigned list. What we have," Cisse asked.

"Ok, bear in mind, this list is affected by the person's capability and other roles needed for Daedalus," Daedo qualified.

Mech Engineering, Daedo

Power Engineering, Cisse

Metallurgy, <need specialist>

Mechanic, Ikaros

Chemical Engineering, Mace

, <need specialist>

Electronic/Code, Myrmidon

Quantum Physics, Physics, Daedo

Drones, Axelzero

Melee Weapons, Picard

Ranged Weapons, Vannier

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Fascinated, Cisse asked, "your AI is going to hold down one of the largest fields?"

"He is more than capable. Myrmidon has been coordinating squad comms and is quickly mastering data sorting and The electronics will need work, but he is perfectly suited for this role," Daedo supplied an answer.

"He also doesn't have to study ten subjects or sleep much," Mace added.

Daedo shook his head, "he does his fair share of studying."

"What are the other roles?" Cisse asked interested in the overall of Daedalus.

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.Medical, <need specialist>

.Xeno , <need specialist>

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Mundane

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, Vannier

.Security, Barran

.Business Manager, Barran

.Finance Manager , <need specialist>

.Logistics, Picard

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"You want Barran to be Business Manager?" Mace asked it was her turn to be astounded.

"He is perfect for the role," Daedo answered.

"Barran doesn't have any science roles," Ikaros pointed out, "Is that ok?"

"He will have his hands full," Daedo replied. "In order to do what we need to, what we want to we are going to need bitcreds. A tonne of bitcreds. He will be responsible for bringing them in. And of course, someone else will be responsible for what goes out. Someone more risk-averse."

"Much more," Mace added with a worried look on her face.

"How are we going to fill the vacant areas?" Cisse asked.

"Master Nader said to provide this list, and she will look for someone to fill the need," Daedo replied.

Ikaros whistled. "A thirteen-year-old cadet with a penchant for metallurgy who loves rockets?"

"Exactly!" Daedo answered smiling broadly.

"And is a great shot, an acrobat who can fight with a bo staff," Mace added.

Daedo waved his hand in dismissal, "those skills can be learned."

Cisse

Daedo looked at Mace, "Time for a run?"

She nodded. They donned their helmets, put on Picard's cruel weights and ran down the river.

"So. I guess I am handing over drones to Axelzero," Mace said as the settled down into a steady gait.

"Yeah. Sorry," Daedo replied.

"I understand," Mace said.

"Chemical Engineering is crucial and its something we need our best person on," Daedo said truthfully.

" best," Mace corrected.

Daedo made a guttural sound which illustrated his disagreement with the statement.

"I am guessing that my first project is to develop the hydraulic fluid or the polymer fibre we are using in the weave?" Mace enquired.

"Both. Pick one," Daedo replied.

"You don't make things easy," Mace retorted with a snort.

"Do you want to take Myrmidons role?" Daedo teased.

"No!" Mace yelled over the comms.

"You're still six minutes quicker than me over the obstacle course," Daedo changed the subject as they ran up a small incline.

"Keep training like this, and you'll catch up," Mace said before adding, "while you were CyberMech my tutor had me completing circuits every day."

"What's it like. Having a tutor?" Daedo asked.

"Much easier than being in your squad," Mace answered with a chuckle.

Daedo tried a flying kick near Mace, who merely put on more pace to make him look like a dunce.

"I wasn't going to hit you," he cried as he got up from the ground.

"Don't waste your breath and catch up pipsqueak," Mace taunted.

"You are like one centimetre taller!" Daedo

After fifty minutes they circled back to the workshop. They had sat around all day watching matches or were standing at ceremonies. The pair opted for a much longer run than normal. They were used to four PT a day.

"What's the for the rest of the night?" Mace asked.

"I'm going to program in six new radical exo designs for testing, then go to bed or take a look at old dawg," Daedo replied. "and you?"

"Write a report for Axelzero I guess," she said, "I'd like to help clean up old dawg this week."

"Ok deal. We'll start on our new projects and mech mechanic with old dawg in our downtime," Daedo said happily.

"In between, I'll kick your ass with a bo staff," Mace giggled. She must have felt more at ease now it was just the two of them, she rarely giggled at the Academy.

"Sounds like term one never ended," Daedo sadly said.

"Oh no, this is a term two beating!" Mace laughed at her

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