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Chapter 106 : Post Match Interview


Attendance at Fortescue Military Academy M1 Y:2142

Inter-Academy Round 1 Fortescue Points: 95 Rank: 8

Tier 3 Daedo M-Rank: 155

Term: 3, Round: 1

Daedalus Operating Capital: +2,550,000 bitcreds



Fortescue Round One Inter-Academy League Tier Three Report:

The first round was at home for the Fortescue team. They lined up against Seoul MA and Humboldt MA earning 53 points against Humboldt edging them out as overall winners by six points.

Seoul was another matter, despite the performances of the middle academy Gauntlet and Arena teams Seoul MA came away handy winners due to the dominance of their upper Academy team and overall competence with equipment quality and pilot skill.

Seoul MA came out on top 57 to Fortescue's 43.


Fortescue MA versus Humboldt MA

Round, R1

Middle Arena, 32 (out of a possible 32)

Upper Arena, 9 (out of a possible 52, Loss and opponent had five mechs standing)

M Gauntlet, 8 (out of a possible 8)

U Gauntlet, 4 (out of a possible 8)

Fortescue Points, 53

*a wipe or maximum points is a total of one hundred. Total points when adding the two teams together is always one hundred, so when Fortescue achieved 53, Humboldt earned 47.

Fortescue MA versus Seoul MA

Round, R1

Middle Arena, 28

Upper Arena, 6

M Gauntlet, 6

U Gauntlet, 2

Fortescue Points, 42


Tier Three Table After Round One (comprising of two matches each)


Tehran Mech, 140

Seoul MA, 126

MA, 120

Tsinghua MA, 119

KAIST, 116

Heidelberg MA, 105

Lockhead Martin MA, 104

Fortescue MA, 95

Humboldt MA, 79

Mumbai MA, 77

ETH Zurich, 64

Udon Thani MA, 55

The level of faced will affect standings in early rounds, KAIST and faced each other affecting their overall , and they are the two most fancied teams by experts. Where Tehran Mech, who is also a strong competitor, faced two of the least feared teams in Heidelberg MA and Udon Thani.

Humboldt MA came out of the Fortescue Home round well under their , being trounced by Seoul and beaten by Fortescue who they must have expected to They are well under the magic .500 average. Which them amongst the lower ranked teams.

Udon Thani is setting the bar at .275 anyone under .300 should fear almost certain And history has proven how difficult it is to come back from the Tiers when relegated from Tier 3.


Daedo's Gauntlet team only dropped two points after the rounds were finished. Both to Seoul pilots.

"Daedo," Vannier said apologetically, "Krecke is asking that you front the post-match interview."

"Why is she asking you?" Daedo asked.

"Strategy," Vannier shrugged. "She knows I can the importance where you would probably reject her out of hand."

"We could send Romulus," Axelzero opined. "He'd love to pretend to be captain."

"We should take all these opportunities to push the Daedalus brand," Barran said.

"He's right," Vannier said. "It's only tier three, but watch these streams."

"How am I supposed to do that?" Daedo asked.

"Wear our bodysuit for a start," Barran said.

"Just wait for an opportunity that talks about the equipment and it was developed by Daedalus, a cadet owned company," Axelzero stated.

"Ok," Daedo said. He had always dodged media when he competed in CyberMech. For many reasons but mainly because it was out of his comfort zone and skill set. He handing off these duties to Vannier, but he knew she wouldn't be asking him to do it if she didn't think it was the best strategy.

Aside from that, it was him and Barran that got them into this In his mind, he couldn't punish her for something they had instigated.

"I want Vannier and Barran with me," Daedo said. "If I get stumped, you can jump in rather than feed me a line through our AI assisted comms."

Barran nodded and grinned. With a tilt of her head, Vannier made a sound that indicated 'alright.'

It only took a few minutes for the to change into their Daedalus bodysuits. Fortunately, it was not a misdemeanour. Vannier checked quickly before they did so.

Spectator Cadets were free to wear whatever they wished on the weekend, while many still wore Academy colours, as did all supporters. These colours were different to their house colours with the and silver of Fortescue Academy.

Now that the official matches were over, the competitors were now free to wear whatever they pleased.

The media room possessed a multitude of technologies catering to all sorts of events. Including free moving VR, structures supporting AR casting and the room was fully programmable.

There were several media representatives present ranging from cadets to adults. Daedo didn't know, nor care if they were or started a streaming channel this term.

Myrmidon: we are going to be on the streams. Are you sure about this?

Daedo: I guess we all have to do things we don't like to achieve our goals. Adults are always going about it.

Myrmidon: I find it strange that humans are influenced by streams, media and words. It is highly unreliable data. They should purchase products based on analysis.

Daedo: no one can be an expert in everything. It's a good idea to take advice off an expert in that field. The hard part is knowing whether they are trustworthy or knowledgeable. That's a skill in itself.

Myrmidon: it is like how you listen to Vannier regarding people , and she does what you say with strategy and design. We could have our own streaming channel on strategy analysis!

Daedo: that is not even remotely funny.

"Ready?" Vannier asked. She indicated a seat behind a newly programmed three-person bench. Vannier and Barran Daedo who sat staring at the gaggle of streamers, several present with a few on the net represented by their AR avatars.

One streamer just began asking a , there was no moderator which surprised Daedo.

"Jan from T3 N-Fo," he began, "Fortescue's performance today was well above However, we noticed that all your mechs were new, never seen before, and these let you down. Will you be reverting back to the original mechs, and if not why?"

Vannier looked at Daedo, half expecting him to hand it over to her on the first It was not straightforward and establish a premise which was in their minds.

Daedo answered without flinching, "Why would we revert back to a vastly model? The upper cadets need more time to adjust to this model, it was far better than anything I saw today."

Vannier sighed inwardly.

"If they mech is than the , and your pilots failed?" The same streamer followed the line of

"Failed to win today? Yes. The results are there. We cannot deny them. We need to learn from our mistakes, rectify and improve," Daedo said emphatically. He was directly answering the , honestly and brutally.

Barran smiled. He knew Vannier would try and be diplomatic, dishing lines that you would hear over and over again on the streams. He sent a message through his AI.

Barran: beautiful. You don't need me here just keep on delivering like that. Daedo style.

Barran stood and left. The made a statement which confused some of the streamers.

"Do you disagree?" One asked.

"On the contrary, I am not needed here. Daedo can answer all your ," Barran answered smiling.

Another streamer turned their back to Daedo and Vannier, "What steps will you take to improve, as you said."

"Some of that is for us to work through internally, but I can tell you we will be working hard to improve for the next round. You will see better teamwork, strategies and maneuvers."

The streamers were quiet for a moment. Some were cadets, others hobbyists, and if they were from Fortescue, they would know Daedo. Most did not.

"It's unheard of for an M1 cadet to be team captain, but listening to you now I can catch a glimpse of some of the reasons why. Is it true you are Daedalus as well?" Another streamer asked.

"I had the name Daedalus in CyberMech. It is now the name of our company," Daedo answered

"To my knowledge, CyberMech stick to CyberMech and when given a real Mech to pilot they cannot transpose the skills. How do you rate your Mech piloting skills?"

"Needs improvement. That is why you see me in an exo and not in a mech. It's true CyberMech in no way prepares for you the real thing. Everything must be learned from scratch, like everyone else. It doesn't mean a CyberMech cannot pilot a Mech. They are starting from the as everyone. There is talent, IQ, and other physical attributes. A CyberMech would have to everything they learned in the game except the of strategy and tactics. A CyberMech who nurtures an AI would probably have the only advantage to another beginner pilot. In summary, coming from CyberMech is neither an advantage or disadvantage."

"Interesting, most people think it would be an advantage and experts agree it's a disadvantage. It is interesting that you think it's neither. The next is in regards to your age and maturity. Should the supporters of Fortescue be concerned you are so young and inexperienced?"

"I still have a lot to learn. Every day I learn from my mistakes and improve my tactics, skills and knowledge. Right now it is term three of my first year at the Academy, it's safe to say I am a beginner in many respects. But I have a great team who support me, with many varied experiences and skill sets. To think it all rests on my shoulders is an ;

Vannier made a throaty sound indicating she would add to what Daedo had just said. "Daedo may be in his first year. He may still have much to learn. But he is still the smartest cadet in the Academy. All the equipment used today was provided by his company Daedalus."

Another streamer spoke up, "I see you are both wearing Daedalus branded bodysuits. Are those produced by Daedalus as well? Or is it advertising for your company?"

"These are top of the range Axel bodysuits," Daedo answered. "Only members of the Daedalus company are wearing this name on their bodysuit."

"Who owns Daedalus? Is it just you?"

"No, there are nine shareholders altogether. All of Thoth squad zero in M1 at Fortescue and a couple of experts in mechanics and power systems."

"So your House squad are all shareholders? Interesting. All the M1 cadets who participated in the Middle Academy Gauntlet today are from this squad?" Asked an older streamer.

"Yes. There were three cadets from M3 and five from Daedalus," Daedo answered.

"Impressive you took fourteen of the total sixteen points I have so many more ; The streamer said

"Two more ," Daedo stated. He just realised he didn't have to sit here forever and took the opportunity to end in the interview while allowing two more in order to no abrupt end on that note.

The streamers were suddenly quiet. Thinking hard for two , they even whispered to one another. Before they could ask a , a VR representative spoke up.

"Yuli from ALN, I believe we deserve one of the remaining as we haven't yet participated."

The other streamers were quiet and bowed their heads differentially. One said she could have the last two

"Thank you. Daedo. Is it true that if Fortescue Military Academy is relegated your company will forfeit two bitcreds to the Fortescue Group? And if yes. Why did you do this?"

"Yes," Daedo answered confidently at first. But the next part was more difficult. He searched the reasons, most of which they couldn't discuss. It was mostly messy Fortescue politics and putting an end to them. "Because we will not fail." He said finally and stood and began to leave.

"That was only one ," the journalist from ALN stated, and the others nodded.

Daedo looked at the VR of an older woman, probably in her late twenties or early thirties and whether he should her math. It was definitely two she asked.

"I will allow one more," he said "But in future when I say two, I mean two."

Some of the streamers at his statement.

"Okay. Last ," the ALN representative said politely. "If you were approached by any of the Tier One academies, and assuming everything was taken care of financially, would you consider joining them?" She was careful to word the in such a way it was considered as one and not two. For all she knew he had already been approached. In such a short time this cadet had made a name for himself. Even if it was just a lower ranked tier three academy. It was impressive.

"No. We have made a deal, and we will see it through. Even if the amount was and contract were covered it is not something my squad or I would do." He said and began to walk out.

"What about next year," one streamer called out.

"That was the last ," Vannier said smiling and left shortly after Daedo. She caught up to him quickly in the corridor.

"That wasn't so bad," she stated.

Daedo "Nosy, ill-informed and not all that smart. They didn't ask about the exos. The amazing structural with the mechs. Even the aurora shields. Nothing."

"Tell them next time. You see it all the time from the top managers and captains. They tell the streamers what they should be asking and then answer that. They don't always answer the asked." Vannier said.

"Send me a couple of good examples to view please," Daedo asked politely.

"I don't know why you sound upset. You were amazing. They will eat that up. You were strong and sure of yourself. That was the real message." Vannier said praising Daedo.

Barran joined in laughing and rubbing Daedo's head. "Don't get a big head though."

Daedo grumpily shook off Barran's hand. His hair was so short it was impossible for Barran to mess it up, but he still found it annoying rather than

The rest of the squad were waiting in the common area of their quarters. Usually, they would all be at the workshop on a weekend, but with inter-Academy matches every weekend it put a crimp in their usual schedule. Almost the entire Saturday was a write-off when and debriefing were taken into

Krecke was waiting for Daedo outside.

"Debriefing Sunday at 20:00 as ," Daedo stated. He was busy and didn't want to discuss everything with Krecke now and again on Sunday night. There was also analysis of the data, comms and individual feeds.

"I wanted to talk to you in person. I want to resign as tactician," she said meaning the upper Academy Mech team.

Daedo sighed. "You are the right person for the job. It's the squad that needs work. The main issue is it's not a squad at all at the moment."

"That is why I want to resign. You need a leader," she stated. "Someone who can bring everyone together into a cohesive unit."

Daedo looked at her and what she said.

"You're right. When you look at it one way. But with my way the team will be With a tactically weak but strong leader, the ceiling of the team will be capped to individual skill and prepared tactics. With a strong tactician, you can achieve all that plus adapt during a match. And the most important factor is the ability to adapt, because in my short experience not every match goes to Even when including b, c and d."

Krecke wavered.

"If I address the reason you want to quit and fix that. Other than fear of failure, there is no reason for you to quit," Daedo finished.

"Fine," Krecke said. The look on her face conveyed she was not happy with his choice of words, but she acquiesced for now. "We will see how the debriefing goes, and I will assess. If we are able to fix all the issues, I will stay, but if we can't, I will resign after round two."

"You are giving us two weeks to fix with at least six years entrenchment?"

Krecke nodded. "The league will quickly get away from us. And an achieved short-term is better than a long-term one which will never be fulfilled."

Daedo sighed and mimicked Krecke, "Fine."

He ducked into the common area. He, Vannier and Barran joined the rest of the squad before heading back to the workshop with all their equipment.

"They're here!" Axel said excitedly.

"You gotta see this," Kang said grinning.

Mace shyly pulled up a stream from Yuli, the ALN journalist who asked him today. Daedo's mind immediately lept to the this must be about him and the Fortescue team.

The image was of Yuli sitting with words depicting scandal, shame prominently behind her with a static picture of an old man, and some buildings in the background. "….from an anonymous source has been verified." She said. The stream was live.

"Oxford Military Academy. An in my , an with an almost thousand-year-old history, is central in what can only be described as illegal with betting agencies."

Breaking News behind her.

Daedo looked at Mace. She nodded and smiled shyly.

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