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    Thread: The Armor Suit Academy

    1. #1
      TXU Hero kevin398's Avatar
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      Cool The Armor Suit Academy

      Dare to be Different

      Intro: Through out the history of Mankind there have been people who, for one reason or another, were different...to the extreme. Newton, Einstein, Galileo, and many others that could be named, not only hiding away, but proudly proclaiming their intelligence to all that would listen.

      The great Leonardo De Vinci once spoke these words: “There shall be wings! If the accomplishment be not for me, 'tis for some other.” And he was of course, correct. Man flies through the skies in all types of machines now, but never quite like he imagined. But maybe...‘’tis for some other’...and that time might have come.

      (This is a rewrite of a show called Infinite Stratus, it was fun to watch but falling in love in a day... different girls over and over again with the same guy... was too odd for me, and everyone cant start out as friends, so this is my story)

      Chapter 1: New Ideas and a new Genius

      From the time of her birth, Janice Carter was different. She walked early, very early, she talked early too, and spoke of things she heard, as if she really understood things, even as a toddler.She was rushed proudly to school... and walked through it like it was a joke. Her skills at reading and remembering were astounding, and her new ideas she mentioned to teachers were often said to be ‘impossible’ by them... right in front of her.

      She graduated high school at 12, and college at 16, and her Masters was in new power systems and flight. And many knew she would be long remembered for her accomplishments later in life, and she knew that she was being watched, and some people wanted to hitch a ride on her coattails if they could.

      But she also knew that she had a reason to be, and her reason was...the Power Suit...a set of high tech armor that you don’t strap on, but stand inside of. 8 feet tall, bullet proof and fast, because it had small jet engines mounted on the back. High tech to the extreme, once inside it only your head was visible. And the Suit had a brain, and was all but sentient by itself. Her idea was for a ‘pardner’ for the pilot, not a tool for them to use.

      Everyone that heard it scoffed and laughed saying it was impossible under current technology, and she shook her head sadly at their arrogance and stupidity, which she mentioned more than once, to red faces all around.

      She had not only drawings, but specs for the brain and servo units that would operate the body. Metals research had been done for ages, and so the list of metals she’d use was already on her laptop.All she needed was to prove it was possible, and money... after that... would be no problem.

      But how to get that first start? Grants take time and work... and frankly she wasn’t good at waiting. So she decided it was up to her, and she got a few friends she went to school with to help set up a small workshop, and they signed papers, swearing them to secrecy.

      She took every dollar she could get, begged or borrowed, and went...to Vegas. People laughed out loud when she said she’d be ‘right back with our funding’ and some already were looking for new jobs the moment she left. But she walked into the casinos there all smiles, a slight looking red head in a common pink dress, and left town a week later, 3 million dollars richer. And she had to sign a deal before they’d leave her go, saying she’d never return, but for her that wasn’t a problem at all.

      Now to work, real work, and she had the legs and the body made by her assistants... and while they were doing that... she went aside and made the Black box, and got it ready. It had more computing power than any gaming rig by a factor of 10... and it was the size of a deck of cards.

      She added that to their hard work a week later and then testing began, and retesting and rebuilding, until she was satisfied.This wasn’t the one she really wanted... but time, and money caused her to take what she could get... and one night after dark, a pink armor suit walked out of the factory to the cheers of the crew, and disappeared into the night sky, with a light blue trail behind it.

      The mini jets did a great job... but overheated too fast... and she made a note of it. Then she circled around a bit and the computer talked to her, explaining why things were not as she wanted, and she dropped back down and went back inside, and the doors went shut, as Military Intelligence called in to report that she had done it, and that the prototype was working.

      Things went into high gear after that. People came screaming up in cars and vans, and military guards were posted. Her computers were taken... and her prototype... and she just smiled and asked if she’d get her cash now or later, and the officer in charge laughed, quoting something about National Security.

      And as her crew all stood there watching, her life’s work went out the door, and she smiled and told everyone to take a few days off and they nodded agreement.

      “They’ll be back...” She said, and yawned and went home to get some sleep.

      Chapter 2: Over the Barrel

      A week of very,very serious work and failure after failure was waiting for the Government men that stole her work. The computers had an odd code on it that even the best minds couldn’t decipher, the prototype refused to move, and actually spoke, saying that the Master was not here. So to counter that, the black box was opened to ‘adjust things’ for them, and it burned to a crisp before their eyes and nothing remained.

      General Collins was at a loss, he demanded and got permission to take her work , for National Security, because it just might be the next generation of military hardware, and he and his friends in the private sector knew what that prize would be worth. Trillions...if it really would replace every aircraft and fighter in world wide orders, and some people were waiting even now for permission to rush in and see her specs for them selves. But that wasn’t happening, since everything he touched turned to **** before his eyes and now he had not only the Pentagon demanding to know what happened, but his private sector friends that were waiting to bankroll the next generation of aircraft.

      Finally when the pressure got great enough he had no choice, he sent a message asking Janice to come to see him, and she refused. He waited and tried again, and she came, but she sat there, across from him at his desk, smiling and he knew...that she knew...and he looked sadder than before.

      “If you care about this country at all...” he started as she laughed in his face,, and he got angry from it.

      “2 Trillion dollars in orders in the first decade.” She said loudly as he looked away, upset.” I want 20% and I stay and run the company myself.” She demanded as he screamed that was outrageous, and she got up to leave.

      “5%” He said as she laughed out loud and kept walking.” OK,OK 10% and you run the corporation as an advisor.” he offered as she stopped and came back and leaned over his desk, nose to nose with the old soldier and he blinked at the seriousness in her eyes.

      “15%...and I open my own corporation to manufacture them.... and I will tell you now... this was a prototype, so there are GENERATIONS more coming after this.” She said as he stepped back and sat down, thinking hard. If she was telling the truth, generations more advanced than this...and he agreed on the spot. “Have my prototype sent back to my factory and see I get a nice big deposit in this account, I’ll be buying the building I’m renting now.” She said handing him a bank slip,” And tell your friends there will be a technology show at the field behind my factory in 2 weeks, please come and see what you’re backing there.” She said, and walked out and he made the necessary calls and said he struck a deal and the new machines would be shown to everyone in 2 weeks, but his backers weren’t too happy to hear Janice ran the show, and would manufacture them all herself. But he demanded it was that or nothing, and after a while they all decided to see what would happen at the show, and he got a temporary reprieve for making deals no one liked.

      In two weeks the best and brightest of the military and their friends from the private sector were all there, seated behind bulletproof glass in bleachers behind the factory. They got nice drinks and were talking when the PA system came on and welcomed them to the show.

      A pink unit walked out, very silently compared to its size... as someone said right away. Then stopped and leaned face first against a wall of thick wooden planks and a loud crack was heard, as sparks flew 3 times from the unit and Generals and CEO’s ducked and whispered amongst them selves.

      “50 caliber, armor piecing rounds...” The PA said as the unit turned around and the face was none other than Janice herself, and many there gasped that she would test it herself.

      “Gentlemen...” She said loudly on her own PA built into the unit,” welcome to my little show. This is my prototype unit and as I told one of you just recently, there are generations more where this came from. Currently this one will fly for 250 miles without refueling, and take off and land in as little as 10 feet square. It is completely bullet proof as you just saw, and can fly alongside any fighter out there within its speed limit.” She went on and many there nodded and looked surprised.

      “You talk well, but I haven’t seen it fly yet.” One man yelled as many laughed and she was gone, in an instant, and was nothing but a dot in the sky above them.” I stand corrected...” he whispered as mouths dropped all over.

      “And its not loud either, even at that speed..” Was mentioned as many agreed.

      “Take offs and landings in the middle of a street...any street...” The PA said as many there got a big smile thinking that. The unit came down screaming and many turned to not see the crash but at the last second, it leveled off and dust flew and it touched down softly and many applauded the show.

      The chest plate opened and two steps dropped down and Janice stepped out to the smiles of everyone there, wearing a one piece swimsuit and a big smile, saying that the unit was so agile that landing at over a hundred miles an hour was nothing, and people nodded approvingly.

      “AND...” She said loudly and smiled even wider,” its so small it barely even makes a radar signature at all. No one would recognize it was a craft, in some countries birds are this big.” She said and many got a good laugh about that.

      “And the price is??” She heard as she laughed and said this was a prototype, and not what she’d want to sell to anyone, but her first generation machine would be far better and sell for 10 million each, far, far less than any large fighter...and there were a lot of grumbling going on behind that glass as Generals and Admirals all smiled and agreed it was a hell of a deal.

      “BUT...” One man called as she smiled, seeing who it was.” can it carry missiles, do dogfights and drop bombs hundreds of miles from a carrier or landing zone like our fighters can?” He demanded as she reminded them of the EXACT number of civilian casualties their so called high tech planes killed every year, as the man looked more upset than before.

      “My unit doesn’t need all that, ” She said and stepped back inside and walked over and picked up a wooden sword, 8 feet long, and did a full demonstration of martial arts and sometimes it was moving so fast that there was a breeze from it all the way to the stands, and mouths dropped all around until she stopped and pointed the end towards the stands.

      “Imagine if that was a Titanium blade...” She mentioned as many nodded they understood.” I can cut a car in two...truck...or armored personnel carrier, can pick up vehicles twice my size and throw them and then disappear without hurting one person I wasn’t sent to get. Like an ant on steroids.” She hinted and many there laughed and even the competition looked tired hearing it now.

      “But none of our men and women can fly such a thing, its never been seen before this, it’ll take years to find good pilots.” One officer added as she disagreed saying that her plan was to start showing them at competitions, and that people were always looking for new entertainment,and then they would see who was best suited for them, and many agreed and they offered to start a school for pilots right there and she agreed, all smiles, and saw her plan running full speed to fruition.

    2. #2
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      Chapter 3: The Armor Suit Academy

      With a little help from her friends, production got started right away, and one hundred Gen 1 units were sent out to every capitol around the world. People tried them out, and soon a lot of young people...mostly females...found they piloted them very well. The First Generation suit was just that, for research and competitions, and soon it became so popular that the next Olympics had them featured in gladiatorial combat against one another.

      They were an instant hit, and gold metals were given to that first generation of pilots that each country sent to compete. But back at the factory, now with over 200 workers, more units were under testing, as the militaries watched from behind the scenes as the units got faster, more agile still and got longer range, all as advertised.

      The Cable channels went nuts on them too, and soon competitions between corporations for big money were under way. National Sports Agencies jumped in and Janice was seen saying that they were custom made for entertainment and had a special field that helped protect the pilot from getting hurt...within reason of course...and many cheered as betting on fights and races and other events made Armor Suits the thing to have on TV on Saturday night.

      By now the first 2 years had passed and the new Suits were a part of society like nothing had ever been before. Of course the military was secretly testing them too, and no one thought for a second some intelligence unit didn’t own a few, but to the average person they were for competitions, and the Olympics, and a grand school was built just for training the next generation of pilots, making them a real professional for the first time.

      It was on a nice, warm tropical island and admission was by invitation only. Tests started getting given all over the world to see who had the best chance at piloting the new machines and classes filled up with the best, most skilled women they could find in such a short time.

      The first year the new school housed 50 students, all females, and they were shown on TV getting their training from the Olympic Champions that had flown and won before. They specialized in hand to hand combat and high speed racing, and every country sent someone as their Resident Contender, or National Champion, and the competition between them was hot and fights on and off campus were not unusual.

      But with her dreams a reality now, Janice had one more thing she wanted to do...or in her case fix...during her rise to fame her Family took the brunt of the troubles. Because of security they were split up and moved constantly. Her parents went along with it and acted like it was a free vacation trip, traveling and seeing new places often. But her younger sister, Judy was torn from friends she had known for many years and often knew no one at the new schools and towns where she just suddenly appeared.

      She made no friends and only her stubborn nature and martial arts training kept her going. In the last year she came in second in the Martial Arts Finals at the Capitol and got her name in the papers and on TV, and it took no time at all to be seen as Janice’s little sister...and away she went again.

      But she was lonely and tired moving, and now that the AS units were world wide and well known, she didn’t need to move around any more. She got a message asking her to send a blood sample to see if she was compatible with an AS and she did and was...very much so... after all Janice invented the thing and she knew EXACTLY what was needed, and she owed her little sister a lot for putting up with her troubles all this time.

      Judy was packed and on her way again, this time to the Academy, and she didn’t look any better for it than before. More strangers, more training, but at least she’d have a good paying job after this and Janice called her and welcomed her when she arrived... and Judy grumped that it had been years since they last spoke.

      “Don’t you worry, leave everything to your big sister, I have high hopes for you!” She said in that ‘faster than average’ way she did everything... and before Judy could ask... Janice was gone again.

      “Don’t you worry little sister...” Janice whispered shutting her phone,” I’ll fix everything.” And she checked if another message had been sent, and it had, and she was too happy to think straight, and her plan was well on its way.

      But back in their original home town a young man got some mail, and in it a message to come to the Coliseum to be tested. He laughed it off of course, men never could fly an AS unit well, but he went because the thought of him getting the invite was just too weird to pass up. So he walked in wearing the sticky name tag they sent him, as women of all ages turned to see and looked surprised.

      “Do you have a sister of the same name?” One teacher asked as he laughed and asked how many girls named Phillip Hastings she had ever met, and she looked away, embarrassed.One by one they walked up to a test unit and laid a hand on it and one by one they were judged by how well it responded ...or not...and some cheered and others walked away sad knowing that was one more thing they weren’t good at. But as Phillip stepped up and laid his hand on the panel, lights came on and holographic screens lit up and the unit went into full ‘access mode’ and one teacher fainted to see it.

      “ 98.9% compatible...” It read and Phillip got swarmed by news people all at once asking him who he was and why he was given an invitation at all, and they found his older sister Cara had been one of the first Olympic Champions, and for him to have such a high score just seemed natural then, and his face was on the news as the highest scoring person in history... and his place at the AS Academy was assured... and he was told to pack and be ready in the morning, as he looked shocked and tired all at once.

      Janice saw it too and cheered as silently as she could. Phil was a nice guy and a good friend of her sisters from their martial arts training back home. She had a crush on him for a long time and now that she was really alone...and 18...Janice wanted to give them a chance, one she took away all those years ago. Of course 100% compatible was a stretch for anyone, but then she invented the damned thing so she knew how to fix a test, and Phil never was that worried about little things, like that dusty letter she sent him. By now the nano bots were through out his system and he could fly with the best of them, and she even added a little more, some medical nanos, so that his training wouldn’t get him hurt. She’d never forgive herself if Judy met him again just to lose him soon after, and now her plan was screaming along.

      Mom and dad got a serious cash infusion, and retired, and Judy was at school getting ready for her first year of training, and Phillip was on his way. Now she only hoped that the rest went this well, and she eyed the military getting more and more anxious to use the new tools and she sighed at their impatience and went back to work on her next generation of frames, and surprises for everyone...all around.

      Chapter 4: Classmates

      Judy saw the news too, but was shocked to see Phillip getting a full scholarship at the same school. The news said he had the highest score of anyone so far, and she got an angry look hearing it.

      “What are you up to sis?” She whispered as the people at her table just smiled and waited to hear more.

      “You know him?” One asked as she admitted she did, and they got the whole story about how they trained together years ago, and she used him as her personal punching bag for 3 years, as many laughed.

      “He was a nice guy though,” She admitted as a few listened even closer.” I should have treated him better.” And her eyes showed she really was sorry about that as anyone could see.

      “Well he’s on his way here, so you will get a chance to apologize then,” Someone added as she smiled, maybe that might be true, she’d wait and see.

      Phillip got dropped off right before dinner and he was taken straight to his room, and was surprised to see he was dorming with girls in every room but his.

      He was just getting unpacked when a knock came on the door and he opened it to see Judy standing there with a small potted plant in her hands and smiling warmly.

      “We’re going to be here for 3 years,” She started as he smiled and agreed,” so...a house warming gift for you.” She said and handed it to him and he smiled and said ‘thanks Judy’ and her face grew red that he remembered her right away.

      “You remember me?” She gasped as he laughed and waved her to come in, as whispers came from doorways up and down the hall.

      “You were my very first true childhood friend, I’d never forget you, and you still have your hair done the same as always, a ponytail with a white ribbon to hold it there. You never change.” he said as he took the plant and sat it by the window for light.

      “You didn’t forget a thing did you?” She whispered as he went back to unpacking.

      “So...hows Janice doing? She must be incredibly rich by now.” He said as she looked sour to think that.

      “OK I guess, we don’t talk much anymore.” She admitted as he looked over his shoulder at her and his face looked sad hearing it.

      “You two were always so close too.” He whispered as she looked sad too and nodded it was true.

      “She’s been really busy lately.” She admitted as he just smiled, they were standing right in the middle of a college level school that didn’t exist 3 years ago, so yes, she was busy.

      “Things are settling down now, because the government is backing her work. So you’ll be seeing her soon you wait and see.” He said with a big thumbs up and for a second Judy saw him as that little boy again, always teasing her and getting in her way in the training hall. But he wasn’t that little boy anymore, and it was clear to see, his shoulders were wide and his black hair neatly combed and he was really attractive now, even for her.

      “Are you still training?” She asked and cleared her throat trying to think of something else, as he just laughed and said after getting his black belt he quit, because he wasn’t really into military things then, but now he was glad he had some serious training to fallback on.”Too bad, you were pretty good.” She said as he smiled wider still.

      “I could never beat you though.” he said... and it sounded a little like a complaint.” But I gave it a good shot a few times didn’t I?” He asked as she laughed and admitted he had. Now he was done putting his things away and the bell rang for dinner and she asked if he wanted to go eat with her and he agreed saying he wanted to hear all about her travels, and she rolled her eyes and they walked along to the cafeteria as a few others wondered if they had a chance with the ‘miracle man’ at all.

      They had a nice meal and talked like old times as many watched on from other tables, and after they went back to their rooms for the night. Phillip had a lot of studying to do, the introduction was miles long it seemed, and he barely got half way through when he fell asleep at his desk. He awoke and crawled into bed and jumped up at dawn, to hear the first bell ringing and the PA system came online.

      “Up and at ‘em you sleepy heads, breakfast will be served in 30 minutes.” He heard and his mouth dropped open. His sister Cara, the reining World Champion had been given a new high paying job...somewhere... and ran from the house all smiles. That was a year ago and he hadn’t seen her since, but that voice...was unmistakable...and he smiled wide getting his shower thinking he had worried about where she was or what she was doing.

      “I should have known...” He whispered and went for his morning meal and some watched to see if Judy would rush to his side, but this morning she didn’t, and that gave some hope.

      His first class was right down the hall, there were only 2 classrooms so far, because there were never more than 50-60 students at a time...so far. It was like an experiment in training and not a person there didn’t think the military had something to do with it, even though the school proclaimed...loudly...that it was training people for future competitions, and high paying corporate jobs.

      He walked over with his note pad under his arm and stopped to see a sign above the door. It proudly proclaimed that this class was taught by Cara Hastings, World Champion, and he smiled wide and walked in, but she wasn’t there yet. Her assistant pointed him to a desk and he sat there checking it out. It was fully automated with a touch screen that dominated the top. It had Internet access and a long list of software they thought they would need.

      He was just doing this when others came in and the whispers and chuckling got his attention right away. He finally looked around and smiled as every head in the room turned his way, and they were all girls, to the very last. Judy was sitting at her desk by the windows but she looked away when he looked towards her and suddenly he felt very alone in this sea of young eyes.

      Cara was in a meeting down the hall and she wasn’t happy. Janice and she had worked together on a few projects and she knew for a fact that Phillip being here was something she cooked up. But for the moment she didn’t know why or what for, and it just plain pissed her off. She didn’t get to be World Champion for lack of hard work, but to think Janice was working on something that gave everyone...or at least men...abilities they didn’t deserve made her angry.

      She left the room the second she got the chance and stepped into the ladies rest room and made a call, a call many wished they could make so easily, as her face cringed to hear the now familiar voice come on the line.

      “Hi, hi! The Genius Janice here how can I save you today??” And her face dropped at the very sound of it.

      “Why is Phillip here?” Cara asked straight out as Janice laughed saying he got the highest score of anyone, and Cara ground her teeth together to keep from screaming.”How did that happen I wonder?” She asked as Janice went on about proper breeding and a fine Family until Cara demanded she be serious, and she slowed way, way down.

      “If he gets hurt because of something you did...some crazy experiment of some kind...” She hinted as Janice just smiled widely for her for a second.

      “He’ll have the time of his life...you wait and see...I wouldn’t do that to a real friend.” She said seriously and Cara nodded.

      “100%...really...no one sees that as a real reading you know, and he’ll be watched for cheating forever.” Cara added as Janice chuckled and said they could watch him for the rest of his life and it wouldn’t matter, and Cara saw he really did have that reading, she just didn’t know how it was possible.”Experimenting in making super soldiers are you then?” She asked as Janice’s face fell and she looked serious for the first time.

      “Lets just say that the name ‘soldiers’ isnt what I like associated with my work.” She added as Cara just smiled back, same old Janice still thinking she controlled the world and all its militaries.”Phil is a great kid and I think we’ll make a great Family someday too.” She said with a wink and the link went closed.

      ‘So thats it...’ Cara thought, she was doing all this to set Phillip up with Judy, and she smiled at the great lengths that woman would do to get her own way, and went to teach her first class, and see the brother she hadn’t seen in a year.

    3. #3
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      Chapter 5: Family and Friends and Painful Experiences

      Cara took a deep breath and walked into her class, as her assistant Miss Harlow was just starting her lecture on basic AS controls and why the unit was made and all the safety features.She looked around as the door opened and smiled as Cara walked in looking tired already, wearing a black business suit and white shirt. She turned and saw Phillip sitting right in the front row and he smiled wide and she saw he might embarrass her right in front of her class... and she had a solution all planned out for that.

      She walked to the front of the class and asked if everyone had finished reading the introductory materials yet and everyone said they did, except Phil who admitted he only got half way through it, and she stepped up and gave him a look that said she was upset right off the bat.

      “Get it read an memorized by tomorrow, got it??” She demanded as he said ‘but sis’ and got his head slammed to his desk as girls all the way across the room jumped and gritted their teeth.

      “Thats Miss Hastings inside the school, did you get THAT??” She demanded as Phil said ‘yes, Cara’ and his head hit the desk again, and by now the girls in the room were pitying him just a bit.

      “Yes... Miss Hastings...” He managed to get out as she released him and he sat up and cracked his neck back into place as she turned and looked stubbornly at the rest of the class.

      “I am Cara Hastings and its my job to teach you to use an AS unit your first year. Then you’ll have 2 years for specialization, are there any questions? Even if there are, say ‘no mam!’” She declared as the entire room said a loud ‘no mam’ just as suggested. “Good... now lets get the class started.” And she stepped to the desk and went on where Miss Harlow had left off and even Judy fought a smile to see her acting so tough with her little brother.They had always been really close and her face showed that she too thought something was off with Phillip being there, and Judy felt it might be one of those times when her and her older sister needed to talk.

      Miss Harlow got a big smile from that too but didn’t let it show. Cara was angry and embarrassed her little brother was in her class and she went off on him, and the rest too. She’d ask again for questions later, but for now she stood back as Cara went on about the basics of flying and even walking, in an AS. The class was busy typing notes into their machines and she couldn’t help but watch Phil as he tried to keep up, and she slowed down just a bit.

      She was a good sister, but her reputation for excellence was at stake too, and she’d not let that falter either. By the end of the class she just stomped out, and girls all over the room went into spasms about her attitude and how strict she was, and a few seemed pretty happy to be there to see it, knowing her reputation as the first generation of AS Champions.

      “Any questions on what we covered so far?” Harlow asked and one or two did pop up and she skillfully got them straightened out quickly.”Then thats it for today, have a good evening and see you tomorrow.” She said and left, as everyone sat back and rested,and waited on the next teacher to come in. The school was all about AS training but it also taught real world classes too. In the three years here you get intensive AS training... but also a 2 year college degree... and that made it a busy place from 9am to 5pm each day.

      Phillip was going over his notes when a shadow fell on his desk and he turned to see a tall blond looking down on him and she was smiling way too wide, as he smiled back and asked if she needed something.

      “So...you’re the man that got a perfect score on the first test are you? You don’t look so special to me.” She said loudly as a few others stopped to see what was happening.

      “And you are who exactly?” He asked as her face went bright red and the room got a collective chuckle at that.

      “I am Cecilia Alcott, the National Representative from Great Briton thats who!” She demanded as he sat back and smiled and tried not to laugh at her attitude. “I cant believe I have to suffer through these classes with the only male to enter the academy so far, and he’s someone of such a low mental caliber!” She proclaimed and by now Phil was just getting upset that she thought so much of herself.

      “Well pardon me for sucking air...” he whispered as a few nearby got a good laugh and Cecilia only got more upset.

      “Are you making fun of me?” She asked very seriously as he smiled wide and acted very shy...too shy to fool anyone.

      “Of course not, I wouldn’t dare!” he said as she finally agreed and he got a good laugh himself, as she exploded in his face.

      “Alright then, I challenge you to a duel, I demand satisfaction!” She was screaming as Cara came back in asking what all the fuss was about... and got the full story from one girl nearby.

      “Believe it or not, she’s within her rights here.” Cara said not too happily, as Cecilia gushed about how fast the fight would be over. “You brought a personal unit from England didn’t you? A custom second generation model?” She asked as Cecilia agreed saying again how special she was because her government customized it just for her.

      “It may take a while to organize, Phillip has no unit yet and I need permission to let him use a school training model.” Cara said as everyone nodded they understood and she demanded Cecilia settle down and get back to class, as the next teacher came in and she was forced to go back to her seat.

      “I bought you some time, you moron,” Cara whispered to Phil who tried not to smile,” Every day after class you better be on the practice field.” And with that she was gone.

      And as she walked out and down the hall her phone rang and she answered it to see Janice there again all smiles.

      “Don’t you worry there’s a special toy on its way for Phillip ...don’t thank me now... its fine!” She said as Cara demanded to know how she knew any of this.” I know everything, you should know that by now...” And before Cara could answer the link went closed and she stopped and pumped her head against a wall, as people going by tried not to notice, and she saw that she was playing right into Janice’s hands...whatever that was.

      Chapter 6: A Hero Appears

      Two days later they were in class when a beep came on the teachers desk computer, she checked it and Miss Harlow nodded, and Cara turned to the class and demanded Phillip come with her...and they walked out to the amazement of the rest of the class.

      “Whats going on? Do you know Miss Harlow?” One person asked as the young woman gave them all a big smile.

      “Phillip is getting fitted for his new machine, its getting unloaded right now in the hanger bay.” She said as people all over gushed that having a personal machine meant you were the very top in the world, with less than 500 machines worldwide not everyone that wanted one got it, especially not this fast.

      “Do you know anything about it? What generation is it? Is it fully customized yet?” Questions went on and on and finally the teacher just said they’d have to wait and see,there would be an official announcement later, and even though many there had their phones out ready to tell everyone they knew...they were forced to wait a little longer.

      Cara and Phil went down the elevator to the hanger bay and as they got off a bunch of workers were just sitting down a huge pallet covered in plastic. When they got it off the truck and secured, they rushed to get it uncovered and Phillip smiled as bright white paint was seen as the tarps and plastic got ripped off.

      It was white with red trim, a little bigger...more beefy...than the school machines and Cara could see the thrusters were oversized compared to any she had tested before.The arms now looked a little more like wings and the armor was definitely a step above anything the school had sitting around.

      As the workers turned to go one man handed them a pad and a plastic bag with a watch in it, and Phillip laughed saying he had a good watch, as Cara gave him a dirty look and he looked away, smiling.

      “Its something new in AS units...a remote control device.” She said and handed it to him and he looked at it and removed his old watch and put on the new one.”It says here that it senses your body rhythms and if you’re in danger the unit will respond to you. Its a new test system... and since you are the only male with these high test scores... you’ll be the guinea pig for all Janice’s new toys.” She said as Phillip just laughed and agreed and she checked it and hit a tiny button on the side and a miniature green LED came on and the unit actually spoke.

      “Accessing...” It said as a holographic panel came on where the pilots head would be.”Phillip Hastings, high degree of compatibility....good physical condition...slight hypertension, you need to get out more...” it said as Phillip’s mouth dropped and Cara had to look away to keep from letting him see her laughing.”All parameters met, accepted.”

      “Looks good then, Phillip get in.” She said as he asked how and she told him to ask for entrance, and he did and the chest plate swung open and two steps dropped down, and he nodded and stepped inside, as the machine closed around him.

      Screens came on explaining what it was and what it could do, and he stood there reading and Cara asked a million questions.

      “Generation 3..”its said as her face dropped and he smiled. Most nations were experimenting with the second generation AS, so his was one of the newest coming out.”top speed, 820 MPH approximately...take off and landing...100 miles per hour max...approximately...” And Cara got upset and made the call and Janice came on and smiled and asked what she thought of it, and she asked why all the specs were so vague.

      “He needed it suddenly...” She explained as Cara did agree,” and it was one of my prototypes that was never fully tested, so we’ll all learn together, isn’t that great!” She added as Cara looked sick and Janice just winked and the link went down.

      “Wait...”Cara said suddenly and looked around to Phil.” 820...its hypersonic??” She asked as he agreed thats what it said, and she had him get out and shut it down for now, and she set up testing to start after school in the new arena, and Phillip went back to class, and to a million questions about why he got something so fast.

      “I’m glad you got the new machine in time for our duel...” Cecilia declared as people rolled their eyes and looked away.” now I can smash you thoroughly without you being able to say it was because of a faulty machine.” She added as everyone there admitted that even her blue machine was only a specially customized second generation, and she demanded that experience meant a lot and her and her machine were ‘friends’ that had been in many battles together.

      “Blue Tears and I will crush you, of that you can be sure!” She said and walked away and the match was set, for a week from today and the entire school started getting into it, and bets were taken.

      But after school an entire test team was assembled and Cara and Harlow were both there to watch. Phillip got in and the machine came on and he officially introduced himself and the computer replied saying he was Clyde, and Phil chuckled and asked who named him and he said...the Master of course...and Phillip had to admit that Janice had some odd sense of humor. Clyde was a guy that Phil had gotten into fights with in school, mostly for him picking on Judy before she started her martial arts training.

      So now, Clyde worked for him... how very amusing... and the machine asked what was so funny, and Phillip just waved it away.

      “Begin testing, first walk to the center of the arena.” Cara called as Phillip agreed and they turned and walked out, to see half the school had shown up to watch the tests.

      “Is that the new AS? Its big, bigger than ours for sure. I hear its sonic capable, will all the next generation be that fast?” Was asked as many just shrugged and a few did what they were really meant to do, they got pictures and video of the new machine...and transmitted it all out for their corporations, or governments to see immediately.

      “Hover... 100 feet off the ground.” Phil heard as he saw the info window pop up and he took off and a second later stopped and adjusted to the correct height.”Hold that spot..” He heard as he asked Clyde if his great speed was because of afterburners, and he replied ‘not yet’ and even Phillip smiled at that.

      Lots of data was received, heat...thrust...computer power...and everything was recorded and sent back to the factory, and Cara could see from there that they weren’t the only ones watching closely.

      “They finally get to pay the bills, it seems.” She whispered as Miss Harlow chuckled to see so many girls with their phones out today.

      “It is the next generation, so just seeing it close up might help their research departments a lot.” She added and they left it go...as per Janice’s instructions.

      “Speed test...” Phillip heard, as Cara and Harlow stepped in to see the results,” Clearance to leave the stadium and fly South over the ocean.” Was heard as Phillip started up and out and asked Clyde which way was South and he replied ‘allow me’ and they turned and started speeding up.

      “ 300...400...” Cara heard as she saw the time and the new unit was quick indeed.” 500...600 700..sonic!” One tester said as everyone in the stadium cheered for him and he ran on and the speed went up still more.

      “ 800...still climbing...” Cara heard and she was ready to call it quits when the one tester declared the test a success, and the unit topped out at 850, just as planned, and Phillip returned and landed in the center of the arena as people cheered and applauded for him and Cara could finally breath again.

      “ 850, that was some good speed.” Phillip mentioned as they walked back into the hanger.

      “We could do better,” Clyde said as even Phillip looked surprised, and silently, more data was sent as Phillip got out for now and went to get a shower.

    4. #4
      TXU Hero kevin398's Avatar
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      HOLY **** i COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT THIS...and no I didnt die...just got lazy and stupid.

      Chapter 7: Recruitment Picks Up

      By the time all the news got hold of the test results, every country and every corporation had someone they wanted in the school, and it was clear they were holding back their own specialists that they were training themselves.

      France, England, Russia and Germany all had smaller, self-funded schools, mainly for military cadets. But today the word came in...everyone was coming...and they had to start thinking about a third classroom, and Cara shook her head to see one test had gotten the attention of the whole planet.

      But that was for later, tomorrow was the big day, and Cecilia was bragging all over the school how no one had stayed in combat with her longer than 5 minutes, and she had never taken a hit or lost a match.

      “You’ll need to be very careful,” Cara mentioned as Phillip agreed, looking at her units specs. Blue Tears was a ranged type unit, with a sniper rifle and small guided missiles. And Phillip’s new machine was made for close combat and high speed. If she could stay back far enough, she’d have a huge advantage.

      “My unit has far better speed and maneuverability,” Phil said as even Cara agreed,” but hers is made for long distance fighting, up close, she’s helpless.”

      “Not quite helpless but yes, getting in close will surprise her badly. She says no one has ever hit her even once, I’m not sure I believe that...but she does, and thats all that counts.” She said as Phillip shook his head and smiled. The power of positive thinking was great, but against a Titanium blade, not worth much in his mind.

      The horn blew and the duel started, and as the two went to their opposite ends of the stadium, it was clear Cecilia had her plan all laid out. Phillip was holding position just 50 feet off the ground waiting on the official bell, and she was nearly 200 feet in the air and her gun was already out and waiting.

      “Apologize now and I’ll lessen the pain your about to feel.” She called over as Phillip just laughed and said she really liked to hear herself talk didnt she, and her face grew red and she gripped her gun even harder. “Don’t say I didn’t offer.” She returned as he gave her a short little bow and Clyde got his first real detailed scan of the Blue Tears unit.

      “Maneuverability has been tweaked from the original,” He added as Phillip made a note of that,” and her armor is just a little thicker than before too. But her speed is terrible, compared to us.” he added as Phillip mentioned they were the fastest unit around, and Clyde agreed.

      “Her shield unit is original, so thats a 600 watt standard unit. Ours is the new 800 watt unit so we definitely can take more damage than her.” He went on as Phillip added that it would be too bad to get the paint all scratched up on their first fight, and Clyde agreed with that too, and Phillip thought he was getting more human like every day.

      “So...top speed right out of the gate?” Phil asked as Clyde said they should wait and see if she was as good as she said she was first, but maneuverability was sure to be needed. “OK, evasive maneuvers it is.” He added as the bell rang and a shot rang out before they even moved, and barely missed them as Clyde stepped them sideways before Phillip even got ready to go.

      “Very accurate,” Cylde mentioned as they made a quick trip around the outer wall of the stadium,” she does practice a lot it seems. We cant let our guard down now.” he went on as Phillip agreed as her shots hit all around them and even hit the clear glass around the stands once.

      “She’s getting upset its not over yet, look at her face,” Clyde mentioned as he showed Phillip a camera view of Cecilia, and she looked really upset she wasn’t hitting them.”Angry people make mistakes watch for it.”

      And after a few trips around the stadium and back and forth across it, Phillip jumped into a higher orbit and she had to be careful not to fire down behind the glass partitions where the spectators were seated.

      Up until now Phillip was just staying away from her shots, but the info said that her gun only had an 8 shot clip, and she had to reload very soon now, and he mentioned it and Clyde agreed, and that would be their first try at closing the distance.

      It happened just like that too, and as she made the switch they were right in her face, and took a hit from a rocket tube under her left arm, that threw them back.

      “It figures she’d use that for cover.” Phillip said as they dropped down and started flying irradicably again now that she was rearmed.

      “Only one of those left though,” Clyde mentioned, but the time was running out. The duel had a 15 minute time limit, and half that was already gone. “There goes her 5 minute legend.” he added and Phil was surprised that he made a joke.

      “Think we can take her head on?” Phillip asked as even Clyde had to think about that one.

      “One more missile and then her gun,if we take more than 3 hits, the shield will fail.” Clyde mentioned as Phil nodded seriously.

      “Its worth a shot though,” Phil added as Clyde seemed a little worried even now.”We’ll avoid the gun shots but that missile is going to hit no matter what.” he said as Clyde agreed and everything he had went into the shield.

      “Cecilia...” Phillip called as she looked surprised and asked what he wanted now.” I’m done playing with you. My sister was the Gold Medal winner at the Olympics, so it’ll make her look bad if I’m a weakling.” He added as she looked a little worried about what he meant by that.”Get ready... I’m coming for you.” He added as her mouth fell open in shock, and she almost missed seeing his lunge, and they were halfway there before she even fired a shot.

      Phillip gave full control to Clyde and he made sure they missed the gun fire. But as they passed that halfway point, Phillip pulled out the sword they carried and when they went past, and took that missile hit, he made a nice fast swing that caught the right arm of Cecilia’s armor and made a serious slice in it, and she nearly dropped her rifle under that sudden force.

      “It’s time for me to protect someone.” Phillip said seriously, as the stadium roared and Cecilia fired a good shot into his back as he made his turn to come back. But he felt like he was on fire now and as she tried for the finishing shot he was right there, just feet away and that expression on his face said it all, and she nearly wet herself seeing it, as she fired again. Her first launcher had reloaded, something not mentioned in any specs... and she hit him squarely in the chest as he ran in... but he kept coming, and as he poised to strike...the whistle went off ending the match and Cecilia was named the winner.

      “How do you figure that?” Phillip screamed loudly, as a voice came on the coms saying his shield had failed, and according to the rules, when that happens all fighting stops, because someone might get seriously hurt other wise.

      “Cecilia Alcott wins!” Was the official call as half the people there looked like they would question that call, but it was done, and as they dropped down and walked into the hangers a young man in a business suit smiled a very wide smile. So, Cecilia had been hit maybe even twice in 15 minutes. Outstanding! And he called for their own mechanics to come and repair her unit, as shock came on their faces too.

      “Phillip Hastings...” He whispered to himself, and made another call right away. His report went straight to the top, and the CEO was in shock as well. Cecilia had never lost yet and they started thinking she never would, but now they weren’t so sure. “He’s the kid that got nearly a 100% score on his entrance exams...there’s something very interesting going on here.” he added as everyone agreed and new toys and add ons for Cecilia’s unit were sent, and she was told not to worry, because when they were done that would never happen again.

      And even though she was all smiles hearing it and declared right then that it had all been a fluke... in her shower a while later she was standing with her head against the wall and the water running down her back, and she was crying. Not because she won... but because she lost...the fight for Spirit. It had kept her going all along, her strong spirit that always saw her through, but today she saw real spirit, and those eyes haunted her all night long.

      “Damn you Hastings! How can you be so strong!?” And she never figured that out... even though she tried until the very crack of dawn.

      Chapter 8: Tainted Victory

      “Time for ME to protect someone...” Rang through many ears that day and many questioned why he had said that, but when his sister had a chance at her second National Championship Tournament, Phillip was kidnaped and held hostage. Until this day he didn’t know why, but after a while it became obvious. Cara withdrew from competition that day and she was told where to find him by German Intelligence, all tied up against a wall in some rat infested warehouse, and she never competed again, but she was forced to work for them for a year to pay them back, just coincidentally. Thats the way losers act, when their skill isn’t good enough. And Phillip never forgot that day either, as well he shouldn’t, since he was now nearing that same place in his life, but he would be the one protecting someone this time.

      In class the next day Cecilia looked less than thrilled, even though she took credit for the win...it galled her the way it happened...she was getting the pattern that Phillip was using, getting inside his head, as it were, but the time didn’t allow it, and now she had to accept that she won by a mere technicality, and that upset her worse than a real loss.

      “Don’t be so sad, Cecilia, you’ll get him next time.” She heard about a dozen times today and she agreed with her high pitched laugh, and decided there and then that she’d never forgive him for this embarrassment, and she’d get her revenge when the time was right.

      But that day was past now and when homeroom started, the assistant teacher made the announcement that a new student was joining them, and the kids there had noticed they added another row of seats in the back of the room, and smiled at the sudden change.

      But the young woman that walked in was very stiff and serious looking and had a patch over her right eye and some looked shocked to see it while others got excited, saying she looked like a pirate... and even she growled to herself at that one... as the teacher asked her to introduce herself, and she did.

      “Captain Laura Boldvig...” She said seriously as even the teacher waited for her to say something else...and she never did.

      “Is that all you want to say, Laura?” The assistant asked as she nodded and added a quick,’ya’ and it was over. “Then you’ll be seated in the back there in the third row.” She added as Laura looked menacingly at Phillip sitting right up front and walked over and slapped him hard enough to be heard around the room as many looked very surprised.

      “You are he...my mentors worthless brother...let me say now and for all time, I don’t approve of you, not being a man and not being her brother! This discussion is not ever, Phillip Hastings!” And she walked quickly to the back of the room and sat, as Phillip sat there holding his jaw and wondering if it was always going to be like this for every new transfer student coming in.

      “There will be none of that in my classroom, do you understand Laura??” She heard as the familiar black suit walked in and the assistant teacher stepped back.

      “But Mentor...” She started as Cara gave her a look to stop all discussion and even she looked sad she lost so quickly.

      “Are you all right Phillip?” She asked as he just smiled and nodded saying he’d been through worse and even a few others chuckled as Laura fumed. “With many new students coming in, lets hope they’re not all so hasty and violent.” She added as Laura looked away to be called out on her first day.

      The rest of the day, Phillip could feel eyes burning through his back, and he just sighed and went for lunch like everyone else. But they all knew it wasn’t over, and Laura had made it clear that she blamed Phillip for something, and they could only guess what.

      But Phillip wasn’t the only one watching her. Cecilia now had two people to watch, since Laura was the National Representative of Germany, and that meant they had a certain score to settle before this was over. She also had heard that Laura brought her own personal unit with her, an experimental unit that might well be their offer for the 3rd generation, and they sent her here to see and challenge Phillip’s actual 3rd generation machine, made by Janice herself.

      But not only did Cecilia want to see that machine, and get pictures if possible, she wanted to embarrass and destroy the pilot, because as the expression goes ...’there can be only one’... at the top that is, and the World Champion would be decided someday and she was going to be it, if it killed her trying.

      When Laura stepped out onto the practice field for the first time in her new machine, everyone gasped. It was large and black and had a huge cannon hanging on the right arm, and when she fired it on the range, even the safety net behind it didn’t stop the shell as it tore through everything and went right on out over the ocean.

      “STOP!!” She heard in her ear bud and asked what was the matter, as a PIP come on in her hud and she saw the teacher glaring back at her. “Who left you bring heavy artillery like that into the school?” she demanded as Laura said this was what her unit was made for, and Cara stopped her right there, saying she knew for a fact that it could use a lot more than that, and she looked away.

      “No more of this...do you have any idea what this is going to cost to repair? And what if that shell hit someone out there? For the rest of the time you’re here the cannon goes into storage, use whatever else you like but that thing is not to be used again!” And the picture disappeared and Laura was led back to the hanger to get re-fitted for something a little less violent for practicing on.

      “ 57mm recoilless rifle...” Cara saw in the report and she gave a huge sigh, what idiot left that into the school, and she was going to find out before someone else thought it was OK.

      Chapter 9: Another Countries Representative Arrives

      In a few days...another new entry into the school... this time another young man with a high score of 88%. Charles Duncan, son of a CEO of the only corporation to have a permit to build AS units in France.His personal unit was a modified second generation unit called ‘Revive’ and the name stood for more than just that. If the corporation didn’t get a good third generation unit into production, they might lose everything, and Charles was here to help avoid that at all costs.

      “I am Charles Duncan, please to meet you.” He said with a short bow and the girls went crazy seeing another young man there. He was medium tall and thin, and had brilliantly blond hair, trimmed short up front but hanging down his back a little and tied with a colored cord. He had the stance and look of Royalty or something, and even Phillip agreed that he had a certain ‘presence’ about him.

      “Second row in the back, Charles. “ Cara said as he nodded and stopped to shake Phillips hand on the way by.

      “As the only two men here...so far... I hope we can be friends.” he added as Phillip agreed and even Cara got a smile at that. Maybe Janice wasn’t using Phillip as badly as she thought, here was another young man too, and his scores were pretty good. So she’d keep her eyes on him and see what was really going on.

      “Charles is the National Representative for France, so watch him and Cecilia at practice, they will have a lot to teach some of you.” Cara added as a loud ‘ahem’ was heard and she all but sighed out loud in front of everyone.”and Laura too...” She added as Laura felt better to be added, even at the last.

      The class went on and after everything that had happened was pretty quiet for now. Charles was given a room right down the hall from Phillip, and when he got the chance he was planning on visiting him and asking a lot of questions, like everyone else.

      But he had successfully ‘infiltrated’ the school and as night fell he called his father to report.

      “So, you’re in and settled then?” He heard as he agreed.”What have you learned so far?” he asked as Charles looked sad and reminded him it was only his first day.

      “The English Representative is here with her unit, Blue Tears, Phillip Hastings has the third generation unit, called White Knight, and now the Germans have sent their third generation unit, the Swartzinragen to be tested against it. They already have been chastised for firing a recoilless rifle on the range and destroying a good piece of one wall.” He offered as his father got a chuckle at that.

      “Wait...what size rifle?” He asked as Charles said... ‘57mm’...and he looked thoughtful.”Thats new...we had no idea they were using something that heavy. Thats one new piece of info so far, keep at it and let me know any exact details you can get, like: how fast IS the White Knight? I hear its hypersonic but HOW hypersonic?? Whats its real top speed? Whats the shield capacity...and armor rating, all that stuff needs to be known so we know what will be expected of the third generation.” he demanded as Charles nodded and agreed he’d see what he could find out.

      “I don’t need to tell you we could lose everything if this fails...” He added looking down his nose as Charles nodded and looked away.” do anything...anything...to find out and let us know immediately. The research department is on standby until we have new info to work with, so get busy.” And with that he was gone, and Charles didn’t miss him one bit.

      Student, and spy, what a life for an 18 year old... but then Family is Family...even if they only worried about money and little else. Getting the AS permit was expensive, and they were still paying royalties to keep it, and that hurt a lot each and every month. But if he could learn something useful, then their researchers would know in advance what was needed and things could get back on track.

      He laid down for the night and wondered what the best way would be to get close to Phillip, because his unit was a real third generation type, and even the German version was not made specifically by Dr. Carter herself... so many things would need to be known... and he saw his work was cut out for him.

      But he didn’t need to worry, as the only two men in the school they were scheduled to do everything together. They had practice together, and even practiced dueling once to check out each others units. Charles was impressed by the speed and maneuverability that the Knight had and he said so. But Phillip just laughed it off saying that...even now...Janice was making something that would make his look sick.

      “You know that for a fact?” Charles asked as Phillip just laughed and nodded agreement.

      “Janice is hyperactive and brilliant, in case you didn’t figure that out yet, she’ll never rest on past achievements, she’ll run full force into a wall then back up and look for a way around it, she’s a crazy person like that.” Phil said as they ate lunch together and Charles fished for everything he could get that his father might want to hear.

      But down the hall in security Cara was just shaking her head as he little brother went on and on, about things that were considered Top Secret.

      “For the love of God, Phillip why not just hand out fliers!” She screamed, as she turned away from the screen and Miss Harlow got a quick laugh in there about her comment.”He takes nothing seriously, and Charles is, most likely, a spy from his fathers factory...and there he goes giving away every detail we have on his unit...the moron.” She grumped, as Harlow just mentioned that this was all a game to him, and Cara nodded it might be true.

      “Its not like he’s got anything to lose, he is the highest ranking person on the planet, and Dr. Carter already said he’d have a job for life with her Team after graduation.” She added as Cara agreed, but still didn’t know what ‘her Team’ meant yet, and it bothered her.

      “He has a long time until graduation, so he better learn some respect for people and their security.” Cara added and called Phillip in and gave him a royal chewing out for blabbing so many details to a known spy, and Phil just smiled and asked if she thought for a second that the Knight was Janice’s newest and most important project...and she had to think about that.

      “She’s no fool, its like what the military does...if they show something new all over the news...there’s a good bet its old news to everyone but us, because they don’t give out Top Secret stuff on the news.” he mentioned as she finally just smiled and agreed that he was probably right. But her point was made, and he said he’d hold back from now on, because even he knew the White Knight was a little too bare to be a finished product, and he’d keep that to himself.

    5. #5
      TXU Hero kevin398's Avatar
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      dont even ask, no clue how I numbered this ****...lol

      Chapter 12: More Trouble Brews

      Days went by without a hitch, and people were learning to get along. Classes became nothing more or less than any other school and Cara was happy with that, knowing that getting these people from all over the world into one class without fighting and bickering was no easy task.

      They were in the middle of a class when her phone rang and she stepped to the side to answer it...and it was Janice and she didn’t look too happy at the moment.

      “Just checking to see if you have everything you need.” She said as Cara thanked her and said they were doing fine.” Lots of books then? And enough ammo for everyones weapons for practice?” She went on as Cara looked oddly at her. The only projectile weapons they had so far were Laura’s recoilless rifle, and a pair of machine pistols that Charles’s unit came with for target practice. Everything else was sword based, and they certainly didn’t need any ammo.

      “What’s going on?” Cara asked as Janice gave her a big cheesy grin and said ‘just checking’ and left again and that left Cara with a worried look. Janice never did anything for nothing, and this call was certainly for nothing...unless.

      She stepped outside for now and Miss Harlow took over the class and Cara asked if they had ammo for the guns that were here, and the maintenence men agreed that they had a few clips for Charles to use and a couple dozen rounds for the rifle for Laura’s unit.

      “Blue tears uses charged particles for bullets thats why its slow between shots, but she does need charges for that.” He reminded her and she asked about her rockets and they admitted she only had a few left.

      “Keep things stocked up from now on.” She demanded and went back to class not knowing why she felt like the world was tumbling down on her now, but she did. But at 3am her phone rang again and she rolled over and got it as Janice asked if she got the message earlier, and she nodded and asked what was happening.

      “My attempts to limit who gets AS units may have hit a snag.” She admitted as Cara looked sick,” Some groups are demanding I sell them units and I have been refusing because of their Human Rights violations...some going back generations.” She went on as Cara agreed.

      “Since then we have been threatened constantly...but they were just that, empty threats, but yesterday a car bomb went off in our parking lot. Luckily no one was injured, but the threat has become much clearer now. They have a name...the Croatian Alliance...small countries that haven’t gotten AS units either because our military strictly forbids it, or because I refused them. Either way...the school has been mentioned in their threats too.” She went on as Cara nodded she understood.

      “Even though its in International Waters, the school is right out in the open, and these countries all have militaries, even if their weapons might be Korean War relics many times, so make sure to increase security around the school, the military claims they’ll assign someone to watch it on satellite feeds, but we both know what a promise like that is worth.” She added as Cara nodded sadly. “According to International Law, the school is considered a separate country unto itself, and can act like it. The United Nations agrees, at least when no one is around to hear. So be ready to defend yourself if there’s a need, and I’ll stand with you no matter what happens.” Janice added as the link went down, and Cara was definitely not going back to sleep now.

      Next months supply requisition looked a little odd, but it got filled. 6 new security guards,armed with pistols and automatic weapons. Thousands of rounds of ammo, and enough food and medical supplies to last 6 months.

      It caught a few people off guard, as even the military said they planned on being there to help if the time ever came, and Cara agreed and thanked them for saying so. But they were hundreds of miles from any mainland here and that amount of time might be too long to wait. And a few did agree, though hesitantly, that their forces might be a little late getting there.And Cara left them know that, in an emergency, they would hold the fort until they arrived, and the men she told that too weren’t too thrilled to hear it.

      “They are militarizing the school...” Was a complaint that was heard at a meeting one morning,
      and someone else laughed and said he thought thats what they wanted. “I wanted US to militarize the school not them...they are in International Waters... and as such any military action against them would be an act of War.” he reminded them all as many agreed.

      “I wanted them to rely on us, not become stronger themselves!” he demanded as a few asked him if having the worlds only generation 3 weapons in storage didn’t already do that...and he looked surprised it was brought up.

      “Thats one of my points right there...why do we have to wait for scraps when there are almost legendary units and pilots sitting right out there?? We help to supply and maintain the place why are we shut out in managing it?” He asked as someone asked if he had someone better than a World Champion and Gold Medal winner to run the place? And he looked tired listening to the same old arguments again.

      “It should have been a military training area all along, and you all know it.” he demanded as one man sat there all smiles and said it was...they just didn’t know it yet... and the older man looked a little behind on the conversation right now, but he just sat down and left it go.

      “I almost hope those foolish Alliance people do attack the place,” One man said as many looked towards him and waited for more.” We have it under constant surveillance now, so we’d get a front row seat to see how well our money is being spent.” he added as some agreed wholeheartedly and a message was sent saying that the US military had no intention of interfering with ‘other countries troubles’ in the region, and a plan was hatched that very day.

      The Croatian Alliance was ready to make an important statement that they would not be ignored any more. They were people too and just because their countries were poor didn’t mean they should lack the firepower to protect themselves. An AS unit costs even less than normal fighter crafts and would save them millions on each one, But their designer had the right to refuse sales, and she pointed to things that had been going on for centuries, and demanded they stop or she would not sell to them.

      Of course they refused saying that ‘outside interests’ had no right telling them what to do, and Janice just shrugged and went back to work, and their negotiators were shown the door.

      This had happened more times than they liked to consider, so now they would show her that their reach was as far as they wanted it to be, and that her precious school could become a battle ground any day they chose it to, and not one of them took the time to think that they knew they were coming...and so it became clear why they had been fighting along themselves for ages now...they didn’t plan well or pay attention to anything but anger and revenge, and those emotions will get you killed faster than any others.

      Chapter 13: Skirmish War

      During the night a large ship pulled out of a small harbor and started West, the ID said it was a cruise ship, an older model used for tourists that paid big money to see old relics of cities or even some new more modern things that proved that they were gaining faster than expected. But today it wavered from its normal path and started out to sea. Everyone saw it of course but one little ship shouldn’t be a problem for anyone, but they kept as eye on it until it was within 200 miles of the school then it seemed to stop and just sit there.

      Doors along the sides opened during the night and amphibious vehicles launched, if they hit it just right then they would get there at dawn, as always the perfect time to catch people off guard. Then as they made their way the second wave left the deck, and 3 attack helicopters lifted off, knowing the jig was up by now. They needed to make a serious statement and then retreat before the real military got there, and that was their plan all along.

      The helicopters got there just as the first class of the day started, and as Cara was getting roll called and everyone got the sleep out of their heads, one girl looked out the window and asked what that was, and Cara ran to see herself. The wing of helicopters were definitely not here for anything good and she tried to clear it with the military and got nothing but static, as a rocket flew into the schools parking lot and several cars belonging to teachers went up in flames.

      “This is not a drill, this is not a drill...” Came on the PA as everyone was ordered into the gym, and laid flat on the floor, but Cara wasn’t taking this laying down, and she called for maintenence to get all the units armed with whatever they had to use and she announced that anyone with a personal unit should report to the hanger at once, and half a dozen people ran to get in on the action.

      Charles grabbed a semi- auto machine pistol he had been using for his Revive, and Phillip just had his 8 foot Titanium sword. But the enemies weapons might not be powerful enough to hurt their armor much, but they wouldn’t know until they tried. Cara even ran in and got into one of the schools practice units, and grabbed a long wooden sword as Phillip asked if she was kidding.

      “I thought this was illegal here..” Laura asked as her rifle was now mounted back on her units right arm now.

      “Times change,” Cara said as they both nodded and as everyone got ready Cara gave the orders.”Its possible they aren’t trying to hurt anyone, just making a big noise, but we cant take that for granted.So...Laura and Cecilia, on the roof and start sniping... try not to kill anyone if you can help it, but if deadly force is being used against you, return fire immediately.” Cara said as they nodded and flew out of the hanger together.

      “Everyone else, with me, lets try and get a few people to question later.. I’m sure that the infantry is on its way by now. Phillip, use your speed to patrol all around the island, any boats that make it here...make sure they never leave.” Cara said as he agreed and out he went.”OK lets show them the AS Academy isn’t a pushover.” She said and they went out to face whatever was coming in.

      By now the amphibious units had hit the beach near the docks, and their men piled out. Dozens of soldiers with automatic weapons, and they started towards the walled school and its fancy decorative gates. As they got there, security got a few shots off and demanded they surrender or be destroyed, and their answer was a wall of machine gun fire, and the battle got started from there. The helicopters flew back for another pass and this time took out a large portion of one classrooms wall, and Laura took that as deadly force, and after a second to auto-target, her rifle barked and one chopper dropped into the seas in flames.

      “We were told this is a school and they don’t have live ammo..what the Hell is going on?” The Commander screamed back from on board the ship as no one knew for certain, but it was a sure thing their plans were out the window now. “Then we have no choice..take the school!” he screamed as his men agreed and the fighting stepped up from there. Now grenades were thrown, and security was forced back, with injuries, and the big gate was blown open and in ran 50 men and they were met with heavy rifle fire, and a few went down, with leg wounds that would keep them off their feet for a long time.

      “Good shooting Charles,keep it up.” He heard as he ran quickly through the trees and fountains and other decorative furnishings that made up the courtyard in front of the school and small arms fire bounced off his unit like leaves in a windstorm, and he just smiled and fired a few more times, and even places where the enemy tried to hide behind was blow away, and they were forced to run again.

      Cecilia got her shots in too and one or two bounced off the armor of another helicopter and the pilot made an emergency turn to get out of range. The third fired a round at them and Laura managed to target it coming in, and fired a round and destroyed the missile before it got too close, and Cecilia saw that she was glad she had her on her side for today.

      “Nice shot..” Cecilia said as Laura just smiled saying her unit had the most advanced targeting system made and that was nothing.”See if you can get those helicopters down, their rockets are making a mess out of the building.” She suggested and Laura agreed and another shot rang out and another chopper went spiraling out of control and dropped out of sight.

      “This is a disaster!” The enemy Commander screamed as his staff had to agree,” withdraw at once!” he said and the call went out and as the remaining men ran to the beach to their vehicles, there stood a tall White unit, and it had captured the amphibious units and held the men there captive, and as they ran in he ordered them to sit too, and after a few shots bounced off his shields and armor, they did, and he called that the ground team was captured, and Cara smiled and thanked him for getting it done.

      “Charles, assist Phillip...” Cara said and he ran that way and as another helicopter went down, jamming cleared and she got through to the military, and they admitted they had ships on the way.

      “Their helicopters did a lot of damage to the school.” Cara said as the General said he’d have the Corp of Engineers there by morning tomorrow, and the link went down and the man sat back looking around the room, as many there smiled and nodded silently.

      “Three attack helicopters, 5 amphibious units, 50 men with automatic weapons, and a camouflaged amphibious ship...sent packing in less then 3 hours... by 5 units, including one generation 1 school practice unit. 40 men captured for intelligence too, I’d say that was a successful test.” He heard as he agreed and one man was working on his laptop and laughing as they asked why, and he slid a copy of the video across to the main screen and men laughed all over the room , as the big ship ran away at high speed, while on the side in big letters was cut ‘AS Academy was here’ and that clinched it right there, to these students it wasn’t a real threat at all...it was a joke... and eyes popped thinking that the history of warfare had just changed.

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      Quote Originally Posted by kevin398 View Post
      while on the side in big letters was cut ‘AS Academy was here’
      ROFLMAO at that XD

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      Chapter 14: Repairs and Re-fitting

      The school cheered that they had won and within a few minutes Naval Forces were in radar range...and Cara noticed they were only here now and not a few minutes ago... but left it go.

      Amphibious ships docked and tools and men got unloaded and started repairs, and as Cara watched on, Janice called and said she was proud of them for holding on.

      “It was all a set up, you know that right?” Cara asked as Janice laughed out loud on the link.

      “Of course it was, but we’ll let them think we don’t know. Many have been planning something for a while now but cant be caught attacking a sovereign country without reason, so they just left someone else do it instead.” She went on as Cara nodded but looked sad they were like this.

      “You put together a fine team quickly, so even Nationalism gets slid to the side during a conflict, thats good to know.” Janice added as Cara admitted they did work well together this time.”Oh and there will be a a special report later about this so make sure the school news is ready for it, it’ll surprise you I think.” Janice added while Cara looked oddly at her smiling face.

      “And there is a ship on the way right now...and you’ll not have to try and defend the place with ‘bear claws and stone knives’ anymore.” She said with a wink and the link went closed, and Cara made sure that Maintenence knew supplies were coming and they got ready in the hanger too.

      That day was a waste after that, but the Corps of Engineers were amazing people. Walls were remoulded in hours and windows set in place even before the concrete dried. The parking lot was getting patched and they informed Cara classes could resume the next day, to even her surprise.

      Fans ran and heat lamps all night long, and by daylight the next day they were gathering up their tools and the place looked better than before.

      “Your people never cease to amaze me...” Cara said as she shook the Commanders hand and she smiled wide for her.

      “I’ll let the men know you appreciate our hard work, it’ll mean a lot to them.” She said and saluted and away they went again and Cara went inside to see about the first new day after the attack.

      Classes were just starting as the main viewer in front of the room came on and Janice congratulated them all for making it through so easily, and a few of the students that had fought weren’t too sure how easy it had been, but they smiled anyways.

      “There’s is a supply ship docking right this second, and in it are some of my own, prototype weapons for the schools future use.” She went on as eyes popped and faces grew red all over the classroom.”And, The Knight will no longer be just a close combat weapon either.” She went on.

      “And we will start a full sized Security team with the addition of the first weapon made for and owned by a teacher, Cara has a friend we used for testing in the past...he’ll be here for you starting today.” Janice added as Cara’s face looked shocked.
      “The original Knight Unit is here?” She asked as the room got deadly quiet and Janice agreed, saying she was sure that ‘he missed her’ and would be waiting to talk later on, as Cara smiled and nodded.

      “And if odd things like what just happened ever happen again, keep this image in your minds my students, the Militaries of the world certainly are.” Janice added and laughed as a close up of the escaping vessel was seen with the message cut into the side, as many laughed... even Laura... who tried to hide it expertly but failed, and Cara looked around with daggers in her eyes, as Phillip looked everywhere but at her for the moment.

      “Well done!” Came a loud call as even Cara looked shocked as Cecilia gave Phil a big thumbs up, and a cheesy grin, as he returned it.” I might hate you for a few reasons personally... but...10 points for style at least!” And the whole room roared in laughter as Cara just smiled and left it go for now.

      “Oooh...” Phillip whispered as a few nearby chuckled...” style points...” And Cara stopped it there, and the class finally got started.

      The class went well and while the students waited for the next teacher, Cara slipped away to the hanger and her new machine. She walked around a corner to Hanger 1, and there sat a dark gray unit. The shape made it a sure thing to be related to Phillips Knight but it had a more sober, serious look to it too. She barely got into visual range when the chest plate opened and hanging inside was her new watch, in a small plastic bag.

      She opened it and put it on and as she tapped the tiny button the green light came on.

      “Its been a while...” She said as the voice came on and the machine agreed, as she stepped up and inside. The screens showed it was fully loaded and armed and that there had been a few small adjustments to it too, bringing it up to nearly Phillip’s new standards by now. “This is embarrassing...but we need to talk about something.” She started as the manly voice agreed, saying that HE was here now and she didn’t need a computer to keep her from getting lonely.

      “Thats not the way it was,” She demanded as the machine waited to hear.” We were making new prototypes when I worked with you. The first name to come to mind was Phillip, and so Janice named you that. It is embarrassing, I admit, but there’s no reason to worry about it now.” She added as the large machine agreed, saying it was her choice after all.

      “Will he understand though?” It asked as she just smiled, Phillip was nothing if not dense, so he’d never think a thing about it. “I look forward to meeting him.” It said as she agreed and she got out and went back upstairs for her next class, and Janice got new readings from the first start up in ages and she chuckled that Cara had been such a good sister to actually name her unit after her little brother.

      Chapter 15: Passion, both Good and Bad

      As things got back in order, meetings were held and the Security Team was established. It was...for now...all teachers and their units, but the National Contenders were also listed if things got out of hand.

      The school now had 12 generation 1 for classes, and 12 generation 2 for competition and practice, these would be the biggest group if trouble came again, and the teachers agreed to it.Now they felt less vulnerable to attack, and soon the previous battle was seen as some odd test, and it started being forgotten.

      Phillip got asked to duel more than once and did lose, technically, again... but everyone wanted a shot at him and through that... his skills went up faster than normal. He and Clyde were good friends and in battles he could take full autopilot control and make maneuvers that nearly snapped Phillips neck a few times. But they got better, faster and more powerful and new ‘toys’ had come, and now Phil had a tube that attached to his left arm and ran to a box on his back, and it had 3 power settings and he nearly set the calender someone hung on the hanger wall on fire calibrating it for the first time.

      “ Particle Pulse’...” It was called and while not a laser, it had some of those attributes. Like adjusting down to a spot for a few seconds with little to no heat, for calibrating and testing. Then setting 2 for competition, and it would bring down a shield 50 points a hit, and that gave him a ranged attack.Then level 3...not for use on school grounds...and airplanes and helicopters might have a problem with this one, and so its use was forbidden unless it was needed.

      “”Thats a serious weapon at medium range,” Cara added as Phillip agreed, and the testing made sure it was ready, and then set to minimum after that.

      During all this Judy was feeling left out.Her sister was building a Security Team of people with person AS units and teachers, and even though she knew Phillip and Cara could protect them she wanted in, and her grades more than made it possible. But nothing had arrived for her and after a wait that she felt was long enough, she snuck off to be alone and make that call.

      “Hi Dee ho! Janice the Genius here...” she heard as she openly growled on the coms and Janice begged her not to hang up.”Sorry sis, force of habit.” was the excuse, as Judy just heaved a huge sigh.

      “How have you been doing? Is work too stressful for you yet?” Judy asked as Janice waved that idea away like it was a joke.

      “I’m having a ball!!” Janice added as Judy just laughed. Anyone else under these conditions would fall apart but Janice loved the attention, and it gave her a reason to forever try harder.”But I know why you called... sorry... but Cara’s been a real pain. Your personal unit is sitting here but she wont let me send it over yet.” She explained as Judy looked shocked, and just then a third picture came on along the side and Cara demanded she tell the whole story.

      “Your sister cant be happy giving you a normal rig like everyone else.” Cara added as Judy asked what Janice had done now.

      “Well, even the Knight isn’t nearly done yet, and you’ll need to keep up with him or the other girls might get ahead of you.” Janice added as Cara and Judy both looked tired just listening to this.

      “Phillip and I aren’t like that...” Judy mentioned as Janice just waved her away like she didn’t matter.

      “Tell her the rest,” Cara added as Judy was getting ready to scream by now.

      “Well...Phillip’s Knight is a full out Generation 3 model, and you are my sister, so there needed to be ‘adjustments’” Janice added as Cara reminded her that sending in a custom prototype might well get them attacked again.

      “NOOO...” Janice insisted as Judy asked what she had made this time.”Prototype... next generation long range fighter...err I mean AS...Mach 2.5, take off and landing anywhere, and impressive fuel economy. Since you are a martial arts Master, it carries 2 swords, one Titanium blade and one Electron Power blade, making it nearly invincible at close range.” Janice mentioned as Judy saw that countries all over the world would rush to see it...or steal it...and that would put them under a microscope once again.

      “The school has the Dark Knight Cara flies now, the White Knight Phillip flies, that black tank from Germany, and several other generation 2 crafts, so I figured why not a Generation 4 high speed ship? The Red Rose...all Generation 4 units will be ‘Rose’ units of different colors for different specialties.” Janice added and even Cara hadn’t heard all this yet.” Let her have her unit, Cara, I’ll see from here it doesn’t out do everything too badly, because she needs to learn to use it properly first, so we can control what people see the first time out.” Janice added and Cara finally agreed, and a new unit was on its way.

      By the time it got there the entire school was in shock, while many countries were working hard to get a working Generation 3 model going, Janice had built a Gen 4 unit and it belonged to her little sister. If there was ever a reason to join the Academy this was it, and soon students from Russia and China were there with their special units.

      If they could keep students from all over working together here, then using their militaries wouldn’t be necessary, and that was the plan. In time they’d see and learn all about the new units and with that they gained time and knowledge, and might well stop another attack from happening.

      But even the best laid plans don’t always go that way in the end, and soon dictators and tyrants got Generation 1 units and used them to wipe out their enemies, if only people who talked out against their regimes, the news showed battles and massacres with AS units right up front, and Cara looked sad that Janice’s hope of a world where competition would be their primary goal was all but gone now.

      And she started to wonder why Janice had been so silent about it all this time, and as Judy and her class entered their second year,new buildings went up on the island and new storage areas and even some work that seemed almost invisible as tons of equipment and supplies disappeared underground and Cara saw that Janice had a new plan going, and she was worried about what it might be.

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      Chapter 16: Damocles

      For weeks things went along well, and Cara started getting pretty happy since some competitions were coming, and one was going to be held at the schools arena.

      Thousands of people from around the world would be there and she was setting up security that was second to none. AS units would be on patrol and flying overhead and every person who ever wanted to see what one was like up close would get their chance, not to mention world leaders and officials that had sent their own Representatives from their countries, could meet with them and see the facilities where they were studying.

      But while Cara was in her glory, Janice was more upset than at any time before. The news was saying that a dictator in South America had finally got himself some AS units...something Janice had totally refused him a dozen times over because of his actions in the past.

      Now he felt he needed to flex his new muscles, and he attacked a small village where ‘rebels were hiding’ and eliminated it completely. 120 dead civilians, all on the world wide news, laying ripped to shreds, as he drove past, or over them, looking very smug on the videos he had made and sent out.

      “No insurgents will stand before me and live...” He announced and he moved on to another area and hundreds more died, as the world watched on, and Janice demanded someone do something, but no one did.

      “Its his country...” She was told by military leaders,” he can do what he wants there. But we’ll keep a close eye on him, if he starts planning attacks elsewhere then we will do something about it.” She was told, while she screamed that hundreds of unarmed civilians were dieing every day, and the man just shrugged and the link went closed.

      “Ignorant fools...” She screamed and slammed her fist to the control panel. She had tried very hard to get enough friends in high places to stop these things from happening, but now the generation 1 models were considered junk, and though some small countries used them well and with restraint, some didn’t, even drug cartels and rogue militias were getting them, and she would not let her work be corrupted, and make her students look like murderers.

      She suddenly appeared at the front gate of the Academy with a group of scientists in tow, Janice walked into the school and Cara came out to meet her, all smiles.

      “Come to see how well we’re doing?” Cara asked as Janice just smiled for a second and waved for her to follow. They entered the school grounds, then made a right turn down a hall and into an elevator that Cara didn’t remember seeing before.

      Down they dropped, and even Cara started to wonder where they were going. But in a minute the doors opened and they were in a grotto, or large cave, and cement docks were there and sea water that made it look like a small military base, with supplies and workers everywhere, as Cara’s mouth dropped open.

      “What’s all this?” Cara asked as Janice smiled and said ‘stage 2‘ and Cara looked more shocked than before.

      “OK, bring her in...” Janice called into her coms and a minute later bubbles gurgled and water splashed and a medium sized submarine slowly drifted to a stop at the dock, and it was a design Cara had never seen before, looking for all the world like a white shark, right down to the fins along the sides, but on top were 4 doors that opened and closed and missile racks along the sides, as Cara looked at Janice in shock and awe, and Janice pointed saying...

      “This is the Damocles...and people who try and use my work for their own evil will see her up close and personal.” She said and she wasn’t smiling one bit, and Cara saw that the world was about to be a lot more serious a place.

      Just then the door along the side opened up and out walked a young woman, with short blond hair and a petite build, but she was accompanied by a big man in a full military uniform and a very serious look on his face. They walked down the gang plank and over to Janice and saluted her as Cara watched on and she turned and introduced them as the Captain and Second officer of the Damocles.

      “Captain Connie Harris, one of my students, and Lieutenant James Collins, formerly of the US Navy.” Janice said as Cara shook their hands.

      “She’s the Captain?” Cara asked as the young girl smiled wider still.

      “Yes...the Damocles is much like an AS unit, it has a brain and only certain people can command it. She has been in training for 6 months, and has passed even Naval standards for command and control.” She added as Cara looked surprised.”Captain, will you brief us on the ship and its operation?” Janice asked as Judy waved for them to follow.

      They went back inside and went forward, and Connie took time to explain that the ship was a one of a kind, no ship had ever been built on this design, and her weapons and speed were a notch above anything on the seas.

      “2 Cruise Missile tubes, 12 short range rocket launchers along the sides, 4 launching tubes for AS units, 6 generation 3 AS units on board at all times...” The list went on and Cara saw that Janice planned this a long time ago, and had some secret base somewhere build this thing for her own use. “Top speed in excess of 200 miles per hour, and maneuverability never before seen in a ship of this class.” Judy concluded as Cara was speechless.

      “And what will you do with this now that you have it?” Cara asked Janice as Connie stepped in again.

      “Our mission is to help stabilize the worlds economy. Drug lords, dictators and tyrants will be attacked and warned to live a civilized life or be removed. That is the standing order my ship have been given.” She said seriously as Cara looked more than surprised. They were planning on attacking cartels and tyrants the world over, and trying to change the world in the process.

      “You are all crazy...” Cara added as Janice laughed out loud and Connie just smiled back.

      “Trust me...it can be done...the only reason some small countries are in such bad shape is because they arent big enough for people to bother with. I have no such worries. If people are being attacked and killed, then we will act. We’ll send out warnings giving them time to change their ways, but if they wont...we will.” Janice added as Cara said nothing else.” Connie will become a part of your class, she’ll live here when she isn’t needed, and we’ll see about getting some training done with AS units using the sub for their base.” Janice added and now Cara could see where her ‘own Team’ was coming from and she wondered if they weren’t all about to die.

      Chapter 17: New Girl in Town

      The next day a pretty young girl was introduced to the class and even in the school uniform she got lots of attention. Connie smiled a lot, and people applauded for her and she got her seat in the back of the classroom. Everyone watched her that first day, because many were Representatives of their countries and she was not, but she walked in like she owned the place, and that got some attention, wither she wanted it to or not.

      By lunch time Connie had her first target acquired, and as everyone sat down to eat, she walked over and asked to sit next to Phillip, and he smiled and agreed, as the rest of the room watched on silently.

      “I hear you fly a Gen 3 AS unit, are you any good?” She asked straight out as Phil just smiled and said he was passing, and left it go at that. “A little more than just passing I’d say...” She whispered as she slid a copy of the escaping ship for him to see his handy work once again in full and undeniable color.

      “So why ask then?” He asked and he was looking a lot more serious now.

      “I’m putting together a special unit, and you’re my first choice.” She whispered as Phil looked surprised and asked if Janice knew about this. “She does...and half the Joint Chiefs as well...” She whispered as she ate, and Phil looked properly impressed.

      “What kind of ‘Special Unit’ are we discussing?” He asked as she said she’d show him later, after a few more were asked, and he nodded agreement, as Cara and Janice watched from the security monitors and she wasn’t very happy about it either.

      “She’s not wasting any time.” Cara mentioned as Janice agreed, and she turned on a second screen to the side to show hundreds of dead civilians laying in the streets, as 2 AS units showered the town with machine gun fire, and even Cara had to look away for a second. “ We don’t have much time, hundreds die each day, and since their countries have little or no resources to speak of, genocide is allowed there, but even people of authority are getting tired seeing it, they just cant get involved personally, thats all.” Janice added as Cara saw that she really wasn’t alone in this then.

      “So, you’ll do what? Send out attack crafts and send a warning to whoever wont listen?” Cara asked as Janice nodded seriously.

      “We will always have the best of everything, models no one has seen, sonic capable and well armed. Messages will be sent with video showing them in action saying: ' You don’t want to be a part of this do you?’ And then we wait and see if they listen or not, if yes, no problem, if not, then they wont have AS units anymore.” She said as even Cara agreed to that.

      “So you’re not really going to overthrow any governments then?” Cara asked almost silently, as Janice just smiled.

      “That’s completely up to them.” She said and walked away.

      Connie ‘challenged’ a few people to become part of her personal team and they agreed to talk about it at least. She just had a way of speaking that made you feel she could do anything, and many were curious to see what this Team was all about.

      By noon the next day Phil, Cecilia, Laura and Judy were all standing there on the docks, looking at the submarine with eyes wide open and mouths hanging to their knees.

      “Its beautiful...” Laura whispered as many there finally smiled in agreement.

      “This is the fastest attack submarine in existence, and we’ll use it to help stop groups from using AS units to spread fear and death around the world. You’ll always have the best tools available, better than what you’re using now in many cases, but things like genocide and aggression against small countries by criminals will no longer be tolerated.” Connie said as many got a big grin and nodded they under stood. “We will stand up for the helpless and the powerless, and make sure the world is a better place because of it.” She went on as everyone smiled seeing she had a sort of ‘superhero’ thing going when she got excited.

      “Isn’t this all illegal though?” Judy asked as Connie just smiled.

      “I’d rather scare the **** out of some tyrant and save lives then worry about politics, wouldn’t you?” She asked and everyone just smiled and said nothing.

      “I’m in...” Phillip said as Laura agreed right away and she looked around as Judy and Cecilia had to think about it for a minute.

      “It is a worthy cause, but if we get caught, our countries will suffer and our families will be disgraced.” Cecilia added sadly as Connie stood tall and declared no one would be caught, ever, and even Cecilia saw true grit standing there in a small package, and she finally agreed.

      “You talk big...” Judy mentioned as she got nose to nose with Connie as she asked what else she needed to know. “Will we kill to survive, when things go bad?” She demanded as everyone else turned to hear too.

      “We will do what is necessary, and we will never leave anyone behind, if that means destroying tanks or AS units, or entire military bases, then thats what we will do.” She declared as even Judy stepped back a bit to think.

      “Then I’m in too...if you had some childish idea about never hurting anyone and changing the world... then I’d have laughed and walked away. Doing what you want is skirmish warfare, and people will die, many world leaders, no matter how foolish will fight with all they have to do what they want, and to stop us from helping the poor and helpless. So admitting you’re serious right up front is a must hear, because thats all that will keep us alive out there in battle.” She added as everyone agreed, sadly, and Janice and Cara smiled that out of all of them Judy was the most serious, and Janice was proud of her for growing up so well.

      “Then welcome to the Damocles, move some cloths on board as soon as possible, training in AS launching and recovery will begin this weekend.” Connie said and went inside while the others went to gather a few cloths for their new bunk space.

    9. #9
      TXU Hero kevin398's Avatar
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      Chapter 18: Training

      In a few days the Damocles was slipping through the ocean like a knife through butter. There are a dozen areas where experimental ships can go to test equipment, and the very idea they are there means no one asks, and no one sees. These are perfect for anyone who needs to check some new systems, or train new pilots, and they were in one such area in a few hours.

      “The Damocles has 2 possible launch types.” Connie said as the pilots nodded they understood. “First...we surface and then each of you come up through the launch tube and fly away. This is standard but not the only way the tube can be used. The gen 3 units we carry have a limited amount of time they can be under water, and the pilot has pressurized air tanks for when that happens. In extreme conditions you’ll step into the tube and be sealed in. Then using your air tanks you’ll be able to breath for an hour under water, we’ll move into position, and open the tube and launch you like an ICBM, once in the air, your jets will kick in and away you go, any questions?” Connie asked as Laura asked if they could ‘fly’ under water even for a short distance.

      “Its being looked at, but would need a separate air system right now that answer is no, for the time being.” Connie added as Laura nodded and waited again.

      “Launching like a missile has got to have some G force, will any of us pass out from it?” Phillip asked as Connie laughed and assured them it had been carefully calculated not to hurt anyone.

      “Also on return from a mission, the doors will be open, so just line up and drop down inside. The ship can submerge the second you’re in and the outer doors close.” She added as everyone agreed. “Ready to give it a try then?” She asked as they all agreed, and the area was scanned and the ship surfaced and their first ship launch practice session was under way.

      “Faster!” Lt. Collins screamed as Cecilia seemed to take her good old time to get back to the launch tube.” If we were under fire right now we’d be taking heavy damage because you didn’t get inside quickly enough!” He screamed as Cecilia ran to catch up and Connie tried her best not to laugh.

      “This isn’t even my regular unit, cut me some slack...” She complained as he informed her this unit was faster and more maneuverable than the one she actually ‘owned’ back at the base, and she had to admit that might be true.

      “Thats enough for today, everyone has classes tomorrow and we’re a few hours from base, so might as well start home.” Connie added as a few said ‘amen’ to that as Lt. Collins fumed that they hadn’t learned anything yet, and Connie left him know they weren’t military, and training would take a little time.

      “I suppose...” He whispered but it was clear these kids had a long ways to go to meet his standards.

      “Take us home, best speed...” Connie called as the ship dropped to 500 feet and sped up to just over 200 miles an hour, and the distance to the base dropped rapidly until they docked once more.

      “Get some rest, and I’ll see you in class.” Connie said as everyone gave her a half-assed salute and walked away while her second complained about discipline and their poor attitudes.”It was their first day...you expect too much sometimes, Lt.” Connie mentioned as she too went to the dorms and Lt. Collins took command of the ship in her absence.

      But with hard work and lots of practice they were getting in and out of the ship like real professionals soon enough, and Connie reported that they were ready for a real assignment, as Janice looked sad but agreed.

      She had been watching several trouble spots lately, like one small South American country that was all but run by a drug cartel. They had, somehow, gotten hold of 6 gen 2 AS units and used them to guard their sizable drug manufacturing facilities in one small town. Thousands of gallons of drugs were made weekly and thats billions in cash in a year, and try as she might, Janice could get no one to even talk to them, or try and curtail their operations.

      “Its almost a sure thing that they are paying off government officials, and those people wont even agree to a meeting with us, or anyone else, to talk about the problem.” Janice mentioned as drone footage showed the factory and many guards and AS units walking all around the place.

      “So, we act then?” Connie asked as Janice agreed.

      “One well placed missile will reduce their factory to rubble, and we might not even need to send AS units in. But if they attack us with full force even before we attack them, then its a sure thing we’ve been sold out, and all bets are off.” Janice added as everyone nodded agreement.

      “In other words, they know we’re coming.” Phillip added as everyone looked sad and Janice said that was one bad thing about warning people first, but it had to be done.

      “The AS units will guard the ship, our cruise missiles should be more than enough to level the factory, and the explosion from that will take out any supplies nearby.” Connie added as everyone agreed. “Alright then lets get going.” And the ship backed away from the dock, as all the pilots got ready for their first action.

      They were within a few miles of the coast when it was decided they were ready. The ship bobbed to the surface and three AS Units launched to provide cover. The first missile launched and as it approached the target, was abruptly shot down, as Connie shook her head and launched another.

      “They saw us coming,” She announced and Phillip nodded and looked serious, as Cecilia went high into the air to cover from a distance, and suddenly took a hit from some small, high speed missile they barely saw coming, as a small fighter screamed by.

      “My engines are hit, I cant hold this altitude...” Cecilia screamed as Connie swore to herself, this was not the first assignment they had hoped for, these guys were pulling out all the stops, as the little fighter turned and started back, now several AS units appeared between them and the shore and started their way.

      “If thats the way they want it..open missiles tubes 1-5...” Connie said as the Lt. agreed and little doors along the one side opened and out ran 5 short range missiles, and the fighter went down, and 2 of the AS units, as the others retreated back towards town.

      But Cecilia was dropping like a rock and at this angle she couldn’t make it back to the ship in time. She aimed for an open field near the town and Phillip called saying he’d assist her, as gunfire rang out and several jeeps and trucks nearby ran that way and Connie said to be careful. These vehicles didnt have the firepower to hurt her armor but they could keep her pinned down until heavier weapons could be brought to bare.

      “I’m down and my engines are fried.” Cecilia said sadly as Phillip said not to worry, and explosions went off all around her and vehicles went up in flames.

      “The AS units are coming, get out of there Phillip, or get Cecilia in your unit and we’ll self-destruct hers and then get out of here.” Connie announced as Phillip said it wasn’t necessary, and now that the vehicles closest to Cecilia were gone he opened his unit up, and the sonic barrier fell a second later and he streaked over the little town as the enemy units turned to pursue.

      “He’s drawing them away,” Collins said as Connie looked surprised, but it was a little more than that, as his heavy machine gun raked the first building and it exploded in a fireball and set off a chain reaction that took down several more, as Connie sat back, all smiles and said the job was getting done anyways, as even the L.t. nodded seriously.

      Phillip made a wide circle as the slower machines tried to catch him, and finally made a bee line back towards Cecilia.

      “Cecilia...stand perfectly straight and hold your arms in the air.” Phillip called as she asked why.

      “You always fly with nothing but a safety belt on, make sure you have the full harness on now...you’re going to need it in a minute.” He said as she asked if he was nuts or something... but her scanner showed him running in at good speed...and he wasn’t slowing down a bit.

      “Oh ****...” She said seriously as she grabbed for her shoulder harness and tightly drew it down and Connie screamed that it cant be done, as gunfire from the enemy came running past, and Phillip fired a few shots and dropped his rifle and slammed into Cecilia’s unit at 60 miles per hour and the clang was heard even on the open coms, and as she opened her eyes, choking and coughing, Cecilia saw buildings and trees running by and Phillip called saying they needed medical help and they would be on the deck in 7 minutes...to the surprise of everyone watching.

      “You OK Cecilia?” He asked while she was still coughing and choking but she finally answered.

      “I think you broke my neck back there, you wait, I’ll kick your ass for this.” She said...not too loudly, as even the Captain smiled and they touched down a few minutes later, and something new was added to their training, and the self-destruct was used on their high tech rifles so no one got them either, but the mission was done and they disappeared back into the sea... and they held their most serious belief on their first mission...that no one gets left behind.

      Chapter 19: Aftermath

      They were well underway when Phillip came walking into the med bay and saw Cecilia laying there, with an IV in her arm and all covered up to her shoulders, wearing a neck brace.

      “That looks painful...” He whispered as she tried to look his way but got yelled at for it.

      “When I get out of the hospital I’m coming for you, so be ready...” She announced as he just smiled and agreed and walked away as one of the nurses asked if she was really that mad at him...he saved her life after all..and she finally smiled.

      “We never really got along...” She hinted as the lady nodded and waited,” maybe that was my fault...we’ll see.” And with that she fell asleep under the weight of the drugs they gave her for pain. It would be a week before she was seen in class, and her first day back she walked in and gave Phillip a really serious kiss, in front of the entire class, as Cara looked away and laughed.

      “That’s all you get, don’t ask for anything else either.” She added smiling and went to her desk, as Phillip stood there looking too shocked to speak, and finally whispered ‘I wouldn’t dare...' as the class roared until Cara called for order, and regular classes started again.

      The official report on the first raid said that it cost the Cartel nearly a billion dollars, and there was an investigation into why an F-16 fighter jet from the countries Air Force was assisting the Cartel during the attack. Needless to say the UN got involved too and this little hell hole would never be the same again, as meeting after meeting were called and soon a new leader was in charge, and he started his own drug war to chase these people out of his country.

      “One down and only a million to go...” Janice teased, the day the old President left office, and Cara laughed that maybe she could have an effect after all.,

      The news got in on it too, and mentioned the unknown force that attacked the factory..there were a million questions,.. and experts in every field got to make their claims and complaints about who they might be.But Janice had it under control, and when asked, she reminded everyone there were over a thousand AS units worldwide, not to mention experimental units no one had even seen before.

      “It could be anyone...” She replied and many chuckled knowing that technology could NOT just be anyone, but no one had proof that she was involved.

      But in a meeting, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff smiled wide that something finally got done.

      “That submarine was incredible, launching AS units and missiles then disappearing without a trace...even from our satellites....’‘ One General said laughing as many smiled back.” I’ll take 2...” he said as many laughed loudly. They knew who had it, but they strongly doubted they’d get one any time soon.

      “And some of you ask why we let her have her own way so often,” Another man said softly as many just smiled,” That technology is generations beyond our best, and like her AS units we’ll get it eventually, so let the woman work, she’s only making things easier for us later.” And with comment they all agreed, and it was mentioned they might not want a sub like that for a while, until she was done ‘working the bugs out of the design’, and smiles were seen all around, as a new puppet government was set up in a small country that sold lots of tropical fruit as an export, and deals were made to help keep drug dealers out from now on.

      Back at the school things were settling down nicely, but there were a few exceptions. Judy had always said that her and Phillip had nothing going, and as Cecilia laid that big kiss on him in class, Judy’s face exploded into red and one or two others growled that Cecilia was jumping ahead of them.

      “Damn, it must be nice to be popular.” Charles mentioned during lunch one day as Phillip laughed and said there was really nothing to it.

      “She thanked me for stopping to drag her back to the ship thats all...and how did you get out of ship duty so far anyways?” He asked as Charles laughed and said maybe because of his father’s business...and Phil laughed, because technically he was a corporate spy...but one of the worst kept secrets in history.

      “You might as well, the entire school knows about it anyways.” Phillip added as Charles laughed and nodded it was true. “Your grades are top notch, don’t worry you’ll be called I’m sure.” He added saying they only had 4 pilots now and carried 6 units, as his coms buzzed and he looked tired as he answered it.

      “In my office..NOW!!” Cara screamed as Phillip just sighed and dropped the rest of his food into the scrap bin on the way out...and Charles could see another screaming match between him and is sister, for talking about things he shouldn’t have.

      “You are unbelievable!” Cara screamed as Phillip added they needed 2 more pilots, and Charles was one of the best in the school. “It’s not your place to make those decisions, and you know it. Charles is a great guy, but his fathers business rests on him gathering classified information, and the ship and its missions are highly classified, even from the rest of the staff, so keep your mouth shut when your not on duty, because Janice has everything riding on this school and her other projects. If the info got out to the wrong person we could be under attack at any time.” She went on as Phillip was forced to admit it might be true.

      “Janice will make the decisions about pilots and units, just do your regular job and go to class like a normal student, one more time like this and even I cant protect you from being expelled!” She said seriously, as Phillip tried not to laugh out loud. They couldn’t expel him and they knew it. He was their poster child for men in AS units even without the ship duty, if he was suddenly expelled from school the entire world would want to know why, and that was one thing even Janice didn’t want to happen.

      “Yes mam, anything else?” He asked as she sighed and slowed back down to normal, she had a lot of pressure on her as the Dean of the school, and Phillip knew she needed to let off steam from time to time.

      “Thats all, dismissed...” She said softly as Phil gave her a wink and a smile and walked out as Cara sat down behind her desk and shook her head sadly.

      “He has a point though,” She heard as a screen came on on her desk as Janice looked serious as well. “Charles is one of our best and we are short handed right now.” She added as Cara mentioned his father’s business would love to learn about her new ship design, and Janice just laughed. “Thats not even an issue, let me worry about that.” And she went away as Cara wondered what she was planning now, and later that day Charles got invited to join the Team, and his father sold his business for a nice profit, and Janice owned a factory in France.

      Chapter 20: Time Off

      Phillip was setting down for lunch a few days later when Connie walked over and sat down without saying a word, and Phillip saw a new chewing out coming, as she smiled wide and started to eat.

      “New warnings have been sent out, and one prospect has changed for the better. I wish we had more like him though.” She hinted as Phillip agreed. “But we wont be going out again for a little while. That rescue you made was considered impossible...or at least unlikely to succeed... so there’s a new research team checking into it. There’s also some repairs that are getting done, the right shoulder on your work unit was badly bent and I doubt the arm could raise more than half way, so we’re off for a while, since the Dr. wants to rethink the strength of the arms again.” She added as she went right on eating, and Phillip apologized for making a mess out of things.

      “But I wont apologize saving Cecilia, people are more important than any machine.” Phillip said softly, as even Connie agreed.

      “How did you even know to try it during that battle?” She asked as she looked up for a second from eating.

      “I ask Sid for every alternative, no matter how small, and he gave me the choice to try.” Phil added as Connie looked surprised. He had asked the computer for options and then used the one he liked best, it seemed she hadn’t given him enough credit.

      “And what were the odds Sid gave you for success?” She asked as Phillip got up to walk away.

      “30%...” He said and he was gone, as she choked on her drink and looked around to see his back disappear out the door. She was going to have to keep a closer eye on him after this...if 30% was worth a try... then he might be more of a trouble than she thought.

      A little while later she also told Cecilia about the break and she thanked her for letting her know.

      “I had a nice talk with Phillip about that trick...” She mentioned as Cecilia asked her not to be too upset, it had worked after all. “Barely. He admitted during the battle he looked for alternatives to losing you and the second unit. Sid...his units computer... gave him the option he used to save you... and throw all our research into the dumpster.” Connie added as they both chuckled for a second.

      “A 60 mph scoop up was hard, believe me, I thought my neck was broken for a second there.” Cecilia mentioned as Connie nodded agreement.

      “His units shoulder is almost destroyed from the impact. The Dr. is looking into reinforcing them after this.” Connie added as Cecilia nodded and waited for more. “ I’m going to be watching Phillip more closely now...after all he admitted that his best option was the one he used, and his computer only gave him a 30% chance of success.” She mentioned as she got up to go.

      “ A 30% chance of success...you mean saving me was that bad on the odds?” Cecilia asked looking shocked.

      “Thats what HE said...” Connie added as she turned to go,” but our research says: 30% chance of survival...for both units. That man is going to be the death of me yet.” She admitted and walked away, as Cecilia sat back in shock and terror, she wanted to get up and go ask Phillip if he was insane or not, but right this second...her legs just wouldn’t hold her.

      But the word got around the school quickly enough and people did ask, and Phillip laughed and admitted he didn’t have a lot of time to think about it or he might have tried something else.

      “There wasn’t much to go on,” he admitted and many agreed and his reputation went up a lot for his cool actions during an emergency. But try as they might, everyone in the school knew about the ship by now and they guessed that it had been in on several attacks on criminal bases and other places where illegal or immoral things were happening. Of course some weren’t them at all, because one thing that is certain...if someone gets good Press for doing something...someone else will copy it.

      So other groups stepped up too, and soon the world saw that justice had many names, and that some were willing to die to change their world, and Janice was both happy to see it and sad that some tried big moves without the proper backup they’d need, and many died trying.

      And back at the Pentagon, their weekly meeting was going about as you’d expect. Many still wanted absolute control over the school and its students. Others were happy the way things were going now, as new and better things got invented all the time.

      “If not for our repairs and replacement after the one attack we wouldn’t haver any real control over their operations, since those repairs and our original investment cost enough to gain us 30% of the cost of the school right now.” One general mentioned as some agreed that having them in their debt was a good thing.

      “Actually...thats not true anymore.” The Chairman added as some looked his way, surprised. “Dr. Janice has been slowly paying us back for those expenses...our involvement in her school is now less than 10%.” he added as many looked disgusted.

      “Then how will we control them in the future??” One man demanded as many laughed right out loud at him.

      “Do you think for a SECOND we control that woman or her school?” One man asked as many agreed, laughing.” But thats fine. She’s not a fool, she’s careful what she does, her planning is superb and her word is her bond. We would not be where we are today without her, and tomorrow looks great. I for one don’t need to control her or the school. We are getting a class of rare professionals in 3 weeks, and I intend to have a lot of them working for me.” He said smiling and many agreed.

      “Shes an addicted builder and inventor, she’ll never stop so long as people let her alone. I for one don’t want to mess with success, do you?” He asked as many people chuckled among themselves.”Then lets sit back and reap the benefits of this deal. This is the best we’ve had it in years, and will be for years to come.So relax and enjoy it.” he added and the room agreed.

      And Janice heard it all, and smiled. Her school was safe forever now, so long as real professionals were graduated on time each year. The Government was happy that they had no responsibility there to deal with and gained by leaps and bounds, and even her sister was happy now, as she started dating Phillip behind everyones backs.

      She couldn’t have done it better, and her special projects went on and made at least some small difference in the world, and when she finally retired, her statue went out front on the schools grounds as the founder, and her Family, starting with Judy were Deans and leaders there for generations to come, as the name carried on, and everyone watched for another truly amazing person to come from it.

    10. #10
      TXU Hero kevin398's Avatar
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      working on 3 nothing finished yet, will post when I get one done.

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