75 Days Until Grime And the Uncertain End
Heia looked over the mages that were before her. They were dressed in their beautiful military uniforms, decorated by the grimaces on their face as they knew that they would have to support and work with the X’s. Their bigotry was showing; Heia wanted to punch them in the faces. They were disrupting the overall mood of the camp and Heia needed to figure out a way to fix it quick.
Zeydar had gotten her the Military Mages and yet none of them seemed to want to be there. He had blackmailed someone to get them there, and all she wanted to do was yell at them for what they had done to her people. To her family. They needed to protect the world. They were the force that was important to doing so.
Still they were there to protect society. She could accept that. They stood there and even if they were disgruntled, they were there. She would figure out how to get them to open up. She would manage it. She would.
“Alright.” Kim clapped her hands for the X’s and Mages to focus on her. There were Circle soldiers there as well. The full world army was there in a small number to match the military mages, given to them by Alan Penn as a method to test them. They were to try to train a team to work together properly. And even if they could not move from the backline, they were supposed to show the united force. He had taksed it to Heia in order to humiliate her. All looked at Kim in different ways. The Circles for who she was. The X’s for what she could do. The Stars for how she could be in a position of power looking the way she did. “We are going to practice drills. Teams of three. One X. One Circle. One Star. Team up.”
No one moved.
“I thought as much.” Kim sighed. She then pointed at two Stars. “You go to Heia. You come to me.” The Stars hesitated to move and then did as they were told. Kori skipped over to Kim, as Lynx walked to stand with Heia. Onyx, Robee, and Trace took the positions as the enemy. They had practiced the tactics. They would be able to pull it off without fear. They had calculated it properly. No matter how Heia lied to herself, she could not believe the words. Kim went on as if she did not notice Heia’s apprehension. “We are going to have two direct teams. One for the front, one for the rear.”
“We aren’t allowed to go to the front lines.” One Star told her.
“You say that as if our group goes to the front lines at all.” Kim stated, which got a chuckle from the X’s. “We are never deployed there.” They just ended up going there, on their own, to assist where was needed.The mages would have to trust them. The circles would have to believe in them. The X’s knew that the team went in when not supposed to, in order to reinforce training and to make a point. It was foolish, but no one had said a thing about it yet. Perhaps that was Alan Penn’s plan, to make them break and fuck up. They were breaking orders and strategy trying to push them to act differently. However, they were not going to stop yet, not if they could make the war change. They had the chance to attack, not just defend.
“The defense mage is in rare. Attack is in front. The goal is to help defend those who need to be defended and to attack the few that get past. We are not the front lines, we are the back line, for the sneak attacks that will come from places we do not predict. Now watch.” Kim sprinted forward towards Robee, along with Kori who moved with her. Kori shouted at where she pretended to blast with a gun she did not hold. Kim jumped back, as Kori hoped over, sliding across the ground, both bringing out their weapons to strike. The two moved in unison from weeks of training. They got Robee on the ground.
“We know that the Circles were trained, and you might be thinking, what will the Stars do?” Kim pointed to Trace and Onyx, “There are two more here, and we are dead. The stars will make us more efficient and deadly using their magic to support and defend us. You are not the military mages who are supporting the front lines from behind. You were given to us, and we are going to make you into a force worth it.”
The Stars did not seem convinced. They did not seem to understand that the EverDanger group was going to push them to fight in all reality in an effort to prove reform within the military. The world army had to be built from the ground up and their squad needed to get good enough that they would be sent out to prove their skill. Maybe Alan Penn was testing them because he believed them. Heia figured he wanted her to stop breaking rules. Regardless, this was their one chance.
“Don’t worry.” Kim starred at them. Her voice dropped and her eyes narrowed. “We will have assistance knocking you into shape.” A threat? How? Who?
“That means me, I suppose?” Heia turned to the voice of the woman who approached with additional commanding officers and Alan Penn. She wore a hat atop her head that was decorated in a large star pin. Her hair was cropped short but on her face was a smile. She made the stars tremble and salute.
“I thought you weren’t deployed Ma’am.” The Stars officer in charge of their group addressed her. She was familiar but Heia could not place why. The woman had a layer of makeup on and bangs. She eyed over all the Circles and Stars who were terrified of her.
“I wasn’t. I am still assigned to Zeydar. After I have overseen your integration into the world army, I will be flown back to Ovaria.” She stood before them. Heia looked to Alan Penn, he glanced to her and then back to the woman officer. “Your commanding officers are Kim Knicks and Heia Lostra. You will follow their commands and requests. Alan Penn had declared their team a special tactical experiment. If it succeeds it will be implemented throughout the entire force.” Heia was happy that the man believed her, but he also believed she was going to make a fool of herself. “I will be assisting with the integration.” The Star looked back to Alan Penn. He nodded.
“I have brought you General Arcodia as an assistance.” Alan Penn told her. “I believe that this will be suitable?”
“Certainly.” General Arcodia stepped up. She walked up to Heia and stood beside her before saluting him and then turning back to the Stars. Heia glared at Alan Penn, her back to the Stars as she did.
“Don’t make it too obvious.” General Arcodia whispered. “He is going to watch, and I’d rather he did not know that we were friends.”
Heia paused. Arcodia? Was that another Star last name for Arcadia? Was she…
“Zeydar sent me here for the sole purpose of this. Kim predicted that you would be tasked with a team, and requested aid.” The woman had not changed her posture. Heia turned to face the stars who were listening to Kim giving them instructions. Heia glanced to the woman’s face. May. This was May, Zeydar’s best friend. She was the military mage that was with him when they first met and his apparent personal guard as given by the Superiors. Zeydar had spoken that they’d grown up together and that she had been put in charge of him to supervise him once he returned to Ovaria.
“You are on his side then?” Heia hoped and prayed that May was on her side.
“Currently my boyfriend has that covered and I’m here to make sure this integration succeeds.” May answered with a light laugh.
“Boyfriend?” Heia asked. “But Zeydar…”
“Shawn.” May looked to her, with no smile. Heia felt as if someone had told her the sun had exploded. Shawn was dating a Star? Since when! “He told me, I should tell you that.”
Heia starred at the Mage with mixed feelings. Shawn wasn’t a particularly important X. He was, however, still an X that Heia and the others mentioned. A Star dating an X. If the world found out, would that not cause a riot? Was that not the point? Shawn had told her to tell Heia because Heia needed to trust May. If Zeydar had sent her and Shawn liked her, then Heia had to believe her. “Well, you are here to help us?”
May nodded and then sent a quick smile out before she took command and prepared to force the unison of the unit one way or another. Heia followed after her so that she, Kim, and May stood in a line. “Show me.”
Kim nodded and then with Heia, the two showed May the proper tactics. For an afternoon, they started training, and persevering through the grueling work of creating suitable teams. With May’s insight and Lynx and Onyx’s records, they were able to create teams of three who had never worked together, but were theoretically compatible. They then began trust exercises, paired with teaching the Military Mages and Circle Soldiers general techniques.
When they dismissed everyone, the teams did not stay together and instead went off their separate ways with those who were the same as them. May sighed, finally able to relax with no one watching. “Do you have attacks nightly?”
“Mostly scouts.” Kim answered as she wiped her brow. “Why?”
“We are going to need to practice the magic coordination to prove it effective.” May answered. “I will need to practice with it. Zeydar gave me some pointers but he was too focused on Kony to give me much more.”
Kori’s ears perked up at the words. “You know Kony?”
“Is he doing well?” Robee asked.
“Better than well. He destroyed a girl at his first official battle.” May spoke with pride. “He’s a terrifying mage.” Heia felt her own pride swelling at that. May was terrifying and for her to say the same about Kony… Heia had never felt more proud.
“I agree. We will need to practice.” Kim nodded.
“Tonight then?” May asked. “I will grab a few more of the Mages I trust and we can go out to practice.” When Kim nodded, May said her goodbyes and went off.
“She’s dating Shawn.” Heia told the others. “Do you believe that?”
“Yes.” Kim answered before anyone else could. “Zeydar was the one who said he’s send her, because she was getting too distracted by Shawn.” Everyone looked at Kim. Kim acted as if she did not see the incredulous looks. She said her goodbyes and then walked off leaving the others in a stunned silence that then became laughter. Maybe with May they would be able to pull it off. Heia was not sure but she was willing to try. Perhaps she’d get to know May better in the meantime.