Nearby, a field manual on maintenence and repair of power armor sat on the desk, buried under a neatly folded Infantryman's uniform, the name tape reading Angelas, and rank of Corporal.
Aloud knock at the door followed by the firm but slightly agitated voice of 984 now known as nix upon request from the navy "Corporal Angelas, you have 5 minutes to make yourself decent and be ready after that time im coming in there and draging you to breif" Nix said standing in parade rest mere inches from the door.
The woman on the bed snorted, leaning up sharply to crack her head on the underside of the bunk with a loud bang and a string of explatives. she looked down at her sport bra and spandex clad form, before growling slightly. "Let me get a shirt on, damn it!"
She slid the whiskey bottle of tea under her bed, the other hand snapping a clean shirt from its roll and sliding it over her head. She made s mental note to get looser shirts whenever she could, as she was starting to bulk up again, and the musculature was clearly visible under the thin cotton.
She reached over to the desk and pulled a pair of pants over, sliding them over her legs as she called out "Alright, I'm decent!"
Nix walked in the door his cyber implants seemed graphted to his body in ways that shouldnt be possible for a living person the nuber 984 visable on his forarm taking a look around the room he redirected his vision to her. "Id recommend not to drink before next mission, provided we get aproved to join in on this i require your assistance you showed interest in joining our future plans for a pa core correct?" He'd wait to hear her responses before continueing.
"We have a set of prototype pa first modle if the feild test in the feild check out we could begin the final version can i trust you with that.
Elizabeth had seen worse grafting jobs, and didn't particularly care that her commanding officer was an augment. She still snapped to attention, the instant her belt snapped tight, more out of muscle memory than anything else, considering her brain was still only half awake.
"I wasn't drinking last night, sir. I did show interest in joining a Power Armor Corps, and I know my paperwork shows all the prerequisite schooling. But I'm new, here. My last duty station was garrison, we never deployed. I want it, and you can trust me, sir, but..." She stopped for a moment, looking away. "Why me? The new girl who..."
Her eye caught the clock on the wall, "Doesn't officially start work for another couple of hours, sir?"
Nix stood there patently hearing her questions and concerns "At ease Corporal, as for why i want you in as the unit is every member of my squad is speacilised in somthing from our doc to our demo man, and your right your green for a lack of better words but id rather have someone whos framilar with PA then give it to them and have to attempt to teach them everything from scratch when we dont nessasarly have the time for that also your the only female onboard that can fit in it as its a twin armor set the male version was givin to the male O.G.R.E unit known simply as frank as he too priority with his lack of armor however we want to make sure both work well you will also be granted the mark 3 pulse carbine for said armor"
after taking the time to mention that Nix would from slightly at the couple hours comment "dose a enemy wait for us to start work corporal? no now be ready to report to breifing in 10 if you have any other questions see to it you direct them to either me or luitenit snow." the man stopped at the door "while on missions your callsign will be spark understood?"
"Understood, sir." Elizabeth nodded firmly, twisting to throw her uniform's jacket over her shoulders and let it settle on her arms. "The enemy strikes either when they're ready or you're not, sir. Would you like a coffee, sir? It's iced, but better than nothing."
A small step and she opened the refridgerator, a large tumbler of cold brewed coffee finding itself poured into a nearby travel cup. Buttoning her sleeves, she was already ready to go, with a pen at her wrist and notebooks, cover, and verious small necessaries scattered about her pockets. She swiped her hand through her hair to make sure it didn't appear out of regulation and closed the door. Stepping into her boots, sje quickly bloused them and strapped them tight before taking a swig of her coffee. "Ready, sir."
Nix would lead her to the training room with the rest of ecur squad; Snow a 5'2" albino woman who was the doc and lt wearing her combat helmet and uniform echo a jiger hair nerd with vr gloves and goggles wearing his combat uniform and the youngest member boomer who had a prostetic arm from the shoulder down wearing red tinted goggles and a half face balistic mask with a shark teeth disine on it and was the only one other than nix who didnt have a helmet on.
Elizabeth surveyed the crew, slipping into a casual parade rest as she waited to introduce herself. She was still unsure of being the new girl getting the new toys, but these men and women had dedicated their lives to other things, rather than her tireless study of power armor history, theory, and maintenence. She was grateful for the opportunity to prove herself, but wasn't sure she wasn't one of the heavier troops. She couldn't help but feel somewhat self conscious in her garrison uniform cut to make her look even bigger. She didn't know how best to respond to any of the group, so waited until they would address her 6'3" frame and sharp brown eyes.
Snow waved at the corpral "hey there you must be our new member replacing ferryman com on over were just about to go threw breifing." She said walking up to the towering woman "I'm snow your lt, first time in the feild? Dont worry we all...well some of us were like that" She says trying to hide her sorrowful glances at boomer "anyway that bookworm over there in the breathing mask is echo our tech guy carful hell steal your soul." she chuckled "and that grumpy veteran is private Boomer, we dont know his actual name and Sarge just tells us not to bug him about it but hope you fit in well."
echo shook his head "snow how much cafien did you drink?" she waved her hand "oh hush i only had five cups."
Boomer on the other hand just shook his head and went back to cleaning his service pistol.
"I've done a few training rotations in a field environment, ma'am. I'm Corporal Angelas. Apparently I'm your new Power Armor pilot." She gave a pointed look to Nyx before looking about, memorizing names and faces, if they could be called that. "Private? You called hime a... Oh."
Two realizations came over her at the same time. One, Boomer had been through a lot, and his rank wasn't representative of his experience. Two, it was not her place to ask. Not yet. "A pleasure to meet you all, but I'm ginger, so don't worry about Echo stealing something that isn't there. Also, Nyx assigned me the callsign of Spark. I'd rather earn one from you all."
boomer nodded "well wanting to earn somthing instead of being given thats new for a recruite mabie theres hope for you yet."
echo piped up to The new corporal "dont let him get to you its his way of saying he cares, from the way ive noticed me you the privious lt ferryman and snow were all replacements to members of his and nix's squad id only assume like nix he is numb to happyniess some people tend to think hes like the original five or nix but medical conferms otherwise."
"Boomer, just..." Elizabeth wanted to apologize for everything it took to get that man here, and state how she'd been training to be a power armor trooper since she was a little girl, but held her tongue. Through gritted teeth, she spoke from her ever stiffening parade rest. "I'll earn more than a callsign from you, sir."
With a sudden movement, she broke stance and took a drink of her coffee. "I understand if he's a bit bitter, Echo. I'm just some upstart new girl that's got a hundred pounds on him. Hope he bought tickets for the gunshow later. Now, who would be so kind as to show me to my armor?"
Boomer gets up motioning to the wall "Its fine corpral, here she is." he said showing the prototype armor 7 feet tall to house the pilot of the armor the armor seemed tight and snug so the user would need a body suit to operate in it had built in med injector a multi optic visual system the armor was thick and and would be supported by wired reflexes and hydrolic systems.
"Pressure reactive or neural interface?" Spark asked, examining the placement of various components on the armor. the design wasn't something she'd seen before, with many systems being at least somewhat new to her. Her study into theory and design of such things would let her figure it out quickly, though. "I can see how the feet and hands are secondary, looks like the control units are in the calves and forearms. Not bad work. What are you using the pilot's toes to control?"
Boomer turned the armor around using a moble jack "well see thats the thing"opening the armor from the back its insides were padded or jell its unclear, after a bit he explained "the thing about piloting it is the med injector doubles as the pilot controls the user wearing a custom bodysuitwill have various needles in them most being in clusters of nerves and sections of the spine you control it as if it were your own body minus the pain the methods that were used to creat the prototypes are aparently the same way the original five and nix were made if while inside you experience anything strange like seeing soldiers that arnt there or hear voices that are not ours over the com system that you can tell the gender or species report it imideatly so we can safly begin removing you from the armor."
"So distributed neural. That was theoretical. Okay. We want to get me fitted?" She seemed unfazed on the surface, but the armor's control was a little off, to her. She didn't know if her nervous system would normalize the secondary features like a standard neural control system would. But at least she didn't need to be naked.
boomer nodded handing her a body suit "you dont have to go threw with it if you dont want to but i understand your egerness if you do want to prove somthing." boomer said handing her a suit before pulling out a small computer with echo "we will monotor the uplink when you first step in."
"More that I'd rather have this fitted as soon as possible. We don't know when we'll need it. Speaking of, you set that up, where's the latrine so I can change? how naked do I need to be under this?"
echo pinted twords the doors at the end of the training room "preferably you need to be 100% as the suit needs to be skin tight to get the most closest reading of everything." they would prepare the suit for the nural link and while she would change she might here echo exclaim what boomer is doing to which hed respond "im putting some safegaurds in place so as she dosnt end up like the other two pilots you may be our tech but you dont know this horror stuff like me or nix do so safty is key here."
It didn't take long for Elizabeth to come back, pants, tee shirt, socks, and underwear neatly folded in her arms and her uniform top awkwardly covering her shoulders and chest as the girl flushed brightly. "This might be a little more revealing and curve sticking than I expected... and the needle ports are rather breathy. The pineal nerve is especially awkward, sir. I see why it's necessary, but..."
Echo turned and opened a case nearby, pulling a wiring harness laced with needles up to eye level before plugging a cannon plug into the computer's data port. "Drop your things. Stand feet shoulder and a half apart, arms up."
He handed the device to Nix as Spark did what she was told, blushing deeper and shaking visibly as the man gently draped the harness across her shoulders, detangling it in the process. "Try to relax. You wanted this."
Spark nodded, steeling herself. "Do it."
So he started, untwisting the wires and following a series of color codes and letters to push the needles into Elizabeth's skin, deftly finding nerve clusters as he worked his way up, first the right leg, then the left. The needles gave little shocks as the computer started mapping her nervous system, leaving Spark biting her lip and tensing in places she had never known were sensitive. Eventually, the thighs had been placed wires draped wrapping around the woman's powerful hips. One circuit hadn't been placed as Nix looked up. "Snow. Boomer. Hold her up. Spark, you may feel a bit... This one is gonna suck."
He knelt before her, in front of the quivering thighs as Spark's suit seemed to radiate her body's response to so much set alight. Carefully, he reached between her legs to grab the plug, thumbing at the silver port. And with a quick motion, he slammed the needle home, Spark's crotch lighting as the shocks rippled through her and she bit back a scream. Her legs felt like jelly, and the arms of Boomer and Snow were the only things holding her as she attempted to regain her strength, or any semblance of feeling beyond the fire.
"Getting a reading..." Echo mused, fiddling with a few settings, and Spark could start to feel the pain lessen. She slowly pulled her feet back under her and pushed back up.
"Do you need a break?" Nix asked, standing up.
"No." The whimper that slipped out of Spark was far lighter than she had hoped as Snow rolled a chair over.
"Sit." Nix commanded, pushing Spark into the chair. "We'll get the rest of this harness on while you're sitting, lean forward to round your back and make this less painful."
The rest of the process left Spark tired, sore, and fairly adamant that she was hallucinating, or enjoying the process far more than she should have, and she lifted a bottle of water to her lips. "When the cranial needle went in... Who were those two looking at Boomer? I only saw them for a moment, but..."
nix snow and echo looked to echo who paused "the last two people to wear the armor while fighting the virus on the ship my mother and father being they both were the original pilots and this needle method is much safer than the original that killed my mother upon cranial link and killed my father when he took damage now with things worked out safer thats provented but their minds since directly linked with it are more or less human ai stuck in the machine..."
boomer took a moment to let that set in "if you have any questions they will probably tell you while using it."
"This thing's killed two pilots?!" Spark jumped to her feet, almost dropping the bottle in the process. "Sorry. I was nervous to start with. That's... Okay. Still nervous. These needles come out or is there a permant set portion of this? I could stand to not spend half an hour getting stabbed every three inches."
once everything was set up echo explained that the reason for the needles was to connect her exact brainwaves this way to the armor instead of directly however this was needed for every time she would be getting in and out they would work on one that does it all at once but that may take time
nix would take the moment to give a smirk "besides you went threw it like a trooper a big sexy trooper" this caused snow to chuckle
"well ill be damed you got nix to act human for once" boomer opened up the armor "now if you would please climp inside."
Elizabeth nodded firmly, not sure how she felt about being called sexy, with the way she could feel the pinpricks of needles under her skin. But she stood, walking around to the back of the suit and stepping up onto one leg. Her arms hauled her up towards the body as Echo disengaged the canon plug hanging off her shoulder.
"See that port in there, put the plug in. The armor will drive it home and reconnect once it's in. Once we button you up, the suit will power up. You might get some odd sensations."
"Mhm." She nodded again, pushing the canon plug into place as she stepped down, into the armor. Slowly, she fed her other leg in, sliding her arms into place, her heart beating faster and faster as she relished her first suit of powered armor. "Feels warm."
She lowered her head to slip past the upper back, finally pushing her way into the helmet port. "I'm in."
as the armor was powered on she would feel weightless her vision vanished before returning any move she makes or trys with her body will be done with the armor fluidly and without delay somthing that really isnt normal for power armor as her other senses come back as well she could feel the floor beneith the balls of the armors feet like ther were her own everything was like a extension of herself echos words would eventually be heard
"congratulation your connected now im sure you have questions and now ill answer them with one thing see we didnt create the armor we modifide it as best we could within the hundred years we as a unit were in possession of it tech like this were used to crate the originl five like nix that being said what your pilting is a living creature that is also power armor...cool right?"
Spark simply stood there for a moment, blinking. She blinked, the armor's lighted eyes blinked. She felt the grace and power of this body, the calming heartbeat and the rapid nervous patter of her own. Slowly, she processed. Then reached up to her helmet to start grappling with it and trying to get the helmet off. "What the fuck?! Ah-uh! What the fuck is this thing?! You didn't tell me this thing was alive!"
echo shrugged "well look at the bright side least your not dead and that it works" nix would look the body over before turning to boomer were as the others it just seemed they were staring she would be able to bit up string of code from nix head to boomers arm as a for of silent but wirless comunication
"so i guess it worked huh sarge?"
"well know if she can hear us, you have the safegaurd in place just in case we need to get her out right?"
"yah boss i still think we shouldnt have even tried this frank is one thing as hes already a freak of nature but honestly i dont feel comfertable with her being in there with it."
"alright pull her out"
"Fuck, no!" Spark interjected, having calmed down a little. "I'll get used to it!"
boomer nodded " Echo pass me the monator to my pda. ill take responsibility of watching over her and it" boomer looked at her "im trusting your judgment recruit but first sign that something is wrong im pulling you out, i dont care if theres a firefight around us ill take the hits if it means makeing sure your ok are we clear?"
nix looks to boomer "he cant order you corpral but i would take it as a warning or promise he cares about everyone and like echo said this is his way of showing it even if it is brash and boarderline insabordanation."
"Understood, sir." Spark, or the armor, nodded. She was starting to move slower, more calculated, pushing thoughts outward to figure out the controls. Faceplate:Open. Her thoughts seemed do suppliment the body controls as her own body's vision returned, revealing the inside of the helmet as it crunched open. She could visualize commands not normal to her regular body. "I've never seen such a smooth interface. It feels... Natural."
She brought her hand towards her face, turning it over to observe it. "I gotta admit, this thing's wierd as fuck. But I can get used to it." A small giggle escaped her lips, "Go ahead and mark the armor. I kinda want to see if I can feel the paint!"
snow giggles walking behind the armor with a sharpie and wrote tap this ass to strangly the corpral could not only feel it but know exactly what was being written threw the advanced sensory.
"Not what I meant, ye short albino bint! Name, rank, and callsign, right pauldron, unit crest left side of the breastplate, please. And some isopropyl to take that off my oversized booty before I use it to put some color in her face." Her jabs were meant in humor, though she was still less than sure of the sheer amount of sexual humor in the fireteam. "And before any of you ask, I like girls. So Snow, watch where you wave that ass."
snow chuckled "keep up the talk there you may have to back it up later if boomer is ok with sharing me." boomer sighed shaking his head
"welcom to the team as yah were like this alot" echo saidwith a grin nix coughed "yes when were in the feild however lets try to keep in professional though."
"Cool. You want me to smack it now? That booty'll still be jiggling in court!" Spark turned, before taking a knee, ready to be painted. "So, I'm gonna need the complete data on this armor. Everything you know."
while boomer begins to paint it the corpral would hear a haunting but calm feminine voice "what would you like to know about us sweetie?" no one else would hear this either.
"Everything you do." Spark visualized the faceplate closing, commanding herself to turn off the loudspeaker. "I want to know what we can do, how to do it, how to maintain you, how to repair you,where you can't go and where you can. Every single byte of data on this suit. I also want to know what happened to cause both previous pilots to die."
rthe voice would pause sending all the suits info threw the corprals mind before continueing "the woman died as she was infected before entering and i was unaware her type of infection was normal called the flue so i at the time killed her with high voltage after backing up her spirit into myself were she resides the male however was to criticly injured after battle that there was no way he would be saved if the pressure from being inside let up at all so as a mercy i backed him up as well so the two could be together it was as you humans call it seeming like the right thing to do."
"Understood. You can pull what you need out of my memories. I... Don't try and disinfect me, alright?" Spark commanded herself to open the faceplate again, shaking off the mass of data. "So. Suit and I had a nice talk. Far as I can tell, she doesn't care who pilots her. If she decides I'm not a worthy pilot, I'll pass her to someone who is worthy. Don't get it twisted, I'm squicked out as fuck, and a bigass needle in my lady bits is not a good time. But I think I can handle her."
One thing she realized she hadn't asked of the armor, and pushed through her thoughts. "What is your name?"
"my name is vinsue and whats this strange memory file?" the suit asks threw the helmet speakers and lists off a breif few sentences from the romance novles spark was reading last night.
The faceplate slammed closed as Spark flushed bright read and found herself wishing to disappear, mortified. "Nothing! Field manual!"
Echo began laughing his ass off "didnt know she reads the same thing you do Nix to which he looked over "i swear i use it for emotional Training!"
"It is a field manual for autistic soldiers on social interactions!" Spark squeakily kept up her story, lying through her teeth and thankful the suit would hide her deepening blush.
the suit would ask questions "are you ok? you blood is rushing to your face are you enjurrrrrrrrrr-" nix had unplugged it and was working on getting her out "that concludes this meeting boomer go do your workout with snow echo gear check double time." with the three leaving the room and nix helping the corpral out of her armor "you owe me."
"Yup." Came Spark's weak reply. "Now can we get me out? These needles itch and my mom would kill me for some of my new piercings!"
(nix raises an eyebrow "Whats a mom? is it like that wich boomer referes to as parents ?" Nix asks when going to her back and pressing a button letting the back open up further to get out as he presses another button wich like a butterfly needle would retract all needles from her body at once while the suit being skin tight slowed the bleeding like a latex bandaid. the worse of it was that many of the needles were loaded in major motor control clusters of Spark's body, leaving her pale, numb, and weak.
"I... I don't feel so good..." She slipped backwards out of the armor, only to collapse under the numbing agents and feel a dull throbbing start to kick in. "next few minutes is gonna suck, isn't it?"
nix nodded holding up a questionar sheet and alchohal cleaning salution.
"Do that and I can go curl up and sleep, sir? Head's a little fuzzy." Spark pushed herself up to sit on her knees. "Any way but needles?"
sorry corpral you still have training to do but i cant stop you from going anywhere while im busy putting away this suit."
"Check rog, sir. Embracing the suck." She forced herself to her feet, shambling off to try to regain feeling in her body. Whispered curses of "fucking pins and needles" followed her as she left the room with the questionnaire. Perhaps she would fill it out in the presence of food.
"he means in a freindly way go get some sleep my pilot" the voice of vinsue says before adding "now we wont be apart from each other and i can asure your safty"
"Right... Sleep would be good..." Spark half mumbled, before she recognized the voice.
In that instant of recognition, she discovered something new about herself. That she could bolt three different directions whilst screaming profanities and explatives as though someone had walked in on her shower, and not wind up on her back, even in her ever increasing soreness. Though the dent in a nearby wall did not do her back any favors. "What the fuck?"
"ive taken the liberty of implanting myself to keep a eye on you." nix would check on her after hearing the ping of the wall followed by screaming hisleft eye changing colors as he would check the readings and see nothing wrong no further brain activity from a alternate sorce. "some strange side effects i guess."
"Bitch is in my head... I need to sleep." Elizabeth threw her hands up and stalked off, straight to her room, and bed.