Life is funny. How you get from point A to point B to point C is so crucial to who you are and who you become that it is easy for you to forget who you used to be…or who you want to become…or in my case, who you are supposed to be.
They tell me that I was abandoned at Seattle Grace Memorial Hospital at the ripe old age of 2 days, a Nazzadi infant in a primarily human hospital. My birth Certificate lists no mother, no father. You would think an infant would be easy to adopt out, and it might have been if I had been with my own “people”, but apparently harder in human society. I had 4 foster homes before I was 6.
Honestly, I think it has something to do with my eyes…While most of my kin have blazing red eyes…I have…blue, with a ring of the customary red fire around the pupil. Rather disturbing apparently to most people. I think they are my best feature. I like to think of the blue as my Human DNA demanding to be recognized.
My earliest memory was when I was six. When they say children can be cruel, they are correct, but only in their honesty. It was the day I learned I wasn’t human. I knew I was different, I didn’t know I was an entirely different race. I played with the other kids, but I was always the “monster” in our games. We’d play war and I was always on the losing team. We’d play Mechs and I always had to be the bug…it wasn’t until I went to school that I found out why.
Fast forward a few years and several foster homes. My first Nazzadi foster home doesn’t go any better than my human foster homes. I had learned of the war, where my people slaughtered humans before we woke up from our delusional sleep and realized that we were on the wrong side.
I learned a bit of the formulated culture that I was supposed to be raised with but it felt foreign and awkward to me. I did however adopt a few of the white tattoos. Unlike others, my tattoos are simple in design. They are purely aesthetic and have no other meaning than just pretty, much like in human fashion.
Growing up without family jaded me I think. In high school I had no desire to date. Why waste time with something like dating when my goals had nothing to do with having a family? Why have a family when all they will do is abandon you? I watched as kids came and went from homes. I watched “real families” love and spend time with each other and became bitter as I realized that I was so undesirable my own mother didn’t even want me.
I kept to myself, never really making friends as I would just be leaving them behind in a few months anyway as I was yet again shuffled off to another home. Like dating, why waste the time and energy?
The second I turned 16 I started working. Little odd jobs, mostly in data entry just so I could fund my tech hobbies. I was fascinated with Mechs ever since I first saw them on the local news. I thought to become a Mech Technician and delved into everything I could get my hands on to do with the subject. While other teens were socializing and “exploring themselves” I was going to school, going to work and doing my homework during lunch breaks. Then it was back to whatever home I was in at the time and on my bunk, creating little replicas of Mechs or studying the latest in mech tech.
In 18 years I had circulated 23 different homes in the Seattle area…I was glad to be done with “the system”. I had applied to Stanford during my senior year of High School and was excepted despite my academic record, which was horrid thanks to switching schools about twice a year. Due to that I wasn’t eligible for any type of grants or scholarships, so instead I took out loans to help me through. I kept working when I wasn’t in school but debt buried me. I lived off of meager rations and from paycheck to paycheck until graduation.
I was 22, had my BA in Mechanical Technologies and the money was gone. I had maxed out all my loans so there was no hope in continuing school to get my PHD, and the ones I did have were starting to demand their money.
It was on a rare shopping trip that I came across a recruiting station. “Become a Mech Pilot!” Advertised the poster. “Attend school!” screamed another. Two weeks later I was off to basic camp for the NEO’s military.
Nearly 2 years later I was on the front lines in the Alaska Theater. I had passed all my training with honors and got assigned my Mech…
She was beautiful. It took my breath away. The shining black opalescent outer hull shimmering from black to purple to green depending on the light nearly made me faint. I had always dreamed of working on Mechs, never had I dreamed of piloting one. When I first climbed into her I felt a love for her that I had never known in a living person. I knew she would never leave me, I would never leave her. Hell, she couldn’t go anywhere without me, so we were a match made in heaven.
I worked my ass off to be the best pilot, top of my class. But mainly because I wasn’t schmoozing with my class mates or getting drunk on the weekends. Instead I logged more hours with my Mech, and poured over my books time and again so I would be ready for test day.
My first assignment was in the Alaska Theater. I fought hard there. I saw horrors that I had only read about in history books. Yet, I only took forced leave and stuck to the military as I had never committed to anything before. I soon found my calling. I would make a career out of the military. I belonged here…
However, I realized that no one made rank without making a few connections. I started associating with my higher-ups. I found out I was a likable person sometimes. Something about me made them think of me as a “kid sister” of sorts, after they found that I had no desire to make a more “formal” arrangement of course. There was no way anyone could say that I slept my way through ranks. Hell, in all respects I’m still a virgin.
Only once did someone try to take me…they found out quick with a gun to the head that I was never unarmed. I didn’t have many advances after that.
I finally made officer in a few years time, then I made 2nd Lieutenant not long after. The officer’s club was my new place to be. A drink in my hand and plenty of rumors circulating to listen to, I kept myself busy, believing that the more intel I had, the more indispensable I could be…apparently I was wrong…or very very right.
Forced leave, July 2085. They sent me back to Seattle, that place is like a black hole, sucking me back to hell over and over again. My Mech needed maintenance. The Alaska Theater is hell on the poor things. I told them I could do the maintenance myself, I was more than qualified and had been doing it myself on the front lines, but no. The military as usual wants it done their way.
I spend most of my time in the officer’s lounge. I grew up here. There was no need for sightseeing or exploring. There wasn’t actually a need for me to make any connections either. I would just be going back up to the Alaska Theater in a few weeks time. That’s where I was wrong.
I only had a week left of leave when I got the message. I was to report to the briefing room for deployment orders at 1000 the next day…odd time for a briefing but who was I to argue with commanding officers and their bureaucracy?
I reported as ordered and found I wasn’t getting sent back to Alaska at all. Instead I was being sent off to China. I thought Seattle was hell? Nothing compared to what I heard about China. I was heading to “The Kill Zone” to offer support to the units there. I was to report back in 3 days for deployment.
I didn’t go out, didn’t have the money thanks to garnishments taking about 2/3 of my check. They would be doing that until I was nearly 40 if I was lucky…if not…the rest of my life. I needed that other 1/3 for things like, underwear and toothpaste. Just because I was a pilot, didn’t mean I had to smell or dress like one.
The flight to China wasn’t bad. I couldn’t help but notice that there were only two Nazzadi on the plane…and they seated us next to each other.
After our brief interaction I slept for most of the trip. I noticed my traveling “partner” had gotten up midflight and didn’t return. No consequence to me.
We finally made it to China, and I was introduced to my squad. 11th corps 4th squad. 6 members, and I was only 1 of 2 Nazzadi, (My flight partner being one) and only 1 of 2 females…strange for this day and age.
Most of my squad mates are normal…then there’s Carter…Joseph Carter. Blonde hair, blue eyes, the perfect example of a human specimen…He has the gall to show up at my room with a bottle of Bourbon and ask if I want to see the most beautiful sunset…I’m not sure what compelled me to say yes…
It was obvious what he wanted…It was also understandable from the lack of female choices on base. For some reason I had to think about it before I said no. He’s attractive and compelling…I’ll give him that. It was a rather beautiful sunset…But logic dictates that he’s more interested in any port in the storm as opposed to it actually being me he’s attracted to. There are locals for that…somewhere…I think…
My shift starts in a few hours…suppose I had better get some sleep…that was a beautiful sunset…must be the bourbon…That’s why I keep seeing his eyes…gotta be the bourbon…must’ve been some damned good bourbon…