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0095. Mech Pilot Shizuka Mamoru - Simon Newport.png

The First Day - Kegawa 

    It had been the strangest day of combat Shizuka had ever seen in her career. The enemy combatants seemed to have minimal customisation on their mechs. Each was equipped with the same large cannon as the other of their mechs of the same make. No personalised weaponry, no sponsorship banners, not even personalised armour on their key fighters. But those stock cannons were of huge power, shooting solid shells filled with some kind of high explosives. And their base mechs seemed to have an unnecessary amount of extra armour as a default. Utterly bizarre. Whatever subsidiary was making them was prioritising completely different to the Kegawan Standard Operating Procedures in the design of mech fighters. But that wasn’t the strangest part.
These mechs were supported by swarms of furless people running along outside, still entering as combatants. At first, Shizuka, and most of the other pilots, had disregarded these persons as over eager spectators, or perhaps support personnel. But they were like soldiers from a historical record. Each of them carried some kind of slug launcher that packed as much punch as a stock cannon on a base chassis. And amongst them seemed to be some kind of elites whose weapons hit even harder, or could position their shots directly at cockpits or other vital areas. After the first mech had fallen to a series of lead projectiles, the rest of the pilots quickly altered their tactics. 
But the pilots had quickly shown their ability to adjust to new combats. Soon the soldiers had been retreating from their laz fire. Shizuka held back, lobbing missiles into crowds of fleeing soldiers, or firing a warp cannon into the opposition's mechs, pushing them back, or pulling them forwards into kill zones held by her supporting pilots.
As she pulled back to the beacon to resupply and conduct emergency repairs, a single message appeared on her comms. It was her manager again. It was a short message, straight to the point.

You’ve made a good impression on the higher ups today. Keep it up and there are promotions in your future.

Shizuka smiled to herself. Day one, and she was already getting noticed. Her hours and hours in the range hadn’t been a waste. She looked around at the now bustling supply hub that had grown around the warp beacon. If she could find the right equipment here, tomorrow, she would make an even bigger impression.

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