Planet New Carthage
Lavingy’s Legion Headquarters Complex
14:21 Local Planet Time
Leon’s running shoes beat a steady time against the pristine smooth walkways as he jogged his way around the complex. Sweat plastered his hair to his face, and his stark white shirt that read “FALKNER” across the back and “INITIATE”. The Purple Eagle now barely stood out as even the high tech fabric struggled to wick away the sweat and keep Leon cool.
After nearly a year on New Carthage, Leon had quite a few things to adjust to. First, there was gravity. Now normally any gravity was imposing on a spacer like him. New Carthage only boasted .88G, which meant in order to maintain muscle mass and bone density, an above average regimen of exercize was required. Here, the difference between Imperial and Federal sensibilities was shown: FedNav trained in the harshest, most inhospitable places. The thought being that high gravity, caustic atmosphere and other hazards would make everything else seem easy. Waking up and walking around on those worlds was a chore in itself. Here, it would be easy to become a bit rounder and a bit heavier, yet no one was. The Empire was not about adversity, but about striving to perfect oneself. The 1.25 atmospheres of pressure at sea level made one feel a bit uneasy and made your ears pop for the first few days, but that was easily adjusted to.
The real bitch, in Leon’s opinion, was the days. Days on New Carthage, a tidally locked world less than two light-minutes from its star, last 17 standard days. The average temperature of the daytime side reached the mid forties celsius on the regular. However, because of the differential of the day and night side, the planet experiences a near constant breeze that most buildings are designed around to ensure a comfortable living climate. You never really got used to the sun just being up all the time. There of course were considerations, blackout windows and such. Still, it was jarring.
A loud beeping broke Leon’s running rhythm. His wrist comm vibrated, and displayed a simple message.
“INITIATE FALKNER: PLEASE REPORT FOR REVIEW AT YOUR EARLIEST CONVENIENCE.” Leon wiped sweat from his forehead and changed direction and ran off that way. Another adjustment, in Fed space, you said “ASAP”. In the Empire, you said “At your earliest convenience”. Both mean “now”, the Imperials are just a bit nicer about it.
The office was open windowed, allowing the steady New Carthage breeze in just enough to maintain the temperature, but not enough to bother. Imperial precision and design, Leon thought, amazed even now. He stood, hands behind his back at parade rest.
“Initiate Falkner,” the officer behind the desk said, rising. “I thank you for your punctuality. I realize you were otherwise occupied.” There was a quick glance towards Leon’s exercize uniform.
“I came as soon as I received word, Sir.” Leon said, trying his best not to sweat on the officer’s floor. Officer Allen was, as officers went, fair-minded but strict. He was high in the chain that oversaw the Logsitcae Core, the branch of the Legion that oversaw the training of initiates.
“We’ve been reviewing your activities off-planet Initiate.” Allen said, a holographic window appearing with a gentle wave of his hand. An ID portrait of Leon in his Legion Remlock appeared, along with ID number and his Pilot Federation credentials. “You’ve got good stats so far. Some work with OCOR, I see. Both in logistical and combat roles…”
The Office of Civic Operations and Relations oversaw the Legions logistical and support work in the systems it oversaw directly. It was headed by the Governor Milo Peck, whom Leon had met, quite accidentally, on his first shuttle to New Carthage.
“Outside of that, I see you’ve applied to enter work with the EDGE Fleet as well? You’ve registered a new ship recently with that intent.” The officer said, bringing up the pertinent screens.
“Sir, I’ve seen what the bugs can do to a station. I grew up in a place like that. My tour with Edge was front line in Brib.”
“So the report states. You’ve also run numerous rescue missions to evacuate station personnel, is that accurate?”
“Yes, sir.” Leon said, nodding. The officer nodded back, a quick dip of the head, barely perceptible. Native-grown Imperials tended to be almost stone-faced if you did not know what to look for. Everything was in implication, subtlety and the utmost presentation. When Leon first arrived, his more backwater manners had gotten him into a lot of hot water, and more than one night on mess hall cleanup.
“Outside of Legion activity,” Allen said, pushing the windows aside. “You have some passenger experience registered, and you’ve recently refit one of your ships for…” The officer paused, squinting. “Deep core ice ring mining?”
Leon smirked. “Yes sir. Void Opals and Low Temperature Diamonds.” The officer raised an eyebrow at this. “New ships don’t pay for themselves. Sir.” Leon added.
Allen smiled at this. “No, no they do not Initiate.” The screens dissipated. “We are still pending your application and examination for full induction as a Legionnaire. Until such time, we will be granting you leave to continue your work with OCOR and EDGE, and other departments as you see fit. Prove yourself, and perform adequately on your examinations, and we can expect to see you promoted soon.”
Leon felt his chest swell with pride. “Thank you, sir.”
“Your leave is hereby approved, we will send for you when it is appropriate for your examination and promotion review.” The officer tapped a console. A light turned from red to green, and Leon’s communicator beeped twice. “A shuttle is departing within the hour for the Depot. I suggest you be onboard.”
Leon saluted smartly, and set off at a run. He gathered a dufflebag of his flightsuit and a few personal items and made a quick call.
“James,” Leon said, the line crackling slightly as he road in a small transport to the spaceport. James was Leons hired pilot, picked up a year ago of a planet in local Empire space. Gruff, to the point and becoming a damn good flier.
“Leon,” a gruff voice on the other line replied. “Haven’t heard from you in months. We dusting-off?”
“Not exactly. I’ve got a confidential assignment out a couple hundred lightyears. I need you to get to Gende and get the rest of the ships ready to go. Prep the Asp. Hopefully you haven’t lost your legs after spending all my money! And James?” Leon said, tapping on his comm. “Make sure you’re ready to fly.”
“Yes commander!” James said, the line terminated. Leon flipped through on his tablet as the transport turned towards the spaceport. His mission file required three passwords and a fingerprint scan to access, doing so put his tablet on a “no eavesdrop” mode that dimmed the screen and made it impossible to read at a distance.
Leon looked at the top of the file, and smiled.
“CONFIDENTIAL INFO, E.D.G.E. FLEET COMMAND
GUARDIAN DATA POINTS FOR USE AGAINST THE THARGOIDS”