"Carian Spurius, was SIGINT able to dig up the personnel files and home-of-record information on the joes I requested?"
"Roger that, sir. I've already e-mailed'em over to you."
"Roger, carian. How many do we have here now?"
After a small delay, "Ahhh, just one, sir."
Max swiveled his rusty office chair around. His computer had gone to sleep and required some random interaction to wake up. He tapped the menu key and it got stuck.
This fucking key.
He pulled open the drawer and went digging around for his mulit-tool and proceeded to pop it off. He always seemed to fat-finger it at the most inopportune times.
With his computer awake and ready to roll Max checked his mail and found around thirty e-mails each with a military service record, a few photos, and the last known home of record.
Perusing the list brought back quite a few memories of his past service.
I thought he was dead.
She died in a roller accident a few years ago? Damn shame.
This joker deserved to die. Damn shame he's still alive.
He's got too large of a family.
Ah, there he is.
Formerly a commander in the Earth Military Coalition and later a lieutenant colonel in the Earth Republic, a lot had happened to Max in the past ten years. All of his current efforts were on building a new organization at the behest of, well, he didn't even know. He didn't even care.
Goddam does it feel good to wear a uniform again.
The E-Rep's dossier included information about current whereabouts. After resigning his commission, reasons redacted of course, Cavadus had opted to join up with DynCorp, the only pre-Pale War private military contractor left on Terra as far as Max knew. Cavadus's last recorded area of activity was the Topeka Badlands.
DynCorp asked for way-the-fuck too much to buy Cavadus out of his contract but he's disillusioned enough. I think. Did he even like or respect me? I barely remember the guy. Definitely not Primus Pilus material at the moment. Or maybe he is. Nevermind.
Max pressed down the intercom, "Send him in, carian." "Send him in, carian." "Carian, send him i--."
Oh, for fuck's sake.
"SEND HIM IN!" shouted an irritated Max.
In stepped a man somewhere slightly north of thirty-five years old, somewhat larger than average build, a bit over 1.8 meters, with a full beard.
That beard: completely unprofessional.
"They let you keep that thing in DynCorp?" barked Max.
"Ummm, the beard?" responded a completely caught-off-guard Gaius.
"Yeah, the beard."
"You know how it is once you get out, sir. It's nice to give the face a break."
Max was amused at the effect he was having on Gaius. "Well captain, what the hell have you been up to?"
"Payin' bills, sir."
"Y'know, you never struck me as the type."
"Respectfully, sir, you hardly knew me."
"I heard a lot about that fucked up sense of humor you have."
Gaius had to chuckle at that. Max was right on the money.
"Anyways," Max prepared to launch into it when Gaius interjected.
"Colonel, I know why I'm here."
"It's legate now, " Max corrected him.
Now Max was the one caught off guard.
"Captain, you don't know shit about this operation, what we're fighting for, or who supports us."
If anyone supports us, Max worried.
"Sir, you may barely remember me but I remember you. I remember that chicken shit posting out in bumfuck Storm Divide. I remember how you were treated the first few years after we all transitioned from the EMC to the E-Rep. And I have kept up on the news about you. Hell, had I been near Columbia at the time I'd have voted for you under the Terra Prima party."
Max winced. He hated the memory of the Terra Prima movement. Or, to be concise, at the distorted memory fed to the public and it's treatment and suppression by the E-Rep.
Fuckin' fuckers, Max thought to himself.
Max drew a deep breath, "Captain, I'd rather throw a saddle on a gift horse than look it in the mouth. I'm currently building an independent military united called the 47th Legion. You're familiar with Terra Prima, we're not mercs, and we're hear to kick some E-Rep ass. All told I need roughly four-thousand warm bodies to get to maximum strength. There isn't a helluva lot of talent laying around to be picked up so I won't mask the desperation and it doesn't seem like I have to."
"It's not the premiere post but I have a leadership position open for you. I've got a section lead position available."
Max could see the insult's effect and the bewildered look on Gaius' face.
Wait for it...
"I'm just fuckin' with ya, captain. At ease. Commanding officer post for a century but," and there's always a but, thought Gaius, "you'll need to XO for few weeks under a centurion to get acclimated."
Gaius was curious, "So I assume a centurion is equivalent to a captain but what exactly is a century equivalent to, sir?"
"You were originally cavalry, correct?"
"You ain't cav, you ain't shit, sir,! beamed Gaius.
Max rolled his eyes.
Those cavalry assholes are worse than jarheads.
"Anyways, same difference as a troop. Cohort is a squadron. Legion could be best described as a brigade combat team," explained Max.
That was about what Gaius expected.
"Got it, sir."
He's ready, Max thought to himself.
"Report to Vexillarian Campbell. He'll get you up to speed and, assuming you both perform to standard, you two will be taking over 3rd Century together."
Gaius was ready to leave this office.
"Anything else you need from me, sir?"
Smiling, Max quickly replied, "Yeah, shave that rug off your face. That's an order, optio," and with that Gaius stood up at attention. Before leaving Max offered a handshake, Gaius took it, and left the room.
Legate Maximillian Labienus, veteran of the Pale War, commander in the EMC, lieutenant colonel in the E-Rep, mashed the intercom button down.
"Carian Spurius, Gaius Cavadus is in. Complete his in-processing. He'll be entering at optio but only for train-up. We need him as a century lead pronto."
Silence. Max mashed the transmit button down again.
I've got a crate of EGO implants but can't even get a working intercom. What the fuck, thought Max.