Bah…………………. writing these chapters takes SOOOOOOOO long………….. as many may have noticed, this is chapter 1.2 and not 2. that is going to be the style from now on, chapters are long and broken up into sub-chapters cuz DAMN am i not posting all this content at once…….. this chapter, chapter 1, will end with the next post from 6’s POV……. that is probably gonna be MUCH shorter, like four pages instead of seven, but it will still be fairly long…….
And now that you know the chapter format……… aint no way in any hell real or imagined i’m gonna get to chapter 10 by friday……………… i probably wont make it to ten posts either, it just isnt realistic…….
oh and i dont know how long Ark 1 will be…… at this point it looks like either it will be the long enough to make up the first e-book, or it will combine with Ark 2 to do so……………
I looked over our home. The Black Lavender Company’s main compound. A multi leveled, three and a half building conglomeration, what was seen above ground was only half the compound itself. Above ground was the office, where we conduct meetings and contracts from any clients that wish to meet in person, the communications array, so that our coms can contact with anything anywhere in the known galaxy, and the upper living quarters, the less secure living quarters meant for clients or temporary staff that do not have the clearance to enter the lower levels.
The lower levels contained our lab, with all our advanced production equipment, the armory, which I kept fully stocked with surplus weaponry at all times, the command center, 6’s nook filled with screens communication equipment and computers, and our living quarters. The lower levels where all entirely sealed off with complex encryptions 6 designed and the only way to bypass them is bio-data scans that currently only myself, 6, and 99 when he visits, can pass. 99 told us to be sure that we were utterly safe at our home, and helped us and the other Numbers until he felt that we were. Currently our safe living quarters only has seven rooms, but we can always expand further underground as per our deed to this land space in case we need more room.
Then there is also the garage and hanger I’m in now that takes up an entire building by itself. This is where all the vehicles and ships our company owns are kept and repaired. Right now there is only a skimmer that 6 and I are in the process of customizing to our liking, my own battle Vespa class ship I had sent over, the bike I had just put back, an armored Yeti-203 omni-terrain vehicle, and lastly a half scraped Fujealian mobile tactical command center that 6 is convinced she can repair and improve.
I tapped my right ear.
“6, I’m back. The bike could use some quick work if you want more practice with repairs. I could look over your work and perhaps help you improve.” (33)
I heard a slight giggle through the transceiver.
“33, you don’t need to make that practice offer every single time you return. I think I’ve gotten about as good with repairing our stuff as I can ever be. Plus, you know that what I really need to work on is my M.A.T.C.C-6, at this rate it won’t be ready for testing until next year at the earliest……” (6)
The Mobile Assault Tactical Command Center……. 6 you truly would’ve been a great asset to any organization that would have you……. If your schematics actually work, this pet project of yours could change the face of war itself. And all because you thought you could help me in the field if you made something like this from the Fujealian M.T.C.C……
“Alright, I won’t make those offers anymore if they are bothering you, from now on-……” (33)
“No! No, I didn’t say that I wouldn’t work on the bike! Jeez 33, let a girl finish talking will you… I’m always happy to help out with anything you need me for, you know that. Plus I like when we work on stuff together……. I just meant that you didn’t have to offer every time! Maybe just when stuff actually needs repair or maintenance? I’d love to then!” (6)
She seems excited……. I guess she does like when I offer? I wish 6 could just be clear with what she likes and doesn’t like, she knows that I don’t do well with empathy or sympathy. It’s hard enough pretending that I have those qualities while I’m working, let alone try and replicate the understanding of people that comes from them outside of work…….. Although, maybe this would be easier if I just stop trying to understand the motives behind all of 6’s actions……. Hmmmm….. 99 has said that I mistake usually meaningless things for containing deeper emotion or feeling when they actually contain nothing…… Maybe I should just ask?
“6, there isn’t any deeper emotional meaning for you attached to conducting these practice sessions is there? Your acting in that way that doesn’t make ration sense to me again…..” (33)
I heard a coughing and choking sound through the transceiver.
“……………………………………………. No, 33 where did that weird idea even come from? Really, why would I ever have any sort of complex or deep emotion for just repairing stuff…. I’m not some android programmed for deep joy when doing chores, 33. Really……….” (6)
I began making my way out of the garage. There was no reason to stay if I wasn’t going to help 6 with her practice. I headed towards the elevator at the edge of the garage, near the door that would lead to the office.
“Oh, alright then. Did you already close the contract out with the client, or do you still need to contact her?” (33)
“Oh, I finished that while you were on the trip back. The client was a little upset that the target’s death was so quick, but I told her that we perfectly adhered to the contract and that any reduction to the contracts stipulated price for our services would be both illegal and unhealthy for her. She was more than happy to pay after I explained all the details on those two points.” (6)
“I see.” (33)
I let the light of the bio-scan wash over my entire body, when it was over the elevator unlocked and opened. Stepping inside, I set it to take me to the command/living quarters on lower level four. I felt the elevator begin to descend the four stories of solid reinforced concrete and metals between the upper levels and the lower levels.
“Oh, we also got another commission from the Silarrae Empire, they found another rouge Reaper guild building they want taken care of. It’s smaller than the last one, but there is also less pay. Do you want the job, 33?” (6)
“Maybe another time, you said we should expand the Company right? Well I think now is the right time as well. I am going to see if I can get in contact with a few possible candidates I thought of on the way back.” (33)
As I walked out of the elevator, I headed towards the command center. When I reached the door, I tapped off the transceiver. As the door opened I once again entered 6’s domain.
6 was in a set of the tight short pants and t-shirts she favored since she turned thirteen. Only now that she had grown by two years they complimented and emphasized all the curves forming on her slim and fit body. It was better than what she sometimes went around in, at least she had most of her cloths on, even if the shirt was ridding up on her. I had once asked why she dressed like this when others didn’t, even when they were in their own homes, 6 told me it was a deeper emotional thing and that I would never understand. After that I just stopped thinking about it, it was just something 6 did.
6 tilted her head back at me when she heard the door open.
“That’s Wonderful 33!!! Hey I’ll look around too, maybe even draw up some recruitment papers! Oh, or I could ask a few of those guys I’ve done a few hacking jobs with, some of them said they were looking to join up with an outfit…… Hmmmm…. Hey 33, do you think we need more tech specialists or field operatives right now?” (6)
I walked over and patted her head, something that she had told me she liked since she was young. It was one of the few things I knew reassured her emotionally that I had made it back safely. I had learned that people often needed more than speech or visual confirmation before they could accept someone’s return from combat emotionally, they often needed a gentle reassuring touch. 22 had taught me this years ago and it was then I started my habit of head patting, it seemed to make her and my other support team members very happy in the past.
“I think for now we should focus on individuals who can do both, but as we are a military mercenary outfit Company we will always require personnel capable in the field. If you would contact the Silarrae embassy I may be able to find our first recruit.” (33)
6 began to smile, stood up, and straightened out her cloths.
“Well, you really are doing this, huh? Great, I’ll put the call through then get out of your way. You can handle the rest on your own right, 33? Wouldn’t want some random bureaucrat to get an eyeful….” (6)
6 moved one of the any holo-screens towards me after entering in the information to make the call, then she began to leave.
“I’ll be in my room if you need me, and remember to knock first, 33. Always knock first before you come in….” (6)
You have been telling me that for four years 6….. When have I ever not knocked before coming in since you made that rule? And the time when you first made that rule, you were making sounds like you were in distress or pain and calling out for me……. How was I supposed to know that all that was just some sort of emotional episode you were having, and that you didn’t actually need my help……..
I looked away from her and focused on the holo-screen and the call going through.
“I Know, 6. Same as always.” (33)
Eventually an image of a rather attractive young Silarrae woman with green hair appeared on the screen.
“This is the Silarrae embassy of Werlaon-3, may I ask what this call is in regards to?” (Silarrae)
“I would like to be put into contact with one Vartet Bell. Please inform him that Black Solace is contacting him.” (33)
“Please wait sir.” (Silarrae)
I sat in 6’s customized chair, the one she called “Pride, Joy, and Comfort” and waited for my call to be put through to the Silarrae who once pledged to fight side by side with me in any battle.
“33, it is nice to see you again my friend.” (Vartet)
I looked at the young Silarrae man, he was handsome with relaxed features, buzz cut purple hair, and bright glowing yellow eyes. He also looked happy.
Strange I haven’t contacted him for years now, but he seems happy instead of angry…… maybe 32 was wrong when she told me not making contact with a person for long periods seemed to anger and annoy them? Weird, I always thought she had a better grasp of this emotional empathetic stuff than I did……
“Vartet, it has been a long time. In the battle of Cromlixy-42 you said that you would owe me something, right?” (33)
His expression began to cramp, but then he took on a serious face. The face I had seen from him when he had received orders on the battlefield.
“Yes, yes I did my friend. I was hoping this might just be a social call, but knowing you that was never really a possibility, was it? Well, I owe you one for saving my life in that shit-storm, and I always honor debts to friends. What do you need of me 33?” (Vartet)
“I am currently cofounder of a mercenary company by the name of Black Lavender Company. We are an entirely neutral outfit that specializes in military, technical, and espionage contracts. My partner and I have decided that it is now the right time to expand, and we are looking to recruit more personnel. Will you help me?” (33)
Vartet grabbed the bridge of his nose and looked off to the side.
“Secure this channel immediately. This conversation is now at a security level of three, nothing that is said will leave this room without my permission. Is that understood?” (Vartet)
““““Yes sir, commander sir!”””” (???)
Vartet faced the screen and me once again before continuing.
“Hell 33, I would join up with you right here and right now if I hadn’t already sworn to serve my Empire until the day I am no longer needed. You are one of my best friends, a true brother forged in the fires of war, we saw hell together and pulled each other through it. Hell we are all that’s left of fire-team seven, but I can’t join you 33. I’m one of the few high field commanders that the empire has, I can’t give that up. Give my people and my empire up. Not even for you 33.” (Vartet)
I nodded again.
“I see. I understand your position Vartet.” (33)
Vartet began to smile, a large devilish smile.
“That said, it doesn’t mean I can’t help you in other less direct ways. Now 33, if you are looking to recruit people you know and can trust, then I suggest you try that Cruxi kingdom you once told me about, Ra’thilu. After doing some digging on them and you, I can tell you that your old unit and clan are still around. In fact they have been extraordinarily active and effective since ten years ago, I believe that was the last time that you and that partner of yours 22 had a mission there correct? Well for the last two years the Ra’thilu clan and by extension the entire kingdom has been at war, losing a war really. You know the Cruxi, if you give them aid, and help them turn the tides of this war back into more favorable conditions…… well then, I’m sure they would be more than happy to let you break your clan away from the kingdom. Knowing you 33, you probably already have more than the necessary honors and achievements to gracefully do so, all you’ll need to do is bring the kingdom back into a position where the loss of that clan is not crippling.” (Vartet)
I knew that what he said was true, the Cruxi were a race of warriors that held honor in very high regards. The kingdom of Ra’thilu was no different, and my actions there had earned me significant honor and even a title in their culture. Like most Numbers designed for battle, with the exclusion of 100, I was able to gain respect and admiration fairly quickly with most Cruxi.
“I had thought of contacting the Blackscale clan at a later point in the company’s future, but perhaps now is the best time after all. If the kingdom falls, then the clan is likely to as well. Thank you for your information and advice, Vartet. I shall contact them right now.” (33)
Vartet laughed and waved his hand at me.
“Now 33, don’t be so hasty. That isn’t nearly enough to settle my debt, so let me finish. I am an influential and respected commander of the empire’s military, I got to this position directly because of our cooperation and the success that came from it during many battles. The Empire also recognizes you as well Black Solace, and I was able to broker a nice deal from the higher ups just in case something like this ever happened and you became freelance. The empire would like to have a relationship with your company, and I am to be your company’s direct liaison with the empire due to our mutual history. As such I will be in a position to share with you any and all intelligence I see fit. If you ever need intel or wish to use the empire’s resources, just come to me. Also I’ll be sending you some jobs from now on, don’t worry you can always turn them down no questions asked, but the increased work should help your company right?” (Vartet)
I see………. Resource access and information sharing with the Sillarrae military. In many ways this may be better than just Vartet joining our company….. And if I can improve the position of the Ra’thilu kingdom we can bring in the Blackscale clan as personnel……. For now that is enough new personnel, perhaps even too much. If all eighty nine of them join our company then we will need to do more just to pay for more space and food, not to mention equipment……….
“I see, then you will be in contact most often with 6. This has been extremely helpful Vartet, thank you. I have to contact Ra’thilu now, but 6 should contact you soon to work out the specifics of our new business relationship.” (33)
Vartet’s face became a mask of shock and confusion.
“Wait 33, who the hell is 6? Wasn’t your partner 22? Why can’t we just settle all the details now? And what happened to-………..” (Vartet)
I canceled the call, and began entering in the information to contact the capital planet of the Ra’thilu kingdom.
Once the call went through, the entire screen turned to static.
“Identify Yourself.” (???)
“33. Also known as Black Solace.” (33)
The screen changed from static to a Cruxian woman, who had green base scales and brown and blue tattoo like markings all of which showed her to be of the lower cast of the Ra’thilu clan, bowing politely and not making direct eye contact.
“My deepest apologies respected Battlorn and clan leader. How may this humble one be of assistance to you?” (Cruxi)
“I would like to be put in contact with the council of Ra’thilu’s war leaders.” (33)
The Cruxi didn’t raise her head, but still asked me a question.
“Respected Battlorn, will you be fighting alongside us once more?” (Cruxi)
I just nodded.
The cruxi finally raised her head, and met my eyes though only briefly.
“Then our enemies’ corpses shall litter every battlefield, and their kingdom shall tremble cowering back in fear. Let the Battlorn Black Solace once more grace our might with his own. Honored be your scales sir!” (Cruxi)
I nodded, accepting her parting words of respect.
It is strange that they still give me the words of highest honor, even when I don’t have scales………. Do 99 and 96 have this problem as Victirous as well? I should ask the next time I see them………………
and that’s that…………………….
33 may seem really dense and oblivious, and in some ways he is…… but he definitely isn’t a Bricktagonist don’t worry. he already knows that 6 sees him as attractive and that she loves him, he just doesn’t understand that her love is romantic and not just familial. also he doesn’t know about masturbation norms outside of the act itself. Why? because he doesn’t masturbate and due to something in both his and 32’s past, he views sex and other sexual acts in a very skewed way. one that ruined his chances of ever understanding these acts deeper meanings even academically since he can not emotionally. trust that there is a reason, and don’t just go “Oh 33 is so dense, even if he is emotionally challenged he should still notice SOMETHING from that!!!!” and move on.
as always point out any serious errors you find, comment, share, rate, review, and all that other good stuff.
imma go sleep now. i’ll edit this in the morning…………………….