Truth was Rote Kapelle had been absent from it's adopted home in TXW for close to two and a half months now, working to strew seeds of the revolution from Pure Blind to Providence. Taking our lumps and giving them against the monolithic NC and New Providence in one place or another. During these months spirits and morale had been up and down in quick succession but nothing compared to the current feeling in the room.
It wasn't tension but anticipation, for blood, for home, for a fight. We were all quiet as our leaders and assembled FC's broke the news of our plan to the rank and file, in person this time, ensuring no confusion. I moved to the back of the room, looking back towards our brief.
"As we stand here, your Remote Repair BS are being delivered to your hangars, from station storage and prepped for combat. Our token force in TXW will attempt to convince the new locals," smiling a bit at the comment, "into combat. The rest of the fleet, meaning you, will stand by in Vestouve, with light cap support for backup." There were some involuntary nods around the room, one of those reflexes you gain from years of briefings. I was one of the nodders. I scanned the room quickly with slight embarrassment. Of course there had been no need to nod, this was hardly the first time we or rather I had heard this plan, but it would be the last. None had noticed, fortunately enough saving me the casual barbs passed around like candy in these meetings. When the briefing broke up short seconds after that a light murmur of voices filled the room as the pilots of Rote Kapelle moved towards the doors.
Some had already remotely jacked into their hangars, or comms systems, ordering cargo in or out of their holds, prepping their delivered battleships for combat before arriving at them, joining the fleet, chatting on their communicators. I stumbled slightly, still getting used to this new clone after my recent clone jump, and my foot careened off the floor from my misstep and then down right on the outside foot of Usagi Tuskino. I tried to recover some, but my tall frame was already overbalanced, somehow I was able to remain upright although nearly falling into her, I started to apologize quickly. Looking down to meet her eyes, those shocking blue eyes unnerved me instantly, as every time I saw them, making my already awkward apology stutter from my lips. She waved dismissively, a small smile sliding over her lips as she moved away, her mind obviously on something else.
Once I stepped from the bar, I grew in confidence with each step closer to my hangar I got. It was like I could feel the power there. I set my body more or less on autopilot, moving instinctively, quickly towards my pod and waiting tempest-class Battleship. The sweet feeling of becoming something greater, bigger looming ahead. I joined the fleet channel, placing quick orders to move some large cap boosters into the waiting injector, my mind meshing with the comms channel, quiet now, assigning me to the second squad of the first wing of the fleet.
I broke the mental connection and refocused as I entered the room housing my pod, already inside my tempest, only marginally aware of how I got there. My excitement grew, a smile spreading over my face as I disrobed. I guess some people said you never got used to submerging in pod fluid, giving up control, that was never true for me. I had always been a dreamer, meant for something greater, to be something amazing, my voluval mark reinforced the popular view that I was below notice, just another man, ugly man, but inside. No matter the number of times I had been warned that I was the bloated and stupid rock I had never given up hope, even if their world was the mountain, my hope didn't die. It was one of the few things that had kept me alive as a slave was this hope, carefully guarding it, clinging to it fearfully like a secret that could be taken away at a moment notice. It had survived that and still it lived on.