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Re: Initial reporting for duty ==> first mission

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HH walks into the new headquarters that he will be calling his home from now on. He places his small luggage down on the floor and glances up towards the ceiling of the building.

 

This place.... is huge he thought to himself as he looked left and right. oh well... time to give myself a "small tour" of the place

 

He first found the dorms and seeing that his name was on one of the doors he opens it and enters. Placing his bags on the bed which was situated on the left hand side and walks out again.

 

"Where to where to" he mutters to himself as he walks around aimlessly.

 

"Ah!" he said in surprise "heres the briefing room which I'm suppose to be at. Touring of the place later I guess..." He knocks on the door and enters. Seeing that the room was still empty he sits in one of the chairs near the back of the room and pulls out his case of minor explosives that he carries around with him and reorganises them into their proper order.

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Awe mingled with curiousity as Julia studied her surroundings. She'd worked with smaller mercenary groups before, but she'd never been a part of those groups. To have been accepted into such a well known and respect organization as the Soldiers... Well, it certainly beat being a librarian! Smiling softly, she gathered her belongings, took one last look around, and began to explore.

 

Her first priority was to find her quarters, and if she got a better feel for the place whilst she was looking, well, that was good. If she got lost... Julia shook her head. Hopefully that wouldn't happen.

 

It took her a while, and after going in circles for over half an hour, she managed to stumble across the dorms. Locating her own room was much easier, and after dumping her luggage near her bed, pulled out a notebook that contained the details of where she was suppose to go now. A small grin spread as she realized that she'd passed the briefing room she needed to find. "Now I just need to remember how to get there..." she mused softly, trying to recall the direction of the room.

 

Several wrong turns and re-starts later, she finally found the designated briefing room. Knocking once, she pushed the door open, scanning the room. Her gaze came to fall on the room's single occupant. Curious, but not overly social, Julia was content to claim a seat and examine the room without introducing herself.

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HH looks up from his work as soon as he hears the sound of the door knock. He sees a blond hair lady enter the room. "hello" he says softly and then without waiting for a reply he returns to his work of finishing his reorganization his explosive pack. After he finishes the reorganizing of the pack, he closes it and puts it in to a small hidden pocket in leather jacket. He looks down at his watch and realises that they were more than two hours early for the scheduled meeting so he closes his eyes and leans back in his chair. Absent-mindly straightening his currently wrinkled t-shirt with his left hand as he and the blond lady waits together in utter silence for all of the others to arrive.

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Examining the room felt pretty pointless after the first few minutes, so Julia watched her companion as he worked. After several minutes, even that became dull. It had given her some insight as to what his specialization seemed to be though, which re-assured her. At least she wasn't completely wasting her time here, waiting for others to arrive.

 

Still, as the silence stretched on, Julia began to feel uncomfortable. She'd most likely have to work with this guy at some point, so it couldn't hurt to at least introduce herself, could it? Certainly it had to be better then this accursed silence. Idly brushing her fingers through her hair, she didn't seem to notice that her ponytail loosened with the motion, pulling long strands completely free from their restraints and leaving others to fall forward, hanging haphazardly from the elastic band that contained it.

 

"Name's Julia. I take it you specialize in demolitions?" It seemed out of the blue, but a conversation had to start somewhere, and Julia was at a loss as to how to begin one.

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"Name's Julia. I take it you specialize in demolitions?" HH heard the lady say suddenly, her tone sounded as though she was at a loss of what to do when the likely path of this conversation would be going downhill. He looked up and looked into her blue eyes.

I'd best continue this convo otherwise i'd be looked down upon by all of those the doctors that operate on people again he shudders as he thought of it.

 

He shook his head to clear away the annoying thought that plagued him. He leaned forwards again to make the two front legs of the chair banged softly on the carpeted floor. "yeh, and name's Houston" he said. "and no we don't have a problem... yet" he continued.

 

He paused as he watched the Julia take it all in. "What about you what is your specialisation" he asked with a little interest

 

just not a doctor as your occupation... just not a doctor... or anything medical-wise either he thought to himself as he asked her the question. He kept himself as still as possible so that he won't be noticed to be shuddering as though he is scared of Julia for some unknown reason.

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Julia blinked, taking a few moments before the joke sunk in. Once it did, she grinned. I like you, she thought to herself, her expression not giving away her emotions. She noticed him stiffen after he asked about her own specialization. It didn't seem to be associated with the question - A personal worry perhaps? Didn't matter, it wasn't her problem.

 

"Espionage mainly. Information and knowledge management is a speciality too." She smiled, shifting slightly to get more comfortable. She fully expected to be asked what exactly information and knowledge management was. Most people didn't seem to realize that some librarians did actually go to University, and very few people knew the 'official' name used for the job librarians did.

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"Espionage mainly. Information and knowledge management is a speciality too." HH heard as he saw her shift a little to get comfortable. He taped his fingers together as he listened to her.

"err... what exactly is Information and knowledge management. Isn't it just gathering and organisation intel for the missions coming ahead and those that we had..." he asked politely since he too was unsure of what it is.

 

He leaned back in his chair once again as he waited for her answer. It must be something really really difficult since it sounds really formal he thought to himself.

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Julia chuckled. "You're doing better then eighty percent of the people I encounter. Most people haven't even heard of it." She grinned. "But yeah, that's basically what it is."

 

Shaking her head with mild amusement, she leant back in her own chair. "There's no just about it though - Gathering and organising intel isn't easy, and it can be really time-consuming. Most people don't have the patience for it."

 

"Mostly I just use it as a fancy way of saying I'm a librarian." She grimaced, unhappy with herself. She rarely admitted that she was a librarian - people seemed to lose any respect for her the moment she said it, so usually she avoided mentioning that small fact.

 

"You haven't just lost any respect you may have for me, have you?" She tried to make it seem as if she was joking, as if it didn't really matter, but she wasn't successful. Some of her worry could be heard in her voice.

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He listened intently as she explained what the Information and knowledge management was all about. When she reached the point about her being a librarian he noticed that her face screwed up with a pang of unhappiness.

 

You haven't just lost any respect you may have for me, have you? he heard her ask with a joking tone but also with some worry and doubt breaking her voice a little.

 

Nope haven't lost any for you at all. he replied

as long as you aren't in the medical field he continued to mutter softly just barely audible as he absent-mindedly stroked the scar on his left forearm softly.

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Julia grinned, leaning back further. By now, her chair was resting on it back legs. "Glad to hear that. Most people have no respect for librarians..." Happy that Houston still respected her, she leant back a little further.

 

CRACK! Julia found herself blinking up at the ceiling. "Ow..." She muttered, untangling herself from the fallen chair. "Why do I always do that?" Picking herself up, she studied the chair. The back was broken, and long cracks ran up the two back legs. Sighing, she picked the chair up, and grabbed a new seat closer to her companion.

 

"What do you reckon the likelihood is that the chair's cost is going to come out of my first pay check?" She didn't sound upset or annoyed, just extremely accepting. Usually she had a decent ubderstanding of her own centre of balance, but the moment chairs entered the equation... Well, it wasn't the first time she'd owed someone for breaking their furniture.

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He saw her grinned as he replied to her question. That is a nice smile but underneath that smile instinct tells me that something must be wrong... just can't put my finger on it he thought to himself. He watched her as she leant back further on her chair that the chair snapped and she fell on the floor.

You alright he asked with a little worry in his voice as he watched her untangle herself out of the broken chair and then getting a new chair to sit closer to him.

 

She shrugged and then said in an accepting tone What do you reckon the likelihood is that the chair's cost is going to come out of my first pay check? he pondered on the question for a short moment before replying

Prob none since we'll just say that it was borrowed for an experiment to test a small theory on how a small 1mm piece of plastic explosive would damage a chair. Then I'll pay for it and then get warned not to use explosives within the base. Problem solved. He stood up and walked over to the broken chair and picked it up then placing the ruined chair in the back left hand corner of the room before going to the cooler situated on the right wall and picked up 2 bottle of water. He went back to his seat and tossed Julia one before sitting back down. 

 

It's going to be a long wait for everyone else it seems he muttered.

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Julia blinked, startled by Houston's offer. Whatever happened to the mistrust from her fellow mercenaries that she was so use to? Usually one had to prove themselves to their fellows before they'd offer so much as a drink, let alone to take the blame for something. Maybe she'd just spent too much time with the wrong crowd. Either way, her opinion of Houston went up a bit further.

 

"Thanks Houston, I owe you one." She smiled, catching the bottle with ease. "Just how early are we? My last watch got busted during a... misunderstanding a few weeks ago. Haven't taken the time to replace it yet." Relaxing and enjoying the chance to chat with someone, time didn't really bother her, but if they were going to be here for longer then half an hour, she might as well use that time to do something. Perhaps a couple of Forms to pass the time?

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HH smiled at her as she catches her bottle of water with ease. "No problem we're all part of the same team remember." he said as he opened the bottle and took a sip of water to wet his tongue and his throat. The cool water went straight down to the stomach cooling down all anxiety and fears that he had when he first stepped into the headquarters. That's much better seems i was really thirsty after all he thought to himself. As he listened to her question about what the time was before the meeting he took a quick glance down at his watch.

"Still about an hour it seems till the scheduled meeting, we're too early" he quickly counted and added up the minutes and chuckled as he replied "We will definitely need to find something to burn the time to keep ourselves awake, otherwise we'll both be fast asleep when everyone else arrives for the meeting at least I will since peaceful sleep is usually a luxury that I can rarely afford" He took another sip of water from the bottle and decided to dart his eyes quickly to both sides of the room and around in circles before gazing with some boredom at his own bottle of water. "Any ideas?"

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"Where is Dimitri?" Xavi sighed loudly. He never liked to be taken by surprise. The sudden turn of events threw him off guard and derailed him from his daily routine. Being a busy man with much to deal with in his organisation, Xavi Romero did not take such intrusions lightly. Someone had to answer to this. Taking a deep breath to calm himself as much as he could, he spoke into the intercom, "Lara, send for Dimitri."

 

"Yes, Mister Romero," the young secretary's silky voice answered. She had a way of calming others down, a commanding presence that gave her sway over how others behave around her. That was partly why Xavi hired her as his secretary. She could always tame an angry client with her various charms. However, her hesitation this time round did not escape Xavi's notice. He was very angry and she knew well enough to stay out of his way. "Should I postpone your appointments for the rest of the day, Sir?"

 

The Commander of the Soldiers took his time to reply her. He could sense her nervousness exuding across the intercom as her last word hung in the ensuing awkward silence. Finally, he nodded to himself.

 

"Sir?"

 

Realising that she was still waiting for his reply, Xavi chuckled at his absent-mindedness. "It would depend very much on how Dimitri answers to my questions regarding this sudden mission that he spoke of earlier."

 

"I will inform the our clients accordingly then," she said, almost as though she was talking to herself. He could not help it but smile, despite his simmering anger. Xavi could almost imagine his secretary nodding to herself as she said that.

 

"Show him in as soon as he arrives. I wish to speak to him before the meeting with the rest of the Soldiers. If he is unable to reach in time, he would have to explain to the team about this."

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Julia sighed. "An hour huh? If I'd known we still had so long before we were meant to be here, I'd have gone exploring..." She chuckled. "Probably would have gotten lost and ended up late though, so maybe this was the wiser course of action." She pondered the question. Forms were rather singular, and whilst he might enjoy watching, it probably wouldn't keep his attention for long. Then his comment about sleep registered fully.

 

"You have difficulty sleeping?" She took a sip of her own water, glad for the cool refreshing liquid - she hadn't realized she was thirsty until she'd taken that sip. Sleeping troubles weren't uncommon, in fact, Julia had once had her share of them. It had been during a particular bad run of sleepless nights that she'd discovered meditation was good for more then just centring one's self.

 

"Ever tried meditation? It's not as good as sleep, but I've found it can leave you almost as refreashed. I can try and teach you if you haven't tried it before." Her lips twitched as she tried not to grin. "Emphasis on the word try." She lost the fight, a wide smile forming as she spoke.

 

"It'd be a way to pass the time, and could turn out to be useful in the future.."

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He watched her as she chuckled at her own comment about getting lost if they went out to do some exploring. "You have difficulty sleeping?" she asked. He looked up from his bottle of water. Must have let it slipped without realizing it... he thought to himself oh well... whats said out loud is stays said out loud i guess

 

He regained his composure and nodded at her question.

"Ever tried meditation? It's not as good as sleep, but I've found it can leave you almost as refreshed. I can try and teach you if you haven't tried it before....Emphasis on the word try." she continued and grinned as she got to the last few words."It'd be a way to pass the time, and could turn out to be useful in the future.."

 

"Point taken. It might be a good idea since we do have nothing to do here and it does burn the time so I guess we can try it" He replied. He paused for a moment to take another sip of water "Hopefully it doesn't hurt...  and well lets start teacher before people start filing in for the meeting."

Would it actually work though... since my case is actually not one of those easy to heal regular sleeplessness syndrome. he thought inwardly to himself after telling her to start teaching him about meditation.

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Julia chuckled. "Meditation is one of the few things I've learnt that doesn't hurt." Setting her bottle aside, she moved towards the clear space at the front of the room. "Okay, first step - make yourself comfortable. Pointless even trying this if you're not able to relax because of your positioning." Following her own advice she leant back against the wall, crossing her legs neatly.

 

"The next step is to close your eyes, and slowly relax your body. It's usually best to start at your toes and work your way up. Match your breathing to mine if you're having difficulty - controlled breathing helps, but you don't want to think about it too much." Already she was enjoying this. She just hoped that, in the end, it would help her new teammate. She had noticed Houston's unspoken uncertainty.

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lets do this if it doesn't work it won't make anything any worse than it already is... he thought to himself as he smiles at Julia's comment. Watching her get out of her chair and started to move towards the front of the room he got up from his own chair and followed her.

"Okay, first step - make yourself comfortable. Pointless even trying this if you're not able to relax because of your positioning." she said. He took off his jacket and placed it on the table directly behind him then complied with her instruction and sat down on the floor facing the wall cross legged.

 

"The next step is to close your eyes, and slowly relax your body. It's usually best to start at your toes and work your way up. Match your breathing to mine if you're having difficulty - controlled breathing helps, but you don't want to think about it too much." she continued with some amusement after he sat down after her. He complied and closed his eyes shutting the world out from him. He listened intently to the breathing of his comrade and followed suit slowing down his own breathing and after he got the hang of it even slower than Julia's own breathing. He tried to empty his mind of all thoughts which he did after several difficult tries with the expression showing up all over his face. But after he did empty his minds of all his thoughts he felt a little better so he listened intently to the next instructions that will be given.

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She couldn't help but smile as she watched the expressions flickering across Houston's face. She wasn't quite ready to go into a meditive state herself - she'd likely forget that she was trying to teach someone, and leave Houston waiting for the next step. Julia was rather impressed with how quickly he'd managed to reach that calm state that was neccesary for this to work properly. It had taken her a few sessions to get anywhere near that calm state. Even now she wasn't able to completely empty her thoughts.

 

"Okay, now that you're relaxed and have the breathing right..." she kept her voice soft and gentle, knowing jus how well harsh, loud noises could destroy that inner relaxation. "Some people will tell you to clear your mind; that you must think of nothing - All well and good, but it personally doesn't work for me. I usually end up thinking about not thinking, which is rather counter-productive. Another way of doing this is to focus your thoughts on a single thing - an object, a person, a place. So long as it means something to you, and has a calming effect, it's fine. Again, this style doesn't work for me."

 

Julia paused, allowing this information to sink in. "I'd like you to try these first. If you find they're not working, I'll guide you through the visualizing style that I use. But try the others first - Just because they don't work for me, doesn't mean they won't work for you."

 

((The techniques Julia mentions are ones I've either tried or heard about. Like Julia I haven't had much success with the first two ))

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"Okay, now that you're relaxed and have the breathing right... Some people will tell you to clear your mind; that you must think of nothing - All well and good, but it personally doesn't work for me. I usually end up thinking about not thinking, which is rather counter-productive. Another way of doing this is to focus your thoughts on a single thing - an object, a person, a place. So long as it means something to you, and has a calming effect, it's fine. Again, this style doesn't work for me." he heard her say softly. He puts a finger up and slowly motioning to her that he was able to use the first one- one that clears the mind of all thought.

what should I do now... the thought floated gently across his thought process. He tried to clear his mind of that thought but wasn't able to for some reason...his breathing quickened for a little the harder he tried to empty his thoughts.  so he slowed down his breathing once again and tried to do the second suggestion that Julia suggested. He focused on his foster parents, the one that made him truly happy and alive. He especially focus on the smile of his foster mother since her smile always radiate like the sun and make him unafraid of all surroundings. He began to relax once again with the help of her foster mother's smile so he decided to try and stay in this relaxed state for as long as he could.

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Julia smiled, keeping her breathing as slow and relaxed as possible as she watched Houston struggle to keep his mind clear. It didn't really surprise her that he couldn't - very few people could actually keep their thoughts away, no matter how hard they tried.

 

Waiting patiently, she kept her eyes open a little longer, wondering if Houston would need to attempt the third style she knew, or if this one was the right one for him. So far, he seemed okay, and he was still okay in five minutes... Well, then she'd do her own meditation.

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Dimitri rushed back and forth, not especially looking where he was going, instead glued to the data he was getting. It would be his first mission, and he was nervous to all hell. Though he'd been able to take on the soldier mannerism rather quickly, it didn't make up for the fact that he had no experience what so ever in an actual mobile suit. Just simulators, and mostly arcade ones at that. The simulations never prepared a person for the one thing that would make or break a soldier; the psychological effect of going off to battle, the panic of being under fire, the moral-wrenching first killed enemy... A hacker had no place being on a battlefield, and neither did a former retail salesman. But he had authorization to pilot, the Soldiers needed pilots, being shorthanded in the moment. So he was coming in, called in for a mission. The possibility of dying was a very scary prospect.

 

Far more scary than balancing a laptop, running through the halls, and dodging other mercenaries along the way. That was just coordination and reflexes. It did eventually bring him into the briefing room, where he didn't see the two people doing something. Instead, he took the first seat he could, and got to crunching data a lot quicker. His entire being was frantic and uncoordinated-looking, and his fingers had become a blur over the keyboard. A person like Dimitri needed every last piece of data he could get, as soon as he could get it. And yes, he was getting mission data before he was supposed to.

 

"...Dear lord..." Came a low mutter from his mouth, muffled lightly by his pre-occupation of chewing on the end of a toothpick.

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"Dimitri, report to the Commander's office ASAP."

 

Lara hoped the soldier was at his laptop and could see the message. She had been trying to contact him through his mobile phone to no avail. As an afterthought, she added, "PS: He's fuming right now."

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HH opens his eyes and shakes his head clear 25 minutes later when he hears someone entering the room. He looks up to see that Julia is deep in her own mediation. He turns his head around to see another fellow mercenary typing really fast on his laptop.

Expert on a computer it seems he thought to himself and paid no attention to him thereafter. He stretched his legs and reached up and behind him to pick up his bottle of water, which he drinks the entire bottle in one go. He stands up and goes to the cooler and picks up another 2 bottles of water. He walks over to the new comer and places a bottle of water next to his laptop and starts to turn and walk away when he notices a blinking icon on the corner of his fast moving screen on his laptop.

"Hey... you got mail" he said to him in a quiet voice and then walks back to the front of the room and drags a chair with him. He sits down on the chair and close his eyes to sleep for a little to burn the time till Julia to come out of her mediation.

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The tapping of keys alerted her to the fact someone else was in the room, but she refused to rush herself. The last time she'd hurried the tree visualizing meditation, she'd been thinking like one for hours afterwards - not the most pleasant of experiences, and one of the downsides of her meditation technique. Slowly, keeping her breathing even and relaxed, she withdrew back into herself, making sure that no part of herself felt tree-like. Even when she was sure that she'd be fine, she kept her eyes closed and breathing calm and relaxed - Thinking like a tree was really unpleasant, especially if you had to interact with other people. There was nothing worse then referring to your 'roots' instead of your feet - it tended to creep people out.

 

10 minutes after the initial interruption, she opened her eyes, and after taking a couple of sips of her water, turned her attention to the newcomer. Evidently a computer expert, given how quickly he was typing. Getting up and stretching in a cat-like manner, she located a chair, and dragged it over to rest beside Houston. She was less then interested in the new arrival, given that he reminded her greatly of her old friend Jake. It was almost painful to look at him.

 

'Get over it Farold,' she scolded herself, 'You'll probably be working with him in the future, and you don't want to explain why you flinch every time you look at him'. Mentally strapping some iron to her spine, she returned to studying the other male, trying to find the differences between him and Jake so it would be easier to talk to him later. Once she'd begun, it became an easy task.

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