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Contemplation of Dragons


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Gunshots blared and echoed throughout the nearly vacant shooting range.  After several more shots rang out, a calm silence followed.  ChengHu adjusted his glasses and narrowed his eyes as he focused on the distant paper target.  He ejected the magazines from his two handguns before pressing a button that then brought the paper target to him.  As it closed in, he nodded to himself as tight clusters of holes were concentrated at the target's heart and head.  He noticed that two of his shots were slightly off and made note of them.  There was always room for improvement. 


He set a new target and deployed it out at around 30 meters.  He then reloaded his handguns and drew them both slowly and deliberately.  As he fired, he recalled yesterday's conversation with Premier Liao:


"Ah, Yinglong, thanks for coming!"


ChengHu frowned slightly as he shook hands with the Premier.  As they sat down on comfy chairs in the Premier's lounge, he replied, "I really wish you wouldn't call me that, Liao Zongli."


"Don't be such a stiff, especially at your age.  Anyways, how's XueLi doing?" the Premier asked in a bombastic manner.


ChengHu sighed and smiled slightly as he knew this was one aspect of the Premier that would never change.  "She's doing well, though she's been busy as of late.  Probably because of the increase in trade with many of the other terrestrial nations that business has been picking up.  How's your family?" ChengHu replied both as a sign of respect and as a formality.


"Midori is doing okay.  She's working graveyard shifts due to the increased cases of some flu over at Xi'an.  Some colleagues of hers from Japan are coming over to help as well.  MingMing is fine, though I still don't get girls' fascination with clothes and makeup," he said with a chuckle as he continued, "DongFeng has been studying alot lately and has improved his marks significantly...no doubt because of your influence."


ChengHu gave an acknowledging nod as he recalled the young man, who was rather complacent with his lifestyle, initially.  It was after several conversations and tours of various factories, reconstructed zones, and military bases that caused DongFeng to begin to see the greater picture.


Then ChengHu's eyes narrowed as he leaned forward and spoke frankly, "While I like our casual meetings, I doubt you called me here at your office for little more than just chit-chat."


Premier Liao nodded as he leaned forward and rested his chin on his hands as he spoke in a more serious tone, a contrast to his more jovial manner earlier, "I just wanted to get your view on the new situation between the Alliance and the USSA.  The Alliance, or more specifically, the Atlantic Federation has started to pressure the USSA into allowing them to send investigators into the country."


ChengHu nodded as he quickly recalled and organized what he knew of the situation, "While some may protest, the USSA is at an impasse.  As a recently initiated member of NOVA, they have come to rely on the member states, especially Orb's FREE Forces and Scandanavia's Black Company, for additional security.  However, it is natural for the nation to attempt to reduce their reliance on those nations through recruitment and R&D, not to spite their allies, but to gain a further foothold of their independence.  It is already known that the Atlantic Federation holds a grudge against the USSA for gaining such independence, so it would be wise to view anything the AF says with a bit of skepticism.  I think we should just wait and see how this turns out, at least for the moment, but we should continue to show our 'allies' that we can make decisions by partially supporting the need for investigators."


Premier Liao nodded sagely as he replied, "You just summarized what three hours of discussion with the Secretary General and key members of Parliament discussed.  Secretary General Ho 'expressed' his displeasure and supported the AF's proposal, though he did not do so blindly.  If the USSA are building forbidden weapons or if this is all a ploy by the Atlantic Federation, I will call upon your unit to respond to the matter."


"Of course, Liao zongli."




ChengHu realized he already emptied both handguns.  He put the guns down and stretched slightly.  The other members of the Red Dragon Guard were either off-duty or on light duty at the Shanghai Naval base though he knew they would instantly respond if he needed them to mobilize.  He brought the target in again as he removed the spent magazines from the handguns.  This time, the target showed only one errant shot.  There was always room for improvement.

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  • 2 weeks later...

(OOC: Sorry for taking so long in getting up here, I've just found out a few days ago that im moving outta state at the end of the month so ive been running around with my head chopped off lol!)


As Jonathan McDowell Locke opened the door to his quarters the first thing he noticed was the rather generic layout of the room. A door to the bathroom, a square area beyond the small hallway which housed a small bed a closet and a desk with a computer and phone. He couldn’t begin to imagine how many soldiers before him had been housed there but that wasn’t what mattered, what was important was that he had finally made it to his base after a long trip from Seoul.


The door closed on its own as Locke fully entered his room, maybe the doors did that so soldiers wouldn’t have to worry about closing them when there was an emergency? The teenager went ahead and threw his bag in the closet not bothering to open it up just yet. Instead he reached inside a side pocket and pulled out a picture frame that showed his parents posing at their wedding. Setting the frame on the desk he also laid down the folder had had been carrying in his other hand from when he entered earlier.


As he sat down he opened the folder and scanned over the details of his assignment one last time. It would appear that he was fortunate enough to get placed in what seemed like one of the more elite units stationed at the base, the Red Dragon Guard. “I wonder if it’s because I’m a coordinator?” Locke stated absently. He looked over the file some more which showed his marks on his tests and high scores here and there, he finally got to the part he was looking for which showed the roster of the team he was with and who the leader was. After a quick phone call and some instructions on how to get there Jonathan had figured out that Lieutenant Commander ChengHu Liu was indeed on duty at the moment and was at the firing range.


Not missing on the momentum and excitement of just arriving on base Locke grabbed his key and left his room blindly to go and find his new commander. Many minutes later and with a better understanding of the base, Jonathan arrived at the firing range where he quietly watched who he believed to be his commander taking practice shots. Noticing that he had just finished a clip and was inspecting his target, Locke took the initiative to enter the room and introduce himself. He walked up rather nervously (or perhaps full of excitement) to the officer, “Impressive sir!” The teenager snapped into a salute and waited for the higher ranking man to acknowledge him.

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  • 2 weeks later...

He vaguely felt someone's presence as he completed his inspection of the target.  He moved his eyes over just in time to see a young man nervously say “Impressive sir!” before saluting and then standing at attention. 


Then ChengHu recalled the new and unique recruit that was to be initiated into the Red Dragon Guard, Jonathan McDowell Locke.  He slowly and deliberately turned toward the young Coordinator as he looked him over.  From what he read, this Jonathan was definitely excellent soldier material and was not prone to 'kissing feet.'  So the statement was a genuine compliment.  However, it was too soon to make such judgement.  Especially that concerning his loyalty and skill. 


"At ease, Crewman 1st Class Locke," he stated clearly as his voice gave no hint as to his response to the young man's comment as he returned the salute. 


"From what I've read and heard, you too are quite impressive in a variety of skills.  Though some other regular officers have reservations due to the origins of your education, I only care about your combat skills and your unquestioned loyalty to the Republic.  Words tend to be distorted one way or the other, hence I would like to get a good idea about your piloting skills.  Due to the results of the last 'initiation' exercise, the CAG will not let me utilize actual mobile suits for such battles," he said with a slight smirk at the end. 


Soldiers under his command all go through some semblance of initiation unless he knows about their combat skills firsthand.  This would be no different and would not be a way to alienate new recruits.  He reloaded and sheathed his pistols quickly and efficiently before he made his way to the door.


"Come, Crewman Locke.  The Simulator Center is in the next building over," ChengHu said in a direct, but not harsh, tone to indicate that it was an order.


[OOC: To 'A Young Dragon's Initiation']

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