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It has been nearly 6 weeks now that Nathaniel Thorne, former Tai-i of the DCMS and bondsman of Clan Nova Cat was a free man again. He retained most of his personal belongings, at least the little things he still possessed which he called his own. There was a number of old graph paper notepads which contained his observations and drawings from his time as Bondsman – it was his way of easing his mind and put things in order and it helped him visualize what he learned from their culture which was in some ways similar to the DCMS way of the warrior and Bushido but also very different, almost to an alien degree. When the quartermaster of Aldrigde’s Avengers handed out a new graphpaper-notepad Nathen earned the same look he received from most of the unit since his arrival. His education and code of conduct, indoctrined into his very being by the DCMS, reflected in his every day dealings. He bowed instead of shaking hands, he kept a certain distance when he talked to the staff, like a zone of respect he didn’t want to breach or be breached. Nathan was generally polite and friendly and should any conflict or missunderstanding arise his force of personality, some would call it charisma, managed to ease the tension and get things done without involving violence – but he was always ready to fight, should he be forced to. He was sitting just outside the Dropship observing how the technicians checked the mechbays and went through their maintanance checklist. He appreciated Aldridge’s command and detail for these things. It was paramount for unit like this to keep their equipment in pristine condition. The wind blew his long hair in chaotic strands over his face but that didn’t bother him. Nathan took his pencil and opened the notepad starting on the first page. 20th June, 3057 – Lt. Nathaniel Thorne – Notes III Captain Aldridge’s Company of Mercenaries seems to be my new home for the next couple of months, maybe even years. At least I’m back in command and back in my Mech – a very welcomed change to the last months I spent in disgrace and captivity by Clan Nova Cat. I must confess these Clanners treated me better than my own people which made me re-assess the general state of affair concerning the Clans. I had a brief glimpse at how and most importantly why they were on this invasion and much of it was politics – at least as far as my understanding could fathom. Yet they destroyed much and they were here to stay. Even after the truce they cannot be fully trusted. Something I have to keep in mind the next time we meet on the battlefield. Aldridge gave me command of his Battle Lance. An unexpected move I must confess but not unwelcomed. His men are disciplined and capable but I have yet to learn the strength and weaknesses of my lance mates. He looked over the landscape and then back to the Dropship and started to sketch a rough portrait of Julia WhiteElk. With a few quick lines he managed to capture her exotic features, a talent he could trace back to his mother, who had been a teacher of arts back on Quentin. Nathan smiled before he continued to write. Jules Warpath WhiteElk – There are not many female Mechwarriors in the DCMS, something that is part of the patriarchial tradition of House Kurita. She pilots a Black Knight – a rare sight on the battlefield and thus little intel is available about its capabilities. Something I intent to take full advantage of. It takes a special breed of Mechwarrior to pilot a Mech with a huge swordlike hatchet for close combat manouvres. Taking out a Mech sometimes resulted in a meltdown of the fusion reactor – standing too close to it could be the last mistake you made. I doubt Captain Aldridge is keeping records of his Mercs, at least not the way I’m used to so I will have to take my personal notes here and see how to evaluate what I observe. Our encounters have been brief and formal. Then there is Mel Hyena Grimson – Another quick sketch capturing his goofy features followed before Nathan continued with his notes. Pilots a Penetrator, another jump capable heavy mech fitted with a barrage of Lasers exclusively. If he knows how to manage the heat he could deal some serious damage. Something I have to assess soon in order to put him to maximum effect. He’s a nice contrast to the beautiful exotic Lyran, and seems to have a loose tongue but maybe I got him wrong, who knows? Assuming Captain Aldridge’s choice of Mechwarriors was as thoroughly as the strutcturing of his unit I can look forward to fighting alongside these soldiers. Nathan looked up and let his eyes stare into the horizon. He was not quiet finished with his notes but sometimes his mind drifted off when some memory resurfaced from the battle which had changed everything and cost him his honor. One day he would reclaim his place and wash his name clean, one day...