[Imperial Border Fort] Unrefined (Basilisk)

Hud Ashraf arrives at the Imperial Border Fort for his first day as a Legionnaire.

A blistering desert that stretches for hundreds of miles around Nashaki, with very little relief from the baking heat.
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[Imperial Border Fort] Unrefined (Basilisk)

Ashan 107, Arc 716

A constant stream of air buffeted the party as they trekked towards the border fortress. The blooming vegetation of the valley rustled all around them. Tracts of grassland waved around them like a lush sea of green. The cheerful landscape was full of life and vigor, it's colors bright and vibrant.

"The winds of change blow around us," an older Raskithecal announced to his traveling companions around him.

The young Ashraf let the words sink in as he thought about the adventure he was about to embark on. Twenty days prior, he had left his old life behind in Korlasir to join the Eternal Legion. A vision of glory had always filled his mind concerning the Legion, but the actual undertaking was a topic of anxiety in his own inner dialogue.

On the southern horizon, the glimmering image of their destination finally came into view. Knowing only the might of Korlasir, the fortress was much weaker than anticipated.

"This is it," Hud said to himself, exhaling loudly.

Snapping the reins from his cart, he pushed his horse forward passing the rest of the group; the Raskithecal wanted to be first in line to receive his assignment. Approaching from the north, Hud took the time to logically scan his surroundings; the fortress was nestled directly in the path that an advancing army would have to traverse to navigate through the surrounding hills.

The wide dirt path gradually narrowed into an unpaved road as he neared the fortress. Soon he would be upon the northern entrance. There Hud would show the guards his letter of introduction from the recruiter in Korlasir and proceed to follow any instructions given to him.
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The guard took Hud's introduction and looked it over for a moment, then nodded. "Follow the path until the end and you'll enter the headquarters through the rear door. Once inside, speak to the soldier at the desk and you'll be given direction from there." he said briskly, before handing it back to the new recruit, the snakes that made up his hair twitching slightly in amusement. "Welcome to the Legions, recruit." he said.

When Hud arrived in the headquarters, he was greeted by a stern looking Raskithecal woman who took his papers from him and looked them over briefly. "Fresh from Korlasir, are you? Prior training...enough to see lightning, hear thunder, and swing a sword without killing yourself." she said, her brisk tone allowing no room for comments. Handing him a different set of papers, she gestured to a door to her left. "Follow that corridor, it'll take you out of the headquarters without disturbing your superiors. Follow the path around and go up the stairs to reach the medical building. Speak to the soldier at the desk there." she said, before looking at the person behind him. "Next!" she called, a clear dismissal in her tone.

Once Hud had followed this next set of orders, he was greeted by a comparatively petite human woman who looked up at the Raskithecal soldier as she took the papers the woman at headquarters had given him. "Ah, fresh meat, I see. Go through that door and into one of the curtained-off sections. Take off your tunic and a doctor will be in to make sure you're physically fit enough to be in the legions." she said, gesturing through a door to her right. Once inside the door, there were a dozen curtained off areas to pick from.
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[Imperial Border Fort] Unrefined (Basilisk)

Not being given even a moment to attend to his horse and cart, the youth was hurried through the initial process quicker than his mind could process. Before he knew what was going on, the Raskithecal found himself waiting for a doctor to examine if he was fit for duty. Hud had no doubt that he would pass the physical, but anxiety of what was about to come filled his chest like a balloon.

After a brief amount of time, the outline of two short humans shadowed the drapes that covered the waiting area. A bead of sweat rolled off his scales as he listened to the hushed whispers. The snakes in his hair began to simmer down has he tried to remain calm. Suddenly the curtain was opened and an older human with a white beard walked in with a clip board, a small leather bag, and a clean towel; he wore a long white gown and look of fatigue blanketed his wrinkled face.

"Very well Hud Ashraf," the doctor began in a monotonous tone, not yet looking up from his clip board, "Raskithecal?" He looked up briefly at the towering snake-man to confirm.

"... Okay, this is going to hurt a bit..." The human mumbled and began searching through his bag of tricks.

"What did you sssay?" Hud hissed, a bit confused.

Producing a small blade, the doctor walked up and tried to hack away at Hud's lower body. The Raskithecal was absolutely outraged at the action and immediately backed away, "What are you doing?!"

"Don't move! This is standard procedure!" The doctor yelled without any sort of explanation and continued to try to cut at his scales. Deciding it was best to just endure the situation Hud remained quiet, though his head of snakes hissed angrily. After a few seconds, the human was finally able to draw blood. Touching the red liquid and smelling it, the doctor frowned and shook his head before jotting things down on his clipboard.

"Why did you do that?" Hud demanded.

The doctor looked up with bored eyes, speaking in a matter-of-fact tone, "Your scales are still young and soft, we will have to toughen you up before Saun hits full blast in the Hot Lands. Your blood loss is normal, shouldn't be an issue if you get injured on the battle field... Now, I need you to count to twenty-five backwards and don't stop no matter what I say,"

Shrugging, the Raskithecal began counting, "Twenty five, twenty four, twenty three...." As he did this, the doctor went into his bag again and produced a short paddle. Without waiting a single moment, the human jumped up and slapped Hud in the face with it. This made the Raskithecal stop in his tracks; his hair of snakes hissed violently.

"ARRRR!"

"Don't stop counting," the doctor screamed before slapping him again.

Sucking up the pain and feeling a little dizzy and light-headed, Hud continued, " seventeen, sixteen, fifteen..."

"Quick! How many fingers am I holding up?" Hud answered correctly, the doctor told him to continue counting while jotting more down on his clip board.

"What the hell is that for!?" Hud demanded when he was done counting.

"Audio and visual perception are accurate under stress, good job,"

By now Hud Ashraf was feeling a little angry, but he had no time to contemplate the matter any further, because the doctor continued the exam without pause. The Raskithecal was made to undergo more stress tests, which included and not limited to such things like agitating his snake-hair and making him getting into awkward poses for extended periods. There was also a flexibility test and a strength test. There was also analysis of his bones and physical history. During this process the white-bearded doctor was bored out of his mind.

Finally when it was all over the short human doctor repeated something in a monotonous tone, "Congratulations, you are fit to serve! You scored slightly above average than most Raskithecal! You will have no problems learning the trade,"

"Do you say that to everyone that comes through here?" The snake-man said skeptically towards the doctor.

Handing over the medical evaluation to Hud, the doctor seemingly did not hear a word the kid said and instructed him to his next destination.
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The doctor's instructions were for Hud to make his way towards the northern building where they kept the supplies. Once Hud found his way there, he was greeted by a grumpy looking elderly Raskithecal and a younger human woman who was sitting in a wheelchair. "Ah, I see our good doctor has already seen you." the woman said cheefully as soon as she saw Hud, before taking his papers. "Yep, this one's cleared for his equipment." she said, looking up at her companion, who simply nodded and motioned for Hud to follow. The elderly Raskithecal led him to a room where two more Raskithecal measured Hud's chest, arms, and the circumference of his head, then wrote that all done and handed him another piece of paper.

After that, the elderly Raskithecal led Hud to a large storage area, where a harried looking Raskithecal snatched the paper from Hud before he had a chance to say anything, then slithered into rows of crates and returned with a rather big one. "There's your armor, undertunic, and weapons. Get changed and head back over to Headquarters, where you'll get your team assignment." he said in a rushed voice, looking over the papers in his hand. The elderly Raskithecal led Hud to a changing room, and once he had his gear on, led him back to the main area. "Well, don't you look like a good, solid legionnaire now." the human woman said, waving as Hud headed back to the headquarters.
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[Imperial Border Fort] Unrefined (Basilisk)

Hud felt invincible being fully adorned in the legionnaire armor. Fitted to his exact dimensions, the metal plating moved with his body with superior ease. It was heavy, but comfortable on the shoulders of the muscular youth. His head of snakes did not like the fittings much, but their wasn't much he could do about that. Double checking every strap and buckle, the Raskithecal slithered back to the headquarters. Ducking under the exit of the supply building, Hud felt like a new man in the armor. With a big smile plastered on his face, Hud slithered down the stairs and back towards Headquarters.

Immediately, he found himself herded into a waiting area with the rest of the newly armored recruits stood. Sliding up and down the busy building, was a short and stout Raskithecal wearing armor and badges of rank.

"All new recruits awaiting squadron assignments wait in the general staging area!" The snake man yelled, "Raskithecal wait in the red box!"

Hud did not move, confused at the request. The higher ranking Rassskithecal suddenly approached him with two swift slithers,"What isssss your problem recruit!?"

"I am --"

The commanding officer began to bark louder, "I did not ask for your opinion! When an order is isssssssued you will proceed sssswiftly and immediately! Is that undersssstood!?"

Hud did not say a word and slid away into the red box as quickly as possible, his smile turning into a frown. Heart pounding and wide-eyed, he waited patiently alone in the red box for nearly an hour before ten other Raskithecal recruits were processed. The snake-men did not speak to each other and watched silently as the other races were grouped up and sent to their respective companies. Hud was extremely curious as why they had separated them. Finally all the incoming recruits had been process and the stout-raskithecal finally approached them.

"Perfectnessss! An full sssquad of Rasssskithecal rookiess," the officer said eyeing them up and down. Suddenly and without warning, he slid up to one of the recruits, "What'sss your name recruit?"

"Ssssevrun Gulth," the recruit responded promptly.

"Congradulationsss, recruit," the officer shouted, then pointed to four other Raskithecal, including Hud, "Ssevrun is now Quintcusss to you four, meaning he is your leader," he then slid over to another recruit, "And your name?"

"Folth Juxil,"

"Congradulationssss! You are now these four's Quintcusss!" He announced before sliding in front of the whole lot.

"And I am Ylzzirg, your Decadrion and responssssible for your maggotsss training!"
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[Imperial Border Fort] Unrefined (Basilisk)

"Well this is a damned disappointment."

"What were you expecting?"

"I don't know! Bigger walls! Decorated with enemy skulls."

"You've never left the Capital before have you?"

"Shut up!"

"Probably from a nobby family lookin' at that gear you're cartin'"

"We are not nobby. We just had priorities!"

"Legion gives you gear, dunno why you'd haul your own around."

"Maybe because from the look of yours someone's already died in it."

"Yeah well, at least mines not so shiny that every enemy in a hundred yards is gonna aim for me."


"Yeah well, at least there's a chance they might miss me."

"What's that supposed to mean!"

"You're fat and we're going to a desert, have fun with that. Maybe if you spent less on food you could have gotten your own armour too."

"Would you two shut it! This is the longest damned journey from Korlasir I have ever been forced to endure! Follow the path into the Fort, enter headquarters and speak to whatever poor bastard is stationed on the desk today, you're their problem now. Shove off!"

Shesha, and the recruit who's name she'd not bothered to learn since he was only human, fell silent when the recruiting officer spoke. The banter had kept her entertained for the majority of the trip, interspersed with periods of mind-numbing boredom, but the ingrained discipline still reared it's head when someone of higher rank spoke. His last direction was met with a crisp 'Yes Sir!' and the newest recruits moved to obey.

'Sha was the only Raskithecal in this particular batch, but it was the end of a recruitment drive, and several other groups had been approaching the fort a few breaks before and after her group. Still, it meant it wasn't too hard to ensure she was first. Mostly because no one else really cared that much or was that keen. Partially because when she pulled herself up to full height balancing on as little of her tail as she could get away with, letting the pseudo-snakes that covered her head hiss, no one wanted to see whether or not she could in fact use the mace she was carting around. The actual answer was yes but not very well. They did not need to know this. This was, as the saying went, need to know information. She was rather pleased to see another Raskithecal behind the desk when she entered. It was fine to let the other races contribute, and have them in the rank and file, but obviously the more important positions should be held by Raskithecal. They were just naturally more suited to it.

'Sha handed over the rather creased paperwork she'd had to keep with her all the way from the Capital, and waited as the other looked them over. Finally, with what sounded like well practiced patter, she handed 'Sha a different set of papers.

"Straight from Korlasir hmm? Wonderful. You'll be able to spot the sun, hear drums and you might fire that bow without managing to shoot yourself. Down that corridor, out, along the path, up the stairs and into the medical building. Speak to the soldier at the desk there. Next!"

It was exceptionally tempting to demonstrate said aim, but verbal abuse was a long standing military tradition. 'Sha had been warned about it by family members, all of whom had served their time. So she bit back any retort she may have been tempted to make, saluted and went to follow these newest orders. Down, out, along, up. No problem. The small human woman was subjected to a stare normally reserved for mice from vipers just before they struck as 'Sha thrust forward the most recent batch of paperwork. Her mouth opened once, shut, and then she managed her instructions.

"Through the door, into a curtained off section, take off your tunic and wait for the doctor."

'Sha slithered through, stripping down to her breastband. She'd remove it if asked, she didn't much care, it was just not usually needed. At least it hadn't ever been when she'd injured herself training at home. It was several bits before a rather senile looking human male wandered in, peering at his clipboard.

"Hrrrm.. Shesha, Raskithecal?"

He glanced up, eyebrows raising like quizzical furry caterpillars. 'Sha, not entirely certain what to make of this, looked down at ehr incredibly obvious and hard to miss tail before replying deadpan.

"Yes."

"This is going to hurt."

He commented, apparently having moved on from the last line of questioning and drawing a scalpel. He jabbed it several time at one of her scales, before moving to one of the softer cream-coloured underbelly scales. 'Sha for her part stood stoicly through this, though one eyebrow was slowly and dangerously rising. Fine if he needed to check ehr blood for ill humours, but defacing a persons scales with a blade that while sharp was clearly too small was uncalled for. It was disrespectful.

"Hmmmm, hrrrrmmm, yes, I see. Now count backwards from twenty-five and don't stop no matter what I say!"

Totally mental. Making a note that insubordination was expected when he told her to stop counting halfway through as he surely would, she started.

"Twenty-five, twenty-four, twenty-three, twenty-two, twent-"

WHACK. The doctor smacked her in the face with a paddle. With only a small pause which likely told you a fair amount about what training at home had been like, 'Sha rose again to full height, face out of reach of the doctor. Barely keeping herself from ripping the damned paddle from his hands.

"twenty-two, twenty-one, twenty, nineteen, eighteen, seventeen, sixteen, fifteen, fourteen-"

Face out of reach, he resigned himself to smacking her torso, which was also not particularly enjoyable, but it hurt less than a practise weapon, and she'd be damned if she let some old human think he'd succeeded in injuring her.

"How many fingers, quick!"

"Three. Thirteen, twelve, eleven-"

"Ha! In fact-"

"And a thumb. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, four digits in all, five, four, three, two-"

"Right fine, accurate audio and visual perception under stress, good job."

"One."

On and on it went, but it seemed like the doctors heart just wasn't in it, although 'Sha did have trouble keeping her face straight when one of her pseudo-snakes bit him. She had no idea what exactly he'd been trying to learn from poking at them, but hopefully what he had learned was 'don't'.

"Congratulations, you're fit to serve."

He finally pronounced sourly. More papers, and on to the next location. So far military life was a lot of refraining from hitting her superiors and transporting pieces of paper from one location to the next.

Now, finally she was starting to catch up with some of the groups who'd come in earlier. When it was established that she had her own gear, and yes it was regulation thank you very much, she was given a location to leave the rest of her gear, a relief since it was rather heavy to cart about, and told to suit up and go join the rest of the recruits who'd been deemed fit to serve.

Though it still weighed on her for all that she'd trained in it before, 'Sha took great satisfaction in kitting herself out in her plate. She felt invinceable. Intimidating. Ready to bring the savage, unruly parts of Idalos to heel, under the protection of the Eternal Empress, or to wipe them out of existence.

"Raskithecal wait in the red box!"

Oh good, she'd get to train with proper recruits. Not like the ones she'd come in with. Again it was all well and good that they were trying to help, but a person didn't want to have to depend on them in a fight.

She was rather arbitrarily assigned into a Quintcus led by a Sevrun Gulth. Well. It would soon become clear that she was the most capable, and until then Sevrun could enjoy being blamed for everything that went wrong, poor bastard. She eyed the other three as yet unknown recuits. A rather interesting mix of emotions was currently running through her. 'Sha was by nature competitive. This could not be helped. You had to be the best, the strongest, the most determined. How else could you be expected to protect those who came under your domain? At the same time, she'd been raised to work cooperatively as part of a team. So, here where those who her life might depend on, but who she also was going to have to strive against and try and be better than.

And from the looks of some of them, particularly the black and red scaled one, she had her work cut out for her.
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[Imperial Border Fort] Unrefined (Basilisk)

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After the recruits had been sorted into their various group, totaling out to five groups of legionnaires, two of cavaliers, two of scouts, and one of agents, a group of nine people approached the recruits from the headquarters. The group was an eclectic one, three humans, a Sev'ryn, and five Raskithecal, all clad in the uniforms of the four branches of the military. Eight of the figures stopped before they reached the recruits, but the eldest approached the group and looked them all over before he spoke.

"My name is Marshal Nathan Helfyre, and isn't this a fine bunch of fresh recruits to help bolster my campaign front. All you fine young warriors, come seeking honor and glory. I can tell just from the look of you...that you'll all be lucky to survive your first battle, the sorry shape your in!" he said, his voice going from calm to a sharp bark at the very end as he strode up to one of the humanoid legion groups and prodded the tubby recruit that had come in with Shesha. "Look at you, I've seen slaves that would last longer in combat, tubby!" he snapped, before he walked up and down the line of humanoids, berating them. After he was done with that, he stepped in front of the Raskithecal and looked them over.

"Ah, the Raskithecal. The chosen people of our Divine Empress. Bet you lot think you're all rough and tough and I can tell just by looking at you....that my granddaughters pet goldfish has harder scales and a more solid spine!" he snapped, before stepping back so he could see the whole bunch of recruits. "Fortunately for you lot, your commanders are willing to take such riffraff and turn you into real soldiers, people who will be of real service to the empire!" he said, before gesturing to the eight who had stayed behind.

At his gesture they all moved forward and split off into groups of two, calling for their new recruits. "Legionnaires, over here!" a middle aged Raskithecal barked, leading the new legionnaires away from the headquarters. "All right, you new recruits, you'll all be going into the same Century, under Centurion Vierka Gardise." he said, gesturing to the black armored woman at his right. "And I'm General Servius Gallea, the one in charge of this legion. Now let me make something clear. Centurion Gardise has been on the front lines her entire career, keeping the Forest of Corpses at bay, fighting the knights of Rharne, the barbarians of Volanta, and the mercenaries of Yaralon. An incompetent Centurion lost half her century and she took command and routed a force twice the size of the one she commanded. This is the commander you'll be serving under, and the legionnaires you'll be serving with." he said, before gesturing for Vierka to take command and slithering away.

Vierka stepped forward and smiled at her new recruits. "Well, I think I've been sufficiently introduced, so there's no need to repeat that spiel. Any questions?" she said, her voice calm.
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[Imperial Border Fort] Unrefined (Basilisk)

Hud Ashraf lined up near the front when ordered to move into formation for the Marshall's address. Peering around at the entirety of the new recruits, gave Hud a sense of awe and anxiety at the sheer size of the the newbie force. He could only image what it would be like when the entirety of the force was assembled.

Orange, slit-eyes darting about wildly, Hud's mind was too busy focusing on all the details that were going on around him to come to any sort of conclusions. One of the first things he noticed was that his squad of Raskithecal recruits had only one female soldier; he couldn't help but notice her feminine form and green scales. The Decadrions where already beginning their horrendous treatment of the recruits by yelling and screaming as they marched up and down the ranks. Hud was lucky not to be the subject of one of these veteran's ire. A bead of sweat rolled off the temple of his scaly head when eight important people began to walk in. Everyone hushed up and stood at attention. Looking to his right and left, the young Rask mimicked everyone else.

A salt and peppered haired man spoke first, the Marshall of the Nashaki Military Offensive, and he was not at all impressed with the looks of the new recruits. Hud took special note in his mind of his name - Nathan Helfrye - and the look of his face; he reminded himself that the man was the top dog around.

Next, the foot soldiers were divided off from the horsemen and agents. The new Legionaires crowded up in a mustering ground just outside the Headquarters where they were introduced to General Servius Gallea. Hud took note of the older Raskithecal's face and name. Instinctively he knew that he would be dealing with General Servius a lot more than the Marshall. Trying to remain focused, Hud pushed all thoughts of anxiety of the future aside. He needed to roll with the punches.

Finally, the new Legion was introduced to Centurion Vierka Gardise. The General told everyone about her valiant resume. Hud stared at her face and shuddered that such a small female figure could be so tough and seasoned.

Sevrun... Ylzzirg ... Gardise ... Gallea ... Helfrye ... Hud repeated in his own head the pecking order that he suddenly was a part of.

Not to mention all the other Officers, Quinctus', Decadrions, and Centurions that were part of this massive effort. It suddenly dawned on him that he was absolutely nothing in the Legion. Precious memories of his elder brother's words were lost to him at the moment as his mind needed to remained focused at what was going on at hand.
~~~
Centurion Gardise did not waste a single moment to commence training. Within minutes of her introduction, the group of new Legionaires found themselves outside the walls of the fortress, in the field to the south.

"You want to call yourselves Legionaires!?" the grizzled Centurion yelled as she walked alongside the formation of humanoid soldiers, "You can't even march correctly! We are not retiring for the day until you lazy pukes can march the perimeter of this field! I don't care how long it takes! Every time one of you idiots mess up, we are starting all over again... at the beginning!"

Hud sighed heavily for they had been marching in little circles for hours without end. The sun was already beginning to sink in the horizon. Runnels of sweat dripped down his body under the plate armor, his lips incredibly parched. At first the dark plate felt light on his shoulders, but by now it was beginning to agitate him. He found himself stretching his neck constantly to temporarily relieve the stress from the armor. Learning quickly to avoid the ire of his commanders, he found himself fretting constantly with the straps and buckles when no one was looking. Hud could not focus on marching, he just wanted to get out of the armor. Hud was already beginning to regret his decision to join, but he ignored such thoughts as much as possible letting his stoic nature take over. Despite his discomfort, the young Rask was faring a lot better than some of the others who were not as physically conditioned as he was; some of the humanoids had already been cast aside to the medics and doctors to tend to their over-exhaustion. These unconditioned recruits were immediately belittled and loudly scrutinized by the Centurion and the Decadarions.

"Readyyyyyy..." Centurion began the cadence in a booming voice, "Advance! One... Two... Three... Four... Riiiighuggghht tuuuuurn..."

Everything started off really well. The front of the marching legion compromised of all the humanoids. They had a much tougher job marching than the Raskithecals; the humanoids needed to step synchronized and in straight lines and rows. The snake-soldiers held what was known as a "rear-guard" behind the main host. They Rasks did not need to slither in exact harmony, but they had to maintain an exact distance from the main body. They also needed to turn in straight lines as well, but this was much more easily accomplished. The humanoids weere the ones who had the problems turning in formation because of all the steps they had to take.

The first right turn was accomplished without a flaw, much to Hud's relief. Centurion Vierka continued the cadence without missing a beat, "One... Two... Three... Four... Riiiighuggghht tuuuurn..."

No problems with the second turn. Hud began to get his hopes up. Only one more successful turn in formation and he could take off the blasted armor. Totally focusing all his energy on the march, the young recruit would not be the one to send all of them back to the beginning again.

"One... Two... Three... Four... Riiiighuggghht tuuuurn..."

Hud held his breath as the Legion turned the last corner of the field's perimeter. Everything looked fine to Hud and for a few seconds he held his breath, waiting for the explosion of anger from Vierka...

Please, please, please, don't anyone fuck up!
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Blah blah, old human talking, might have picked up some stuff worth learning what with being old.

The military was an interesting place. There were certain ranks you could coast along at and never be very good at your job. At a certain level however, you had to be good or you died. Particularly since you could be challenged for your job. So for all that 'Sha wanted to just dismiss him out of hand, for all that her surface thoughts hidden beneath the blank expression that was one of the first things the admittedly rather mouthy Raskithecal had had beaten into her, she did know on a deeper level that as it stood, Marshal Nathan Helfrye wasn't just ranked higher than she was, he was better than her. Significantly better than her. Which rankled and really just made her want to get to the training that much faster. The egg business had set her behind. She understood why it had been necessary, but she resented the delay it had put on her military career all the same. She might have made a name for herself all ready if not for that.

For all that she was somewhat irritated at a human being the highest ranking person here, the rest of his dressing down left her unaffected. Which might surprise a person who'd seen Shesha in a bar-fight, or watched her get into it in a public space because someone had looked at her funny, but that was everyday off-duty situations. This was military. Military had its own rules. If your trainers weren't yelling at you to start with, they probably weren't very good. The trick was no to look too much like you weren't listening when you weren't listening and always be ready to yell back the last bit of whatever had just been screamed in spittle flying tones at you. Or so her experience said. It might be worth noting that while this experience came from family members who'd served their own time, they'd not been actual military trainers, so it was quite possible she'd get something extraordinarily wrong at some point, although this would never occur to her as a possibility.

At least someone in the hierarchy was the right damned species, she reflected, as she was shouted into a new position. Right before finding out they were being assigned to another human. Still at least this seemed like another worthwhile human, as her exploits were listed off. If one had to serve under a lesser being, at least a competent one had been picked.

Again, underneath the veneer of absolute arrogance that coated almost everything Shesha thought, said or did, there was some actual respect, as well as an urge to both learn from and prove herself to Centurion Gardise. Plus a bit of jealousy over all the campaigns the woman had already proved herself on. 'Sha was aware that what a soldier was supposed to pray for was boredom. Boredom was the ideal state. It meant nothing bad was happening and no one was trying to kill you. 'Sha did not pray for boredom.

That said, she immediately distrusted the fairly mild comment and the actual smile the Centurion sent towards her recruits. Nope. No way. Even if she'd had a question she would not be asking it thank you very much. That was a trap. She wanted to be singled out for excellence, not to be the one who struggled to keep her face blank and pseudo-snakes from striking while someone screamed far closer to her ears than was really necessary.

Apparently green though they were, no one else was stupid enough to actually ask anything either, and Gardise got straight to business. Marching. Several trials in and it occurred to 'Sha that while she'd disliked humans and the like before, she might actually be starting to hate them as they proved their incompetence over and over again. It was just bloody walking! They did it every day! They'd been doing it for years! What was so damned hard about it?! 'Sha was not good at empathy, clearly, and failed to grasp why it was any harder than what she was doing. Match the pace of those around you, stay the same distance apart, bam, done. It had taken a bit of getting used to at the start, but at least she'd not gotten it wrong enough that she'd been the one held up as the reason they were starting over.

Now she was bored and hot and tired. She loved her plate armour. Adored it. It had been bought specifically for her when she'd finished growing, and even included the bit specially made to protect her tail. Unfortunately instead of saving her tail, it was currently just a bunch of extra weight and the sun was heating it up something fierce.

This is why I brought the damn leather. I hope they don't insist on full plate for all patrols. Aaagh, really? Again? IT'S LITERALLY JUST WALKING. They're not even making you do anything with weapons or anything yet! How are you people not grasping this? No wonder you needed Raskithecal protection if you can't even walk. If this is the level of ineptitude of the people I need to protect I have a lot of training to do to compensate for it..

She was slouching. She straightened her back again, resisting the pull of the plate. It was hard though. Oh it was hard. She wasn't faring the worst, but she wasn't faring the best either. She knew how to hold herself and move yes, but she'd really only worn plate for practice bouts, not for trials and trials in the hot sun. She'd not built up the endurance she apparently needed.

A glance around showed the black and red scaled Raskithecal was fidgeting again. How did he even have the energy to fidget at this point?

He's not as tired as I am. He's not as good at holding himself how he should as I am, I don't think he's really done it before, but he's stronger. Damn! Have to see if I can get stronger faster than he gets smarter.

She briefly considered the possibility that perhaps he was just simple and she would always be dazzlingly smarter than he was and shine as she outperformed her Quintcus and won lots of medals. This was swiftly discarded however. He was Raskithecal after all. Naturally he'd have potential. All the Raskithecal recruits did, she was sure, if they were just given a chance to do something besides follow the damned human around as they failed to walk!

Finally they were nearing the last turn. The humans seemed to have a particularly hard time with turns. With silent promises to murder in their sleep anyone who bollocksed this up. Another glance using her peripheral vision showed Gardise shaking her head. Was that a do-it-again head shake or just a you're-all-useless-maggots-turn-out head shake?
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The ability of the recruits to march and keep in line was abysmal, but that was typical of recruits. The Raskithecal were fortunate enough to be spared the necessity of keeping perfectly in step, but there would be other issues the empires most prominent race would be facing during the training process. For now though, it was time to be done with marching. "Well, congratulations. If we took away all your weapons, you might be able to make it to the battlefield without killing yourself, assuming your armor doesn't do it for you. Decadrions, take your squads to the camps and have them set up their tents and stash their armor. Then fall out for your meal. After that, we'll move onto the next part of your training." Vierka said, before letting her Decadrions lead her new recruits to the camps to the south of the fortress and ultimately the Century's mess tent.
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