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[Jakob 6] - Indoctrination

 Post subject: [Jakob 6] - Indoctrination
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 5:46 pm 
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“Ok, now, depress the toggle button located just below the collar, one time.”

Jakob looked nervously around the room and was met by return looks from his fellow Enforcer students. The nine men and three women had been segregated from the rest of the trainees to specialize in the handling of the Enforcer’s robotic dog construct, usually more affectionately known as a Cyber Mastiff or Razor Fangs. This had been the first time anyone had been able to actually put hands on the system and after hours of briefings of just how specialized this piece of equipment truly was, no one was sure just exactly what would happen once the construct had been activated. Jakob took a silent breath and then depressed the button as instructed. As soon as the button clicked Jakob heard the internal gyros begin to hum softly as they accelerated to operating speed.

“For the first fifteen seconds after activation the system is identifying you as the owner, so it is important to remember to chant the litany of operations until the system is fully functional.”

A sound that could only be described as a deep bass-like rumble of grinding machinery began to emit from the throat of a now standing and alert Cyber Mastiff. Before now, the only time Jakob had encountered these machines was when he would come across the security teams performing sweeps through the factory his father operated for house Van Saar. In every encounter he vividly remembered the throaty metallic rumble and his own fear paralyzing voluntary thought and muscle control of his body. Jakob tried his best to not look like he was scared now, and then wondered if the thing even cared.

“Once the construct has imprinted itself with your signature it will only take orders from you. Go ahead; speak to it so it can register your individual voice patterns.”

For several long moments Jakob starred at the razor sharp teeth. ‘What in the world do you say to a machine that is designed to tear your throat out’?

“Sit”, was all that came to bind.

The razor sharp teeth and jaws, which had been slightly ajar to this point, snapped shut and the rear legs folded up placing the hind quarters firmly on the ground. The construct’s back was ramrod straight, the metallic ears fully extended forward, and the head dropped to a thirty five degree angle to the right.

“If you graduate you will be assigned a brand new construct. It would behoove you to activate and imprint your unit as soon as practical.”

For the next several days Jakob and the other trainees where trained not only how to control the Cyber Mastiff, but how to completely disassemble and rebuild it. Four of the others had washed out before the end of this phase of the training. They were unable to keep up and understand the ancient technology. A lifetime of his father’s harping and chastisement while he was growing up had finally paid off. While he found himself chaffing at the Enginseer’s constant references to the Machine Cult of Mars, he knew enough from the Van Saar indoctrinations to ensure he could manipulate the technology well enough to pass the tests.

After the two weeks of “bench time”, the Enginseer instructor moved the eight remaining trainees to the field work portion of the training. Here the handlers learned how to put the Cyber Mastiff through its paces. From simple commands like heal, sit and stay, to the more complex such as attack and search. With each passing day Jakob grew more proficient, but there was always uneasiness just below the surface. Something he couldn’t quite put a finger on.

As Jakob left the final exam for becoming a Cyber Mastiff handler he saw a bounty hunter leave the Commandant’s office. While bounty hunters came and went around Enforcers, he had not seen any around the training area since he had started.

“Maybe one of the guys are running from the law,” he thought to himself,

“Jakob! Report to the Commandant’s office!”

“Oh yea, that’s me.” He thought glumly as he jogged over to the officer that had called him.

Commandant Thios sized up his recruit as he approached. The kid was smart, top in the Cyber Handler classes and often called to assist the instructor with the other students, but the news Kronus had just brought him could spell trouble for the lad.

“Step into my office. Leave the mutt outside.”

“Coosh, sit.”

Jakob watched the construct spin around and plant its metal rear end with a metallic tink just outside of the Commandant’s door. As he entered the office he marched straight to the worn spot on the carpet across the desk from the officer’s chair.

“Do you know why you are here Cadet?”

“No sir,” was all Jakob said. He fidgeted with his fingers, and his eyes were wondering around as he tried to anticipate what was coming next.

“Just had a visit from an old friend,” the Enforcer officer said as he thumbed towards the door. “He brought me an interesting tale of a Van Saar guild member searching for his son. He seems to think that he has joined up with the Enforcers. Do you know anything about that son?”

Jakob stood transfixed for several moments. He could feel the sweat dripping down his lower back and was sure that his brow was growing damp as well. In the end he decided to just admit to being the one he was talking about.

“Commandant Thios, I… that is… Sir, I had headed downhive without my Father’s permission. I am the youngest of… well, I have a lot of brothers and sisters… and my mother doesn’t know about all of them… Sir. When I left the last thing I expected was for my family to come looking for me.”

“Settle down Cadet. I’m not going to just hand you over. You are a part of Lord Helmawr’s family now. You are a member of his Enforcer’s now.”

Jakob’s mind was beginning to drift, too many things going on. What was Colonel Thios getting at? If he was being sent back, could he make his escape?

Seeing the tension in his cadet’s face he stood up and came around to the front of the desk and sat down on the edge of it. From this position his face was lit up by a rare, and very expensive, fiber optic sunlight that actually threaded its way to the edge of the hive above the cloud layer to channel light into the room.

“Son, you have been a very good student here, and though your papa might have some clout in Hive City, that does not extend to the Spires above. Just say the word and I ensure you will be beyond your father’s reach forever.”

Jakob’s mind snapped back to the here and now. “Sir, I really don’t want to go back.”

“Done,” Colonel Thios had said before Jakob even fully formed the words. “You are to report to Corporal Harkim for transport to Hive: Octundus.”

“Yes sir.” Was all Jakob said as he saluted and then spun on his heels to leave.

“Welcome to the force Enforcer.”

Jakob nodded his thanks and left the office. Just outside he paused for a moment and thought about heading back to his bunk. There was nothing there he cared to keep, or that couldn’t be readily replaced.

“Coosh, come,” he said to his construct and left to meet with the Supply Sergeant, and then to catch his ride to his new home.

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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 7:52 pm 
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Location: WANDERING THE BADZONES
thank you for continuing the story- maybe now I'll get off my ass and write as well. :D

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