Jane had grown up in an orphanage and no person ever spoke to her in such a manner. "How dare you speak to me that way?" She said her face now burning red.
"I am here to train you girl nothing more or less. Now stand in front of me so I can get a good look at you." He replied, his voice was stern and dry.
Jane did as she was told though her mind was still elsewhere. "Have your look" she said stopping in front of the older man.
So he did, not to admire but to study and size up. "Speed will be your weapon, focus your creed, and patience your watch word." He said standing up. He walked over to a weapons case and opened it. Inside was an assortment of knives, swords, and pistols.
"I have a gun already." Jane said looking at the man.
"Good for you, but these are not guns. These are weapons and in time they will be as needed to you as your own heart." He responded not looking up. He needed to get this right after all. A persons blade or in her case blades must be perfectly matched. So he studied the contents of the chest carefully.
"Weapon, gun it's all the same thing." Jane said.
Finally he knew just the ones to pick and selected them. Carefully he removed one midsized knife. Its metal was bright silver and razor sharp, it had a carefully crafted handle made from carbon fiber. Next he pulled out a long blade which resembled a Japanese Katana only it was completely black also razor sharp. Looking at the blades in his hand he nodded and walked over to Jane. “Grant me this wish, O Sword. I may never fear to stand up for righteousness. I may not fear when I go to war. If my defeat is definitive, I may die fighting in the battlefield for the sake of righteousness.” He said then carefully handed the now sheathed blades to Jane.
“What are these?” Jane asked taking the blades into her hands.
“Your life, your fate, and likely your death.” He replied.
“My death? You think I intend to die?” Jane asked pulling the sword from its sheath slightly to admire the blade.
Dalbir looked at Jane hard with his dark brown eyes and smiled “No one intends to die young lady. That is what the training is for, however it is a great honor of a warrior to die in battle.” He stepped back and paused before continuing “The Captain has seen fit to assign you to the 775th Special Ranger Battalion. You will be assigned to the Bastogne until he no longer requires your services. You will train under me until I deem you ready for actual missions, and from what I have seen thus far that will be a long time from now. You are disrespectful, lack discipline, and have no idea how to handle yourself. That will change in the coming weeks and months.” With that he turned and walked over to a sparing area.
“Months? I don’t have time to wait months.” Jane protested.
“Fine girl, take me down to the mat and I will recommend that you are ready now.” Dalbir said in reply.
Jane stood up and walked over to the sparing mat and looked at her opponent.
Jane had about all she could stand from this old man “call me girl one more time” she thought walking up the sparing mat. She studied her target, she had dealt with men before younger men who wanted to do more than just train her. Earth had become a living hell before she was kidnapped. She knew if he was a biotic he would lead with that and so she prepared herself to dodge any such attack. Then a simple kick to his balls and she would be fighting alongside Anima and Delta like she was promised.
“You sure you want this, I am not responsible for any broken bones you may have after this.” Jane said mockingly.
Dalbir said nothing and only stood there waiting.
“Have it your way” Jane thought as she slowly advanced expecting a biotic attack. “You are too cocky not to shoot that blue glowing shit around” she thought as she raised her fists in a defensive position. Though never trained she had seen enough fights to know guarding her face was a good idea. Tired of waiting for him to make the first move she charged relying on her speed as she had always done. She swung her right fist at his face but came up with only air she then felt a hard blow to the back of her head. It sent her forward she landed face down on the mat slightly dazed.
“Do you yield?” Dalbir asked
Jane felt the anger rise inside her and quickly got to her feet “that was just luck old man” she said this time advancing slowly. Again he made no attempt to attack her only standing in place with his hands at his side. This time Jane led with an odd attempt at a kick which was easily blocked and countered with a swift punch to her abdomen. The air quickly left her body and she collapsed to the mat trying to regain her ability to breathe.
“Do you yield?” Dalbir asked again this time much closer to her.
Jane with all of her might grabbed the old bastard and tried to take him down to the mat, but she only held him for a second or two. Spinning free Dalbir kicked Jane clear across the face sending spats of blood flying through the air with a wet slapping noise. Jane hit the mate hard and slowly felt the world slip into darkness.
Slowly the world returned to Jane as her eyes fluttered open she was no longer in the gym she was in medical with the Doctor Rana Zaal looking at her with a data pad.
“How did I get here?” Jane asked sitting up slowly. She instinctually brought her right hand to her head and touched her right cheek which sent pain through her jaw and face. She winced and pulled her hand away quickly.
“You broke your jaw, and were unconscious for the last twenty minutes. Your trainer brought you in, the Medigel will heal the bone over the next twelve hours or so.” Rana said walking over to her desk. She returned to Jane and tossed her a bottle of pills “for the pain, try not to break something every day.” She said with a laugh.
“Thanks, I’ll do that. Here I don’t need the pills, my jaw should be healed in about an hour. I heal pretty fast.” Jane tossed the pills back to Rana “Thank you.” With that Jane walked out of the medbay and was greeted by Dalbir.
“Here to finish the job?” Jane asked taking a step back without realizing it.
“No, just to give you this.” He threw a data pad at her. “I suggest you learn it before tomorrow, I’ll see you at 0600 hours don’t be late.” With that he turned and left Jane.
“I’m going to regret this.” Jane thought as she opened the only file on the data pad. She read the words in her mind.
“Recognizing that I volunteered as an Alliance Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of the Rangers.
Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite Soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, space or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger the Alliance expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other Soldier.
Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one-hundred-percent and then some.
Gallantly will I show all that I am a specially selected and well-trained. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.
Energetically will I meet the enemies of the Alliance, I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass the Alliance.
Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.
Rangers lead the way!” After reading it she read it again, she didn’t want to know what would happen if she disappointed Dalbir again.
Anima was furious when she heard that Jane had her jaw broken and intended to handle this so called trainer. She found him in at his office with a file open a picture of Jane was on top of the paper. “We need to have a chat!” Anima said her anger was apparent.
“How can I help you LT?” Dalbir asked looking up from the papers.
“Explain how in less than one hour Jane has a broken jaw?” Anima said nearly yelling it.
“Just lesson number one.” Dalbir said his voice even and deep.
“You just break bones for fun? She is 18 years old!” Anima replied.
“For fun? No. To prove a point? Yes. Is there a reason you are here other than to question my teaching style?” Dalbir said.
Anima was furious “Let’s see you try that shit with me! We will see who leaves on a stretcher this time!”
Dalbir stood up from his desk “I don’t think so LT, you need to let Jane grow up. It is her life not yours if she isn’t properly trained.” Dalbir pointed to the stack of papers “I knew that she would heal if she was hurt, she isn’t a normal soldier just like you. Worse she knows it, which makes her inclined to act first think later. You had the luxury of a training program all before you knew of your ability to heal yourself.” Dalbir said sitting back down. “In other words with all due respect LT kindly fuck off. You might be the XO of this ship and you do outrank me, but don’t confuse your mission with mine. Petty Officer Shepard doesn’t need a big sister she needs a leader, don’t confuse the two.” He finished.
Anima went to reply but stopped he was right and she knew it, Jane needed to learn to be a soldier. Anima didn't have the time to train her the same thing happened with Sarha, and it cost her dearly. The more Anima tried to protect her the farther she slipped away, it was time for Jane to grow up. “Perhaps it is time I do the same.” She thought to herself.
“Point taken, but don’t think we won’t spar before you leave us.” Anima said with a smile.
“Yes ma’am I look forward to it.” Dalbir said then returned his attention to Jane’s file.
Anima turned and walked out of the room and saw Delta smiling and shaking his head at the other side of the gym. Anima walked over to him knowing what he was going to say.
“I knew you would be here in short order once you heard.” Delta said.
“Yeah, guess I’m predictable.” Anima said with a smile.
“A little, walk with me.” Delta said motioned to the hallway. Anima followed and the two walked the long hallway which was mostly empty. “I am sure he told you about why you can’t coddle her, so I won’t rehash it. However you need to start leading, if something happens to me you are next in charge.” Delta said stopping at the elevator the door slid open and the two got on.
“I know.” Anima said once the doors close.
“Perhaps I put too much on you too early in your career, but I can see a leader inside of you. People follow you out of instinct, under fire you are excellent. However people following you isn’t enough LT, you have their respect but you need their loyalty. Once you have that people will move mountains for you.” Delta said as the door opened to the War Room.
Anima said nothing but the words didn’t fall on deaf ears.
“I have a mission for you, your father will be here shortly to brief you.” Delta said as he pulled up a map of Krios.