Announcements: Initiative: Promoting Forum Roleplay » Universe of the Month! » Finding Universes to Join (and making yours more visible!) » Guide To Universes On RPG » Starter Locations & Prompts for Newcomers » RPG Chat — the official app » USERNAME CHANGES » Suggestions & Requests: THE MASTER THREAD »

Latest Discussions: Train Poetry I » Joker » D&D Alignment Chart: How To Get A Theorem Named After You » Dungeon23 : Creative Challenge » Returning User - Is it dead? » Twelve Days of Christmas » Empty Skies » Does Mind Affect the World? » I have an announcement. » Iskjerne Ballad by dealing_with_it » Viking Music / Norse Songs - Germanic Paganism » Capitalism » Panspermia: a Case for Cordyceps » The Ethics on owning a Housepet » I just really had to share this plot idea. » Materialism » Satire & Comedy » Platonic numbers » No complaints (a little bit of rappin) » Any multi-player roleplay videogamers here? »

Players Wanted: OSR Armchair Warrior looking for Kin » Friday the 13th Fun, Anyone? » Writers Wanted! » Long term partner to play an older male wanted » DEAD! » Looking for new RP Buddy(s)! » Sands of Oblivion » Looking for Role Players to join an active universe » Looking for Empire of Cendalia Players » Seeking Roleplayers for The Isekai Wonderland Project » Hadean The Brave - Fresh Blood » Just a trophy of status - long term, story focus! » Kingdom come looking for roleplayers » The Last Dragon! » Roleplay Return for 1 x 1 » Players wanted for a science fiction adventure. » Players needed for Fantasy Romance reboot » One(1) male & Two(2) Female Roles OPEN <3 » Talmora: Kingdom of magic » Looking For A New Partner »


Edward Johnson Stevenson

Fire Team Owl Lead

0 · 291 views · located in Mass Effect Universe

a character in “Mass Effect: On the Edge - Redux”, as played by Guilty Carrion


Known Aliases: Ed
Gender: Male Image
Species: Human
Age: 25
Height: 5'10
Weight: 161
Race/Ethnicity: White
Group/Nation: Cerberus
Favorite Music: Country
Favorite Color: Grey
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual


Standing at 5’10” with a broad back and shoulders, Edward looks every bit the leader he tries to be. His dirty brown hair is kept within regulations at all times in a ‘fuzzy’ to the touch buzz-cut, while his face has the slightest trace of a 5’o’clock shadow most days. His eyes are a soft hazel, with a central heterochromia of sharp green ringing around his right eye, and are deceptively expressive despite Ed’s ability to become stoic at a moment’s notice. His features border between sharp and rounded, but when his jaw is set, the corporal looks every bit as imposing as the more thickly set leaders. It’s rather curious that, while serving aboard a ship, Ed has somehow maintained a healthy soft ‘tan’ colouration to his skin.

Despite being the lead of his team, and his belief in leading by example, Edward doesn't completely stand par with Logan or Maya’s builds, even if he is far ahead of Roger. He lacks the thicker muscle both have built, and most blame it ostensibly on his decidedly horrible lack of dedication to hand to hand combat. The corporal only has a few scars here and there from his brief military career, largest among them being a rather nasty burn scar on his left bicep.​ He's usually in his uniform, even off duty, but on the odd days where he dresses casually, the sergeant usually wears some variety of shirt combined with an old, light brown leather jacket from his younger days.

Psychology Report

Ed has a fairly straightforward plan for leadership. Do not ask your men to do anything you would not do yourself. He takes leading both seriously and literally; if you‘re going into hell, expect him to be a few paces ahead of you yelling encouragement and to ignore the heat. In action, he’s serious and disciplined; with a cool head on his shoulders it takes something serious to phase Ed when he’s in his ‘zone’.

Outside of operations, the sergeant is content to let his squad simply be themselves, provided they don’t cause too much trouble and routinely spend time together. He views the interactions between his team with much amusement, which often leads him to letting them go on perhaps longer than appropriate. On several occasions he’s been know to goad his team for amusement, although nowhere near as constantly as Maya or Roger. Ed takes an almost fatherly pride in their successes, and doesn't like to take credit for their achievements himself, preferring to praise those under him instead.

Something of an intellectual, Ed enjoys games of strategy and thought, as well as reading up on famous military minds; know to quote the Art of War when appropriate, particularly 'Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.' It's unclear if Ed's interest in the finer points of warfare and command indicate an interest in climbing the ranks to positions of influence, but it makes the fire team leader quite well liked among both marines and his superiors.

He has difficultly with failure however, leading him to be overly critical of his choices, although his belief in firm leadership prevents him from sharing such concerns with his team. He won't shy away from fault, no matter how badly he's fucked up, and despises being told that he is guiltless when he feels otherwise. It’s one of the few barriers he’s left up between him and his team, although Maya has a horrible habit of seeing straight through it.


Cerberus Resources Compiling...

So begins...

Edward Johnson Stevenson's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Maya Salazar Character Portrait: Vala Katarina Buchan Character Portrait: Malina Topor Character Portrait: Roger Pollard Character Portrait: Martin Grien
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

2 Hours Later...

Deck 2 of the Eye of Infinity was one of it's quieter portions, predominantly occupied by offices and quarters for the many junior officers aboard the cruiser. What few amenities it had were predominantly restricted for officer use, so it kept the deck largely free of unnecessary personnel. She enjoyed the peace and quiet it provided, away from the bustle of the crew. Vala passed by a few of the ship's MAs, sparing them a brief glance out of the corner of her eye as she went, but neither seemed to pay her any heed. Not that they needed to.

Following the mission, she'd retreated to her quarters for a well deserved shower and a change of clothes, opting for something casual instead of her officer's uniform. She fiddled with the phoenix pin affixed to the lapel of her double-breasted, charcoal grey coat, left open to reveal her light white blouse and the small black choker round her neck. With soft black slacks and leather boots that extended up much of her shin, she didn't look like she was the Tac-Operations Commander, and in her down time, she preferred it that way.

Brushing a few strands of her loose hair from her vision, she slowed to a stop before one of the many bulkhead doors along the deck. It was polished and smooth, with the words 'Serket's Sting' emblazoned upon the metal with the image of a scorpion just beneath the text. With a quick swipe of her hand, the red haptic interface hovering above the surface turned green, and the door slid open, the interior greeting her with soft lighting and gentle ambient music.

Crossing the threshold, she gave the room a curious once-over as she approached the long, polished bar that stretched along the entirety of the lounge's left wall. Countless bottles lined the glass-faced fridges behind the counter, beers and liqueurs collected from all corners of the galaxy for the enjoyment of it's patrons. Across from it, sat a series of booths built into the bulkhead of the wall; open but still providing seclusion if so desired. Slightly elevated beyond the main area, there was a small recreational area with pool tables as well as a few tables for cards. A familiar face sat behind one such table, but she gave the figure little more than a wave as she took one of the seats at the bar.

"Howdy, Ivory." The even drawl drew her eyes to the source, who grinned at her from behind the bar. The bartender wasn't a very tall woman, standing a few inches shorter than the commander herself, with a much more relaxed posture than the military patrons who frequented her lounge. Her dark brown eyes were friendly, and the lopsided grin on her pale face was welcoming even if it hinted at the slight threat of venom. "Nice of you to finally visit my fine establishment."

"I've been busy, Alexis." Vala replied lightly, returning the woman's smile as she tapped a nail on the smooth counter. "It looks great. Did they let you design it?" Alexis glanced out at the room, nodding slightly. "Who knew you could actually put something cohesive together aside from a raid?"

"Bite me." The bartender shot back, laughing at the jab nonetheless. "It's my second bar, I got all the stupid things worked out when I made the first one." She glanced through her black bangs pointedly. "More than I can say for some people."

"Point taken." Vala slipped off her coat, handing it to Alexis as her eyes flicked over the various drinks. "Seen much of the staff yet?"

"Nah. First bit on a new ship is pretty chaotic as everyone finds their groove. No one has time to kick back and enjoy some booze." She explained, moving down the bar to place the coat in the small closet hidden behind it. The commander took the brief chance to examine the white dress shirt and smooth black vest her friend had donned as her uniform, chuckling lightly at the sloppily rolled sleeves that exposed her heavily scarred arms. "Something funny?"

"Nope. Hopefully you start getting some business soon. I can't imagine it's fun being in here all day with only Nulfem for company." An amused laugh echoed from the rec-area, earning a grin from Vala as the bartender rooted through one of the fridges for a drink. "Although it's restricted access so I'm not sure if you're going to get too many."

"Restricted to Officers." Alexis placed a bottle of beer down before her, popping off the cap with practiced ease before continuing. "And I don't know if you checked the rosters, but this ship has enough officers to fill this place a couple times over with how many divisions it has. Not that it matters. I get paid even if all I do is stand here all day."

"Which would bore you to tears."

"Makes the prosthetic itch too." She knocked against her left leg, which echoed with a metallic ring softly. "I miss the days of just the cane."

"All you did was complain about being tired when you had the cane." Vala retorted, taking a tentative first sip of her drink. "...that's not bad."

"Almost as if I know you or something." Alexis joked, leaning her hip on the counter with an arm out as her brace. "Its a popular brand in the colonies right now, so I snagged a few crates to see what the fuss was about. Can't say it's too my tastes, but at least someone likes it." There was a brief pause before she continued. "So, since the ship went all blue earlier..."

"That was for me, yes. And I'm of the impression everything is likely classified in 16 different ways." The two shared knowing looks, before Vala sighed into her drink. "It was stressful, let's say. Hence why I'm here."

"And I was hoping it was for my company." The entrance hissed open, and the two glanced to the new patrons. Alexis cocked an eyebrow. "I don't remember you two being officers." Malina stuck out her tongue, piercing glinting briefly in the dim light before the mercenary trudged over to the bar and dropped into a stool beside Vala. "By all means, make yourself at home."

"Thanks, 'Scorpion'." Mal remarked, leaning her elbows on the counter and letting her head hang back with a heavy sigh. Martin stood for a moment, before his partner jerked her head at the stool next to hers. "Park it." The quiet man complied, lowering himself into his seat slowly. "Moron got a burn from his little 'bad-ass' moment. Had to get some cooling gel from the med-bay." She explained, shooting him a sideways glare that the gunman only acknowledge with a half-glance.

"Charming. What's your poison?" Alexis inquired dryly, getting a soft 'water' from Martin and a demand for something hard from the pilot. "Coming right up." The bartender moved off to fill the order, leaving the three in a companionable silence.

Not that Mal was one for quiet. " have the eggheads found anything worthwhile?"

Vala chuckled as she took a small sip of her drink. "It's been what? 2 hours at most, Mal? They're scientists, not miracle workers." The mercenary grunted irritably. "It didn't even hit you, I made sure of that. No need to be so grumpy."

"You fought a death bug the size of a shuttle filled with skulls. Why aren't you grumpy? Or at least stressed?" Malina fired back, sitting straight and spinning her seat slightly to face the commander fully. "If I had had Deadra-"

"That thing would have tried to mulch it as well. As soon as it got up, it would have noticed it just like it did the shuttle and come to mulch it. Guns or no, we don't know if we'd have been able to stop it before it got to the gunship." Vala stated evenly, eyes sharply sliding to her friend. "I'm not prepared to make that kind of gamble on your life for a few bits of data, Malina." As if to emphasize the end of the conversation, Alexis returned, placing down the mercenaries' drinks.

"Man, I wish I had been a merc back in my field days. I didn't know it gave me sassing rights." The bartender smirked, earning a muttered grumble from the pilot as she took her drink. Vala simply chuckled at the two, sparing a glance up towards the recreation area.

"Sounds like you had quite the day." A smooth voice intoned, and she turned her seat 180 to look at the suited figure addressing her. She knew who it was the moment she saw the designer suit, glancing up to the perfect smile and neutral eyes of the man, ignoring the cards he shuffled idly in his hands. "Commander Buchan. A pleasure as always."

"Nulfem. What brings you down from your table?" She replied respectfully, setting her drink aside while the others looked to the man curiously. "I hope it's not too challenge me to a game, since we both know I've learnt my lesson by now."

His smile shifted into a grin, his shuffling coming to a perfect stop. "A man can dream, can he not? It's so difficult to find someone to play with these days." Slipping the deck into his pocket smoothly, Nulfem looked to Alexis briefly. "Another whiskey if you don't mind." She turned to the fridges, as he continued. "But perhaps there are more to my motives. I thought I might congratulate you," He motioned to the mercenaries with one hand, "and your team on your successful operation. Minus perhaps the kodiak destruction."

"I can't say I was thrilled with destroying a shuttle on my first operation aboard the cruiser myself." Vala admitted. "But thank you, Keagan. Have you seen anything recently in your network that might have pertained to Sephoroy?"

"Nothing, I'm afraid. I would have brought it to your attention otherwise."

"I figured as much. Well, keep me informed if anything happens to come up. I doubt we've gotten anything conclusive out of this yet, so I'm not taking anything off the table." She looked to her bottle, mostly empty. "But I'm not here for much work. Relaxation is my objective for tonight."

"Heaven forbid." Alexis muttered, placing a fresh bottle down for her and sliding Nulfem's whiskey to him on a coaster. "I'm still amazed you even took time to come see me, let alone actually chill out."

"You make it sound like I'm still a workaholic, Alexis."

The bartender snorted. "You are. Just a recovering one."

"Allow me to prove you wrong. Nulfem, how about a game?" He raised a brow, but she held up a finger sharply. "Pool. Not a card game. I've got War-Games with Commander Horn tomorrow, I don't need the stress of trying to make you not cheat."

"I don't cheat." He explained casually, collecting his drink. "I just happen to always win."

"Sure." She looked to the others. "You interested in a round? You too, Alexis, I don't think you have much to worry about clientele wise."

"Ignoring that last bit, sure, I think I can take some time to put you in your place." Scorpion answered, her grin betraying her interest in the game. "Maybe if you win I won't charge you."

"Hell, that's enough to get me on board." Malina butted in, rubbing her hands together eagerly. "Martin will play too." If he gave any mind to her just deciding his participation, Martin didn't show it, simply smiling and shaking his head. "No crying when I win though!"

"I'll hold back the tears somehow, I'm sure." Alexis replied, rounding the bar. "Let's get this going, people. I don't have all night." Vala chuckled, grabbing her drink and following after them.

"Alright, so who's playing first?"

10 Hours Later...

If there was one thing that Sparrow hated more than paperwork, it was alarms. Predominantly alarm clocks, since it was difficult to hate fire alarms, impact alarms, and shield alarms since they were just trying to make her aware to stay not dead. Alarms clocks on the other hand, existed purely to ruin perfectly good sleep, and that was just sick and wrong on so many levels.

Analyzing her hate though, did not make the damn thing shut up. Pushing herself up with a light groan, the redhead tugged the covers off and shot a menacing, but groggy, glare at the haptic alarm happily screeching beside her bed. A quick slap from her hand stopped it's cacophony, but the damage was done, and she was awake. Why had she not turned the damn thing off when it was her only 'sleep-in' day?

There was a light breath beside her, and the reason came back with sudden clarity. Ah, yes. Preoccupied. She thought, glancing to the source which was still sound asleep despite the awful racket. He...really can sleep through just about anything, huh? Her emerald eyes softened lightly as she leaned partially down over the slipping man, a gentle smile on her face as she touched the stubble along his jaw. Her skin looked much paler next to his natural tan, even feeling warmer to the touch. "Hey, Roger." She murmured, half-tempted to simply go right back to sleep in the very welcoming warmth.

After a moment, his hazel eyes flickered open, half-asleep but they found her own and settled there. After a moment, he yawned out. "Mornin', Lieuten-" Her hand smacked him gently on the side of the face, her smile flickering briefly into a tight, displeased line. "...sorry. Morning, Sparrow." She pulled back as he sat up, rubbing his eyes wearily. "I haven't slept like that in awhile..."

"Can't say I have either." She replied, rising from the mattress with a stretch and a crack of her neck. "But then, I have a fairly good idea as to why, and I hope it can be a more regular thing." The lieutenant grinned back at Roger, who diverted his gaze with a slight blush. "That aside, it's our first free day together on-board this tub. I say we see what she's got to offer, take a bit of a grand tour."

The younger man nodded. "Sounds good to me. I'll have to head back to my room for...ah, change of clothes." He glanced to the scattered uniforms on the floor, before a pair of jeans promptly collided with his face. "I'm not going to wear one of you-these are mine. Why do you..?"

"Seriously? You really think I don't keep a few spares in your size kicking around?" She laughed, grinning at him as she rummaged through her closet. "It's easier to have some on hand, just in case." Easier if you just stayed here, honestly. She added mentally, glancing at him in her peripheries as he got out of bed.

"Yeah, that makes sense." Roger agreed, eyeing the jeans before looking to her. "Do I get a shirt too? Or am I supposed to just wander the ship half-dressed?" Sparrow paused, a t-shirt in hand as she rubbed her chin in thought.

"I was going to give you one, but now that you mention it..." Her grin turned impish, as he paled slightly. "I wouldn't be entirely opposed to the idea."

" might approve but I think I might get skinned alive if it gets to O'Ryan or the Commander..." The private mumbled, looking far more concerned than was likely warranted. "I'm kind of attached to it where it is, you know..?"

"I suppose I am as well. I might have trained you a little...too good." The lieutenant tossed him the shirt, before tugging off her own and grabbing a few random items from her closet. "Hurry up, I want to get moving!" The door to her personal bathroom open sharply as she stepped over, glancing at him with a raised brow. "Shower time, c'mon."


"I have a water budget, so you either get in now, or you wait and go to the public use ones later." She stated, gesturing sharply to the open door. After a moment, he tentatively crossed the room to her, earning a grin. "Actually got the hint? I am training you well." Placing a quick kiss on his cheek, she stuck her tongue out as she pulled him in. "It's just a shower, Private, so relax."


"I still can't really get over the fact that the food in the Mess actually tastes like food." Sparrow rambled happily, earning a smile from her partner as he tried to keep pace with her stride. The two moved along the marine deck, her arm wrapped around his with fingers laced, actually looking the part of a couple despite being on a massive warship.

"It's a little surprising, yeah. Better than the stuff they gave us back in the old cell." The private's cheeks held the slightest tint of red, she noted, but Roger had somehow managed to remain somewhat shy about their relationship despite her...less than subtle handling. "I guess that's just a perk of being in a combat outfit?"

"They have to make it up to us, since we have to run at bullets more now." They shared a light laugh, their pace slowing as she considered where next to head. "What should we do now? There's bound to be a few observation bays around, we could see what the views like...or I heard we have a pool. Could be worth checking out." He gave her a skeptical look. "You don't believe me?"

"How could they justify a pool on a cruiser? I mean, yeah, it's huge, but that just seems...ridiculous?" Before Sparrow could respond, another voice cut into their conversation.

"Cerberus has more cash than they know what to do with, obviously." A rough hand slapped Roger's shoulder, as the source stepped up beside him. "For a rich kid, you sure lack imagination." The woman's light grey eyes flicked to Sparrow, dulling with poorly hidden dislike, an expression the lieutenant mirrored. "Lieutenant."

"Salazar." The two shared a cold gaze for a moment longer, before two more men appeared on Salazar's flank. "Hey, Ed, Logan." Roger gave the three a slight wave with his free hand, face noticeably redder at their presence. "I hope you aren't planning on snatching him for some fire-team stuff. I'm not above pulling rank."

Salazar opened her mouth quickly, but Ed beat her to the punch. "I was more wondering where he was, Ma'am. I should have guessed he was with you. Day off, finally?" His tone was friendly, but respectful, and it made the sergeant an agreeable man.

"Yup. Taking a proper tour, seeing the sights. Did you know the food here is edible? Amazing!" Ed chuckled, hazel eyes friendly as the Lieutenant grinned. "Nice beard, by the way. Amazed the Major hasn't made you shave it." She leaned out partially, looking up at Logan. "Yours too, big guy." The tall black man nodded politely, his neatly trimmed beard turning slightly salt and pepper with age.

Ed touched his 5'o'clock shadow for a moment, chuckling lightly. "I think he has a bit of trust that I'm not trying to grow a biker beard or anything. And I've heard we have quite the few oddities on the Eye, facilities wise." He looked to Roger with a friendly smile. "A bigger firing range so our marksmen can work on their shots, for example."

"My aim is fine." The private retorted, shooting his team lead an annoyed look. "I can shoot better than you can, and Maya can't even hit in the same area as me." The dark haired woman jabbed her elbow into his ribs. "Hey, don't hit me just because it's true!"

"And yet I'm the one who stitches up your bullet holes, so watch the sass, punk." She fired back, although the banter wasn't hostile; more akin to siblings bickering over nothing than actual conflict. "You guys gonna check out the war-game today?" Sparrow perked up slightly at the mention.

"They're doing one today? With who?"

"Some marines from Pantheon, last I checked." Ed offered, drumming a finger on his cheek while he searched his memory. "I heard they got some of the spec ops teams from S-2 involved, though. A bit of a competition between divisions, I guess."

"Pantheon better stomp those spooks, or they'll make us all look bad." Maya remarked, cracking her knuckles habitually. "Course, how hard can it be to beat up a bunch of guys who just hide all day?"

Logan shook his head, giving his team-mate a knowing look. "I somehow doubt they're just good at hiding, Maya." His deep bass rumbled softly, and she glanced up at him. "Perhaps we should go so you can see what exactly special forces are..."

"Hey, no skin off my back. It'll probably be over in five minutes anyway."

"Would you two care to join us?" Ed inquired, looking to Sparrow. "Or are you more interested in just doing your own thing?"

"I don't see why we can't take some time to watch a bit of violence." The lieutenant looked to Roger, who provided no resistance beyond a slight shrug. "We can go explore after it's done. Not like the ship is going anywhere."

"You're the boss."

Maya shot the young marksman a disapproving frown. "You're not supposed to admit it, Roger." Sparrow puffed her chest out a bit, grinning triumphantly.

"Don't waste your breath, I am clearly wearing the pants here." She shot him an impish look. "Hell, he's wearing one of my pairs right now."

"You said these pants were MINE!" He fired back immediately, only to freeze the moment it left his mouth. "...I walked into that." The group shared a laugh at his expense, as he placed his head in his free hand. "...these are mine, right? Please tell me they are."

"A girl has to keep her secrets."


"Later, alright? Let's catch the war-game first, and then maybe I'll tell you." She tugged him along, even though he wanted to drag his feet in protest to her teasing. "Maybe." He did his best to ignore the whipping sounds Maya was making behind his back, relenting and giving the redhead a soft smile despite himself.

"Alright fine...but I better not be wearing girl pants."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kelly Invaru Character Portrait: Maya Salazar Character Portrait: Jason Horn Character Portrait: Vala Katarina Buchan Character Portrait: Roger Pollard Character Portrait: Sparrow Oberacker
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Kelly finished tapping away on her omni-tool, her report on unit cohesiveness and effectiveness using the miracle that was their long range communications array to be sent to Cerberus 'HQ' for lack of a better term. While she reported directly to the Illusive Man in other forms, her day to day duties were mainly for the financial and logistic arm of Cerberus. She sat in a modest little office up on Deck one, as opposed to the marine deck where Commander Horn would undoubtedly be bored out of his mind dealing with his own set of logistical reports. Kelly took a breath for a moment, running her hands through her hair slightly before turning off her omni-tool and standing up from her small, actual wood desk. Just by looking at her 'room' so to speak, one could guess just what sort of person she was.

Her desk was legitimate wood from one of Earth's own lumber refineries. Her chair was a simple black leather wheel chair that she would never admit to spinning in from time to time. Aside from the obviously expensive desk, her office was quite bare. Minimal items were placed on said desk aside from what was ultimately necessary such as her computer, clock and other work related holopads which contained forms and reports of varying degrees of importance. She also had a couple chairs opposite of her desk, metal rather than wood this time. The only other items in her entire office were a couple pictures hanging on the walls of tropical paradises, often filled with birds of varying shapes, sizes, and colors.

She looked at the clock on her desk, realizing the time and grabbing one of the holopads from her desk. A few fireteams were to be squaring up against some of Commander Buchan's Nightmares in what should be an entertaining and potentially Commander angering scenario. Making sure that her desk was locked along with her computer, she double checked the report she grabbed and made her way for the door.

Kelly entered the observation deck to the VR room on Deck eleven, noticing that she was the first one there. The room was naturally dark, meant to highlight the massive one way window leading into the VR room, along with several monitors from the cameras dotting the massive practice simulation experience. She knew Horn would be there eventually, once he got finished filing his reports and dealing with whatever bureaucracy that he needed to do on a day to day basis. She didn't know if Commander Buchan would be joining them as she would have similar if not more paperwork to do than Horn. She brought up the Holopad, and started writing the report for the simulation that would be used to analyze mistakes, opportunities, and points of success for further review and to refine the marines into more efficient soldiers.

Kelly waited about another ten minutes before the first of the marines arrived, O'Ryan leading the pack into the room. Within minutes of them arriving, the rest followed suit. O'Ryan already knew what the drill was for today, and immediately set about asking CIP to modify the VR room for his purpose. Within seconds the barren room had translated into a lush jungle with a small camp comprised of different size tents, defenses, and points of interest. In the middle sat a large command tent. O'Ryan immediately donned his helmet, fading into the marines with only a few design choices on his armor differentiating him from the average grunt.

He started commanding them around the camp, setting up patrol routes and guard posts, along with setting up heavy weapon installations that, of course, were loaded with dummy ammo. Non-lethal but still hit like a train, at least, according to Commander Horn. As O'Ryan set about fortifying his base, Kelly refreshed her mind on the scenario.

The marines would be tasked with protecting a VIP until extraction, which would take place exactly 15 minutes after simulation start. They were given five minutes prior to that time to properly set themselves up and prepare. The Nightmares would then be introduced, starting the timer, and be given the simple if somewhat complicated job of eliminating the VIP through whatever means necessary. Three fireteams of marines plus the VIP equaling out to sixteen soldiers, against two pairs of Nightmares, equaling four black ops units. It should be an interesting match up.

Part way through the marine set up, the door opened up to reveal a marine looking in a pausing upon seeing Kelly. She gave a slight smile as Edward gave a nod. "Ma'am." He stated.

"Sergeant." She stated as he and a group of others filed in. She gave them a quick look, but otherwise stood in the room looking through the glass and sometimes making notes. They talked amongst themselves, but Kelly didn't pay them any mind as her attention was primarily on her report of the simulation. The off duty marines in the observation room quieted suddenly when the door opened for a second time. In stepped the Nightmare Commander, a daunting title to be sure, Vala Buchan.

"Operative" Vala stated, walking in to stand beside Kelly.

"Commander." Kelly replied with a slight smile like she did with the enlisted before returning to her report and watching as the timer started counting down from the fifteen minute mark. The war game had officially started.

"I'm surprised that Commander Horn isn't here." Vala stated, her gaze never shifting from the glass and monitors.

"His other duties are preventing him from viewing the war game. He did tell me that he would be here however, given the opportunity." Vala simply nodded at this statement, watching as glimpses of the Nightmares showed up on the monitors from time to time as they flitted around the camp getting a feel for the patrols and guards. While they were highly trained, there was no way that they would be able to take on all fifteen marines if they were spotted.

Five minutes in, and little had happened. The enlisted beside Kelly seemed to be getting a bit anxious, expecting more action from the game. Almost exactly at the six minute mark, the door to the observation room opened up and Horn walked in, his hand on his ear and his voice booming in the silence that was the occupied space.

"No, listen...Everything on that list has already been approved. What do you mean unnecessary? THIS ENTIRE FUCKING CONVERSATION IS UNNECESSARY! How many times do I need to tell you, stop calling me after the fucking fact bitching about some god forsaken rocket launcher that you thought was 'excessive' for my marines!... Listen you number crunching little pin prick of a man...oh you're a woman. Well I'm sorry, I just thought you would have to have some form of BALLS in order to keep doing this to me, because you are asking for me to perform a lobotomy on you through your god damn NASAL CAVITY!... Yes, finally! Stop fucking calling me! If you don't want something to go through, fucking deny it then and give a legitimate reason or so help me GOD I will find a way to get to your house, break open the door, break every single piece of furniture that you own, light them on fire, and then shoot the ashes and ask you if it was FUCKING EXCESSIVE!"

Horn jabbed his finger at his omni-tool, letting out a heavy sigh and wiping a hand across his face as he stared at everyone in the room. "Marines, Operative, Commander." He stated as matter of fact as he could, making it seem like the previous conversation hadn't even happened.

"Commander." Vala stated, looking at Horn. "Requisitions giving you a hard time?"

"If I could punch every single accountant with an over-inflated sense of worth, power, and authority, I would need new fists because mine would be worn to the fucking bone." Horn stated as he stared through the glass.

"And they'd have to approve the replacements, so I would suggest against it." Vala responded coolly, her eyes also never wavering from the ongoing simulation.

"Semantics. So, anyone dead yet?"

"None yet sir." Kelly stated, piping up for the first time since his entrance. "The nightmares are observing the camp, but I would estimate that they'll attack soon." Kelly looked to Vala for confirmation, but she seemed focused on the screen. Kelly and Horn tracked her eyes as a couple of marines suddenly got pulled into the underbrush of the forest, almost undoubtedly 'dead'. Horn put his hands in front of him, his mouth open as he seemed halfway through a comment in his mind before deciding that it would be best to simply incredulously stare. He brought a hand to his mouth as the simulation continued and everyone in the observation room was quiet.

Soon enough, marines started reporting missing members and quickly rearranging their search patterns to locate the Nightmares. Horn could only barely contain himself as one by one, the marines fell. After the sixth marine was taken out, Horn had had enough.

"Are you fucking blind! He's right there! In the bush! What's he doing? Possibly taking a shit or putting a bullet through your empty skull! OPEN UP YOUR EYES MARINES AND USE YOUR GOD DAMN SENSES!" Another marine was taken out and Horn threw his hands in the air. "Seriously? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!"

"Not one for watching from the sidelines, are you Commander?" Vala stated, sparing a glance over at Horn who simply gave an exasperated sigh.

"No, I'm not! But going in there and doing it myself wouldn't teach these marines anything! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! TURN AROUND! TURN THE FUCK AR-and now you're dead, congrats marine you just made some loved ones cry." This continued for some time, until what was left of the marines managed to corner and take out two of the nightmares, but even then Horn was not satisfied.

"That took you forever! Two thirds of your force is gone marines! Two thirds! And there's still another two out there! Get your shit together an-" A light flipped on in the VR room as CIP came over the speakers.

"Simulation ended. The victory goes to the Nightmares through VIP assassination." O'Ryan came striding out of the Command tent, his helmet under his arm as a single red splat of paint indicated that he had been shot in the head and effectively killed. The other two Nightmares came striding out after him. Horn held his face in his hands for a moment before pressing a button next to the window. The one way window quickly turned into a standard window, allowing for everyone to see them inside the observation room.

"Attention marines, I would like to congratulate you on a job well showing me a most pathetic attempt of defense I have seen in quite some time. Not only is the VIP dead, but so is most of your force. Had this been real, you now would be faced with the very real threat of the special forces operatives slitting your throats for 'fun' since they already achieved their objective." Horn paused for a moment, looking at the marines as a few held their heads high and others solemnly looked at the ground. "As of this moment, all of you have 3 hours of PT that I want done...immediately." There was no groaning, but Horn could practically feel it coming off of them.

"You heard the Commander!" O'Ryan stated, grabbing the nearest marine and shoving them towards the door. "Your 3 hours start now!" Horn held his hand on the button.

"Major O'Ryan?"

"Yes sir?" O'Ryan stated, looking back up at the glass.

"I said all, not enlisted." O'Ryan seemed to stiffen for a moment, before giving a nod.

"Yes sir." O'Ryan ran to the door, dropping his helmet off by the stand and taking a jog into the hallways. The rest of the marines followed suit in a varying fashion of pain. Horn released his hand from the button, looking to Kelly for a moment as the window once again became one way.

"I want suggestions and practice strategies on my desk tomorrow morning on how to better prepare for these situations. I do not want this happening again."

"With all due respect Commander, Commander Buchan's Nightmares are highly trained operatives specializing in situations such as these." Kelly stated, cradling her report in one hand.

"Operative Invaru, if this was real, they would be dead. All of them would be dead, and I'll be damned if I think that's 'acceptable'. Once O'Ryan is done his extra PT, tell him to report to me immediately." Kelly nodded, keeping her mouth shut as a sign that Horn was not to be toyed with in this type of mood. He wasn't irrational, but he was highly protective of his marines despite his various methods of training.

"They caught Anika and Gunnar." Vala stated, crossing her arms and looking at the two of them. "It will be a good lesson for them." Horn looked back at her for a moment.

"15 marines, not including O'Ryan walked into that simulation. 6 walked out not having been killed. Learning experience or no, this is not acceptable, and obviously the training we have them going through isn't proving to be enough for this type of a situation." Horn turned back to Kelly. "Reports, strategies, O'Ryan. Get it done." Horn stated before turning and leaving the observation room. Vala followed shortly behind, pausing only long enough to glance at Kelly.

"I suppose that's the answer." She stated, before making for the door. One of the enlisted in the room spoke up before Commander Buchan had actually left.

" hard is it to stomp spooks Maya?"

"...Shut up." This bit of conversation got a chuckle out of the black ops Commander, who paused in the doorway.

"You're welcome to try anytime you like." She stated, looking at the marines for a moment before leaving. The marines got quiet after that, and left shortly after. When everyone was gone, Kelly allowed herself a sigh. Horn was never easy to deal with when he got worked up, and nothing worked him up quicker than seeing his marines fail while all he could do was watch.

Finishing the final touches on her draft, she signed it off, saved it, and sent it to her computer for later touch ups. Taking one last look at the VR room as the jungle literally faded away into nothingness, she left the observation room.