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RP Banzai!: Training House - Week 1

End of 2nd Week of Crawl Phase
Fort Ingestrie

Giretsu School, Trail of Tears Starting Point

The last two weeks had been hell for the trainees. From the surf torture on the "Paradise" beaches nearby, the Confidence Course, lifting Ol' Neppie (the biggest of the logs), and crawling upside down up the trees in the swamps of on the island for "Koalafications" (what even is a Koala?); the constant mental strain in teaching them to break their physical limits was getting to the trainees. The Century was now down to 75 trainees out of the original 100. Now it was time for them to prove that both themselves and the instructors that they were ready to commit to being the best professional soldiers out there: the Giretsu.

Gathered into their platoons, the trainees were making their preparations to commence their first Trial down the Trail of Tears. A 3 day long event looping around the island and back to Fort Ingestrie, the trainees had to hump their blank firing weaponry and field equipment while also having to walk and carry the full weight of their power armor. That is right trainees, no inertial control to offset the weight of the MCAS armor. Though the suit's do carry just enough of their weight to prevent embarrassing falls.

Kamiya-heisho walked up to each of the members of her assigned platoon and inspected each trainee. Inspecting to make sure no one was cheating by lightening their load, when she caught such an individual she would reach into a cart she was dragging and attach heavy weights to the empty hard points on their hips and lower legs that added much more than what is required. Cheating is the anti-thesis of being a Giretsu.

When she reached Sanda first, she started her inspection.
Giretsu School, Trail of Tears Starting Point

To say the last 2 weeks had been tough would have been a vast understatement. It wasn't just he physical part. They had all been warned about the mental challenge but even knowing it was coming didn't make it any easier. The constant harassment from the Heishos, the having to start an exercise over or do it longer because one person in the group messed up, the constant poring in of information about their suits and how they worked was enough to drive most people mad. Sanda was a little surprised only 25 people had dropped out. Even she had considered it when she had her own go with the weights 'of misery'. But she had endured, and felt much stronger because of it.

Now she was preparing for the "Trail of Tears". Sanda had heard rumors of this before she joined. The rumors varied widely. Some said it was a march around the entire planet. Others said you power armor you wore was not only off, but made to work against you. Others said that they shot at you with live ammunition while you marched. Those had been before she joined. Now that she was here, the rumors seemed a lot more believable. Some said that the first one to complete the trial automatically graduated, while the last person to complete the march was automatically kicked out. Sanda didn't put much stock in those rumors. She thought it would be far more likely that the Heishos would randomly 'attack' a squad and make the squad carry any 'wounded' squamates a certain distance. They had done it before on the obstacle course.

Sanda saw Kamiya-heisho approach and stood at attention. Her power armor was dawned, but she had her helmet off. Sanda had tied her hair up in a pony tail three times while she waited for the march to begin. As she stood at attention she willed the Heisho to find something wrong with her kit, or any of the squads kit. Sanda had gone over hers three times and had checked everyone else's as well. She even had Yayoi and Tachiko both go over hers to make sure she hadn't missed anything.
Giretsu School, Trail of Tears Starting Point
As her body was pushed into the armor, she pulled to force herself to snugly fit into it properly. Her mind on the training she’d endured. The training was like back on Hanako’s world harsh by all measure, but she endured it. She never quit, she refused to quit. She was strong and capable, but her experiences as a Resistance fighter, and before during training when she emerged from the tank, and now has taught her to keep an eye on her comrades, when one falls the other may too if they aren’t careful.

It was because of this that she’d helped both Tachiko and Sanda by checking on their armor. Her armor hissed as it sealed around her body and she tested it, found that inertial control was off. No doubt a part of training, but she remained silent. She thought of the baby-faced moron who kept complaining or causing a nuisance to the training as a whole. He was gone, thank goodness, the Neko wanted to do something that was unbecoming and not only that totally not something Yayoi would do.

Yayoi took note of Sanda ahead of her, and saw that Kamiya-heisho was walking up and starting her inspection of Sanda. Yayoi remembered the punishment of the lazy cheater before. Cheating gets people no where in the real universe.
Giretsu School, Trail of Tears Starting Point

With preparations completed and a couple cheaters in other platoons caught, the long double column of armored soldiers commenced. Sandra, Yayoi, and the rest of their remaining platoon were at the end of the left column. So they got to endure the inevitable "accordion" effect of individuals slowing down and then running to catch up.

1 hour mark, Trail of Tears

Being the start of the event, no one was overly tied. But forced marches were always one thing, exceedingly boring. For the Nekos and others with digital minds, it could be partially mitigated by sectioning off a portion of your mind to do something entertaining while having a very large window and audio of what the rest of yourself was doing. But for Nepleslians...

Sanda trudged along. It wasn't the weight of the unpowered PA. It was the growing realization just how long a hike with unpowered PA was going to be. A few of the other Neps in the school started a marching cadence. But that quickly fizzled out as the task before them became more and more clear. This would be a hell of a march.

Delmira followed along. For her the unpowered PA was an annoyance but she focused on the task at hand and powered through it. She pulled up the specs of the Ryoko she was able to wrangle up after talking to an instructor after overhearing about it. The idea of the mech interested her and she was permitted to download some reading material to learn about it.

Cheilith was after Del, at only an hour into the march, she was mostly thinking about what she had learned and what the march would bring. She wasn't sure she was up for it, the training was hard, even for a Neko. However, she looked forward to her friends and crew mates, resolving to not let them down. They were on this journey together.

Silent save only breathing, Yayoi marched on forward as she suffered through this exercise without even an ounce of complaint. Her confidence unbroken as she marched behind Cheilith.

Kamiya-heisho was no stranger to silence, but the fact that no one in her platoon was talking was starting to get to her. "As much as this is an individual effort boys and girls, you do have the magic of radio and wireless communication. No one said anything about radio silence, so use it!"

Sanda chuckled grimly. "What do you want to talk about?"

"Have any of you seen the specs of the M19 Ryoko the things look pretty cool." Delmira said over comms.

"The M19 Ryoko? Isn't that that so-called frame some no-named clan of losers managed to get the Star Army to buy?" one of Delmira's platoon mates replied, a Type 33A Neko by the name of Jiang Lanlan. Odd name for a Neko. "I suppose it is alright for who is making it. Now get me a Keiko and I will paint the world red."

Yayoi almost smirked when Delmira asked about the M19 Ryoko, she knew their crewmate loved mechs. Though her attention went to one of their platoon mates who commented on it, along with the fact some no-name clan of losers got the star army to buy it. She didn't know what that was implying. "Mechs are mechs, no matter who makes them and who uses them." was her first comment she would speak about since the exercise.

Sanda shook her head. "I use to watch an old anime show as a kid about Mechs. They seemed really cool. But given the choice, I'd prefer to fight on my own power."

"This 200mm railgun seems like a really nice gun." Del said, largely ignoring Jiang. "Don't about a Keiko but as a sniper and enough practice I'm sure I can make it rain shells."

"That's all well and good if you're fighting a large army. But a lot of our work on the Res has been very small engagements. Or are you looking for a transfer?" Sanda commented. She took a quick look around her to see if any of their group had fallen behind.

"We wont always being doing small engagements but that's what power armor is for." Delmira responded. "Besides from what i'm reading i could sit in orbit and observe the battlefield and let you guys know whats going on. Unless im reading this manual wrong."

"That sounds super boring." Sanda said, "Just sitting around watching? I wouldn't wish that punishment on anyone."

Yayoi silently agreed with Sanda, but then she was always one to keep on moving and never stay in one spot.

"You aren't reading it wrong, but that is the key issue with it. Pray you don't get ambushed since we don't always have aerospace supremacy." Jiang continued. "Rikugun infantry is where the heart is." she continued, clearly one of the few ground pounders in this class. Most individuals were actually from the Navy side. Reforms from the Rikugun Chief of Staff seemed to hamper how many Rikugun members were actually coming to SAIC.

"I sometimes regret that I didn't join the Rikugun." Sanda said. "I went to Ranger school, but wound up on the Res at Glimmergold."

"It can be used on the ground, seems to be a massively oversized power armor with bigger guns and a different control scheme." Delmira said she will look back at Cheilith and help her along.

I wish we had more than guns in the resistance, Yayoi thought silently as she marched in the unpowered power armor.

Cheilith jogged a bit harder to catch up with Del, "Giant mechs are cool, but I like powered armor more. More of a 'connection' to the fight. I wouldn't say no if I was told to train in one. They get some really big swords." She said, trying to sound more chipper than she felt.

Kamiya-heisho did not expect a conversation about the M19 Ryoko from a bunch of grunts. She pondered on the design for a moment and concluded it was just a giant power armor that she wanted to get into as well. But that would have to wait until her time at the school was over.

She then got sent a message from the supporting Giretsu Century for the "festivities" involved with the march and grinned behind her MCAS helmet's polarized visor.

3 hour mark, Trail of Tears "Forest of Doom"

Yayoi's senses were tingling, as she recalled from the info she'd read that things will be even harder soon. She still refused to quit, she was as stubborn as a old man set in his ways.

Sanda paused for a moment to catch her breath and look around. The line of trainees had spread out considerably in the last few hours. Her squad was all still relatively together, which was comforting to know.

"Come on Cheilith you can do it." Delmira said as she followed the group. She was being stubborn in her own way and she was not about to quit as well.

The first hour was a breeze for some individuals and it was starting to suck for some individuals. But by the third hour, even the studs were starting to suck wind as the majority of people were slowing down and then running before continuing the cycle.

Then it happened. Picked up by those that were still paying attention, the distinctive reports of mortars thumped repeatedly in the distance as volumetric simulations of explosions rocked the columns. Jiang immediately dropped to the ground and crawled into a prone position.

"Heads up!" Sanda called out. Mortar Fire?! Why the Hell is there mortar fire?

Yayoi swore slowly when things started to change as she began hearing the mortar fire. This was crazy, to think I followed Sanda here, that Sanda wanted this, hah well Sanda always was a fun girl. Yayoi thought as she prepared herself. for the next hurtle.

"Move it! Move it!" Sanda yelled to the rear most members of the squad.

"what the fuck now." Delmira somehow manged to find a burst of strength and speed however she spent part of it assisting Chielith. "Move it Cheilth, You to jiang get your part of the team moved up. How far can we deviate from the path? Can we throw them of by moving closer to the trees to the side?"

It took Sanda a moment to remember that only the interia controls on their suits were off, not the whole suit. Her sensors started pinging a triangulated position of the mortars. about 200m 3 o'clock.

Yayoi began using her power armor's sensors to triangulate the position of the mortars. Using this she knew where they were.

Kamiya-heisho and the rest of the instructors watched with a measurement of concern and amusement as they watched the trainees remember their infantry training. The first thing to do with indirect fire is to make as low of a position as possible. Would do nothing against a direct hit, but the goal is to minimize the effect of the much larger kill radius.

"Come on now! Communicate!!" Kamiya yelled out.

Sanda activated her radio. "Blade Take point! Targets at 3 o'clock. Spread out. Don't bunch up." Sanda directed. She physically pushed on of the other Neps in their squad forward in and made sure there were no stranglers before moving off herself.

Yayoi heard Sanda, and nodded"copy that" she replied simply as she too saw where the mortals came and she quickly calculated as she ducked to the ground, and awkwardly spider walked a head moving to the left as she moved forward. Her mind focused on both where the sensors sensed the sounds.

Thump, thump, thump!!! The unusually tall individual up the trees, still unseen from the others, was having too much fun with this.

"10 meter spread at minimum, spread out." Delmira pushed Cheilith forward and moved off to the side heading closer to the treeline.

Jiang got up and joined the flying wedge making its way towards this group of mortars. Similar actions were going on further up the columns as those not maneuvering were forced to say "Bang, bang, bang" over again over as if providing suppressing fire.

Sanda moved through the woods as stealthy as she could with an unassisted power armor on. Still, she made it through towards the point where the mortars were being launched from.

Thump, thump, thump!!! The individuals sees the power armor team coming in for the kill. His job is done for the most part, now to see what they will do to neutralize the tubes. A couple of paper cutouts could be seen, representing the mortar team. Someone spared no expense with this exercise.

Yayoi did not jump when the noises sounded near by as she moved through. Her visual sensors began to spot individual silhouettes of people. She suspected this was the team being noisy, when she saw they weren't people at all.

Delmira sorely wished she had something to represent her sniper rifle but she moved up with her two ranger teammates as stealthily as she could manage in the wake of there movements. Well she was wearing what was pretty much a wrecking ball if used just right.

Sanda got a visual of the 'mortar' emplacement. It felt almost insulting that they couldn't have bothered to at least set up a real mortar unit. Although she couldn't see Yayoi and Del with her own eyes, she knew where they were thanks to her suit. She radioed the two. "Move forward and take out that morter. I'll move around and make sure there are no other surprises."

"Take them out any way we deem fit?" Delmira said and was priming up her thrusters on her power armor. "Yayoi cover me im going to land in the middle of the formation."

Delmira's power armor immediately and silently pinged the instructors of the action.

"Just do it!" Sanda said as she moved around towards the back where she believed the operators of the morters would be.

"Land? I don't think we were supposed to use our thrustors or anything related to movement but our own muscles" She replied, as she began moving to the paper units. With no weapons but with paper people it would be easy enough to try punching them if the armor lets them.

"Damn your right." She powered the thrusters down but she would test the weight of her armor with her gravity control to see if she could fly with it on. "Really wish i had my sniper rifle." She followed Yatoi picking the pace.

While Yayoi and Del were dealing with the mortar, Sanda was searching for the individual manning them. Her Ranger skills came in handy here as she realized that whoever was operating them needed to have a good line of sight. So Sanda looked up. There, hiding in the treetops was her spotter. Sanda moved to the base of the tree and called up. "Bang bang."

"Heh, someone actually remembered their training for once." he said, a grin able to be seen in the foliage disguise he was wearing. Half jumping and half climbing down, the 2+ meter tall dark skinned man landed in front of Sanda.

"This station is cleared, trainees. Any burning questions you want to ask without your instructors knowing?" he said, motioning the rest to form up on him.

"How many more surprises are there going to be tonight? I'm exhausted." asked Sanda. Now that the mortar fire had stopped she realized just how much running she had just done after a long march. She was pooped.

Yayoi blinked when the man called the station cleared. That's when it occurred to her, the paper guys were a distraction to make the trainees focus on that. Sanda was always brilliant.

"Now i'm glad i didn't jump into the middle of the mortar pit." Delmira said, tipping a paper dummy over.

He grinned at Sanda. "Now why would I spoil that. After the alumni of the Giretsu Century of the 75th Legion put this much effort into it. This was just to wake you up."

Sanda grinned back, "You asked if I had any questions."

"There's hope for you yet trainee." he said before looking at the others if they had any questions. "You have one more hour of suck before it is time to camp. I would strong advise using it to actually rest.'' The other mortar stations could be still heard going off in the distance, meaning the rest of the century still had not completed the task.

Yayoi thought of asking to confirm if the paper was a distraction but she didn't think it was important to ask, since it felt obvious. She shifted herself to better allow herself to rest.

Delmira looked at one of the mortars and then back to the man. "Can we use one of these?"


"Damn." Delmira said and looked around. She was on alert regardless.
Fort Ingrestie, Trail of Tears Route
Temporary Camp Area 1

After marching in unassisted in their M10 MCAS, Class 27 finally make their way to the first "checkpoint" of their three-day march into the wilderness of the Fort. If it wasn't for the visors of the trainees hiding their faces, the look of sheer exhaustion starting to set in could be seen among them all. Even the instructors could be seen to be quite happy to be finally here.

The last exercise was nothing short of a disaster, so remedial training was in order. But that would have to wait for tomorrow. First proper rest was in order, you can push only so far before training is more harmful than actual education.

"Organize into your squads and set up your tents. You have 40 mins to complete the task." Hansen Joto Heisho said before walking into the main area. Where most of the trail has been dominated by forests, the area they were to set up their tents in was a flat plain at the bottom of a hill. It was almost like they were put into a poor defensive position on purpose. But the area was beautiful.

Delmira started to set up her tent she was still in her M10 as she did it pushing through her fatigue. She was like a machine with how much she pushed herself but she was running on autopilot in the end.

Sanda slumped to her knees for a few moments, just utterly exhausted but feeling a sense of accomplishment. She and her squad had made it through the first day. Although the order to set up a tent seemed somewhat a waste of time. Just let me crash here on the ground. She thought but pushed herself to get up and assemble her tent.

Cheilith stood there, closing her eyes for a moment and holding back the exhaustion. She needed something to do, she looked at Sanda putting up the tent and wearily joined her.

Yayoi breathed in heavily as she worked to set up her tent. the training was harsh and exhausting, but she still refused to quit.

Kamiya-heisho, quickly getting out of her M10, arrived at the area Delmira, Cheilith, Yayoi, Sanda, and the rest had been designated to rest at. The Type 42 bodysuit seemed to contrast a bit with all of the M10s still being worn.

"Listen and continue with your tasks. Delmira, after that stunt you attempted with the mortars you get the first fire watch. DOUBLE duty." she said looking squarely at Delmira, then continued.

"After that, Yayoi, Sanda, Frank, Cheilith, Jiang, Tachiko, and Delmira again. Are there any questions?"

Yayoi was silent but disappointed she hadn't been able to prevent Delmira from almost teleporting. She listened as Kamiya-heisho spoke to them, but continued her task. She didn't say anything but a part of her wanted to say Hai to indicate she understood. But at the question though she responded "No, Heisho"

Sanda listened to the Heisho explain the night watch order. She wished she pulled the first watch. That way she'd have as much uninterrupted sleep as possible but second duty wasn't bad. She felt a little bad for Del having to pull double but she was honestly too tired to care. "No Heisho."

"No Heisho," Cheilith responded, wondering who would get the night surprise she was almost certain at this point they would get. She mentally set an alarm to wake her for her watch. Waking up in the middle of the night for it wasn't fun, but she would deal with it. She looked at Del and Sanda, she wasn't going to quit if they weren't.

"Hai Kamiya heisho." Demira responded. She kept setting up her tent anyway.

"Very well then, fire watch begins in 2 hours at lights out. And one last thing... can anyone tell me what went wrong with the mortar ambush?"

Yayoi knew what went wrong, she treated it like a real ambush, and Sanda was the only one to figure it out.

Sanda just wanted to crash. Did they really need a lesson now? "We didn't approach the attack as an actual attack. We just went moving in without taking the time to move as a unit and make sure the enemy didn't have other surprises in store for us." Sanda said. She had finished setting up the tent and was crouched down in front of it. She took her helmet off and was munching on a ration bar.

"And we didn't communicate like a team." Delmira added

"Individual actions didn't add up to a coordinated whole." Cheilith responded.

"Ding, ding, and ding. So once you are rested tomorrow, this squad is going to spend some time re-learning to communicate and act as one unit once again. I am sure there is a log laying around in that forest." Kamiya said with all seriousness on her face. "Until then, Giretsu!" she said before walking forward to talk to the other instructors.

Yayoi thought what they all had said was right, and because she didn't think she had anything to add she said nothing. She listened and was amused to hear they would be focusing on communications.

"So any plans for when they wake us up in the middle of the night?" Cheilith asked now that the instructors were out of earshot.

Sanda washed the dry ration bar down with water. She wished she had her flask but she had left it behind. "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it I guess. Blade." She said glancing at Yayoi. "Wake me up after your watch will ya?"

Yayoi nodded "Hai." she said simply before adding "Look, I know I don't...communicate much, as this might be causing problems I apologize.. those in my batch tend to not talk unless we have something we really need to say or.. when we don't realize we should be saying something.. I will work on this" she finished

"If they stage a night raid we hit them back hard." Delmira suggested. She then looked at Yayoi. "We all need to work on communication I think"

Yayoi nodded her head. "Agreed"

Sanda chuckled. "Yayoi, for the first time that I've known you, you're talking too much. I need sleep." Sanda smiled and lay down in her tent with her helmet to the side. "If someone attacks us, just shoot them and let the rest of us sleep." She called out from her tent.

As Cheilith lay down, she thought about how much she liked Sanda, Del, and Yayoi, as well as the rest of the class. She started with just not wanting to her crewmates down, but as the class had gone on, it expanded larger.

Yayoi said nothing more since Sanda needed to sleep and she laid down on her back. Her heterochromia eyes closed as she fell asleep.

Delmira will walk around the camp switching her vision modes as she looked around into the forest. She will stoke the fire pit a few times in her shift.

In the forest, a group in old fashion ghillie suits low crawl towards the edge of the rim of the forest. Sure they could use volumetrics, but they preferred the old methods as they do not give off power signatures. The large mortarman reached into his pocket and grabbed his scouting scope.

He looked around until he found Kamiya's squad. "Found them, they were the ones that came after me?" the man puttIng Away The scope. He relied on his cybernetic eyes Magnification to watch.

"What do you think Shosa?" Kamiya's voice came internally.

"I've seen worse... a loooot worse. If they know what their problems were last time, I would not worry about them washing out."

Yayoi turned in her sleep, but her danger sense, something she picked up from the resistance was starting to alert her to potential trouble. Yayoi slept on, but her hand moved to something like a stick or rock close by.

Delmira would stop and look around then she would start to rearrange the camp a bit grabbing logs and dragging them closer to the group and even grabbing a few rocks and setting them down as well.

Sanda was snoring lightly in her tent. She was so exhausted that she didn't even hear Del moving around outside. Normally a very light sleeper, Sanda was out. But her 'rifle' was secured in her hand with the strap wrapped around her wrist.

The Shosa panned over to watch what Delmira was up to. He could help but chuckle internally.

"Shall we hit them again tonight Centurion?" a female voice said, clearly eager to wreck the same kind of pain on the trainees as she received when she was one.

"How many times do I have to remind you that this isn't the 75th Giretsu Century Rie-shoi?" the Taii said, sighing. "And no, just observe and infiltrate. I am sure there are a few unsecured weapons down there. If you find them, hand them over to the instructors. If you are discovered, mark what area it was in. And for the love of Kami, if they raise a stink don't go full Giretsu mode on the poor trainees. Just raise your hands and wait for the instructor to remove you."

Delmira would turn and seemingly look right at the shosa when he watched her. The short neko, in reality, was using her own cybernetics how ever she looked into the infrared system as she did it picking out animals and other things.

Yayoi still slept but the rock or stick she grabbed was gripped hard as soft sounds of slumber left her form.

Cheilith slept with the sling for her rifle still attached. It wasn't long, but a sling was how you kept things from being taken from you. It was also handy when you needed your hands for other things. She was so tired that she hadn't really thought about the slightly uncomfortable position she was in.

"Well that is good to hear, I wouldn't want our numbers to be affected by more wash-outs. I have my bonus to think of." Kamiya finally responded back, making some kind of an attempt at a joke.

"Legion II is not known for its jokes. Please stop Heisho."

Several hours later

"Keep your guard up, I'm sure the instructors are planning something." She told Yayoi when her watch was up. "I moved logs and rocks to use as weapons if needed." She would crawl into her tent in full M10 and would lie down however she would not sleep but lay her rifle down and curl her tail around it slipping her tail tip into the trigger and entering a sort of meditation rest with her eyes closed.

Yayoi glanced around after getting awakened for her watch. She nodded her head in agreement with Delmira's words. She appreciated Delmira's preparation. and began her watch. "Sleep well she said in a whisper. She glanced at Delmira and then the others in their squad, and held a stick close.

All was quiet over the camp. Most of the trainees had long passed out but even the social bugs were not fast asleep. As promised, the Taii and his Giretsu started to make their infiltration of the camp to ruin some trainees' mornings. 5 individuals that were chosen for their ability to move silently from the old Giretsu Century slowly made their way down the slope.

The Taii made his way towards "The Squad", knowing that Yayoi was a ranger. He would have to pull deep into his SAINT tricks to get past her completely unnoticed.

Yayoi could not shake that familiar alarm feeling. But she focused on her hearing allowing her self of hearing to aid her. The rock she held finally broke from the strain of her strength, now becoming sharp shards. She listened to the breeze around her, to the way it flowed and moved, the way trees and grass was affected, and the way camouflaged individuals were interrupting it.

She listened for any sounds of the breeze that indicated someone was there who did have visibility.

The Taii paid attention to the wind patterns to match his movements to minimize any disruption he was having. He watched Yayoi to see what her reaction to his actions was.

Her eyebrows furrowed as she listened.

Eventually, he got close enough that even his careful movement could possibly be heard. So he grabbed a few rocks from a pouch and threw them in a pattern to mimic someone walking quickly in the opposite direction.

Yayoi suddenly turned her head as she heard the sounds but didn't move. instead, her head turned the opposite way from where the rocks landed. A shard appeared in between her fingers. Suddenly the Taii heard her voice in his head. "what kind of steak do you like?'

"Oh we are going to throw down are we?" the Taii simply replied.

Yayoi looked at him then. "if it's allowed, sure." She said to the one she caught.

He stood to his full height and turned off the reactive camo of his Shinobi suit. "Well, no point in keeping this on. Plus the objective has been accomplished," he said, referencing the other successful infiltrations and gathering of free weapons of other squads.

Yayoi nodded her head silently, as her mind processed what he said.

"We can throw down when and after you graduate. Until then..." The Taii did a two-finger salute to his head and disappeared.
Fort Ingestrie

Morning came quick for the trainees of Giretsu Class 27, having been exhausted from the first leg of the "Trail of Tears". And tears had been shed as those that properly secured their weapons watched as 25 of their numbers quietly place their helmets down at an erected bell placed over night. They were then loaded up into the same kind of transport container that had brought them to the fort.

At this point in the program, there were roughly less than half of the initial 100 trainees remaining. Because 2nd, 4th and 5th platoons were hit the hardest, all of the platoons were reorganized into 1st and 2nd platoons. Ito-heisho was placed in charge of 2nd Platoon, while Kamiya-heisho leading 1st Platoon. Zhang, Ryu, Homma were free to lead their tailored classes once the march was over.

"We don't care even if we only graduate 10 individuals from this school. I told you trainees from the beginning what our expectations of you were. You will give 100% of yourself, this isn't some game to prove how much more tough you are from the other cat girls or how you think you are just as strong as them. It is a program to develop the baddest power armor soldier this universe has ever seen! Failure from here is as much mental as it is physical." Kamiya-heisho said as she spoke to the reorganized 1st Platoon.

Besides another 5 trainees from 2nd platoon (rounding the class to 40) from again losing their weapons or doing something that was not a cultural fit, the 2nd and 3rd legs were very uneventful but just as exhausting. Especially when considering the planned ambush to shake up the trainees.

Because the length of the 3rd leg returning, the trainees are given a 4 hour rest before essentially sprint the remaining 10 kilometers with their MCAS' nanomuscles turned on just enough to not overexert the long run. But that did nothing to stop even the most fit individuals from ripping off their helmets and returning their last meal to fertilize the soil when they finally crossed the finish line.