Carapace

Tris sat in her arming chamber alone. The black metal walls rose up far too high than they needed to be. The fluorescent lights flickered. She rubbed her eyes with the calloused heels of her hands. Her burnished blonde hair fell in short curls around her ears.

She wore little else besides black elastic undergarments. Her body was a living machine, nine feet tall, lithe, wiry and criss-crossed with hundreds of scars. She had spent thirty years in Jotunn Armed Forces. A Captain in the Special Forces now. A leader of black ops mission.

A Captain in the Queen’s army. Army tattoos emblazoned on both shoulders. Those shoulders felt especially heavy. Tris had seen a lot in her career. More than most Jotunns. She looked up, the blue of her eyes almost covered the entire orb. Her Siberian cousins had eyes like a shark.

She stood up from the metal bench. The arming chamber was for officers to have some time to think as they prepared. It was dumb, but it was a tradition of sorts. The chamber were always painfully quiet.

On the wall, against a glowing pane of plastic, were her arms and armor.

The glossy black Carapace-6 Armor. Plates of unreflective black Skymetal, from the meteors that crashed down in the steppe and far north. The helmet, a blank mask of midnight chrome. A modern knight’s harness. The bracers and greaves were like diamond plates, as deadly a weapon as her firearms and blades.

Tris touched the smooth breastplate. The metal was impossibly strong. Bullets and explosives shrugged off like annoying insects.

On either side; her weapons.

A heavy caliber firearm, like a submachine gun in shape, but firing 50. Calibre bullets. Its box-like receiver and bullpup design was flexible at all rangers. In the field, they needed flexibility. They would be fighting armor and infantry, on open tundra and in cramped human cities.

Her sword, black Skymetal, was a heavy, diamond-like blade. Useful in the field. Tactical in its design. She touched the deep grooves in the metal.

She wished she could feel the breeze on her face, the smell of pine and feel a lover’s hand on her hard cheek.

Not anymore, she thought. Now is the time for war.

She sat back down and called the armorers.

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