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Don't try to guess what kind of people you will meet at your new job.

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When he was assigned to the US army’s Special Force to work under McPherson, and assigned the codename D3, he figured that there were already two other members subordinate to the Sergeant in the Special Force already. That was pretty easy to figure out. Being introduced to the two members by the Sergeant was, well, it was without a doubt an experience.

D1 was a woman allover dark - dark skin, dark hair, dark eyes, dark clothes - with an attitude somewhere between playful and serious. She seemed to switch between the two at the drop of a hat, and D3 didn’t really know how to act around her. But she appeared to be friendly enough overall, so he thought that once he figured her out, he’d be able to get along with her well enough.

D2, on the other hand… Now that guy was a surprise. He was pretty small, both way too thin and way too short for a soldier of such a caliber as one surely must be to be appointed to the Special Force. He was blond, had lightly colored eyes, but at least his skin wasn’t so pale as to make him look sickly. He definitely needed to get more meat on his bones, though, that was for sure.

The most shocking part about D2 though, was that he was just a kid. He looked to be only 15 at most, and that wasn’t exactly anything that D3 had expected to see. Elite forces were supposed to be experienced, hardened by battle. This boy looked as if he was too soft, too easy to break.

His disbelief must have shown on his face, because the relaxed smile on the boy’s face vanished, sharpening into a glare. “Sergeant, he’s definitely underestimating me,” the boy said, and McPherson sighed. “That’s not a surprise, is it?” D1 said, and D3 startled, schooling his expression as best he could It didn’t really work that well, considering the absurdity of the situation.

“A kid shouldn’t even be part of the army,” he blurted out. D2’s eyes burned with humiliation and anger. “I’m 19!” he protested, once more taking D3 aback. “No way, that’s impossible!” he said, and the boy with one hell of a babyface sputtered. “I was born April 1976, do the math!” he exclaimed after finding his speech once more. He turned toward McPherson, fierce determination in his peculiarly amethyst colored eyes. “Sergeant, sir, allow me to show him that I’m not just some kid!”

When D3 turned his gaze toward McPherson to gauge his reaction to the boy’s words, he saw what had to be amusement on his face. Before that moment, D3 had been a bit unnerved by him - most people not used to his noseless face would be - but at that moment he seemed to have a surprising softness in his eyes, as if he was fond of the boy. His gaze flickered over to D3, and after a few moments, he looked back down at D2.

“Very well, show him the skill of a senior of the Special Force.” D2 nodded at the permission, and looked up at D3. His gaze held steel. “This way,” he said, and turned. When D3 looked to the two adults left with him, D1 shrugged and headed after D2, and McPherson nodded in D2’s direction. “Well? What are you waiting for?”

*****

D2 continued to shock D3, over and over. Not only was he the best marksman he had ever encountered, but he could send D3 flying several times over in ten short minutes of one-to-one Combatives. Considering the size difference - D2’s small stature and D3’s huge one - that normally should have been really hard. D2 couldn’t even reach to grab D3’s shoulders even when on the tips of his toes.

“Maybe I should have a go too,” D1 said when she crossed the room, leaving the wall she had been leaning against. She completely ignored when a panting D2 snatched the cigarette from her lips and pulled an ashtray from her pocket to crush it against the metal. She patted the boy on the shoulder when he sent a reprimanding look her way. “What d’you say, big guy?”

He hiki ole pepehi ia oe, D1,” the boy said, and D3 stared at him in confusion. That wasn’t a language that he understood. D1 seemed to understand, though, and she replied in the same tongue, although from what D3 could tell, not as fluently; “Maopopo iaʻu. Aka, he mea leʻaleʻa, ina oe i ka wale no ka mea e loaʻa ai e pāʻani.” D2 shrugged, and retreated to the wall D1 had been resting against. "Pehea mai-ʻana. Mai uhai ia ia." Apparently, D3 was going to get to test his luck against her next.

*****

She was even better than D2. Shit, he had some gap to fill to be able to properly keep up with these two, they were some sort of monsters. He was starting to see at least part of the reason why people preferred to avoid them when they were able to.

*****

“Figured out where they stand in terms of skill, D3?” D3 looked over at the sergeant. He must have been watching from somewhere. Or he had known that D3 would get his ass handed to him without having to look. It made D3 wonder why he had been chosen to join this elite squad.

“Sir,” D3 put down his water glass on the counter. “Yes sir, they’re very capable.” McPherson nodded. “That they are. You’re capable as well,” he said. He seemed to notice the uncertainty in D3’s posture. “Don’t worry, you’ll be on that level in no time. If anything, they’ll make sure of it.”
“Oh… That is reassuring, sir,” D3 said, a little worried about what that might entail. He would be getting his ass handed to him many times more in the near future, apparently. “May I ask something?”

“Of course. If I can answer your question is another matter.” D3 nodded He supposed that there were a lot of questions that might not be too easy to answer, and maybe his question was one of them. “D2 is still a kid, why is he in the army at such a young age?”
McPherson was silent for several moments, observing D3. “It’s not my place to say, but I recruited him a couple years back. A decision that was opposed due to his age, but I don’t think he regrets accepting my offer. I certainly don’t regret making it.”

It wasn’t a surprise that D3 didn’t get an answer. But he blinked in surprise when McPherson continued. “He’s not that aggressive normally, but he is sensitive about being called a kid. He’s often dismissed by older soldiers because of it. But give him a chance and he’ll warm up to you pretty quickly. Maybe he’ll tell you one day himself, if he decides to trust you.”

The officer left the kitchen. D2 passed him on the way in, and offered the sergeant his greetings. He sent D3 a guarded look as he walked over to the coffee pot. D3 sighed, and shrugged to himself. He headed over to D2, and offered a handshake, just like he had to D1 earlier.

“I think we got off on the wrong foot. I’ll be under your guidance from now on, I hope to learn a lot from you.”

D2 looked between D3’s face, and his hand. Several moments passed, and D3 started to wonder if his peace offering was going to be turned down. But then D2 took his hand, and his handshake was firm.

“I suppose I’ll see if you can still be taught, old man.”

His suspicious glare had disappeared entirely, replaced by the most cheeky grin D3 had ever seen.