Cyber armor info

Decided to make a new scientific journal page. Most people are here for the planes with the cute eyes but atoll lab has Cyborgs in its universe too. I thought it better to make a whole new image rather then recycle the old half machine image on the bio page.

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Hansel and Marion 2 Chapter 3

Hey guys, sorry for such a long delay for a somewhat small amount of content. I’ll be honest I was a mix of busy, lazy, and distracted. I wanted to do so much more with this chapter but if I did what I wanted to this chapter would drag on, and on, and on. I’m basically trying to make my pacing better. Well enough excuses, here we go!

Enjoy!

Chapter 3

 

Two months after they adopted Chad Hansel and Marion got word that the folks on the base were having a get-together, they thought it would be a good opportunity to show everyone Chad. They had chatted with some friends about him, but nobody could make it down while he was around, Hansel would take him out around for errands and town was so far away that it usually took too long to get out, get the groceries, and make it back before the visitor left. Hansel went up to Chad’s room to tell him that he’d be meeting family and friends over the weekend, as he did he noticed Chad was reading his big book about shipwrecks, one of the books he loved reading. Curiosity got the better of him and Hansel peeked over Chad’s shoulder to see what he was reading about, it was about the world war two German battleship Bismarck, Rudolph’s ship. A painting of the ship’s hull on the bottom locked his attention.

“That’s the Bismarck?” Hansel asked, he had never really seen what Bismarck looked like, the sight of a rusted, blown out, rotting hull sent shivers down his spine.

“Yeah.” Chad squeaked, he looked up and saw Hansel was staring at the page with the big picture of the sunken hull.
“I told you my best friend was on that ship, right?” He spoke softly, thinking of Rudolph.

“Yeah,” Chad felt the tension in the room, Hansel had peaked his own interest with a bedtime story and wanted to learn more, “I wanted to learn more about it..,”
“This weekend we’re going up to see family and friends on the base. You need to bring your student I.D. or library card with you.”
“Ok, Thanks Hansel.” He didn’t refer to Hansel as his father yet, but he did refer to Marion as his mother, a reference Hansel strived for, but in that moment he was locked by that picture, staring at it unwaveringly

“No problem, Chad.” He forced himself to break away, he went down to the table and sat at it. Tonight’s going to be a very long night.

When the weekend came Hanse, Marion, Jasmine, and Chad set out for the base, Chad was thrilled to be riding in a tank. Jasmine put her MP3 player in and took a nap in the assistant driver’s seat, Hansel sat up in the cupola and Chad was moving all around Marion’s cabin. He bounced from the loader’s hatch to the gunner’s sight and then to the driver’s seat and back around again. Marion just told him to be careful, she carefully tracked his movements as he moved about, she didn’t want him to fall into the driveshaft or get stuck somewhere. She laughed as he bumped his head here and there, but he was thick-skulled and shook off the blows. While she was out and about she asked if he wanted to move the gun around-he just about exploded. She put him in the gunner’s seat and held his hands as she walked him through all the controls. Hansel watched where they were going while her attention was preoccupied. She showed him the electric triggers and the manual ones, as well as the electric drives and the manual ones. Sadly he couldn’t reach the foot pedals that operate the electric drive so he had to use the manual crank to traverse her turret. She would move her turret with him to help ease the load off him.

“How far can I turn the turret, mom?”

“I can turn all the way around, Chandler.” He pressed his head up against the binocular eyeglass and watched the word move around as he turned the turret around.

“Chandler, flip that dial above your right hand.” Hansel said real quick. He looked over Chad as he found what he meant.

“This one?”

“Yes, that’s the magnifier.” He went back to watching the road.

He had an absolute blast, Marion spotted targets for him and had him line up on them, she had him range on it with the sight and corrected him on it. He especially liked moving the huge gun breech up and down, he was very entertained by that. Amidst his play he found some writing on the wall, Marion knew what it was and tested Chad’s ability to read German. He did his best but failed. Marion explained that it was Inbred’s little chart for gunnery and a chant he would recite to calm himself. That prompted him to look around for more notes from the past, he found Meat’s signature by his old loader’s seat, and then he found the kill tally Hansel kept by his seat. Marion had shown Chad her kill stripes, they were quite obvious, but never the grand tally. He was impressed by it, and he was also humbled by it.

Chad often realized and thought to himself about his new parent’s past, what they had done. He knows a few of their stories, but not everything. With these badges and tallies, personal notes and signatures, the very real history of death and destruction his parents shared hit him. Often he thinks about life, how little it means yet how great it is. The respect he held for his family was undeniable, he had an idea of what they had to do, what dark and mortifying world they braved through. He wanted to know their whole story so badly but respected their boundaries and he was afraid to probe for more. His new family very early on recognized his thirst for knowledge and would feed it often, with or without his request. Hansel and Marion would constantly tell him it was okay to ask, and over time they would share their deeper, darker stories. Even the ones they didn’t tell their other children. They saw that he respected and understood these topics on a higher, much more mature level. Chad’s mood shifted as he read the tallies, he felt ashamed for playing like he did and stopped, he went silent and sat still in the gunner’s seat. Marion felt his mood swing.

“Hey sweetie, are you alright?” She patted his shoulder gently. “What’s wrong, sweetie?”

“I’m sorry I played with you.”

“Hey, hey, it’s alright. You aren’t upsetting anyone, you’re fine. I liked playing that game!”

“It’s not a toy, it’s a gun, you’re not a toy, you’re a tank.” Marion was glad he knew guns were not toys, but she sought to crush this sour mood. He’s a kid, he should be having fun, enjoying himself, playing with the world. He had some solid reasoning, she was stumped by him and didn’t know what to do.

“Chandler, sweetie, you’re just a kid. You should be having some fun and enjoying yourself, play with the world around you and learn about it. Let your imagination run wild and have fun with it, you aren’t hurting anyone by having fun.” Hansel heard Marion’s half, she was looking ahead already so he decided to see what was up. He patted her turret to tell her he’s checking on Chad and ducked in, he glanced at the kill tallies as he sat in his chair. He leaned over to Chad and put his hands on Chad’s shoulders assuringly.

“Hey little guy, what’s wrong?” He turned his head to bring his ear to Chad’s mouth. He should go find the comms set one day. Chad said something but it was too soft for Hansel, he reached up and closed his hatch to block out what noise he could. “You’re going to have to speak up, Chad, I can’t hear you.” Chad raised his voice.

“I said Marion is not a toy, her gun is not a toy. I shouldn’t be playing with this stuff.” Hansel shrugged and nodded at the same time.

“You are right, guns are not toys, remember that, but don’t be afraid to play games with us. We like games, too, and we like to play, too. We used to play soldiers with our other children Hannah and Tyler, even Jasmine, Jasmine loved it so much. We played it with them and we’ll play it with you, too, Chad. It hurts us that you don’t want to play, we’re people, too.” Chad looked at the controls and nodded, silent. “Of everyone, Jasmine likes to play army the most!” Chad looked back, confused.

“Girls play army?” Hansel laughed.

“Yes! Yes! Jasmine loves it!” Everyday she would beg us to play!” They looked to Jasmine, who was curled up in the corner asleep, Marion’s hand held him still. “We would play Panzer Jager with her, she had a big stick as her bazooka, and she would hunt mom down in the small woods by the house. She had to get real close and on mom’s side or behind her before she could get caught. She got really good at the game, so good I had to join mom’s team. She still got us.” Chad was smiling, Marion could feel his mood shift back to something more up-beat.

“Hansel, the dummy shell is still in here, right? I can’t remember.” Hansel saw where she was going with this. He looked at the ready rack behind him and saw three of them there.

“Yes, we still have three in here.” He turned back to Chad. “Come on, Chad,” he grabbed his shoulders, “I’ll show you how to load the gun!”

“Really?” Chad looked back with excitement.

“Yes, we have fake rounds, come on!” Hansel ducked and swung himself under the recoil guard for her gigantic gun. Chad crawled underneath it, Hansel squeezed Chad to the other side of him, towards the back of the turret. He reached over Chad and moved the rounds closer to the ready rack Chad would be close to. He gave Chad a quick tour of where everything was, the ready-use ammo racks in the back of the turret, the ammo storage racks in the hull sponsons and floor, the recoil guard, the breech block and manual operating lever, safety, and the loading tray. “So that’s where everything is, I’ll show you how to load now. Gun’s empty, the commander calls out a target and ammo to use, and you, as the loader, find the round and get it ready.” He opened the gun breech and grabbed a round. He pulled out the round halfway out and then put his left hand on the bottom of the round, put his right hand in the middle of the casing, then pulled out the round and held it vertical, pulling it close to his chest. “When the gunner calls ‘load’ you load the gun.” He tipped the round so the shell tip pointed forward and then cradled the round against him as he hauled it up and over the breech and into the loading tray. “Alright, now this part is very, very, very important, Chad. When you push the round into the breech your hand must be in a closed fist. Like this.” He showed Chad his balled fist and then pushed the round into the chamber. An automatic trigger felt the round seat and closed the breech. The shape of the block is a scoop to push the loader’s fist out of the way. “If you do not use a fist your fingers will be eaten. Understand?” Chad nodded feverishly. “Then you stand back, and do not cross this bar here, this is your recoil guard.” Marion held Chad still with her hands, she triggered her gun and threw it back herself like it recoiled. The trigger and force tricked the mechanism into thinking the round was real and automatically ejected the shell into the brass catch. Chad jumped when the gun recoiled, which is why she was holding him, and he looked like he was panicking while he thought they shot a real round. “Don’t worry, Chad, mom did all of that herself. It was a fake round. One last thing, to close the breech you grab the handle underneath and swing it back under the block.” He demonstrated for Chad. “Now it’s your turn.”

Chad just stared at Hansel with a blank face, and Hansel smiled. He encouraged Chad and pressured him to act. Chad was a quick learner, but the pressure made him overthink things and get confused. Hansel guided him when he got stuck, but kept up the pressure. Chad really struggled with the shells, they were almost as big as him and almost weighed as much as him. He strained to get the shell up and over the breech but he did it. He put his whole body weight into jerking the shell into the breech, which slammed shut and spit him out. Then he stood back, panting and tired. Hansel complimented him while Marion took the first shell and slid it into the rack. Marion kicked back the gun and the shell was spat out into a basket for collection. Hansel again pressured Chad to hurry up and act. Chad fared better this time but still got stumped, almost putting the shell in backwards. Once it was the right orientation Hansel helped him pick it up and put it on the tray. Chad punched the shell into the breech and sat back, very weary.

“You alright, Chad? Too hard for you?” Chad shook his head no, the breech kicked back and out popped the shell again. “Alright then, move! Another round, there’s a hundred tanks out there!”

Chad acted as fast as he could, Hansel ran this drill with Chad again and again. Hansel noticed that Chad was struggling with the shells more and more, but he was getting much more fluid with his actions. Eventually Chad finally said enough and crawled into the sponson between shell racks. Hansel told him he did very well and to take a good nap. Marion said Hansel was too pushy and rough with him, Hansel said Chad was a trooper, that he could take it. Nonetheless Hansel and Marion wrapped Chad up in a spare blanket and tucked a rolled-up jacket under his head. Hansel sat in the loader’s seat next to Chad, stroking his vibrant head of hair. Chad’s hair was thick and soft, nice and straight, too. While Chad was asleep Hansel relayed his extreme pride to him again. Hansel said Meats would be proud. Hansel peered through the loader’s periscope to watch the road while he and Marion talked. They were discussing how they thought Chad would be at the party. They hoped that he would be bouncing off the walls with excitement, just like when he met them.

That would not be the case. They woke Chad up after they got on base to have Hansel and he get him an I.D. for the base. He was groggy and quiet, very reserved. He got his new I.D. card and Marion took them all over to the park where everyone hung out. Hansel and Chad stood in the cupola together, Hansel would point to tanks and ask what they were. Chad named almost all of them, he couldn’t name the model of Eryka, Shellproof, most of the tanks’ kids, or any of the artillery vehicles. Hansel and Marion were impressed again with what he did know but were quite disheartened when he chose to stay with Marion and avoided confrontation. He sat in the assistant driver’s seat after Jasmine up-and-left to go hang out with her friends on the base, and Hansel went off to talk to the guys. When Whacker saw the Walters had arrived he B-lined it to them. He had stopped by many times trying to meet Chandler but he and Hansel would be out in town.

“Where is he? Uncle Adam’s looking for a red-headed nephew!” Marion pointed to his old seat, Whacker chuckled with excitement and heaved himself up her side. “Aw shit! I gotta lay off the fast food!” He grunted as he got to a good spot, he had a wave of nostalgia hit as he grasped the hatch’s handle and turned it to the side. He peered down into the chair and saw a startled boy staring at him. “Good morning, son! I’m your Uncle Adam, what’s your name?”

“Chandler.” Chad squeaked before his head dropped down. Whacker saw that he’s going to have to get closer and engage him more. Marion told Whacker that Chad loves learning how stuff works.

“Scoot over, Chandler, Uncle Adam’s a fat man, now!” Chad scooted over and pressed himself against the radio set. Whacker eased himself into the hatch and squeezed himself into the seat and put Chad on his lap where Chad faced the radios. “A little birdie told me you like learning.” Chad shrugged, staring at the radio. “Can you tell me what that is?” He tapped on the radio set.

“Looks like a radio.” Chad squeaked.

“You’d be right, Chandler, now, do you know how it works?” Chad shook his head no. Whacker began teaching him the dumbed down basics, but he saw that Chad was fairly disinterested. Out of the corner of his eye Whacker saw the bow-mounted MG42 made especially for Marion stowed on its rack in the sponson. “You seem bored, Chandler, want to mess with something else?” He tapped the bold cylinder of the machine gun. By the way Chad reacted he was much more interested. Whacker took the gun up to the deck where there was more room and light.

Marion watched over them, Chad laid on his belly under Marion’s gun mantle. She saw how captivated Chad was in learning about the machine gun and loved it. He was so adorable. Whacker explained how the gun worked, then took it apart while explaining what each part does. Chad got really involved, asking questions and jumping ahead. When the gun was apart and laid out in front of Chad, Whacker tested him and had him put it all back together again. Chad did fairly well, but he wasn’t perfect. Whacker corrected him and shared some tips and tricks. When all was said and done Whacker asked Chad if there was anything he wanted to know. Marion tapped on Chad’s shoulder and whispered into his ear. Whacker smiled, cocked his head, chuckled, and lifted his eyebrows as he expected the question to be about his nickname. Chad instead asked about his time in the war instead.

Whacker told a few stories about serving with Hansel, the places they’ve been, the good things they’ve seen, and some of their most challenging times. It was difficult at first to bring a story out of him, but once he had told a few they wouldn’t stop coming. He kept firing stories off one after the other, he probably could have chatted for the whole day if his throat didn’t dry out. Marion had sat there with the two boys while everyone else mingled, she was surprised nobody interrupted them, but when Whacker asked her if she could take them over to the gazebo where all the food was she saw the chance to show off Chad. She held Chad where he was and Whacker pointed out who everyone was. Marion got to the gazebo and found Shellproof with Chuck and Katelyn, instantly Marion introduced Katelyn as the same tank he played in his game, a Firefly, then she introduced Chuck, a ‘Jumbo’ Sherman. Whacker introduced his wife, Shellproof, an IS-1 with an eighty-five-millimeter gun. Chad was shy as expected, but the soft and friendly nature of the tanks eased him, as well as encouragement from Whacker and Marion. He didn’t know much about the IS series of tanks, so Shellproof elaborating on her tank lineage was a great way to break in Chad, and when she asked how much he knew about the T-34 tank he said he didn’t know much, so instantly Shellproof snatched up Chad to go find Kramia or Vitaliya, maybe Adler.

While they went off looking for the T-34s Marion caught up with old friends. It was great to see everyone again, Jäger the JagdTiger brought her husband Fritz, an experimental Tiger II, over to Marion hoping to see how Chad was doing and introduce Fritz to him, the couple was bummed that he was not around. Hansel came back over with Inbred and Eryka, Marion’s Gunner and his wife, an E-100, Banker and Betty, Marion’s driver and his wife, a Pershing. Anton, Hansel’s cousin, and his Panzer IV H. wife, Faust, were also in town to get together. Shortly thereafter they were all talking about their children and Chad and then what stories they should tell him and what he would like most. They had a grand time passing around beers and spirits and coking and joking. They shifted to sports, work, celebrity jabs and humor, making fun of how stupid the world is. Around this time Mini-Rommel and Kramia came up to chat and hopefully meet Chad, they laughed at the irony of Shellproof, Whacker, and Chad going off to find them.

Shellproof, Whacker, and Chad drove around the field where everyone had grouped up for the party, Chad sat in Whacker’s lap and Whacker sat in his favorite “chair” with his ass on Shellproof’s hood and leaning against the driver’s viewport. She held them down with arms around their waists. Shellproof told Chad some of her stories from the Eastern front and how gory it would get sometimes. She emphasized how brutal and immoral war turned people, how instinctual and chaotic the battlefield is. From the way Chad felt about it she knew he was understanding the point, she told him all these ‘glorious’ battle stories but her underlying message was to de-glorify war and ensure he did not twist the image of war like so many young people do. She told him that unlike the games he plays, in war there are no second chances. Most family and friend gatherings are filled with laughter and joy, and while there was plenty here to go around there was also a serious amount of darkness surrounding these veterans. However only a small part of the time spent there was enforcing the dark reality of war, most stories were heroic or funny, dark humor swarming around him and to their great joy Chad enjoyed it. While going around and searching for the T-34s Chad grew quite hungry and the search was fruitless, so they went back to the gazebo and found Mini-Rommel and Kramia. Instantly Kramia admired how cute Chad was and yoinked him off of Shellproof and gave him a warm hug and a kiss on the top of his head. Chad seemed quite uncomfortable with such a personal interaction, his poor little face he made had Marion chuckling to herself. She couldn’t wait for Chad to blossom like he did when she first met him. It’s her one drive right now, her ultimate goal, foster him into that bright and wonderful ball of warmth and glow again.

 

Fin Chapter 3

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3 days of streaming requests

regy art. (Morgan)

Welcome to the apocalypse. (still got 1, possibly 2 in the works for this current round.)

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