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I used to Dream Chapter (cover art)

Chapter 1 - I used to Dream[]

We got the letters, at least.  For most of my life, it was understood.  My sister would take over the ducal responsibility, and I could carry on Dad's legacy, and be able to focus on being a warrior.

Funny how that ended up working out...

(Letter from his sister, Amanda Ngo)



Dear Mom and Dad

We realized we wouldn't be able to evade them without abandoning the civilians. Captain Diamh made us take a vote, and I guess we could have tried to go for home. We didn't.

We know we're not going to make it, but maybe they will. This isn't what I wanted, honest, but when you're presented with a choice between your beliefs and surviving? Sometimes you have to go with what you believe is right.

Tomorrow, we go to war, and we're outnumbered, outgunned, out-teched, and likely to lose. Cimbral's asleep. Pat would have liked her, I think. I have worked out the transition, it's going to be a seven second window right into the middle of their formation. We don't have the long-range munitions to try a stand-off fight, so we're going for the concentration with the highest rank in hopes that they focus on us.

I wanted to tell you I got my Cert stamped. I wanted to tell you that I wanted to be an explorer, not a soldier

I guess I was afraid, Dad. Afraid you'd be disappointed, afraid that mom would be disappointed that I would rather walk the unknown roads with a solar wind at my back and stars beneath my feet, than stay at home and be a Duchess.

I know you must be disappointed and I am sorry you're going to be sad, but sometimes you have to do the hard thing, and this is a very hard thing. Someone has to stand up, and this time it's us.

I love you both and tell Pat I love him too.

Tell him I'm sorry, I won't be there when he takes his Trial of Position.

Tell Uncle Henry I'll miss his stories and tell the cousins in Sibko that I went in to this with my eyes open.

Goodbye,

Amanda.




Our births were four minutes apart in 3067.  She was the first one out of mom, I was the second.  Fraternal twins aren't like identical, but we had a kind of shared bond there-we were there for each other even when we were separated.


There's that feeling of knowing there's someone out there, who truly understands you.


until they're gone.


"You are seriously going to drop out?"  Uncle Henry doesn't get it...doesn't get me.


"I do not want to be a 'MechWarrior anymore." I told him.  "to be honest, I am not sure I ever wanted to be a 'Mechwarrior."


"There are other paths, Patrick.  The Uncle you were named for-my brother-" Henry Ngo began to say.


"Died on Tamar." I remind him, "Uncle Pat died on Tamar, you joined Clan Jade Falcon at Blackjack. Dad came up as a 'Mechwarrior in the same Clan...and I do not want to be a 'mechwarrior.  The Cousins seem to be doing fine with it, your gene-seed's producing some good fighters, but...I want to be my own man while I still can, and that man doesn't pilot a Battlemech."


"He apparently also uses contractions." Henry noted.

"That I do."  I tell him.  "I use contractions, and speak out of turn, and have to pick up where my sister left off.  The Duke can't be a soldier in a foreign army. I'll be transferring my credits to Spider Moon."

"Why?"

"Because there's got to be a Ngo in the Coast Guard." I tell him, "Especially now, with Amanda gone and mom's too old. We don't have a younger sibling and none of the Sib-cousins have shown interest or knack for it. They all show strong abilities in more traditional warrior roles."

"Have you discussed this with your father?" Henry asked.

I take a deep breath.  "No.  I haven't."


"Take it up with your dad, Pat, let him at least have the chance to discuss it with you first."




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