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Chapter 177 - What Could Go Wrong[]

Onverwacht (Former Outworlds System)
24th October, 3044

"That you all are still alive speaks volumes about how you treated the locals. Low hanging trash you might all be, but since your former prisoners have been the ones guarding you all, I expected to find all of you hung or throats cut when I woke each morning." Major General David Mitchell told the pirate prisoners they had taken. "It seems the very worst of your lot were with your General Jaws when we took them out. None of the locals will testify against any of you. It seems your mostly guilty of just forced draft or die for your newest soldiers and keeping everyone sort of captive. I wish they would testify; it would make my job a lot easier, but you cannot have everything your way. I learned that the hard way. The question is, what am I to do with you all?"

They had taken 343 prisoners from the pirate gang. Just over half of them were wounded, some seriously but would live. He really did have the locals guarding them and they had loaded weapons. His own troops had even watched the former captives bringing the prisoners food and water, on their own even though SaRI was feeding the prisoners. Even Corporal Adolfo could not pry any real crimes from anyone, not a single former captive wanted an execution, there were quite a few calls for some butt kicking though. It left him with a problem, what to do with them.

Corporal Adolfo had been the one to make the suggestion, going by suggestions from their new recruits, to give the former pirates a chance to turn their lives around. It seems most of the surviving pirates wanted to go home long ago, they never wanted to go pirate, mercenary yes, but never pirate. That some were former Combine soldiers made that option difficult for all of the former AFFC soldiers in the ranks, even himself. These thoughts kept playing thru his mind while he looked at the prisoners gathered in one of the large warehouses.

He watched a man slowly stand and approach where he stood cautiously. He brought himself to attention and said, "Permission to speak, sir?"

"Go ahead. You are?" Major General Mitchell replied

"Sir. Former Chu-i Michi Nogami, 12th Sun Zhang Academy Cadre. You are correct in your assessment, the cruel ones were who General Dukey, who you call General Jaws, always took with him on his missions. He said he could never really trust us that remained here to do what it takes to accomplish his missions. The few that remained with us perished fighting you. Those you have taken prisoner never wanted this life. When we deserted the Combine, we thought we would be going mercenary, that turned out to be wrong. We performed our tasks to avoid execution by General Dukey or Major Tashima, but we never mistreated those we watched over. Several of us even have families among the locals. Not forced, but real families. I just thought you should know you were correct sir." Michi Nogami said

"What if I offered all of you a place among us? Maybe not frontline, but among our home guard?" Major General Mitchell asked watching the man's reaction carefully.

"Sir, if given that option, I am sure that all would accept. As you can see, none of the locals have made any hostile moves towards us. Though I am sure that several would love to have a little revenge for some slight or feeling of resentment." Michi Nogami replied, never breaking his stance of attention.

"I will take your answer under consideration, Mr Nogami, you may return to your people." Major General Mitchell said and returned the salute given by Nogami. Well, I will see what the others think, worst case, we rearm them, and they can stay here with those that wish to remain and be their protectors, he thought.

Former Pirate Prisoners

Chu-i Michi Nogami, Mechwarrior
Mechwarrior - 4 (1 WIA)
Aerospace - 3 (1 WIA)
Armor Crew - 27 (9 WIA)
Infantry - 197 (83 WIA)
Technical - 111 (8 WIA)

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