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Interview Excerpt – Adah Nay
The following is an excerpt from a vocal interview with the mercenary Adah Nay, currently in the employment of the Fireteam Freelance private military company. This interview was conducted by Samantha Stiles on behalf of Mercenary Monthly, and has been edited for clarity and security purposes.
Samantha’s portions of the conversation will be in bold.
So you’re from a multi-generational line of military service.
Yes, I am.
Have any of those extended family members ever worked in the private sector before, like you have, or are you the first?
A few have, but not many. Most of them were still tied to government militaries in some form or another. Like small-scale task groups and whatnot.
I see. So then, if it’s isn’t impolite to ask, what does your family think of you working in the private sector as a soldier for hire?
They’re not against it, if that’s what you’re curious about. They understand. After all, we have that history in the first place because of the IDF, and—
Israeli Defense Force. That was where the tradition first started of my family serving. Anyway, they’re understanding of it. These days most the armies are almost private anyway, unless you count the UN Peacekeepers.
You’re referring to megacorp security forces?
This portion of the interview remived for space constraints.
Adah, our readers would rather hear something more concrete about you. Now, you said your family is career military. Was that expectation passed on to you as a child?
It was. Not terribly. I mean, my parents weren’t pushy about it. And there are a few family members who’ve gone on to do other things. A few of my cousins work for megacorps, for example.
But your family doesn’t ostracize them?
No. We’re not that martial.
Even so, you were familiar with combat from a young age?
Not combat, no, but weapons and tactics, yes. It was hard not to, surrounded by my family’s history. Our ancestry is very important, and when a lot of them were soldiers … Well, I was given my first pistol when I was five. My father taught me how to shoot it.
And your mother?
How to clean it. And strip it. And assemble it. And then fire it.
And you didn’t find that strange?
Everything is strange to a five-year old, Sam. Strange and fascinating.
Fair enough. So you got your first pistol when you were five. Did they start you on augments then or—
What kind of question is that? No. My parents weren’t crazy. They were sharing something we me that they did and wanted me to know how to defend myself. I didn’t get augmented until I became a soldier myself.
Which was …?
When I turned fifteen. Well, sixteen. Got my basics done, tests complete, and signed up for a private security firm. One of the smaller ones. Swila Security. Based out of Africa. Took my hits, and a year later when my contract was up, they recommended me to Aono Arms. They took me on, liked my record, and I was on track with my augmentation a few months later.
About your time in Aono Arms. You were promoted to a squad leader fairly early on, weren’t you?
Why was that?
You’ve seen my records, Sam. I may have been young, but I wasn’t some [OFFENSIVE]-labor recruit. Do you know how my family used to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut? With wargames. While most kids were learning to play soccer or picking up an esport, I was picking up a rifle and engaging in simulated combat games with my aunts and uncles.
And you don’t find that … strange?
I find it lucky is what I find it. Plenty of child soldiers out there in the world. I was fortunate that all the times I lifted and fired a rifle at someone as a kid it was a training rifle, and firing markers. You can call it weird, but at the time it was fun. We were laughing and having a good time.
I see. And you believe that gave you an advantage?
Of course I do. Aono Arms tries to recruit good recruits, but I had [OFFENSIVE] in my first squad who wouldn’t have known what end of a gun was without someone around to tell them.
That’s the second time you’ve used that term. You know it’s deeply offensive, correct? You shouldn’t say it.
Honestly I don’t care. All they know is to be told what to do.
But isn’t that a good trait for a soldier to have? To be able to listen to orders?
Different types of thinking, Sam. They’re used to doing the same thing every day, day in, day out. And you’d be right to say that something like that does serve really well in the military.
This portion of the interview removed for space constraints
So Aono Arms hired soldiers who couldn’t do the job?
No, they hired people they hoped they could train for the job. Some of them just really started at rock bottom.
But you didn’t.
No. I came in with an experienced record. That’s why I was augmented and promoted quickly. Plus, I was willing to pay part of the cost for my own augments.
Ooh, not cheap. How’d you manage that?
Family. When you come from a whole background of soldiers, money being saved year over year to help pay for augments is just a smart thing to do. Investments, bank accounts. That sort of thing.
Out of curiosity, what sort of augment package do you have?
Boras. Standard version 0.93.
They do good work.
Yes they do.
How long were you with Aono Arms? How many missions did you carry out?
We saw a respectable number. Mostly small-scale security work for the first year, especially when you’re overseeing fresh, unaugmented recruits. Some light engagements here and there, but not much more than firing a few warning shots at rioters to keep them away.
Did you ever see any more, shall we say, dangerous or aggressive actions?
A few. There was that coup attempt in eastern Brazil that we were hired for. They wanted us to cover the evacuation of Recife before a bunch of revolutionaries arrived. Lost quite a few good people that day, but we held out.
Was that the largest deployment during your time with Aono?
It was, yes. I only spent three years there, and that was the largest deployment during my service.
After which you went to your third employer.
Yes. HailStorm. And for the record, I still think that name is stupid.
But you went to work for them anyway.
At the time I was eighteen and—Well, I wouldn’t say stupid, but certainly not as wise as I am now. You mentioned Recife. Well, I made a name for myself in that defense. I was responsible for … You ever been to Recife?
Right. Well, there’s this river that splits the city into sort of north and south sections, right? And it also wraps around the outer edge of the old city. One of our tasks was to hold those bridges. But to do that, there’s a large hill to the west, still inside the city limits. Use to be a resort or a ranch or something. Now it’s a park.
Well that’s elevated ground, right? Inside the city limits, butot inside the core old city we needed to protect. Command was worried that the rebels would either use it to land troops in large numbers, or maybe even heavy armor, by flying in below the skyline and using the far side of the hill to shield themselves from our air defenses across the river, or that worse, they’d make use of it as a staging ground for artillery or mortars. Drop ‘em right down on the heads of the crews defending the bridges. I was one of the people assigned to hold that hill while the evacuation was ongoing. And we held it. All through the evacuation, and then after when that UN fleet showed up.
The UN pushed the coup back, didn’t it?
Stopped it cold. We’d already ground it to a halt, but they were banking on holding the whole city by the time the UN decided to do anything. We held them off, let them grind off their cutting edge on us, and then the UN dismantled their backline. Once that was done, we had to push forward and retake the new city building by building, while UN air support kept any from getting out.
Maybe some. Rag-tag armies like that, regardless of who they’re backed by, tend to have a lot of fodder in them. People with a vest, a gun that’s been around for a hundred years, and some ammo. They’re bound by resolve, but once that’s frayed, they scatter fast.
So what does that have to do with taking a job for HailStorm?
I caught their attention. During the defense, the hill was hit hard. The mortars the rebels had been planning on setting up on the hill were turned against us. We had to defend the hill under occasional mortar barrages and armor incursions. My superiors singled out my holding of zone four with minimal casualties against several enemy incursions.
Do you think you deserve all the credit for that?
Not for a moment. Some credit, yes, but it was the people under me that deserved it as much as I did. And I made sure they knew it. But HailStorm saw that and … Well, they appealed to my ego a little. I was young. It worked. I should have slowed down, talked to my family, but … That, and they used my dissatisfaction with the clean-up to pull me away.
HailStorm warmed me up by implying that they didn’t agree with “those sort” of mandates. In retrospect I should have asked them to be specific, but I was eighteen, fresh out of combat, and unhappy with the fact that Aono had gone along. Plus, they offered a good-sized pay bump, and offered to take what was left of my payments on my armor and equipment from Aono. At the time, it sounded like a good deal.
It sounds like you regret that now.
Well, it kept me there two years longer than I wanted to be. Turns out, HailStorm does a lot of jobs protecting the lives and interests of non-combatants.
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