"September of '32? Uh... what happened that October? Oh! You know what it was? It was that mostly boring month, but with big shakeup in the command structure! [Chuckles] Yeah, that was a weird, crazy time."
-2nd Lt. Aaron York (Retired)
The turn of the month brought very little news for Bravo Company. Advances against the private corporation Domino Security had been stalled, and for the first time since before their training, Bravo Company had a little leisure time. A few rogue elements from the corporation had ended up behind Allied lines, so there was a little mopping up by a few of the company's strike forces, but for the first half of the month, activity was at an all-time low. The biggest occurrence was a hostage situation regarding a certain local politician.
"It was a fairly routine operation," explained Lieutenant Richards in an interview. "The house was crawling with Domino robots, you know? The walking drone type. Anyway, we needed to be stealthy to avoid detection. Sam- er, Lieutenant Inverness was leading at the time. So, right. We were infiltrating this house they were holed up in: a big, three story, mansion kind of place. Those drones liked big buildings. We entered through an already broken window before the drones managed to get perimeter sensors set up. The place was crawling with these drones, though. Probably 20 or so of these things.
"We ended up fanning out, per Inverness's orders, using electronic detection to track the bots and zap them silently. Sergeant Davis was the one who found the room with the politician, but the problem was there were three bots around this guy. We began meeting up around the door, knowing there would be no margin of error here. We drew our ballistic weapons, knowing any energy weapon failures could be disastrous around this target.
"Inverness started prepping us for entry, when a bot walked around the corner in the hallway and spotted us. It's eyes went red and we knew it was giving the kill order. So what does Inverness do? He kicks down the door and takes down those three bots with three shots before any have a chance to shoot this guy! Davis was quick on the draw and killed the alerting drone, as well. So, anyway.... Yeah, that's when I knew who I wanted to follow."
That sentiment has been echoed by many of the men and women who fought under Lieutenant Inverness at the time. They all knew he'd make a fine commanding officer some day. This did not escape the notice of Captain Kelly Smith, head of Bravo Company. Interested in the man's potential, she decided to go quite against regulations, apparently.
On 18 September, a sunny if chilly day, Smith and First Lieutenant Samuel Inverness left base as the only two defenders of a small shipment to pick up supplies for the base. While most certainly not a by-the-book method, Davis assumed it would be an excellent time to get to know this officer better. She was right. What followed is still puzzled over by medical researchers today.
"It was just the two of us in the back of this open-topped truck," recounted Captain Davis in her interview. "Suddenly, all hell breaks loose. It was an ambush! So these bots pop out from behind the trees and they lob a bunch of grenades!
"I still don't know how either of us survived, but the truck flipped, and I got hit bad in the gut by shrapnel. So here I am, almost totally out of commission. I've got my sidearm, and the truck to my back. I start firing at the bots on the side I can see, and lucky for us, there aren't many on that side. I take out two or three, and Inverness caps about four of them. We're both sweating up a storm."
For a different, important take on this moment, the former Sam Inverness was interviewed for the following perspective.
"Right! These robos have us pinned behind a truck, right? Well, naturally, with Davis hurt, it falls on me. So, I peaked from behind the truck and immediately bullets whizzed just by my head! My heart was racing. How was I going to do this? There were so many. That's when.... something felt surreal and wrong, just for a second. Suddenly there was a submachine gun in my hand! Looked... old, but better than our sidearms.
"Well, I didn't have tons of options, so obviously I used the gun, but as I fired around the truck, something felt off. I didn't know, but my fingers were getting longer and skinnier. Really, my hands both were. My confidence boosted, and with another burst of bullets, I had downed three robos. My wrists and arms, with that, shrank. My body hair fell out along them, too. I knew something was off then, but I had bigger concerns. Robos' bullets were starting to look like they might pierce the truck, so I took a mad dash to the right and forwards, diving behind a tree.
"In the midst of my dive roll, the jolt was surprisingly intense when my shoulder hit the ground, as both of them actually shrank inwards. With more bursts of fire from my new cover, I changed more and more. My body slimmed, my hips cracked out, my rear expanded. I knew something was wrong, but couldn't do anything about it. My legs followed the way of my arms as they shrank thinner, and shorter. I was definitely closer to the ground.
"It was two consecutive bursts that took out a robo each, and caused big changes. With the first burst, my chest grew, fat piling under my nipples as they started to become breasts. Before the change was close to done there, my second burst led to a pull in my groin which resulted in... heh... me becoming a girl.
"I intentionally pushed thoughts about that change out of my head as I let out a war cry and charged at the last remaining robos, mowing them down with a continuous stream of bullets. My cry rose in pitch rapidly as my neck shrank, and my head soon became more delicate in shape. My nose was shrinking as robos were trashed, and my eyes apparently changed from blue to brownish. My face kept changing. It ended up female... and very young! I looked like I was back in my late teens!
"It looked like I had downed them all, then I noticed one missing its legs, but dragging itself back towards a gun with its arms. That wasn't good, so I let out one last burst as my hair shot out, straightened, and turned a reddish brown. The robo was done for, obviously."
Accounts say a helicopter picked up Davis and Inverness up a few minutes later, although the crew was skeptical of Inverness's identity. After viewing recorded data from a downed drone, however, people were quick to accept her as the same person. Captain Davis was recalled due to her injuries, and Inverness, with near unanimous support in Bravo Company, was promoted to Captain and put in charge. She preferred to be called Sami, after that.
Sami formally took command of Bravo Company on the 28th, and led the final operation of the month, a hit on the man coordinating drone movement behind allied lines. She was personally credited with 25 drone kills in that mission, and it was a monumental success, with no losses. Drone activity in the area was ended.
The war was far from over, and for Bravo Company, it was just a new chapter. It would be a long road, but with Sami at their head, Bravo Company had a bright future.