Snow Angel: Chapter 20

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Chapter 20: Grudge Match

Snow's whole life changes when the winter solstice arrives.


“You would like to resolve this through combat then?” my grandmother asked, her eyes focusing on me.


Author's Note: Here is chapter 20 of Snow Angel. Thanks to Big Closet and to all my readers for your support. I hope you all enjoy. Further chapters are available on Patreon.~Amethyst.

Chapter 20: Grudge Match

Breakfast the next morning consisted of oatmeal, some form of berry-filled pastries, thick slices of ham, cheese, and hot tea. It was filling, and it didn’t taste bad, but once again my teammates and I found ourselves missing the use of the food dispenser. It would give us plenty of energy for the training battles ahead of us that morning though.

It was while we were eating and talking with our friends from Phantom Wing that a shadow fell over me. I looked up to see a massive Bearkin looking down at me. He was roughly seven feet tall with thick muscular arms and a barrel-like chest. His hair and animal features were pitch black and his eyes were dark brown, and he had a massive metal cudgel nearly as big as my claymore slung over his shoulder.

Standing to either side of him were two other Animen; a Wolfkin boy with dark brown hair that contrasted the light grey of his ears and tail and a Lynxkin boy with black hair and gray eyes that went well with the gray and black of his stubby tail and tufted ears. I had seen all three of the boys back at Eden Base and on the Gentle Breeze, though I had never gotten the chance to talk to any of them. I sighed as I looked up at them and caught the dirty looks that all three of them were giving me and Lisbet.

I had a bad feeling that I knew where this was going. Still, I tried to smile as I looked up at them and asked, “Can I help you, boys?”

“You shouldn’t be here,” the Bearkin practically growled, gesturing to me and Lisbet. Yup, it seemed that they were from more traditionalist villages than me and Lisbet, I was afraid of that. In Serkis, women had been allowed to hunt, if they had some talent for it, and to have some autonomy. My grandmother had proven herself to be a capable hunter and warrior and I had gotten a pass on a lot of gender-specific things while growing up because I was seen as two-spirited. Not all Animen villages were like Serkis though.

Some of the Great Spirits who were venerated in some villages were not in others. My guardian spirit, Kasala, was a good example of this. Some villages also held more strongly to the belief that women were nurturers and men were warriors. They felt that only men were strong enough to hunt and defend the village and that the women should stay at home to cook, clean, and care for their husband’s children.

“Excuse me?!” Heather snapped angrily, “who in the darkness are you to think that you have the right to tell them where they can or cannot be!”

I reached over and placed a hand gently yet firmly on Heather’s shoulder as I stood up to look the Bearkin straight in the eye. “If you’re about to tell us that we should be at home finding a mate to bear children for and take care of because we’re female, then you can save it. It’s too late anyhow, we’ve already had the Angel Elixir and I have no interest in finding some guy to be my mate.”

“Maybe you just need the right guy to show you…” the Lynxkin started to say with a leer before he was interrupted by the very angry redheaded Fay who had suddenly stood up and was visibly holding back from hitting him as she glared at him.

“If Snowy is going to be anyone’s mate, she’s going to be one of mine,” Autumn snapped as she put an arm possessively around my waist and glared at the trio. “Besides, if your tail is any indication of your other appendages, any girl that you tried to show would probably only end up disappointed.”

The Lynxkin looked as ready to hit Autumn as she did him but the other two didn’t even spare a glance for the furious Fay who had my waist in a death grip. “You should know your place, all women should,” the Wolfkin said with a sneer.

My grandmother had told me once that the more traditional villages were fairly isolationist and often avoided the other Races as much as possible, preferring to be self-sufficient. They didn’t care much for Humans and only dealt with the Fay and Devilkin when absolutely necessary. They only sent light-bearers to the capital each year because they considered being selected to become Angels and fight Demons as an honor and a sign that not only their village but also the Great Spirits respected their prowess as a young warrior of their tribe.

“This is our place; our villages chose us for this,” I told them clearly. I could have said that I was two-spirited but I didn’t want to do that for two reasons. First, it might make Lisbet the sole focus of their ire, and I wouldn’t subject her to that. Secondly, I had never really seen myself as two-spirited, I was female. Now that my body matched who I felt that I was inside, I wanted to own my gender and leave the illusion of being two-spirited behind me.

“They couldn’t have had many qualified candidates then,” the Wolfkin said with a derisive laugh.

“What’s that supposed to mean?!” Karina growled as she stood up and got in the Wolfkin’s face.

“They are prey species and women at that. They are not suited for a warrior’s life. At least those two are male,” the Bearkin said as he gestured absently to Peter and Kyle sitting further down the table. “They even have the kitten using a man’s weapon, it’s an insult to real warriors. You risk the Great Spirits turning their backs on you, can you even hold that thing, girl?”

I found myself snarling and hissing at the trio as the rest of my team stood up to join those of us already standing. “I have Kasala’s favor, so I don’t think that I need to worry about what the Great Spirits might think. If you want to see how well I can use my Goliath, I would be more than happy to show you, asshole!”

“Women can do anything that men can do. Why don’t you ask our Trainer, hmm? She isn’t just an Angel, she was the first Angel and she’s survived fighting Demons since the Corps was founded,” Lisbet added as she crossed her arms and glowered at the trio. “And, she seemed to think that we did pretty well while fighting Demons in the Twin City ruins!”

“You couldn’t have fought any Demons worth fighting then. The rumor is that she’s this one’s grandmother too,” the Wolfkin said as he jerked a finger in my direction. “She’s a figurehead and she’s going easy on you, she’s probably only survived this long by letting others do the real work. You saw how she was scared to stand up to the Queen.”

“What did you say?” I asked frostily.

“You heard me,” Wolfy said with a sneer.

“Yeah, I did, and it sounded like you were insulting an Archangel,” I said stiffly. It was taking every bit of self-control that I had not to punch the smug asshole in the face. “Maybe you should try saying that to her face.”

“Any time, any place, Kitten,” he shot back.

“How about right now then?” my grandmother asked from behind the trio. She had Kelsie and another Trainer that I didn’t recognize, a large and imposing dark-skinned male, with her. “Is there a problem here, recruits?”

The scent of the three Animen suddenly changed, becoming tangy with fear as Risha replied for us. “Yeah, these assholes were insulting us, you, and women in general. I think that they need a good curb-stomping to teach them a lesson.”

“You would like to resolve this through combat then?” my grandmother asked, her eyes focusing on me.

“Yes, we would, Wingleader,” I said before turning to glare at the three. “Is it just you three jerks on your team, or are you dragging someone else into a beating for inflated egos too?”

The Bearkin finally managed to speak again, though he still smelled of fear and he was watching the Trainers warily. “It’s just the three of us, unlike some teams, Pike Wing believes in quality over quantity. We’ll take you on any time and show everyone just how overrated you are.”

The Human of the three Trainers sighed. “Well, it’s been agreed to. Maybe taking a beating from some girls will teach you idiots to listen to me, and not be so damn full of yourselves. We’ll have the match as the last of the team versus team battles, so all of the other recruits can see what happens to people who think that they know better than their Trainers.”

“Just to make it a little fairer, Dalen, your team will have another team fight with them. Six on seven will be more even and we have an odd number of training teams anyway,” our own Trainer suggested with a positively terrifying grin.

“We don’t need help,” the Wolfkin snapped. “Every one of us is a real warrior and worth ten of these girls.”

“Were you under the impression that that was a suggestion, recruit? Archangel Abbadine was giving an order, and you three are going to follow it. You will work with another team against Storm Wing and learn to work alongside your fellow Angels,” Dalen snapped.


As we finished breakfast Kyle was able to tell us a bit about the three jerks who had been harassing us. They had talked to him and Peter, and now me and Lisbet, since the seven of us were the only Animen accepted as Angels for this year’s class. They had been too busy insulting us to introduce themselves but the Bearkin was named Tomas Kodiak, the Wolfkin was Holden Gray, and the Lynxkin was Robert Schrodinger.

As I had thought, they were all from more traditional Animen villages and the three had little respect for anyone who wasn’t male and an Animen from a predator species. As far as the three members of Pike Wing were concerned, other species were beneath them. Lisbet and I, as the only two female Animen, and ‘prey’ species at that, were worth little more than that. I was starting to think that those they ignored were the lucky ones since I’d rather have been ignored than be told that I belonged at home cooking, cleaning, and having babies for someone like one of those three.

After we were finished eating, all of us first-year Angel recruits were led by our Trainers to the southern courtyard for our first team versus team training sessions. It was raining and had been for most of the night, so the courtyard was a wet, slushy, and icy mess that I thought might make things difficult for those fighting if they weren’t careful. As we waited for the Trainers to draw lots for the team battles I tried to get an idea of what we might be up against.

There were a total of thirty-seven recruits this year, including us, with twenty being boys and the rest of us girls. I knew that there were nine wings total and most of them had four team members. The exceptions to that were Storm Wing, of course, and Pike Wing, who we would be fighting against alongside one of the other teams. There were a total of nine training wings, so I guessed that at least our two-on-one team battle would make things fair and give everyone a chance at some combat.

It was as I was thinking about those things that my grandmother called out, “Attention! Would the team leaders for every team except for Storm Wing and Pike Wing please come up and draw a number from this satchel? Once you have drawn your number, show it to me and we will call out the participants in order of their numbers.”

“I wish we had time to actually practice using these weapons a little before getting thrown into combat practice,” Orchid muttered as Maryn went to draw her team’s number.

“Try to be unpredictable and remember that your weapons aren’t the only things you have to fight with,” I told her and her other teammates in a conspiratorial whisper once Maryn returned.

It took a couple of minutes but soon the matches were decided and, once it was, my grandmother shouted, “First up, Phantom Wing versus Breaker Wing! All other students can go sit on the benches against the wall to watch until it’s your turn!”

“Good luck,” my teammates and I told Maryn and the other members of Phantom Wing as we parted ways; with us headed toward one of the afore-mentioned benches while Phantom wing joined their opponents in the center of the courtyard.

Breaker Wing was a team of three boys and a girl, all of them Devilkin. They also seemed to be pretty confident. Going from their builds, all of the boys certainly had raw power going for them and, the girl looked very agile, judging from the way that she moved. On paper that might make them think that they had an advantage over the pair of slender girls and the less powerfully built Animen boys in Phantom Wing, especially since the latter were a Deerkin and a Harekin, two of the more stereotypically gentle variety of Animen.

Once both teams were gathered in the center of the courtyard, my grandmother decided to announce the rules of these contests. “I realize that not many of you have experience using your new weapons but you do have all of the data on how those weapons work and how to use them that was downloaded to your NCIs. Here’s how this is going to work, kids. Your weapons will be put into training mode, so the edges will be dulled and you will not be able to fire live ammo or energy.”

The first Angel paused a moment to let that sink in before continuing. “However, you will use your weapons as if you were in a real battle, so use them as well as you can because while you’re fighting all of your NCI’s will be linked with those of your opponents and their weapons. If your NCI determines that you have taken a blow or weapons fire that would have killed you in real-life combat, then you will be considered ‘dead’ and will have to leave the battle. And, before any of you start thinking to keep fighting regardless, know that your opponents and we Trainers will receive notification that you have been ‘killed’ as well.”

Another Trainer, a human-looking woman with blonde hair who was wearing heavy armor, grinned as she added, “And to make things more interesting, if you take a ‘hit’ from the simulated weapons fire then your NCI will use your nanites to numb that area of your bodies. The numbness will remain for the amount of time that your NCI determines that it would take you to heal from such an injury during combat conditions.”

“Please be aware though, even with dulled weapons you could still seriously injure one another. If someone is seriously injured, combat will be ended so that the injured party can receive medical attention,” my grandmother pointed out. Then she and the armored woman left the center of the yard to find a bench to enjoy the show from. Only once they were sat down did my grandmother call out, “And begin!”

Breaker Wing took to the offensive as soon as my grandmother spoke those final words, drawing their weapons and attempting to rush Maryn’s team. They were quickly stopped in their tracks though as Kyle used his Seed-borne gift to produce half a dozen swirling balls of light that had Breaker Wing stopping and staring with dazed expressions on their faces. The rest of Phantom Wing made sure to take advantage of their teammate’s distraction.

Orchid bolted for the stairs leading up to the top of the walls, her QS-4 Suppressor bouncing on her shoulder in sniper rifle mode as she ran. Then as soon as she was in a decent firing position, and her teammates had gotten clear and found what cover they could in the courtyard, she crouched down, and then she and her weapon vanished from sight. Luckily her dress was white and managed to blend in fairly well with the snow as well.

As she was making her run to cover, Maryn drew her pair of pulse pistols and, once she was behind cover and aiming, she created a quartet of illusory copies of Kyle to hopefully keep Breaker Wing from targeting the real one. That was a good strategy since Kyle hadn’t been able to move to cover while concentrating on using his gift to keep their opponents distracted. He hadn’t even been able to draw one of his throwing knives or his combat shotgun yet, he was so focused on creating and then maintaining those swirling lights. Unfortunately, it didn’t look like he was able to keep those lights going for long because they were already starting to fade as his teammates got to their chosen cover.

Breaker Wing seemed to be coming to their senses and dashed toward the only enemies that they could see at the moment, four of the Kyles, one of which happened to be the real deal. That was when all of the falling rain, and the water already gathered in puddles in the courtyard, worked to Phantom Wing’s advantage though. Peter was hiding in the snow and slush piled close to the east wall and he was making use of all of the moisture as a thick fog settled in and seemed to fill the entire courtyard so that I could barely see a few feet.

The fight was a rout after that. Breaker Wing was wiped out in roughly five minutes and none of the members of Phantom Wing were even ‘injured’. The only reason that it took as long as it had was that Maryn and her teammates had never even practiced with their weapons before, so their aim hadn’t been the best. Orchid had made good use of the infrared setting on her scope though. She had just had to aim for the people in the fog since Kyle had bolted as soon as he had the fog for cover.

“Nice work, Phantom Wing,” Risha offered with a grin as they came to sit beside us.

Meanwhile, my grandmother was beginning her post-battle lecture. “Phantom Wing won that round because they weren’t focused on just attacking with their weapons and overpowering their opponents. They were unpredictable, had a strategy, and used their gifts to their advantage. It’s not just about physical attributes and weapons. A smarter or more devious opponent can mean death to a team who goes in unprepared. Demons don’t fight fair, so you shouldn’t either. Your weapons are tools, one of many that you must learn to use to their fullest, but don’t focus solely on them. You have other means to fight, and creatively using gifts and the terrain to your advantage can win a battle or give you the chance to come up with a plan that will.”

We sat watching two more of the team versus team battles, and the lectures to follow, before it was our turn. Those fights were a lot more even and drawn out since everyone was trying to fight smarter than Breaker Wing had. The entire time, I was itching to fight and teach those jerks from Pike Wing a lesson. We did spend some time quietly discussing our strategy though.

Finally, my grandmother said, “Our last match for the morning will be Storm Wing against Pike Wing and Stone Wing. This match will also be to resolve a dispute between Storm Wing and Pike Wing.” Then she left to get out of the combat area and as she passed us on her way out she whispered, “Make it quick, and no mercy, girls.”

I was already concentrating on all of the water, slush, and snow in the area and as the Trainer in the heavy armor called for us to start, I bent the element to my will. Water froze, snow and slush shifted, and then it all hit our opponents in a wave that left them ankle-deep in a thick layer of ice that covered half of the courtyard. We could have finished it then and there by Lisbet firing a simulated grenade or by me changing to Gatling mode while they were all trying to extract themselves from the ice, but we wanted Pike Wing to know that they had been in a fight so they couldn’t contest this.

With that in mind, Risha, Heather, and Lisbet got into position and quickly took out the Human girl and the three boys of Stone Wing with some precision firing. We didn’t want any of them getting hurt when we went all out against the three members of Pike Wing. As I rushed toward the Bearkin who was trying to free himself from the ice with his huge cudgel, I called out orders. “Karina, you get wolf-boy and, Autumn, you take down stubby while I handle the bear. Risha, Lisbet, and Heather support fire if you think we need it. Hard and fast girls and let’s give them something to remember us by while they’re recovering in the infirmary.”

Tomas saw me coming and stopped bashing at the ice encasing his feet to take a swing at my head that probably would have killed someone without my dense bones and muscles. My Goliath was already drawn though and I intercepted the blow, batting his weapon aside. He might have been strong but I was stronger. He was also more inexperienced with his weapon; his swings were off balance and the ice wasn’t helping matters.

I got inside his guard and delivered a kick to his left side ribs that landed with a satisfying crack that caused him to scream out in pain. He tried to counter but he was unable to back off and with me inside his guard, he wasn’t able to get any force behind his blows. I was easily able to fend off his attacks with my Goliath and knocked his cudgel out of his hand to slide along the ice and out of his reach.

Meanwhile, the Wolfkin was trying to take down Karina with his pair of energy pistols, but the Devilkin kept teleporting out of the way and reappearing to lash out with her chain scythes. Even with her scythes dulled they were leaving painful-looking but relatively shallow bloody gashes behind before she teleported out of his way again to do it all over, until there was hardly a part of him that wasn’t bloody. After a couple of minutes of this frustration, he seemed to give up on hitting her and aimed at me instead, only to have her teleport right in front of him and deliver a punch to his nose. I could hear the crack from where I was standing as she broke his nose and said, “Nuh-uh, asshole, you’re fighting me.” Her follow-up punch rendered him unconscious.

I smiled as I looked at her and ducked a swing from my own opponent. “I’m going to give you one chance to surrender and apologize before I decide to go all out on you,” I warned him.

“Fuck you, bitch,” he growled as he took another swing.

“Okay, you asked for it,” I said as I struck with a powerful overhand swing that purposely missed him by a narrow margin and hit the ground. The force of the blow was powerful enough to shatter the inches thick layer of ice that I had made earlier and leave a deep tear in the stone floor of the courtyard beneath. My opponent’s eyes widened and I could smell the fear coming off of him as I hit him with a spin kick, landing on his uninjured right ribs with a resounding crack that let me know that they weren’t uninjured anymore as he was sent flying.

Autumn had been toying with the Lynxkin, darting in and out while changing her gravity to leave painful-looking welts and puncture wounds all over him. He had been freed when I shattered the ice in the courtyard though and was now intent on fighting back with his pair of short swords, so Autumn stopped taunting and started fighting seriously. She danced out of the way of one of his thrusts, slapping his forearm with her Lightfoil and leaving a long welt along his arm. As he screamed in pain and dropped the sword he was holding in that hand, Autumn spun around him to slash down at his stubby tail hard enough to draw blood, causing him to scream in agony again.

The Fay wasn’t finished yet though. She wanted to get her revenge for his treatment of us before we would be forced to abide by whatever decision we made about our ‘disagreement’ and we weren’t allowed to hold a grudge. “This is for Snowy,” she said grimly as she changed his gravity to the courtyard wall that was thirty feet away and sent him falling into it with a crash.

I had my own opponent on the ropes. He was scared and backing away frantically to try to avoid getting hit with any swings from my Goliath. I had already left several nasty bruises and a few gashes in his torso and legs when he hadn’t moved quickly enough and he was wincing in pain with each backward step, though that could have been due to the injured ribs. My current slash tore apart the courtyard floor once again and he narrowly avoided it though he was pelted by flying stonework. I wasn’t going to let up though, so I dug the tip of the Goliath into the now exposed dirt beneath the stones and while he was expecting me to try to recover my balance, I let go of my weapon and tackled him, raining punches down on him until his face was a bruised and bloody mess.

He was barely conscious when I climbed off of him and recovered my weapon. “You and the rest of your team won’t talk to Storm Wing again unless you can be civil about it, you will apologize to my grandmother for what you said, and from now on you will listen to your damn Trainer. Oh, and we never want to hear your vile opinions on women again.”

“The winner is Storm Wing!” the woman in the heavy armor called out. “Once these three regain consciousness we will inform them of the resolution that the victors have decided upon and they will comply or face punishment.”

“Let this be a lesson to all of you,” my grandmother cautioned everyone. “Never judge someone’s combat abilities based on what they look like, their gender, size, or species. This goes for both your fellow Angels and your enemies. Pike Wing underestimated their opponents and it could have cost them their lives if Storm Wing hadn’t restrained themselves.” I could have sworn that she was smirking as she said that and took in the damage to the courtyard.

Kelsie, the Trainer for Phantom Wing, was quick to add her piece as well. “Listen to your Trainers, recruits. We’re all experienced Angels and we’re ready to give you the benefit of that experience. You get to learn from our mistakes and our successes. You just fought one another but this isn’t a competition, you’re all part of the Corps and you’re all here for the same reason. Use future sessions like this to not only improve your own skills and strategies but to help your fellow recruits improve theirs as well.”

“Those of you who don’t need to go to the infirmary are dismissed to go explore the city if you like. Your Trainers will talk to those of you who are going to be asked to hide your Angel insignias and weapons and visit the city incognito. If you are chosen then you will be given instructions and your other team members will act as backup in case of trouble,” my grandmother announced, freeing us for the rest of the day.

With the speeches and announcements made, my grandmother came to join us, grinning from ear to ear as Kelsie went to talk to Phantom Wing and Dalen went to deal with the members of Pike Wing. “Good work, girls. We seem to get a few recruits like those boys every year for as long as the academy has been around, and they need to learn early on that that attitude isn’t going to work out for them here. They need to learn to be part of the team and take orders. Hopefully, the beating that you gave them will knock some sense into their heads.”

“I think that you enjoyed that a little too much, Wingleader,” I told my grandmother with a roll of my eyes.

“Well, they did deserve it and you girls did well. Figurehead, my ass,” she replied with a snort of distaste. “Okay, girls, we’re going to alternate you all going incognito over the next few days. Today it will be Snow and Autumn, so you two keep your new pistols hidden but within reach. The rest of you will be watching them covertly from a distance as they explore the city and you’ll have your weapons and insignias visible. Risha will carry Snow’s Goliath for her while Karina will carry Autumn’s Light Foil. Give them some space but one of you keep your eyes out for trouble at all times and be ready to support them if needed.”

“I was kind of hoping that we could all explore the city together,” I said, feeling a little disappointed.

“Think of it as a date,” Risha suggested, “and don’t worry, we’ll have your backs.”

“That’s not a bad idea,” my grandmother said with a thoughtful look on her face. “Today, you two are a young couple exploring the city. If anything is going to raise the hackles of the Queen’s followers enough to test their reactions and behavior toward Seed-borne who aren’t obviously Angels, an interspecies and same-sex relationship between two obvious Seed-borne in public would probably do the trick. You can have lunch with Phantom Wing first if you like, and here’s some money so you can both get some new clothes and other things in the marketplace. Buy the clothes before going for lunch, Maryn can help you since she knows the capital. People will notice if you’re both going around dressed the same as the new Angel recruits exploring the city.”

“Oooh a date! I love this idea!” Autumn exclaimed with a grin as she snatched up the offered coin satchel in one hand, and my hand in the other. “Let’s go get this started, Snowy.”

© 2021-2022 Amethyst Gibbs
All Rights Reserved

Further chapters are available to the public on my Patreon page.

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Thanks Julie

Amethyst's picture

I'm glad you're enjoying it :)

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

There's always got to be

An asshole or three that just don't get the message that everybody is supposed to be a team player. And even, or especially among warriors, you can't judge a book (or a warrior) by it's appearance. Heinlein had one of his characters (Lazarus Long) comment: 'Never frighten a little man. He'll kill you.' This goes along with the truism that most big guys can't fight well, they are used to getting by on their size alone.

Little guys, (generic term), (but not Snow) learn to fight well as a survival skill. It's a survival skill for Snow, also, in spite of her larger size. She's just that smart.

"Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”
George Carlin


Amethyst's picture

He's one of my favorite authors and I remember that quote. :)

Snow thinks on her feet and she'll mix it up when she has to. She's also a lot stronger than she looks and that means that people underestimate her, and she'll use that.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

great story

But then, you are an author that I zoom to anything new you release, I love all of your stories. Great work.

Aww thanks Victoria

Amethyst's picture

I'm glad that I'm producing stories that people seem to enjoy.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3


Amethyst's picture

It's hard to feel sorry for them when they deserved what they got.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Stay classy?

So, will Pike Wing grow up? Maybe?

Thing is, they can still blame the 'inferior' team they were setup with for the loss to soothe their little egos.

Storm Wing is the most experienced of the recruits and will likely continue to be in the sights of the other teams as the one to beat.

This can work both ways, with Storm Wing, getting even more battle experience and the other teams getting the benefit of going against a competent team, upping their game, if they are willing to learn.

This brings up the question of how the corps handles washouts. They've gotten the elixir but once they've washed out they should no longer have the nanites in their system. I am assuming there is some kind of washout procedure where part and parcel, the nanites get neutralized,

Edit: Maybe they will get 'flashy thing'd' out ^_^. It would give Risha another opportunity to show off her classic film knowledge.


the problem is what they know, it's more likely they prefer to use punishment details, where they can still keep tabs on them over kicking them out. I suspect the culture of the Angel Corps as well as the fact that they all might have to rely on any one of their peers for aid means those kinds of attitudes usually don't survive long in the first place,


Meaning they would likely be dead as they've pissed off the other teams enough that somehow 'whoopsie, sorry Archangel Abbadine, we just did not get there in time'.

Alternatively, having their

Alternatively, having their asses saved by those they've annoyed, as they have a job to do and preconceived notions aren't worth a damn

Asses saved

Well, only if they have any sort of a moral compass. Unlike a certain portion of the US population these days who take civility and the ability to compromise as a weakness.

Combat makes a lot of people

Combat makes a lot of people realize, some things simply don't matter

They might grow up.

Amethyst's picture

This can be a learning experience for them, but they have to realize that they're not top dogs.

Storm Wing will be setting a standard for the others to try to reach or surpass. This will help to challenge everyone involved and push them to be their best. And you're right that the other teams improving will up their game, which may make Storm Wing do the same.

While I would love to have Risha quote MIB, it's more likely that washing out means death. They can't afford to waste doses and it's been mentioned that a lot of new Angels die because they refused to learn certain lessons.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Hard lessons to learn

Jamie Lee's picture

Growing up in a village that views women as barefoot and pregnant, it's hard not to have any other view of women. So when put in a position the village considers an honor, that honor and view of women tend to swell the heads of boys from those villages.

Those three boys only had one perspective of women, so felt superior to Snow and the others. They didn't take seriously the claim the girls made of defeating demons. They are girls, girls can't fight, so the demons must have been whimps. Go thing those three weren't with the girls during those fights, they would have left piles of crap behind as the ran to hide.

The fight between Storm wing and Pike wing did more than kick Pike wing's butt, it served to show the inexperienced Angels how to fight as a team, to use their abilities best to defeat or neutralize the enemy.

Wonder if Pike wing got the message or plan to get revenge despite what any trainer tells them?

Others have feelings too.

open minded

Amethyst's picture

This is why Angels need to be open minded and think outside the box. To underestimate opponents in combat situations because of appearances can mean death. Team work was an important lesson to learn here as well and it's one reason why Abby told them to show no mercy.

We'll see if Pike Wing can learn from their mistakes or not.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Those villages

Angels need to go to those villages and see if the were any amazing possible female angels that weren’t even given consideration

hugs :)
Michelle SidheElf Amaianna

Storm wing's traing

So it seems to me that Storm Wing will not take the traditional path that other student years will take.

To enhance their skills they need to take on more advanced teams really else they are being held back but on the other hand, their fighting the lesser skilled would benefit those teams similarly. I see a lot of work ahead for them.

At the rate they are going they may very well end their student tenure in half the time of a typical training Wing.

On a side note, I love the variety of animen being introduced.

Maybe the humans would be more friendly to the dogkins?

I wonder if they will ever have coonkins as they are going to steal everything that is not nailed down :-)


well for team fights, Storm Wing will likely almost always be going up against 2 teams at once. Remember as well, as a special assignment team , they will need to train more heavily on things not directly related to combat than their classmates, like piloting, vehicle maintenance and various other skills.

Two teams

That may or may not be an advantage for the combined adversarial team as it takes time to acclimate as a team but then that is the point. They will learn together to somehow take down Storm Wing or Storm Wing will likely take advantage of the lack of coordination to divide and conquer.

Then again, we are talking 6 vs 8 so that will be possibly a more even battle assuming the opposing teams finally gets Storm Wing's measure in terms of their bags of tricks. Still, I venture that they have a unique mixture of members when you count in Risha who is an AI.

bags of tricks

It's not so much Storm Wing's bag of tricks they need to figure out, they are dynamic enough they'll end up iterating too quickly, rather figuring out their own bags of tricks is what would level the playing field.

Storm Wing

Amethyst's picture

They likely won't be following a standard training path and will have other lessons to learn that others won't when they do start school. Each trainer is going to push their teams to learn to use teamwork and use their unique skills and experience to become the best they can be.

As for coon-kins I'll have to think on that :D

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Their problem is arrogance

Amethyst's picture

Hopefully the beat-down they just took will help cure that.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Prey species?

My5InchFMHeels's picture

I don't know how those guys considered Snow a "Prey" species. Cats in any variety are predators. Domestic cats are actually considered deadlier than the large cats are, given their enviornments. Cats in the wild are unrivaled by the species around them as far as hunting and confrontations go. Perhaps the knuckleheads will notice this fact, now that they've been thoroughly handed their arses.

If the Veetols have footage, or perhaps the "new" veetols, they might be able to see just how competent Snow's team is so the recruits don't think the stories are fabricated.

It's mentioned that the

It's mentioned that the Nanites can show what teammates see, it's probable they can also record

It's likely

Amethyst's picture

But the memory for a feature like that is probably regularly cleared. It would help for post mission stuff, but it would eat up a lot of data fast if not regularly purged.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

fair but it probably would be

fair but it probably would be useful for figuring out tactics against various demon types, and now they have VR...


Amethyst's picture

It was arrogance on their part. They couldn't really determine what species of cat Snow was related to but she was hanging out with other 'prey' species so they were dismissive of her, thinking she was weak.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Another sign of a good author

One thing I noticed through extensive (i.e. more than one) sampling is that the better the story, the better the reader comments. I see speculation about the next chapter, analysis of characters, weapons, tactics, social mores, and comparisons to “the real world”. Your stories always generate a long string of comments and replies to comments. On the first read through of a story I just keep going on to the next, but when I go back and reread it I try to read the comments as they can be as interesting as the story. And how can I not love a well placed Heinlein quote (see above). Good times.

I love that

Amethyst's picture

I get so many comments like that and it lets me know that people are really into what I'm writing. Reading the comments is a lot of fun and sometimes helps me to work things out in my head that I never considered before, allowing me to improve the story as it progresses.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3


Soon they need to send Angels to those backwards bigoted villages and check out the females there, I’m sure they would find quite a few who would make excellent Angels if given the chance.

hugs :)
Michelle SidheElf Amaianna


probably but they only have so many doses

The Limit Was Artificial...

...if I read it right. Custom limited the number of new Angels in each year's class, and the Angels were doing their best not to let the nobles reduce the quota further. My impression is that the Elixir used is the same for all the successful recruits; it's just their reaction to the nanites that's different and needs close monitoring. If so, it may be possible to mass-produce the stuff. (Even easy, if nanites aren't living things and can go through the duplicators, though that's probably too much to expect.)

The Elixir doesn't work on everyone, AFAIK -- I don't remember whether it only works on adolescents or that's just how they do it -- and there are probably people it would work on that tha Angels would want to keep far away from it. But I got the impression that the Angels, once they were no longer answerable to the Misota government, would be willing to allow villages to present multiple candidates rather than only the one per year.


not really as each dose has

not really as each dose has to be programmed to the DNA of the recipient, and they are hard to produce in the first place as they dont self-replicate until in a host. while they CAN make more now, (~3x as many) Sira and the others have decided it'd be better to use the new production capability to produce HESS armor for Angels and pilots, could they eventually make more equipment to produce the nanites? Probably, but they are very much still quality over quantity.

Isolated villages

My point was those too visit those three idiots villages and the rest of the backwards villages probably have women that would make good angels but weren’t allowed to try because their villages are ass backward and only allow the males to come forward.

hugs :)
Michelle SidheElf Amaianna


but it's likely not something that they can do much about at the moment if something happens to force them to rethink their isolationism, then things could change