Stepping Up
Thursday, June 21, 2007

This does not follow on directly from the story of Magda on Dyton - it takes place some weeks later on Persephone, but it tells more of her story...


SFC Magda Martin knocked firmly on the door of Major Lazarus’s office.

The Major half stood as she entered but it was cursory, & he retuned to his seat as she was closing the door.

“Thank you for seeing me, Sir”, she said as he nodded to the wooden chair across from his desk.

Now Magda was not certain of protocol. She had never been in the Major’s office before – they had always interacted on the parade ground or in the officers mess. On Osiris she had an excellent knowledge of etiquette, and had adapted to the requirements of each society she’d found herself in since leaving, but the army was a new experience and being a SFC was even newer. It seemed to her that she should wait to be invited to speak by her superior officer, but Lazarus just sat and looked at her. What was he expecting? Was he simply sizing her up, waiting for her to speak… waiting for her to screw up?

For his part the Major was aware that before him sat the core world equivalent of the ‘landed gentry’. ‘Old Money’, and high status was her heritage. For a would-be heiress she seemed pretty tough though. Mid-length, brown hair twisted into a knot at the back of her head, dark brown eyes holding his gaze, unsmiling. If she was unsure of herself she didn’t show it.

He nodded slightly, “Sarge.”

It was the invitation she’d instinctively waited for. “Sir, I’d like to request a transfer from the Regulars to the Medical unit.” She kept watching him intently as one of his eyebrows twitched almost imperceptibly. Not what he’d expected from her?

She continued, “I gleaned some basic medical knowledge back on Osiris, and more recently I learned a great deal more about herbal medicines and field dressings. I believe I could be a valuable member of their team” She kept watching, wondering if he was aware of her true motive for requesting the transfer.

He did. An ‘almost-smile’ flickered across his face as he nonchalantly said, “I have several others in the regulars who could lay claim to more medical knowledge than that Sargent, shy would I approve you for the position?”

Now she did smile. A small, slightly wry but warm smile.

I am sure you’re aware of my activities on Osiris a couple of years ago, Sir.” At a brief nod from Lazarus she continued, “Since arriving on Dyton I have been looking for ways in which my skills might best be utilised in the overall scheme of things. I am aware that medical staff have, perhaps, less restrictions on their movements than regulars, they are less likely to attract attention or suspicion and…”, a slight hesitation as she made sure he understood, “…according to convention they are obliged to treat any wounded combatant, regardless of affiliation, Sir.”

That flicker of an almost smile again. So, he had been expecting this then. She was impressed. She found herself warming to the Major.

He spoke again, “I would have imagined PFC Vex had something to do with this request also?”

She hadn’t expected this. Now he knew he had surprised her by her own almost imperceptible reaction.

“Private First Class Vex is not aware of my request, Sir”. He was clearly waiting for her to say more but she did not volunteer any further information.

The Major shifted slightly in his chair, eyeing her with interest as he picked up a file already open on his desk. He held up her original application to join the 76th. I see you left several fields blank on your application, Sargent. Not that remarkable – many of our ranks did the same, of course. But the next of kin, there is usually someone the soldiers want informed... in the event they might be injured or…” he trailed off.

“I am not sure if any of my family are still alive, Sir, there is one sister, but I am not sure of her whereabouts.” She did not make mention of her half sisters who were, she was certain, alive and well in Capital City.

“So that would make PFC Vex all the more like family to you.”

She’d sized him up long enough to trust him. “You are right in your assessment that she is the closest to a living relative I have, though we are not related by blood. I assure you, however, that her position in the Medical Corps has nothing to do with this request, Sir.”

He nodded. “you say she is unaware of your intention to transfer, Sargent?”, in answer to her brief nod he continued, “is there anyone you have discussed this with?”

He was good, better than many in his position would have been. She had long since learned to weigh folk up and know as much as possible about them. So he’s got his sources as well… good. She was feeling better about this man by the minute. It was most reassuring, after all, he would have a lot of say in her future with the Independent Army.

“I discussed my intention with SFC Alexander, Sir…” She left, ‘as I am sure you’re aware’ unsaid.

Now he smiled, like her smile it was small, and brief… but warm.

“You’ve been spending a fair amount of time in The Sargent’s company, Martin. Are you certain you have no other motives for requesting this transfer?” He looked at her with an expression more out of amusement than anything. She was not an unattractive woman, SFC Alexander was a fine looking soldier, either she was eager to learn the finer points of being a Sargent First Class from someone with more experience, or there was an attachment forming here.

“Is there is anything other than professional motive in my request? I have no romantic interest in the Sargent, nor in anyone within this battalion, Sir.” She stressed the last of that reply a little too strenuously, he thought, but she had confirmed one thing for him. She wasn’t a love struck young woman who had some romantic notion of working alongside her lover.

He was satisfied.

“Your request is granted, SFC Martin. I will organise the transfer and inform the Colonel. You will report to SFC Alexander tomorrow.” Her face softened slightly, but her manner remained professional, “Thank you, Sir”

He stood to indicate the interview was over. As she left his office, he thought to himself, “so, the 76th has it’s own intelligence agent.”


Thursday, June 21, 2007 9:55 PM


Magdalena, this needs more background as it is getting confusing as to what is happening. The main character, Magda, seems to be too all-knowing and the reader is still trying to find the door by torchlight.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007 5:17 PM


Some interesting plot ideas here, Magda...but we really need to know what the heck is going on and why? More story and some flashbacks would be mighty nice;)


Monday, July 16, 2007 1:06 AM


Thanks guys - I really appreciate the feedback. I have been working on snippets of her story for some time and this one does come out of the blue. I should have posted some earlier stuff perhaps before posting this one... I hope to fill in the gaps and give you more of an idea soon.

Thanks again! Magdalena


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Stepping Up - part 2
About two or three weeks later, still on Persephone.

Stepping Up
This does not follow on directly from the story of Magda on Dyton - it takes place some weeks later on Persephone, but it tells more of her story...

Magda seeks a family.
This was written for the 76th fan fic section but it is set in the verse and with little knowlege of the history of the 76th battalion you could enjoy it as much as those who spend half their life in the battalion proboards...

And so - I post my first ever item in the Blue Sun room.