Ax sat in the waiting area outside the office of Princeps Pierce. His fingers nervously flicking the tip of the Sonic Detonator.  This was it, the final interview. Keep your mouth shut, don’t say anything dumb, remember to look him in the eyes when you shake his hand….. or was it you’re not supposed to look him in the eyes.. DAMN! He said out loud and quickly looked around the room to see if anyone had hard. A breath escaped from his lips much louder than he expected. Again, Ax started to drum on the Detonator with his fingers.

Only then did he realize what he was doing. WHY did I bring a Sonic Detonator into the freaking Princeps office the question rolled in his head? There was no danger. Sonic Detonators he understood, how to act in front the Princep was something entirely different.

Sonic Detonators, a smile rose across his face as he remembered the first time he detonated one. Setting it off easy, getting away with was the hard part. He was no more than 11 at the time and back then it was easy to outrun the Oukushire town guards. Most old and right now they had their hands full trying to get the livestock back in the pens at the market.  His older brother however, was not quite so easy. Though at the moment, with his brother simply trying to keep his balance and the entire right side of his hair singed off.

It had been a good plan. Steal a Detonator from the construction crews. Use it to blow the doors off the chicken coops in the market. In the confusion grab one of the chickens and run for home. What could go wrong with that?  Ok what could go wrong other then grabbing the wrong detonators and blowing the entire front wall of the livestock area out of the market. His brother’s hair would eventually grow back and it was all well worth it to watch the front half of that cow bust thought the apothecary’s door. Ax smiled to himself he always wondered it really was the front half of the cow.

A new voice brought his attention back to the present. Across the room Ax watched as a senior member of the Exploratores addressed the soldier behind the desk. He knew immediately who it was Centurian Charity Bowen. Her career was legendary, Second in command under Princeps Pierce. “Is the Princep in his office” she asked.

Ax looked over every inch of her uniform. Spotless, perfectly fit.. She could be a poster for the Imperial Exploratores. A smile crossed his lips as he remembers she was.

He looked down at this own uniform. Stained, wrinkled and clearly long past time it should have been tossed in the trash and this was his best. But he never wanted to be a soldier. Exploratores trained their entire lives. He was here because of one small accident and a magistrate with a sick sense of humor.

It had really been his brothers plan. Ax only added the part with the bale of hay and the goat cart and that would have been perfect except of the guard coming around the corner at exactly the wrong moment.

The magistrate had been an Explorator in her youth and knew the value of someone with Ax’s particular skills. The choice was simple, 3 years in a labor camp or 6 In the Exploratores. The choice was simple but that was now 8 years ago.


Ax found he had quite an affinity with the more advanced pyrotechnics of the Imperial Exploratores and if that meant putting on a uniform and occasionally giving a few salutes it was a small price to pay.