“Welcome, pilots, to the LPAO headquarters.” A tall, imposing figure stood at the hidden entrance to the League’s base, which was under the ground of the abandoned landfill planet. Typical of such a planet, the stench was horrendous, and pollution was as thick as the piles of rubbish and discarded items that formed small mountains on the dwarf planet’s surface. A crowd was in front of him, and though they had gathered from different countries, they were all similar in one sense – they could pilot MAGMA armour, and they were waging war on those who dared to abuse this power. Standing at the back, as the second-in-command spoke via radio, was a reclusive and logically-minded boy of but seventeen, drawn into a war he did not even want to fight. Nevertheless, he had boarded the transport from Earth to LF-424, and was listening to a man who appeared to be clad in roboticised crusader armour. Even over the radio, his voice was loud and commanding, his personality fierce and fiery. “Underneath our feet is a sprawling complex of everything you’d expect our base to have. We will, if you are accepted, be sending you on missions as often as possible. You will, most likely, encounter heavy resistance. There is a chance that you will die. But! You knew that as soon as you decided to join. You have done this of your own free will. Therefore, I will let you in, and allow you to be examined. You will be directed to a simulated combat arena, where you will fight an instructor, who will also assign you a rank based on your performance. Administration will handle the rest. It’s half-past five in the afternoon, and I am Jonathan Hughes, second in command. Watch your step as you go down the shaft, you should activate your boosters after a few hundred metres to slow your fall, as artificial gravity will be on. Good luck, recruits.” At which point, he moved to one side, opening the entrance – a hole in the ground, roughly ten metres in diameter. Which he jumped down. And, like a multitude of mechanical lemmings, the crowd followed.