Gerry is an adult and independently wealthy at ten years of age. How do you deal with one such as this, what do you expect of him?
Passing his tribe’s manhood tests and becoming a legal adult at nine years of age he establishes his first business, and is quick to become the richest person in the country. He studies for, and passes, a number of diplomas; finishing the first before his tenth birthday, to become the youngest qualified doctor in the country. He also studies and passes the theory tests to general by his eleventh birthday. Starting at ten years of age he serves with the Guards, after proving competence at each level he’s promoted as soon as possible. Since his isn’t a normal career path, and he’s not part of the normal Guards forces, he doesn’t need a permanent vacancy to fill. He fills temporary vacancies at each level, serving just long enough to prove his competency in the barracks and in the field. This results in him being in combat with brigands and being wounded in combat. These events also shows the troops his skills and personal attributes.
Gerry is no ordinary person: he’s a genius recognised as an adult and businessman at an age when most of his peers are just recognising the importance of their high-school studies. In View Port and Carmel he’s known as Gerry Mannheim. On duty in the Guards he’s Gordon Mannheim (his legal name). At functions where he appears as a royal prince he’s known as Prince Edward.
No longer an innocent boy, legally an adult, determined to hurt those who killed his family and friends, with a knowledge of himself many people triple his age would envy, he now has to face the world of adults while still living partly in the world of a child. More events and experiences await their opportunity to shape his attitudes, his life, and his character. Are we truly the sum of our life experiences? Or is it a combination of our nature, nurturing, and life experiences?
Building a New Life
To help get over the heartaches of 2002 the new Gerry Mannheim needs to dive into some hard challenges to take his mind off his losses. His business is up and running well, so well it doesn’t really need him now. His studies are doing well, and he passes his doctor’s exams. The practical was a bit of a problem, because they didn’t like the idea of the doctor standing on a step stool in the operating room. He has way too much time on his hands. After discussions with his parents, and Angie, he signs up for the Guards. He’ll undertake other studies next year as well, but he’ll start the Guards training now.
In November, 2002 Harry Baldwin, the Royal Guards recruiting officer at Carmel, has a fit when a ten year old boy walks in with his certificate of Manhood, and asks to join the Guards. The boy even brings in a high-school diploma, so he meets the educational requirements, and he easily passes the fitness tests. Harry is surprised when John Day, the senior recruiting officer, walks in while saying, “Well, young Mannheim, knowing your family I’m surprised you didn’t come down here the day you got that certificate. By the way, how’s your father?”
Gerry says, “Hello, Major. I’d a few other things to deal with first. Dad’s doing well, and he said to give you his best if I saw you. Mother sent a warning, she said to say, ‘You thought Granite was hard, this one’s much harder.’ I’m not sure if she’s trying to warn you or scare you off.” Initially Harry is surprised his boss knows the boy, but finding out his father is Granite Mannheim explains it, because his boss served with Granite when he took command of the 3rd Claymore. It’s a great shock to learn this boy is already being said to be tougher than one of the Guards’ toughest legends.
John says, “Oh, I’m not warned off. Your mother forgets I’m an Amiri elder. I knew how tough you were two years ago, and I don’t think you’ve gone soft since. You do know you’re not allowed to take your fancy bedspread to the barracks.”
Gerry smiles, “Even if it was allowed, I wouldn’t. Whenever mother gets to missing me, usually because things go very quiet when I’m not there, she goes into my room, sits on the bed, and rubs the fur. It has a soothing feel to it.”
John replies, “Yes, I know, I loved rubbing my grandfather’s fur. If he hadn’t gifted it to my niece before he died it could’ve caused a major family battle at the reading of the will. But no arguments while he lived, and it was a done deal by the time he died, so still no arguments. And that fur must be about seventy years old, it still looks and feels wonderful.” He’s lost in memory for a moment.
He continues, “I hope you don’t mind if we extend your testing, as I don’t want to put you in a normal basic training course, but jump you from course to course to fine tune your current skills and teach you what you don’t know yet.” Harry is shocked by this, why the special treatment? John turns to him, and says, “Gordon here is already rated marksman with all the personal and squad weapons. He’s a Sensei in the Way of the Hand, and has courage to burn. His bedspread is made from the furs of four mountain lions that were stupid enough to attack him when he was eight years old, he took them with arrows and a knife. Putting him in the normal basic course would be boring for him, and very disheartening for the bulk of the other recruits through being shown up by a kid. Nope, not going to do it. Jumping him from course to course will stop people from getting heartburn, though they’ll wonder what he’s doing there. We can get away with saying he’s a midget or a special RIS agent being trained.” Harry is flabbergasted by all this! The boy already has better weapons training than most serving members. Gerry’s enlistment is accepted under his legal name of Gordon Mannheim.
Basic training normally takes nearly twelve months with courses starting in January, April, July, and October. Because he already has the relevant weapons, unarmed combat, and basic tactics skills in hand he can skip those courses once he passes the required competency skills tests for them. They send him off to his first course to start in mid November - Advanced Field Tactics. After finishing the course he jumps between courses while he fills the training gaps until his skills check-list is completed with all the competencies marked as passed and proven by tests.
Because he’s only with any one group for a few weeks at a time, for specific courses, most of the other trainees think he’s there only for a few specific courses. That’s true, but not in the way they think. His training involves interaction with members from five training courses. In the short gaps between specific courses he studies the promotion courses, and sits the exams for them, passing everything up to general before finishing basic training. He has one period with a two week gap, so he talks his way into a compressed parachute training course which is really a refresher course for people who haven’t jumped for a long time. He successfully passes the course to earn his wings, but he’s not silly enough to wear them while still in basic. Some courses are only part-day courses, so he fills in by taking any course available at the training facility that’ll fill in the time. His days are often longer than those of the normal basic recruits. He doesn’t mind, because he needs to keep his mind busy and away from Dani, Kelly, and Amy; especially his Amazing Amy.
The newly promoted Lieutenant Angelson is on base doing new and refresher courses, so are the rest of his personal protection platoon. Since unit insignia isn’t worn by people undergoing training only a few people know they’re from the 1st Claymore. But that’s not a problem at all, because the 1st Claymore regularly sends people in for refresher or extra skills training. Few Swords get the opportunity to pick up extra training skills while still on active assignment, and the members of his security detail find the situation rather funny.