I was born here. Not here in the garage, I mean, but here on the base. That sounds like something it isn't, though. We got to travel during the summer, sometimes, up the coast to grandpa's cabin, or inland to the old city where Dad lives. And I got to go to school, even though it was an hour south of the base. Mom never pressured me to follow in her footsteps, and fighting wasn't for me, but I fell in love with taking care of the mechs anyways. It's not really a career or a hobby anymore. It's a purpose. A reason to get out of bed. Something to explore, that's worth exploring. And I'm not alone, even though Mom and Dad are gone now. Andre, he's in charge of this whole side of the garage, he grew up here too. When I failed my pilot tests he helped me transfer to maintenance, and taught me the clockwork. The jocks like to tease him about his haircut, but only from a safe distance. Mel is my age, and already head of fab. Fabrication, sorry. She can make anything, which comes in handy since the main factories don't want to support our models anymore. She's been picky about what she eats ever since the octopus incident. Davey and Sebastian are my juniors but they'll be on their own bays as soon as they figure out how to shut up. Bay 7 is mine - Cass has 8, and the twins run 5 and 6. Ten years in and their main joke is still to switch spots and see how long it takes the pilots to notice. And this is a Mark I. And it's hard for me to separate these things. Like what ... which one of these things is home? Is it the Mark I? I might have spent most of my adult life in there but it's not exactly cozy. Is it the base? Is it my lumpy dorm bed? Is it game night with Cass and Davey? Is it the smell, of the sea, and the concrete, and the garage's metal roof heating up in the afternoon, and the rust from the stair rail chipping off on your gloves? I'm being poetical, right? Like this is all a kind of over-structured way of saying it's all of these things and none of them and sometimes the things that mean the most somehow avoid words and you can only see them out of the corner of your eye and if you're lucky maybe your words can hem them in and put a fence around the idea and you can point there in the middle where your words can't reach and say there, that's it, that's what I mean.