8:00 AM, the Gimura Mountain Hideout
It was that time again; the time Imara dreaded the most as she shined her blade and joined the rest of her family. Her mother, her siblings and she had to line up in order, in front of her father for headcount. Despite not wanting to do it, she was still in line at 8:00, as expected.
The moment Imara's father stepped into the main room was the moment all went silent and everyone in the family stiffened up for headcount. The patriarch of the family glared for a moment, bringing his double-edged trident to bear as he surveyed his family.
"Good morning, Raj." The wife greeted with a smile. The man simply narrowed his eyes. "Who?" It was one very stiff word, but she got the point. Today was one of those days. "Good morning, Master Maharajan." To that, the obstreperous father acknowledges his wife's greetings. "And a very good morning to you too, Penelope." He said, noticing her weapon wasn't unsheated and at display. "You're not battle ready." He said simply. To that, Penelope simply held up her assault rifle.
"Better." He said, as the man walked in front of his oldest child. "Good morning, Master Maharajan." The 22 year old man sounded off, his voice strong and masculine as he did. Raj simply smiled. "Good morning to you too, Adam." Raj nodded in pride at the sight of his son's sword, not even caring that it wasn't cleaned.
He moved on to his second child, an intellectually inclined 19-year-old who at 6'2" stood four whole inches taller than his father and older brother. He could see over his father's head, but was not allowed to look down as he sounded off in his rather soft tenor voice. "Good morning, Master Maharajan." His sword was quite a bit thinner and more needle-like than the broadsword his older brother Adam wielded, which just reinforced the difference in musculature between the two. "Good morning, Jericho."
Imara was third, or would have been third, had the father not immediately passed over her and stopped in front of his third son and youngest child. Even Penelope seemed shocked at this, but the fourth child sounded off, his voice clearly indicating that he was no older than 13. "Good morning, Master Maharajan!" He said with utmost enthusiasm. The strict father's façade cracked for just a moment to flicker a smile at his youngest son. His platinum-lined spear was impeccably cleaned and seemed to glow even in the dark hideout, unlike the weapons of his two older brothers. It might have even been as clean as Imara's, if only Raj would acknowledge it. "And good morning to you, Hassan."
Raj walked past Imara once again, pointedly trying to ignore the sole, rather homely daughter in his household. Penelope was dumbfounded, but knew better than to challenge her husband when he was in the best of moods, let alone on a morning like this. His expression turning stone cold before he spoke more than sealed it.
"Our scout has returned. As usual, you…" He pointed his trident at his daughter. "Prove yet again just how much you shame our family name!" Raj's wrath was sudden, and terrifying. His mood was assuaged just a bit as she hid her rather displeasing looking face in fear; as if to spite him further, Imara's face was a face that he didn't like seeing at all. He wondered why she alone was born so ugly, and how she could be born at all from a beautiful mother like Penelope.
"Raj, she-" Penelope attempted, before Raj held up his hand to silence her as he returned to his now trembling daughter. "You allowed your ugly face to be seen by some kids near the village! Why? Well?! I asked you a question!" He ranted, and Imara stammered out her answer.
"Th-they needed help, and-and-and there weren't any… any adults around and…" Raj's expression only twisted further as he heard Imara's words. "Help? You should have let those bastards be eaten by those lions. Now, because of your weakness, they will suffer!" Even the sons had started to become uncomfortable with Raj's implications, but not one of them dared voice it. Not now.
Raj turned to the entrance of the hideout. "Move out! Adam, Jericho, Hassan! Lead your units as you see fit! Penelope…" Raj faltered for just a moment when he looked at Imara, and ESPECIALLY at the serrated blade she carried. It took him a moment to steel himself against the fact that the offending, ugly daughter wielded that offending scimitar. "You and her make yourselves as useful as you can. But don't hinder us. Understood?" Raj glared at Imara as he said this.
The daughter squeaked out an affirmative, as Penelope stepped between them. "We understand Raj." She said as coolly and calmly as she could. Raj nodded. He turned to the men gathered outside of the main cave, all 50 of them gathered and awaiting orders as Adam, Hassan and Jericho appeared before them. Raj made his appearance at that moment. "We move! Gimura Force, set out!" He ordered, as he led his wife and sons to the force's van-like vehicle. Pointedly, Imara was not allowed to ride with the rest of her family, being forced to ride with the subordinates with the rest of the land fleet.
She was just happy to be allowed to join her family at all, really. She was also happy to at least be allowed to pick which unit she rode with, and instantly gravitated towards the only other people in the Gimura Force that she felt comfortable with. The two men decided to allow Imara to sit in the front seat, directly between the both of them.
"Don't worry about him, kid." The older man, the driver, said. "Yeah, Raj will eventually see how much you bring to the table one day. Eventually, he won't be able to ignore it any longer." The younger man in the passenger seat, the driver's son, reassured. Imara shook her head. "Atto, Ron, it's okay. I'm just happy he's allowing me to join in the battles now." She said, hoping she sounded convincing enough.
But perhaps she knew she didn't sound to certain.