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Editors: MadTix & Masadeer
The Epiece system possessed a red dwarf, which had very efficient hydrogen nuclear fusion reactions. Compared to a normal star, which rapidly consumes hydrogen and carbon and becomes a supernova or a black hole, a red dwarf star was prized for its property of being able to produce stable energy for over 20 billion years.
And this was the second planet in that Epiece system, that used energy from the red dwarf. Epiece—2’s energy income was quite stable. However, the military guardhouse was kept chilly no matter how much energy they gathered.
“To think that I’m… inside a guardhouse. H-How embarrassing!”
To think that I, Vice Admiral Lezirth of the 1st Space Marines and Commander of Dawn Corps, would be treated as a mere greenie and be stuck inside a guard house. I couldn’t accept my own worthlessness.
“I’m sorry, Vice Admiral Lezirth. You were caught up in this mess because of me…”
In the cell across to me, the short-cut, dark brown haired girl apologised to me while leaning on the wall and still gasping for breath. The two things on my mind while looking at that blushing girl with red lips, short on breath, were that she was really cute and that I pitied her.
Luise Maynard, the General Office Chief of Staff of the Federation 120 years ago, appeared to be nothing more than a beautiful girl.
“Not at all, Chief of Staff. I’ve troubled you for not being able to keep my anger in check.”
“No. Thank you for getting angry for me. I… really didn’t know what was going on until you arrived. Sniff.”
She must’ve been feeling emotional, because she wasn’t able to continue talking right away.
To be fair, this was an unimaginable situation for her, since right now we’re 120 years in the future, and the Chief of Staff was being treated like that by trainees and instructors.
“It will be OK, I’m here. At your word, I can break out of a guardhouse like this.”
“N-No, doing that would…. They just don’t know what is going on. Also, please talk informally with me, we’re of the same family after all.”
And she smiled after saying that.
The Children of Letix.
Hyperspace travelling wasn’t the only thing that humans received from the first Letix on Mars, dubbed ‘The Old One’.
From the Letix, the human race received space battle tactics— and the manufacturing techniques for ‘Alter Armour’ and ‘Replicants’. Cloning techniques already existed prior to that time, but cloned humans had short life spans and had weak immune systems.
However, Replicants created with the special property of the Letix possessed the ability to store genetic material outside the third dimension, and that gave them strong resistance to radiation.
Even if their DNA gets destroyed by radiation, a back-up would be created in a higher dimension. That genetic information is protected and it adapts to the radiation that destroyed it, resulting in an even stronger immunity.
Among Replicants, the first generation, born directly under The Old One, were called ‘The Children of Letix’.
Admiral Maynard and I were both born of The Old One, hence called ‘The Children of Letix.’ So we could be considered to be siblings.
Even so, I couldn’t treat the Chief of Staff lightly.
“Chief of Staff, just what is going on here?”
I held nothing back, I told her everything, starting from the time I woke up and wandered around the station in a rash guard. Admiral Maynard blushed.
“I also woke up near the station.”
“Eh? That means….”
I quickly imagined Admiral Luise Maynard wandering around in a female rash guard.
A cute brown haired and golden eyed girl, wandering around shyly in the station, barefoot?
Her clothes clung tightly to her body! Clothes that accentuated her hip lines and slender waist, revealing the bridging line of her thighs and her hip. Her bust lines that appeared to be immature but were good enough, should’ve been shown, right?!
She must’ve caused a commotion. To think that the Chief of Staff had to go through such embarrassment!!
“Ah, um, I was fine. Telepathy is my specialty after all.”
Admiral Maynard must’ve read my thoughts, because she answered me. True, she could’ve forced people to not look at her with her telepathic powers.
“T-That’s a relief. Ha ha ha.”
I turned my head away out of embarrassment at having my thoughts read. Admiral Maynard also blushed and bowed her head.
“I think… the hardliners in the army must’ve purged everything about us. It must’ve been Admiral Perth and his men.”
“What? But why? Admiral Perth did?”
Admiral Perth was the Vice President of the Joint General Staff 120 years ago and was the second in command of the military. He feared the aliens more than what was necessary, but he shared the same view as me about Elcros not being a threat to the human race.
But for what reason did he go so far as to purge me?
“Don’t you remember? Admiral Perth called us Letix in human form, and feared us.”
Among Letix, the foreign space organism, there were superior beings, such as the Old One on Mars—that class which was named Uberlord.
Obviously, there were people who hated us beings, born from technology learnt from the Old One, amongst the earthlings.
“Currently the Space Federation is under a lot of pressure because of the war between the four major forces. While the military is getting stronger, and the war continues, there is great financial loss, and the country is growing weaker and weaker—being dragged around by the military equipment suppliers.”
Ah, I didn’t know that much since I just woke up, but that’s how much things have changed?
“I was able to find this out after watching the promotional video.”
She was able to get this much information out of that near-pornographic promotional video?
I couldn’t help but to be surprised. As expected from the greatest brains of the Federation, Chief of Staff Luise Maynard. To be able to extract high quality information from that rubbish looking video!
“So I accessed the files quickly with a terminal. The key people broadened the scale of the war, and the military took control of the country, making it a militaristic one while we were asleep. It seems like Admiral Perth took on the presidency role twice.”
“That guy became the president?”
And twice at that? It’s a surprise the Federation is still standing.
“Are you saying that they escalated the war just to increase the influence of the army?”
“Yes. And to do so, they must’ve felt the need to purge us.”
“For something like that…”
I was horrified at the thought. At that moment, I heard someone coming towards the guardhouse.
“Who permitted you to talk freely in the guardhouse?”
I was dumbfounded at the person who came through the guardhouse doors.
A military uniform-clad, green eyed girl, who had her silver hair neatly organised in a beret, was walking towards them.
Every time she walked the baton that hung around her waist, and her dynamic breasts wobbled. She was a beautiful girl whose feminine lines couldn’t be obscured by the military uniform made for practical use.
There wasn’t a single mark on her face, so she looked like a sculptured doll. However, that wasn’t why I was surprised. I was surprised by the small pair of white wings behind her shoulders.
“Are you the ones who caused a ruckus in the recruit training area, within the first 2 hours of being admitted? To think that they would accept people who’re crazy enough to be jailed, the military must really be short on soldiers.”
She appeared to be nearly seventeen. But the tone in her voice sounded arrogant for someone of her age. That way of talking that reflects her appearance… not that I should be talking.
“Ah… t-then you’re an Ensign?”
I assumed that she was an Ensign by looking at the mark on her shoulders. However, Admiral Maynard corrected me.
“The colours for ranks are different these days. Black doesn’t represent a commissioned Ensign but an Ensign in the Naval Cadets.”
“Ah, I see. So a Naval Cadet? The Federation really must be short on soldiers if they're sending newly graduated Naval Cadets to war.”
As I spoke, I realised what I was doing. I didn’t mean to insult that Naval Cadet Ensign, but I ended up speaking too much. The playful side of me went too far.
The Cadet Ensign clenched her fist.
“Are you out of your minds? Who allowed you to speak ill in the guardhouse? You are not even showing any signs of repentance! Are you looking down on me just because I’m half Elcro?”
“Ah, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, Cadet. I don’t plan to look down on your lineage either, so don’t be offended.”
“Ah ha, you didn’t mean to hurt my feelings?”
The Cadet smiled brightly. Oh, what an attractive smile.
“I didn’t know what a greenie was… until I met you. But now, I finally understand what they are. You are testing my patience.”
She heard my sincere apology and opened the guardhouse door while sighing.
“You will now be under my command. If you refuse, the jail cells will be waiting for you. Now, which will it be? Will you go to jail or will you follow my orders?”
Hmm, how extraordinary.
They examined us, the trouble makers, in the recruiting office for a day and then threw us to the guard house—only to be picked up by the Naval Cadet Ensign on the same day.
This would’ve been unthinkable 120 years ago. This is how desperate the Federation is for soldiers? 120 years ago, soldiers were selected competitively, so troublesome people were turned away.
But what should I do? I had my face to keep as a Vice Admiral, but I have to follow the instructions of a Naval Cadet who’s yet to earn a rank?
“Hmm, what should we do, Admiral Maynard?”
“We should follow her, Vice Admiral Lezirth. After all, we are just fresh recruits right now.”
“I suppose we should.”
I allowed the Chief of Staff to exit first, and followed after her.
The Elcro Naval Cadet who was silently watching us covered her face with her hands.
“Oh great Artus, lead me not into temptation… and deliver me from the greenies…”
She seemed to rearrange a certain prayer in a strange way.
Sighing, she extended her hand to Admiral Maynard and I. There were two multi-purpose computers in her hand.
“Here, I heard you haven’t received these yet.”
I took the multi-purpose computer and pinned it to my chest, on top of my military uniform, like a broche. With a whirring mechanical sound, the uniform revitalised and a notification from the Federation appeared and disappeared.
“Now, follow me.”
◊ ◊ ◊
A large school at the foot of a mountain came into view, after catching a tram from the recruit squadron. That was the Second Military and Non-Commissioned Officer Academy of Epiece—2; a collected place for soldiers to train in.
This was a place for Petty Officers who graduated after 4 years of the Military Academy, and ordinary soldiers to train in their respective fields.
“Nothing has changed with the Second Military Academy…”
Admiral Maynard started to think back about the place while looking out the tram window.
“I agree. The last time I visited there was for a graduation speech that I was invited to. Hm… I suppose it was three years prior to the cold sleep. The only thing that’s different seems to be the overgrown ivy.”
The Second Military Academy hasn’t changed at all over the last 120 years.
“Let me ask a serious question, but are you two drug addicts?”
The Elcro Naval Cadet girl didn’t seem to like the conversation between the Chief of Staff and I.
“Keep your composure as a Naval Cadet. Is that how you should be speaking?”
I carefully disciplined her. When I did, she opened her eyes wide (she was quite cute) and looked at me.
“My composure as a Naval Cadet? You are the one who is trampling on it and burning it away! Do you plan to disobey me from day 1?”
Admiral Maynard stopped me as I was about to retort.
The cadet sighed and looked sideways to glare at us.
“Do you know each other? Enlisting on the same day? And Lezirth Dawnbringer and Luise Maynard at that. So you’re using the old war heroes’ names? Then again, there are at least six people who are named Lezirth in the entire squadron.”
She still wasn’t taking us seriously even after knowing our names.
“I am that very Vice Admiral Lezirth Dawnbringer and this person here is the very Admiral Luise Maynard.”
When I told her so, the cadet broke into laughter.
“Ku… ku ku ku! Ah ha ha ha ha ha! A-Are you trying to make me laugh to death!? Ah! I really should’ve recorded that! Ha ha ha ha!”
The girl was hitting the tram’s seats and was holding her stomach in laughter. Hmm, this doesn’t please me. She’s clearly laughing at me, isn’t she?
“I should be known for my fairness and sensibleness, but I will not allow someone to look down on someone else’s rank, cadet. If you continue to be rude like this….”
“Yes, is that so? Self-proclaimed Vice Admiral Lezirth Dawnbringer. This really is brilliant. Ha ha ha.”
Kuk! Was she laughing at me?! How I pity her. This cadet is such a beauty, but there seems to be crap software installed on her compared to her great hardware. Can’t she try to talk nicely when she was born as a beauty?
I took the chance to look at the name tag on her chest.
I was not looking at her chest for any other reasons! But of course, her pair was big and had a nice shape to it—I could imagine them being firm by the way they shook while in motion. I preferred firm breasts compared to softer ones, so I could say that hers were exactly my type!
However, I was solemnly reading her name tag! Got it?! I wasn’t looking at her breasts!
Who the hell designed the Federation Military uniforms and why did he put the name tag on the chest? Even if that was the custom….
All hail to the great ancient wisdom!
“Uuu! W-What are you looking at!?”
“Ehh…. Cadet Yu Myung Hoa?”
“It’s Meihowa. Liu Meihowa.”
“Liu Meihowa? So you have an earthly name even though you’re an Elcro?”
“Add the title of Platoon Leader before my name! I won’t do anything because there isn’t anyone watching, but if you dare to look down on my authority, then I will make sure you pay for your mistakes.”
“That aside, why are you part of the Federation Forces when you’re an Elcro?”
“That’s because my father is a Federation… isn’t what I should be saying! That was a personal question that I have no obligation to answer! If you ask about this one more time I will consider you a rebel and, you will have to have your meals through a straw for a while.”
Pulling a serious expression, she shook her fist before my eyes. As she did, the tram stopped and we arrived at the station.
A fit looking, brown skinned and red haired girl was waiting at the station with a military vehicle. She spotted Ensign Meihowa and saluted.
“Salute! Are these the new troubled recruits, Ensign?”
The girl who was in a Petty Officer uniform had a healthy skin that appeared to be lightly tanned by the sun, and a playful face. Her fit, sexy, legs extended down from the formal miniskirt, and her breasts were, hmm, they were bigger than Cadet Meihowa’s! Her breasts were certainly overflowing with the feminine charms and her body to fat ratio appeared to be low.
Under both of her eyes, there was white war paint smeared; most likely to protect her eyes from the light.
But what was even more surprising was that her ears were pointed. That aspect of her was quite similar to the Asa aliens. Was this a platoon where the Elcro was the Platoon Leader and the Asa was the Platoon Sergeant?
“Relax. As you can see, I do have Asa lineage in my blood, but I don’t have a bad habit of eating men. My name is Aroha Pereira, the Platoon Sergeant. Just call me Sergeant Aroha.”
She offered her hand to me. When I responded to that hand, her smile disappeared from her face.
“You really are stupid, aren’t you? You’re going to shake hands with a Sergeant just because she extended her hand to you, when you’re just a recruit? Don’t you think you should salute first?”
She didn’t have a smile on her face, but her eyes still had one. Was this a prank of some sort?
I noticed the flow straight away, but Admiral Maynard was surprised and grabbed my sleeves.
It can’t be helped. Protecting Admiral Maynard with my body, I stood between the Sergeant and the Admiral.
“We are no ordinary soldiers. We’re Admirals.”
“I am Vice Admiral Lezirth Dawnbringer. And this person here is Admiral Luise Maynard! We cannot prove our identities because there has been a mistake, but it should be revealed soon. Contact the military headquarters at once.”
“Ah? Platoon Leader, are they high?”
“Who knows? I have no interest in drugs, so I’m not quite sure…. But there is no doubt that these people are beyond help. I am considering returning them back to the recruits office. What do you think, Sergeant?”
Ensign Meihowa spun her finger next to her head. It was the universal sign of saying someone was crazy.
“There’s no point in returning them. They’ll come back after going through some lessons or something. We can only put up with them here.”
“At this point, I am unsure whether I am a Platoon Leader or a nurse in a psychiatric ward. I shall consider wearing a maid uniform while I am at it.”
“Wow~ that’s wonderful. Everyone would behave so well.”
The Naval Cadet and the Sergeant seemed to be on friendly terms with each other. They were talking like old friends.
“Self-proclaimed Vice Admiral Lezirth Dawnbringer, why don’t you exchange greetings with your statue over there?”
When my eyes met Cadet Meihowa’s, she pointed to a side path.
Erected there was a statue of an old soldier who stood there looking up at the sky. The words ‘Fleet Admiral Lezirth Dawnbringer, 1~ 69 Space Years. KIA’ were engraved on the pedestal.
“How embarrassing. I’m not a Fleet Admiral, but a Vice Admiral…. So I died in battle and got promoted two ranks?”
That was the conclusion I could arrive to after thinking about it for a while. Admiral Maynard sighed next to me.
“Look, Lezirth. The important point is that the statues are of completely different people and they were all killed in battle. Killed.”
“Eh? I died in battle? Why was I killed?”
“Well now that you’re enlisted, your own KIA will be waiting for you.”
Joking around in a way that only a few would dare to, Sergeant Aroha tapped my back.
And now that I look at it closer, the date of birth is messed up as well. I wasn’t born in the first year of Space Year, but the period of AD before that.
“You said that your name was Luise Maynard, didn’t you? Luise Maynard is over there so go over there and take a good look at yourself. Haaa, they’re everywhere.”
Just like she said, there was a statue of Admiral Luise Maynard in a park on the path leading to the Military Academy. As expected, there was a statue of an old soldier sitting on a chair while holding a pipe on its lip. On the pedestal, the words ‘Fleet Admiral Luise Maynard 1~72 Space Years. KIA’ was engraved.
“Did they smear honey at the guardhouse or something…? You seem to be desperate to go back there, but I hope you have not forgotten that you have missed out on a full day of training. Your ability to survive in a war is decreased if you miss out on training. Cut back on the drugs and immerse yourselves in training from today.”
The silver haired Elcro, Naval Cadet Meihowa was fixing her hair while seated in the military vehicle. She appeared to have silky silver hair, but her hair would spring out like a rocker if she didn’t tie it back with a hair band or put on a hat. That style had its own charms, but it was the style of a rocker, not a soldier.
When she organised her hair and put on her military beret, her hair settled nicely. Hmm, if her hair can have that much volume when not setting it with wax or hair spray, is it an Elcro trait?
As Admiral Maynard stepped onto the vehicle first, she spoke to me.
“This is an order, Lezirth. Call me Luise from now on. Understood?”
I wasn’t able to hide my surprise. She was my senior and I couldn’t address her like that.
“I don’t think we should address each other with our titles, Lezirth. According to the history, we’re dead. And I also think they removed the information of us being Replicants.”
Seeing her stern expression, I realised she was being serious.
Sergeant Aroha laughed as she hopped onto the driver’s seat.
“You’re really hitting it off. Hey, you’d be in for disciplinary actions for talking privately between recruits, if we weren’t kind and were like every other platoon, got it? You’re even worse than the other greenies we have in our platoon.”
Ensign Meihowa held back the raging Sergeant Aroha.
“That’s enough, Sergeant. Let us hurry to the barracks. There is no use talking to the greenies, when they’ll only torture themselves….”
For some reason, I was labelled as a greenie by this Platoon Leader and Platoon Sergeant. To think I, who was born to be a soldier, would be called a greenie! What nonsense is this!
◊ ◊ ◊
The barracks for recruits were set up in a way where they had to share a room with a bunk bed. The rooms were humble, all there was inside were 2 desks for personal use. The rooms were built on the left and right sides of the hallway. It was set up this way so that a superior can walk along the hallway and take the roll call, with the soldiers standing outside their room.
When Ensign Meihowa started to take the roll call, I realised why this platoon was considered as the greenies’ den.
Platoon Leader, Naval Cadet Liu Meihowa was half Elcro, half Earthling.
Platoon Sergeant, Petty Officer First Class Aroha Pereira was half Asa, half Earthling.
Most of the other platoon members were Replicants, as well. There was not a single pure Earthling in that group.
The soldiers were looking at Chief Maynard and I with great interest. Without being able to keep his curiosity in check for any longer, a soldier raised his hand.
“Platoon Leader, are those two… pure Earthlings? They don’t seem to have the marking on their right eye.”
“They do not have the marking, but they are Replicants. They appear to be Replicants from illegal production lines.”
The mood quickly turned sour.
“Eh? I-Illegal Replicants are those, right? Those suicide bombers that criminals make.”
“Or maybe they’re, you know… escorts.”
“Damn it! Isn’t this platoon made up of Replicants or Halves then?”
“Did you hear? The higher ups apparently call us the bombing platoons. We’re just human shields to them. They’re saying that losing Replicants and Halves won’t affect them at all.”
Complaints escaped amongst the soldiers. Ensign Meihowa shouted at them.
“Everyone stop! Who permitted you to gossip during a roll call? Everyone gather around at the training ground right now! All of you!”
The Replicant soldiers had a look of resignation in their eyes. Everyone gathered their equipment and started to leave for the training ground.
“D-Do we have to go as well?”
That’s what Chief Maynard asked to the Naval Cadet who has yet become a commissioned Ensign. Goodness me! How can this be happening?
Ensign Meihowa shook her head.
“You will be directed to your room first. But there’s only a single free room. How troublesome. We cannot leave a male and a female in the same room.”
After making every other soldier leave, she held a look of concern. There was only a single room free in that barracks and she must’ve thought that she couldn’t leave Chief Maynard and I in the same room.
“I’ll be OK.”
When Chief Maynard answered that she didn’t really mind it, Ensign Meihowa quickly blushed for some reason.
“B-But! Even if your relationship is good between you two….”
“No, w-we don’t have that sort of relationship, Ensign! How could you say such things before the Chief of Staff!”
I shook my head in panic.
Sergeant Aroha smiled and put her arm around Chief Maynard’s shoulder from behind.
“There’s a free bed in my room, so why don’t we let her sleep there?”
“Great. Then Recruit Lezirth, unpack your belongings and come to the training grounds. I can’t stand it anymore. Why do you always rebel against your commanding officers?”
Because you’re not my commanding officer! But she would really blow her fuse if I say that, wouldn’t she?
“When you call me, you shall call me an Ensign! Or you may also call me Platoon Leader!”
The Naval Cadet Meihowa scanned over me.
Now I could understand the gist of things. Lezirth Dawnbringer and Luise Maynard were both purged from the government records. That truth was being heavily guarded, so now, there shouldn’t be any records of me being the Vice Admiral Lezirth Dawnbringer even if I were to contact the military headquarters.
However, wasn’t it way too much to ask of the General of the Dawn Corps, who lead 100,000 seamen and 50,000 support troops prior to the cold sleep, to recognise a non-commissioned Naval Cadet as his superior? Because to me, it’s only been a day and 8 hours since I held such power!
◊ ◊ ◊
Earthling Pureblood Principle.
Stated in that principle was the belief that only pureblood earthlings were worthy, and that Replicants or any other alien life forms must be destroyed by the Federation’s Military. This was the basis of that discrimination. The discrimination began almost as soon as Replicants were first created, and this notion was strongly supported by the humans.
Replicants or Clones were created by humans, hence must be used as tools by humans.
Robots were also created by humans, but we must not give them the right to vote.
Those were the arguments put forth by the Pureblood Principle supporters.
In the old Earth government, there was the ‘Veracruz Treaty’, which stopped any unfair usage of clones. This Veracruz Treaty was a treaty formed in order to stop people from creating clones for physical labour, and for clones not to put humans out of work.
Clones must be allowed the same rights as a human. That way, even if clones are created, they are simply birthing humans, not slaves.
As a result, thoughtless creation of clones was banned.
When this Veracruz Treaty was put into effect, it was one of the few international laws that actually performed as it should and was highly praised.
Afterwards, when the humans were under attack from the alien species known as Letix, the Pureblood Principle supporters’ lost their power. This was due to the fact that they were unable to suppress the uprising Replicants, especially when there were not enough strong soldiers to fight off the Letixes, who were coming to destroy them.
That was similar to the way women’s rights were developed during World War II. The supporters had no choice but to accept help from everyone; including the humans, Clones and the Replicants.
However, the world right now seems to be skewed towards the Earthling Pureblood Principle. What happened during the last 120 years?
◊ ◊ ◊
Anyone could see the fear and the restlessness spreading through the Replicant soldiers gathered at the training ground. If the platoon was made up of Elcro, Asa and Replicants, it was obvious that recruits would be scared shitless.
It was easy for the platoon members to consider themselves as sacrificial lambs of the Federation. This was why the Federation of the past distributed races evenly among the forces.
‘There’s obviously some distrust of the Federation Government in the army.’
I was waiting in line at the training ground. A Replicant soldier standing next to me, poked my side.
“Hey, where are you from? Why don’t you have a marking? Are you from Cartel or something?”
Cartel was a criminal organisation that sold illegal drugs. The Replicant producing techniques must’ve fallen into the hands of criminal organisations by the looks of things.
“No, I’m the first generation.”
“Pfta ha ha ha! You must be mad. When you say first generation, you mean the Children of Letix, right? The pilots of the 12 Kishins. Are you one of them? Huh?”
He brought his finger towards his head and spun it in circles.
“12 Kishins? There are 12 Kishin-class Alter Armours? They must’ve created some more since the year 69.”
Alter Armour was the other technology gained from the contact with Letix, apart from Replicant techniques and hyperspace travel.
Harvested cultured cells, based off the Letix; Old One, would be inserted to the reinforced framework and seating. When done correctly, the Alter Armour becomes a humanoid-type manoeuvring weapon that is capable of displaying immense strength at the pilot’s command.
And among the strongest of those Alter Armours were the Kishins.
During the 69 space years, there were only 8 Kishin-class Alter Armours in existence.
Since the fundamental basis of Alter Armours was life itself, the production of these was closer to breeding than manufacturing. There were numerous attempts to create the Kishins, but humanity wasn’t able to gain any more Kishin-class Alter Armours.
Hence, the Federation placed the 8 Kishins as the highest class and organised the other Alter Armours as Dominion>Master>Senior>Major>Juvenile>Minor>Minion as a 8 levelled scale.
But if there were 12 Kishins, than that meant that there 4 more Kishins were birthed since then….
“Ohh, I am quite knowledgeable with those things, man”
A somewhat chubby recruit interrupted the conversation. What was with this off-putting way of talking?
“There are 8 in possession of the Space Federation, 2 by the Asa and 2 by the Elcro, making it a total of 12, man.”
“Eh? Asa and Elcro have Kishins?”
I didn’t know too much about Asas, because that race was encountered after I fell asleep, but on the other hand, the Elcro possessed Kishins? That’s quite a surprise.
“Currently, the Federation lost both ‘Dawnbringer’ and ‘Tetragrammaton’, ‘Omertà’ was stolen by the Replicant Rebels and ‘Diablo’ to the Elcros. Have you been living under a rock to not know all this, dude?”
The recruit looked at me with a look of disbelief.
“What? Dawnbringer and Tetragrammaton are lost?!”
I was unable to hold back my yell. Recruits around me looked at me.
“W-What’s with that guy?”
“Is he a psychopath?”
Kehh! What did they say? Me, a psychopath? I was extremely angry, but I had a more important matter at hand.
To think that the Dawnbringer was lost….
Dawnbringer was the machine that I piloted. And the lost Tetragrammaton happened to be Chief Maynard’s.
Chief Maynard’s and my Kishins were lost by the Pureblood Principle followers of the Federation? Then that must mean that this was planned by the ones who purged us.
‘Wait, would they just destroy a Kishin for that reason?’
That was impossible.
Kishins were very valuable resources that couldn’t even be produced by money and effort alone. It was also impossible to activate the Kishin-class machines if the pilot didn’t meet the standards either.
However, there were nearly 30 billion people 120 years ago. Since that figure was increasing rapidly even under Letix attack, that should mean the population must be a lot higher.
With a population pool as large as that, a pilot capable of being able to pilot a Kishin-class machine should’ve been born.
Then did that mean that Dawnbringer and Tetragrammaton were lost because of the Federation’s mistakes? Well, that’s stupid.
And if Omertà and Diablo were stolen by the rebels, then the current state of the Federation was unspeakably bad.
That was the only conclusion I could arrive at.
“Is that really true? Then aren’t we in great danger? And what the hell are the Pureblood Principlists thinking?”
“We’re not really in danger, man. Dawnbringer and the Dawn Corps suicided with over 10 billion Letix forces, so we’re safe for a while. Also, even if the Elcros have a Kishin in possession, they don’t pose much of a threat to us Federation Military, man.”
My goodness. While it was true that my Dawn Corps fended off over 10 billion Letix forces, we did not die. But to think that they would record it otherwise in history.
If that’s the case, did they purge all of my subordinates like myself? They couldn’t have put all those people to cold sleep, so did they kill them all?
I thought of my playful subordinates, who pulled pranks on me all the time. They certainly were stressful at times and too playful, but they were good people. There were Replicants, pure blooded earthlings, Cyborgs and Androids, but they were all precious comrades of mine.
Who was it! Who purged Admiral Luise and I and killed off all of my subordinates?!
I tried desperately to calm my anger down. At that moment, someone came behind my back and called out the recruits and I.
“Stop talking amongst yourself! Recruit Pencolt! Are you two discussing who the greatest greenie under the heavens is amongst yourselves?!”
It was the Platoon Leader, Meihowa.
Other recruits cracked up laughing. Recruit Pencolt pointed his finger at me and spoke.
“I can stand you making fun of this guy! Because he’s a greenie! But I can’t stand you making fun of me, man!”
Ehh? What was that? That ‘I know I’m bad, but not as bad as this guy’ sort of confident look. Not only was his way of talking weird, his mentality was out of whack as well.
“What will you do if you cannot stand it?”
Platoon Leader Meihowa asked with exasperation. When she did, Pencolt smirked.
“Nah, I’m just sayin’. I always wanted to say that, man.”
“Recruit Pencolt! Position yourself at the gauntlets first. While Recruit Pencolt is doing the gauntlets, Recruit Lezirth, you give me plyometric jumps. Get to it!”
The Ensign had a sense of dissatisfaction in her eyes as she looked at me. Hmm, that’s not what I was doing though.
I positioned myself at the plyometric jump station after sighing. It was a variation of hurdles where you had to jump up and down repeatedly. It was great exercise for improving one’s stamina and reaction.
“How many do you want?”
“As many as you can do of course! Do at least 60 while Recruit Pencolt goes through the gauntlets!”
Following her orders, I started to perform plyometric jumps. At the same time, Recruit Pencolt grabbed a rifle and jumped onto the gauntlet field.
The gauntlet was a course where a recruit would avoid paintballs and obstacles, shoot at a moving target, and escape by passing by a hand-to-hand combat dummy.
As an effective course that improves cardiopulmonary capacity, running and movement capability, accuracy and close combat, one must be able to clear the course within 90 seconds in order to graduate from the Military Academy. Seamen in particular had to be able to clear the course in under a minute. When I did it, my record was 22 seconds.
However, as soon as Recruit Pencolt stepped into the course, he started to scream. He was covered from head to toe in paint, and he was rolling about after tripping over obstacles. Crawling under the wire nets on his stomach left him short on breath and when he finally escaped the wire nets and started to shoot, he didn’t hit any of the targets.
The moving target was an image of a criminal who held a hostage and the recruit shot at the hostage.
Seeing the head, heart, abdomen, and various lethal places shot, the hostage would’ve died instantly, had this been a real-life situation. No, since Recruit Pencolt was already hit by the paint balls, he would’ve been killed in action and promoted 2 ranks.
When Recruit Pencolt wasn’t able to escape from the gauntlet, even after four minutes, Sergeant Aroha turned cut the power and dragged him out personally. During that time, I managed to do over 200 plyometric jumps.
“Ha… haven’t you ever played any games? You know how it works right?”
“Cough… ku… g-games aren’t tiring so I’m fine with them, man. Haa haa.”
Recruit Pencolt was gasping for breath as he replied. Sergeant Aroha dropped him in surprise.
“Don’t open your mouth! You’re foaming!”
“Now now, next recruit, get in there. And Recruit Lezirth, that’s enough.”
“What, this is enough?”
“Are you a fortified Cyborg or something? Your physical strength is good. If only your head was as good as your physique.”
Ensign Meihowa wrinkled her face. Wait, was this girl treating me as an idiot? I can even do 128bit four fundamental arithmetic operations and partial differentiations in my head!
If the rumours about bomb cadet squads could be trusted, this platoon will be stationed on the battlefront after six weeks of basic training. To the front lines, no less—where it was the most dangerous.
Judging by Recruit Pencolt’s performance…. How long could this platoon survive? I could understand why Ensign Meihowa was so worried.
Then Recruit Pencolt collapsed on the floor, as if taking his last breaths, with an oxygen mask in his mouth. As he lay there, he formed a V sign with his finger and said to me.
“I touched Sergeant Aroha’s ass, I can die a happy man, eh he he heh…”
…. W-What? Why was he looking at me like that? I’m not the same as you! Don’t you try to get any sympathy from me!
◊ ◊ ◊
“Haa, this is worrisome. The average time is 4 minutes even when excluding the failed soldiers.”
Ensign Meihowa muttered nervously when most of the recruits passed through the gauntlets.
Even I could feel the pain of having to lead a platoon of failures.
I could tell that all of these recruits were quite underachieving. All of them should be Replicant soldiers, yet they were even worse than Earthling soldiers.
“This is hopeless if we include the failed soldiers. I suppose our King of Greenies is up last.”
Sergeant Aroha winked at me. Her bluish eyes and slightly plump lips were quite attractive.
But she wasn’t referring to me when she said King of Greenies, right?
“Shouldn’t his strength be quite good? He’s not even sweating after doing 225 plyometric jumps. Hey greenie! You’re up.”
Ensign Meihowa handed me a training rifle. Sergeant Aroha snickered and handed me a sports drink.
“You’re worn out from those plyometric jumps, aren’t you? Take a gulp and catch your breath.”
“No, I will finish it before the sports drink goes lukewarm. I shall raise the average of the platoon myself.”
I spoke in a solemn voice since I was slightly offended. When I did, Sergeant Aroha smiled brightly.
“Hmm? Are you the General Guan Yu or something?”
“I, the shortest record holder of this gauntlet course in the Second Military Academy, will show you how it’s really done. Hmph! How dare you call me a greenie! You’ll all be eating your words!”
Although my identity has been purged by corruption, I was still the Commander of Dawn Corps; Lezirth Dawnbringer. I wasn’t someone who should be looked down upon as a greenie! I will show them my skills right here!
I started to get hyped up with enthusiasm and I warmed up.
“Well, do whatever you want. I am looking forward to your performance.”
Ensign Meihowa sighed while covering her face with her hand.
Hmm, she doesn’t seem to trust me. But I won’t ask her to believe me. I’ll prove it with my score time.
“Let’s do this!”
I jumped at the gauntlets. Paint balls were flying towards me, but instead of hiding behind barriers, I zigzagged forwards, minimising the time, and slid under the wire nets! Pulling my torso up after that slide, I shot at the targets with my training rifle and jump up the stairs onto the second floor! I shot down the moving target on the second floor and jumped down using a plank! I shot at even more targets while in mid-air, and slammed right into the hand-to-hand combat dummy, escaping the gauntlet with a mid-air turn.
“21 seconds 40! Wha ha ha ha! I broke my own record!”
I yelled out in joy after seeing the clock set up at the exit of the gauntlet course. But huh? The time wasn’t stopping?
“Huh? What? What’s going on? Was that too fast for the machine to calculate?”
I looked at the clock in surprise. Sergeant Aroha used her finger to point at my training rifle.
“Identify yourself! You have to identify yourself on the rifle to set your record!”
“What? Identifying myself? Did something like that get implemented?”
Such a thing did not exist 120 years ago! Why do they have to digitalise everything when the instructor can just record the time?
Dumbfounded, I looked at the training rifle to find out how to identify myself.
But then it happened.
The training rifle started to fire paint balls at the recruits and the instructors. The paint balls flew at a frightening speed and covered the recruits and the instructors in pain.
“I-It hit me there! Before I could even use it!”
Ugh, I had caused friendly fire without meaning to. Although, this training rifle was quite rhythmic and fun to use.
No, that’s not what I should be thinking! Look at me! I quickly aimed the rifle towards the sky.
Then Aroha, Meihowa and the numerous recruits glared at me like ghosts covered in bright red paint.
My word! Red paint dripped from Meihowa and Aroha’s breasts onto the floor. Had they been flat chested, the paint would’ve dropped flat onto their stomachs. In any case, both options are excellent! It was impossible not to be amazed at them.
To drench girls’ body, it was a mistake but that’s not bad….
I have never regretted a single thing in my life!
“Oh… oh now. This gun, it’s weird…”
“You failed! You greenie! Do you want me to lecture you hard? Hmmm?”
Ensign Meihowa glared at me while resetting the gauntlet with the control panel.
“T-That was close. I got my best record.”
I could only lick my lips while looking at the gauntlet timer in that cold, chilly mood.
◊ ◊ ◊
Ensign Meihowa must’ve just finished having a shower, because she walked out while drying her wet, steamy hair with a towel. I was meditating while sitting on the sofa in her office and I sat up straight when I saw her walk out.
“Recruit Lezirth, do you pity me?”
Daggers flew at me from her emerald eyes.
“Hmm? No. You, Platoon Leader Liu Meihowa, will become a splendid soldier. I guarantee it.”
“Why do you make that expression?”
When I asked, she made a complicated expression and sighed.
“While I am surprised at how a greenie like yourself looks up to me as so, I would definitely have been happy if someone else told me that.”
She spoke while becoming teary.
Hmm, why was that? Was she like that because she was so happy? She did seem to say ‘when you’re just a greenie…’ type of thing.
“That aside, where’s Chief of… Admi… no, hmm, where’s Ms. Luise Maynard?”
Since she ordered me not to call her the Chief of Staff or an Admiral, then hmm… what should I call her?
While I was wondering on how I should refer to Chief Maynard from here on out, Ensign Meihowa threw herself down on the sofa in front of me.
“She appears to have come from a low gravity planet, so she will go through some gravity adaptation training. Apart from that, she can be a great supporter. Her academic skills are excellent and while she may be physically weak, she doesn’t have to be a soldier. Someone of her calibre is no problem.”
“Really? That’s a relief.”
That was great news for me, as I have been quite worried about Chief Maynard. I smiled naturally.
As I smiled widely, Ensign Meihowa’s expression sharpened. Hmm, this lady was really good with her facial expressions.
“The problem is you.”
“Both you and Luise scored high on the academics test…. So if you were normal, they tell me you could’ve been a Naval Cadet. And that girl’s scores were almost unprecedented. In other words, she is here now as a lowly recruit because of your hiccups. Do you understand how heavy that responsibility is?”
“What? Is that so? I caused trouble for her?”
“You didn’t know?”
Ensign Meihowa crossed her arms and sighed.
“Really, there isn’t much time left until the end of training, and don’t you know that our platoon will be sent straight to the battlefields once the training is finished? How can you live without any nervousness? Stay tense. I do not want any men in my platoon to be killed even if it’s a greenie like you.”
“You truly are a great leader.”
When I praised her honestly, she was surprised. She probably didn’t expect me to say something like that.
Blushing either because of the bath or because of what I said, she swept her silver hair over her shoulders with her fingers. The moist silver hair shined and light reflected off of it.
“Even if I am telling you this out of my kindness, I am a Platoon Leader while you are a Recruit! Recruit Lezirth! That attitude of yours is going against my authority as a Platoon Leader! I beg of you to start understanding that you are now a Recruit.”
“Of course, Naval Cadet. I am not a person who is that senseless.”
After hesitating for a moment, I saluted Ensign Meihowa. It was unheard of that a Vice Admiral would salute a low Naval Cadet…. But I was now a Recruit, so I suppose it is normal for me to salute her.
She responded to my salute and smiled bitterly.
“Make sure something like this does not happen again.”
◊ ◊ ◊
When I returned back to my room, Recruit Pencolt was unpacking his bag. As he decorated his desk with various toys and playthings, he looked up at me and snickered.
“Did you stamp yourself onto the beautiful Platoon Leader? To make her notice you by doing stupid things, I guess that’s a new way of raising a flag lol.”
“What are you saying? Why are you here?”
“They pulled me away from my roommate, saying that someone like you can’t be left alone, man. It just means that I’m your roommate from now on.”
What? Suddenly being reminded at what he said, I walked out and looked at the nametag on the door.
Stuck on the door was a plate that read ‘Concerned Soldiers’ Room’.
What was this supposed to be? M-Me, a concerned soldier?! This cannot be! This is ridiculous!
Damn it, I feel so sorry for myself. There was something wrong with the training rifle when I used it! If it was working fine, then I could’ve set the world record and make everyone fall back in shock!
Recruit Pencolt looked at the bed and he seemed to pretend that he wasn’t also a concerned soldier but he only became my roommate because he had no other choice.
“Shotgun on the lower bunk! It’s a bother to climb to the upper one! Btw, do you snore?”
“Then I’m taking the lower one. Complaints?”
“No. Ah, Pencolt, why did you enlist in the military? And why did the Replicants in our platoon enlist?”
If the Federation looked down on the Replicants, then they shouldn’t have enlisted. I couldn’t understand why they would go out of their way to enlist when there wasn’t a conscription system.
“Have you really been living under a rock? Don’t you even know what the current Fed’s like?”
Pencolt asked in surprise.
“No, I don’t know. So tell me.”
“You do know that the Fed separates the planets by Supervisional, Autonomical and Pioneered, yeah?”
“Well, I know that much.”
Supervisional planets were under direct control of the Federation Government, Autonomical planets by their own government, and Pioneered planets were planets that were without a government after a process of terraforming.
“Pioneered planets and Autonomical planets are like country towns that are conservative of their old customs. You know how all youngsters want to live in the busy city rather than a country town?”
“Well, yeah. That trend can be found in the history of the human race.”
“So a lot of youngsters want to come to the city, but the Supervisional planets are suffering from high unemployment rates because of that, man. So the only way for youngsters to land a job while still being in the cities is to enlist in the armed forces.”
Hmm, hearing Pencolt saying things like that, this guy seemed to be a lot more knowledgeable unlike his looks.
“Did you also enlist for the job?”
“No, I already had a job, man. I was a hard working part of the economy unlike many others here.”
“So why did you come?”
“Uu hu hu. Don’t you know that the Supervisional planets under the Fed’s control has a gender ratio of 10 females to 6 males~? I thought I would be able to experience a rosy youth by coming here.”
I don’t usually sweat, but I could feel sweat running down my back. Why did I have to end up with someone like him as a roommate?
“Lights out! Everyone turn off your lights!”
Since the lights went off in the barracks, I climbed up onto the upper bunk and lay there. Pencolt also climbed onto his bed, but his great weight made the bed creak. This should’ve been a bunk bed made out of 45T reinforced metal pipes welded together, but I was worried that this might snap.
“They say that this platoon will be deployed as human shields onto the battlefield, but are you not afraid?”
“Hu hu. That’s what I’m actually aiming for, man.”
“Asa and Elcro girls are all hot. I want to go out onto the battlefields and meet them soon. Both of their race have higher women to men ratios, and with the war going on, won’t there even be less males? Don’t you reckon?”
I could feel cold sweat running down my back again…. No, I can’t. The bed will get wet.
I had to stay up all night that day, wondering whether or not I should strangle that snoring Pencolt’s neck.