Chapter 2: Still a Civilian for a Little While
“As you can see, Valkyries are powerful, especially against Rueinians,” Jack explains to Kevyn as they watch a video recording of a Valkyrie unit in practice. The mecha armor resembles human, armed with a plasma cutter blade, heavy machine gun, and high caliber cannons. The plasma blade is on its right arm, the machine gun integrated into its left arm, and the cannons are on its shoulders.
“Looks fancy. But isn’t that pilot doing just fine? Can’t he do my part?” Kevyn questions.
“He might be decent with the manual type, but he isn’t doing as well as the higher-ups were hoping he would. Also, that’s the manual type. The precision type will be far more difficult to control.”
They’re in a lab right now. Yesterday, Jack came to Kevyn’s room to show the files regarding Valkyries. Kevyn is studying the Valkyries in advance since he’ll be operating them in the future, and most likely, his life will depend on it. Researchers and engineers are working in tandem to build more Valkyries in the lab. Some are welding, some are operating computers, and the list goes on.
“Please shoot me in the head,” Kevyn begs.
“I can’t do that. We need you to save mankind.”
“To hell with this damn war! Why did our ancestors choose this planet of all the possibilities!?”
“Because there were no other options.”
“Don’t shatter my delusions!”
“Well, I’m sorry to say that I’ll have to do it, or else you might become a megalomaniac.”
“But that’s who I am! A megalomaniac! Now, kick me out of the army!”
“I can’t do that either.”
“Is there anything you can do!?”
“I can knock the ladies out of you,” Jack jests.
“Did you know that Luna came up with that idiom just to harass me?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Now you know. She’s a beast, I tell ya.”
Kevyn and Jack are glued to the screen that plays the recording, so they aren’t aware of the threat behind them. The threat in question taps both of their shoulders gently, sticking her head between the two. “I am what?”
Blood drains from the gentlemen’s faces, rendered pale.
“It was Kevyn!”
“No, I didn’t!”
The Lunatic smacks them both. “Next time, I will have you do a hundred sit-ups. But anyway, that is not what I came to tell you. Kevyn, you may fetch some of your belongings today, if you wish. I will drive.”
“Great, a chance for me to escape!”
“Really, I am beginning to think that you like it here. Why else would you reveal your intentions like that?”
“I’m not content, just so you know. And when will ya stop talking like a machine? You sound so stiff when you talk.”
“As a soldier, I must abide by the rules, and that includes formal speech.”
A scientist who’s been examining an arm of a Valkyrie suit is starting to pay more attention to the trio. There’s a welder working on the arm next to her, so she is wearing goggles for safety reasons. She approaches the three as they discuss this and that.
“Are you from DTA?” The scientist asks.
“Sadly,” Kevyn replies to the curious lady.
Luna smacks Kevyn again for insulting the army. “The two of us are.”
The scientist raises the goggles to her forehead, revealing her green, sparkling eyes. “I can’t believe it! The famous soldiers of DTA are right in front of me…!”
“This womanizer is nothing to be thought highly of,” Luna remarks.
“Eh?” Kevyn blurts. “What have I done to earn such accusation!?”
“All that matters is that he’s a DTA soldier, and that’s what he is, right?”
“That is the case, sadly.”
“Sadly!? If you don’t want me in the army, don’t forcibly recruit me in the first place!!”
“Can I get your autographs before you die—I mean, before you retire?”
“Die!? You’re expecting me to die!? To hell with ya!” Kevyn is triggered.
The scientist woman seems to recognize those words. “Wait, are you…?”
“NameNone, yes, that’s my nickname in Cyber Combat and Warfare: Zone Zero.”
“Can I get your autograph!?” The scientist begs again, this time because Kevyn is a gamer celebrity.
“To hell with ya!”
“Kevyn,” Luna interrupts, “tell me when you are ready to go. You have this one chance to bring your personal belongings to the base.”
Luna takes her leave, and Kevyn and Jack go through the Valkyrie data that they can access. The sooner Kevyn learns to pilot a Valkyrie, the better. The recordings are proving to be useful, as Kevyn can now tell what kind of maneuvers the Valkyries can do. They aren’t as flexible as humans, but they’re mobile enough to outmaneuver any tank, and their firepower is far beyond a tank’s too. The plasma cutter blades can slice up any armored vehicle, and the cannons can obliterate infantry en masse.
Kevyn returns to his room at one point, the door still an open hole. He doesn’t like it, but he’ll have to do without a door for now. He won’t stay in his room for long, however. If he had his phone, he’d call Luna, but since that isn’t the case, he looks for her in her office.
“Ready to go,” Kevyn says.
“That is not how you say it.”
“I ain’t a soldier just yet.”
“Fair enough. Let us take our leave at once.”
Kevyn and Luna are on their way to Kevyn’s home, Luna driving the car. Kevyn’s been uneasy all the while. He can’t stay still while knowing he is going to see his beloved battlestation soon.
“It’s just the two of us now,” Luna says with a relaxed tone.
Is she thinking of something violent again? Kevyn draws his own conclusions. “I s’pose.”
“That’s it? Nothing else to say?”
“What’s there to say? You’re as violent as always.”
“Tch, I’d hit you now if I weren’t driving,” Luna warns.
“Sure you would.”
In time, they arrive at Kevyn’s apartment. Since Luna had somehow broken through the door when she came to drag Kevyn to the army base, the government had sent someone to repair the door, and that’s why Luna has the keys rather than Kevyn. She does hand them to him after opening the door, though.
“Grab everything you need. I don’t know when you’ll get a chance to come back.”
Without hesitation, Kevyn packs his battlestation first, which includes a helmet that’s used for VR games. Having expected that he’d choose his computer, Luna frowns in dismay. If it were someone else, he’d think he is lucky to have a blonde with slim body visit him, but in Kevyn’s case, his heart is beating for the opposite reason.
After half an hour, Kevyn is done with packing the things he needs. They lock the door and get in the car. For a little while more, Kevyn is still a civilian, but soon enough, his harsh training as a soldier begins.
I know this chapter is short, but then again, the previous chapter was supposed to be three chapters, so expect to see 1-3k word chapters in the future too. The first chapter is an exception.