Dawnbringer: The Story Of The Machine God / Dawnbringer: The Story of the Machine God Vol 1 Chapter 7

There was a research centre that studied teleportation abilities on Epiece-2’s moon, Epiece-2α, and in that research centre was a teenage boy simply labelled ‘A’.

 

The boy was an orphan, and he teleported over 100 times a day for the researchers, in order to earn money. And when A teleported and returned to the centre, he was no longer the same boy.

 

Boy A destroyed Epiece-2α with frightening force, and by the time the navy arrived to take control of the situation, they found Epiece-2α infested with space fungi. Every kind of life form on that moon had become nutrients for the fungi colony. Only boy A remained, walking around the fungi field without batting an eye.

 

When the gunmen arrived and blew off A’s head, thousands of tentacles escaped from the boy’s body. The tentacles greatly exceeded the boy’s body mass, and covered the moon in moments.

 

As a result, the naval officers concluded that Epiece-2α must be completely destroyed.

 

And henceforth, the moons of Epiece-2 have been named from Epiece-2β.

 

 

◊             ◊              ◊

 

 

Creatures unknown to men existed in hyperspace.

 

And the Teleportation ability, which was performed by jumping into that hyperspace, may spell the end of humanity.

 

Lezirth Dawnbringer, the Commander of Dawn Corps— a warrior who knows no fear.

 

That was what I was called, but there were two things that I was afraid of: dentists, and teleporting.

 

However, I had to resort to the latter when there was a need to.

 

“Urpp…”

 

I felt sick as soon as I returned back to the usual dimension. After reassuring myself that I was back in reality, I quickly checked the time on the computer.

 

A difference of 0.1 seconds, what a relief. If the difference were any greater, then it would have meant that I stayed in hyperspace for a longer period of time.

 

And the longer I stay in hyperspace, the greater the probability of the hyperspace polluting me. I might end up becoming something completely different. Even thinking about it gave me the creeps.

 

Luckily, 0.1 seconds was not a bad time.

 

I didn’t die or turn into something completely different during teleportation.

 

I want to find my Dawnbringer soon. No, desiring my Dawnbringer is too greedy of me, even any Alter-Armour would do.

 

The possibility of me being polluted by hyperspace was greatly reduced if I travel in an Alter-Armour. That was because Alter-Armour and teleportation both originated from Letix. Since Letix are inhabitants of hyperspace, they possessed strong resistance against the pollution.

 

Ah, now that I think about it, maybe I should’ve borrowed Ensign Meihowa’s Alter-Armour just for the teleport. Wait no, she would have to die for me to pilot it, since I am registered as the backup pilot.

 

No, I shouldn’t have to worry about the register system since Admiral Luise already hacked into the Federation system. But wait, that would be like announcing to the entire world that she just hacked the Federation computer system.

 

My hatred for teleporting grew even stronger as those thoughts raged inside my head. Damn it.

 

Suddenly, I spotted a hoard of unmanned surveillance vehicles flying approximately 1 km ahead of me.

 

 

◊             ◊              ◊

 

 

Although Chief Technician Yeon-Sik Oh was part of the Technician staff, he had some experience with warfare.

 

They mounted the Colion Rifles on tripods, forming a makeshift mortar, and shot smart bombs up into the sky.

 

As the smart bombs detonated in mid-air, its shrapnel took down unmanned drones with ease. And thanks to the high oxygen density property of this planet, the shrapnel burst into flames and doubled the attack power.

 

Compared to the time when the platoon was nearly annihilated by two USVs while being led by Lieutenant Imamura, Chief Technician Oh was certainly doing significantly better, and against greater numbers at that.

 

However, he would get himself killed at this rate.

 

“Hey you! Stop fighting and take cover underwater, or just surrender!”

 

I suggested them to surrender as I approached them from behind. They didn’t bother turning around because they were too busy firing their Colion Rifles desperately.

 

“What! Who are you?! Do you want to get your ass taken to the courts?!”

 

“Greenie?! What’s going on? Weren’t you with the Charlie squad?!”

 

Some of the soldiers recognized me and started to freak out.

 

At that moment, Alter-Armours started to fly towards us, passing the unmanned drones. Alter-Armours were equipped with much larger equipments than a soldier, and the Alter-Armour leading them held a giant Colion Rifle aimed at the Bravo squad.

 

—Boom!

 

A giant explosion occurred from a single shot.

 

The plasma that flew at nearly Mach 40 disintegrated everything in its path. A great shockwave rushed towards the Bravo squad and it was strong enough to flip a military vehicle over.

 

However, I met the shockwave head on and redirected it with my hands.

 

—Kwaaaaa

 

The shockwave split in half and rushed to either side of me, shaking up the entire Azoran jungle. The Bravo squad members were protected from the shockwave thanks to me.

 

“Shit…. W-What just happened?”

 

“God damn! Was that just you, Lezirth?”

 

Bravo Squad members all asked me in surprise. I turned around and yelled at them.

 

“Everyone hide!”

 

The attack from the Alter-Armour just now meant that the enemy recognised us as a threat that should be taken out. They didn’t shoot the Colion Rifle just as a warning shot, or randomly into this vast jungle.

 

If we showed no response, they will think that we died from the attack just now, for sure. The only way for the Bravo squad to survive is to fool the Alter-Armour group and to let them pass over us.

 

 

Most of the Bravo squad understood my intentions and hid underwater, in the swamp and under the tree roots. Chief Technician Oh also obeyed me and jumped into the water. At that instant…

 

—Boom!

 

The head of the Alter-Armour that attacked us just now exploded. The armour around its head was destroyed but the damage wasn’t sufficient enough to stop it from functioning.

 

I turned around in surprise and saw Lieutenant Imamura holding the Colion Rifle and snickering.

 

“Take that, you fools. This is…”

 

“You dumbass!”

 

I yelled at him in shock.

 

Things started to unfold as I expected! The Alter-Armours saw the direction of the attack and aimed their guns this way. It wasn’t the lead Alter-Armour who was aiming at us, but all of them.

 

With firepower much greater than our normal Colion Rifles, I could just imagine the Bravo squad being wiped out instantly.

 

“We can’t have that!”

 

The enemies’ guns fired away at the same time, and I used my telekinesis to project a barrier.

 

I have to resist the attacks from the enemy Alter-Armours and protect the Bravo squad! But at the same time… I have to trick the enemies into believing that their attacks were effective. Otherwise, I would have to fight the Kishin Diablo myself, but that was a stretch, even for me.

 

—Bzzz!

 

Plasma shots were deflected by the barrier. As the gray barrier blocked all heat and light from hitting us, I turned around.

 

All of the Bravo squad members were in hiding and screaming at the top of their lungs. However, they were safe thanks to my barrier.

 

However…

 

—Crackle!

 

Some of the plasma storm touched the water. With that, water quickly boiled and electrocuted every soldier in the water.

 

Damn  it!

 

“Gasp… gasp… you… you blocked the Alter-Armours’ attacks? You must be a SSS-class psychic!”

 

Without even bothering to catch his breath, Lieutenant Imamura talked to me while clenching his Colion Rifle in his chest.

 

“This is an order, soldier. Fight! Destroy those Alter-Armour and retreat! This is an order! You’ll end up in the courts if you dare to refuse!”

 

Lieutenant Imamura must be at his wits end, because he was already foaming at the mouth. Only a few hours had passed since the last time I saw this man, but he was shrivelled up beyond recognition.

 

The jungle on Azoran-3 was quite humid and one needed to hydrate himself frequently; but it seemed like Bravo Squad refused to give any water to Lieutenant Imamura. And as a consequence, he was having a mental breakdown.

 

“Heh heh heh! Die, all of you!”

 

Although I still had my barrier up, Lieutenant Imamura tried to shoot up at the Alter-Armours.

 

Damn it, does he plan on getting killed?

 

I quickly spun the Bayonet and slashed through the Colion Rifle in his hand to prevent him from shooting.

 

“Kuu! How dare you! What do you think you’re doing to your superior! Ah, I see! Why you! You must be on the Elcros’ side! I knew something was wrong when you helped that Elcro woman!”

 

Lieutenant Imamura started to charge at me for no reason. When I avoided his charge, he ended up going through the grey barrier.

 

And… he disintegrated in a blink of an eye.

 

That was to be expected because he received all of the Alter-Armours’ attacks head-on; it would be impossible to even recover his corpse.

 

“Lieutenant! Damn it!”

 

Although he wasn’t a great person, losing someone before your eyes was still painful. And he was in this state because he suffered torture from the Bravo squad.

 

Should I even let these guys live? I looked at the Bravo squad for a moment, but decided to put that thought on hold. I’ll save them for now.

 

Soon, the Alter-Armours’ attacks ceased.

 

“Hmm… you reckon they’ll be alive after all that?”

 

“Let’s deploy the surveillance vehicles.”

 

Those Alter-Armour pilots weren’t communicating via the terminal but via normal methods.

 

I quickly spread the cape on my left shoulder.

 

This Psychic Reacting Optical Camouflage cape was able to hide the user from light, heat or sonar sensors, by supplying a slight amount of psychic power.

 

A powerful psychic user like myself would be able to hide himself without using a cape like this, but using one can increase the area being obscured from the sensors.

 

The USVs activated their heat and sonar sensors while flying through the jungle. However, there was a plasma storm that still remained after the attack, so heat and sonar sensors were of no use; we just had to avoid being caught visually.

 

Thankfully, the surveillance vehicles scanned the jungle floor and recorded the broken vehicles, equipment and a few corpses that were caught up by the storm.

 

“They’re all dead.”

 

“Don’t you think we have to look into it in more detail?”

 

“Nah, it’s fine. Judging from the attack from before, the group wasn’t that big anyway. There’s no way they could possibly resist bombardment from Alter-Armours. Our attacks are powerful enough to melt down fortresses, you know?”

 

“Then let’s go back and report.”

 

The Alter-Armours lost interest and returned.

 

 

◊             ◊              ◊

 

 

Despite my attempts, only five people survived from the Bravo squad and the rest died. The ones who hid underwater were electrocuted by the plasma attacks, and those who weren’t wearing their helmets throughout the plasma storm also died.

 

The helmets supplied by the Federation were an open-space type, so it was easy to disregard it as useless, but it was equipped with an air filtration system. It would be foolish of people to take it off just because it’s uncomfortable.

 

The five survivors were too injured to stay conscious and passed out.

 

I forced them into combat suits and switched on the Life Support System (LSS), since they were too injured to be stable with the normal LSS in the military uniform.

 

Luckily, the figures on the combat suit LSS told me they were going to be okay and will recover.

 

However, that was assuming that these soldiers receive some medical attention, nutrients and water. They will certainly die if I just leave them here.

 

“Accompanied Teleportation is really dangerous… and there are five of them at that. What should I do?”

 

AT was much more dangerous compared to Single Teleportation. Teleporting with objects was slightly better, but there was the possibility of luring out hyperspace monsters when teleporting with another human.

 

But I can’t leave them here and I don’t have the right equipment to take them by normal methods… Must I teleport?

 

Luckily for me, these soldiers were unconscious. They were more stable than a cognitive human who would be flailing around.

 

I took them and teleported close to where Charlie Squad was in hiding.

 

“Ugh… damn it, I’m gonna die like this.”

 

Even I found AT to be extremely difficult. Theoretically, I could teleport solo over 10,000 km if I’m not attacked by any hyperspace monsters on the jump.

 

However, with solar flare, electronic waves, human life force, other factors, and interference, that figure was brought down to 4000 km.

 

But from that, taking others along further lowered that distance to about 500 km. Human life force itself was interference in teleportation, yet I still managed to pull that off…

 

Luckily, we all arrived safe and sound. I checked for the time difference and there was 0.4 seconds difference—a good figure considering I just jumped with 5 people.

 

‘I could’ve ended up being lost in hyperspace. I hope no pollution took place.’

 

I gathered my breath and waited for the light-headedness to pass. At that moment, something rustled from the jungle.

 

Huh? Is it a monster?

 

I clenched the Bayonet and the Rifle for the worst case scenario. However, the faces that emerged from the jungle were very familiar to me.

 

“Lezirth!”

 

“Ah, Luise… and Ensign Meihowa?”

 

Admiral Luise was shocked when she saw the injured Bravo Squad.

 

“Did you teleport with five people accompanying you? How could you do something so dangerous!”

 

“Ah, they appear to be unconscious, so it was okay.”

 

Admiral Luise looked at me unhappily. She seemed to be upset at the fact that I recklessly risked my life to save others.

 

One might say that she was overreacting when I actually had done a good deed, but I understood her perfectly, because as a psychic user herself, she knew better than anyone else how dangerous Accompanied Teleportation was.

 

She was genuinely concerned about me, more than anyone else.

 

“Oh my word… what happened?”

 

Ensign Meihowa and Sergeant Aroha were shocked at the state of Bravo Squad. They were in a terrible shape and unconscious, but alive.

 

“To think… you would actually rescue the Bravo squad!”

 

Ensign Meihowa looked at me in disbelief. Sergeant Aroha raised her thumb and winked.

 

“We should be calling you a war hero rather than a Greenie now. You might actually receive a medal. I would believe you if you say you are the Vice Admiral Lezirth.”

 

“Please keep our powers a secret from the higher-ups.”

 

Admiral Luise’s expression became stern as she warned them.

 

I agreed with her about hiding our identity. The current Federation was not the same Federation that she and I once joined. Revealing our identities might end with us being purged again.

 

“Why? But your powers are…”

 

“Because we are not registered psychic users. We would like to remain that way. Lezirth, did they witness your powers?”

 

“I believe they did. Although it was only for a moment before they passed out.”

 

“Hmm, then I will modify their memories of the event.”

 

After saying that, Admiral Luise looked at Ensign Meihowa and Sergeant Aroha. Sergeant Aroha flexed and hunched her shoulders in surprise.

 

“Woah, so scary. Okay, I won’t say a thing. You don’t plan on modifying my memories as well, do you?”

 

“I won’t say a thing.”

 

Ensign Meihowa also read the mood and agreed to it.

 

Admiral Luise smiled shyly. However, those golden eyes of hers weren’t smiling at all.

 

“Fu fu, yes, I understand. I knew I could trust you, Ensign Meihowa and Sergeant Aroha. You know how to respect people.”

 

Wow, she even scared me. Isn’t she indirectly blackmailing Ensign Meihowa and Sergeant Aroha right now? Yet she wasn’t challenging their dignity. Someone like her is extremely terrifying when angered.

 

“Gre… no, Lezirth, are you okay? Are you injured?”

 

Ensign Meihowa looked at me. Well, there wasn’t a single scratch on me, I just felt light-headed. But the Ensign sounded gentler than before. Was that just in my head though?

 

“I’m fine. I’m just a bit worn out.”

 

“Hmm, but… ah, that’s right. I have to thank you first. Thank you, Apprentice Lezirth. We would all be dead right now if it wasn’t for you.”

 

Ensign Meihowa thanked me.

 

“Ah, no problem. I only did what was necessary and I wasn’t the only one who suffered. That aside, we have to move these guys quickly. Otherwise, they’ll die. Huh?”

 

As I talked, Ensign Meihowa held my sleeve.

 

“… Ah, u-um, and I have another thing to say, Apprentice Lezirth.”

 

Hmm, what could it be? I wondered what this half-Elcro girl wanted, as she held onto my sleeve with slight hesitation. But for some reason I could feel daggers flying at me from a pair of golden eyes beside me.

 

I wonder why? I turned around in confusion and saw Admiral Luise smiling.

 

“You should rest if you’re tired, Lezirth. This way, please.”

 

She cut in between Ensign Meihowa and I and held my arm. But there’s no need to go that far…

 

“Hmm.”

 

“Whew…”

 

Ensign Meihowa and Admiral Luise’s gaze met in mid-air and produced sparks.

 

Hmm, what was that? I feel like I just saw some ‘bzzt’ spark effects just now.

 

“N-Now then.”

 

I quickly busied myself moving the survivors with the help of the Charlie squad.

 

 

◊             ◊              ◊

 

 

In case of an emergency, the Federation standard kit included a range of necessary equipment for survival. With that equipment, it was even possible to survive in a planet without an atmospheric layer, but they performed best where oxygen was abundant.

 

In that respect, Azoran-3 was perfect for survival due to its high oxygen density.

 

I installed the electronic, UV-ray and sonar deflecting camouflage net over the mangrove jungle and jumped down from the tree.

 

“Hiiick!”

 

The soldiers who were watching me from underneath yelped in surprise. It wasn’t surprising to hear them yelp because mangrove trees measured approximately 7~8m tall, and jumping down with the Azoran-3 gravity in effect was no easy feat.

 

However, I grabbed a vine on my way down, slowing my fall, and landed lightly on the ground.

 

“What are you all surprised about? Hurry up and set up the water filter.”

 

However, the soldiers were slow to move. Ah, of course. They aren’t even properly trained Space Marines, they were just improperly trained Recruits up until now.

 

I personally took the water filter and installed it in the mineral-rich sea. It filtered out minerals from the water, as well as microbes, and was able to purify approximately 50 litres per hour. On a planet like Azoran-3, where the water was quite clear, we might be able to receive purified water at a faster rate. Only one was supplied to each squad, but luckily there was a spare, and I was able to install two.

 

“Hmm, I should lay the pipes along the mangrove roots so that it doesn’t get caught by a surveillance vehicle… I suppose the shell will do as the water tank.”

 

The training shell interior was completely welded together, so it was both airtight and waterproof. If I hook the water pipe into the shell, nearly 5 tonnes of water could be stored. Since we don’t know how long we’ll stay on this planet… we must be prepared for the worst.

 

“Squad Leader, use the Power-Armour and move the training shell under the mangrove roots.”

 

The Squad Leader used the Power-Armour and lifted the training shell. However, he was not familiar with using the Power-Armour just yet, so his movements were very unstable.

 

I secretly used my psychic powers to aid its steps and directed him to set the shell down where I told him to.

 

“Now then, let’s connect the pipes, shall we?”

 

After switching the Colion Rifle to welding mode, I turned it on. Thankfully, it was working perfectly.

 

I used it to weld the water pipe onto the training shell and formed a giant water tank from it. In order to ensure stable water pressure, I attached a medical cylinder pressurized pump into the mouth of the pipe.

 

Although I was recognized as a Greenie among the soldiers, my skills shone with my war experiences. I may not have been able to perform at the best of my abilities because of the sudden 120 years’ worth of change, but those mistakes will never happen again.

 

“Good, that’s done. We should even be able to take showers when we collect enough water in the tank. The only problem is the temperature…”

 

Azoran-3’s temperature climbed to a staggering figure of 50 degrees Celsius during the day. The issue was not the heat, however, but the fact that it was very humid and felt like a sauna.

 

The planet was very windy and humid. Although these mangroves provided some cooling effect by absorbing the sea water and decreasing the temperature by 20 degrees, it still was 30 degrees with 80% humidity levels.

 

I continued to check the temperature and the humidity levels, and searched for an ideal place for us to rest. I ripped out the cooler from a broken vehicle and let the temperatures stabilize by disconnecting the radiator under the water.

 

Letting the heat escape in the air would set off detection by surveillance vehicles, but they would not be able to detect the change of heat in the water, and the radiator’s efficiency would also rise—it was like killing two birds with one stone.

 

And so, when I set up a tent near the mangrove tree roots, and turned on the Thorium nuclear-powered cooler, the temperature dropped to approximately 20 degrees. That alone made water droplets form on the tent-top.

 

“People might even catch a cold when sleeping like this. Maybe I should split the tent into male, female and officers’ quarters.”

 

As I constructed makeshift quarters, recruits gathered around me. I wondered what they were about to do when Charlie Squad’s leader extended his hand to me.

 

“Erm, hey, Lezirth? Sorry for bullying you before.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Um… I’m really sorry about before. I excluded you from the squad, so can you forgive us?”

 

Ah, that’s right… all of the squad leaders did exclude me before. They must still be caught up about that fact. I smirked at them.

 

It was true that I was excluded, and felt despair at the treatment of greenies’. However, I was disappointed at myself, not anyone else.

 

No, I didn’t even consider them my equal to be upset or angry about. Isn’t it ridiculous to picture a Vice Admiral to be bickering with fresh Recruits?

 

I was looking down on them, of course, I was being extremely arrogant. The fact of the matter is, I was a Vice Admiral, but that was in the past. I had to fight with these guys for our survival.

 

“It’s fine, I’m not that concerned with it. Don’t we have to combine our strengths for our survival and for the future? That aside, hurry up and carry the goods into the quarters. The camouflage net is only useful for protection from electronic or sonar detection, but it is useless against optic sensors.”

 

I left them after giving them my orders.

 

Sergeant Aroha and Ensign Meihowa were coming back after hiding the Spider and the Alter-Armour under the sea. They appeared to have searched long and hard for an ideal place that was undetected by radar or by sight.

 

“Oh my, you already finished setting up the quarters?”

 

“Not bad!”

 

They shouted their praise while looking at the water filter system and the sleeping quarters.

 

“Did you do as I instructed you to, Ensign?”

 

The Ensign and the acting Platoon Leader had the authority to restrict hyperspace communication amongst the soldiers.

 

I instructed her to restrict all usage of hyperspace communication by the soldiers as well as the restriction of terminals. That was because the Federation might give up on our rescue completely.

 

This platoon was named the ‘Bomb Platoon’. Hence, that meant that there was a high chance of the Federation abandoning us, let alone rescuing us. And if the soldiers become aware of this fact, they might become suicidal, or even rebel.

 

“I did, but… is that really okay? This is restricting the soldiers’ rights, and aren’t you also a soldier yourself, Lezirth?”

 

I’m an officer, damn it!

 

But there’s no way she would believe me. I nodded my head.

 

“That is the best option for our survival.”

 

I handed a bottle of purified water to her. Ensign Meihowa and Sergeant Aroha were sweating furiously after wandering around the jungle in 40~50 degree heat.

 

“Ah, t-thanks. H-How kind of you, Apprentice Lezirth.”

 

Ensign Meihowa took the water bottle and handed it to Sergeant Aroha.

 

“The current situation on the hyperspace comm channel is chaotic.”

 

Ensign Meihowa explained while she wiped away her sweat.

 

Archimedes was destroyed and the news of Rebel Replicants forming an alliance with other alien races to combat the Federation has caused a state of panic in the Federation.

 

Elcro, Asa and Rebel Replicants claimed that their alliance was formed to combat their common enemy: the Federation. Their official name was the ‘Criminal Freedom Alliance’. Their current goal was to abolish the totalitarian rule that the Federation held.

 

This alliance was surprisingly formed by the Human-Race, Elcro, Asa, and Replicants. The spokesman for this Alliance was a human, although that may have been the case only for a symbolic meaning.

 

A handsome man in the prime of his life began to speak with confidence, and information about this man was displayed beneath him.

 

Richard Kwak. He was a former politician of the Federation, but surprisingly he joined the Alliance and became their spokesman. By doing so, this gave the impression to humans, that the Alliance was not against humanity as a whole, but rather it was a peaceful alien alliance that included the Human-Race as well.

 

This was a very wise political move. In fact, it was too good to believe.

 

The appearance of the Alliance, and the loss of Archimedes caused every company’s shares to plummet, and some planets apparently started to stock up on food. Banks ran out of money for the customers to withdraw and the Financial Supervision Committee forbade all banks to allow withdrawals.

 

“Who knows when we’ll be rescued at this rate. I think… Lezirth was right in restricting all communication by the soldiers.”

 

She stole a quick peek at me after saying that. She had that look of ‘just who is this guy’ in her eyes.

 

“I criticized you without knowing your true value. I apologize, Apprentice Lezirth.”

 

Ensign Meihowa unhappily opened a pack of energy-gel. Energy-gel was a real jack-of-all-trades when it came down to nutrients supplement, ease of consumption and taste.

 

When we run out of these energy-gels, we would have to switch to dry rations, then to hunting wild animals on Azoran-3 for consumption.

 

Although we had 2 months’ worth of rations remaining, no, a lot longer because of those deaths, I was worried that the Federation wouldn’t rescue us.

 

“Isn’t the Alliance… quite attractive for you, because you carry Elcro blood, Ensign?”

 

Even I was almost convinced on joining the Alliance. However, the whole thing seemed to be fishy. It was far too political and veteran-like for a newly formed group. The timing of their surprise attack on Archimedes and the announcement of their alliance was too accurate.

 

Ensign Meihowa must’ve had the same feelings as me, because she looked at me with indifferent eyes.

 

“If there were no politics involved, I would say that it’s quite attractive.”

 

Ensign Meihowa loaded up the visuals of Richard Kwak and glared at him.

 

“Why’s that?”

 

“Because this is the man who my father, Commander Liu, attempted to marry me off to.”

 

“…”

 

Damn, then the Alliance wasn’t completely clean either. Then again, I suppose the possibility of the Alliance forming without any shady deals would be impossible, because of the racial differences.

 

“And where is Luise by the way?”

 

Sergeant Aroha asked after looking around.

 

“She should be meditating at the most shaded place in the mangroves.”

 

Admiral Luise Maynard was one of the very few Clairvoyance users among the psychics. The Clairvoyance ability allowed her to collect information without launching an unmanned surveillance vehicle, so she was able to study the enemy’s movements without being caught. She was a crucial piece for our survival here.

 

“I need to bring her back here, now that I’ve installed a cooler in the quarters, and also, I want you two to keep her powers a secret. So why don’t you let her stay with you in the officers’ quarters?”

 

If she shows her skills while being with the other soldiers, the information could leak out. Anyone with Clairvoyance was immediately summoned to the Military Headquarters and she would be…

 

“Okay. I was her roommate before, after all. What about you, Platoon Leader?”

 

“I also agree to it. No, that’s what I want.”

 

Ensign Meihowa didn’t seem to mind it at all.

 

But it’s what she wanted? What does she mean?

 

 

◊             ◊              ◊

 

 

After asking that favour to Meihowa and Aroha, I went out to find Admiral Luise.

 

She was meditating under a mangrove tree but opened her eyes when I approached her. Her golden eyes sparkled under the mangrove tree’s shadow. Was that an after effect of using her powers?

 

“Are you okay?”

 

I passed a bottle of water to her when I saw her sweating buckets. She accepted the bottle from me and nodded her head.

 

“Yes, I’m fine. Thank you, Lezirth.”

 

“I installed a cooler, so please take a break in the quarters. I asked Ensign Meihowa and Sergeant Aroha to allow you to sleep with them in their quarters.”

 

“But it’s not time to sleep just yet. And I wish to wash myself. I sweated too much…”

 

“There should be enough water in the tank, so you can use that.”

 

Although I told her that, she jumped into the sea that the mangrove roots were dipping in. With a splash sound, water flew in all directions.

 

“Ah, that’s better. Come on in, Lezirth.”

 

“No, but I…”

 

After hesitating for a moment, I also jumped in. The sea, surprisingly, was cooler than I thought, compared to this 50 degree weather.

 

“Lezirth, what do you think about the current Federation?”

 

Admiral Luise approached and asked me. I looked straight at her golden eyes.

 

In what way did she mean? Did she also watch the Federation clip?

 

“To be honest, I believe the Federation is at fault. The war against the Letix was for survival, but this time, I believe it is an unnecessary war that is fought for profit. There was no need to wage war against the Asa or Elcro races…”

 

“Yes, I also think the same. However, I ended up being re-enlisted into the army after waking up from the cold sleep, without having the chance to think about the situation. No, I was forcefully re-enlisted when I tried to consult the Armed Forces on the situation.”

 

“…”

 

She was also forcefully re-enlisted into the Armed Forces without a choice or a second thought, because we were already part of the Armed Forces. However, the Federation has changed over the last 120 years.

 

The only ones that haven’t changed were me and her. We were prisoners of time in this world set 120 years in the future.

 

The only one who could understand me was her, and the only one who could understand her was me.

 

“What must we do now? Must we remain in the Federation like this, and become thieves and invaders? Or must we betray the Federation that we fought to protect, and attack it?”

 

What Admiral Luise asked me has been on my mind for a while but I wasn’t able to say it out loud.

 

If she, the one who hacked into the Federation’s computer system, chose to betray the Federation, she would be able to end it without even using the Tetragrammaton.

 

Destroying the Federation, that certainly was an option, but it wasn’t one that I was willing to take. Furthermore, I did not trust the Alliance.

 

“Why don’t we keep an eye on the situation for just a bit longer. I don’t think this is a choice that we must make on the spot. We should keep our eyes on the situation, and then come to a decision. As for the Alliance… I cannot trust it.”

 

“I also think so, Lezirth. Then I will follow you until that time comes.”

 

Admiral Luise held out her hand to me after she spoke.

 

“Please guide me.”

 

“There is no way I would refuse.”

 

I held her hand.

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