Part 39: Interview 19 BonusBarracks 19 - If I'm Left Behind
As Rose enters the primary barracks room of Yellow Comet, she is distinctly aware that she needs to ensure that the soldiers are taking her authority seriously. Distant memories of her Orange Star days, where she spoke down to her fellow soldiers and offended them greatly, rise up in her mind, and she shakes her head.
I have grown since then. I can lead my troops well.
She makes her way over to the table in the distant, where a group of soldiers are talking - Vanessa, Peregrine, Kyril and Dymek.
“So, Kyril. You’re Kanbei’s nephew?” asks Vanessa.
Kyril nods. “You wouldn’t think it, would you? Truth me told, relations weren’t great between my dad and Uncle Kanbei. Then when he passed away, Kanbei pretty much forgot about us.”
“That’s evil.” Dymek replies, but Kyril shakes his head, shrugging.
“Come on, you know Kanbei. He’s not a bad guy, he’s just pretty forgetful.”
“Sorry to hear it, though. You’re owed a lot more than a low-tier military position.” Peregrine says. “I’m happy where I am because I get to fly lots of cool-as-shit aircraft, but you’re a proper kind of guy, Kyril.”
“I’m happy where I am too.” Kyril says, giving the group an unconvincing smile. “At the very least, it allowed me to meet all of you.”
“Well,” sniffs Vanessa. “You might be able to forgive Kanbei for forgetting you, but I don’t buy that he’s just forgetful.”
“You really don’t like him, do you?” asks Dymek.
“Me and Sonja attended military academy at the same time. And I outperformed her in almost every subject! I’m a tactician on her level or greater.” Vanessa says, her left hand balling up into a fist. “And then when it came to graduate? Sonja gets offered a position as CO right next to her father, and I don’t even manage to get an ACO position. I’m just… just a common soldier.”
“Jeez.” Dymek replies. “Perhaps we should march up to the man himself and demand some justice for the pair of ya!”
“I’m sorry to hear that, Vanessa. You really are talented.” Kyril says.
“Thank you.” Vanessa says, with a hint of smug superiority. “I’m telling you, I’m more qualified than Sonja. This was nepotism!”
The conversation becomes quiet as Rose walks up to them. She sits down and gives them a faint smile.
“Uh, hi. You’re Rose, right?” Peregrine asks.
Rose nods. “I wanted to meet you all outside of our professional capacity. I hope that isn’t strange.”
“It’s a little odd to be fraternising with our ACO, but eh, stranger things have happened.” Dymek replies. “Hi, Rose. You’re like, super young, right?”
“Eleven years old as of a few weeks ago.” Rose replies. “I am said to be something of a child prodigy.”
“No kidding.” breathes Vanessa. “Uh, sorry for my behaviour today, by the way. If that battle was anything to go by, though, you’re incredible on the field. Why aren’t you a CO yet?”
“Ah… I don’t think I’m old enough for that, really.” Rose says, musing on the question. “Though… that would be something worth considering in the future.”
“Crazy. I still can’t really fathom taking orders from a kid, but eh, I guess you’re the boss. So long as I get to dogfight the foe, I’m all good!” Peregrine replies.
“I’m sure there will be plenty of combat for you, Peregrine.” Rose says. “Um, tell me, what do you do for fun between battles?”
“It varies. We were gonna have a quiz today; that’s starting soon.” Vanessa says. “Though we were going to be a team of four, so…”
Rose nods, and goes to stand up. “I understand.”
“Hang on, though. Surely having the smartest kid in the room on our team is a good idea?” hisses Kyril. Vanessa nods at him.
“Hey, Rose, we’ll just have a team of five. It’s all good. Come join us.”
Turning back, Rose gives the group another faint smile. “Thank you. I am looking forward to this ‘quiz’.”
“Oh, yes,” Rose asks, looking around. “Do you know where Andromeda is?”
“No idea. She never hangs around the barracks.” says Kyril. “I’m a little worried about her. She’s… strange.”
“As am I.” murmurs Rose.
As the group engage in more discussions, Rose’s thoughts begin to wander once more.
My dude… all I want to be a good ACO like you. I can match you tactically, but when it comes to befriending and caring about all of the soldiers… I have much to learn.