Part 69: Interview 34 BonusBarracks 34 - The Emperor's Frontliners
It’s a cold night as the APC rumbles towards the destination. Yellow Comet has received warning from Commander Eagle that Drake has been caught in a bad spot by the enemy. However, nobody in the small frontline crew is worried - Kanbei’s power, combined with Rose and Vanessa’s tactical acumen, is sure to defeat any foe, so they’re relaxing as they travel.
Kyril looks up as he spots Sofia slumbering gently in the corner of the APC, with Lysander lying next to her, and he grins at the others - Vanessa, Andromeda and Rose.
“It’s so nice to see a son and mother reunited.” he says, smiling.
Rose nods. “May as well let them sleep; they’ll have to be up early once we arrive at the battlefield.”
“It’s still strange that we’re in Green Earth territory.” Vanessa says. “Maybe that’s just because I’ve never been here before.”
“I… am enjoying visiting here. It reminds me of Blue Moon… but perhaps, maybe, that’s just because it’s cold…” Andromeda murmurs. “I hope Perry is doing alright without me.”
“Peregrine will be fine, Andromeda.” Rose replies. “As will we. I cannot see this ‘Hawke’ being particularly threatening to such a potent strike team. Even against superior numbers, we should… should be fine.”
“You faltered.” Vanessa says, eyeing Rose.
“...Hawke seems more competent than the others. I’ve seen Eagle’s power firsthand. Anyone who can withstand that, and somehow take over almost all of Green Earth… that is someone who should be treated with caution.”
“Not feared, then.” Kyril grins.
Rose shakes her head. “I fear little.”
“What was your time in Orange Star like, anyway?” Vanessa asks. “I have to say, I’m curious.”
“Yes… you met that woman, fighter, lady…” whispers Andromeda. “Tina, I think?”
“Correct. Tina.” Rose replies. “What is there to say about Tina McCoy?”
Kyril, Andromeda and Vanessa gather around as Rose begins to talk about Tina, and for a moment, Rose is reminded of the days in the barracks where one of the soldiers would tell stories about the legendary heroes who came before - Craigsworth, Alfred, Barry and more.
“Tina is a woman of unbelievable strength, and I do not just mean physically. She endured much as a child, but overcame it to join the army and serve her country. She fought tooth and nail to prove herself just as competent as her male compatriots, but she ended up outstripping them completely. Every soldier in the Orange Star army knew her name, and respected her wild strength.” Rose says, fixing the group with a dark expression, and suddenly finds herself enjoying the enraptured attention of her colleagues. “She survived blows that would have killed ordinary soldiers. A medium tank under her control put fear in the hearts of every foe in her path. She single-handedly declared war on Yellow Comet’s army, and went toe-to-toe with Kanbei’s tank division.”
“But Kanbei’s tanks are the most expensive ones - extra defensive and offensive properties!” breathes Kyril. “Even I’m a threat when I get access to a medium tank.”
“Tina would eat you alive.” Rose says, shrugging. “She was the heart and soul of the Orange Star army… but her heart was elsewhere. She was a close friend of mine, despite our… rocky start. However, she fell for an artillery expert named Wilbert van Koning, and shortly before the end of the war, she became pregnant with a child.”
“Before the end of the war?” asks Vanessa incredulously. Rose raises a single eyebrow and nods.
“She was almost a month pregnant when she fought - and defeated - Sturm. Just in case you needed further evidence that Tina was a force of nature.”
“She sounds incredible.” murmurs Andromeda.
“She was.” Rose says. “But I don’t want to put all the emphasis on her. Every soldier in that army was a valuable friend of mine - they accepted me, even with my age and attitude.”
“Oh, who else did you meet?” Kyril says. “I wonder if we’ll run into some of them later on.”
“Well, we met a few of them during the final battle against Adder.” Rose replies. “For example, let me tell you about two soldiers called Dave and Rin. So… Dave was a soldier who was, apparently, the man who single-handedly defeated Blue Moon, and many of the newer recruits, like Rin, had heard all of these legends about him…”
Rose continues talking in her soft, gentle voice as the others, hooked on her words, listen intently, the cold of the outside completely ignored. Whilst Lysander and Sofia continue to nap, the APC travels on through the night, bound for the battlefield to protect Green Earth.