Galactic Warrior II—Only Chance


Continued from Part One.

When I woke up, I found myself in a room of pristine conditions; the marble tiles were perfectly cleaned, the walls, which were painted in white were spotless, and the air was clean and fresh. The only wrinkle in the unsullied room was the bed I sat on, the rumpled sheets were at odds with the rest of the room. I stood up, stretched and headed towards the door. Somehow, I had surmised that when I passed out, Adjar had ferried me to Zypern, the headquarters of the unknown interplanetary army.

I placed my hands on the door handle, turned it but it didn’t open. I tried again, still the same result. Was I then their prisoner? This wasn’t what she said when she was planning on bringing me here; she had mentioned that I was now a recruit—which army locks up their recruits like dangerous criminals?

“User details not recognized.” An unfeeling metallic voice said, few seconds later. “Please wait for authorized personnel to grant you passage.”

This was the height of it! So I would be here till… whenever an ‘authorized personnel’ deems it fit to rescue me from my cell. Funnily, my situation reminded me of one ancient story I had read when I was ten. It was the story of a princess locked up in a castle; she eagerly awaited the day her charming knight would rescue her, which of course, later happened. But I was no princess, and this was a planet I had never even heard of few days ago.

As I was thinking of princesses and knights, the door clicked open and Adjar stepped in. She was impeccably dressed in the normal DARE yellow skinsuit, her dark, wavy hair tied in a sexy ponytail. She sat on the bed beside me, smiled and said,

“Hi Jesser. How are you today?”

“Today?” My voice sounded strange, like I was inside a metallic container.

“Yes, today. You were out for one week.”

“Oh,” I croaked, “Why weren’t you affected?”

“The first time I jumped—which is going through a wormhole—I recovered almost two weeks later. So your reaction is perfectly normal. And to answer your question, all DARE personnel are injected with a one-time dose of WAS—Wormhole Acclimatization Shot—which enables us to withstand the extreme bodily pressure of such a transport,“ she replied, her eyes a mixture of fun and sorrow. Suddenly, I wondered why she had joined the DARE Corp. I badly wanted to ask her a lot of questions, instead, what I said was,

“I see.”

“Yes. And speaking of which, it’s time for your basic military check up and training.”
She sprang up, and beckoning to me, she left the room, with me tagging along.

*******************

Two months later, and I am almost as good as Adjar herself. The training I went through these past months have been extremely difficult but worth it. I was now a First Officer, which was the first rank after completing training.

During the training, I was tested on the use of different guns, engaged in hand-to-hand combat, and also passed their rigorous physical examination. This involved a five-day stint at the gym. At the end of it all, I was to have a test face-off with Sector Commander Dryke Freger , but was unavailable. So I fought Adjar. She was good—too good; she never fought me as if I was new, she fought me like I was the cause of all her problems. I had a hard time deflecting her blows and kicks, not to talk of her dexterity in gunfight. After two hours of intense training, I was declared the sore loser, but was made a First Officer—the only current one.

When I was still in training, I had noticed that DARE didn’t have many soldiers, at least, in this sector. I’d asked my training officer, Major Kary Duwn, about it. He had simply said, “In the dangerous world we operate in, having a small group of people ensures that there are not many infiltrators.” Which made absolute sense, still… in the event of an attack, they could all be wiped out, and then what?

Now, as I sat in the cafeteria enjoying my well-spiced chicken soup, a robotic messenger approached me. “Officer Jesser, your presence is required at the Commander’s office,” it said, and turning on it’s Styrofoam heels, it walked off. I downed the rest of my lunch in a flash and headed towards the office. When I got there, I saw the Assistant Sector Commander, Banso Churek, and few other high-ranking officers. They all looked very sorrowful and subdued. I stood in front of him and gave him a quick salute. He returned it, and motioned to me to come up to the control monitor he was in front of. As I walked up to him, I felt deep in my bones that something was terribly wrong.

“Officer Jesser,” he began, “I need you to listen to this.” His hands then flew over the virtual keyboard, and an audio clip started playing. It was the voice of Adjar.

“Message to HQ, by the time you get this, we would have been captured by the Madatants. Our mission to take them out went awry, and Commander Freger is badly injured. I fear he might not make it. Our captors would want information about the DARE Corp, but do not worry, we won’t give them anything.

“Finally, tell… “ her voice cracked, and it was obvious that she was stifling a cry, “… tell Jesser that I love him.” And then she was gone.

Commander Banso spoke next, “As you know, Colonel Adjar was instructed to extricate the Sector Commander when we were sure that he was trapped while on a mission to Earth 66. Sadly, it seems that both of them have been captured by the very same people we wanted to gather a final intel on before waging a large scale war on.”

I merely nodded, too shocked to utter any word. He then added, “I’m sorry about Adjar.” I looked into his eyes and saw his grief too. He was a good man, and I nodded, acknowledging his words.

Unlike most military groups, the DARE Corp encouraged relationships between their soldiers. It was believed that in such a way, officers would not have any reason to look for comforts outside the group, as that could jeopardize the Corp. And I had been dating Adjar for a little over two weeks now; we were very much in love with each other and the future was looking promising. Until her mission.

“We have to get them back,” I suddenly said.

“My boy,” he started, “as much as I would like that to happen, we simply cannot afford to send more people down there. I’m truly sorry.”

“You’re saying that we would have to abandon them?”

“Sadly, yes. We have already sacrificed one officer in trying to get Commander Freger out, we can’t risk another one.”

“Then I’ll go.”

“You? You have just recently concluded your training. Even if I would send someone, you’re the last person it would be.”

“Yet I’m going.”

“How do you think you can fight a Madatant horde?”

“With the ECB.”

“The what! You can’t use the Enhanced Combat Booster, not without a proper medical approval.”

“Which we don’t have time for.”

“Yet—”

“Commander Churek, I understand your concerns, but this is something I have to do. I just can’t stand by and watch them die—I can’t!”

I went to the cabinet by the western side of the room, opened it and brought out the vial containing the ECB. It was as clear as water, but it’s effects were tremendous; when taken, it enhanced the person’s strength, speed, vision, and endurance. The person simply becomes a super soldier. It had one side effect… something I chose not to dwell on. 

“Officer Jesser, I do not need to tell you that you’re disobeying military orders by doing this,” Commander Churek announced. 

“I know. But in the DARE Officer guidelines, it is clearly stated that an officer might embark on a dangerous self-appointed mission on the condition that after such a mission, he or she automatically resigns. So I’m well within my rights.”

“But you know the side effects of the drug?”

“Yes. After one week, the enhanced results wear off, and the person loses all memory. I’ve read all files on it.”

“Then I wish you all the best.” I uncapped the vial, and in one motion, swallowed the clear liquid. As it went down my throat, it burned like fire, I coughed, and winked at the men inside the room, before running out. Towards a wormhole vehicle—towards Adjar. 

Part Three will be coming up next Tuesday. 


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