CHAPTER ONE: MAKING WAR
“There’s nothing more appetizing than the scent of napalm,” said General Q with a very smooth grin on his face.
The year is 3012 and the sky was a brutal and battered orange filled with smoke and smog. There was the thundering of Quadrotanks pulverizing the dirt and wails of Ray Jets leaving white lines of smoke in the air. It is hard to believe that it was said that seven centuries ago, before the Global Revolution, Earth was once a rather lush, beautiful, and maintained planet. Alas….such a depiction then, dare not match Earth of today.
Ever since countries began conflicting with one another, everything began taking a turn for the worst. Dictator killed dictator. Princesses and princes were kidnapped and murdered. The widespread of communism and imperialism. Inflation, plagues, riots, and most effectively…war…
“What is the matter….young comrade?” his soft voice irritated my ear.
“I was just………” I was actually just thinking about what happened so long ago.
I knew General Q was waiting for my reply.
“If it is that you are concerned about something, please….please just inform me.”
I nodded as General Q got up from the cockpit chair and head towards his office. I still stood there and watched the Sigma Army train for the upcoming battle against our rival, the Epsilon Rebellion. The General slowly strolled into his office.
“What did we do to deserve this, Zap? Why must we fight over…nonsense…?” Cybil Starr, the nurse, glanced at me as if I were the one who knew all about what was going on.
“I don’t know for sure…but I do know that we have been at war for far too long now.” I turned to her radiant orange face as her quivering green eyes examined my bold red eyes.
“Zap…I’m scared…what if we don’t…don’t win this war?”
Cybil, rather being a basket case, you would always find her worrying about anything. However, in real life, I was the one who was more concerned.
“Cybil,” I asked, “Don’t stress yourself over this, okay?”
“Yes...,” she nodded, “You are most certainly right…”
A few seconds later, Mikkah patiently stepped into the control lobby where Cybil and I were standing.
“Mikkah,” Cybil seem to condense her fear into a faint relief.
“Where were you anyway?” I asked.
“Rosalyn and I were just taking a walk around the Times Square, that’s all. By the way, Cybil, Alice was looking for you.”
She nodded and quickly paced out of the control lobby.
“You, a humble noble, and Rosalyn, a loose-cannon she-devil?” I grinned at Mikkah.
“Is that your way of being sarcastic?” Poor Mikkah began to blush. “Rosalyn isn’t my girlfriend or anything if that’s what you’re thinking! I know all about your little jokes!”
“What?! No! That’s not what I’m trying to say—or what I’m trying to say is---“
Looks like Mikkah wins the disagreement this time.
“---And besides, the woman is only a mentor to me. So………”
How coincidental, there was Rosalyn walking in on our little conversation.
“So…..so what? Huh? So what, Mikkah…..my dumpling?” Rosalyn had a suspicious smirk on her face.
Mikkah’s purple face soon turned to burgundy as he held his head down with an embarrassed smile.
Mikkah started to mumble out that he was going to relax in the team lounge for a while—or at least until he could get over his little moment. However, it was just me and Rosalyn left in the control lobby.
“Mikkah,” she sighed, “He knows how to treat a woman very well to say he’s a prince.”
I had to think about what she meant for a while until she added something erotic.
“Boy, young men these days sure know what a humble, old lady needs. They seem more serious than men my at my age; you know what I mean, sweetie?”
Great. Now it was my turn to blush about being called a “sweetie”. Now I’m certain about how Mikkah feels.
“What can I say? Mikkah’s a pretty lucky guy. He’s handsome, and a real hunk. And most of all, he’s a gentleman and a prince. How much more awesome can he get?” Rosalyn explained to me.
“Yeah, all of that, but surly isn’t awesome…,” I lamely mumbled.
“Oh, you’re just jealous! You know, if it wasn’t for that wild, funky green hair of yours, maybe we could talk, heh-heh.” Her voice echoed as she left out of the control lobby.
Ugh! What the hell is she talking about?! She’s just lucky enough to get a hold onto a timid guy….tsk! I thought to myself.
Hmph. It’s not my fault I grew up with this hair. In fact, I really do like it myself, but I’m quite an outcast to society. Professor Sacha Astro, the guy who found me as a baby in a crater located in Tucson, told me that I might have came from a foreign planet due to my totally unique appearance. To this day, my own questions baffle me about my whereabouts and my place of origin.
For twenty-six years, I’ve been calling Prof. Astro my “father”. Even though he isn’t my biological father, we share an indestructible father-son bond. I’m simultaneously surprised and happy that he didn’t take me in to do gory research on me, but to claim me as his “little alien boy”.
When I was about five-or six, I started to realize that I was different from all the other kids. So Prof. Astro decided to school me himself on his own time until I was twelve. Then he sent me off to high school where life wasn’t certainly at its worst, but, it was kind of tough progressing through school. When I was only a freshman in Columbia University, I was met by a feisty but loyal friend name Rosalyn Scott who was from the island of Barbados. I also ran into a not so friendly partner name Igor von Struben, a military-paid student from Berlin, Germany. I’ve been familiar with these two for such a long time all the way to now when we find each other all together in the Sigma Force.
I started back to watch the training session outside the cockpit window again. We only had forty-eight hours remaining to train and prepare ourselves for the fight against the Epsilon Rebellion. The Epsilon Rebellion was started by a formal member of the Sigma Academy of Combat. His name was Cecil Equinox. He was once great partners with Maximilian Jarvis Q. as they worked together to organize an elite commission of highly ranked soldiers known as the Sigma Force.
Unfortunately, jealousy ran across Cecil when he learned about the first member, Igor von Struben, being inducted into the Sigma Force. Jarvis was so proud of Igor’s dedication and his loyalty to the Sigma Academy, that he mistakenly forgotten Cecil and his work.
Eventually, Cecil was so fed up with this ordeal that he decided to resign from the Sigma Academy of Combat and roam on his own. He did get about 15% of the academy’s income, but for the past ten years. No one knew what he was up to until everyone found out that he was the one responsible for the Epsilon Rebellion. Now he’s supposedly call himself taking vengeance over the Sigma Academy and, namely, Jarvis.
“This is only going to be a brief battle against an old friend, young Astro. There is no need to worry. I am most probable that our troops will easily defeat him and his small army.”
I flinched when I turn to General Q. He must have walked quietly out of his office when he saw me still watching out of the window.
“Oh,” I muttered. “I didn’t know you were watching me…watching outside the…window.”
Jarvis smiled at me. I was a bit confused but all I could do is faintly smirk back at him.
I’m a bit afraid of Jarvis, not because his mysterious and recluse behavior, but the way he disciplines his students and soldiers. They are quite…cruel. If anyone were to even look at him the wrong way, he or she were put to harsh and long hours of custodian work, but for his Sigma Force members: either immediate discharge or an execution. Since everyone of the Sigma Force has never disobeyed General Q., nothing like that has ever happened. But who could? Everyone is fooled by Jarvis’s sweet and innocent nature. Perhaps it’s just part of his idea of keeping everyone in line…
Well, something strange did happen with one of us before. After ignoring orders not to kill the ambassador of planet Façade, Igor was called by General Q. to report to his office. We thought Igor, a superior and veteran of the Sigma Force was going to be kicked out or even put to death. Even though Igor and I never really get along, I was relieved that his life was spared, and he wasn’t suspended or received any minor punishment.
Finally, after a long two hour wait for his return, we saw him and asked him what happened. He just gave us a frantic expression as tears rolled down his eyes, and then he walked off.
Was he stripped of his position as Superior …or something else?
From then on, Igor never really mentions anything about what happened between him and Jarvis in the office that day…
Eventually, the orange evening sky was reduced to a hazy, dark blue. By then, all the soldiers were wrapping up their training as commanded by General Q.
“Phew! Thank god that’s over!” One soldier shouted.
“Yeah! I need somethin’ to eat and some shut-eye!” Another soldier said.
The muffling mass of combat boots plopping on the ground and the voices of tired and hungry soldiers in the main hall; something you would normally hear after a long day of vigorous training.
“Aww, man! I’m so tired! I could just eat a horse or two!”
Oh no, I thought. I held my head down so that Ralphael kid wouldn’t notice me.
“Alright! It’s time to hang with the coolest people in the world! That’s right! That means you, too, Big Z!”
“Great,” I mumbled. “Here goes another day of his yapping…”
Ralphael Solstice is one annoying 14-year old. He’s the first youngest member to ever be inducted into the Sigma Force. Despite of his immaturity sometimes, his skill level in the records are pretty impressive.
“Hey, Zap! Guess what?!” Ralph shouted as he ran towards me.
“Oh yeah?” I replied.
“I was reading the bulletin this morning—and I was ranked to an official member of the Sigma Force!!!” He was so excited that he could hardly talk clearly.
I was shocked at first, because I now had to deal with an untamed teenager, but then again, I’m proud of the kid making it this far…
“That’s…that’s great, Ralph.” I smiled and gave him a thumbs up.
Soon everyone was back in their quarters for tonight. I, however, decided to stay up a bit longer. I was standing on the balcony watching the dark, starless sky.
I guess I was still thinking about the war…