Compared to the upper floor that they clearly didn’t have enough time to renovate and had to put together through improvisation, the second underground floor’s commander’s room was solemn and safe. It was obvious the walls were concrete walls reinforced with steel plates. It was designated as the second floor, but there wasn’t actually a first underground floor.
Three metres of floors were concrete reinforced with steel plates for protection. The interior was lit up with dim incandescent lights. The clear and empty control tables were sparkling clean. In the centre was a big table. On it was a map that illustrated all of Area S09’s activities. By the side were a shiny server and an archive room. I had to swipe in and have my fingerprint verified to enter.
“Please wear on your headphones so that you can hear the T-Dolls’ reports. When they are on missions, their messages will be recorded. If you are interested, you can have a listen,” said Kalina, as she handed me a pair of headphones.
I took the headphones off Kalina. She then stood next to me and explained, “We will now watch their first training session. There is no need to be nervous, Commander. This is just Sangvis Ferri’s small reconnaissance station. I doubt there will be any T-Dolls; there should only be some combat robots. Miss Springfield and Miss WA2000 are both elites. The combat robots are very simple to handle. Please now select the battle map.”
I gently pressed my hand onto the table. I worked with a big touchpad. I followed Kalina’s guidance to the bottom right of the map and switched the satellite maps with the so-called battle maps. The map immediately displayed countless strategic points. I could tell that they were crucial locations. By the looks of things, Strategic Area S09 was still in a struggle with Sangvis Ferri. Lots of places were red zones Sangvis Ferri controlled. Lots of airports were also controlled by them. Springfield and WA2000 were nearby. I think it was a Sangvis Ferri sentry station. According to the satellite, there were a few robots guarding it.
“Mic check, mic check, one, two, three, microphone is working. Messages can be delivered properly, over.”
I responded to Miss Springfield: “Copy that. Signal is fine, over.”
“Roger that, Commander. Please give your orders.”
I examined the map. No tactic was needed, honestly. Diverging advance and converging attack, pincer attacks or whatever was unnecessary, because there was only one route that allowed the T-Dolls to quickly reach their destination. That being said, the reconnaissance station required them to perform a heavy assault on the defending robots. I didn’t know how strong the two were in combat. However, since I was their commander, I needed to trust in their abilities. Since Kalina was confident in them, I felt they could pull it off.
“Springfield, WA2000, are you confident you can destroy the sentry station?’
I asked to confirm with them to ensure our success. Springfield just giggled, while WA2000 didn’t pull any punches: “Commander, you must have faith in our abilities! I told you that I am elite T-Doll! How could I possibly fail to defeat robots that are not even T-Dolls?! You are questioning my abilities!”
“All right, then, break through the centre. Follow the path and destroy them. It appears they are a small force. If something comes up, report in immediately. I will always be listening.”
“Hmph, just wait for our triumph announcement,” replied WA2000.
I think WA2000 got mad and ended communications. Meanwhile, Springfield laughed: “Commander, do not mind her. WA2000 is a child. She is very determined, however, because we had an agreement. Whoever performs best in this battle will be your vice-commander. I hope you can realise our small agreement.”
“Correct. A vice-commander who will help you with your work. Her main duty will be to work by your side. That is a very important job to WA2000, who has been looking forward to meeting you… It is fine. She cannot hear our private conversation…”
“Oh…” I nodded.
“Does Springfield like WA2000 and wants to help her realise her dream…?” I asked myself.
I was fine with it… Maybe the plot could develop a little further if I had a beautiful girl helping me at work as my vice-commander.
“Hang on. What am I thinking? They ‘re T-Dolls who could rip me apart with their bare hands, not ordinary humans. Calm your horses, Li Wuan. Calm down,” I told myself.
“That is not what I mean, though,” said Springfield, bringing me back to reality. There was a hint of her playfulness in her tone. It was as if she could see my red face from afar: “What I meant was that I will also do my best. After all, like WA2000, I, too, like you very much, Commander. Hehe, over and out.”
Springfield left me with a red face and ears as she ended the call. I was speechless. Kalina looked at me with a curious expression, for she had no clue what transpired.
“Did you just say something to Commander behind my back?” coldly asked WA2000. Voice unhappy, she exclaimed, “You didn’t cheat, did you? Don’t seduce our commander! Didn’t we agree to decide this with our performance?!”
“I never did any of that,” refuted Springfield, with a shake of her head. She then picked up her rifle: “WA2000, do you not trust me? I never seduced Commander. I will respect and uphold our agreement. It’ll be decided by our performance.”
“Hmph, I won’t lose to you. I’m an elite T-Doll. This is what I’m best at,” proudly stated WA2000.
“Fufu, you claim to not care about our commander, yet you are all fired up for him. You have a crush on him, don’t you, WA2000?”
“You… Stop spouting nonsense! It’ll be recorded! C-Communications aren’t going through…”
The call wasn’t cut off. It wasn’t WA2000. It was Springfield, who furtively switched it on… I felt awkward… I guess Springfield led WA2000 by the nose despite the latter being an elite T-Doll…
“Man, Springfield is scary. She doesn’t just lead WA2000 by the nose but even teasing me… She’s a scary one… She’s a T-Doll, yet has me, a human, around her finger and speechless. Is she a legitimate T-Doll…? Is she really an AI?” I wondered.
I shook my head to get rid of my distractions. I earnestly examined the destination WA2000 and Springfield were headed to.
I had to admit that I underestimated them. Based on the holographic projection on the table provided by the drone, the two of them were formidable combatants. The two of them coordinated alternating suppressive fire from afar and were able to land accurate shots into the robot sentries’ cores.
From a results standpoint, perhaps it was due to Springfield being an old T-Doll and WA2000 being an elite, but WA2000’s accuracy and damage were higher than Springfield’s. Nonetheless, I had a different idea in mind.