Search and Rescue Mission
“Commander, please enjoy it.”
“Oh, thank you, Springfield.”
I took the porcelain cup Springfield passed me. She filled the cylinder cup with coffee. A gentle smoke curled up. I pursed my lips. I was full of praise for Springfield’s competence. In mere days, she had a perfect grasp of my taste, perfecting the milk to sugar ratio for my palate.
Springfield smiled tenderly and went up to the documents shelf. She stood there awkwardly for a few seconds before stepping back. She turned around and looked around as though she was searching for something. I knew what she was thinking. She needed to take care of me and assist me with my work as my vice-commander; however, the unfortunate problem was that we didn’t receive any commands from headquarters after Helian vanished during the explosion.
Without orders from headquarters, I couldn’t take action on my own. As a consequence, Strategic Area S09 was on standby after destroying a Sangvis Ferri T-Doll. The T-Dolls calibrated their systems daily. Kalina was busy with adjustments and replenishing their inventory using the resources transported to the centre. I had Sten and Skorpion assist Kalina.
There weren’t many people at the location in the first place. I was the only human. Strategic Area S09 turned into a supply station. T-Dolls went to and fro for repairs or to be sent back in case of serious damage. The camp was desolate, but it wasn’t too dull. Springfield’s information shelf was reorganised three times in alphabetical order, so it was as perfect as it could be.
I smiled and touched my head: “You must be bored, Springfield.”
“Oh, yeah, a little,” replied Springfield, turning back to face me. She smiled: “I have gone through some memorable battles, yet there is nothing to do now. Mm, normal life is not bad, though.”
After going through battles with her life on the line, even the most ordinary lifestyle was a blessing and joyous to Springfield. On the flipside, too much peace rendered her feeling a tad hopeless, for it clashed with her excessively stimulating lifestyle from before. That was the reason both Springfield and I were restless. On one hand, we told ourselves peace was for the best. On the other hand, we looked forward to doing battle.
“If you are just as bored, I think we can do something,” said Springfield, as she approached my desk.
Springfield pressed her hand lightly on my desk and leaned over it. With my cup still in hand, I reactively stepped back as her warmth and domes approached. Could I be blamed for being surprised by her perfect figure? I wasn’t sure if I was meant to meet with her eyes or ogle her two globes.
Perhaps Springfield deliberately jiggled her blessings because she noticed my distress. With a smile, she suggested, “Commander, we have not been acquainted for very long, so we are not very close, right? How about having a muffin I personally make and sharing your story? I find it unfair for only you to know about me. I want to know more about you, as well.”
I blanked out. I asked myself, “My past… past… it’s still supposed to be a secret. I can’t tell anybody about my past missions or identity. Do T-Dolls count, though? Does Springfield count…? I know she’ll keep a lid on it, but will others hack into her memories?”
“Ah, Commander. Commander,” called someone at the door, as they knocked.
The individual who came in resembled a cat that just rolled around in mud.
“Uh, which T-Doll is speaking to me here? D-Did she just return from the frontlines?” I mumbled in my mind.
“That’s mean, Commander! I am Kalina! You saw me this morning! I just tidied up and reorganised the warehouse. By the way, Miss Helian has reached out to us. She has something to speak to you about?”
“Finally?” I asked as I frantically got up.
Springfield leaned back and bowed with a smile: “Please head to work, Commander.”
I heard from Helian a week later after the explosion.
“Commander, that was scary now that I think about it. Sad to say, the Sangvis Ferri T-Doll’s memory was destroyed. We can only try and obtain some data. Our immediate task at hand is to collate everything into a report. I need to ask for your help on some things.”
I sat stunned in my chair as I watched Helian speak in her signature style. From memory, Helianthus should’ve been next to Scarecrow with her team. When the explosion went off, a fearless T-Doll grabbed her and bore the brunt of the explosion for her. Despite that, Helian passed out due to the impact. She basically had a brush with death, yet she seemed indifferent. I’d consider her fearless and tough as nails. She showed no intention of giving me any time to ask how she was doing. She provided me with a satellite map and added, “This is Zone T6, which is where your Strategic Area S09 is located. In the previous miss-“
“Oh, sorry, Miss Helian, I think it’s best if I explain it.”
I heard fuzzy sounds when I saved the map. I think somebody took over the communication device. I heard a lazy voice instead of Helian. A messy head of pink hair appeared on the ground. She looked half-asleep, and she had a lollipop in her mouth. Her shirt wasn’t buttoned properly, leaving her globes exposed. Actually, they appeared as though they’d burst out from behind her shirt. She looked slovenly.
“Why are all the T-Dolls and robots around me all the same? Helian must be the only normal person,” I silently commented.
“Uh, you must be the commander, yeah? Pleasure to meet you. Persica, a researcher at 16Lab.”
“Oh, a pleasure to meet you, too…”
I had no clue what 16Lab was… It didn’t seem as though she planned to introduce me to it, either. She nodded: “The mission is actually my request. This is very, very important for Griffon. You’re a rookie, and you lack experience. Under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t be assigned this job. But nonetheless, I personally think it’s best for you and your rescue target if you take the job.”
“Oh… It doesn’t matter to me, really. If it’s important, you should entrust an experienced commander with it. I’m not confident…’
“Oh, no, I believe you’ll accept the mission once I tell you who you need to rescue. You might even personally take to the field. I have had the pleasure of hearing of your laudable feats. I’m even planning to invent an armoured suit for you. That’s down the line, however. This time, I need you to rescue M4A1, again.”