Springfield in the Cafeteria
“Commander, I am glad to see you well,” remarked UMP45, smiling with her hands behind her back. “Please give us your command now. Team 404 is fully prepared.”
“How is HK416?”
“She has finished her repairs.”
I was aware Team 404 went out on a mission Miss Helian directed while I was out of commission. That was why I figured HK416 had been repaired. UMP45 said, “I assume you are already aware we went out on a mission. You have not asked about it or our past. Also, I… well, out of curiosity… honestly purely out curiosity… we looked into your background; however, we could not find anything about your family, past or resume. It seems as though you became the commander straight after being discharged from hospital. So, out of curiosity, can I ask about your past?”
I didn’t respond right away. When I did, I answered, “UMP45, I know about your Team 404. You are a squad that works off the radar, correct? The missions you are sent on are secretive missions, correct? For that reason, I won’t pry. It won’t do me any good to know, either. By the same token, you should know not to ask me about my past. You understand what I’m saying, right?’
“I do…” replied UMP45, smiling with an odd vibe. She leaned in all of a sudden: “I thought so… Commander, I was right about you. We are the same kind. My impression of you has improved again. I was very impressed with you when you tried to protect 416. We T-Dolls like you humans. That being said, you are the first human we have seen risk his life to protect a T-Doll.”
“Well… I do like a T-Doll, after all… Now, prepare yourself, Team 404, for you will be joining M4A1 on a mission to retrieve AR15.”
“Roger,” responded UMP45, adding a nod before leaving.
I instinctively reached for my desk, but I didn’t have a coffee there… Springfield had moved to the cafeteria, so I no longer had a vice-captain…
“Who should I ask to be my vice-commander now…? It can’t be Team 404 or Team AR, since they’re always out on the field… H-How about WA2000? Nah, that doesn’t sound feasible…” I reasoned.
I sighed and went to the window. The new European-style structure was magnificent. It appeared elegant against the blue sky and white clouds backdrop. If it wasn’t located amidst military structures, it’d look better, of course. That was where Springfield’s new workplace was. It was a cosy place. Springfield was more suited to wearing an apron and working in a cafeteria than running around on a battlefield with blood and flesh spraying across the sky.
I went through my schedule; it wasn’t too packed for the day. Team 404 was still wrapping up their preparations. Team AR’s rescue mission was still an hour away. I, therefore, had an hour of free time.
Springfield stood behind the counter and smiled brightly when I entered. Although she only wore a simple apron and uniform, she looked gorgeous to me… I wanted to give her a hug, though I couldn’t hug her at work, unfortunately…
A girl in black and white maid uniform sat at the front of the counter. She had short hair. Her sitting posture was refined yet solemn. I suspected she was conversing with Springfield prior to my arrival. I wondered if she was one of Strategic Area S09’s T-Dolls. I couldn’t put a name to her face…
The girl stood up and turned around to bow to me. Her gaze was vigilant and grouchy. Tone aloof, she said, “Hello, Strategic Area S09’s commander. I am combat T-Doll G36. Miss Springfield invited me here.”
Her somewhat aggressive gaze… I didn’t think she was going to make a request to transfer to Strategic Area S09. Not from that gaze. If anything, I’d suspect she was sent by Sangvis Ferri to assassinate me… Awkward, I touched my face and asked, “Umm, is there something you are unhappy about with Strategic Area S09?”
“No,” honestly replied G36, as she shook her head.
“Then… did I trigger you somehow?”
“No, I heard you are different to other commanders, as you are a courageous human who protects his T-Dolls. I admire you for that.”
“Then… your gaze…”
“Oh, I apologise for that.”
The girl only just seemed to realise her gaze was confronting. She grabbed a pair of glasses to wear on. Maybe there was a filter or something, but her gaze looked a lot warmer. There was just a lack of emotion, though. She bowed and explained, “My visual settings are set for seeing long distances. As a result, I cannot see you very clearly when you are close. That is why I instinctively frown.”
Springfield placed a cup of coffee down with a smile. She entered our conversation with her head tilted: “I thought you would come at this hour, Commander. You are commanding Team 404 an hour from now, after all. Did you want something to eat? Muffins or cookies? I can prepare either.”
“I’ll pass, Springfield. I just came for a coffee.” I replied and waved my hand at the same time. I sat down and spoke to G36: “Was there a reason you transferred here?”
“No, Springfield put in a request to have me transferred here to work as your vice-commander. She was worried you would not take proper care of yourself after she retired from the post. I may be a T-Doll, but I am very confident I can take care of you. I am also very honoured to be your vice-commander. I hope I will be able to satisfy your demands.”
“Has Miss Helian approved already?”
“Yes. That being said, the official documents have not been finalised yet. That is why I am not considered one of Strategic Area S09’s T-Dolls at current. I believe it will soon be finalised, however.”
“G36 is an old friend of mine. You can also tell that she is very professional, right?” Springfield placed a hand on G36’s shoulder and smiled: “G36, Commander is my lover. Entrusting my lover to you is a sign of trust. You must not let me down.”
“Leave it to me, Springfield.”
G36 didn’t understand what Springfield implied, apparently… I was satisfied with Springfield alone. I won’t lie and say G36 wasn’t pretty, but that didn’t mean I’d make her my wife. Only shut-ins would do that. What more could I ask for when I had the beautiful and kind Springfield? Springfield’s smile was brighter than the sun outside. Her gentle smile and affectionate gaze were enough for me.
I had a sip of the coffee Springfield brewed specifically for me.
An hour flew by. I got up and bid Springfield goodbye: “I shall go to work now.”
Springfield smiled and waved in a tender manner: “Give it your all, Commander. You have to come back and see me, okay?”
“I will, Springfield.”