Decision and Truth
Standing next to my bed G36 asked, “Commander, humanity’s army has laid siege to us. They do not have a nationality or symbol. Can we fire back at them?”
I didn’t sleep. More accurately, I was in a daze the entire night after the T-Dolls brought me back. I lied silently on the bed. My eyes looked open yet not. Perhaps it was my imagination, but I could smell Springfield next to me still, yet it still felt so cold.
I robotically sat up. My body still ached after Sangvis Ferri’s Agent assaulted me. I didn’t want to say anything or do anything. G36 passed me my jacket and said, “Although we can already fire at humans, we will not fire without your orders. They seem to want us to hand over our defence area, and therefore need to speak to you.”
“Mm,” I mumbled with a nod.
I wore on my jacket and got up. G36 silently looked at me for a while before finally speaking up again: “I am sorry about Miss Springfield, Commander. If I went to your aid sooner, perhaps we could have saved her… We cannot reach Griffon’s staff or send out an order for parts. By the same token, we have not received any supplies… I do not know if Miss Springfield’s spare parts are still available or not… If they are still there… she will return.”
I ignored G36 and headed out. The atmosphere in the camp was awfully tense. The T-Dolls had their arms aimed at the humans in black gear. We were surrounded by armoured cars and helicopters overhead. I squinted. I would never mistake them, for I was once one of them. They were the first to arrive at Strategic Area S09.
When the soldiers saw me, they immediately aimed their guns toward me. I raised my hands and coldly recited, “Identification number: 0904-7864-6800-0103.”
The leader of the soldiers froze for a second then ran back to an armoured vehicle. All of the soldiers began to look hesitant. The identification number was used to identify oneself as an ally when two teams bumped into each other on a mission. Although I was no longer part of their squad, the identification number I recited should still have existed. Only the chief would’ve remembered it, having said that.
Soon enough, the leader ran back and raised his right fist. He shouted: “Halt! Lower your weapons and remain on standby. Li Wuan, come to the commander’s car.”
I nodded: “Mm.”
I got into the commander’s car. It was warm inside as I remembered. Everyone was speaking their mother tongue language. I saw Chinese characters and ancient enamel cups. It very much had a vibe of returning home.
Our leader was still the same major with some white hair. Sitting opposite me, he said, “I’m quite glad to see you despite the way we’re meeting. I have to ask this for safety’s sake: You had nothing to do with Griffon’s problem, did you?”
I sat straight up and saluted the major: “No Sir.”
“Good. Griffon’s security issue have done them in. Basically everyone is taking over the areas under their jurisdiction. It’s nice to know you’re in charge; that’ll make things easier. Just hand over control of the defence area.”
“Good. By the way, I heard you got married. Where’s your wife? Show her off to us when we have time.”
I clenched my fist out of instinct and quietly uttered, “… She met with misfortune when Sangvis Ferri attacked me last night.”
“The so-called Agent?” asked my superior, touching his head. He stood up and looked over to the map in silence for a brief moment. He then said, “Let’s do this: we couldn’t meet your wife and need to take over your defence area. You’ve basically got nothing and no home. So, if I give you a chance to exact your vengeance, will you take it? As always, if you accept it, your life will be on the line. You already know how ruthless those robots are, yeah? You can return, and you can also risk your life for revenge. The ball is in your court.”
The chief handed me a helmet. I looked blankly at it. Hopeless, I chuckled. I thought to myself, “You call this giving me options?”
Four years ago, owing to my responsibilities as a soldier, I chose to erase my existence and give up everything I had. After that, I sent my team to their death to try and complete a mission. Then, my wife was killed in front of me. Then, I was given a chance to avenge my wife despite the bloody risk it carried. You call that a multiple choice question?
I grabbed the helmet: “I am at your command.”
“Mm, go and get ready. We’ve pinpointed Agent’s location. Go and avenge your wife.”
Present time at 16Lab.
“I told you AR15 knocked me out. I don’t know what happened, either. I’m not arguing the signal didn’t come from here, but 16Lab’s research faculty isn’t the military faculty. How am I supposed to ensure a combat T-Doll won’t do as she pleases here? Shouldn’t it be Griffon be held responsible? They sent her here,” loudly exclaimed Persica.
“AR15 is 16Lab’s newest elite, though, not Griffon’s T-Doll. Griffon only conducted the test. Your lab’s T-Doll caused the problem, so the fault is yours. Now, answer me, Persica: did Sangvis Ferri install a virus in AR15, or did the T-Doll you designed have a problem?!”
“Yes, she has turned. Didn’t I give you AR15’s inspection report? There are no problems with her program. She just has a lot of information being transferred.”
“Cut the nonsense!” raged the interrogator, slamming the table and then getting up. “T-Dolls can’t revolt! T-Dolls are merely robots! The only possibility is their program having a problem! Either someone installed a virus, or you did something! Give us all of Anti-Rain Team’s information to investigate! Also, we’re taking M4A1, as well!”
“Yes, you’re correct,” stated Persica, with a calm nod. Smiling, she said, “T-Dolls won’t revolt.”
“T-Dolls won’t revolt” was an irrefutable fact. Humans would, though.
Persica suddenly ducked underneath the table. The loud interrogator froze. He didn’t understand what Persica was up to. Before he could say another word, the glass window behind him shattered. Countless bullets that could pierce Sangvis Ferri’s robots put holes in the interrogator, allowing him to release some of his pent up anger as blood.
M4A1 silently stood on the other side of the window. She lowered her rifle. Persica came out from under the table. With a bitter smile, she said, “Go, M4A1. Go to the location RO identified. That’s where the agent is and where you’ll find Sangvis Ferri’s most confidential documents. Bring the data back. I’ll help you look into your dream, past and the truth.”