The Terra Episode Chapter 7
Tina was first in her company to arrive at the emergency assembly in her brown soldier uniform. A siren blared signaling an assembly in the training grounds of the Bronze Fortress Compound. She was first in line because Guardian had woken her up before exactly ten minutes before the automatic siren started. She stood smartly and perfectly still, facing her commanding officer, waiting for the rest of her comrades to arrive and join them in the formation.
"Tsk, tsk, tsk." Her commanding officer looked at his watch with a frown on his face. He was very disappointed with the reaction time that the others in his company were taking. Then he realized that it had only taken Tina thirty seconds to get to the assembly ground. "Do you wear your uniform in bed?" he asked Tina jokingly.
"Sir! No, sir!" she replied in a shout.
Her officer smiled weakly. "At ease, Branford, and fall out."
Tina relaxed her stance stood behind her commanding officer. The rest of her company arrived almost at the same time in their uniforms as well. They formed a single line all facing the east. There was a gap in the line where Tina was supposed to be.
The commander counted them. They were all present. The other soldiers from other companies also assembled outside. It was a typical morning except that the siren had blared thirty minutes early.
"Alright, you sorry excuses for a soldier! Give me twenty! Now!" the commander barked. All the soldiers in her company, save Tina herself, started doing pushups. Their commander turned to Tina and said, "Join the ranks when they're done, Branford."
Tina saluted and replied smartly, "Yes, sir!"
Then the commanding officer walked away to congregate with the rest of the commanding officers from the other companies at the very front of the entire formation. Minutes later, General Fencross of the Imperial Army arrived to address the assembled soldiers. He started with a salute.
"Devenias Gastra!" Fencross shouted.
"For the Empire!" the troops shouted back in thundering unison.
Another soldier then rushed to the general's side carrying a heavy rectangular device. The general pulled a mouthpiece up from the device, and then turned it on. He held it inches from his mouth, and started the address. It was amplified with loud speakers all over the training grounds.
"As you may already know, at precisely timestrike three and forty-seven counts this morning there was an explosion in the main Magitek Warehouse. Possible cause: Primary reactor overload. The explosion killed fifteen people and destroyed a considerable amount of property. A worker survived "
Tina's heart skipped a beat. Guardian had reported that all sixteen people who were in the warehouse at the time all perished from the explosion.
" and is recovering with magical aid as we speak. At timestrike six and ten counts, an investigation was launched. The team has not yet found any evidence of sabotage, but as of this instant, the entire area is in yellow alert. Review your manuals on how to handle an internal yellow alert condition. But let me highlight a couple of particular rules from the book that I want everybody to understand perfectly well. Section 7-1.24-B, Under no circumstances, except by permission from the highest of authority present in the sphere of investigation, should an individual, civilian or not, be allowed to enter or leave the Bronze Fortress Compound until the restriction has been lifted by two other external high ranking authorities. Section 7-2.3-B, All personnel are expected to file reports and logs of observations of unusual events, individuals, or groups of individuals, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, until the internal yellow alert has been officially lifted from the area. Definition of the word unusual can be found on your manual on page three hundred and sixty-eight.
"It is too early to jump to conclusions as to whether the incident was purely accidental or not. Still, his lordship, Emperor Gestahl, does not want to take any chances.
"I will be handing additional procedures and orders to your commanding officers, and they will review them to all of you. If you have any questions, address them to your commanding officers.
"For the Empire!" general Fencross shouted the salute, marking the end of the very short assembly.
"Devenias Gastra!" returned the assembled people.
"Guardian, the Compound is in yellow alert," Tina said. She was back in her quarters with her earpiece on.
"As is normal," Guardian calmly answered.
"A worker survived, Guardian. How is this possible? You said they all perished," Tina said worriedly.
"There have been attempts to revive the people with magic. They were only successful in reviving one. He is a second-class Magitek technician. I doubt that he saw your face during the escape. But should he prove to know too much I shall eliminate him to protect you. It is, after all, part of our deal."
"Do everything in your power to protect me, but please do not kill him! I dont want to be part of any of that anymore. I didnt want to be part of anything to begin with!"
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