Star Army

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  • Current IC Month: 8月 YE 42 (through November 21, 2020)

This is an Exit


Redshirt on the Wire
Game Master
Installation 1, Vicky
YE 39

Brimming with pride, Jôtô Hei Hasewega Sara looked out across the frozen landscape outside the SAINT base the window next to her desk. Freshly promoted to her new rank and finally earning her spot within the venerated Star Army Intelligence after her stint with the Heartbreaker, everything felt like she was finally going to do something with her life.

She turned back to her tour guide, a bubbly Ittô Heish “Snowy Neko” with a large crimson muffler on top of her other cold-weather gear for outside duty. “And this is it, your new work station!” she said, waving her hand over towards like she was selling a new car. “You’re actually really lucky that you get a nice window view of the outside, most of us are stuck underground in the garrison. Oh, go ahead, take a seat.”

Hasewega sat down at the desk, her tour guide pushing the seat in behind her.. Basic for now; terminal for analysis and reporting, a few drawers to store things, a chair that wouldn’t ruin the back but wasn’t comfy enough to easily fall asleep in. Basic, but that’s the way she wanted it.

“From here, you’d theoretically be spending your time doing boring old paperwork and reading, but I doubt you’ll be doing that often. I hear there’s a new ship being christened for some deep covert operations so I’m sure you’ll be too busy to do reports…”

Sangatsu, YE 40

“... 2B and your report on the operation in Tange IV needs to be signed in triplicate so we can move along to review and possible censorship of it before we can archive it.” Hasewega’s former tour guide said with a smile as another stack of documents and files was transferred to her terminal. Hasewega was back sooner than she and her new supervisor had expected but at least she went from green bars to a red chevron. Her former tour guide/supervisor had also gained an extra chevron on her uniform in the intervening time.

The operation on Tange IV was a nice distraction but it felt underwhelming to her. She expected to be deployed longer, not back behind her desk. The desk itself was beginning to look less basic. Her terminal now had so many windows of reports and analysis going through it that it was impossible to navigate with the open, stacks of papers and datapads crowded her desks, and she even realized that she still had a couple of empty packs of pens and markers in desk and would have to grab some more from inventory before her highlighter dried out. Even the outside view of the shifting snow dunes was beginning to grate on her eyes, burnt from looking at her terminal all day.

This was not the life she was looking for.

Her supervisor looked over at Hasewega as she stared blankly past the terminal into the vast emptiness of Vicky. A couple of snaps brought her back attention. “Hey look, I know of this ship fighting the Kuvexians, got an intel agent you worked with on Tange IV that could really need your guidance. Get me those signatures and your report, I’ll fill out some transfer papers for you.”

Hasewega looked over at the supervisor, then back outside at the white wastes before weakly nodding.

Shichigatsu, YE 40

Hasewega was back at her desk, two more chevrons weighed down her arm as she had her head in her hands. The assignment on the YSS Hana was over before she could even settle in and its manpower was reassigned to other postings. Some to previous assignments, some back to a desk on a floating snowball. As the war with Kuvexians raged on, she was fighting her own wars with the increasing amount of intelligence reports and her boredom. The papers and the datapads stacked up. The terminal was on autopilot to scan for keywords and collate responses when compared with other documents. Her SiZi was never in her holster anymore, taking space in desk drawers on top of the mound of unopened packages of markers and highlighters, all of which waited. Waited for some sort of use.

Every time she looked out the window, she thought she could see a figure on the horizon. Maybe a patrol, but she hoped it was a scout for the Kuvexians. She hoped to see the figure scurry over the edge of a dune before an entire battalion of Kuvexions came rolling in over across the snow. She had already planned out several holdout points and escape routes in Installation 1 during her few brief moments of wandering in between sleep and work. She was tempted to go out and start looking for possible hideouts out in the frozen wastes.

Footsteps approached, the weight and pattern matched her Shoi supervisor so no need to grab her Sizi. Yet. She didn’t know why she thought this way, about pulling a gun on her supervisor, but they’ve been cropping up in her mind as of late. The slam of something heavy and the fluttering of papers meant yet more reports look through and file. Hasewega looked from over hands at the new mountain that formed her desk in the place of the one she cleared days ago.

“Sorry champ, the war’s really picking up, lots of movement at the borders and we’re getting flooded with analysis requests in the event of an invasion.”

Hasewega didn’t reply. She turned her gaze back to the frozen wasteland and waited.

This is not a life.

Her supervisor scratched, looking over the lump of a person sitting at the desk.
“Actually, I have some good news.” The Shoi tried to pique Hasewega's interest. “I hear there’s a Chusa getting people together for some hardcore counter-espionage in Anisa. Get to do a whole bunch of cool spy stuff and you don’t even have to go to some primitive world run by sociopathic mercenaries!”

There was no response from Hasewega. She simply stared out the window.

“Stay strong champ and don’t worry, I can this guarantee posting is not going to be like your last..”

YE 41

Everything was in the right place. The desk was clean, pristine, not a single piece of a report asking to be filed into the archives to be dug up at some point by some analysts about how the war whole could’ve been avoided if only people had read X or Y. The console was shut off, screen saver mode activated an hour ago.

Hasewega sat her desk, her hands folded in front of her, her eyes staring back out at the white abyss that was Vickey again. The Anisa assignment was over within days of her arrival. The war had intensified, planets had fallen to Kuvexins, and the enormous pressure to streamline the bureaucracy of report analysis meant the installation now had a lot more hands-on-deck in every department. Fewer reports needed to be handled by one single person with all hands pulling the chain of military intelligence. This could leave someone with a surprising amount of time to focus on other projects, clean out their desks, or contemplate the very nature of their existence.

Hasewega was forced to do the last one.

She tried to distract herself from the mind-numbing reality that everything she grew up training to do was a spook to her. Organizing her pencils by length didn’t remove the fact that her childhood was ruined for the chance that she’d serve the Yamatain Star Empire with distinction and ended up a desk position while others were fighting. Cleaning her desktop didn’t dull the pain that her life will not be a yelp, but an agonized whimper that wouldn’t reverberate anywhere outside Installation 1, which for the past three years had become her entire world. Meditating at her desk didn’t mask the realization that no one remembers her name or who she is and nobody would care if she vanished without a trace.

Another advantage with the increased manpower at the Installation meant that it became increasingly more apparent had isolated Hasewega has become. The senior staff members at the base had all rotated out or deployed to field duty. The newer analysts never came to talk to her, afraid that of cold silent stare and thought she was some sort of ice queen ready to pounce on the first mistake she saw. Or so she heard eavesdropping on them from time to time. They were surprisingly inattentive of their surroundings.

She was alone, withering, and dying of boredom.

This was not an existence.

Familiar footsteps were inbound past the desks. Hasewega knew who it was as she gazed tiredly into the white emptiness. The Shoi had managed to become a Taii and wasn’t around this section anymore, but the three years had imprinted on Hasewega’s memories. She knew the footsteps, the route she’d take to her desk, the crimson muffler that would make for a fine improvised garrote that could easily hide the blood and tears, and the cold-weather uniform that’d make it easy to hide the body in the snow.

“Hey bud, sorry I haven’t been around in a while, been busy elsewhere in the base...”

Hasewega already thought about this but didn’t reply, electing sit in silence at her pristine desk.

“... Just uh, doing some reviews of the staff dossiers and I saw that you’re EAS date was coming up so I thought I’d just…”

A paper was placed on her desk. Hasewega unfolded her hands, reddened from having been clinched and in place for so long, and looked over it.

“You know, thought I’d save you the trip of having to leave your desk and all bring you your reenlistment contract to re-up.”

Hasewega stared at the paper, and the past three years stared back.

Several of silenced passed, the events playing themselves back in her head silently.

Several more seconds passed, then several moments, then several minutes.

Then Hasewega finally spoke.

“No. I don’t think I will.”