Chapter 1.4 : The Box

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After my first very long day I finally managed to make it back to my apartment and get some rest in before my next shift would start.

The Sophotect had promised me with a 96.42% probability that the Celestial guard that I had been carrying back to our base, and whose name turned out to be Shen Jing, would survive the injury without any lingering damage or the need for cube resurrection.

I managed to wake up on time, most likely due to the fact that I slept quite uneasy in my first night in a new home, but thanks to that I managed to buy a steamed pork bun for breakfast from one of the vendors outside of my apartment before I entered the elevator that delivered me to the underground part of Neon-jo.

The moment I entered the complex I almost crashed into one of the Turtle delivery bots that the Yu Jing army likes to use for its secure deliveries. Even though the name and design was more of an old joke, the quick moving turtle bots are actually a blessing for every commander that needs something delivered secretly, secure and as fast as possible. Not only is the name giving turtle shell a high security container which even a TAG wouldn’t be able to break open should he stomp on it, but the design of the Bot allowed it to move quickly both in the air with a hover module, and on land with high powered quad wheeled legs, not unlike to those of our combat remotes, although much more compact in size.

Altogether the little turtle like bot was no higher than my knee, but since it came at me while hovering in the air, I barely managed to dodge to the side. Thinking that it would just move on, I was surprised to see it hovering back towards me and eventually scanning me with the biometric scanner built within its head. “Identity confirmed, General Yasashii Fuyu, Male, 31 years old. I have a delivery for you from “Kabuki Queen”. Please sign the receipt by pressing your thumb on this plate.”

As it said so a plate on its head slid down, revealing a fingerprint scanner which I quickly pressed my thumb against. The moment I did so the metallic turtle shell on its back opened up and revealed a small tightly sealed box, which surprisingly looked like a small anime like version of a raccoon head.

Once I took the box outside of the turtle shell the Turtle bot let out a friendly but direct “Thank you for your cooperation” and started dashing towards the nearest supervised exit.

Couldn’t have picked a normal box now could she? I’ll stand out like a sore thumb once I pull this out….oh well…” Happy that I had so quickly received the “special something” I had ordered one of my agents to deliver; I put the small box in my inner coat pocket and changed my originally intended course, now moving towards the Surveillance facility.

On my way there I quickly made yet another small detour, this time to the armoury, and under the watchful eyes of the “Quartermaster” stationed there, and some Bao Troopers that were obviously preparing for their shift in the field, I stepped into my Crane Suite from the day before, the Spitfire still hanging from the back after I had cleaned it yesterday evening. To ease the minds of my subordinates who watched me expectantly as I put on the suite of armour, I nodded towards them and said “Just putting it on for some practice…still not used to this design…”.

At ease that I wouldn’t be running practice exercises with them or that some sort of mission had started without their knowledge, the Agents continued on with their duty, and I continued on my way towards the Surveillance facility. In reality I had put on this armour in case that my little box would cause some unexpected problems, but some things are better kept secret, even from the Imperial Service.

TheBox

As I entered the Surveillance facility my armours visor instantly activated the flash suppression system to prevent me from getting blinded by the very high amount of monitors hanging all around the room, and even though she was standing with her back towards me, the Sophotect standing in the middle of the room greeted me with a monotone “Welcome Commander, can I be of service?”.

Not too surprised about the fact that she had the entrance of the room on one of her screens I quickly proceeded to stand next to her and, once I had assured myself that I was alone in the room with her, pulled out the small raccoon box from a belt poach where I had put it after changing into my armour. “I have a question regarding the contents of this box…would you be so kind as to open it and tell me what you think about it?”

Without even properly looking at me or the box, the Sophotect grabbed the box out of my hand and moved it in front of her head while answering in her monotone voice “Sure Sir, please specify “think about iiiiiiiiuuuuuuuut…..”” as she opened the box, which was accompanied by the surprising sound of a raccoon “snickering”, at first nothing seemed to happen, but without any sign as to why, instantly afterwards all the monitors in the room went blank for a few seconds and the Sophotect itself seemed to shut down in mid-sentence. I quickly grabbed the box from the Sophotect’s hands and put it back into my belt’s pocket.

Before the monitors came back on the Sophotect suddenly started to move again, at first jerkily but then back in full control she put down her hand in confusion and took a look at me, as if seeing me for the first time “Oh Comm…eh, General Yasashii Fuyu, sorry I must have missed you entering the room….strange really, usually I notice everything that goes on around me! How can I help you? Is there anything you need? Shen Jing is already back on her feet and I think she told me to send her thanks to you….or did she? Yes…yes she did, must have forgotten it until now, guess my subroutines were a little bugged…”

Cutting her nonstop ramblings short with a quick hand gesture, I quickly asked “Mrs…..eh sorry I forgot your name, what was it again?” “Name? Oh of course…my name is….” A gentle light flickered on her eyes as she obviously checked and double and triple checked her database “Akaseni……strange….I could have sworn it was…” once again cutting her short with a hand gesture I continued “Akaseni…what a…nice…name, anyways, I just wanted to know if everything is in order or if there is anything going on out there that’d warrant a mission for a little training and team building…”

The monitors had turned themselves back on in the meantime, and even though the still confused Akaseni wanted to negate my question, a sudden red blinking warning sign on one of the monitors stopped her from doing so as she turned around to focus on it. “General, it seems like we have a big group of Caledonian Thugs in Sector B12….they seem to be attacking the local bars and restaurants, most likely strong-arming them into some sort of protection or liquor deal…”

Perfect! Get ready and send a mobilization call for all agents on duty, I would like to use this opportunity to get to know my team a bit more, and that includes you.” I once again cut her short, and even though Akaseni seemed quite surprised by this she quickly nodded her head and complied by sending out the mobilization call.

As I stepped outside of the room towards the elevator platform that would lead me the closest to Sector B12 I waved her goodbye “See you as the elevator, don’t be late!” and started dashing towards my goal. Akaseni….Kabuki Queen always had a strange sense of humour, but the box sure seemed to have worked, now I could only hope that the security hack that would delete all information of me giving the box to Akaseni and replacing it with fake events of me silently entering the room, would work out just as well.

Now it was time for a test run of Akaseni to see whether her loyalty could now truly be trusted, and whether or not the box had any unwanted side effects on the Sophotect, after all this was still top secret rather untested technology from the recent Flamestrike Campaign…and highly illegal maybe slightly voodoo tech at that….but it was all still better than dealing with Aleph the normal way and risking a disaster just like it had occurred on Flamia….better safe than sorry….even more so in the Imperial Service.

Now as for those Caledonians….

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