To those who were reading the original 'What is Morale?' and were waiting for its update, I'm sorry. I had a long writing hiatus and I realized that the previous plot flow was something unbelievable. So here's the same story, with major editing. Read and review. Thanks.
At the 'Tea House', the residence of the five-girl band After School Tea Time, the girls were bonding together
in the living room as they let the lazy day pass by them.
"Yesterday's gig at JGSDF Nerima was awesome." Ritsu Tainaka cheerfully said with a matching smile on her face.
"I believe that was one heck of a performance on our part, judging by the reaction of the troops."
"You don't have to emphasize that." Mio Akiyama added. "But I just wonder what would happen to them if ever
they get deployed? Will all of them survive-"
"Don't worry too much about them." Yui Hirasawa calmly rebuked her. "They're soldiers; they'll live to see us perform again!"
"Yui, I believe you should be as worried as Mio." Azusa Nakano sternly told her. "God knows who among them
will survive when this war ends."
"Nonsense, Azusa!" Ritsu interrupted. "The JGSDF troops are well trained! They'll live to tell stories about
bullets, blood, gore and even-"
Azusa placed her index finger in her lips as if to remind Ritsu that someone was already cowering in fear.
"I can't hear it. I can't hear it. I can't hear it." Mio mumbled as she covered her ears and squatted to the ground. "I can't'-"
"It's alright Mio." Tsumugi Kotobuki told Mio in a reassuring voice. "And I guess it's time for tea."
As the four waited ecstatically, Tsumugi went to the counter to prepare the tea. As situation would have it,
the conversation went to the current situation: World War Three.
"I guess it is China's fault for invading the Philippines in the first place. They had no idea they startled the hornet's nest."
"You're right, Ritsu. They should have known better not to meddle with a regional power. Because of this,
they've dragged almost everyone in the Asia-Pacific area into war."
"What do you mean, Mio-chan? I always believed this war was just between two fighting countries,
the People's Republic of China and the Republic of the Philippines?"
"Yes, this should be just a conflict between the two of them. However, the Philippines retaliated by calling on its ASEAN allies.
Then China called upon North Korea and Russia to help them, though it's a good thing Russia has its own share of problems to deal with.
Then with South Korea threatened, the United States of America responded. Of course, as an 'ally', Japan would definitely pledge their
support to this new American endeavor. Did I answer your question?"
Azusa then pointed out to Mio that Yui did not get her explanation.
"As usual, Yui got lost in your 'wonderful' discussion." Ritsu told her sarcastically. "Well Yui, to put it into words,
China's actions eventually dragged our country into this mess, like some kind of an eight-tentacled monster."
"Thanks Ricchan! I knew I would understand yours better! Oh, I find your metaphor funny- eight-tentacled monster!"
As Yui laughed out loud, Mio cringed in fear as she heard the word 'eight-tentacled monster'. Again, Tsumugi came to her side to calm
and comfort her, as well as serve tea to the others.
"Don't worry Mio; there's no such thing as an eight-tentacled monster. Here, have some tea."
"Thanks Mugi." She replied as she sipped some of the tea in the cup. "Wow, your tea-making skills haven't changed since high school."
"Mio's right!" Yui exclaimed as she raised her teacup in delight. "It's as if we were still in the band room!"
As the girls continued to enjoy teatime like they always did during high school, Ritsu decided to open the television.
What appeared next was something that shocked them all.
"We interrupt our regular programming for an urgent report. The People's Liberation Army Marine Corps have staged an amphibious assault
on the island of Okinawa in an effort to cripple the American air supremacy in the area. Right now, combined forces of the United States Marine Corps
and Japan Ground Self Defense Force are repelling the initial wave. Please standby for more updates."
"You got to be kidding me!" Ritsu exclaimed in disbelief. "My younger brother Satoshi is stationed there! What if-"
"Calm down Ritsu!" Azusa told her as she patted her shoulders. "Right now, we can only hope that he's-"
Mio tapped Azusa's shoulders and pointed her to Yui, who suddenly fell from her chair.
"My sister Ui is serving as a nurse in a hospital there. What would happen to her then? Would she die like the rest of the
troops defending the island? Would she-"
Mugi approached her and tried to console her while Azusa did the same to Ritsu. With all these happening in a blink of an eye,
Mio now understood how the war had affected the band in a flash.
"Despite Ritsu being headstrong and Yui being carefree, I suddenly realized how the thought of their loved ones being in the heart of war
would affect them in an instant. I just really hope Ui and Satoshi get out of there safe and sound."
The living room was then filled with an eerie silence as the television continued to show live footages of the invasion of Okinawa:
tanks rumbling on the streets, jet fighters streaking in the sky and troops mobilizing through and forth. As Mio continued to watch,
she thought what if the same thing she was seeing would arrive at Tokyo.
"What if Okinawa falls? What if the Chinese march all the way to here? What if the Chinese are able to sneak through and land an
invasion force right here? While I know I'm being paranoid, I can't help but think of the possibilities. I'll just have to hope our troops
would be able to defend us at the hour of our need."