It's been so long since I've written a story. And honestly, I'm embarrassed that I haven't continued most of my original works. But do take heart. I've learned so much in the past years I've been on FanFiction and I will complete my tasks.
But enough about the apologies, what I really want to talk about is a tale that will make history in the lives of a very unsuspecting group of characters.
Ever since I was a child, I've loved this epic masterpiece that Games-Workshop birth to life and continue to raise. With so much unquestionable potential, any author can tap into it and turn the weakest characters into gritty, tough, customers ready for everything. But in this fanfic, We'll explore the journey of four high-school...er.. college girls as they make their way through hell...*ahem*... R.O.T.C. training camp. May the Emperor watch over their souls.
Song of War
"Do not touch anything unnecessarily. Beware of pretty girls in dance halls and parks who may be spies, as well as bicycles, revolvers, uniforms, arms, dead horses, and men lying on roads—they are not there accidentally."
-Soviet Infantry Manual, issued in the 1930's-
Track 1: Recruitment
May 5, 20XX
Hirasawa Residence, Japan
It was the first day of the rest of her life.
No longer a high school student, a member of the Light Music Club, or the resident of the Hirasawa Home… she is now a college student, and very excited.
She was fully dressed, and in front of the mirror for one last check.
Red sneakers… check.
Pink Socks… check.
Red Skirt… check.
Pink Shirt with the words "GO TO DMC" printed in messy red on the front… check.
Brown Hair, well brushed with bangs clipped to one side on the right… oh.
"Maybe I should wear contacts like Mugi-chan." She thought out loud.
Lately she's been fascinated with contact lenses and how they change the colors of the eyes. All the new designs were appealing and cute. She desperately wanted to try one.
"I wonder if I could ask Sawa-chan to lend me some of hers. Hehe. They look like purple candy."
She began imagining peeling off the contact lenses from her former teacher's eyes and eating them like they were a sugary treat. In fact, her imagination was so vivid, that she actually believed it was in her mouth and chewing it so as to taste it.
A knock on the door. A slight creak as it opened.
A younger brown haired girl entered the room and said, "Onee-chan, everyone is downstairs waiting for you."
The older girl snapped to attention and turned around and said, "Ah, Ui-chan. I guess it's time to go."
Gazing at the large camping bag on the floor, the three girls in the living room were awed by its presence.
"It's so big." said the long haired, blonde one.
"How much did she pack?" said the long haired, black haired one.
"Somehow, I'm getting a bad feeling about this." Said a brown haired one with a yellow headband parting her front bangs to the sides.
As their curiosity reached its peak, footsteps from the stairs across the room could be heard. Intuitively following the sound, they watched as their long time friend walked down with her younger sister right behind her.
"Thank you for waiting!" said the bright-eyed, brown haired girl.
The girl with the yellow headband pumped her fist and said, "Yosh! Yui, are you ready to take pictures and play all day?"
The bright-eyed girl replied, "Yes! We'll take lots of pictures and play all day, Ritsu!"
Both girls threw their fists to the air. But Ritsu received a fist to the head, courtesy of the black haired girl. "Stop kidding around. We're not there to have fun this time."
The blonde girl then interrupted, "This is my first time riding a bus to the city."
The black haired girl faced her. "You've never ridden one Mugi?"
Yui then interjected, "That's right…Mugi-chan always gets around by car. Hey, Mugi-chan, let's sit by the windows so we can see the buildings."
"Okay." Replied the cheerful blonde girl.
The black haired girl however sighed in defeat. She was the most stubborn and steadfast one in the group but at times like these, she can't help but leave them to their own devices. "Hey, Yui, are you really bringing that camping bag? That's way too heavy for even you to carry."
Yui replied, "It's alright Mio-chan. After carrying gitah around so long, I've developed strong shoulders."
Mio replied, "That's not the problem Yui. After a long period of walking around, you'll get too tired to even move while carrying that thing. Use your head a little."
Mugi suddenly said, "I think our bus is here."
The girls walked to the front door and opened it to see a blue and white striped bus waiting in front of the house.
Yui, Mugi, Ritsu and Mio gathered their bags together and began loading them onto the bus. As the four girls loaded their stuff, Ui, the only one not joining them, felt a little sad that her sister was leaving. After all, one year away, is far too long.
Yui ran back to the door and hugged her sister as tears begun to form over their eyes.
"Don't worry Ui. I'll mail you everyday. Please take care of gitah and the house while I'm away. Oh, and tell Azu-nyan, that we're having a lot of fun in the camp so she doesn't have to worry about us too." She said to her sister while rubbing the tears from her eyes.
Ui nodded as she pulled a handkerchief from her pocket and begun sneezing into it. Relieved, she pulled out a brush from her other pocket and said, "Onee-chan, let me brush your hair again."
Yui nodded slightly as Ui brushed away the small cowlicks and few tangles that formed. "Onee-chan, promise me you'll take care of yourself more."
Yui replied, "Don't worry Ui. I always take care of myself. And if anything goes wrong, you're always there to help me out, right?"
"YUUUIIII! Let's go." Shouted Ritsu.
With that, Yui patted her cheeks and ran off onto the bus. The four girls waved goodbye as the bus left the street and drove off to the city.
Sitting next to each other at the window seats, Yui and Mugi excitedly watched as they left familiar grounds onto uncharted territory.
Yui looked to the window seats at the other side of the bus and said, "Mio-chan, take a look! There are pigeons flying!"
Mio replied, "Really?" she and Ritsu walked over to Yui's side and gazed out the window to see the flock of pigeons that flew through the sky in perfect harmony. It was a beautiful sight on that bright sunny day.
Todai University, Hongo Campus
Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan
The bus stopped a few feet away from the gate, allowing the passengers to ferry themselves towards the university, in the cold morning air. Most of the passengers walked straight in with high hopes of the university. A few, strolled to the nearby tents by the entrance, looking for their next destinations.
"Why do we have to go through this ROTC training camp?" asked Ritsu as the four girls strolled.
Mugi explained, "Sawako-sensei said that before we can enter our college, we needed to complete ROTC training first."
"But that doesn't sound like a lot of fun though." Ritsu replied as they arrived at the tent of the ROTC recruiter.
In front of them was a long table with flyers and a few registration papers neatly piled to the side.
The recruiter, seated across them, smiled seeing these four girls pick up registration papers for the training camp. Not many took the time off to do formal training so to see four young girls willingly enter was definitely, something to be happy about.
As the girls jotted down their information in the sheet of paper, Yui suddenly bolted straight up and said, "I left Azu-nyan's camera on the bus!"
"Eh? You didn't put it back in the bag?" Mio replied.
Ritsu replied, "If we hurry up, you can still catch the bus."
Yui suddenly pulled on Mio's hand as she ran towards the entrance with a worried Mugi trailing behind. Despite Mio's protests, they disappeared from sight and ran to catch the bus, leaving Ritsu with the incomplete forms.
"Those are some pretty interesting friends you have." The recruiter replied.
Ritsu faced the soldier and said, "We go through this all the time. But it's a lot more interesting that way."
The recruiter replied, "What made you interested in joining ROTC?"
Ritsu scratched her head and awkwardly answered, "Our college required it so, uh but it looked really cool, no offense."
The recruiter retorted, "It's okay. Most don't like it at the beginning, but eventually, they change their minds and realize it wasn't all that bad."
Ritsu answered, "Is that so? But won't we get all sweaty and dirty from it?"
"It's part of the training. It's meaningless if you don't get your hands dirty." Said the recruiter.
Ritsu rubbed her head and said, "That's true." "But if we're just going to run around in the heat, it's going to get boring soon. There has to be something with more of a challenge."
She looked back at her form and noticed that she was almost done. All that was left was her signature under the fine print and…
"What's this?" she thought, seeing a strange question.
"Do you wish to join the S.A.S. Advanced Curriculum (Y/N)?"
Was what was written. It was the last question before the signature signing.
"What's this S.A.S. Advanced Curriculum?"
The recruiter replied, "That's the advanced class for the hardcore enthusiasts. Not many survive the training and more than 50% drop out after the 2nd week. It's our toughest course yet."
Immediately, that caught the young girl's eye.
Ritsu smiled mischievously and said, "Well, whatever." She wrote a check on the yes box of her form, and Mio's form.
Just in time, Mio, Mugi and Yui ran back to the tent, huffing as they did.
"Thank God that we got there before the bus left. Azu-nyan would get really mad at me if I lost it." Yui said in between breaths.
Mio didn't waste any time and began writing again on the form. Mugi followed her example and came upon the strange question as well. "S.A.S. Advanced Curriculum. Otou-san said Uncle John was in the SAS where he'd do covert operations behind enemy lines. This is the first time I've heard of their training class before. Is this how they recruit their trainees? So then this will be actual military training?"
Immediately, that caught the young girl's eye.
"I've always wanted to go through military training!" Mugi thought as her eyes sparkled. Without hesitation, she made a check on the yes box.
Mio on the other hand, wasn't delighted to see a check on the yes box of her form. And when she stole an obvious glare at Ritsu, she saw her feigning ignorance.
Immediately, that caught the young girl's eye.
"Ritsu, did you write anything on my form?" Mio said as she coldly strangled her friend.
Ritsu made a barely audible yes.
"Which part?" Mio asked again, her grip never loosening.
Ritsu managed to pronounce that it was the S.A.S. Advanced Curriculum box. Yui heard her and looked at that question. She looked over at her friends' forms and saw that they were checked as well.
Immediately, that caught the young girl's eye.
"I guess I'll join too." Said Yui. She put a check on it before anyone could stop her.
Mio dropped Ritsu and lost her cold demeanor as she tried to talk Yui out of it. Sadly, Ritsu had already finished signing her form with Mugi finishing hers off as well. Both girls handed it to the recruiter.
"Not you too Mugi?" Mio protested.
Ritsu replied, "It's useless Mio-chan. We're all in this together now, right Yui?"
Mio cut in, "Don't do as she says Yui, we can still write another—"
But she was too late. Yui had signed hers and gave it to the recruiter.
Mio, devastated that she was deserted, was caught speechless by what they had done. Begrudgingly, she signed her form, and gave it to the recruiter.
Taking all their forms, the recruiter replied, "Good luck girls. I hope you make it back in time for next spring. The bus for the advanced class is just right around the corner. It's the green one with the white, double-headed eagle on it."
The girls picked up their bags once more and looked for their bus. But unlike the other buses, this one wasn't hard to find. It was painted in olive drab all around with the top having bone white as the color. But what made it stood out was the white, double-headed eagle painted at the sides.
"Whoa. That's pretty cool." Ritsu replied.
"Ritsu, what did you sign us for?" Mio asked, not wanting know.
Mugi replied, "This will definitely be fun though."
Ritsu answered, "That's right. Unlike regular ROTC, we'll get to do more cool stuff like—"
Mio cut in, "Like what? Do you even know what regular ROTC is? If you hadn't been so greedy, we won't have to do something completely reckless. You can't take back this decision."
Grumpily, she marched to the bus, pissed off a little more than usual.
Yui told Ritsu, "Ritsu, you have to apologize to Mio later. I think she's really mad this time."
"Ritsu frowned and said, "Alright."
The other three girls boarded the bus, still in high spirits despite the sudden whim of Ritsu. They all sat together in the back of the bus, leaving the other seats for the other would be recruits. Though normally it would be a 70:30 male to female population in this field, surprisingly, it was at 60:40 in this particular bus.
Yui noticed the many women in the bus and said, "I'm glad there's so many girls in the bus. I thought we'd be the only ones in this trip. It'll be really fun this time. I still wish Azu-nyan was here with us though. Ah, I'll mail her right now." She pulled out her cellphone and texted her kouhai(1), Azusa, about the current events.
As the last recruit entered the bus, the driver closed the door and announced, "Okay, Listen up. We'll get only one pit-stop so if you need to go to the toilet, brush your teeth or whatever, do it there. But after that, it's smooth sailing all the way." He shifted gears, and drove the bus.
It took them out of the city and closer to the countryside. The drive was much longer than expected so the four girls did whatever they could to pass the time. They played cards, told jokes, ate some snacks, and even watched a movie on the TV hanging from the ceiling of the bus. Unfortunately, the bus driver must love foreign films since the only movies he had available for viewing were Full Metal Jacket, The Patriot, Enemy at the Gates, and Dear John.
"Sugoi. I had no idea what they were saying but it looked awesome." Said Yui. "What do you think Mio?"
Mio however was cowering in the corner of her seat while mumbling "It's just a movie, it's just a movie".
Ritsu replied, "Ahh, she got traumatized again." She then crept closer to Mio and was about to scare her until—
"If you're planning on making noise, do it elsewhere. You'll just annoy me." Said a stern voice, from the seat down front.
"Eh?" said Ritsu. She walked to the seat up front and saw that it was a handsome, black haired young boy, as old as she was.
"What's the problem here?" Ritsu said, her mood dampened by his demeanor.
The boy replied, "Nothing. I just don't like loud sounds."
"You're pretty cheeky for a bishounen. Guys like you should be kinder and more 'Ah, I'm sorry for the intrusion' that kind of thing."
The boy laughed however and replied, "What kind of guy would apologize to a monkey?"
Just before Ritsu was going to maul him to death, Mio and Mugi quickly held her in check while Yui stood in between.
"W-we're really sorry about our friend. It's our fault in the first place." Yui apologized.
"Like hell it is!" Ritsu half yelped threatening to tear him apart.
Yui paid no heed and bowed repeatedly, "We're really sorry. Please forgive us."
The handsome boy gazed his blood red eyes at Yui with curiosity. It was unusual to see this type of girl in this type of bus. "What's your name?"
She replied, "Hirasawa, Yui."
The boy replied, "Ayakawa, Frank…"
Yui smiled and quickly urged her friends back to their seats.
Ritsu pouted and said, "I don't like that guy. He thinks he's way up there."
Mugi replied, "Well, let's just hope we don't meet up with him again. Personally, I believe he's the selfish one for acting like he owns the bus."
Ritsu replied, "So why didn't you tell him that?"
Mugi replied, "I was a little scared to."
Ritsu sighed and said, "Mugi-chan, don't let guys like that scare you. You have to speak out when you need to or you'll regret it later."
Mio replied, "But if we caused trouble it'd be worse. We might even get kicked out."
Suddenly the bus halted and the driver announced, "This is the pit-stop. You've got 15 minutes."
Tsubaki Gas Station, Unknown
The pit stop was quite uneventful. Few things happened aside from the girls taking pictures, replenishing their water canteens, last minute toilet breaks and the buying of more snacks. But at the very least, the other recruits who boarded the bus had changed seats so they never saw Frank Ayakawa at the seat in front of them.
With all the recruits on board again the driver set off to continue their trip.
Yui commented, "Hey, are we there yet?"
Mugi replied, "Not yet."
Yui pouted and said, "It's taking too long. I'm getting sleepy." She began yawning as her eyes faded in and out of focus.
Mugi replied, "I'm getting sleepy too. I wonder why…"
"Maybe we should rest for a while." Mio replied.
Ritsu yawned and said, "I guess it's okay. Wake me up when we get there."
Soon, all four of them fell asleep.
Soon, so did everyone else.
Only the driver stayed awake, undaunted by his task.
"Alright! Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go!" was the cry of a stern male voice.
"Take all the bags pronto. I want them off the boat and on the chopper to the LZ." said another stern male voice.
"We've got 18 guys and 12 girls sir."
"Well, you know the drill. Women and children first."
Suddenly, Yui's sleep was cut short as a flashlight was shone on her face. She woke up wondering what was going on as these men in camouflaged uniforms roughly took the recruits off the bus.
"Your turn missy. Nap time's over." Said the soldier in front of her as he pulled her up and dragged her down the bus and onto a boat with a large platform where UH-60 Black Hawks were rearing to go.
"Hey, What's going on?" Yui cried out as the soldier dragged her to the chopper. But amidst her confusion, she could see that everyone else from the bus was being dragged out the same to similar helicopters. Fear began to creep in her heart.
"Where's Mugi, and Mio and Ritsu? Where are my friends?" she pleaded. The soldier paid no heed and strapped her into her seat next to Frank Ayukawa.
"I don't understand. Ayukawa-san, what's going on?" Yui asked him.
The red-eyed bishounen answered, "They're taking us somewhere."
"To what we signed up for."
The UH-60 Black Hawks closed its doors and lifted off and flew to its new destination. With little understanding of the situation, Yui mustered all her courage to stay calm. She didn't know what to do, but panicking all of a sudden in a helicopter full of armed men would not ease her situation.
"This is all part of the training Yui." She thought to herself. "When we signed up for the advanced class, we knew that things like this were going to happen. This is just training, right?"
The choppers darted through the night sky, flying as fast and as safe as it could.
All the Black Hawks landed at the new LZ, an estimated 100 clicks away.
As soon as they landed, the doors swung open revealing several pale faced recruits who, completely unused to being onboard a chopper, vomited. Luckily, the soldiers were prepared and took the liberty of catching the vomit with paper bags.
As the soldiers took the recruits down from their seats, a 6 foot tall, white-skinned man in a grey flak jacket-trench coat, black boots and a black peaked cap with a golden double headed eagle on the front of the cap, marched over, his authority radiant and fearsome.
"I take it the trip went well." He gazed his sharp grey eyes at the sight of the pale recruits and knew what had caused their condition. "Interesting method of draining the blood from your victims, soldiers."
He then marched over to the nearest soldier(the one in Yui's chopper) and politely sat beside him. "Soldier, what is your rank?"
The soldier replied, "C-corporal sir."
The officer then asked him "Corporal, how long does it take to charge up the XR20 Warp Gateway?"
The soldier, fearing for his life replied, "15 minutes sir."
The officer reached into his jacket and quickly pulled out a strange pistol, and aimed it at the corporal.
Distressed by what she was seeing, Yui was about to scream until the officer said, "Shhh. I won't kill him. But I'll make him wish I did. Tell me Corporal, who gave you permission to use the device 2 minutes earlier?"
The corporal now visibly shaking said, "The Captain sir."
The officer then yelled, "CAPTAIN!"
A brown haired soldier with the rank of captain jumped down from one of the choppers and approached the officer with nerves of clay. Once there he asked with a little hesitation, "You called sir?"
The officer aimed his gun at the captain's leg and squeezed the trigger, sending a small blast of red light through it. It made a bullet sized wound, but the cauterization made it feel worse than one. The captain fell, writhing in pain and the held his wound as the officer faced the Corporal and said, "Thank you for your assistance…Captain. Take the Corporal here, to the medic. It seems he accidentally shot himself with a Laspistol."
"Ye-yes sir." The newly promoted captain answered before dashing to his demoted comrade and rushing him to the base about half a click away.
Unfazed by his own heartlessness, he walked to Yui and Frank and helped them down the chopper, despite the former's obvious fear of him.
The officer looked at Yui and said, "In time you will understand why I did that. But until then, follow my orders and answer my questions. Your bags have been delivered to the training square. Come. We have little time."
Yui, more frightened than worried, did as she was told, not wanting to get shot down like that soldier. Frank on the other hand, followed with ease, his steps natural and rhythmic.
Yui was perplexed by the ease of her acquaintance. "How can he walk so easily after what he's seen? Maybe… he already understood that there is no escape from this place. Ui, Azu-nyan, Sawako-sensei…I won't be coming home right away. I might not even make it home at all."
The officer escorted Yui and Frank passed the 10 foot tall cement walls and gate and into the heart of the base. It was very large approximately twice the area of Todai University. At each corner was a tower with sentries and a large gun emplacement salvaged from WWII tanks. At the leftmost side of the base was a large rectangular hangar. Next to it, a large steel warehouse. On the right most place of the base was the rectangular shaped barracks where the soldiers and recruits slept but beside it was another barracks with the Red Cross printed on the front above the door. At the back of the base, was where the communications tower and a strange arc-shaped device with a glowing energy ball hovering in its center stood(2). Also close by it was where the cafeteria, latrines, and showers were.
Everything was completely foreign to Yui. But the officer led her to the training square where the other recruits awaited, their bags scattered around.
Yui immediately recognized her friends and ran to them as fast as she could.
"YUI!" the other girls shouted as she ran to them. They jumped into a large hug and were about to cry until the officer yelled out, "Everyone, fall in line right now!"
The other soldiers around the recruits begun lining them up into three groups of ten.
Yui, Mugi, Mio and Ritsu alongside six other boys formed the leftmost group. Frank Ayukawa, seven other boys and two more girls were in the middle group. The last group somehow composed of the last six girls and four boys.
All three groups stood to attention not saying a word as the officer spoke.
"My name is Amir Stone." The officer started, his voice clear and his tongue sharp. "But you can call me Commissar. Do you know why they call me commissar? It's because I shoot my own recruits."
Sweat poured down the faces of the weaker-willed recruits.
"Before anything else, I'd like to congratulate you on making this bold decision to undertake this training. But that's where the friendliness ends. Tonight, and for the rest of this year, you are maggots. You were born by something not even a mother could love. The whole point of your existence is to feed on the crap of others, cleaning them up while dirtying yourselves. This is what the society you live in has done to you. But it doesn't have to be that way. With enough hard work, you could grow up into a fly—a mere annoyance."
Some of the male recruits were already loosing their cool, but reigned in their hate at the sight of the guns that surrounded them at all sides, and the officer who still held his gun, his finger itching to pull the trigger.
"Because you are maggots, we will step on you. Your, race, sex , skin tone, size and age will be abused in every creative way possible. There is no hope in my hell hole. So while you're still ahead, save yourself the trouble and die. right. now."
The whole morale of these 30 recruits begun to fall. But the officer pressed on.
"You are now grouped into squads of three and will be assigned ranks and call signs. If you do not wish to die in a pool of your own excretion, you will listen and you will learn. The Leftmost group will be Pus-1. The Middle, Pus-2. And the Rightmost, Pus-3. We will begin training shortly. Find your things and a good bed in the barracks."
With the last words, he left, leaving his subordinates to organize themselves and prepare for the worst.
Frank Ayukawa looked at the four girls he met earlier and saw their disheartened looks. "They should know by now what they've got themselves into. Only a matter of time till they crack."
(1) Kouhai – it means underclassman in Japanese.
(2) XR20 Warp Gateway – a primitive version of the Eldar Webway Gates. Considering the time period, it is the most advanced device of its age.
I hope you enjoyed the read. If this does well, I'll write some more. Until then, I'll be seeing you around.