Going to War
Chu Shen followed Officer Hugh to the room he had woken up in. He was panicking now. He was in an unknown realm with no idea what was going on. As a young twelve year old kid isolated from politics, Chu Shen was hopelessly naive and didn’t want to lie to them but they would never believe him.
He was still trying to figure out what was going on when he remembered, he wasn’t alone. ‘Master Ti Wu, can you help me?’
‘Oh ho. So you finally thought of me brat. I’m surprised you still remember me hmmph.’
‘Master, please don’t be like this. I don’t know what to say. The only one I can turn to for help is you.’
‘Fine. Just see what he has to say and then repeat what I say.’
‘Thank you Master.’
Officer Hugh sat down in one of the chairs in the room, oblivious to the conversation that was going on. Chu Shen came back to reality and sat down with him. His relief was obvious on his face.
Hugh misinterpreted his expression as relief that Sergeant Delgado was okay. He cleared his throat and began questioning him. “Now kid, we discovered the bugs were inbound and we evacuated all the civilians two days before the bugs landed.”
“We couldn’t take the bug craft down without some bigger guns but we were able to kill all the ground troops and retake the colony. We finished repelling the invasion less than two hours ago. Now that you have the big picture I need some questions answered.”
“ Where were you when all this happened? Why did you not get evacuated? And finally, where are your parents?”
Chu Shen listened and repeated back what Ti Wu said. “I don’t know anything about the evacuation. I lived on the outskirts of the colony alone. I don’t know where my parents are. They left the colony and told me stay put. I heard the fighting and everything going on and then after it all stopped I went to see what was happening and then I was hurt.”
Hugh nodded his head in agreement but inwardly he was skeptical. The UBF had gone house to house confirming everyone was gone. Their genetic scanners hadn’t picked anyone up so unless they had an expensive safehouse with scan blockers they wouldn’t have missed him.
The whole story about his parents leaving the colony also sounded a little fishy. Of course it could be that they decided to leave on a camping trip and left Chu Shen at home. With his body strength he had nothing to fear from the other colonists especially since weapons were outlawed.
“Okay, thank you for the information. Let me talk to the captain for a bit and then we’ll decide what we can do.” Officer Hugh walked over to a corner and activated his comm link.
“Hey Jim, I have something to report.”
“What is it doc?” The captain was an old friend of Officer Hugh, dating back to the UBF academy. He was one of the only ones on the ship that could talk so casually to the captain.
“You know that civilian kid that we picked up back at the colony?”
“Yeah. What about him?”
“He woke up. Told one heck of a story. Apparently his parents left the colony on a trip, probably a camping trip, and told him to stay put. Like a good little kid he stayed there even through the evacuation. After the firefight he went out looking for what made the ruckus and he ended up getting shot.”
“Yeah, seems like one heck of a tale.”
“I’m not buying it Jim. The scanners would have picked him up when we went through the town the first time.”
“Take it easy Hugh. The kids what ten, twelve years old? If his parents did go camping or whatever it was then their probably dead by now. You know that the bug ships scatter breeders all over the place. We had to spend a week hunting them all down. They were most likely eaten by the bugs, we won’t even get a body back.”
“Well ignoring that we have a real problem right now. The kids a monster Jim. Not only did he wake up he broke the restraints and broke Sergeant Delgado’s ribs with a single punch.”
“My God. Did he have on his uniform? It should have protected him from the impact.”
“Yeah he did. Didn’t help him too much though. Don’t worry. I have him a Bio-Gel tank.”
“Well this is a problem. What do you think our options are.”
“We can’t keep him in here drugged till we get to port so we’ll have to give him a room. Best thing to do is to assign a roster to watch him and accompany him in the ship. Then we can drop him off at the space station when we get there.”
“Sigh. Hugh, we won’t have an option. The bugs launched an all out attack at Getrin. UBF needs all the troops they can get and we’re one of the closest. We don’t have time to drop him off and neither is there any civilian ships capable of docking with us to transfer him over. He’s coming with us to the Getrin for the bug invasion.”
“That’s not an option. We can’t take civilians into a live combat situation.”
“There’s over ten million people on Getrin. If we don’t go there won’t be any left. You know the capital ships are all protecting the major planets. Little colonies like this have only us ground pounders to protect them.”
“I know. We have to prioritize the important things right?”
“Right Hugh. Listen. I’m sorry for involving you in this.”
“Yeah. I’ll break the news to the kid okay?”
Hugh signed off and sighed. Glancing over he saw Chu Shen looking at him with expectant eyes. ‘He thinks we’re bringing him back to his parents. Now what do I say?’
Little did he know that Chu Shen with his sensitive hearing had been eavesdropping the entire time. ‘I wonder if they call cities planets here. Only thing that makes sense. So the bugs are the primordial beasts they fought with before huh? Looks like I’m going to war…’