Chu Shen wasn’t able to help with any of the cleanup. The general found out about a civilian running into the fray, especially a kid, and threw a fit. Of course, he was soothed by the fact that he could more than hold his own.
The general had a lot of questions about how this kid was able to do what he did. Curious didn’t even begin to describe it. This kid picked up from a backwards colony world was able to destroy thousands of bugs, more than even his own unit could.
The more the thought about it the more the general wanted to meet this weird kid. Chu Shen had gone back to his room after the reinforcements had arrived and was inside for two hours.
He mostly spent the time meditating, reflecting upon the battles. He was definitely not happy with himself. His Qi control was sloppy and leaked everywhere. Some leakage was impossible to avoid but he was using almost twice the Qi it normally required.
He was too slow and didn’t have enough awareness. Several times he barely dodged death at the last second. Especially with the plasma blasts. He frowned. Chu Shen had truly underestimated them this time.
The main reason he underestimated them was because he had never taken one of the blasts head on. For some reason they never fired the huge plasma bombs. If they had Chu Shen would have been more prepared than before.
As he kept reflecting off of those mistakes a chime sounded. It was coming from a wall on his cabin. “Computer, what was that noise?”
“That was the room’s messaging system. Would you like me to read the message out loud?”
Chu Shen nodded. “Yes please.”
“Acknowledged. Message as follows.” The computer changed voices. Now it was a deep but smooth voice. “ I am General Irving of the UBF. I have seen the recordings of your exploits on the field and would like to… Hold on. He’s just a kid. He won’t understand that. Okay now how do you delete it? I can never really figure these things out. Uhhh… Here it is.”
“End of message.” The computer’s voice was back to normal. Chu Shen was really confused now. What was that all about? After about ten minutes there was a knock on the door.
He went over and opened it. Standing there was a broad shouldered man in a military uniform and a buzzcut. The man nodded at him. “Hey kid. The general wants to have some lunch with you. Nothing fancy just a little thank you for what you’ve done. Do you want to come?”
Chu Shen figured this was what the man that had messaged him was going to ask him. He nodded. “Yeah. I’m feeling kinda hungry.”
“Great. Follow me.” The guard left and headed towards the roof. Once there they arrived next to a hovercar. It was similar to a hovercraft but was built for luxury and was decorated. Clearly it was ornamental.
They got in and flew towards the center of the compound. Inside the compound there was huge celebrations going on. The miners were all out celebrating for all they were worth. And why wouldn’t they?
It looked like they were all going to die but here they were, not a single one of them dead. Their mining operations weren’t even damaged. Once the bugs were completely gone they could start mining immediately.
Of course they were saddened by the soldiers passing and honored their sacrifice. But that was it. They didn’t know them and wouldn’t grieve too much.
Chu Shen flew over the celebration. Looking down on all the happy faces, he wished he could be down there as well. He sighed. Sometimes being a martial artist was just too awful.
Soon they reached a small out of the way restaurant. Outside the restaurant there was three soldiers in a parade uniform and inside there was only a middle aged man in non-descript casual clothes with a buzzcut eating a cheeseburger. (Chu Shen didn’t know what it was until he picked up a menu.)
The hovercar landed in front of the store and Chu Shen and the soldier got out. The soldier saluted towards the middle aged man, who he assumed was the general, before taking up position on a bench across from the restaurant.
Chu Shen came in and walked to the generals table. The general smiled at him and put down his cheeseburger. “Hi, I’m General Irving of the UBF. Go ahead and sit down I just wanted to discuss with you a couple things.”
“Okay.” Chu Shen replied simply and sat down. He picked up a menu and ordered a cheeseburger, the same as the general. As he waited for his order to arrive the general just looked at him.
After his cheeseburger arrived a second one arrived for the general. They both sat down and ate their burgers. Chu Shen was startled at the flavor of the cheeseburger.
It was salty, and juicy. It was beyond what he had ever tasted. Nothing he had even thought of tasted this good. He took a second bite and just savored it with a sort of childish glee. The general saw his look and smiled.
It couldn’t be helped. When such an innocent looking kid smiled in such a cute way it was like an angel descending from heaven. Chu Shen eventually ate the rest of the Cheeseburger and then looked at his plate in disappointment. He licked his fingers in sadness, trying to get another taste.
Chuckling, the general ordered Chu Shen another hamburger while he sipped some water. After he finished the burger off they waited in a kind of unbreakable silence.
Finally the general’s curiosity got the best off him. “So. You’re name is Chu Shen right?”
Chu Shen nodded. “Yes, my name is Chu Shen general. Thank you for the cheeseburgers.”
“Your welcome. Anyways Chu Shen, I just wanted to ask you one question. Are you one of the ancient races?”