Chapter 4 - Memories (Midterms?)

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***** SIX MONTHS AGO

"This is an announcement from the Administrative, as a test for the midterms, we, the Capital Army, are going to work with other groups from the south in a defense exercise at Taoyuan International Airport and Harbor. Transports will be leaving this afternoon, please report to the airfield immediately. That is all."

"We're only trained for two years and they're already deploying us into battle?" Daniel groaned.

"Don't we do that all the time......" I sighed as I double-checked my armor settings. An armor suit is a basic equipment for a soldier in the Capital Army. It comes with advanced technology that assists soldiers in combat and has the ability to mitigate damage from enemy fire. Unfortunately, students in the Capital Army are only given a basic training-armor suit, which provides basic assists such as a HUD (Heads-up Display) and Comm-link in the helmet and light armor that can only mitigate light damage from enemy fire. However, if a person wants to receive a better armor suit, they can either buy one from the school's R&D Facility or purchase a custom-made suit from outside companies. This only applies to people who have extra money generated from their term payments. As a member of the Alpha Squad, my payments easily rack up to almost a million credits. On the other hand, some people with lower ranks may earn as less as ten thousand credits, which is still fifty thousand credits short of a cheap armor suit.

"Last time we had a midterm, it didn't end so well," Joseph growled in annoyance. The two midterms during a school-year at the Capital Military Academy are always filled with unnecessary surprises. Last year's finals saw the Capital State go on the counteroffensive against the Unknowns. Students were randomly placed into platoons of thirty people and participated in a night raid against an Unknown FOB (Forward Operating Base) located around two hundred kilometers away from Taiwan. The raid was supposed to be an easy one, with intelligence data showing only light air defenses and a few hundred Uknowns. However, when we actually parachuted onto the island, we suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a heavily defended base. Our forces were quickly forced out of the island and had to request Capital air support and rescue force to get all the students out. The finals were canceled as a result but at a price of a hundred or so students who died in the chaos as our forces tried to retreat.

"Let's hope it'll go on smoothly," I muttered. The six boys of the Alpha Squad were already finished packing and suiting up and were ready for deployment. The girls, however...

"Are you guys done suiting up?" Andre growled from outside the women's locker room.

"Give us a second, we're girls OK?" Alice shot back.

"By the way, do you want me to be sniper this time?" I asked Florence, our team's other permanent sniper, and the best in the Capital Military.

"Well, all the spellcasters here are going to be the same as snipers, so I suppose you can be assault," she replied.

"Roger," I answered.

"Guys, our transport is leaving soon!" Daniel fretted.

"No worries, they're gonna wait for us," Andre assured him.

"More like they have to wait for us," Joseph grunted.

"Lucky we've got our own locker rooms to change," Alex chuckled as the muffles of the shouts from the students downstairs could be heard from here.

"It's not like the locker room is completely ours," Joseph said. "We're still sharing it with top-ten students from each department."

"Well, if only Alpha Squad had all the privileges, then we might as well not have the ranking system since only twelve people have access to the perk, don't you think," I asked.

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