I wrote this about a year ago, shortly after Lash' story. I had completely forgotten about it, but decided to clean it up today so it is at least half-decent and postable. But it really should be rewritten once more if I want it to be on a professional standard, but I know I will just forget about it again if I do so.
I hope you enjoy anyway.
Sami smiled as she inspected her new navy conscripts. The sailors formed a neat line, their uniforms fresh and untouched. Sami gazed over them, her mind lost in her own train of thoughts. It was the safest way to stow away her own weakness. Some of the males were pretty attractive, and she was single... and she could not use an affair right now. She continued to walk past the seemingly neverending line of saluting men and women, and sighed as she finally finished the task. It was so pointless. Conscription had its huge share of flaws if it came to combat efficiency, with them being untrained soldiers and lacking the experience to be useful, often being no more than cannon fodder as a result. Unnecessary casualties, these people were more useful elsewhere. Normally.
But now the war ended months ago. Lash was dating Andy, Hawke was helping rebuilding Green Earth, Koal wanted to learn what being a scholar truly means, Flak became a sheriff in a village in the middle of nowhere as well as a wrestler, and most of the other culprits of Black Hole were dead, one way or another. Things had mostly to be rebuilt and guarded, which was a task conscripts could fulfill nicely.
And the conscripts currently with her would help with a food transport ti the depths of Orange Star Territory in the Omega Region. It would not be fun, even if there was little risk involved either. A few aircraft had already delivered some supplies under command of Rachel and Jake, but this was the main convoy. Sami inspected the large crates of food that were placed upon the large cargo ships. Two Battleships and five cruisers would form the escorts. Two of the cruisers were brand new and would make their maiden voyage. Hopefully, these ships would make it to their fiftieth anniversary.
Her mind returned to Eagle, but realized he was just a flirt. No more, no less. She was glad to see him not as often anymore in the future, if at all. Sami quickly shoved her thoughts of the flyboy aside as she boarded her flagship, the mighty HMS Dragonfly - what a silly name for a ship, with her nine sixteen inch cannons in three triple turrets. She was a bad admiral, not understanding much of naval combat except the basics and the usefulness of heavy fire support that only battleships could provide. Nothing scared soldiers more than shells of several thousand pounds raining down upon them. Sami then sighed. Her mind was jumping from one point to another, as if she was stressed. Stressed for a 'mission', in which she had to do nothing but show her face.
"We're ready to set sail shortly," the captain told Sami. Sami nodded. She was glad her officers were disciplined and knew what the fudge hell they were doing. They rarely needed tactical feedback from her. Even sailing to faraway Omega Land would not need her assistance, but Nell had persuaded her to go with them.
"Good. I see the first two cargo ships leaving already. We're scheduled to move once the first four are nearing open sea."
"Correct," the captain stated. "The ship functions as it should, ma'am."
"Well," Sami responded, "I'm in my room. I'll see you again during dinner." On the bridge she would just distract the officers. Even in the pervert way, she assumed. She was only twenty-five, after all.
"Yes, ma'am!" the captain shouted.
During dinner, Sami felt a bit ashamed of herself. She could eat as much as she wanted here, but within a week or two, she would meet people that could not. The mere thought made her uneasy and she just left the officer's mess as soon as she could. She just stared at the calm, endless seas, and calmed her. She perfectly understood why Drake loved the seas. Calm one day, violent another, but both were beautiful in their own way. But she preferred the freedom of the mountains and the forest herself, not the restrictions of being on a ship.
Sami finally shifted her gaze away from the seas when someone knocked on the door.
"Are you alright, Sami?" a brown-haired girl asked. Ayne was a few years younger than Sami, barely an adult, but Sami knew this girl from martial arts tournaments when they were children. They seperated ways when Sami joined the army, but an odd twist of fate had brought them together during the first war in Cosmo Land, after Ayne's parents had lost their lives. Sami liked Ayne, she was her only staff officer that refused to conform with the typical Blitzkrieg other officers preferred, being much more like Sami.
"No, not really, Ayne. I'm feeling uneasy at how officers are threated compared to common soldiers and civilians," Sami responded. "Especially higher-ranked officers, like me."
"I know. I feel the same. I never understood it since I joined you in the army, Sami. I still eat with the soldiers." Ayne said softly, almost whispering before pulling Sami into an embrace. "Even after the incident when Adder trapped us, I did not step down from that habit. I lost a few pounds but I just refuse to be treated differently because of my rank."
"That was admirable. The higher officers and politicians kept me from talking with the soldiers back then. That was pretty hard. I guess that was the reason, since these higher-ups did not want me to follow your example," Sami whispered. "Sometimes I feel I am just as much of a pawn as the average soldier."
"We are, Sami. We have to show our pretty faces every now and then to the public. Our young female bodies are useful for reasons that have nothing to do with the army, you know that just as well as I do." Ayne said, disgust seeping through her voice. "That's why Nell wanted us to go. I guess she could have gone herself, but..."
"We are more marketable than Max, Andy and Jake, and Rachel is overseeing the supply of the new Crystals that Lash designed," Sami continued. "And as much as I hate to admit this, Nell now has the rank to avoid being used as such a pawn herself. She prefers to teach new officers and pushes the other tasks away from her, especially those that make her feel like a pawn."
"Not that I blame her. She's an amazing teacher, and she doesn't want to waste her time travelling to Omega Land," Ayne responded. "She did visit the citizens after the Cosmo Land war, after all, and we, the Commanding Officers, need to show our faces to the public every now and then, and probably to the politicians too. And now we were the expendables. The female expendables." Sami nodded and grimaced. This was one of the moments she wanted to be a male very badly.
"Yep. No need for a special ops when there's no war, after all..." Sami said, sarcasm in her voice but knowing she was stating a half-truth. The intelligence service was more active than ever, but Sami had rarely anything to do with the "spies". It was mandatory for soldiers to hate the intelligence service, even if for no particular reason. And the hate was mutual, even if Sami was on better terms with the secret service than any of the other CO's.
"Let's use our mind for something else, Sami," she said, motioning over to Sami's chess set. Sami nodded.
"Ugh, Ayne..." They were aboard for a week now, but the calm seas from the first few days were now replaced by a vicious storm. "I'm not made for this," Sami groaned. The battleship shuddered as it plowed through another massive wave.
"I wonder how you would feel if you had actually had dinner today."
"Probably horrible," Sami laughed, despite her situation. "I am feeling dizzy now, but I'm at least not vomiting all over the place." Ayne snickered in response.
"Just lay down, Sami. Don't look at the waves, no matter how tempting it may be. Stretch yourself, and place arms at your side." Ayne calmly responded, but her words were drowned out in Sami's swearing. Ayne snickered as Sami kept cursing herself for getting seasick even on a large battleship. But Sami listened, and let the motions of the ship carry her. When the bow rose up, the pressure on her body increased, but she felt pleasantly light when the ship dove away again.
"I think this helps, Ayne. Thanks."
"No problem, Sami." Ayne smiled. "Take it easy, it's not like we can do much at this moment. But to be honest, I think we should skip our chess game this evening." Sami nodded. She wasn't feeling like playing chess at this moment. She just wanted to lay down and sleep.
Sami sighed as she flipped her king, stating she'd surrender. She had made way too many mistakes in this game. Stupid mistakes, even. "You didn't play like the Sami I used to know. Are you alright?" Sami glanced at the bar of chocolate. Normally it would have been long gone, but now she had only finished half of it.
"I guess," she mumbled.
"Sami!" Ayne shouted. Sami's ears rang from the sudden noise and she fell nearly off the sofa. "What is wrong with you?" Sami sighed once more. She could not get out of this.
"It's just... I feel so horrible. I don't know." Sami did not really know how to talk about her feelings. She rarely did it before. Not even to Nell, who was her closest friend for a long time, or Rachel, who was probably more likely to understand her. Sonja rarely talked about her feelings, but it was now that Sami realized that Sonja just faced the same barrier she did. She was afraid to talk about feelings in a masculine environment like the army, and Kanbei would probably disapprove. You don't win wars with emotions, but you might lose your soul if you disregard them after the war ended.
"You know, Sami. You're an amazing soldier and you've saved a lot of lives during the last two wars. You did the things that your fellow CO's did not, like helping Kanbei out with Battleships after your normal job has ended. You saved far more lives than you took, and now you are going to save some more. You are very brave and loyal, and many people respect you for that. We all do, you know. But being a soldier is more than just fighting." She liked Ayne for being her closest friend in the army. She was always there when she needed help.
"Fighting is simple, Ayne. But now the war is over..."
"There's more to being a soldier than fighting," Ayne repeated herself. "Being a soldier means that you have to do everything you can to keep the civilians safe against any threat, whether that's an army, but also against the aftermath of an earthquake or hurricane. And they need you. You have the competence, and you very well know you have it."
"Yes, but... I will." Sami was nervous. She didn't remember herself being ever as nervous before, except when she first faced off against Sturm.
"Yes, you will. And you must. Also, don't worry about being nervous. The civilians might like you even more for it because everybody is nervous every now and then. It is just human." Ayne could penetrate Sami's very being with her eyes. Even things Sami refused to admit were clearly visible to Ayne, but Ayne never abused the weaknesses she found in her character, at worst exposing them in private.
Sami gritted her teeth, knowing Ayne was talking the truth. She had told the same story to her subordinates often enough, but this was the first time she experienced such a wall herself. And she would scale it, just like the others. The civilians needed her help and should not have to suffer for her own personal doubts about the state of the peace-time army, or her doubts at being sent instead of Max or Jake because she was a young female. She, Lieutenant-Colonel Sami, would fulfill her duty.
Show off your creative stuff here. Comics, units, maps, spritework or anything creative to do with Advance Wars.
Show off your creative stuff here. Comics, units, maps, spritework or anything creative to do with Advance Wars.
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