HA\LF: Dead nor Alive
“We will be arriving in 30 seconds, please dont forget your belongings, and welcome back to earth.” The sound of a soothing robotic woman came from the speakers.
“Youre still 18 years old, Archie, why dont you be like the others and work in the Sky Station then find a wife to reproduce? Why would you choose a dangerous job that might kill you one day?” The Professor looked at Archie from the corner of his eyes.
Archie smirked and scoffed as he looked at the Professor, “I dont even remember who my parents are since I was abandoned when I was six. Thanks to them, I was able to live happily in the Sky Station until now and so I decided to go back here and repay their kindness.”
The Professor hummed and nodded with understanding, “I almost forgot that they adopted you. Anyway, do you want to see their graves before you meet the Marshall?”
Archie shook his head and chuckled as he leaned his body back and forth, “Well, its just a tombstone and nothing under it since they died out there so I dont think its necessary.”
Both Archie and the Professor stood in front of the door and Archie seemed to be a bit nervous because that would be his first time seeing the earth after more than 12 years of living in the Sky Station. Compared to the Professor who went back and forth from Sky Station to earth because he had to investigate the environment around the walls with the help of Axis Humans, it was a normal activity for him.
The door opened and it shook the floor because it slid so slowly as if they didnt have time to maintain the door. They both left the lift and so many people were gathering there waiting for the lift and they all went inside it after they greeted Archie and the Professor. They were all Axis Humans and everybody knew Archie since he was quite famous because of his skills in VST.
“Well, welcome back to earth, Archie.” The Professor smiled at him and pointed his hand at the exit.
Archie smiled and walked past him, he opened the door and see the beautiful city. For him, old houses and buildings made from woods and zink and very thin metal were something exotic that he would never see up in the Sky Station. The trees grew very tall and he saw so many kids and people walking around peacefully, the wild grass, the soil, and the chill natural wind were enough to make him so excited because there were none of them up in the Sky Station.
Everything down there used solar and wind energy because the rest of the energies were used for the Sky Stations up in the sky. Even without enough energy, the people who lived down here were happy enough and didnt bother much about it. Those who stayed on earth werent only the Axis Humans, but also those who prefer to stay there rather than in the Sky Station.
Archie and the Professor went straight to the military base, Archie looked around and listened to violin, guitar, and bodhran instrument playing that came from the radio. He felt like he belonged there and missed everything down there even though he didnt remember anything from his childhood.
They entered the military base where tanks, choppers, horses, camels, soldiers with guns in their hands were training. They used living animals as a mount because they didnt have enough resources to build artillery, gas, and oil were hard to find. All the military in the four nations used the same method and it was proven that it was very efficient.
Archie stared at the huge and tall building in front of him, the only sturdy and tall building in the nation since they demolished all the tall buildings from centuries ago to be used for walls and other things.
“Come one, Archie, the Marshall is waiting for you.” The Professor looked at Archie who stood behind him.
“Oh, yeah, sorry…” Archie followed the Professor from behind.
They entered the building and were immediately escorted by the soldiers since they were ordered by the Marshall.
They both entered the Marshalls office and the Professor immediately introduced Archie to the Marshall. He looked at Archie for quite a while from his desk then he stood up and approached him.
“Archie Lancaster, 18 years old with unbelievable talent. I heard a lot about you from the others and I want to see you in person if what they said is true.” The Marshall walked around Archie with his hands on his back.
The Marshall observed Archie from top to bottom, “Hmm, your physical body is in great shape.”
“You want to join the expedition, Archie?” The Marshall stood in front of Archie, he was taller than Archie that he could only see his chest and had to lift his head to look at him. The Marshall was 7 feet tall while Archie is 5.8 feet tall.
Archie nodded nervously, “Yes, Sir! I want to join the expedition.”
The Marshalls eyes were glaring at Archie and it was enough to make Archie scared of the Marshall.
“Based on the data on his test, we should put him on the list, Professor.” The Marshall walked away and went back to his desk.
The Professors eyes were wide open and he approached the Marshall nervously, “With all due respect, Sir, Im still not sure if the theory is right, I dont want to put anyones life in danger.”
“I promise you, once theyre all back from the expedition, I will have the answer and the result that you wanted.” The Professor begged the Marshall as if he was scared of something.
Archie just stood there listening to their conversation.
The Marshall stared at Archie while he was resting his hands on his stomach, “Fine, I will be waiting for the good news, Professor.”
The Marshall grabbed a piece of paper from the drawer and stamped the paper. He looked at it for a moment then put it back on the desk. He stared at Archie and slid the paper on the other side of the desk, “Take this paper with you. You have been approved, Archie Lancaster. You will be joining the expedition tomorrow, the soldier will lead you to your barrack and get some rest because you will be leaving early tomorrow.”
Archie was surprised when he heard that the expedition is tomorrow, he raised his hand nervously while he looked at the Marshall, “To-tomorrow, Sir?” The Marshall glared at him, “Is there a problem, soldier? We moved the schedule because we dont have time to waste. If you dont want to join, then give me back the document.” Archie shook his head repeatedly, “No, Sir! I will join the expedition, Sir!”
The Marshal smiled and tilted his head to the door, “Okay, go out there and meet your comrade, soldier!” Archie smiled with excitement and nodded with understanding, “Yes, Sir! Thank you, Sir!” Archie saluted him with a big grin on his face and since he was dismissed, he left the office leaving the Professor and the Marshall alone.
Archie left the building and looked around once more, he couldnt believe that the moment that he has been waiting for his entire life was right in front of him.
“Archie Lancaster?” A muscular tall guy wearing a green shirt and a dog tag hanging on his neck, he waved his hand at Archie.
“Yes?” Archie looked at the tall friendly-looking guy.
The muscular guy chuckled and wrapped his arm around Archies neck, “So, which division are you in for tomorrows expedition?”
Archie check the document he brought with him and looked at the information in it, “Im in Division 3, Sir.”
The muscular guy smiled while he was chewing gum, “Perfect! You will be under my command, Archie, now follow me and I will introduce you to my friends that soon to be your friends as well.”
Archie followed him from behind and the muscular guy looked back at him and tilted his head, “You know, I asked my father to let you be in my division because we might need your skill, Archie.”
“Your father? Is your father is the Marshall, Sir?” Archie furrowed his forehead and stared at the muscular guy while he tried to catch up on the guys walking speed.
The muscular guy nodded and raised his eyebrows repeatedly, “Yeah, pops is the Marshall of the Western Nation.” The muscular guy chewed the bubblegum while he looked around, “Anyway, those people over there will be in my division as well, so come on lets introduce you to them.” The muscular guy pointed his finger at a group of people in a courtyard while they were working out.
The muscular guy introduced Archie to his friends, all of them were Axis Humans and they showed what kind of ability they have. Most of them had the same ability which was a superstrength since it was the most common ability for the Axis Human, some of them even had a super hearing and were able to look from a mile away, some could see in the dark, some had a super instinct like an animal. The muscular guy had all of them and another ability which was a super perception that he could see things in slow motion.
Archie spent the evening talking with them, he managed to get to know them better. All of them were friendly and didnt discriminate against ordinary humans and it really made him happy to be able to be placed with them.
“Look at the time, boys. We need to get some rest because we will be leaving early tomorrow.” The muscular guy looked at his wristwatch.
One of his friends scoffed and smirked at him, “Nah, your pops will be giving a long speech anyway so we should be able to get more sleep until the speech is over.”
“Yeah, youre right but he would beat us up if he saw us still sleeping. So dont do something stupid around him or you will regret it.” The muscular guy shook his arm because the wristwatch was about to run out of battery.
All of them laughed and nodded in agreement, they all walked together and were on their way to the barrack. Archie kept staring at the night sky, he still couldnt believe it and thought it was all just a dream.
“Yo, Archie? Come on, lets put your stuff in the barrack and get some sleep!” The muscular guy and his friends looked at Archie and waited for him.
“Im coming!” Archie smiled and caught up with them.
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