From University Graduate to Soldier in an Interstellar Conflict: I Got Isekaied to an Alien World at War
Being birthed on a winter night and calming lunar rays in a small but well-staffed medical facility, my parents were glad to see me, their precious bundle of joy, to finally come safely into this world. After spending some days in the hospital to ensure my vitals were fine, my parents took me home.
With my mother’s angular face, sharp nose and dimples and my father’s father scruffy black hair, characteristic grin and stocky build, I really did take after them. Living on a forty-hectare farm on the northern island of Hokkaido where we barely made a profit, they always wished the best for me. They spent no expense on my education. Instead of nearby public schools like the Akasuki Early Childhood Centre, Chiyo Kindergarten School, and Junko Developmental, they sent me to Kingsly International School for the Young and Growing.
When they dropped me off at the corrugated school gate from their grey, four-seater Toyota pickup truck at the start of my preschool education, they both kissed my forehead, handed me my two-toned orange lunchbag, and waved me goodbye once I exited the vehicle. Not long after they drove off with the radio at full volume – obvious to tell from how they kept the windows down – I turned to see a towering corrugated gate with painted concrete walls trailing from its sides, barbed wire lining its apex, and a security booth all facing my diminutive stature. A cloudless sky and autumn leaves carried by a chill breeze did little to settle the mounting negativity I had. Terror had dominion over every inch of me, causing what seemed to be a reflex motion for my arms to wrap my lunchbag to the point of squeezing it to death – well, as much life as an inanimate object can have. My homemade yogurt, sliced apples and peaches and my peanut butter and jelly sandwich were just as unfortunate.
I loved my lunchkit. I really did. I often obsessed over it considering it had my favourite Sunday morning anime character at the time – Kuni the Hamster – plastered all over.
It even had the same orange she had, with the lighter tone on the zipper and the area surrounding it, and the darker, almost burnt tone for everywhere else. To me, it provided comfort to an otherwise terrified kid who thought his mom and dad had abandoned him. Believing this as the truth, jitters started to kick in. I wanted to move; I wanted to speak, but I couldn’t do a thing expect cry for them. I wanted to look at them once more. Without them, the fear and sadness within would only get worse.
This awoken the guard stationed at the booth. He called out to me. “Kid! You okay?!”
I shook my head to a no.
“Where are your parents?”
I failed to respond.
The glasses-wearing, blue-coloured uniform security officer with bushy sideburns got out and kneeled on one leg right where I stood. “Come on, kid. Tell me where they went; I can help you if you do. Even if you don’t, I’m obligated to do so.”
I still couldn’t make out a word.
He placed a hand on my shoulder and glanced at my lunchkit, noticing the famed anime character on it, and from there, his mood changed to a cheerful one.
“Is that Kuni the Hamster?” His index finger pressed against my lunchkit.
I nodded yes.
“Great, my son loves her. So much, in fact, he even watches the re-runs on weekdays after he comes home from school and finishes his homework.”
“Really.” He was absolutely sure of it.
Realizing this, I wiped my tears and brought myself to a more happy state. I then told him of my situation as he pulled out the two switch remote from his right pants pocket, sliding the gate across to reveal the trimmed artificial grass, bounties of lilies, tulips, sunflowers, carnations and more lining the pathway and on overturned beds jammed next to the single-story, rough-textured and custard coloured compound.
From there, I practised on both Japanese and Western instruments to little success, taught by highly qualified teachers that went out of their way so that no child is left struggling, and conditions so pristine, not a speck of bacteria could survive.
My time there was great, at least that’s what my parents said. I didn’t have many friends but the ones I had were really cool to hang out with on the playground. And on Fridays, school finished an hour early. That was easily the best part of my time there.
Moving to primary schooling, it proved to be somewhat challenging. The friends I had were no longer there, as they proceeded to other higher educational institutions. And unlike the previous international school I attended, this one – the Pembelton Middle School International – was over twice the size of my preschool, with three times the number of students, and taught Latin and Spanish, alongside English.
Here was the era where I took note of the importance of English in Japanese and global society and my love for American television shows began. They didn’t prove to just be good practice, but I genuinely admired them. To perform as well as I can to be proficient in the language meant I could pursue my short-lived dream of becoming an A-List Hollywood actor. My parents wanted me to be good at English – that was a factor in sending me to international schooling. But, my burgeoning passion for the subject pushed me to another level – one where straight A’s were endless.
Once primary studies were complete, high school came next. And this time, puberty crashed hard. My height spiked, any gorge or chasm couldn’t compete with the depth of my voice, and acne was abound.
In this school, I learned French (well bits of it) and I ate lots of poutine to the point it made me gain ten kilos and my acne worsened. I cut back on the gravy and cheese curd laden French fries from then on.
Overall, high school was pretty uneventful. My first day of preschool was more exciting, to be honest.
Being valedictorian for my graduating class was great, nonetheless. I did my best to impress everyone with a humongous English vocabulary. And to have my speech sound extra breath-taking, I used some Latin. Stuff like titulo fortitudinis latet, fortitudinem, sapientiam blew their minds.
However, I couldn’t do the same in university. It was just much more competitive. Even with sleepless nights and my abuse of the library, it wasn’t enough. There were actual native speakers in the course. Impossible couldn’t describe the inability to surpass them.
Returning to attend to rows of sweet corn and beans, and pasture of cows and sheep were above my qualifications. I felt ambitious. And using that, I decided to notify my parents that I will be moving to Tokyo for employment.
They were happy for me. All their efforts in providing couldn’t be more clear than the spotting baldness and tired look from my dad and the already substantial myriad of wrinkles competing with my mom’s dimples.
The next day, I decided to take the first ride on my bike since leaving it near the stables and under some tarp in the barn at the end of high school. I dusted it off and inspected it to make sure it’s still good – to which it was - like I never took my foot off the pedal.
This navy blue bike was truly a great thirteenth birthday present. A neck and back support seat; handles that provided the best of grip; tire plates in black with the text ‘RiderX’ beneath a gold arch, and a rear wire mesh bicycle basket. I couldn’t have asked for more.
As I peddled the bike out of the barn and onto the dirt access road, I felt free. Wind hitting my cheeks and uprooting my hair. Birds chirping. Crops lying idle under the sun. Little ol’ Sato Moriyama was going places. I can only go up from here.
I slammed my soles on the road’s surface, kicking up tiny clouds as it brought me to a halt so I could determine where the strange sound originated.
EHUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! It appeared a second time – the last time I saw my parents alive.
What was firm ground beneath the tires morphed to a vast pool of vibrant indigo, sucking not just me, but the barn, my childhood home, the chicken coops and the various starches, grains, vegetables and fruits like quicksand.
I jumped off my bike, but it only meant my legs were the restart of my descent into the void. My struggle in breaking free proved futile. All I did was waste energy as heads of what seemed to be life forms crafted from what looked like blood vessels attached to elongated bodies of the same makeup and thick and very protruding lips popped up to gobble what they could. As they sucked in air, the barn, the silos of wheat, barley and corn, his family home, the animals, and even my parents… my parents… my dear loving parents, were gone.
The indigo void in tandem with the creatures cleaned up everything they can, and once they were done, they vanished.
That was my last memory of Earth.
Now I’m stuck in the midst of a conflict between the alien natives – the Cloup – and the invaders – the Caxhels.
I have given up on trying to return to Earth. All I have now is my composite material suit and my anger.
War is my life now, and I hate it.