THE NEW TRAINEE
Sunday - 7:45
I had just gotten out of my early morning shower when an unexpected visitor came to the door.
"I will be right out." I quickly plucked my T-rank uniform off the chair by the desk, got dressed, and opened the door to find a familiar woman in an R-rank uniform. "Hey Tammy, this is a fair distance away from your dorm. What's the occasion? Don't tell me that you came to comfort me to sleep? I am honored of course, but perhaps you didn't realize that it's morning already."
"Ha, as if!" She took a note out of her pocket and handed it to me. "You were just assigned to initiate the new batch of truckers. And for the millionth time Tobias, my name is Tamari!"
I groaned inwardly, though I didn't let it show. "Sure thing Tammy. I will call you by your preferred name once you start calling me by mine. Toby."
I knew that it would never happen. I was the sole agent that used nicknames. My informal nature was probably due to my exalted status. To this day, I remained the only agent to have never failed to Isekai a target. If the higher-ups didn't like it, then they should've allowed agents more creative freedom in the use of their nicknames.
While they walked towards the initiation room located in the center building, I quickly glanced at Tamari. She was pretty, but not in an exaggerated way. Sparkly green eyes alongside a constant smile were alluring, but it was her moral code that impressed me the most. Unlike some others, she didn't bother trying to suck up or curry favor to find an easy way to climb the ranks. While I never thought of her romantically, perhaps a woman would be what it took to help clear my nightmares.
Perhaps another time, I decided. I would rather retire first.
After a minute of strolling in silence, they arrived at the main building. It was circular, with the five dorms located in a pentagon formation around its base. They reached the oversized double doors and stopped.
I pondered the idea of retiring that very moment to avoid the sure-to-be unpleasant initiation and the future missions. But something told me that I needed to continue or else I would never find closure.
Sighing, I pushed the doors open and entered the room where I was supposed to lecture the new initiates on the purpose of the ISEKAI organization, the ranking system, and why running people over with a truck wasn't considered murder.
* * *
Sunday - 8:00
My entrance was anticlimactic, just to my liking.
There was no mass clamoring when I entered the room and no hushed tones nor reverent silence. It was simply a typical atmosphere. There were about 30 individuals in the auditorium, most of which kept to themselves. They didn't stand up or even really acknowledge my arrival.
The ages ranged from low twenties to mid-forties, and surprisingly a young woman was also amongst them. Female truckers were rare, and many times there wasn't a single one in attendance. It probably meant that Tamari would be her trainer. While a couple of other R-rank women could fit the role, Tamari had gone the longest without one, so the manager would probably assign her the role this time.
I walked up to the podium in the front of the room and took a deep breath before starting.
"Hello, everyone. My name is Toby, and I will be giving you a brief initiation lecture. Yes, I know there is no point. You will learn on the job, and dumping information on you like this will just bore you, but it's something that needs to be done. So please keep with me while I plow on ahead. I don't expect any of you to pay attention. Therefore, I will not repeat myself to answer any questions".
My bizarre start had the desired effect. They all sat up straighter in their seats and looked at me as if seeing me for the first time. I knew from experience that this was often the best way to get undivided attention.
"There are three basic points that I will go over. The first is the nature of TRUCK-KUN, which is the largest department of ISEKAI. The latter is an organization run through the cooperation of all existing "fantasy" worlds. They pay us to transport designated humans into their worlds. We dub this process as the target getting “Isekai’d.” The targets are generally called upon for a specific task, usually saving the world or some nonsense like that. TRUCK-KUN primarily uses trucks to accomplish the transfer." I paused for that to sink in. "Any questions?"
One person raised a hand. It was a young man near the front, perhaps the youngest in the room.
"Good," I declared. "Please save all questions for the end." Well, at least there was one guy who wasn't shy or complacent.
"Second, you will all be assigned K-rank and will live in the corresponding dormitory. Each of you will be pairing up with an R-rank member until they give the stamp of approval for you to go solo, which will then bump you up to C-rank. After you complete 10 assignments in a row, you will be bumped up to U-rank. From there, it's just a matter of climbing the ranks and earning as many points as possible by succeeding in your assigned missions. Your R-rank partners can fill you in on the finer details later."
The young man in the front raised his hand again, but I continued ignoring him.
"Lastly, explaining how the transporting works. ISEKAI has created a unique device that makes a perfect replica of the soul upon contact with the person and then sends that copy to the desired fantasy world. The device needs the data of the target and the world beforehand to work correctly. In addition, it miraculously causes no physical harm to the body and erases the target's recent memory. So the actual person gets up a minute later as if nothing had happened. TRUCK-KUN attaches this device in the guise of a bumper to the hoods of the trucks. There is no killing involved and thus no reason to feel squeamish."
If only my dreams got that last memo, I thought to himself.
"And that is it from me. Any questions before the manager comes and assigns you all code names and trainers?"
Excluding the overeager young man from before, nobody else raised their hands. I was unsure if it was group psychology or perhaps nobody even knew where to start. That just made it all the more unbelievable that there was someone as forthcoming as this guy. After staring at him for several seconds, something about him called out to me.
I went up to the young man and took his raised hand in my own. "You are coming with me,” I declared. “I will be your trainer."
The newbie's eyes lit up like he had won the lottery as if he knew that he was just handed a wonderful opportunity to ask the infinite number of questions that he clearly had in store.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into.