From University Graduate to Soldier in an Interstellar Conflict: I Got Isekaied to an Alien World at War
I really need some time for myself. The wooziness incurred from the translation exercises the other day affected me a fair bit, but when I told the Gloup I might need to take a breather, they took offence to that. They said it required all beings on deck for this operation. The Gloup would normally have no issue in letting beings rest when they are below full capability; there are even many that do not desire to join the war effort out of the fear that they will end up the same as their comrades. To fight for the Gloup is optional. Size, shape, age - factors don’t matter once you will serve in the resistance against the full-scale takeover of their homeworld, then you are instantly a part of the war effort.
Details on this revealed that this was to guard some unimportant place. I wonder if this is a secondary punishment for harming the Makupuu facility. But for that to happen, they had to not heed the warnings of Kawlt. Looks like it was just all talk. Whatever clout it had must have been an exaggeration.
Then, they inform me of this: it was Kawlt himself that called for me to take part in this exercise. Looks like I can scratch out the possibility that these lifeforms were aware of what I did to the base in the south. It is somewhat logical considering the ones that were contacting me did not highlight they were there as witnesses to what happened. But isn’t that naïve of me? If I’m being real to myself, the only thing stopping the ire of the Gloups that respect their relationship between them and the Makupuu is some big wig covering up my recent mistake.
Sighing, I put on my suit and begrudgingly go. My armour is not in the most appealing physical state, but even with the stains, I have to push through and do what needs to be done.
When I arrive, I see two other lifeforms besides me – a small brawny creature about half my height and wore a visor that had a green tint. Its legs were two but one dwarfed the other leaning to its left. The other tiny lifeform had drooping skin riddled with several pronounced gashes and part of its melted heap of flesh was chopped off. This one looked to be quite the battle-hardened veteran from first impressions.
“Are you the only lifeforms dairy? Sorry, I mean here. Are you the only ones here?”
“Yes.” Said the drooping skin creature. The small brawny one replied in the same manner.
We were stationed in the middle of nowhere. No major environmental landmarks to be observed or any other lifeforms loitering about. It was barren; just us and sludge. Just like that, bunches of time vanished before me. To remain alert without stimulation or a clear idea of what we have to guard is I want something to happen. Anything! Where are the threats? Why can’t there be an enemy invasion right now? I need to stone, I mean, to punch some Caxhels into oblivion. Wasting my time like this is frustrating. They could give me a more suitable mission in relation to my skill set, at least. Up to now, I’ve shredded around… One, two, three, four… Around two thousand of those freakish vermin. And let’s see, I brought about… a dozen of their spaceships to ruin. The amount of effort it took in destroying each one gave me great levels of satisfaction. This should be the ideal time to recuperate, not to watch over something so insignificant it can watch itself.
More time passes, and one thought remains lodged in my mind: Kawlt, the bastard who put me in this snore-fest. Where is Kawlt anyway? I would think the one who recommended me to be a part of this mission would be front and centre leading the charge. Maybe he’s trolling me. Can aliens even troll? Do they know the definition? Have they even heard the term before?
As I think and ignore those having what seems to be a very energetic conversation, the beneath of us raises. I look around in a mad panic to see that we were standing on top of a lifeform the entire time. Its colour was identical to the sludge that camouflaged it. The creatures – inky blobs that are able to manipulate their density once in contact with the sludge that envelops the planet, and are able to move about freely using the two strips at its rear to navigate with no challenge, was unsettled, throwing all of us off and proceeded to hide from sight. We try our hardest to search for it, but after what felt like hours being ankle-deep in sludge led to no results.
Where can it be? Where can it be? As I dig to find the lifeform, a being I wanted to see appeared.
“Hey, what you all be doing? You upset the lifeforms we have the guidance throughout its migrate path.” Kawlt’s tone made it seem as if it was talking down to us.
“There are more of them?” I get up drenched and dripping in sludge, taking serious note of what is being said. This mess certainly takes the attention away from the stains I got on my armour from earlier, so it's not all bad.
“A small bunch. Now where they went now?”
“They’re gone. At least one of them is.”
“One of some? That is not very good. Help search for rest. Cannot let them get away. Just can’t.”
Kawlt went into a sludge frenzy with its strands to see if it can cause enough of a disturbance to get them to show themselves. They went faster and faster, and we followed him in earnest. None of us asked why he acted that way towards them, it just felt instinctive to do so. Something was clearly wrong and it had to be rectified.
Our disruptions to the surface kept going, the pace of it never relents. To the corner of my eye, I see some wavy deformations. I point it out to them, causing the rest to stop.
Kawlt emphasized this, “Move slow, not fast. We will chase them away if so. That will be bad.”
I nod as a means to acknowledge his response. Getting closer to the lifeform only made it move away from us; not by much, but enough to maintain the chase without the sense that it felt hopeless and that we should give up.
We were always just out of reach as it kept its distance. Trying to catch it slowly and quietly wasn’t working, so everyone except Kawlt lunged at it in an effort to prevent it from escaping. Anticipating this, it took off, disappearing to leave behind a saddened bunch at its trails.
“It got away. What to do?” Kawlt exuded a strong sense of worry as he talked.
“Don’t worry. We’ll be able to find them.”
“How can it be when they good at concealing presence? You threaten them, these endangered beings.”
“Endangered beings? The ones that just got away? Explain.”
“This was our mission: to guide the Potuks, who are endangered lifeforms by a lot – in which there are about five hundred of them left – throughout their migration path to some ways to what is west safely so they can meet with the rest of the organisms like them at Matoq Slime Spot. The war displaced them so they end up wandering all over the planet for years scared they would die before they would see other Potuks again.”
“Then why me? Why am I here?”
“To protect them. You capable warrior that can defend enemy attacks and predators. There are Gloup that do not pity them enough to starve to death or to find other prey.”
I place my index finger and thumb at my chin and shake my head. “Okay. I get it now. Would’ve been more helpful if you explained this from the start but whatever. That kind of awareness is more valuable than you think.”
“My fault. Shouldn’t ask others to relay message. They must be angry at you still for southern base.”
“It wasn’t my fault.” I soften my tone. “I can’t blame them for being so sombre. To lose the ones you care about is difficult, even too much for some. I can relate all too well.”
“Oh no, not anyone’s fault. It be emotions run high with no one keep in check.”
“That’s the perfect description for what happened on that day.”
“Agreed. We’re partly the problem, so we fix it. If we don’t, then we would fail. Protectors protect, not attack their own.”
“Collateral damage inevitable.” Said the drooping skin lifeform.
“Yes. But even in battle, the strong help those who aren’t. Because it would be bad to let those that don’t like to fight to feel plenty pain. Pain for them is badder anyway. We fighters. We should bear more pain.”
I fall back from the discussion and take in what they have to say. Having to go through three languages fumbles up their sentences, which is something I don’t like. Their speech is like a mishmash between cavemen and semi-coherent high schoolers. It’s horrendous, very much so. That alone drives me to give this feature the polish it needs for it to become even higher quality. Missing out on some clarity isn’t a good thing. But this is what you get when you push technology in ways it wasn’t originally designed.
“Understand. So we strong and brave, right?” I couldn’t help but to hear some pep from these words from the drooping lifeform.
“Yes, all of us. Some more than others. This is why I have rival. Friendly rival but rival.”
“Metal suit strong.”
The balloon lifeform’s visor produced no results. The Potuks were just too good in hiding their signatures once below the thin layer of sludge. It was effective most of the time, but this instance proved to be beyond its capabilities.
With no leads, we wander frivolously in the hopes of finding a clue. But, unfortunately, nothing of note came up. Sludge, sludge, and more sludge awaited us. We become tired in our search for them, forcing us to take a break. Flying organisms are unable to detect them even with the advantage of the altitudes they inhabit, so calling for their assistance would prove slim results, if not fruitless. However… they would be our best bet. Plus, for all of us, fatigue is setting in. A free ride would be more than beneficial right now.
Kawlt puts in a call for a being with an observation deck, a spacious interior that permits lots of air to rush through, the most powerful visor available, and a way to capture and reel in targets while airborne. The lifeforms respond and forward us to the one most ideal for the job.
A booming voice pierced through from its end, nearly giving me headaches from how intolerable it sounds. It wasn’t a nuisance to the others. That would make sense as they would be more accustomed to such vitality - certainly a passionate one for sure. “Hello to you, Kawlt. How much of help I give to you today?!”
“Can you give up assistance in locating the Potuks? It would be of a big, big benefit to us in sludge.”
“No issue. Will be there as soon as possible.”
In what would be around ten Earth minutes or about one shalzal, a shadow blanketed us that was over twice the size of a baleen whale. An exterior similar to fried tofu wrapped around an organism of much verticality; it was of good weight, around twenty per cent machine, and still had that energetic attitude.
“Let us move quick!” Our airship made it known that it was here to get moving. No slacking off once this lifeform is around.
Releasing its drop-down door, we go inside to see a bare main holding area with markings to designate the various areas, air constantly rushing through a series of encircling gaps that provide a chilling sensation that provoked responses from everyone else, but my internal temperature control meant this wasn’t a problem for me. They shrunk in response to this, allaying the cold in swift fashion.
With everyone fine and ready to go, I sit, fold my legs into a pretzel and place my hands over them as we set sail.