From University Graduate to Soldier in an Interstellar Conflict: I Got Isekaied to an Alien World at War
Finding these lifeforms is taking a lot longer than expected. Two days had passed and despite utilising a massive living airship to gain a top-down view of the landscape, we couldn’t locate one of them. If this doesn’t change soon, we would have to give up the chase and declare this a failed mission. Redoubling our efforts didn’t have the success we expected, and to redouble it again, that is, to request for more ships to aid in the search for the missing Potuks, wasn’t possible. To spend more resources on a low-risk endeavour regarding lifeforms that would pop up sooner rather than later and are not in imminent danger meant there was no care or urgency to attend to us. They already gave us the best of the best. To ask for more would be ridiculous and frankly embarrassing, considering the aim we had.
They tell us to stand down from this mission. This loss would be inconsequential if we do. And to be honest, they are right. To go on for much longer would be a needless waste of energy, time and resources that would be better preserved and spent on the war effort. It is sad that they were impacted by this conflict, but they’re not extinct or anything of the sort, so there should be no panicked appeals to save them, but.. Kawlt just had to do that to one of the Gloup military leaders – Bruttak, a mighty lifeform that was heavier than all four of us combined, oozed a slick substance over its pale frame and went around with a technological means to discharge its corrosive internal fluids that would melt its adversaries to puddles. Through the video call, the lack of definition on its face and body was much too obvious. This was deceptive in how much raw strength it had on offer through its pair of extremely lengthy tentacles. Bruttak could lift over one thousand lifeforms easily on each one. I would know because I saw it in person. The force in which it plucked and stacked Gloup on the opposing tentacle proves how powerful a creature like Bruttak can be. It and I have spoken to each other in many instances.
“What you say? Be louder. This softness not working with me.”
“Bruttak, one more day we need. We need it to try help them.”
“Why waste the time on Potuks? Potuks will be fine. Trust.”
“Yes, trust, but I’m just worried. Lots of bad thing can happen to Potuks. Bad, bad things.”
“Understand, but danger for them is low, so don’t worry.”
“But predators and bad weather can impact them serious.”
“Serious yes, but bad weather is rare on Me’blenxclan and predators struggle to catch Potuks to be viable food always.
“Not good enough excuse. Just give up.”
Kawlt went silent. It reflects for a moment before admitting defeat.
“Good to give up at moments, Kawlt. That’s a good thing. You all deserve a break anyways. You all look horrible.”
I can sense the clear sadness from Kawlt. It seemed committed to this helping them using whatever means possible. But Bruttak was right. This was it being realistic. Sometimes you have to count your losses and move on. There are more important things ahead. We’ll get them next time.
Bruttak hanged up. But the quiet that dominated was short in its reign as the living airship disrupted that. “You all, time for resting. It is late!”
“Can you stop shouting for me please?!”
“Why should I? Shouting fun!”
“Please,” I place my palm against my head and rub it believing it will alleviate the pain in some way. “Just be quiet. I’m not well.”
“Oh, sorry for that. It’s just that shouting is normal part of what lifeforms like me do.”
“I can tell.” I let out a deep sigh.
“Maybe some resting make it go away?”
“I don’t think it will be that simple.” I walk to a gap; leaning on it lets the full sensation of the breeze become absolutely prominent to me.
“You can try. I don’t have any means to take away your head pain, so that is your only option.”
“Not surprising. I would be more shocked if you had any sort of treatment for humans.”
“Humans? What is that? Is it a new enemy weapon from the Caxhel?”
“No, it’s me.”
“So that’s your name? Well, hello to human. My name is Wacabo.”
“No, no, no. My name is Sato - Sato Moriyama.”
“Sounds really long. Are names of all humans very long?”
“Well, every human has a first and last name.”
“First and last? Huh.”
I notice that everyone was paying attention. They had a genuine curiosity about Earth. From there, I detail how names vary based on which part of the planet you live on. As an example, I used Japan’s method of inverting the placement of the first and last name unlike most of the world. And when I dropped the concept of middle names on them, they were as intrigued as one could ever be. The idea that a person could have a name in between their first and last names, even several of them, was quite a culture shock for a society that had short and simple names.
“I want to tell you my name now.” The excitement from the small brawny one was clear. “It is Kouk.”
I hear it and I can’t help but say, “Nice name.”
“Thanks. Hearing about functions and customs of humans and what they do is interesting for a lifeform like me to learn. Most Gloup never get to leave the planet. Is it the same for humans?”
“You can say that. But it’s been such a long time since I’ve been home so I can’t say if that’s the reality for my species anymore. They were well into the planning and development stages to colonize space. We had ambitions in becoming an interplanetary species.”
“I want to state my name.” The drooping skin creature had an eagerness to it as it told me. Cobusu - this is the title in which itself and others decided to call it.
I now have everyone’s names: Wacabo. Kouk. Cobusu. Short but sweet. Pronouncing them without a translator would be comparable to choking a saxophone; I wouldn’t dare to do such a thing that would ruin my voice box. But, even with that, I do like each of them and they’re much easier to remember than those on Earth.
Everyone went to get some grub while I stay behind. They utilized the same technology that I use back home to prepare my meals minus the dispenser for water. They tried to share with me some of their bound-up bundles of some stringy dark creatures that made an attempt to escape from being eaten right on the spot. Instead, they were automatically pushed forward from the same tray each of them was made on and were gobbled up into their bellies.
Fasting was no big deal. I trained my body to become used to relying on this to function. But now that I think about it, judging from the shape of Wacabo, it would be a safe guess that I am in his stomach right now while I starve. The irony is such a subtle slap in the face if true. Just being in here is making my hunger pains worse.
It was good to have a regular conversation with them, marking the first time I have ever said anything more than an insult or something of the sort. I never bothered to do this until now, which is bad on my part. With this, I realize that I should be more polite next time and not let my gruffness keep me distant from interactions with others.
My eyes were getting heavy, signalling that I need to get a good nights’ rest. Even though we were still an hour from sundown on Me’blenxclan, I close my eyes and give everyone the cordial Earth greeting of ‘Good Night.’
SOME HOURS LATER
BANG-A-CLANG-CLANG! I wake up to see my field of view twisting. From what I can tell, Kouk, Cobusu and Kawlt and were being tossed around effortlessly just like me. Unlike them, however, I can tank all the hits I sustain as Wacabo blitzes ahead at full speed.
I contact Wacabo to inquire why he’s flying so fast, to which it responded: “I have discovered two Putoks skimming atop sludge one hundred and fifty metres ahead.”
The magnetism in my suit kick in through instinct, grounding me to the wall I was about to crash into. Having the gaps be already constricted prevented anyone from falling out, I try my best to save the others from bouncing about. Deactivating my firm gravity, I free myself to the mercy of Wacabo’s instability and rocket towards one of them with open arms, to which I caught Kouk. Bundling the being within my left arm, I go for Cobusu repeating the same strategy with an occupied arm.
In a desperate attempt for Kawlt, I stretch my arm for him to latch onto. We get closer and closer. I can feel that we can make it. And… we were just out of reach. I hold onto Kouk even tighter expecting some more throwing around. And I did experience some. But as more were coming, it stops.
All of us receive slams, and as we get up, Wacabo tells us that we had found the five Potuks. It follows them in earnest leading them to what we were searching for all this time.
The mission is done?
I can’t help but be surprised by the outcome. The mission was basically called off, and in the eleventh hour, we found them just like that? That’s hard for me to believe. I need to see this for myself.
With the pressure holding open the gaps, I could take a look for myself. As Wacabo passed over a sludge-covered fang cliff, a gathering of dozens of Potuks was on full display over the pond that is the Matoq Slime Spot – a place more saturated in purple hue than the vast majority of slime.
I raise the arm carrying Kouk for it to be impressed by what’s below.
“Looks like they could fend for themselves after all.”
“Looks like it. We probably was not necessary in general.”
That’s great. Now I can take my time to recuperate with the hope of no sudden calls to the front lines as I do so. “Thank goodness.”
“Thank goodness for what?”
“Just a small saying where I’m from.”
“Oh. What it means?”
“I’ll tell you later. I need some me-time right about now.”
“Fine. Hope you don’t forget to tell me.”
“Don’t worry, I will.” Time to return to some much-needed rejuvenation.