Chapter 0:

The Numbers of a War

Violet: No. 02189


The sound of the bullets makes my eardrums ring.

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it…

My shoulders are heavy, and my fingers are going numb.

Arf…. Arf…

The dust and sand scattered by the wind of this ruin make me feel like I’m in a desert. If not for this “N.R.I.C.A” (Nano Robot Integrated Combat Armor) I’d be having serious trouble just breathing and maintaining my eyes open.

But, that’s all right, after all…



I’m only doing what needs to be done!

I automatically change my weapon’s magazine without even looking. My legs also move on their own to the next designated spot, guided by the flare whose light reflects on my helmet. I don’t even need to think. I just know the ones of Blue are my enemy. I’m a Violet after all… This is such an obvious thing that I don’t even need to mull over it.

I just need to pull the trigger and make the Blue disappear…

I know this is all I have to do but-


Why do I feel so empty?

I have everything I need back at home. I can watch my favorite series, eat my favorite food, I have the car I want, and even 02174, the woman I love.

Am I faltering because of the possibility of death? No, that’s not it! I was designated by Violet to do this job! There’s no way I could be so ungrateful!! I’m not like the Blue! I’m 02189!

The faceless man in a mechanic suit, much like all of the others in the combat zone, was homogenously moving from one position to another, instructed by a pin of light produced by the humanoid mech that was in the rear guard.

The whole battlefield was like clockwork. Everyone had their designated positions and had assigned tasks to do.

The light signals a new position. Then, the strikers secure the new spot, so the defenders create a barrier using the nano-bot shield, while the suppliers put down a re-supply rod, and finally, the strikers run and shoot down the enemy, after a while, they go back to the re-supply rod to recharge their armor and weapons. Rinse and repeat.

They would complete this cycle as many times as ordered without a fault or a hint of hesitation, and that was just the way things were supposed to be.

However, …

One man abandoned his spot, and ran…

He sprinted like no one else would dare to. Not for the designated spot, but to somewhere else.

For reasons not even he was sure of.

The mech that was leading the Violet regiment noticed the sudden movement of one of its soldiers and sent an alert message:

[Number 02189… Return immediately to your position!]

But the man kept running…

[Number 02189… You’re entering territory out of bounds!]

[I repeat… Number 02-]


“What am I doing!?”

That was the only thought the man had while ignoring all the warnings of his superiors and running away from his post.


A sudden sharp sound cut the warnings that were being transmitted.

After the sound, a projectile could be seen. Just in an instant, as it briefly scratched the sky drawing a line between the Violet mech that launched it and the fleeing soldier-


The sound of the impact was so loud and heavy that there’d be no doubt whatever was hit by that missile was completely and utterly destroyed.

A brief silence followed through the blast’s noise… only to be replaced by the expected machine gun buzz of the usual battleground.

The clash between Violet and Blue kept going on like nothing atypical had happened.

At the end of the day, a cease-fire was decided by the superiors. The surviving soldiers got back to their homes and the dead were collected, but none bothered to check the supposed remains of the runaway soldier.

Days passed by…

And new battles happened near that same battleground, but even so, no one came even close to the explosion crater where soldier number 02189 felled. Despite that, there was a body, inert and in the same spot for five whole days.

A body that wasn’t even supposed to exist in the first place, not only existed, but was also in one whole piece, the armor alone couldn’t possibly be able to withstand a strike of that scale, but regardless of all that… the man who should be reduced to mere cinders, now raised his torso from the ground and began to crawl out of the crater. He didn’t express so much as a single emotion while doing so, not even a grunt or a sigh of relief.

Number 02189 staggered through the night accompanied only by his crumbling armor, the fallen structures of the battlefield, and the moonlight. He then kept walking… Walking towards a completely unknown tomorrow… 

Saito Forester