Chapter 4:


Aether: Sin

The Foxtrot Division.

A team of soldiers designated to carry out unique tasks.

Tasks others wouldn’t dare to carry out. Myself included.

And as the hypocrite I am, I still continue to support them.

I ride with them. I fight with them. I argue with them.

You ask why?

Look carefully...

I've already answered.

As the clock strikes softly to symbolize the middle of the night, Kato takes off his mask that covers his face, as he sits on the back of a long-stretched creature. The creature’s teeth were as long and sharp as a saber-toothed tiger, with its ears and fur resembling that of a fox. Its legs were as sturdy as a horse, and its paws were as tough as a lion. This type of creature could be burdened with many different names. A spirit. A blessing. An abomination.

However, in this world, humans have simply given them the name - “Foxtrot”.

“Easy there, buddy. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten me already,”

Randall Okoda, mounting the same type of creature, strides along towards Kato.

“You still talk to it like a pet, Kato?...”

“Not as a pet, but as a companion. They aren’t mindless things like the baerons that the Alpha squad uses.”

“That’s exactly why they use them, though…unlike creatures, technology is much easier to maintain…”

“And unlike technology…

Kato glances directly into Randall’s eyes.

“ aren’t fighting alone,”

Randall pauses, and then nods.

Suddenly, many of the soldiers turn their heads towards the incoming party.

Randall: “Commander is now on the field! ATTEN-TION!”

Everyone in the Foxtrot Division now stands at immediate attention, as their commander slowly strides in along with three of the lieutenants. The rest of the soldiers are left standing in salute towards their leader…all except Kato.


Imeni: “Seriously, you couldn’t have eaten earlier?”

*chew chew*

“What’s the rush? Don’t tell me you’re still scared, Imeni?”

Kato slowly turns his head…and looks directly into Quinn Ventura’s eyes as she waltzes up to him, mounted on top of her own foxtrot. Quinn then stretches her hand with the fruit she is currently eating, and leans in directly under Kato’s face.

“Want the rest?”

“, thank you,”

Quinn smiles brightly as she looks up towards Kato, before throwing the fruit away and taking the commander position in front of the main gate. This large gate was seated atop the great Mount Gamajora…the impenetrable mountain that separates the humans from their enemies.

Quinn takes a deep breath.

“Okoda!…explain in detail,”

Randall then turns around with his foxtrot, and faces the rest of the division soldiers, including Kato.

“As you all know…we were attacked only a short while ago by a group of minotaurs…and the Alphas did their job in stopping them from entering our lands…even as they lost a lot of their soldiers in the process…”

The soldiers look down in sadness.

“The King asked me to personally see to the remaining members of the group that camp just outside valley of Sith…the Shikari have reported they are yet to pass through the Scorch as they did before, meaning they are surely preparing for another attack while our Alphas are still recovering…”

Kato looks up at the main gate, as the light from the main gate sensor begins to whir around in order to complete roll call.

“Although I know why he asked this of me…I simply could not forsake my honor as a member of this unit…I am Lieutenant Randall Okoda of the Foxtrot Division…and to me…that comes before my clan’s responsibilities…”

The soldiers begin to jeer quietly in pride.

“And so…I ask you all…are you willing to fight with me?”

The soldiers erupt in jeers. Imeni quickly quiets them down by unsheathing her boomerang.

Randall turns around once more. His face remains as cold and lifeless as usual, but his heart was stirred nonetheless.

“Well then…let’s ride…”

Quinn holds out her hand to signal the wall guard to begin the roll call. The sensor then turns its light towards the division soldiers, and begins to scan each of them.

- F*, Quinn Ventura -

Quinn glides her tongue across her gums and grits her teeth tightly, before smacking her face with her hands to prepare herself thoroughly for what’s to come.

- F1, Randall Okoda -

Randall, who was situated right behind Quinn, tightens and twists his abdominal muscles three times, before bloating out a gas that comes through his mouth as a dark purple odor.

- F1, Imeni Suocca -

Imeni puts her boomerang back in its sheath once more, and looks directly in front of her. In that moment, her eyes were as focused as they could possibly be. 

- F1, Jason Beratio -

Jason continues to remain quiet and keep his eyes closed, which he had been doing since he arrived at the top of Mount Gamajora. However, everyone knew it was to ensure that his focus was precise, as he cocks his rifle to symbolize that.

- F1, Faeko Ashigake -

- F1, Emilia Ashigake -

Faeko and Emilia glance at each other softly, as they both hold the helms of their swords tightly. They then glance at Kato, who softly strokes the fur of his Foxtrot as he keeps to himself.

- B377, Kato Izana -

Kato looks up towards the gate as it begins to open slowly. He then puts on his mask in the same manner as the rest of the soldiers. The wall guard begins to softly jeer them on from above, as the Foxtrot soldiers, fifty in number, slowly stride into the passage. 

“You guys got this!”

“We’re rooting for you, Quinn!”

As Quinn looks out towards the large and steep south side of Mount Gamajora, she takes in the air that surrounds her and her soldiers. It reeks of death from the hard-fought battle just a few days ago. She puts on her mask carefully, in order to make sure it doesn’t block out her senses.

Quinn: “May the gods help us…”

Quinn then lifts her fingers, and uses her index and middle finger to signal a forward motion.

And so…it begins.