Pocket Legends: Neo Mages
Episode 5: United Alterra
Chapter 3: Liberators

Rosella: “Hey, you awake?”
I must have dazed out during the previous lecture hours ago. Slowly shaking my head, I proceeded to my nearest locker and grabbed my personal belongings. My identification book, a field uniform and a recent photo of Cinnamon with Thompson. A grinning Ursan with his dress uniform. On the other hand, my little sister who wasn’t looking so optimistic.
Rosella: “Surely the agency would have sent us to the front lines…”
We continued passing down the hall after we exited the locker room.
Rosella: “Guess not. Better to sabotage and form guerrilla groups than getting hit by artillery!”
Angela: “That doesn’t mean we can avoid it.”
Rosella: “Yet you made it out, didn't you?”
I still looked down, as I cared little of what she had to say.
Rosella: “Hey, don’t act so special. We’re all part of a team, and we’ll do better than what we did back years ago.”
Angela: “...”
Rosella: “We’re gonna have to meet with the lieutenant soon. You’ll reunite with your sister some day.”
These days, it’s very difficult to send letters or valuables back to our families. Spies from the UUSR could steal valuable information and report to their headquarters. The photo I had earlier held no suspicious elements, and it was one of the very few I could achieve from my friends.
Angela: Will she get mad when she finds out? I could have easily refused the offer, but how are we supposed to live ourselves peacefully from the Crimsons?
Stepping down to the field, there were a couple of agents sitting on benches under the trees. Normally we would be taught inside classrooms, but it was better for us to get better sunlight than staying indoors for too long.
Lieutenant: “Dragunov is getting closer than we think.”
He laid out the map with a couple of photos, pointing at the red marks.
Lieutenant: “Crimson forces have been supplying the guerillas underground since the bloody protest between the crocs. Can’t underestimate their feud.”
As he kept speaking about the incompetent leadership between the McCrocs and the Scalefields, I don’t recall a single agent dozing off in a lecture. Unlike in the Army or the Navy where citizens have to serve, the Diamond Executive Agency was voluntary. Despite this, the process was much more difficult. Achieving data from enemies was part of the key for military success.
Lieutenant: “But that won’t stop us from intervening.”
A photo revealed to be a group of resistance members holding carbines and submachine guns. Few of them were of crocodile descent.
Lieutenant: “Non croc-communities have been constantly harassed for days from both cliques. However, never have I seen a general so idiotic to dump his divisions in their doormats. Keep in mind, their swamps are… We’ll say insanity at least. While all of you avoid getting shot and mosquito bites, be sure to take your pills daily.”
Observing a couple of us that were patiently waiting for him to speak, the lieutenant smiled.
Lieutenant: “This is why all of you ladies are here. To prevent spreading the fire.”
A woman with a couple of scars in her face raised her hand.
Agent: “Permission to speak, lieutenant.”
Lieutenant: “Yoke Resha.”
She must’ve been a member of the Alterran Diamonds at a very young age.
Agent: “Is there a future possibility for both McCrocs and the Scalefields to reunite against United Alterra?”
He paused for a second.
Lieutenant: “They are well equipped. At the moment, we have no reports of both crocs showing interest in raising hostilities. In fact, there has been a case of a message being sent to Wyldwood not long ago.”
Rose then raised her hand. She also had a nickname that the diamond agents prefer to use when being deployed. Our first names link up with the phonetic alphabet the humans once used. A thought then popped up in my mind.
Lieutenant: “Roger Resha?”
Rosella: “Was it really the Air Force that sabotaged the planes in Wyldwood to raid the airbase in Medved?”
Lieutenant: “Crimson tanks would be rolling by now if the Elf Queen did so. The Army sent their special team to find out what it actually is.”
A hand was raised.
Lieutenant: “Able Resha?”
I spoke bluntly while being expressionless.
Angela: “When do we get to kill Dragunov?”
A couple agents snickered like I was making a stupid joke. The lieutenant frowned and shook his head in disappointment.
Lieutenant: “The Diamond Executive Agency doesn't win stupid games nor get stupid prizes. You will end up joining the bodies of Neo Mages if you ever thought of that.”
I can tell Rosella was looking at me if I was acting weird. While feeling a bit foolish and angry for not thinking straight, the lieutenant showcased a photo of a fully armed Ursan holding a M1 Garand.
Lieutenant: “The Legend of Alterra. Or as the Crimsons once refer to him as the Hero of Rushia. Anyone know him?”
Hearing the title, all of us raised our hands.
Lieutenant: “Right now, he’s in a special unit known as the Liberators. Former veterans that survived from Camp D.A have now earned the right to fight back against Dragunov’s forces.”
I smirked at the sight of Andropov's face.
Angela: He isn’t going to quit until the day he dies.
Lieutenant: “Some of you may think he was born a nobody and was shoved into the frontlines like an average low trained recruit. Now… Can anyone tell how a young Ursan like him possibly performed well in the Second Battle of the Ursan Mountains?”
Angela: “Lieutenant, he served in the Crimson Air Force at the time when he became an adult. He then joined the army with his battalion commander. The Ursan who led to Balefort-”
Disturbed by such traumatic memories. I immediately became disturbed. My eyes started to grow tense as gunfire erupted and explosions roared. Rose noticed me and held my shoulder for comfort. The lieutenant nodded and looked back to the other agents.
Lieutenant: “All of you will complete your objectives. It’ll save both of your lives. I’m assured of this.”
Staring at the ceiling of the upper bunk bed, tears would not stop rolling down while I was already laying down in the night. My hands were about to grasp the air, as if I was ready to strangle someone.
Angela: Dragunov… It’s all your fault. Just YOU WAIT!

To Be Continued…