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- Ch.1: Conception
- Ch.2: Undertaking
- Ch.3: Initiation
- Ch.4: Comrades
- Ch.5: Dream
- Ch.6: Squads
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“Let not death be the formation of despair, for one man’s fall may just as well conceive another man’s rise.”

Chapter 1

“And so we lay to rest the fallen.”

The coffin was slowly lowered into the hole dug two meters into the ground. Men holding shovels piled the dirt back into the ground from which it had been removed.

After a few minutes, the solemn crowd dispersed, following the tracks they had left in the inch-high snow. Andrew Remarque stood before the grave. The epitaph read:

BORN JUNE 14, 1967, DIED DECEMBER 20, 2003

So that’s all he’ll be remembered for, thought Andrew bitterly. Being a mastermind of warfare.

Another man approached him with a strangely businesslike demeanor about his face.

“Tirus. Walk with me.”

The two began to walk through the foggy yard.

“Now that Flint is dead,” Tirus said silently, so as for others to not hear, “who will we have to replace him?”

“I’m not sure,” Andrew remarked, his mind still on the grave. “The White House hasn’t gotten back to me on that yet, actually.”

“Most unfortunate. It sounds like they’re leaving you to do all the dirty work.”

“They don’t trust me enough,” Andrew replied, lighting a cigarette and handing Tirus another.

“Thank you.” He accepted the cigarette. “Now, I don’t think you know, but I’ve had my committee put in a good word for you. The White House called me this morning, and told me that they were leaving the decision up to you.”

“Is that so…”

Andrew let the smoke escape from his mouth. He held the cigarette between his forefingers, and slowly it burned away.

“Well I have a good idea on who I’ll be using to head the operations then,” Andrew stated with finality in his voice. “There’s a boy. Fourteen years old, but he’s got quite some talent. We can use him.”

“What makes you think he’s fit for the job?” asked Tirus, putting his unlit cigarette between his lips.

“Need a light?” Andrew offered him the Zippo lighter.

“No thank you.”

“You need to take a puff of that sometime,” Andrew told him, placing it in his pocket. “You always leave it between your lips and never light it.”

“That’s my personal preference, one you are not to meddle in.”

“Of course. The boy I’m thinking is well-suited for the job. Responsible and devoted to his work. Not often sidetracked. He has minor flaws that might interrupt, however they may amount to nothing soon. Amazing leadership skills; he has a vice position on the council at his school.”

“Very good. I will come with you tomorrow to supervise this candidate.”

“Let’s hope he lives up to the task then.”

“Hey, I need another box of Hershey’s over here!”

Today was another sunny Tuesday afternoon in January. It was quite a hectic day at Norlane High School, where a large fundraising fair had been set up.

Among the crowd was a tall boy, wearing glasses, walking around the campus during the fair. Around his neck hung an ID card that read: Victor Chan, age 14, school councilor.

“Jacob, the candy stand needs more Hershey’s,” he announced loudly.

“Right away!”

The fair was taking place in the school’s main courtyard. Booths had been set up, and each was selling different types of merchandise. One stand was selling T-shirts, and another candy, and a third was even holding a raffle for different prizes.

Victor’s eyes traveled over to another boy, who was having trouble carrying a box of books. He was alone, stumbling over his own feet, and was apparently having a hard time.

“Here, let me help you with that,” said Victor, walking over and putting his hands beneath the box to support it.


“Hey Victor!” yelled Jacob. Victor turned around. “Someone’s here to see you, saying something about a delivery!”

“Oh right, I’ll be there in a second!” Victor replied.

They got to the bookstand, the other thanked him, and he caught up with Jacob.

“Yeah, they’re here,” he said. “They want to meet you in the conference room.”

“All right, thanks!”

“What’s the delivery?”

“A bunch of school supplies. We’re selling them at five.”

“Perfect, I needed a new pencil…”

Victor entered the school. Inside, it was quiet; a nice break from the hectic atmosphere of the fair. He walked along the halls. The conference room was just off the office area. He entered inside.

None of the men he recognized. The first, and most prominent of the two, was wearing a dark blue uniform. He had sharp eyes and a stern face. As Victor entered, he stood up. His single companion, however, remained sitting.

“Victor Chan.” His voice was gravelly, but clear and loud.

“Uh, am I in the wrong room?”

“Absolutely not. We were expecting you; please sit down.”

With a wave of his hand he indicated an empty seat at the long table. Victor sat down.

“So… this is the package?” he asked, looking at a cardboard box on the table. It was unmarked, which was strange considering it came from Office Depot. “Um, any paperwork I need to sign before I can take it?”

Something was wrong. The man’s companion smirked, and the man himself simply shook his head.

“Let me explain,” he said. “My name is Chief Petty Officer Andrew Remarque, and I am here on behalf of the United States White House.”

“The… the White House.”

“Right. I am here to offer you a job.”

“You… you mean you don’t have the school supplies from Office Depot.”

“No, we don’t. Did we disappoint you?”


“Let me continue.” He sat down. “Before we do, first of all, I’d like to tell you that anything that is discussed here will not leave this room.”

“Er, right…”

“The United States Army Reserve is looking for a leader for a small government organization that facilitates negotiations, in both peaceful and aggressive situations. You have the potential, and we want you.”

“Me? A leader for a—“

“Right. You will be training a group of soldiers in combat. We will advise you, but overall everything is your choice. You will be given all the necessary resources, without any cost on your behalf, to do this. And, you will no longer have to attend school.”

“What about my family?”

“They know. We’ve discussed this with them, and have assigned an assistant to help out at the Fish and Chips shop.”

“No, I mean… will I be able to see them?”

“Of course, why wouldn’t you?”

“Will I be living with them?”

“No. You will be given a large, comfortable military campus in the United States, where you and your trainees will reside together.”

“I see…”

“We have traveled a long distance to meet you, Mr. Chan. We only need your compliance, and you will be given the job.”

“Why… why me?”

“Because in you we see the necessary talents and leadership skills to guide such a crew. Your intelligence is beyond average, and your ability to command and persuade others without facilitating violence is admirable. You are a model that people look up to.”

“Uh, well it’s not always like that…”

“Yes, I know. Your social standing in school, while not entirely bad, isn’t perfect, and you have made enemies. But that is the way of life. There are people who will like you, and people who will not, because of your power.”

“I’m not sure…”

“The salary is quite nice. You earn roughly one million, thirteen hundred thousand dollars a year. That’s in Australian currency.”

Wow, that’s a lot of money, Victor thought. I can earn enough to live on my own in half a year…

“I dunno… what kind of people will I be training?”

“Boys, girls, men, women, an astonishing variety of people. From the most battle-hardened soldier to the most uneducated child, they will all be under your command.”

“I guess… but will I be able to visit my family?”

“Yes. You will be given leave five days per month to leave America and visit your family in Australia. All expenses will be paid for by the United States government, and any vacation days not used will be transferred over to the next month.”

“When do I start?”

If you decide to accept the job,” the man reminded Victor, “you will start on June the fourteenth. In six months.”

“Can I decline the job at any time I want?”

“Yes. You may decline the job at your discretion, if you feel you dislike it.”

“Then I have nothing to lose, right?”

“Right. I assure you, however, you will not be unsatisfied.”

“Then I accept.”

“Good.” He stood up, and so did the man standing beside him. Victor was momentarily startled; he had completely forgotten that he had been accompanied. In fact, during the conversation, the entire world around him had disappeared, except for the man. He didn’t even remember he was sitting in a chair until now.

Victor stood up as well.

“It was a pleasure doing business with you. Meet us again here on Friday, and we will explain more in-depth about the job.” He held out his hand, and Victor, almost reluctantly, shook it. “That box, by the way, has all of the information you’ll need. Open it when you get home; no one is to see its contents.” With a quick nod, he and his companion left.

Victor stood momentarily, and then smiled. “Fun,” he said to himself. “I’m a government goon.”

Victor picked up the box—which was quite heavy—and left the room. Standing just outside was a man in a brown UPS uniform, holding an even bigger box. He looked at Victor with a questioning eye, then said:

“Um, delivery for Victor Chan?”

“He accepted the job almost without question,” said Tirus as the two men walked through the school. “Somehow I don’t think he knows what he’s getting himself into.”

“Oh, he knows all right,” said Andrew, absentmindedly pulling a cigarette out of his pocket. “He knows, also, that he will enjoy his new job.”

“Can we agree with that?”

“Yes. We can. However, it may be some time, but he will be faced with a hardship. One that was ultimately the end of his predecessor.”

“Will he know about what happened to Flint?”

“As far as he is concerned, Gregory Flint doesn’t even exist.”


The Anime
Copyright @ 2006 Takeru Yamamoto, The Sons of Liberty Productions. All rights reserved.