Volume 11: Part 4- Vierdestad: Wednesday, October 26th, 10:25 A.M.

Wednesday, October 26th, 10:25 A.M.
After showering and getting myself ready for the day, I went downstairs to the lobby of The Redford.  My intent was to go outside and fine a patch of grass that might actually be comfortable to sleep on.  Unfortunately, same as yesterday, when the elevator doors opened at lobby level, there was Captain Ushtar waiting to meet me.  Not that I was dreading seeing him, but I just really wanted some fucking sleep.
Captain Ushtar greeted me warmly and said that his superior officer, Commander Lider, wanted to meet with me first thing in the morning.  I feigned excitement for what Ushtar told me, but I don't think I did it well.  I squeezed myself into Ushtar's car alongside the two other military men Rinoa and I had met, Private Mik and Private Dost.  Along the way to the military base, the two subordinate soldiers talked of seeing Rinoa and liking what they had seen.  Hearing Mik and Dost talk about Rinoa like that made me feel good.  Yesterday I would have felt down, knowing that I blew my chance with a highly desired girl.  Now I have a chance and they don't.  There's an evil quality to that I can either embrace, rid myself of, or ignore.  For once, ignorance is good.
When we got to the security structure, Captain Ushtar, Private Mik, and Private Dost went about their business, while I waited for Commander Lider.  Waited for Commander Lifer in the same fucking waiting room Rinoa and I had waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited for Commander Lider.  I didn't have to wait as long this time for the guy, but still, fuck waiting.
Once I was let into Commander Lider's office, he started talking to me.  "Okay, son, this is the day."  From behind his desk, Commander Lider thrust a manila folder out toward me.  "Take this to supply and get outfitted.  Then, head out to the assessment center for your physical skills and fitness test.  After that, head out to the range for a target skills assessment.  You'll be assigned to a new command officer who you'll report to after that's done."
I'm pretty sure my face conveyed what I said next.  "Ummm, what?"
"Come on, son, this is your assessment day."
"Assessment for what?"
"The military.  The Vierdestad Opfer Military."
The military?  I'd never really thought of it before.  Sure, my osher skills can be used for combat, but I was satisfied with using them to climb tall buildings and spy on girls.  "What makes you think I'd be a good candidate for the military?"
The look on Commander Lider's face matched the one I had when he thrusted the folder toward me.  "It doesn't matter if you're a good candidate, it's compulsory."
"Yeah.  Now get down to supply and-"
"No, what does that mean?"
"What does what mean?"
When I said that, the confusion on Commander Lider's face was replied with evident frustration.  "In Vierdestad, everyone is in the military.  Every able bodied opfer male over the age of eighteen is enlisted in the Vierdestad Opfer Military.  That is what compulsory means.  You are compelled to be a member of the military because you are an opfer male in Vierdestad."
In most situations, young men have no argument against something as weighty as compulsory military enlistment.  However, due to the conversation I had last night, I did.  "I don't plan to be here much longer."
There was a look on Commander Lider's face.  It was like what I had said and the things Rinoa and I wanted to do was a complete disappointment to him.  "Oh.  Well, then, how do you plan to get out of the city?"  Oh shit.  I hadn't thought of that.
"Oh shit.  I hadn't thought of that.  And, with the blockade, it might be kind of difficult."
"Yes, son, it will.  Look, I can't force you to stay in Vierdestad.  I can force you to be in the military, but I can't make you stay here.  Take a day, think about it, talk it over with Rinoa, then get back to me."
I took that as my cue to leave but not my cue to think things over again.  Ever since I left Moenia Prima, I knew, not only what I want to do, what I need to do.  The world needs to know about what's going on in Dolore.  The world needs to know so that they can put a stop to it.  Getting to Velas is my goal, the one thing I want most out of life.  I feel so close to accomplishing that goal now, and with Rinoa's help, I know it will get done.
Hato Shurtleff

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