Chapter 1- The Prototype
March 3rd, 2030
Six o'clock, ET (Eastern Time)
"Hup! Hup!" Captain Yakuze yelled at my troop. "Keep going! Keep going, men!" He started to clap to encourage us. Then he stopped and pulled me over.
"Jatson," Cap. Yazuke exclaimed at me. "We need to talk."
"Sure, Captain," I responded. "When?"
"After warm-ups if you're free. Major Roads doesn't need you?"
"I don't believe so. Last time I needed to go to him was sometime last month."
Cap. Yakuze patted my back. "Good. I don't want to see you there anymore, understood?"
I nod my head. "Yes, Captain."
I did my usual warm-up with my troop, Troop #101. I'm a Sergeant First Class leader. Sergeant Jatson Timothy King is my name, but my friends call me Jat for short. I'm not a perfect soldier; I had to talk with Major Roads, which isn't a privilege. Just because I accidentally forget to turn off the sink with it plugged up, I have to talk to the Major. Anyways, Captain Yakuze is my troop head. He's First Sergeant. He's also kind of old, but that isn't a problem to me. Cap. Yakuze is basically my private mentor. Some of my friends make me call him "Grandpa," which makes me annoyed. He's only fifty five, which isn't that old. I'm twenty, about to turn twenty one in a month or two.
"This way," Cap. Yakuze pointed. He was leading me inside to the "Special Purposes" building, a building that I've never been in before. I've been in this camp for two years already, and I've never been inside this building, because I wasn't allowed to.
Once I enter, it smells like a Dentist's Office; that minty-fresh-toothpaste smell. Cap. Yakuze leads me deeper into the building, and the smell drifts away each forward step we take. We finally stop at a door, oddly placed at a corner in the hallway.
When I walk in, I see Ben McCary and June Thomas, fellow soldiers in my Field. They aren't a Sergeant First Class like I am; in fact, Ben is a Sergeant, and June is a Staff Sergeant.
Major Roads is with them; he's a forty year old African American with an almost bald head. He's 6'4 with a muscular build.
Once Ben sees me, he immediately complains, like always. "He's here too? Great. I'm out." Ben attempts to exit the room, but Maj. Roads stops him.
"I don't think so, McCary," Maj. Roads says smartly.
Ben has always had a rivaly with me, since my first year. He still hates me from when I flooded our bedroom, when we were roommates. He looks more muscular since I last saw him, a sure sign that he wants to rank up. Ben is 6'1, and growing slowly. He's an American with a determination to be the best that he can be, which is good for a solder. I glance at his head, which reveals to be that he shaved his hair.
June on the other hand, is much nicer. That could be because she's a girl, but I don't want to be sexist. She has long, brown hair, with some freckles on her cheeks. She's wearing a green military cap with a green t-shirt and blue jeans. We've talked before, and when we did, I always tense up and stutter my words. I have no idea why. Hopefully time will tell.
Maj. Roads nods at Cap. Yakuze, welcoming him. "Captain Yakuze," Maj. Roads says.
"Hello, Major Roads," Cap. Yakuze responds.
Ben slumps over in annoyance. "If we're here to do something, can we do it?" He says impatiently.
"Of course. Thank you for reminding me, McCary," Maj. Roads says. "Men," he pauses, noticing that not all of us in the room are men. "and women." June smiles.
"I've called you here to talk to you about something that's... important, I should say," Ben, June and I all tense up.
Maj. Roads continues. "This is about the "Prototype-01 project". The three of you are candidates for it, the first humans. I would consider this a great honor, but you can think of it otherwise. All you are doing is getting into a suit and possibly using it in battle, afterall. But nonetheless, it is still an important task. So, without further ado, we will begin."
"Begin what?" I ask. I see June's eye sparkle at me.
"One of you will be put into a suit today, as a test," Maj. Roads implies. He walks over to a door, and opens it. In it is an 8 foot suit, colored blue and purple. It has wings on the side of it's shoulders, with a shining light where the belly button is.
We stare at it in awe. All the suit does is glow green light.
"So," Maj. Roads says as he claps his hands together. "Which one of you will volunteer to try out the suit?"
I thought of what could go wrong. I didn't even know the mechanisms of it, so how would I know?
Nobody says anything for a few seconds, until June volunteers.
"I'd like to try it," she says confidently with the raise of her hand.
"Very well," Maj. Roads says with a nod of his head. "June, come with me for a few minutes. We will talk through the preperation. Meanwhile, you guys just hang out." He pointed at Cap. Yakuze, Ben and me. He took June inside the room with the suit, closing the door behind him.
Silence followed with Maj. Roads's muffled voice behind the door. Then Ben broke it.
"What do you think she has to do?" Ben asks me.
"Probably something crazy," I respond. We laugh. Then June comes out with Maj. Roads.
"Boy, that was quick!" Ben exclaims.
June walks over to our far right, next to a surgical table that is spread eagle. She secures herself in it, with the help of Maj. Roads. I notice that her feet hang of the edge of the table and are bare.
"The preperation is simple," Maj. Roads explains. "Each body piece of the suit will be placed on her, while she is on the table. The pieces will come down from above, and secure their place on June. Because of this, she cannot move while the pieces come down, for that messes up their alignment."
I notice metal straps on the table, with June's limbs through them. "McCary, King, please strap June down while I calibrate the machine above."
We do as he says. As I strap June's foot and calf down, I can see that they're tight on her. Her calf is turning white due to the loss of blood flow. I then strap her arm down, and I catch her wince for a second.
"The machine is calibrated," Maj. Roads says. He walks over to the table. "Everything feel right, June?"
"A little tight, but yeah. OK, I guess."
"Excellent. We'll continue then." He presses the button, and the headpiece of the suit comes down onto June's head. A breathing sound like Darth Vader's is made as the head secures it's place on June. Then, each of the other pieces come down and lock on June.
"Very good," Maj. Roads congratulates. He presses another button on the machine's controls, and the table is moved from being flat to being up.
"June, can you hear me?" Maj. Roads asks.
June's voice is slightly lower for a girl and more buffed. "Yes, Major."
"Good. I will now release the straps from the table. You'll be able to move on your own."
"Understood." Maj. Roads does as he says, and releases the straps.
June falls to the ground in the suit, only to have the suit's legs catch her. She stands up with a mechanical sound accompanying her.
"Wow, this feels good!" June says with excitement. Maj. Roads runs some tests with her in it, like moving her arm or ler leg. Everything seems to work perfectly.
When June gets out of the suit, Maj. Roads says some extra things to us.
"Once the suit is calibrated to you, and only you, you won't need to use a table to get into it. The suit will open up apon the hearing of it's name, and it will open up. The same way works for exiting the suit."
"What is this suit's name?" June interrupts.
"Oh, this suit doesn't really have an actual name yet. We call it, "P-Automaton."
"May I name it?" She asks like a child.
"Yes, please do! I was just going to ask you that. To name the suit, go inside it, then press the blue button hidden in your arm. You need to say it's name first."
She gets in the suit, then says it's name.
"P-Automaton." The blue button hidden in her arm is shown by a flap that covered it before.
"Great! You may now name it," Maj. Roads says with excitement.
June presses the blue button, then says, "Atomuton."
"So this is the Atomuton Suit, eh?" Maj. Roads comments.
"Sure is," June says from inside the suit. "You can call it 'Atom' for short." She gets out of it.
"I think that this was a masterful test for a suit. Boys, would you like to try?" Maj. Roads says to Ben and me.
---------------------------------END OF CHAPTER 1---------------------------------
- Yakuze = ya-cuse-ee (rhymes with jacuzzi)
- Jatson = Jatt-son
- McCary = Mc-Carrie (rhymes with mary)
- Atomutan = Aaa-tom-uh-ton