a number of officers, including commander alexis and other high-level authorities, did not support the war. their reason was not one of morality or anything to do with righteousness. after all, an army of bandits did not need a reason to attack a planet or system.
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however, attacking without calculating the risk and consequences is a fool's errand. the federation was strong, and there was a strong possibility that even the entire valsalrian army combined would not be able to fully dominate them.
even if they did manage to conquer every territory and completely decimate the federation, doing so would leave the valsarian army weakened, giving other forces in the universe that hated them a golden opportunity to attack.
as a wise war commander, alexis knew that attacking the federation was like trying to boil the sea with nothing but a bonfire. that's why even when they were at war, those who were opposed to attacking the federation would try their best to steer clear from it.
unfortunately, the bastard officer whose son was killed had high authority in the valsalrian army. the war had been going on for hundreds of years and there was no sign of it ever slowing down. for the sake of having his revenge, that high-ranking officer had dispatched several good fleet commanders to battle and lost them all to the federation.
to counter anything and everything that the valsalrian army threw at them, the federation had formed a powerful counter-va army. that bastard high-ranking officer had lost every banner of soldiers he had to it.
using his power, he laid down the final order, forcing alexis and several other competent fleet commanders to join the front lines.
alexis' fate was sealed when the order came. he was to lead all of his soldiers to the front lines, providing support to the soldiers who had been fighting a losing battle.
"so, we are not joining as the main attack force, but to provide support? we'll be nothing but fodder!" said jiang fei, frowning at the decision.
"so be it. there is no escaping an order from above," said sarila with a heavy sigh.
"is there any way to reject the order?" asked jiang fei.
"orders are absolute!" barked sarila.
even though they were just a large army of bandits, not an organized nation, they were still governed by strict rules.
"we have rules for a reason. without rules and reason, we would be living with the animals," she added.
"so i've heard… what can we prepare for anyway?"
to prepare for a losing battle, jiang fei would need to be ready to face any kind of situation. he had been through this before, with the metahumans of japan, europe, and america. he might be young but he had gathered so much experience that it was a wonder how he was able to keep himself sane.
"nothing specific. our orders are to provide support. all we can do is to sortie every ship we have and wait for further instructions," said sarila.
jiang fei frowned. from his point of view, he was certain that 'providing support' was nothing more than being cannon fodder for the main attack force.
that bastard high-ranking officer didn't want to sacrifice his own soldiers, but was willing to sacrifice others without batting an eye!
"fei, this is life in the valsalrian army. no figure of authority in this army is selfless. keep your guard up at all times or you will be eaten alive," said sarila.
she was dead set on supporting jiang fei as he was her current savior-to-be.
jiang fei acknowledged her advice, "thanks… i'll try."
after sending bacca and caylon off to prepare themselves, he proceeded to a private training room in the academy. there, with the chronos accelerator set at max, jiang fei entered the room to calibrate himself.
now that jiang fei had officially become a ranked officer, he was allowed to use the training room by himself. in that highest setting, jiang fei extended two days of time to two months.
in that two month's worth of time, jiang fei had not gained strength, but instead managed to restore himself to his best condition. be it the core of will or his own power, jiang fei was at his prime, ready for a rigorous war.
sarila came into the training room to call for him, "fei, you're needed in the hangar bay."
"i understand," said jiang fei as he followed sarila out.
the ships of all shapes and sizes he had previously seen in the hangar bay were all gone. now, standardized patrol ships filled every docking bay. a sea of soldiers, all clad in armor and carrying weapons, were lined up in formation, ready to board their respective ships.
"all preparations are done. we will start the excursion at 1500 hours," said sarila.
jiang fei gasped as it was already 1pm then.
"that's just two hours away!"
"it is. father warned me never to disturb you unless necessary whenever you are in the training room."
"i see. never mind then. can we board the ship now?" asked jiang fei as the two arrived at alexis's personal boarding platform.
instead of the hypercruiser he knew, the platform was just a room with teleportation pads installed.
sarila pressed a button on the console panel and spoke, "boarding deck to redstone, do you copy?"
"redstone to deck, we hear you, miss sarila. what can we do for you?" someone replied instantly.
"requesting boarding sequence for two at the boarding deck. send us up!" said sarila.
"request confirmed. please hold. stay still for the teleportation sequence," replied the operator and in no time, particles of light formed around the pads as the indicator light flashed green.
"step into the pad and wait," sarila instructed.
"alright," jiang fei acknowledged and obeyed.
a second later, the particles of light swirled around both jiang fei and sarila, and the two appeared at the boarding docks of the hypercruiser called redstone.
"this is rather huge," said jiang fei when he stepped out of the pad and saw hundreds more teleportation pads.
"this is the commander's personal battleship. besides, commander alexis's specialty is his ground infantry. the need to send down or beam up soldiers very much needed to be improved," explained sarila.
"what kind of ship is a hypercruiser anyway?" said jiang fei. he had heard the term 'hypercruiser' many times but had never asked about it.
"redstone is a hypercruiser that is 1,250 kilometers long. it is armed with four darkmatter drive cannons and 150 antimatter auxiliary cannons. there are 45,000 ship personnel, not including the ground infantry of 25,000," explained sarila.
jiang fei gasped. "25,000? that many?"
he knew that alexis had a total of 45,000 soldiers under his command and his ship alone ferried more than half of that!
"but of course, how else would the commander exude greatness?"
"come, let's head to the bridge," said sarila as she led jiang fei to the control room.
the door to the bridge quickly slid open and the pair entered the bridge.
alexis greeted him as soon as he entered, "fei."
"commander," replied jiang fei.
the two exchanged a nod in greeting that every other personnel on the bridge noted. a status quo was quickly established with jiang fei and alexis holding the highest authority.
"sir, is there anything i am needed for?" asked jiang fei.
"no need. in this ship everything is being handled by the captain. we are just extras in the bridge," alexis spat with a loud laugh.