Ascension: Another Recruit

After inspecting the secret base, an old mine entrance beyond the port, Ishikawa squeezed in an unusual interview. In a warehouse, he sat at a folding table. On the other side of the table hulked a machine. He was familiar with the model. But the sight of one in a human-scale setting was startling, as was knowing that this noncon was undirected.

“Thanks for your help today,” he said. “I’m told that you want something in return.”

“Yes,” came a woman’s voice. It spoke slowly with random pauses. “I want information about my son.”

“I’ll get a researcher to help you. Anything else?”

“I want to enlist.” Ishikawa stared. “I saw the bodies in the city. I will fight the people who did it. I like to work.”

“The men we’ll fight—you can’t drive up to one, drill holes in him, stuff them with explosives and blow him up.”

“I need better tools.”

“You might get killed.”

“They killed me when they made me. Captain, may I ask a question? I’ve received a strange signal ordering me to wake up. But, I’m already awake.”

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