Standing on the debris of what was used to be the Tereme building, Eras stared at her clipboard as it popped up lists of the items that needed to be collected. She scoffed at the list. The owner left his company tower to fall and just about half of his workers dead, now he wanted the Retrievers to return his important data. If he wanted to save these so much, the man could’ve just taken them before he fled.
Eras kicked off some of the rocks and found a burnt body underneath. She cringed, but ordered her crew to dig up the place.
“It seems that the Valmas are gone. We don’t need to worry about anything.”
As they continued rummaging through the rubble, without the help of Eras since she was only acting as a search dog, they discovered half of the items on the list. Some of these Eras would keep in order to sell later. She wasn’t the cleanest person around here. She would be amazed at somebody working as a Retriever that had a clean record.
“Damn, they’ve really done damage in this city,” said Odin. “The VA usually keeps them at bay, but for the Valma to destroy half of the city. This is just crazy.”
“Yeah, and now people are getting mad and wondering ‘why aren’t the VAs protecting us’ and how ‘it is a waste of tax money on these people.’ Obviously, they don’t want the help, so why bother?”
He chuckled. “If our government had your mind set, I don’t know how we would survive.” Eras jabbed him in his side. “Ow! I’m just kidding!”
Odin was one of the new recruits. He was young and fresh out of college. It surprised Eras on why he joined to be a Retriever rather than becoming part of the Valma Annihilation team. If she could remember, it was a boy’s dream to join that or the military. It didn’t matter anyway, the pay for both jobs were somewhat equal.
He was around twenty-one years ago. He had unkempt crow-like hair that made Eras cringed every time she saw him. If only she had a hairbrush. Odin kept in touch with the latest technology and enjoyed spending his money on them. The new recruit was eccentric in his own little ways. He built a miniature robot from scraps left behind that followed him around. It didn’t do anything, but Odin enjoyed its presence. People often mistaken him as weak due to his soft nature and his malleable amber eyes. Though he had a wiry figure, he was the man who was put to work the most by Eras. Because of that, he wasn’t somebody to be underestimated when it came to sheer strength.
“Are you guys finished with the Tereme building?”
“We’re done ages ago.”
“Good, because that’s the last one for today.” She sighed. “This took longer than I expected. I wanted to go home before the sun sets.”
“The sun’s currently setting, if you hurry, you can go back before the moon reaches the sky.” He smiled.
“Right, my house is three hours away from this city.”
She finished off the list and handed it to Odin. He whined about always having to bring the work in, though he accepted it anyway. Eras walked out of the red zone, wired by yellow tapes that said, “Keep out.”
The tape was a bit old fashion, but the lasers weren’t going to be there any time soon. Plus, there was a school near the mess and the governor here had the balls to continue school days. Eras couldn’t afford to have kids messing around her workplace. She ambled to her car, clicking her smart key to open the door. It was a black Yeol model car. It wasn’t a sports car and that currently made Eras sad. She needed a fast car to get home right about now. Her car was a hybrid and the security was good enough to not get it stolen, so it was okay for Eras.
Entering her car, her phone ticked on and blared a familiar ringtone. It was Bandaar who was calling her. She sighed, switching the call onto the speakers of her car. “What do you want, Bandaar?”
“Hey, Eras, just calling in. Where are you right now?”
“Revo.” She set to an automatic drive, setting the destination to her home.
“Ah, that’s the last attack of the Valmas…”
“So, tell me, what the hell has the VAs been doing? This is the first time half of a city has been obliterated. I thought you guys were supposed to be doing the annihilation, not them.”
“Well, that’s one reason why I called you. It seems that the Valma have finally deployed another their elite soldier. It hurts me to tell you this, but we did not kill the Valma.”
“I’m sending you the pictures.”
“Wait a minute. Did I hear you correctly? The Valma is still alive and out on Earth? And there was only one of them that caused this chaos?”
“That’s what I said.”
The uploads completed and the pictures popped up onto her screen. She examined it, scoffing. “I supposed even human technology can’t stop a rampaging mecha.”
The Valma had been playing with the humans for quite a long time. This was the first time they had ever gotten serious. Or at least that was Eras’ theory. She zoomed in on the picture, checking out all the weapons and mechanics it had. It was about seven feet tall and had a melancholy blue painted on. Bandaar sent her a footage of the mecha’s capacity. The machine was equipped with laser guided rockets, a material beam that required a lengthy charge up but it was probably the reason for most the damage, and a few automatic guns to eliminate the small fries. This wasn’t like the other mecha that she fought.
“I’m amazed that something this big hasn’t been discovered yet.”
“So do I. It escaped after it released this fog. I don’t know how it left within the small zone of the fog, but I believed that it went underground. Although we’ve checked every tunnel underneath Revo and yet still no sign of it.”
“You’d think the Valma got teleported back to their ship.”
“That’s my next guess.”
“Well, in any case, this ain’t my problem. I was only there to pick up the scraps.”
Bandaar frowned, oblivious to Eras, replying, “Our research about the Valmas has significantly decelerated ever since you left, Eras. You were the first person who captured one of these aliens alive.”
“Oh, thanks for reminding me. How is Geo? Is he dead yet?”
“No, he is not. We’re not that careless. Although he hasn’t answered any of our questions.”
“I’d expected the Valma Researching team to crack open his skull and find nothing useful with his brain.”
“You were the only person he’d talk to. If you hadn’t left, maybe we could’ve found out about who the Valmas are and maybe even their culture.”
“Yeah, waste my time doing that just so the VA can go and wipe them out.” Eras closed out the photos and footages, she was tired of them. “If you don’t have anything else to say to me, then I think we’re done here. I need a nap.”
“Well, there is another thing. My son’s seventeenth birthday is coming up.”
“And you want me to be there?”
“Roland respects you, and I also think he just wants to listen to more of your stories.”
“I’ll go if I have the time.”
“You got nothing else?”
“Then I’ll talk to you later.”
She ended the call, pushed down her seat, and slept through the three hour ride.
The car stopped abruptly, shaking Eras back to reality. She groaned, feeling a slight headache. She was home. The garage door was closing. The light turned on as she exited the car. Treading out of the garage and into her living room. She laid down on the couch. The woman was far too sleepy to squander her remaining energy. It was nighttime, she needed to go to sleep.