Time is an ambiguous thing.
Luon stared blankly at the night sky from his room, watching the stars that were the only sources of light in this near pitch black cityscape. In the distance, this youth appeared with an enigmatic expression, deep in thought and at a loss.
As if he was dislocated from the world, everything around him appeared entirely foreign.
Luon’s appearance is similar to a typical Asian man, thin, slightly robust with lightly tanned skin, and a bit handsome. His raven black hair although short defied gravity to some extent giving it a somewhat spiky look. What made Luon stand out the most, however, were his eyes, a rare sight never before seen in normal humans. His eyes had a bluish golden hue which seems to emit a soul-piercing gaze.
“Status,” Luon muttered as he peers over to his wrist as a holographic window is displayed from a slim metallic wrist-watch.
[Federation ID: NEX-6854BP]
[Combat Level: 31]
[Racial Skills: Quickness, Night Vision, Mana Affinity]
[Active Skills: Wind Magic Lv2, Reinforcement Magic Lv2, Mana Manipulation Lv2]
[Passive Skills: Swordsmanship Lv3, Parallel Thoughts Lv3, Eye of Insight Lv4]
[Species Knowledge Evaluation: 287/1000]
[Technical Knowledge Evaluation: 540/1000]
[Monthly Salary Evaluation: 1597 Galaxia Coins]
[Recommended Job Paths: Engineer, Soldier, Commander]
Biometric Magicite Processing Unit, also known as BMPU. This device is the equivalent of an advanced version of a cellphone, a miniature computer, and government identification in an all-purpose device created by the Novera Corporation.
Luon turned off the device and closed his eyes. Today was his first day in this world. Luon began to ruminate over the events that had happened only moments before his memory amalgamated.
Luon Fate was an outstanding engineer with a strange obsession with knowledge and books.
Earth during the era he was in had entered the earliest stages of space development and economic reorganization. Many countries around the world had ceased open hostilities against one another due to the rate of depleting available resources around the globe.
North America, in particular, had a huge advantage in the study of Aerospace with the sudden emergence of a certain particular company, Novera Corporation.
No one knew of the origin of the Novera Corporation, from how they manage to get numerous amounts of investors to the foundation of their technology, people didn’t notice its existence until they declared their first major project to the world.
The colonization of Mars and the development of Space Colonies.
With the press release held with an assembly of major news companies, the world was overwhelmed by the presentation. Novera Corporation CEO, Yuji Ichihara had claimed that they have already migrated a portion of their staff to Mars.
The colonization project had gone underway without anyone knowing it, the current population on Mars was merely a few hundred people, but that alone surprised people since no other competitor had even safely traveled to Mars yet.
Yuji declared that their state of the art space shuttle used to travel to Mars was safe and allowed humans to travel in space freely within two months of distance. He also declared that within the next ten years that the time it would take will be shortened in half and the number of people it harbored would substantially increase.
After the conference the stocks for the Novera Corporation went up and like the flames in a bonfire consistently fueled with oil, it was unstoppable.
Numerous applicants requested to partake in this venture and among these people were Luon Fate’s parents.
Rina Fate and Kane Hung were engineers from a development firm that was heavily under-budget. When the firm closed down, they immediately applied upon seeing the news of Novera Corporations uprising. They luckily managed to get a position in the research and development department.
When Luon was around 6 years old, his parents had brought him to watch the departure of Novera Corporation’s third-generation space shuttle, “The Canaris” ferrying over 10 000 people to Mars.
“Wow! Mom, Dad, look at its soooo big! Bigger than when it was on TV!” Luon exclaims as he jumps and points at the colossal spaceship like a restless overhyped child on concentrated sugar.
“Now, now Luon calm down the space shuttle isn’t going anywhere yet,” Rina says as she blushes at how childish her son was being, especially when the surrounding people are smiling wryly at the sight of him monkeying around.
“Luon, what do you think of the space shuttle your Mother and I help built?” Kane asks curiously.
Although Kane felt proud as one of the developers of the space shuttle, this task had consumed numerous amount of hours, and he and his wife had neglected the poor lad for quite some time.
Luon stopped and gave it some thought, he then turned to face his Father and said with a refreshingly sweet smile, “Hmm… I think it’s cool and it helps a lot of people, so it’s amazing!”
Kane and Rina looked at each other and smiled, making them feel accomplished in their work. Kane then turned to face Luon again and asked, “Then do you want to grow up and come work with your Mother and me to make big, cool spaceships at Novera Corporation?”
“Yeah, I want to work there too! Novera Corporation is super cool, they make awesome things and, and…” Luon quickly replied and then began to think of other good things to say.
‘Novera Corporation is super cool, that also means I must be the coolest dad for working there,’ Kane thought.
But Kane’s thoughts were quickly interrupted with what Luon said next with an energetic eureka face, “And… They have tons of money. They have sooo much money that they can buy tons and tons of books! They can have so many books, that if I were to work there, I could read all I want for the rest of my life!”
“…” Rina and Kane had no idea how to reply to that ignorant compliment. More importantly, they began to worry about their child’s education.
‘Why would they spend all their funds on books for you? They’re a space development company, and why should they let you waltz right in and read them if you were to work there? Do some work if you work there.’ thought Kane.
Kane then coughed in an attempt to get rid of the awkward silence, he smiled and said, “Well work hard then and remember to read a lot of educational books to become really smart. That way you can make any of your dreams come true.”
“Yeah!” Luon and his parents then glance at the space shuttle as it began to take to off.
‘I’m going to work hard on my dreams.’ Luon thought as he watched the shuttle take off in the distance with a determined gaze.
But what was Luon’s dream? His parents didn’t know what Luon does at home alone, little did they know that this act of negligence led to him developing a weird thinking process.
Luon loved books when he was young. His parents introduced to him to a various amount of genres hoping that he wouldn’t feel too lonely and that he would grow smart on his own.
Because of this Luon read any genre of books, from picture books to biographies, but his favorite type of book were novels, especially informal web novels and light novels. Maybe because it was simple to read, or it was interesting, or perhaps because some had pictures – he dove into a wild world of nonsense.
Giant robots wars, human cultivators harnessing qi energy to topple mountains, stories based on mythologies, holy wars between angels and demons, humans reincarnating or transported to another world doing either extreme acts of terrorism or nothing at all.
All of this gibberish had utterly influenced his mind. Of course, he also enjoyed the anime adaptations of his favorite novels, as for drama adaptations he couldn’t get in the mood to watch them as they were too realistic for him and didn’t seem appealing.
As for his school life, there’s nothing much to say, because of these influences he made friends with a small number of people. And as for his grades due to his fast reading pace that he has trained over the years, his already superior memory, and also because of his wisdom he gained from seeing plot holes in books, he graduated top of his class and managed to get a position in Novera Corporation as an engineer.
Not just anyone can get a job in Novera Corporation by being smart, however, in Luon’s case he wasn’t just smart, he had an abnormal obsession of reading books and applying theoretical knowledge to practical appliances – this made him even more valuable than the others.
Even after Luon joined Novera Corporation, he continued to create a various amount of random gadgets. To make these random gadgets he did many strange things making everyone think that he’s a weirdo.
Like creating a device in the shape of a monocle to determine the statistics and properties of random animals or humans so he can help his friends discover the opposite genders 3 sizes.
While he was researching about the fictional Qi energy from martial art novels, he trained at a Buddhist temple and managed discovered a new type of energy particle.
He also made random 1/100 scale models of cool robots that can battle each other on a tabletop simulator for kids to play with and a rechargeable plasma rifle that can shoot through walls, so he didn’t have to walk around it.
Despite his accomplishments he never had any intimate relationship with the opposite gender, his antics and taste were too strange for any of them to be interested in him, and he didn’t really care too much about others as well – the existence of books comforted him instead.
Everyday Luon spent it joyfully. He would spend half the day reading books and the other half either sleeping or creating something at his workplace. Norvera Corporation happily took several of
his inventions and developed more practical and marketable versions of them, of course with his permission.
Norvera Corporation had ventured into space for several decades with the advancement of many new technologies. Luon’s parents had retired after making many contributions. They’re now traveling around the world spending their time sight-seeing and being lovey-dovey.
However, when Luon turned 27 years old, his joyful life came to an end.
Luon was sitting on a chair on his break day drinking some coffee and reading a book. While casually listening to the news on the TV, a very critical news report appeared.
“Breaking news, This is *** speaking, and we have reports of an unidentified insect-like alien race approaching our Solar System, a group of convoys from Mars had attempted to make communication with this race and were openly slaughtered. The government had just announced their intentions of developing a military space division…”
Beep Beep Beep
Luon looked at his phone and saw it was his department supervisor at Novera Corporation calling him, and he picked up the phone.
“Hello Luon, it’s me, Mason, did you see the news report on channel **?” Mason replied in a slightly timid tone.
“Yeah, the news about an unidentified insect right? Is it something significant enough to call for on my day off?” Luon says in a monotone voice and frowns as he started to think that the upcoming news wasn’t going to be good. He began to consider handing in a resignation letter as soon as possible.
Mason is a very outgoing man with a loud voice. For him to speak so timidly on the phone – this began to increase Luon’s worries with every passing second.
But before Luon can begin to doubt him any further, Mason replied, “The government calls them Inzektors, but don’t worry about that.”
Mason continued in a more serious tone, “So it’s like this, the corporation has been requested by the government to provide assistance. They want us to develop weaponry and perform maintenance and to do so the corporation also wants us to go to frontlines.”
“What? Why couldn’t we develop weapons on Earth where it’s much safer?” And where there are books, although he didn’t mention it the thought itself made Luon frown – Going to Mars is almost the same as traveling to a desolate area without internet.
Mason powerlessly laughed at Luon’s remark. “Are you an idiot? Earth’s resources are on the brim of extinction, and if we were to develop more weapons, we would need to ship it from Mars, manufacture it and then ship it back, the round trip itself will already take a week. Do you really think we have that time to do so during the war with an unknown species? Also, don’t think about quitting. The government just made it mandatory for engineers to participate if they were under the age of 35.”
Luon’s plan to quit has already been burned to dust before he can even apply it. Luon then thought about what Mason said last and asked. “Why would the government want Engineers under the age of 35? Shouldn’t they recruit some more experienced engineers?”
“They want some young engineers. The government isn’t sure how long this war is going to take, and there is the risk of attacks when going to the frontline. They want every engineer to experience combat training to fend for themselves while they’re on Mars. The old folks wouldn’t be able to handle such training at that age.” Mason replied after giving it some thought.
“Anyways I told you all you need to know, so pack up and say your goodbyes, the situation is urgent so we will be leaving in 3 days” Mason hangs up the call on that remark.
Luon slowly moves the phone from his ear and stares blankly at it. A desolate life with only combat-related manuals, forced training, and slavery manufacturing.
After the war had officially started, Luon was thrust into many different battlefronts and on numerous occasions nearly died. These occurrences, as if God wanted him dead, added up to seven times.
The Inzektors were intelligent and attacked the many manufacturing facilities situated around Mars, despite humanities efforts they were still unable to communicate with the intelligent species, and a heavy blood grudge was forged between these two races.
Although cats are said to have nine lives, Luon wasn’t a cat and faced death on the eighth attack when he was repairing a plasma turret. An Inzektor had flown in at high speeds and ram itself into it.
The impact had knocked Luon off his feet, and the back of his body landed vigorously on the floor.
A shard from the same plasma turret flew upwards in the sky, and then it began to descend due to gravity. And as if some mysterious force willed it, impaled his stomach.
Luon puked blood upon the impact, and within moments he was on the brink of death.
He began to recall his loving family, and then he started to regret being an unfilial son. Luon wrote very few letters to his family during the war with the Inzektors, but his worse sin is that he didn’t leave any descendants for his parents. They never got to see their grandchildren.
The war lasted so long. Luon recalled the joy of crafting, making things he dreamed of, loved and sought for peacefully. It was indeed a blessing in disguise.
“I guess I’ll never get to finish those novels” mutters on his last breath as he recalls the fact that during the war numerous of authors had neglected, been axed or personally dropped their stories due to circumstances.
Although a few of them were already were going to halt naturally, the majority of them were stopped because of the war. Luon only wishes that those authors get more time in writing them, as he also wished he had more time reading them.
Luon Fate, 68, Chief Engineer and Leader of the Wings of Freedom Division passed away because of blood loss.
[Simulation Test 1 complete, ID – NEX-6854BP, now entering next phase.]