The final days of the Alpha squad’s second year were spent with much preparation for the exit exams. Regarding the Molvik VS Savoi incident, a decree from the Tribunal Council established Molvik would be expelled from the academy and return to his home state with no honors or the ability to enlist in any military services. Meanwhile, Savoi was sentenced to ninety days of extra duty in the laboratory under the supervision of Lt. Co. Adame. Calvary academy’s cadre was meticulous to ensure that each cadet was well prepared to carry out their duties in the field. The upcoming class would graduate in fifteen months’ time, and orders for their first deployment were drafted.
By the end of the ninety-day period, Savoi had completed the terms of her punishment in time to start the beginning of the third year with her fellow squad mates. Shevchenko entered the barracks at approximately 1900 hours, where she found Savoi dancing with headphones on and a flask in her hand in the dark. Shevchenko did not turn on the lights immediately, but did so to ensure that it was, in fact, Savoi in the living quarters. She removed Savoi’s headphones and said,
“Why the hell were you in here partying in the dark?”
Savoi smirked and replied, “What’s wrong with that?”
Shevchenko was often ruffled by Savoi’s lackadaisical attitude, which became more prominent over the course of their second year.
“Because I could’ve crashed into something,” she snapped.
Savoi flippantly snatched her headphones away, and just before she put her them on said,
“Too late for that; you’ve already crashed my party.”
With that, Savoi turned off the lights once again and continued to dance as if no one else were in the room. Shevchenko huffed and left the barracks before Savoi could annoy her any further. She hadn’t seen her roommate in nearly three months, and all that had remained the same was the unspoken animosity between them. Much of their first year was spent with futile attempts by Savoi to befriend her. Shevchenko did not particularly dislike the girl. In fact, her source of great disdain only derived from Yoshida’s obvious affection for Savoi.
Shevchenko walked to the armory, where she found Yoshida, Roudan, and Farouk rolling around on the floor. Apparently, they had used high-voltage laser guns on each other. Yoshida and Roudan laughed the pain away, while Farouk laid balled up in the fetal position. His brief whimpers evolved into a maniacal laughter. The other men followed suit and laughed in hysteria. Shevchenko was not amused by their foolery. She gruffly cleared her throat (as much as a young female aristocrat could do so), which caused the men to sit up at attention.
Yoshida looked over at Farouk, whose eyes were filled with tears, though he had a devious smirk. This cause Yoshida to let out a muffled giggle, then Roudan joined in. The men could not contain their laughter for much longer. With each attempt to stifle a laugh, one of them would ruin their progress all over again.
Shevchenko stomped her foot to regain control of the room.
“My word! I can’t believe this is truly the alpha squad and the hope of our kingdom.” She glared at Farouk, who nearly successfully regained composure. “Maaz, have you been eating truffles again? You know that little stunt almost got you busted with the cadre.”
Farouk sat up straighter and apologetically glanced back at her.
“We were just testing those lasers out. Not to worry, as we kept them on the lowest voltage possible,” he answered.
Yoshida was aggravated by Shevchenko’s chastisement, so he chimed in.
“Everyone bow your heads and let us have a moment of silence, for all the poor dead horses cadet Shevchenko has beaten to death.”
Shevchenko was taken aback by Yoshida’s dig. It was true that she continued to give Farouk a hard time about eating a laced truffle, but that was only to deter him from being so careless. She, herself, made good use of the truffle that she had eaten. It was the very thing that helped her and Roudan to cross the blurred lines.
Roudan saw the climate in the room was about to become tense, so he interjected.
“Lily, I assure you, none of us have partaken in any forms of drug paraphernalia. We were just goofing around to blow off some steam. Besides, Thomasa isn’t around to provide such goods,” he said, as he helped Yoshida and Farouk up to their feet.
Suddenly, Shevchenko remembered Savoi was back at the barracks.
“Yeah, about that; I have news,” she sighed. The eager look in her teammate’s eyes, particularly Yoshida’s, made her queasy. “Thomasa is no longer serving extra duty,” she said reluctantly.
Yoshida launched a series of rapid-fire questions.
“She’s not? Where the hell is she? Why didn’t you bring her with you?”
Shevchenko’s heart sank at his eagerness to learn about Savoi. In all the time Savoi had been kept away, Yoshida only sulked for a short spell before he snapped out of it. There were rumors he attempted to see Savoi at the lab, but she promptly turned him away. Shevchenko used their separation to become closer to Yoshida, though she had been sleeping with Roudan all the while. Yoshida slightly softened his indifferent disposition towards Shevchenko, but the news of Savoi’s release from extra duty put him back into his old stance.
Farouk finally sobered up from his laughing fit and demanded to know Savoi’s whereabouts.
Shevchenko stood in the middle of the three men, feeling as if she were being interrogated. She did not respond until they stopped talking. She could feel Yoshida’s piercing glare on the back of her neck, which gave her goosebumps. Farouk’s eyes were no better, so she fixed her gaze on Roudan. Though he proclaimed to be Savoi’s older brother, he also understood Shevchenko’s issues with her. He constantly had to reassure Shevchenko that his affection for Savoi in no way hindered his desire for her.
Shevchenko pursed her lips together, then said,
“Thomasa is at home in our barracks room. I imagine she will rejoin us tomorrow morning at PT, so save all your questions for her, then.”
Without another word, she excused herself from the armory. Roudan took off after her, while Yoshida and Farouk stared at each other until another fit of laughter descended upon them.
~The Waring Robins~