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Monday, September 9, 2019

Microstory 1186: Vasanta Gadhavi

Vasanta Gadhavi loved toys. He was raised to be very materialistic, always looking out for the newest gadget and gizmo. His parents grew up poor, and found money somewhat later in life, so they never wanted their children to ever feel like they couldn’t have whatever they wanted. Vasanta liked to tinker around with electronics, and learned how to build and repair them pretty much on his own. There was really no limit as to what types of things he bought, which meant firearms were included. When he was old enough, he joined the British Army, and ended up working with the enemy in some less than savory ways. He specialized in getting prisoners to talk when they didn’t want to. He continued to use toys to do this, which earned him the nickname of Santa. His brothers often joke that he always had presents for the bad little boys and girls. During the Second Great War, Vasanta found himself in the middle of a deadly battle against Japanese forces. He retained little memory of the event, but he did remember being on the battlefield one second, and then suddenly being safe in a hospital bed the next. In the bed across from his was the Japanese soldier he was trying to kill, and who was trying to kill him. Now, Vasanta had no personal grievance with the enemy soldier, nor the enemy with him. They were both just following orders, and whatever was happening now, it didn’t look like they were meant to keep fighting each other. They did not attempt to communicate with one another, though, as automated machines came through and treated their wounds. Vasanta attempted to leave one time, but when he discovered the door to be locked, he made no further attempt to escape. Anyone with the level of technology he was seeing in the mid-20th century was probably best left unantagonized. Once they were both doing all right, a man came in named Adolphe Sargent. He explained in both English and Japanese that they were reportedly missing in action, according to historical records. They were extracted from the timeline, and transported to the 23rd century, where they would train together in something called the salmon battalion. Again, they had no problem fighting together. Neither of them personally believed in the war they had just come from. But that principle would likely extend to any other war. How could they travel through time, fighting people for reasons that were so profoundly removed from them? Sargent saw this in them during their training, and decided the powers that be who chose them for their new lives had made a mistake. Fortunately, he had some autonomy with how his battalion was run. After all, if he didn’t, then The Emissary might as well lead it himself. He selected Vasanta and his new partner, Rokuro Yamauchi for an elite force within the battalion. They would not be fighting, on either side of a conflict. Instead, they would take part exclusively in rescue missions, pulling innocent people out of dangerous situations, and occasionally delivering a prisoner of war from their cage. Vasanta and Rokuro easily became friends, ultimately teaching each other their native languages. It didn’t seem strange at all that they were once at odds, nor had they been forced to suffer some Hell in the Pacific scenario together. They felt a lot more comfortable with their new lives as rescuers than they ever did as fighters.

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