After all the humans were out of stasis and in the line, a voice barked out, “FORWARD!” The line surged forward. Anyone who was out of step with the others or hesitated to march forward was subjected to verbal abuse or pulled out of line for punishments.
The group was marched to a stone building and filed in through the door pointed out to the first in line. When Jake finally made it to the door, he saw the assembly line he was about to move through.
As he marched forward in step with the others uniforms and a hygiene kit were shoved into his arms. Randomly as he moved forward he felt the stings of vaccinations for unknown diseases. Just as he was about to walk out the door, his head was measured and sheared by lasers. With one foot out the door, someone slammed a hat onto his bald head. There was no hesitation and somehow this all happened without skipping a beat. It was a well practiced routine.
The reality of what he had signed up for was finally starting to sink in. He could no longer think of himself as the hero, saving his race from slavery and alien domination. He now saw himself now as something akin to armed livestock. Then he thought of himself as an attack dog, but that wasn’t much better. He had never felt so lowly and demeaned. He understood that a recruit is at the bottom of the food chain, but he hadn’t expected to be so thoroughly stripped of identity and made so uniform with all the other cogs that had moved through that same assembly line.
Upon leaving the building, they were assembled in four ranks. A hovercraft sped toward their formation and stopped about fifty feet away, kicking up dust and other sundry debris that assailed their bodies and faces.
A human exited and walked toward the front. The Triusdz who had been standing at the head of the formation sharply saluted and walked away. The human moved towards the formation with the slow saunter of one who has authority and can afford to take however much time he desired. He had a sort of confidence that almost made his walk into a swagger.
“Gentlemen, I am your Commander, Colonel Smith. Welcome to your new home for the next several weeks! Training will be rigorous, but you can take it. You have to take it! None of us can go home now! Our government would kill us, our families disown us and our friends deny knowing us. You have crossed the Rubicon! Your only choices now are to serve Emperor Laka or to find someway to go home and die in shame. So your only choice is service to the Emperor. Our only loyalty now is to the Triusdz Empire and its Emperor Laka.
If you fight well and survive, untold glory and wealth await you! Otherwise, remember that we are striking a blow against the Klosx to end their raids and enslavement of our friends and relatives. None of your deaths will have been in vain. History will vindicate us as heroes and we shall all have our glory one way or the other!
Sergeant take them to their quarters.”
The Triusdz quickly resumed his place, moving with purpose and urgency, at the head of the formation as the human commander leisurely strolled back to his hovercraft.
The sergeant began barking out orders. When the men did not respond the way he wanted or quick enough he then began shouting abuse and walking up and down the ranks beating any who seemed to not understand fast enough to avoid his blows.
After receiving such motivation, the formation began to move in starts and fits. The sergeant led them to what looked like a mud hut. Next to it was unmistakably an old west style outhouse. It even had a crescent moon cut out of the door.
“Recruits, this is your barracks. File in and training will begin in the morning.”