While Cadet deals with Jodie in the forest… Terra makes an entry in her diary.
As we approach the onset of a campaign I have been planning since I first discovered my superiors’ betrayal, I am beginning to feel a certain reluctance. I sit here in a peaceful cabin surrounded by forest and I wish fervently that I did not have to do what I must do. Those I honored, served, and above all, trusted, took my body as their own and removed tissue to create what they believed to be perfect soldiers. Of all those created, I have recovered but one, and she is wounded in mind and heart.
It is so strange to look into her eyes and see myself somehow incarnate, but without the benefit of the love and care which I was given as a girl. I do not know what male part went into her, but I see the parts which came from me, twisted by cruel fate. I wish I could undo all that has been done, but it is too late for that. All I can do now is help her to adjust. One day, perhaps she will be happy. For the moment, all I can offer her is a form of revenge in helping to free the last of our line.
Securing freedom for the last soul trapped by the manipulation of my genes is important to both her and I, but I cannot forget that it could come with a price much higher than I would like.
Cadet is of most concern to me. I have seen many young soldiers go to war. It’s true that tens of thousands have come to maturity on the battlefield. For reasons I cannot entirely explain, I am reluctant to expose her to the worst of what is to come. She has taken to her training well, though her natural empathy and sense of fairness continues to cause her trouble.
How can I best describe her?
Not in terms of simple appearance. That means little at my age, though I cannot deny that she is supple and shapely. She has an energy and a lightness and a penchant for disobedience which is never malicious. Her unpredictability was what first drew her to my attention. Cadet can be guaranteed never to behave precisely as one expects. She has a spark of wild chaos in her which I both admire and want to spank her soundly for. My palm has never itched so much for any young woman under my command. And yet, she is not rebellious, not in the endlessly tiresome way which frustrates so many commanders. She is naughty, in the playful sense of the word. Seeing her lightens my heart and makes the world seem a little brighter.
She is, in so many respects, an innocent. Every day, I consider finding her a placement at this camp. She would likely take to another commanding officer without trouble. It is selfish of me to keep her near, but she has a rare gift limited to the wild born which will be invaluable in our quest. The boy had it too, but he is grievously wounded and will not return to active service. One life has already been unalterably changed by this campaign.
Our time is already growing short and her training is being accelerated harshly. I do not like to see her in pain, and yet I know that some pain is necessary to develop the discipline she will need to thrive in the years to come. Instructor Gray does not seem to have the same qualms I do, and I am glad for it – though I felt a rage at the sight of the marks left in its wake.
I am protective of her. A good commanding officer should be protective of her soldiers, but I know my feelings go beyond that typical point.
She is far too young to be my lover, half my age. But of course, the allure of an eager young woman has broken the resolve of more than one commander. I have already said too much, touched too much, gone too far. We are on the brink of so many things, she and I.
Grisham has been a complicating factor. She is the perfect addition to our unit. I could not have asked for a better second in command. She is strong and she is wise and though we do not know one another well, there is a certain chemistry which I do not think either of us would deny. Watching her and Cadet become close is interesting. At times I find myself jealous. At others, it is sweet to watch. Cadet so yearns to be taken as a lover and it is only a matter of time before her desire is granted.
I cannot give Cadet very much. I cannot give her even a fraction of what she is giving me. I will do everything in my power to keep her safe, but we are warriors and safety can never be promised. If I do not set her free and send her away from this unit, I think, perhaps, the best I can do for her is not stand in the way of her love, even her lust – if it can be sated without sacrificing essential discipline.