Well, here we were. Back at the NML base. I had guessed that the Empire had succeeded in capturing it because I couldn't hear any swords clashing or gunfire.
Viper would be so angry at me for leaving the attack, she would probably demote me. No, If I knew her correctly, she would demote me twice! I would probably have to go back to Autofficer Wellpride's rank, or even worse, he would order me around!
I took a deep breath before opening the doors to the base. Sure enough, Viper was there ordering other Autofficers to 'pick up those boxes' or 'pick up that debris' or 'pick yourself up off of the floor'. I was so nervous, that I actually called her 'Umbrellascope' instead of 'Viper'. I wonder if she noticed...
Ophelia turned around, looked at me, and exploded into rage. "Where were you?! We had an entire base to take back, which we did, no thanks to you, Lieutenant Blackdash!"
I sighed. At least she wasn't going to demote me-
"- or should I say-" Viper continued, looking around the room while thinking of a new rank for me. I scolded myself. I should have known better...
Ophelia finally noticed that someone else was standing beside me. She stopped everything she was doing when her gaze met her sister's. A tear slid down her cheek. I blinked. The right hand of the Emperor was actually tearing up? Wow. Hey, this might actually be a good time to make myself scarce...
I took a step away from the two as they hugged, cried, and chatted together.
The next morning, a pacifier had approached me while I was on my way to the mess hall.
"LIEUTENANT BLACKDASH, YOUR PRESENCE IS REQUESTED IN MAJOR GENERAL VIPER'S OFFICE."
As the automaton walked away from me, I frowned. So, Viper wasn't finished with me yet. I might be under Wellpride's control after today...
As I entered the Major General's office, I saw Ophelia reclining in her chair. She was smirking. I knew it. My career was ruined.
"You are probably wondering why I called upon you," Viper began. I wasn't wondering because I was pretty sure I knew why... "I must admit I was planning on demoting you after you deserted your duties." I swallowed. "But seeing why... I don't see how I can do anything other than-" I nearly fainted. "Promote you." Viper finished. No, I didn't nearly faint. I nearly died. The relief washed over me as Ophelia stood up and walked towards me. She extended her hand. "Thank you, Commander Blackdash, for saving my sister. You have done a great service to the Empire, and to me. I truly can't thank you enough."
I just stood there, looking at her hand. I realized that If I didn't shake it, she would probably demote me. I shook my head, and then shook her hand. "T-thank you, Major General. However, I have to accept full responsibility for leaving you to take the base by yourself."