The setting sun threw its’ orange hues onto the tops of the thick wall of Garcinia trees surrounding Welfare’s base. It was an abnormally quiet week for them. There hadn’t been any new automations threatening the town and the members of M.E.W. who lived there weren‘t seen recently, either. This was making all of Welfare’s employees rather apprehensive. This strange silence started on the 19th of November. It was now the 29th, Thanksgiving day. Ten days in total of silence.
Pilantha and her mother were eating their festive microwave turkey dinner quietly. It was awkward for them to talk to each other, now that her mother knew her secret of protecting Sekai. Pilantha was gone for the majority of the day to patrol the perimeter of the base along with Carmon, just incase M.E.W. decided to make a move. Her mother was always left alone in their assigned underground bunker, feverishly worrying about her daughter’s safety.
She observed her as she continuously stuck her spork into the mashed potatoes on her tray. Pilantha had an intent look in her eyes. Recently, she couldn‘t get M.E.W. off of her mind. Her mother cleared her throat. “Um, do you want to do anything else after dinner? We could see if any Thanksgiving specials are on the TV.” Pilantha shook her head absentmindedly. Silence ensued.
She tried again: “Look, Sweety, I know that you’re worried about why there hasn’t been any updates recently, but can you please just take a break from always being on your guard and enjoy the evening?"
Pilantha looked up at her sympathetically. “Thanks for being worried about me, but I can‘t. I want to be ready for anything that M.E.W. might be planning and I don’t relax until it happens…” She trailed off.
Her mother shook her head. “I’m sure that Welfare will be able to prevent it whenever they figure out what ‘it‘ is. For now, just enjoy the rest of the evening.”
Pilantha sighed and nodded her head reluctantly.
* * *
For the rest of the night, Pilantha was forced to relax. Eventually, she left her guard down and fell asleep on the couch along with her mother as they watched the TV.
Suddenly Pilantha awoke to her communication watch vibrating. She snapped out of her drowsiness immediately and held it up to her eyes. It said that she was needed in the prep room right away. ‘What?’ She thought. ‘Why would they need me in the prep room at this hour?…’
All of a sudden, sirens started blaring and their bunker filled with the panicked crimson glow of an emergency light. All of the commotion startled her mother awake. She jumped up.
“W-what’s happening?!” Her mother yelled, a look of fear coming across her face.
“I don‘t know yet!” Pilantha replied. She raced over towards her duffle bag and grabbed her armor pendant. “They need me in the prep station.” She said, swiftly moving towards the heavy metal door leading into the hallways.
“W-what’s they prep station? Why do they need you there?! Are you going to fight again?!” Her mother stammered anxiously.
Pilantha turned on her heel and gave her mother an exasperated look. “Mom, I have no idea! I need to go-” Just then she was cut off by a booming voice coming from the TV. They both turned their heads to perceive a reporter standing in front of a green screen which displayed a town from the view of a security camera that was being consumed by fire. The headline at the bottom of the TV screen said ‘ATTACK ON SEKAI’. The reporter started talking frantically.
“BREAKING NEWS. THE RESIDENTIAL AREA OF SEKAI IS BEING SEVERLY DAMAGED BY A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF AUTOMATONS. THERE IS NO SIGN OF THE DELTA BRIGADE AT ALL. IT SEEMS THAT THE ROBOT ARMY HAS ALREADY DEVASTATED THE TRAINING BASE FOR THEIR MARINE CORPS. WE NOW HAVE NO DEFENSE AGAINST THIS ATTACK. OUR ONLY HOPE IS THAT THIS BROADCAST REACHES OTHER MILITARY BASES IN THE AREA BEFORE IT‘S TOO LATE. IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN AFFECTED BY THIS YET, PLEASE SEEK TO FIND A SAFE WAY OUT OF THE SEKAI DISTRICT IMMEDIATELY.”
After he finished, a large building exploded and made the shot go fuzzy. It was the high school. Automatons started to flood the street, along with small squadrons of soldiers that wore M.E.W.’s symbol. There was a mother and her two children attempting to flee across the street that a squadron was marching through. They were sighted and open fire was commanded. They watched as the little family was shot to the ground.
They were both frozen in place, an expression of utter horror on their faces.
“I have to go.” Pilantha repeated, panic evident in her voice. Her mother didn’t respond this time. Pilantha frantically swung the door open and flew down the narrow hallways. There was the flashing of emergency lights everywhere. Once she had reached the main floor she witnessed every brigade that Welfare had prepping to fight. It wasn’t just small scale attacks anymore. This time, M.E.W. meant business. And they weren’t planning on letting anyone get in their way.