Future Elite

An Olympus Union science fiction story by Gary Bloom

As Military Intelligence Coordinator for the Ministry of Peace, Yu Sterm owned data collection and dissemination. His information came from Stall Hopkins' spies, and he fed it to the Ares Elite. Stall wouldn't allow him to meet the agents. After an uncomfortable two days sitting and pondering, however, Yu came to a decision, making a strange announcement.

"That's it, I'm going."

"Where?" Virginia Cleer asked, looking at him curiously.

"I want to see the new recruits," he answered. "Where's the boss?"

"Meeting with the Prime Minister. Which recruits?"

"The new Ares Elite recruits. Where's Stall?"

"Austin. Why do you want to meet the Ares Elite recruits?"

"What's it to you, Ginny?"

"Well," she sighed, putting down her tablet, "I'm assuming you'll need someone to tell Minister Meron. She's going to ask me why you went, and, which camp you're heading to."


"The camps. They just opened up the new Ares Elite training facility outside Alice Springs, dead center of Oceanus. You should probably go check that one out."

"Oh, ah," Sturm was confused, "but don't they ship out from San Francisco?"

"Of course," she nodded, "however, I assumed you'd want to actually talk to them, not just wave and smile. Right?"

"Yeah, I suppose," Yu admitted.

"Do you actually know what you want?"

"Well," Sturm paused. He spent so much time with computers, not people. It was time for that to change. "Yeah, I want to get to know them. Why not? At least someone from every class survives, right? I'll ride over to Alice Springs with them!"

"As I suspected," she nodded. "You need to hurry. A class is slated to shove off in twenty minutes. Let me call ahead and hold the transport for you. Go. Go!"

"Hello," Yu waved as he stepped into the transport's passenger compartment. "My name is Yu Sterm. I'm the Ministry of Peace Military Intelligence Coordinator."

No one responded. He sat as the ship began to shake. They lifted off, and he looked around nervously. Different races surrounded him. While his features didn't set him apart, his level of fitness did. The others were muscular or toned; Yu was a bit doughy.

"So”, he said, louder than initially intended, "you're all off to training camp!" He shook his head. "Right, that was kind of silly. It's just that I've got so much I want to say to you."

He gathered himself. Computers provided him feedback; these people were so quiet.

"When you get through training, and get out there for duty, I want you to always be aware what's around you. Anything you notice, anything you investigate, that all comes back to me. Then we investigate, correlate, and deliver important details where it's needed most. Anything you pass up the chain could save someone else's life, or protect the Union somewhere. Sure, not all of you will survive training, but those who don't die will care about this later."

Sturm realized he was rambling. He'd also just alluded to the high mortality rate of the trainees. He could hear Anat Meron's voice in his head.

"Just because you have information does not mean you need to share it, Yu."

He'd done this before. It was the negative of spending more time with his computer than organics. He just wanted to impart some sort of wisdom to these brave souls. Wanted them to understand that his intelligence will always help them, that they can trust it. It was important they always trust the Ministry of Peace.

What could he actually say that would explain it? He unbuckled and stood. Looking around, he found most of them unwilling to meet his eyes. Still intent on making a connection, Yu persisted.

"So, what's your name," he asked one particularly brawny man. He continued staring straight ahead. "Alright," he asked a smaller gent with tightly buzzed hair, "how about you?" Frustrated, he strode the aisle. Where was the respect? "Damn it, I'm a high ranking member of the Ministry of Peace. Someone tell me your damned name!"

"Bascoe Weeks, sir."

"What? Where," Yu spun, "who said that?"

"Here, sir," a fair haired man said. Wispy strands, like straw, tumbled from atop his head, clean scalp around below. His eyes were a sea green that eyed Sturm casually. "I'm Bascoe Weeks, sir. We appreciate your suggestions. I'm certain we'll all follow them. Those of us who survive."

"Ah, yeah," Yu was subdued. He shouldn't have mentioned the failures. "You're all probably thinking about that, I suppose."

"That and other things, I'm certain," Weeks confirmed.

"Where are you from, Mr. Weeks?"

"It's Inspector Weeks, sir," Bascoe corrected. "I hail from Antwerp."

"Inspector, eh?" He smiled. "What happened? Miss out on Candidate Chief Inspector, and decide to walk away?"

"No sir," he answered humorlessly. "The position was offered. I declined."

"Wait, really?"

"Yes sir. I loved my home, and my role on the police force. It's just," he paused, considering. "There was a man, Ares Elite. He spent what little free time he had assisting forces throughout the region. After some time, he'd brought a few colleagues. Volunteer defenders seemed rare; members of the local army garrison would never consider such a thing."

Another man coughed, possibly offended. Sterm thought that might be the end, but Bascoe continued. He was there, and knew the truth.

"These Ares are to be admired. Since someone else is protecting my people, I thought it only proper to protect others, elsewhere."

"Yeah, but why?" Yu desperately wanted to understand. "You have extra help protecting people at home. Shouldn't you be home helping them?"

"No sir. As just another cop, I won't be missed so dearly. Once I've been augmented and trained as Ares Elite, however, I can do more for the Olympus Union. It's what a good citizen does, sir."

"Well, sure, all citizens should put themselves out there for the good of the Union, but what about the alterations? Becoming Ares Elite isn't just training. You'll be surgically altered, and never the same again. You'll think differently, feel differently. You're fine with this?"

Yu Sterm suddenly thought about everything that he'd said. He couldn't delete or edit his words, they were out. Still, if the others had issues, they said nothing. As for Weeks, he was as committed as ever.

"Everyone pays a price for peace, Coordinator," the recruit said. "This happens to be mine."

Yu decided that it would be best to keep quiet for the rest of the trip. There was nothing else he could say to this man. Anything else would either do damage to the recruits, or his own image.

When the transport arrived, he stayed seated. Pulling rank, the Coordinator could have left first. Watching each recruit file out, he thought. The recruits left without disagreement or confusion, moving as if they already knew what to do. Perhaps they did. He followed the last one out.

Outside, an officer waited for him. He smiled and led Yu to another part of the landing field.

"Coordinator Sterm, we were told that you'd be arriving. Your office said your visit would be brief. Is that still correct sir?"

"Yes," Yu nodded, "yes it is. I'm all set to get back."

"Excellent sir," the officer said, grin firmly set. Yu wondered if it was a permanent state for everyone, or just civilians. "We've got a new transport waiting for you. Before you go, is there anything I can get you? Anything you want?"

"Actually, yes." Yu Sterm stopped and looked at the soldier more seriously. Drawing up to his full height, he forced the other man to drop his smile. "I want you to keep an eye on Bascoe Weeks. Consider it a personal favor for the Military Intelligence Coordinator. Regular reports should come directly to my attention. Weekly. That man is going to be a good one. I'm almost positive."

"Yes sir," the officer nodded. "I'll see to it personally."

"Good." Yu smiled, then relaxed. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go do some real work."


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