The woman behind the desk and those stacks of papers are Lieutenant Montana, secretary of the Colville Military Administration Office. At first glance, she is definitely different from some oversized civil servants. Lieutenant Montana is a young woman with an eye-catching appearance. It is hard to tell how old she is behind that makeup. Younger than his mom, but a bit old to be his sister, Segar would say. If Lieutenant Montana puts on casual clothes and takes a stroll anywhere near the Coville industrial zone, those low-life workers will call her a chick. Of course, it will only happen if they do not mind being called a cock by her. Her voice is feminine, but yet, firm. Judging by her outlook, her tone, and how she talks, Segar takes a safe bet that she will happily answer every one of his questions without any nagging. Just do not disturb her during her break or make her work overtime.
“Introduce yourself, please! Are you coming here today to report your suspicions about gang crime in the region?” - The Lieutenant speaks.
Secretary Montana’s words bring Segar out of his thoughts. He then replies:
“O-Oh… No. My father told me that you wanted to see me this afternoon. I’m the newly accepted cadet of Gravefield Ground Forces Academy. Uhm… reporting to you… ma’am!” - Segar cringely answers the Lieutenant’s question. This is the result of being a model student for years. Segar always wants to make a good impression on other people.
Lieutenant Montana chuckles then continues:
“I like you kiddo. But cut me some of your formality. First thing first, you are not a cadet until you set foot into Gravefield Academy. You need to pass the standard health examination first. The Ministry of Education and Gravefield Academy made a huge mess this year. Normally, the health check would come first for applicants with a desire to join the Forces; However, due to the great minds of our leaders, the health examination couldn’t take place. Therefore, they just selected people with great academic achievements, a.k.a, people like you! All in all, What I wanna say is that I’m not your boss or whatever like that, OK?”
Segar is silenced. Thanks to the effective management that the government always boasts about, his devious dream to be a filthy rich official is doomed. The disappointment, which was on Segar’s face days ago, once again appears. Lieutenant Montana knows that face. She has sat here long enough to read any citizen of Colville like a book. She makes a spin with her swivel chair while fidgeting her fingers, then speaks again:
“This year, Colville has a total of ten successful applicants for the Ministry’s scholarship program. All of them will be sent to Gravefield Academy. So, it must be some scheming selection from the above. And your father told you huh? Then you must be Segar. I happened to meet your father yesterday so I decided to shorten the procedure and inform him there. Sorry if I ruined your surprise, kiddo! The other two, who are also going to Gravefield, will have their meetings with me tomorrow. Now, before we dive into our work today, do you have any questions for me? And take a seat please!”
“No ma’am!” - Segar quickly grabs a small chair, places it in front of the desk, sits down, then replies.
“Good! Now, I will make a short brief about our situation. You got selected and admitted by Gravefield Ground Forces Academy. Great place, and again, congratulations! But, the amount of paperwork waiting for us to get you and the others there is terrifying. I will be honest with you here, first, I have a lot of work and I’m very lazy. So, most of the process will depend on you. I will only work on correcting and transferring those papers to the right place. If you have any questions during the process, text me, and I will give you my number later. Don’t come all the way here. Second, as I already said, there are nine other future cadets beside you. So, I will make a group chat between us and designate you as the group leader. Learn to be a soldier starting now, and get familiar with the line of command by taking care of them for me. Try to solve their problems first if it’s in your hand, and come to me only when necessary. And that’s all you should know for now. Again, any question?”
“What must I do as the group leader, ma’am?” - Segar is surprised about how straightforward this Lieutenant is, but still able to raise his concern.
“Well, if needed, I will make you come to my office for detailed instructions. Your job is to deliver my message to the others. If they have questions, try to answer by yourself first. That’s all! Any more questions?” - Miss Montana leans in just as if she is daring Segar to say anything other than “no”.
“No more questions ma’am.” - Segar responds.
Lieutenant Montana leans back to the swivel chair. She likes the fact that Segar can somehow read the other person, just like her. Miss Montana would not be happy if Segar had another question. But it is not that she would nag at him. She would still answer the question, just in an angrier tone.
“Great! Take these back home and fill them. Give it back to me before the end of next week. If I’m not available when you get here, just leave it on my desk. Now, thank you for spending your precious time with me. Please close the door when you come out.”
Segar’s meeting with Lieutenant Montana ended with her throwing a thick clear file at him, which has her phone number in it, and saying her cold goodbye. Although Ms. Montana is not a great person, her way of serving people is not that bad. She may be lazy, but she is straightforward about that. She is like “that” sister that he never had.
“Having an older sister like her would be nice.” - Segar spoke to himself while heading home.