The Republic was not kind enough to let the Eighty-Sixes into the eighty five areas, even though they theoretically had the same citizenship. However, it was expected of them to have the luxury of raising a cat . Obviously, there was something wrong about this.
The feed was made of synthesized protein, but the factory label indicated it as a bright, posh feed. For a moment, Lena was lost in silent emptiness.
The Republic borders were completely surrounded by the “Legion”, and the cat feed utilized important resources, made from the automated plants. Lena never ate them before, but she felt it was a lot better than the synthesized food made for the Concentration Camps and frontline bases.
She was not asking for everyone not to raise cats, but she assumed they should have prioritized accordingly.
She sighed, and opened the can, pouring the synthesized protein, which was meaninglessly labelled as some flavor with some sauce, onto the plate.
“Here. This is for you.”
She knelt down, and placed the plate before a black cat with white feet that was by a pillow in the corner.
It was the kitten Shin and the Spearhead members raised at the barracks. It had seen them leave on the last mission they could never return from, and was left to Lena along with their last message. For them, this kitten might have symbolized a moment of rare peace.
The kitten merely glanced aside at the cat feed placed before it, one that was made with much futility.
And it callously looked aside.
It seemed to have hated the synthesized protein. The Spearhead members went hunting during their free time, and the kitten might have enjoyed proper food as a result.
Or in another way…the kitten might have hated the life of being taken within the walls for inexplicable result.
This wretch the Eighty-Sixes raised are so filthy! Due to her mother’s protests, this kitten could only remain in Lena’s room for the time being. She was busy commanding and assisting, and had no time to accompany it all day. There was nary a bug or bird flying outside or window, for this ‘natural environment’ of the first are was completely sprayed with insecticide and herbicide.
At Spearhead, it could have strolled about freely, saw various fun insects or little animals everywhere…and most importantly, lots of people to play with at the Spearhead barracks. Surely that life would be a lot better.
“…Sorry. You are feeling lonely, right? Everyone else is gone.”
Lena gently stroked the fine fur. The shriveled kitten opened one of its sharp eyes, looking up.
Lena, looking back at it, gave a tragic smile.
“I too feel…it is lonely without everyone around.”
It had been a while since she saw the last five Spearhead members vanish into the Eastern front, but every night, at the appointed time, she would unwittingly contact them on the Para-RAID. She was eager for the nightly moments of interaction, along with the poised voice that was always the first to respond.
–Good work, Handler One.
How far have you gone?
Where–are you now?
Are you dead, or sleeping?
I feel really lonely…not knowing anything.
The kitten she was supposed to comfort suddenly stood up, rubbing its face onto her palm. She picked it up, putting it close to her chest, and heard its feeble purr.
I feel lonely.
So it seemed to be saying to her.
I am really lonely–because you are not around.