Choose Your Battles

I was at my desk working on the plans for the upcoming battle when the door on my tent was thrown open. I sighed, immediately knowing who it was.

"What's up, bitches?!" Rachel yelled out at the top of her loud, American lungs.

"Rachel, please don't yell," my lieutenant, Evie said. "Even Natalia can restrain herself when it's required."

"Whatever. The point is, do you have the battle plans, General Soto?"

"I'm trying to finish them," I said in the calmest voice I could manage.

"General Soto," Natalia Vasilevsky said, marching into the tent and standing at attention.

"Yes, Natalia?" I dared to ask, looking up.

"We have finished with the battle against the latest Corruption Crystal we've discovered in Khorat."

"Very good, Natalia." I reward her with some of my signature head pats.

"G-General..." she stuttered softly, blushing.

"Relax. Go help yourself to some oil and get your platoons repaired."

"Y-yes sir," she responded, her usually hard face soft with redness as she exited my tent.

"General, I'm concerned about the way you treat your subordinates," Evie noted.

"What, equally?" I ask her wryly, giving her some head pats as well, causing her to blush vividly.

"O-oh my... Sir..." She did nothing to resist which clearly meant that she enjoyed it, although she never has admitted it.

"Ooh, ooh, me too!" Rachel yelled, jumping under my hand and rubbing it with her forehead, giggling to herself.

"Rachel one at a time," Evie scolded. I just laughed to myself. "Why don't you go train the new recruits or something?"

"She has a point," I noted. "Do it, Rachel."

"Yes Sir," Rachel said, saluting before she ran out of the tent. "Light recruits! Attention!" The Light-class recruits lined up in the sparring field. "Who do we have joining us today?"

"Amy, Ma'am," an M2 said.

"Pansy, Ma'am!" a Panzer I said.

"Annie, Ma'am," a Panzer II said.

"Arina, Ma'am. BT-7." Arina saluted.

"Crisa, Madam. Crusader III," Crisa saluted.

"Good," Rachel said. "Now join up with your fellow Light-class tanks in the L-barrack."

"Yes Ma'am," the new recruits saluted and marched off to the barracks, entering the one marked with a big, light-blue L.

"So you're the newbies?" a Crusader MKII asked.

"Yes," Pansy answered. "Are you the squad leader here?"

"No, that would be Renee," she gestured to the Renault FT, who was going over some written strategies.

"I'm a tad busy at the moment," Renee said, having overheard, not looking up from the notepad. "I'll check in with you at 23:40"

"She's always so serious when she really works hard," a Leichttraktor said with a warm smile. "I'm Trixy. You four must be Pansy, Annie, Crisa, and Arina."

"Yep!" Annie asserted.

"Well go ahead and choose a bunk and locker."

"Get things settled, Trixy," Renee said. "I need to talk to the General."

"Ooh," the other tanks cooed.

"Oh zip it," Renee scolded, blushing slightly and marching out of the barrack. Camp life was a hard one, but not entirely challenging as the base was set up far from the actual front lines with the Corrupted, tanks and armies turned evil by some strange, evil force. They looked like death and wreaked with countless evil auras. I was always sending out tanks, pushing the front lines farther and farther through the land, to hopefully find the source of the Corruption. Occasionally, I would send out 15 tanks, only for four or five to come back without needing repairs.

"Repairs and training equals modification," I always say to my tanks and soldiers. Well, I say that to my soldiers before running off to flirt with the lieutenants. Why, you ask? Well can you really blame the only guy in a literal army of girls?

2: Life as a Light-Class
Life as a Light-Class

Revelry sounded at 05:30 the following morning. The Light-class tanks stood at the ready as Renee marched through the bunk room.

"Alright tanks, before we head to the mess hall for our breakfast, let's make sure the barracks are clean and flush. Understood?"

"Yes Ma'am," the rest of the tanks responded.

"For the new recruits, I have an announcement. As a Light-class tank, we are at the bottom of the hierarchy. We do some pretty interesting chores around base, but that's mainly because we're small and nimble. Otherwise, those Heavy-class tanks do the heavy lifting. But that's all. Like I said, clean and flush before breakfast at 06:00." Everyone made their beds while one gave the floors a quick swab with a brush and bucket. It's good that the land of Factoria has a well-disciplined army saving it. The L-class tanks marched into the mess hall at precisely 06:00. Lined up at the buffet, they were given a plate of hashbrowns, biscuits and gravy, and a choice of fruit. Oil was, of course, the preferred beverage of the tanks.

"So how was your first night?" Amy, an M2 asked Pansy and Annie.

"It was alright," Pansy said.

"I dreamt of home," Annie said.

"I'm not surprised," Trixy said. "Nearly everyone does their first week."

"Can we keep the talking to a minimum, please?" Renee asked, having just finished her food. "You new recruits should be looking up to Caitlyn, or Anastasia. They're the perfect L-class role-models." Anastasia, a T-36, smirked and Caitlyn, a Cruiser MKII, nodded in affirmation. Amy and Annie looked at her, eyes wide in awe.

"Yes Ma'am," they said, finishing their breakfast.

"Alright," Renee announced when breakfast was finished and the mess hall cleaned, ready for the next group, the medium tanks, or the M-class. "I want the new recruits to stay with a seasoned tank for the day. Amy, you're with Tanya. Crisa, you're with Caitlyn, Annie with Anastasia, Arina with Trixy, and Pansy, you're with me. Am I understood?"

"Yes Ma'am," the tanks saluted.

"Good. Now since we're not going to the front lines, go to the chore board to find something to do."

"I already have something," an M-class tank said, walking over.

"What is it, Martha?" Renee asked.

"Since Tanya's scuffle with Shelly last evening, left some scratches on our barrack wall, she can fix it." Amy saw Tanya cringe out of the corner of her eye.

"Well, you heard her Tanya. Go fix your screw-up. Amy, you too since you're assigned to her." Amy followed Tanya to the M-class barrack, seeing a bucket of water, a cleaning cloth and several dents and scratches on the wall. While Amy was swearing in her thoughts, she sighed aloud and picked up the cloth and began scrubbing the tread marks on the wall.

"How'd you get track marks on the wall?" Amy dared to ask.

"Shut up!" Tanya snapped, glaring at the spot she was working on while she scrubbed profusely. They continued working in silence until Tanya sighed when the wall was free of marks, but not dents. "I'm sorry you were dragged into this, M2."

"It's fine," Amy said with a small smile. "Really. Somebody had to anyway." Tanya gave Amy a smirk and continued working.

"You know, that kind of sensitivity could get you killed out there," she muttered.

"Hm?" Amy asked, having not entirely heard.

"Nothing." They didn't even know I was walking behind them. "Oh, good day, General," Tanya said, standing at attention. Amy gasped and stood up as well, saluting.

"How are my favourite L-class tanks?" I ask, petting their heads. I smile as they blush.

"Sir, we're cleaning up my mess," Tanya answered.

"And why'd you drag her into it?"

"Captain Renee's orders, Sir."

"I see. Well, I'll be having a wonderful conversation with her later. Anyway, M2..."

"Uh, the name's Amy, Sir," Amy said.

"Yes, Amy. You can take a break for some oil if you'd like."

"O-oh. Thank you sir." I smiled and walked away, keeping an eye out for Renee.

3: Midday with the Medium-Class
Midday with the Medium-Class

Around lunch time, I was still searching for Renee, but I couldn't find her anywhere. I wonder if she's causing trouble for the M-class tanks. I know for a fact that she likes to do that. I walk over to the M-class barrack, with the big, green M on it. I walk inside for my ears to be blasted with DeadMau5 music.

"PRIVYET, GENERAL!" a tank shouts over the music. I look up and see Yana, the mouse-eared T-34/76 herself. She's playing music with her computer connected to the biggest speakers she could get on base. I sigh.

"YANA! SHUT THIS OFF!" I have to yell back and I see her face turn into a sad expression as the music suddenly stops.

"Aw, why you gotta be a party pooper, General?!" she whines.

"You can play it again, only after I leave, after you help me out."

"Fine," she drags out. "What is it, Sir?"

"I'm looking for Renee."

"The Captain of the L-class? I haven't seen her. Not in here anyway."

"Do you know anyone who has?"

"Sir," an M4 Sherman interjects.

"What is it, Sherman?"

"Actually Sir, it's Shelly. And I saw her about 20 minutes ago at the mess hall."

"Thanks." I nod to Yana as I shut the door behind me, the music starting at the last second. I know it seems strange to have a rave in the barracks, but I want my tanks to be comfortable, especially on base when they aren't training. War is tough. Trust me on that. Anyway, I need to head to the mess hall. By the time I get there and ask some of the H-class tanks, the heavies, Renee is apparently on the other side of the base at the factory, checking up on tanks being repaired.

"How are you all feeling?" Renee asked in the factory, where repairs were being done.

"I'm fine," Lin said, having her armor replaced and repainted.

"Lin, you have to be more careful. There aren't very many of you Type 64's."

"I know, but since we use parts from other mass-produced tanks, parts can be replaced in a heartbeat."

"The Chinese and their problems..." A Type 5 Chi-Ri muttered.

"Oh can it, Asami."

"Please don't talk to our captain like that," a couple of Panzer variations said simultaneously. It was Emilia, the Panzer IV Ausf H, and Elisa, a standard Panzer III.

"Well, I'm finished with my repairs," Asami said, standing up and leaving the repair bay. "M-Class units move out."

"Yes Ma'am," Elisa and Emilia saluted, following her. And that is when I made it in.

"Renee," I said.

"Yes, General?" she asked, turning to face me.

"I need to talk to you. Privately."

"With all due respect General, protocol states that I must remain here while my class tanks are being repaired."

"Not anymore. Your overall productivity and leadership has dropped based on a poll of your class tanks. I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I must demote you." She gasped in shock.

"B-But General please! You can-"

"Renee enough. I am promoting Lin to Captain of the L-class."

"Ha! Sucks for you," an A7V said.

"Alda!" A  B1 scolded, slapping Alda on the back of her head, so hard she knocked her helmet off.

"Beth!" Alda cried out, holding the back of her head.

"Don't disparage those who are lower than you, especially since you know that you are lower than others as well." With her warning, Beth trundled off, having her own repairs finished just beforehand.

"Can't you tanks do something other than fighting each other?" I asked aloud, making sure everyone heard, including Beth. "Save the arguments for the Corrupted. Renee, back to your barrack. Lin, when your repairs are finished you head there too, to make sure everything is under control."

In the M-class barrack, Asami was going over some papers.

"Ohayo, Nii-sama," Setsuko, a Type 97 Chi-Ha said.

"Setsuko, I'm busy," Asami responded. "And it's 13:15."

"C'mon. Ever since you made me enlist in this war, we never get to play together any more."

"Maybe after the war is over, okay?" Asami looked at her with a smile.

"Hai!"

4: Hello, Heavy-Class
Hello, Heavy-Class

After I had to relieve Renee of her duties, I decided to stop by the largest barrack on base. The one marked with a big, yellow H. The Heavy-class. I was already on my way to the large door when they opened to reveal Charlotte, a Churchill.

"Oh, Good afternoon, General," she said with her English accent with a perfect salute.

"At ease, soldier," I said with a smile. "I'm just dropping by to see how things are."

"Charlotte!" a Russian tank called from inside the barrack. "Is that the General?"

"Aye!" she turned to answer. "I think Katya needs you."

"It would seem so," I said. Charlotte smiled and stepped aside as I strode through the massive doors. The tanks were standing around in a circle as there was a tank laying on the floor. I walked over. "What is it?"

"A unit we rescued," Tabby, the Captain of the H-class said. She was a Tiger I.

"Good job, Tabby," I said, reaching up to scratch behind her cat ears. She smiled and purred happily. Katya removed the cover over the unit on the floor. You could tell she was corrupted due to her purple hues and black hair, but those bad colours were fading. "Impressive. She's multi-gun."

"Yes," Katya explained. "She was the only one from our battle who seemed to have the Corruption beaten out of her."

"Yeah, that's been going on a lot." After a couple minutes, the unit was free of all Corruption. Her face twitched and her eyes slowly opened.

"Where... where am I?" she asked softly.

"You're in the Heavy-class barrack on the Allied base," I explained. "You were rescued as you were able to reject the Corruption. How do you feel?"

"A little fine," she said. "But I could use some oil." Dawn, an M6A1 helped the new tank to a sitting position and gave her a barrel of oil, which she drank in a few seconds.

"She certainly drinks like an H-class tank," Hana said with a giggle.

"You sound Germanic," Charlotte noted and the new tank nodded, carefully standing up.

"Thank you all for saving me," she said. "My name is Betty, and I am a prototype neubaufahrzeug."

"A prototype what?" we all thought with estranged faces.

"It'll be an honor to help fight by your side in the hopes of saving my fallen sisters."

"And so we shall," Tabby said, shaking Betty's hand. "Get some rest and tomorrow we'll start your Allied Training."

"Thanks for stopping by, General," Katya said, pulling me aside while the other tanks introduced themselves to Betty.

"Sure. I'm checking up on everyone before we head out for our next big battle." Then she frowned slightly.

"Go ahead if you must, but once our fellow tanks and neko soldiers fall... they fall." This is clearly why Katya hasn't made any friends, to save herself from the emotional pain when a fellow tank dies. But even so, that barely ever happens. 99.9% of our tanks are completely repairable when they come back from the field. Even so, the way Katya looks at me, confirms that she may have a friend in me. "Spasibo, General." I smile and walk toward the door.

"Dosvedonya, Katya," I say before I walk out of the doors. I think to myself for a little while as I walk toward my next destination, the Artillery-class. Those girls aren't to strong when it comes to physical strength, but they are excellent at long-range strikes. Of course they need to be pretty high-level to be any good, but I digress.

"Good afternoon, General," A T-35 says as I walk by.

"Aline," I say. "Good afternoon."

"I was just heading back to the barrack."

"You may want to hurry then. You have a new comrade you need to meet."

"Oh. Did she finally wake up?"

"Aye, she did. Get going."

"Yes sir. Have a good day." She nods and salutes before continuing on her way to the H-class barrack.

5: The Afternoon with the Artillery-Class
The Afternoon with the Artillery-Class

I make my way over to the Artillery-class barrack, the one with a large, purple A above the door. It's the same size barrack as the L and M-class barracks, but it's mainly empty as there aren't as many artillery tanks and vehicles on base at the moment. We need to rescue more. We only have 7 A-class girls right now and when I walk in they are playing a card game at the table.

"Oh, good afternoon, General," one of them says.

"Good afternoon Elysia," I say. Elysia's an SU-5, and current captain of the A-class. "What's going on?"

"We're just playing some card games," Ellinah said with a smile. She's an M7 Priest. The others are Mila, the M8 Scott, Selma, the Sexton I, Aubri the Wespe, Silke, the Sturmpanzer I Bison, and finally, the most recent addition fresh from the factory, was Darya, the SU-14-1.

"We're playing Go-fish," Mila said with a smile, having already won the current game.

"And she's been winning all day," Aubri said with a yawn. "I'm getting bored."

"How's Mila been winning all day?" I asked, leaning on a stack of crates, as other tanks used this barrack as a storage area.

"We've been letting her," Darya said.

"Way to ruin the fun for her," Ellinah said.

"Yay!" Mila giggled. I know it seems childish, but Mila is the youngest unit in the A-class and possibly on base.

"I guess I owe Mila my chips at dinner."

"Speaking of dinner, do you know what we're having, General Soto?" Elysia asked.

"The Destroyer-class is having a barbeque," I answered. I heard a few groans.

"Great," Selma muttered. "They'll blow up all the meat and serve us shells and rounds."

"It'll be fine. I was stopping my on my way to their barrack to make sure they do this properly."

"Really?" Mila asked, coming over to me.

"That's right," I said, picking her up and sitting her on my shoulder since she was so small. "I'll have them make you your favourite cheeseburgers."

"But I want hot dogs."

"Then I'll personally see to it. Mila, I can promise that you will have your hot dogs."

"Yay!"

"Mila, you're 18, why do you sound like I child?" Silke asked.

"I am a child. On the inside and outside."

"Wow," she forced a chuckle. "Well, I'm getting some more oil. You gals want any?"

"Sure," Elysia said. Selma nodding in agreement. Aubri was already sound asleep, her head down on the table.

"Three quarts then."

"Actually, I'll take two," Selma said.

"Alright," Silke said. "Four quarts it is." She stood up and walked out of the door. I smiled and put Mila back down.

"Well, I must be on my way. I'll see you ladies tonight at the big barbeque."

"Good day, General," Elysia said, saluting with the other girls following suit. I walk out of the dusty barrack and then succumb to a fit of intense coughing.

"Jesus Christ," I mutter after my fit is finished and I've coughed up my lungs, stomach, and intestines after a whole minute and a half. "That place needs to be cleaned out." I get up and see the purple A above the door. The lights behind it flicker and short out. "That'll need to be fixed as well." I sigh and make sure I can still walk with whatever strength I have left.

"General?" there's a voice, but I can't really see who it is due to my blurry vision. "General! General Soto!"

"What?" I ask, forcing my vision to focus, almost falling over.

"General are you alright? You don't look okay."

"I-I'm fine." I sit down on an munitions box and take a few deep breaths. "Sorry. I was in the A-class barrack."

"Why?"

"Just checking things out. That barrack need to be cleaned and their entrance sign needs maintenance."

"Okay. I'll send some units out on that later tonight." I let out another sigh and look up as I my vision is finally clear. It's Marian, an M3 GMC. A tank destroyer from the D-class. Of course, she might as well be called the double-D class, knowing the size of her ammo rack, and I right?

6: Dinner with the Destroyer-Class
Dinner with the Destroyer-Class

Later that evening, as the dinner bell rang at 19:00, all the tanks on base meandered toward the mess hall for tonight's BBQ sponsored by the D-class. Archie, the Archer 17pdr, and Maria the Semovente da 75/18 was in charge of grilling the food. In the kitchen however, may God have mercy on our souls, was Svetlana, the SU-152. She was tenderizing the meat by using controlled explosions, while placing them onto Archie's grill with a massive sickle, all with an insane expression on her face.

"W-why is Svetlana making that face?" Ilona, a Hetzer, and possibly the youngest D-class tank so far, asked.

"It's okay, Sweetie," Merla said, trying to comfort her much younger colleague. Merla was a Marder I.

"Da, everything is fine!" Svetlana declared as she moved slabs of ribs onto the grill.

"Can I get a raw steak?" A Sherman Crocodile asked.

"Why?" Maria asked.

"It's Tinda," Archie said, flipping some burgers. "She's equipped with flamethrowers."

"Sounds dangerous, but have fun," Maria replied as she reluctantly gave Tinda a big, raw steak.

"Ooh, this is gonna be good!" she said, skipping off with her plate and sitting down with the rest of the Sherman variations.

"Wow, look at Tinda..." Shelly muttered.

"What's got you so worked up?" Bella asked. She was a Sherman Firefly.

"Yeah?" Tinda asked.

"Just shut it, Croc," Felicia, a Sherman Easy 8 said. Tinda growled with anger.

"You do not call me Croc dammit!"

"Better watch it, or we'll send you to the reject table," Shelly said.

"That's not a thing!"

"Yes it is," one tank called from the so-called "reject table". It was Cana, an AMX-40. She lay her head down next to her dinner, which she didn't eat.

"Shut up, Duck-face," the four Shermans said.

"Aw..." Cana began to cry, knowing they were right. Everyone compared her to a duck, even the Lieutenants.

"Don't cry, Cana," Kiwi, the Bob Semple said. Yes, you heard me right. Bob Semple. She was New Zealand's idea of a tank. When I say tank, I should really say a tractor covered up with sheet metal. "I'm here with you at the Loser table. That and we have Private Neko with us."

"Yes Ma'am!" the small anthropomorphic cat said with a salute.

"First reject, now loser?" Cana sunk even lower in her seat with a sigh.

"Chin up, my duckling," Lidiya, a T-70 said to Cana, patting her on the back of the head and walking by. "We'll see some action soon."

"Say's the weirdo wearing a freaking fur coat over her armor," Sabine, a StuG III Ausf G, wow that's a mouthful, said.

"I'll have you know it's comfy," Lidiya said, crossing her arms. "Hmph."

"Sabine, be nice," Evelynn said. She was Sabine's older sister and was a StuG IV.

"Whatever," Sabine said as she bit into her hamburger. Meanwhile at another table, Asami had sat down with some other M-class tanks to discuss some battle plans and she made Setsuko sit at the kiddie table. Mila, Ilona, Pansy, Annie, Flora, and Aubri were also sitting at the kiddie table. Setsuko ate with an expression of childishness.

"Is your sis being a meanie?" Mila asked her.

"Hai," Setsuko said.

"She's so scary," Flora said.

"It's gotta suck being the youngest," Pansy said. Aubri agreed with a yawn.

"Ja," Annie also agreed. You're probably wondering by now where I am in all of this wonderful fun. Well, let me tell you, since I was practically the only guy on base, and I wasn't a tank or any form of artillery like my lieutenants, I was at the reject table, with Kiwi, Cana, and Private Neko. Notice how I didn't call her a duck-face? That's because I'm nice. Get over it. While I was at the reject table, I was talking to Kiwi about how she could increase her stats by training in a way that was suited for her and I was enjoying a really nice steak. I finished it after awhile and it was so good, I had to see if there was another one.

"Seconds, General?" the captain of the D-class asked.

"Yes, Odette," I replied. "It was quite delicious." Odette was a Jagdtiger.

7: Vox Populi
Vox Populi

The next day, all of the tanks prepared themselves as my select squad of 15 units were ready to gout fighting the Corrupted. The way I had my team of tank laid out in formation was pretty genius if I do say so myself. I sent out destroyers first, then had Olivia speed though the gap and attack them directly. Of course if she held out long enough, the destroyers would catch up and provide back up. Huh... to think I just blatantly announced to the world my super-secret strategy. Oh well. I had 7 destroyers, 5 heavies, 2 mediums, Olivia and Tinda, and the only L-class was Lin as she had some pretty strong rounds she could fire pretty quickly. As Odette led, she went over some final strategies with Asami, as she was one of the smartest tanks on base.

"Got it?" Asami asked as everyone else was clearing the gate area as the formation fired up their engines.

"Ja!" Odette roared over the rumble. "We'll be back only after the last woman falls!"

"We'll be sending out damage control behind you! Good Luck!" She stepped out of the way and the tanks roared out of the base and through the gate, which was shut with loud clinks behind them.

"Off again, huh?" Veronika, a KV-2 asked.

"Yep," Asami answered.

"Did the General really send out Emiko?"

"Yeah."

"This is her first time since she joined us." Emiko was a Type 95 H-class tank.

"It is, but as an M-class, I'll leave any concerns to you." Asami turned and walked toward her barrack, waving a hand up as a good-bye to Veronika.

"What in the name of Stalin is wrong with her? мудак." With her final word said, Veronika continued with her daily chores, which was move the larger crates out of the A-class barrack, so it was no longer a storage warehouse. While the H-class was taking out the trash, the A-class was hosing down the floors and cleaning up, granted, it was only Archie, Marian, and Merla doing it, as the rest of the destroyers were out fighting. The rest of the A-class tanks were working on rebuilding their living area in the A-class barrack.

"So how should the couches be arranged?" Jill, the newest A-class tank, an M40, asked.

"Around the TV," Elysia said, gesturing with her arms.

"I don't know what this means," Jill groaned making the exact same gestures as well.

"She means like this," Silke said, making different gestures.

"No, it's this!" Mila said, making even different motions.

"That's way off," Darya said. "Besides, it's like this." Darya made her own gestures and dabbed at the end. Elysia groaned while Ellinah marked the spots for the couches with some black and yellow caution tape.

"How's that?" She asked Elysia.

"Perfect," Elysia responded.

"Kiss ass," the other tanks muttered.