Site Manager Tanya - Chapter 5 - Guardian_Box - 幼女戦記 | Youjo Senki (2024)

Chapter Text

The first thing Tanya did the day after the impromptu facility-wide pizza party (and a long night of studying legal documents), was to send the electronically-signed copy of her employment agreement back to the main office. The paperback copy of the agreement would be signed in the presence of relevant witnesses in a few days, but for now the electronic document was enough to justify her continued position as the facility's manager.

Still, with the new Training Department soon to be completed and her managerial duties multiplying as a result of increased areas of responsibility, Tanya had foreseen that her hands-on approach on employee training was coming to an end. Taking that into the account, and with the impending opening of the actual Training Department she'd have an actual budget for soon, Tanya decided to accelerate her current staff's training, to the point she'd have an actually experienced core of workers she could foist any further employee training on in the future, while she concerned herself with managerial matters.

Which is why now Tanya was leading a pack of her employees thorough the facility on a brisk run.

Wearing a white t-shirt, a pair of comfy sports shoes, a new purchase of black fingerless gloves and too-tight shorts of a make she was certain was banned in her first life (eventually), she had led this particular batch of agents on their morning exercise. Cardio was important, always and forever, but especially when sections of her facility could be required to be isolated and quarantined at a moment's notice if a particularly nasty Abnormality breached containment all of a sudden.

Thankfully, this was just a training exercise so far, so Tanya didn't need to pay heed to any number of too-stringent safety protocols.

Wouldn't be much of a training exercise if it didn't prepare the trainees for the truly outlandish scenarios, after all.

"Alright! Break time! Engage in cool down exercises!" Tanya suddenly announced, still jogging in place as she stopped before a very familiar door to a particular containment chamber familiar to pretty much everyone in the facility.

Maeve waited behind a flimsy metal gate.

"Question time!" Tanya yelled out suddenly as she did her stretches from side to side, the employees mirroring her movements "What should you do in the case of Maeve breaching containment right this very moment?"

"..." most of the employees said nothing, too dumbstruck by the unexpected line of questioning to answer quickly, before one of them finally rose his hand up and shyly answered "Um... evacuate and call for help as per protocol?" he uncertainly answered.

"Good call." Tanya nodded in affirmation "A perfectly reasonable response, great work Alan" it was important to offer some positive reinforcement towards her employees, even if all they did was offer the bare required minimum "Next scenario: assume retreat is not possible at the moment, what then?" she asked. Maeve was so far the most problematic Abnormality in the facility, so it wasn't that surprising for the answer to not be easily forthcoming, compared to the other Abnormalities they've been working with... but the continued silence was surprisingly unexpected.

"Um..." one of the braver employees finally dared to raise a hand, and after a nod from her decided to continue "Guess we'll just die?"

Tanya stumbled mid-stretch. The answer just refused to compute in her brain. The mere idea of someone, anyone really, accepting their own potential death this easily felt alien. Like an alien, oily eldritch thought trying to worm it's way into her brain that was mostly water and refused to mix.

"Excuse me?" she replied frostily, all thoughts of continuing the exercise regimen forgotten for the moment "Could you please elaborate upon that thought?" she continued with a frosty tone of voice.

"Ah, it's just, ma'am-" the unfortunate employee tried to speak, but being the sudden center of attention from the Manager had seemingly robbed him from his composure "It's just- eep!" he tried again, but Tanya's Iron Fairy decided at that moment to channel all of the disgusted curiosity of her mistress. The little being flew in front of the unfortunate man's face, her gimlet eye gazing upon the man's own orb from a distance best measured in millimeters. A moment later, she flew to the side, to peer into his ear canal, before moving on to the other side and then stopping in front of the other eye. Each movement of the little manifestation resulted in her razor-sharp wings nicking his cheeks and eyelids just enough to hurt and draw blood only slightly, nothing really that would require any significant amount of medical assistance.

The subconscious message was clear enough anyway.

"We- we just don't have anything to fight her with!" the man quickly decided on an excuse. Tanya tilted her head slightly at the non-sequitur, the Iron Fairy flew back slightly, scratching her head in confusion.

"What do you mean, 'you don't have anything to fight her with'? Every line employee is provided with at least a collapsible baton for self defense, as well a combat knife if they wish to have one"

"Ah, but, ma'am-" another employee spoke out, his voice cracking slightly when the Manager's gaze landed upon him "You did, kinda, I'm sorry if it's rude, but you did say, I guess, not to burden ourselves with any unnecessary equipment during this training exercise, so we didn't, so we don't really have anything to use in the scenario you proposed, hypothetically, ma'am?"

"I- I-" Tanya was not ashamed to admit she was caught flat-footed at this moment. Sure, it was a relief to think that her employees wouldn't simply be suicidal enough to just give up at the merest hint of adversity, but, on the other hand, the sheer idiocy- "Since when are personal self-defense weapons 'unnecessary equipment' in any way, shape or form?" the little blonde manager asked, utterly bewildered by the very idea.

Her employees shuffled around uneasily, no one daring to speak.

"Um" one brave soul finally managed to voice their thoughts "You don't have any weapons on yourself, Ma'am, so we thought, that, you know-" he said, voice audibly leaking out courage the longer he spoke.

"No, I don't know" Tanya replied blandly, pinching the bridge of her nose. Internally somewhat satisfied this was just an issue of mere miscommunication instead of a sign of a much deeper problem, she flexed her right hand, the complex mechanisms of her right fingerless glove spawning the standard issue L-Corp collapsible baton right into her waiting hand. She did the same with her left hand, and the glove deposited an obsidian-black combat knife straight into her waiting grip "-since I've spent a lot of money to get these items to make sure I'm never unarmed in the first place"

The gloves had cost her a pretty Ahn to be sure. Even on her managerial salary she couldn't just buy such a thing outright. Still, she was deemed financially stable enough that the Workshop that produced these kinds of things allowed her to pay over a longer period of time through several installments for her custom order. The pair of gloves allowed her to hold up to two items, one per glove, which worked just great for her, since the only two weapons she had was the standard L-Corp issue collapsible baton and combat knife. The gloves came with a function to have the weapons paired to them return to the separate subspace assigned to them at her will, so there would be no problem for her with retrieving her weapons whenever she liked to, even if they were thrown away or lost during combat, so she would always be armed in some way.

She had looked up the available firearms first, of course, but the available offerings seemed subpar to her. Either too expensive for her means, or whatever the crap that was available cheaply was just too inferior and over-regulated for her needs. All things considered, having a sustainable melee option was more cost effective for her at this moment of time, so that's what she'd went with.

Still, even trying to focus her thoughts on the sensible rationales of choosing the workshop items she did didn't stop her frustrations from mounting at the absurdities of her current situation.

"Firstly" Tanya said, pinching the bridge of her nose after dismissing her weapons back into the glove storage "Personal defense equipment is always necessary, especially in a facility like this, so if I catch any one of you without such at any point in the future, you are getting a pay cut. If you manage to live through whatever circ*mstances that made me notice you are not armed that is." she continued "Secondly, the training exercise goes on. Hypothetically, now that you bunch of absolute idiots have decided to venture deep into the facility without a single weapon to your name, for some unfathomable reason, you chance upon Maeve breaching out of her containment chamber. Just like here and now. consider running away as being impossible for now. You have no weapons on you, for reasons that are an absolute unfathomable mystery. What now?"

Her employees looked around each other uncertainly, hoping to find an inspiration in the faces of one of their comrades. Sadly, there was none of that to be found. After a while, one of the new hires courageously opened her mouth to speak-

"And no." Tanya interrupted. "You can't just say to lie down and die." the female agent's mouth snapped shut "You also can't say to run away, throw other employees in the path of the Abnormality hoping it'll spare you, release any other Abnormality hoping they'll be too busy with each other to go after you, or just simply hunkering down and hoping for a higher power to save you from this ordeal because believe me, I will not be listening." Tanya said, hoping the lie wouldn't be too obvious. Of course she would be listening if any such a critical facility failure would be occurring, and would do her best to resolve it, but the point at the moment was to motivate her workers to solve any hypothetically occurring problems by themselves. It was a question of motivating them to perform, not reliably relaying to them that the management would be there to bail them out at a moment's notice. "Again, this unarmed group of yours encounters a breaching Maeve. You have no weapons. You cannot retreat. You cannot give up. You cannot surrender. I am not here to interfere. What do you do?"

Silence greeted her. Damnable, uncomfortable silence.

"Okay," Tanya eventually said "Okay." It was a struggle not to damage her own skin as she massaged her suddenly hurting temple "It's still just a training scenario, so I'm willing to ignore all of... this everything. So! Hypothetically! Let's think this through! In the case of this particular abnormality breaching, the first and foremost cause for concern would probably be the minions spawning off of the Abnormality. While deadly, there's a certain limit to how many could be created and maintained at one time-"

Tanya launched into an impromptu lecture then. She had spent many work hours personally suppressing this particular Abnormality, so she considered herself somewhat of an expert on its behavior. And so, Tanya began talking about the spawn rate of the Fairies the Abnormality employed, how they acted at particular saturation levels, how the Prime Target acted at different fairy saturation levels and so on. It was quite a tedious work to figure it out by herself, to be sure, but it was still knowledge her employees would be able to appreciate in the end. She made a mental note to write proper employee engagement manuals for the more troublesome Abnormalities in her facility in the near future.

"To conclude-" Tanya said, finishing her impromptu lecture "-I do believe that in the scenario presented it would be best for the mission objective to be completed by the first rank to immediately grab onto the nearest spawned Fairy and holding onto it for dear life. The pain of it eating through your flesh would be immense, but consider the upper limit of how many Fairies Maeve can spawn at any single time. If you can keep a fairy busy chewing through your meat and bones, that's several minutes you are buying for your fellow employees to catch and hold all the other Fairies. With the spawn rates Maeve is capable of, that would leave a substantial amount of other employees in this scenario to use the primordial weapon of our ancestors, the Fist, to do their best in suppressing the breaching Abnormality with blunt, naked violence. Rest assured that if such a case occurred I'll be there to call upon the proper medical team to drop by and provide assistance if such a wild case happened to occur. Any questions?"

There were none.

"If you ever have any questions, please feel free to ask them, there will be no negative consequences if you ever do so" The Manager said, waiting for a few long seconds as she swept her gaze over the bewildered employees, before whispering into the comms mic mounted on her shoulder with a quiet voice heard only by the closest few of her workers "Requesting a full Trauma Team response at my location in 20 minutes, please confirm" the radio hissed unintelligibly, before the Manager replied "Acknowledged, expecting full TT response in 20 minutes, over and out"

"All of you, stay here" Tanya ordered as she opened the door to Maeve's containment chamber "Help will arrive in 20 minutes, so just stay put and think about today's lesson in the meantime"

The Manager entered the containment chamber and closed the door behind her. Soon, muted sounds of violence ensued from the isolated room, noises of things being smashed into cold concrete, of bodies slammed repeatedly against the walls or the iron gate separating the Abnormality from the wider facility-

-ten minutes later on the dot, Maeve's broken body slammed through the containment doors and crashed against the opposing corridor wall. Both of her arms were broken, one leg was missing, and only two Fairies followed their hurt mistress, the third one just spawning in the few moments before anyone had any idea to actually do something in the intervening moments.

"Well, what are you waiting for?" The Manager spoke, emerging from the Abnormality's containment chamber seemingly unruffled, a baton and knife held firmly in her tiny gloved hands "It's hurt and devoid of most of its minions, a situation much better than what we have just discussed. You have nine minutes remaining by the way."


Andrew jumped forward, catching one of the Maeve's fairies in his grasp. He could feel its razor-sharp wings cutting at his hands, slicing through the meat and sinew, their sharp metal wings doing their best to cut through the bones of his fingers.

Still, he held on. Through the incredible pain, and the threat of being crippled for life, he held on. The fairy started chewing through his hands, consuming meat, cartilage, and starting to gnaw on the bone, but he held on.

Another of Maeve's fairies appeared in front of his face, a malicious grin present on its inhuman face, before it dived in on a straight trajectory towards his eyeball. No doubt aiming to chew through the organ and dive deeper into his brain.

Andrew could barely blink, realizing his imminent demise when another fairy slammed into the first one, before both of them crashed into the concrete wall of the facility. He could barely perceive how the first fairy crashed back-first into the wall, while the second one punched their little hand into the wall over the first's shoulder. He could recognize his unlikely rescuer by the silver crown she wore, for she was one of the Manager's own. The crowned fairy embraced one of the spawned by Maeve, as if they were both lovers meeting during a midnight tryst, before she sunk her multitude of shark-like teeth into the neck of the spawned Fairy, tearing a large chunk of meat out of her, a fountain of liquid rust erupting from the deadly wound.

"Disappointing" he could hear the Manager's voice, a welcome reprieve from the agony of a Fairy slicing and eating through his closed hands "You said the only option in this circ*mstance would be to simply die, and yet you are trying to escape?" Andrew did his best to concentrate on the sight before him, on the speaker from before crawling away and a tiny sport's shoe belonging to their Manager stepping on his throat, seemingly one single forceful push of her dainty foot onto his neck away from claiming the life of the employee. "You have three more minutes to prove your worth, otherwise I'm afraid... I'll have to let you go"

The implicit threat didn't take a genius to be fully understood.

The man under Tanya's foot, once freed from being held under the Manager's shoe, rushed forward and with a desperate cry joined all the others wailing onto Maeve with his bare fists. Every once in a while one of the employees jumped forward to catch any of the newly spawned Iron Fairies in their hands, consigning themselves to agonizing pain and torture for the sake of containing one of the little monsters in their hands on the off-chance that it would be just enough for the others to deal with the main Abnormality.

"Thirty seconds remaining!" The Manager's voice suddenly echoed through the corridor, spilled blood running freely over the cold, concrete floor.

Of course it wouldn't be enough, he thought. Maeve wouldn't have been this difficult to defeat, even if she escaped containment, if only any one of them had something to stab or slash her with. The blunt force trauma just wasn't enough, even if a dozen or more of his comrades kept pummeling onto the thing.

"Twenty seconds!" the merciless voice of the Manager yelled out loud.

Andrew couldn't even bring himself to cry. Some distant part of his mind recognized it might've been the adrenaline talking, but that same part also recognized that the agony he'd be suffering through without it would've be tenfold of what he was experiencing right now.

Both of his hands were little more than chewed through stumps by now. His hands were gone, the flesh and sinew consumed by the Fairy, his bones chewed through and a sad remain of what once were his limbs. Still, even as the Fairy dug into the flesh of his arm, as it ate through the meat between his radius and ulna, the sad stump he was left with...

...was sharp and pointy enough.

"Ten seconds!"

Andrew launched himself forward with a roar, the thought of fighting against the fairy eating through his arm from the inside forgotten at the moment. The pieces of bone sharpened by accident by the Iron Fairy, he slammed into Maeve's face with malicious intent. The thing's eye's burst as he jammed his bones into the organs, he did his best to ignore the agonizing pain as he retrieved them from the monster, and then slammed them into the body of the thing again and again and again and again and again-

The jugular, the heart, what he thought would be the liver, the eyes, he kept stabbing the thing with the sharpened stumps of his own limbs, tears of agony and despair flowing freely down his cheeks.

Suddenly, there was no pain anymore. The thing burrowing through his arm and into the direction of his heart seemingly disappeared.

He kept stabbing into the piece of rusting meat under him, though he didn't know why-

-ah, Sophia was there, suddenly standing over him. Why was he laying on his back? But what a beautiful smile she had, even if she kept crying, that just made her all the cuter-

He did his best. He fought and struggled like never before, fought something impossible and won. He thought, that, perhaps, his sacrifice would mean something, that his life would be meaningful in death...

...he made peace with his fate.

It was a good death. Better than many people could've hoped for, to gloriously die for the sake of defeating an impossible enemy to ensure others would live to live another day.

The last thing he saw was the Manager standing over him, holding a syringe of brightly green glowing liquid.

Andrew closed his eyes for the last time.

"I don't remember-" he faintly heard the voice of the Manager as he made peace with his death "-giving you permission to die, soldier."

The syringe stabbed into his arm. The substance made its way through his system, revitalizing his cells and regrowing his lost limbs.

Andrew rose from the floor, coughing stale blood from his lungs, then vomiting out the contents of his stomach. He grabbed the bottle of water presented to him with his hands, took a long swallow and wait, he had hands again-?

"Wonders of K-Corp's regenerative technology" Sophia said, smiling shyly in his direction, as she realized just what she was so amazed by.

"Quite" The Manager coldly said "Good work during the training exercise, you went above and beyond the call of duty with your showing. Rest assured your contribution will be evaluated appropriately according to your performance. For now, please rest and take it easy."

Andrew just kept staring at a patch of concrete that made that specific piece of floor in front of him.

He wondered if that particular puddle of congealed blood was one of his.

Site Manager Tanya - Chapter 5 - Guardian_Box - 幼女戦記 | Youjo Senki (2024)


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