Chapter 74 - Indoctrination
“Alright students! Please sit down at your desks!” a voice barked from behind Kale and he sat down at his immaculate desk; it was as if it was just constructed. Echoing footsteps against the slick wooden floor traveled through the classroom. A woman made her way around the desks and to the front of all the children.
She had tan skin and red hair that stopped and curled above her shoulders. Her attire consisted not of lab coats or a uniform, but of normal casual clothing. It reminded Kale of being back at his last school, and for that he let out a sigh of relief.
“Hello Kale, I am Ms. Kanole.” She looked at Kale, and then back to the group of children. “Today we are going to continue our lessons about Nhaja. Don’t worry Kale, it won’t be anything difficult, we’ve only recently started going over Nhajan history.”
Ms. Kanole walked up to the chalkboard and began writing down a list of names, names of countries to be exact. The countries Nhaja, Aneire, Jurai, and Pandorum were written in a column.
“Do you know what all these countries have in common?” she asked as she hit the board with a stick of chalk.
Kale didn’t have a clue, he only knew them to be countries. His past class hadn’t gone over the world map much yet, or learned anything significant outside of Nhaja, besides the cool arctic animals in Aneire that everyone loved.
The children in this class all seemed to know everything though, more than half of the students threw up their hands.
“Yes, Vei?” Ms. Kanole pointed to a girl with long sky blue hair and light skin.
“They are all allies!” the girl shouted.
“Good, good, and for a bonus question for you, what is Kandorr to us?”
The small girl scratched her head and spoke after a moment, “Um, didn’t you say that they aren’t enemies and that they aren’t friends either?”
“Correct! We aren’t sure what Kandorr’s intentions are so we have to be very careful around people from that country.” Ms. Kanole turned to a binder on the ledge of the chalkboard and picked it up. She flipped through and scribbled something in. “Vei gets two Nelto Points!”
“Not fair!” a voice called out.
Nelto Points? Kale looked around the room in confusion. And not only that, what did everyone have against Kandorrians? One of Kale’s friends from his old school was from Kandorr. Could he have really been a bad person? Kale raised his hand.
“I have a friend from Kandorr! He was one of my only friends!”
Ms. Kanole twisted her lips. “Yes, he could have appeared nice, or maybe he was nice, but you need to be careful of everyone outside of the allied countries.”
Kale had no idea there were even allied countries before this, even now he didn’t understand. He had never heard anything bad about other countries, he thought everyone got along to a degree. In response to the teacher’s answer Kale just quietly gave a mumble of confused affirmation.
“Now onto opposing countries. Which countries should you never trust?”
This time a boy with dark skin and orange hair raised his hand.
“Hendal, Rillar, Kyath, and Lohge.”
“Correct, as you guys know, well actually, Kale doesn’t know.” Ms. Kanole paused. “Kale, we are preparing for the possibility of a war.”
“A war?!” Kale shouted.
“Yes, and these countries all tried targeting you and your family too. They were the ones who poisoned everyone with chemicals. This wasn’t the first time either, twenty years ago was when the small battles stopped, and one big event brought the resurgence of the true Nimalstic War started once again. We aren’t safe here forever. Not without training.”
Kale’s brain couldn’t handle all the information, and couldn’t even come to a conclusion with what to think of it. He was only eight after all, no child could understand the weight of these words. The things he did understand however, made him tremble. He didn’t want to fight.
“Everything will be okay though, because while we are treating your radiation here, we will also teach you all the truth. And perhaps you would all be willing to help us build up the Allied Army after learning how evil these countries are. Would any of you be willing to help once you are healed?”
About half the class yelled out in support. Kale and Hage both sat silent though.
“Those of you that didn’t answer, I hope by the end of our lessons together you will be willing to help everyone. You could be the ones to create change in the world and save people from ever having to die from an enemy again. You all could be heroes!”
The kids looked on in awe.
Hage whispered to Kale, “It would be cool to be heroes though, right? Someday we could save people like we were saved.”
“I guess that would be cool… We would be on tv and stuff too, right?” Kale answered.
“Yeah, of course! People would come up to us and ask for our autographs! We could be famous!” Hage grinned.
“Before any of you can think to do that though, you need to pass this course!” the teacher said. “And not just the course about Nhaja and other countries, you need to be well versed in normal studies too. Math, Science, and the likes.”
A few of the kids groaned. “I just want to help save the world!” one of the kids shouted.
Kale felt so out of place, he had never experienced lessons in school that revolved around even the teacher talking about them being able to be heroes. He couldn’t help but smile at how different this place was despite the harsh words about war a few moments earlier.
“Since a lot of you seem fired up right now why don’t we start gym class right now?” Ms. Kanole asked.
The classroom erupted with cheers and the kids swiftly pushed the desks to the side of the room. Kale stood still by his desk dumbfounded and Hage walked over to him.
“Don’t worry, just follow what everyone else is doing. Gym is so fun here.”
“Is it different than other gym classes?” Kale asked.
“You’ll see.” Hage smiled and helped push Kale’s desk to the sidelines.