Joseph H. Ficor -
Shouhei Fiko stood proud with the other recruits in their crisp gray uniforms. There were twenty-four in his graduating class. The last six weeks had been a nightmare, but this moment made all of the sweat—and blood—worth it. Soon, he would receive the single chevron that marked his transition from Enforcer Recruit to Enforcer First Class.
Enforcer Command Chief Romero stood in front of the recruits. “Recruit Platoon 74R. Attention!”
All boots clicked together as one. They were a well oiled machine. Romero had seen to that. These were the successful candidates who had excelled where thirty-six of their comrades had washed out. Shouhei was proud to be among the ones who had finished. His parents would have been proud, but they could not make the ceremony. They could not afford the trip from Adagio to Avenir. He knew that they were here in spirit.
Peacekeeper Colonel Pietrov personally pinned the chevrons on each recruit.
After all of the chevrons had been given, Shouhei joined the others in reciting the creed of the Avenir Peacekeeper Corps:
“We swear by the honor and blood of the Founders
That we will faithfully execute our duties
As Enforcers of the just and righteous laws of Avenir.
We will carry out our duties with honesty and honor.
Deceit and greed will be far from us.
Death before the dishonoring of the Corps.
On our honor and that of our forefathers, we swear.”
Romero then turned to the former recruits. “Recruit Platoon 74R, Dismissed!”
The voices—and caps—of the recruits rocketed to the ceiling of the assembly hall.