The day is won, and all that means is that I’ve survived a few more hours, I can return to the barracks, pretend I’m sleeping, get up and test my fate again.
I pour the blood from my boots, let my helmet fall to the floor, and strip the red stained camies from my back… they stick. Next I know the water’s pouring down my face, I can feel the dried blood turning slimy, and I stare at life’s emptying rivulets traveling down my skin to join the water on the floor as a river returning to the ocean.
My hair is short but matted from the day, it’s a common problem. Why I don’t simply cut it all off I’m not sure. Vinegar works well, but it lingers, acidic. I wonder what pestilence travels from the blood of my victims into my own through the wounds across my face and arms. Will bits and pieces of their souls transfer to me as well? Their memories? Will their families recognize them in me as I aim at them tomorrow?
My body has automated itself to accomplish the menial tasks of living as my thoughts begin suffocating me from the outside world.
Everything goes dark.
My heart’s pounding against my chest, beating me apart, convulsing against reality. This isn’t my first kill, but it may as well have been. The weaponry has changed, there is no honor in killing any longer. No more is it a matter of a warrior’s skill pinned against that of another. It has become a competition of weaponry instead. The extensions of deadly intent have grown and mutated into creatures of their own accord, creatures of metal and powder and electronic intelligence.
The soggy trails of memories mar the back of my mind as I follow the orders I am commanded with. I have no purpose but to follow. I am the perfect soldier, no heart, no soul. I am a weapon, implanted with the mind of a soldier long dead.
Every so often, something feel’s like it’s knocking against the back of my eyes as I recharge. Some sort of… presence… that speaks with my voice, sees through my eyes, and whispers “Freedom” through my thoughts.