I separate myself from the emotions; as though I’m observing myself from outside my own body. The Kalashnikov, by my side, lies on the forest floor. I remain supine, hidden from the view of soldiers, the opposite guerrilla force. I see shadows of soldiers within the foliage, middle distance, where the green glints in the sun, filtered by the partially cloudy sky; such a backdrop of perfection.
War paint, the grease mask smeared carefully on my face, makes it seem hotter than it is, like rubber on my cheeks, as a heavenly breeze rustles the leaves of the canopy of the forest.
I’m unrecognizable, to myself, to others, although familiar in a disembodied dimension. I’m someone else now. All I perceive is from a near-Earth orbit, Neuralink, and the computational strength of the satellites. I wait for the signal, ready to fire.
Sweat descends from my forehead and the beads of moisture trace down my neck. At first there is quiet enough to hear a mosquito hover. However, I concentrate on what I see; what Neuralink sees. The sounds mean nothing, not even a distraction. Perhaps the mosquito is a male.
A side window projects into my brain, my very consciousness, and shows the relevant area as viewed from above the log. Terrestrial Perspective, this type of vision is called, also referred to as the all-seeing Eye of Horus. The images are my thoughts, handed to me, just about, from Osiris himself.
This vision is enough. What I see is enough. It syncs with my original thoughts. The satellite, colloquially called Link, never clutters the mind of a soldier with too much. Too much is death.
Osiris knows when I know enough, when I’ve seen enough. The view winks out from my consciousness like a ‘blurb.’ However, data can be pulled back, at will, back to the satellite, when necessary. This operation is called forgetting.
Now Osiris shows me full-field battle field; panoramic; and I notice the delicate green moss covered in human blood and an errant severed hand strewn in a bed of twigs. An animal takes interest.
I sweep away the greasy moisture from my own forehead and swear silently to myself as I suddenly remember that I am messing up my hand with the black greasy paint. Now I have grease on my hair as well, under my helmet. My hands and pant legs. Old habits die hard. – I think to myself.
Suddenly, involuntarily, I start at the sound of another wave of bullets. There have been so many. A violent steal slamming sound; bionic bees, that’s how I’ve always thought of it, just like the machinery of death.
The staccato pace starts again. I ducked my head as close to the ground as I can. Now supine even further, straining to remain flat upon the mossy floor. I am further into the leaves.
I can see, that is to say: understand, that I am not the only human with enhanced capabilities.
A deadly pulse, sounds of broken branches and twigs, and then a scream. The energy courses through my body and I take my Kalashnikov. I knew what it would all look like, the old familiar, even without calling up the images, bodies slaughtered in real time.
I run, scrunched down to avoid the bullets.
Flying red, the meat of human flesh. Instincts, or Neurotechnology, pull me where I need to go, without my being fully aware of the process. One grows accustomed to being distracted; battlefield situational awareness required being distracted. I didn’t even have to look. But I saw it all anyway; the images in my mind; the satellites’ view from near-Earth orbit; our version of relevant reality.
Racing through the the ferns, running, I drew closer to the sounds of a rushing mountain stream. I got to a granite boulder, the height of a man, massive, and waited for a signal from my buddy. We are all connected here with hardly a private thought.
I lean with one hand pressed on the mossy rock with the weight of the Kalashnikov on the opposite side of my body. Was this a premonition? Then, I hear the all too familiar whistle, we’ve trained for this situation. The explosion is expected now.
The voice always seemed unnatural at first, but then less disconcerting. The Neurotechnology was telling me we were running back to the pill-box, 40 yards up the shallow hill. I’m confident. That was the plan. Now I know it as though I had known it all along.
Our individual actions had a surprisingly cumulative result, as all soldiers.
And so, the small force of soldiers, a guerrilla force, gathers, finding ourselves at our perch, figuratively above the fray, away from the sounds of the rushing stream down below in the thick of the forest, that cuts through the low part of the valley, now heavenly in its silence. Then, at erratic intervals, sounds of bullets flying. Then the sounds grew more distant.
We were within the concrete walls in short order. The echoes off the concrete walls, the all-too-familiar interior of the pill box. We set our guns down for a short spell.
Sir Boob-a-Lot was his nickname and that was due to the obtrusive anatomical enhancement(s).
When he first heard the soldiers joking about him and laughing at his anatomical enhancements it pained him to hear ‘Sir Boob-a-Lot.’ Now he felt it somehow ran counter intuitive, and was an honorary title; insults are like that in the military.
Yes, the surgery was yet another miracle of mRNA, meaning the genetic therapy made the surgery more successful than would have been possible without ‘the shot.’ The only flaw, in his mind, was the fact that he grew three female breasts instead of just two, although all three were stunning in their shape and weight, not to mention texture. He weighed them methodically, especially when seated before the mirror at the vanity. He wondered at them, then closed his Teddy, specially made just for his figure, around the supple orbs, once again.
The real soldiers were fighting down below, in the pillbox.
Sergeant Mealy still self-identified as a ‘Cisgender male.’ He discussed this with his therapist, his identity. This all happened before they began their affair; he and his therapist.
Mealy adjust his position in the chair. He thought about life in the castle and wondered at the quiet, the privacy, and the enormous stones.
******************************* FICTION, James Legare 10-19-23
***** This has been a work of FICTION. *****
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