Shorts smartworld

The Liberation

Where, following the war that started when they were a small child, Citizen 1,498,382 reflects upon those days that came to define them. The days when YutopiCorp’s forces landed in her homeland and liberated her—and her entire country—from the tyranny of political rule.

[16 September, 2140 | Friday]

“Breaking news: The City has liberated British Columbia. Following the City’s forces’ valiant efforts to eliminate enemy strongholds, Canadian insurgents have surrendered and taken into custody, where they will be given a fair trial.”

“Hey Conscience, stop the newsfeed.”

My squadron and I were on the ground in Mackenzie, British Columbia. Enemy combatants littered the area, unleashing a storm of fire upon us. The Conscience Feed’s report was apparently premature.

“Connect me to Commander Rull,” I instructed.

“Officer Cas,” came the Commander’s welcoming voice. “Congratulations are in order; British Columbia is secure. That is quite the effort, Officer, and I imagine a wonderful birthday present for you.”

“I’m afraid I’ve had better birthdays, Sir,” I said. “Apparently the hostile forces surrounding us haven’t got the memo; my squadron is surrounded by hostiles. We’re all still under heavy fire.”

“There will always be pockets of rebel forces determined to keep fighting, Officer Cas. I’m sorry to hear you’re still in the heat of battle.”

“With all due respect, Sir, this is more than a simple pocket.” I looked to the sky; the stars were covered by airships closing in on our position. My men were outnumbered three to one, plus however many were about to drop from those ships.

“Eliminate them, Officer Cas.”

“Yes, sir.”

As the transmission disconnected, the sound of gunfire coming from every direction reverberated through my ears. Admittedly, some of it was coming from my squadron who I could make out with my night vision, but the vast fucking majority came from the enemy, who I could also make out with my night vision.

In the distance, I could make out the enemy commander. I leapt through the fray, dodging the influx of fire, taking shots wherever I could find the opportunity. Thankfully, I managed to avoid taking a hit, which is more than I could say for most of my squadron. This was a bloodbath; my fellow Officers should have considered having their DNA spliced. This tiger agility is all that kept me alive.

It didn’t take me long to reach the commander. I pounced and landed directly in front of him, my gun aimed right between the eyes.

“Stand down,” I told him.

The commander didn’t say anything. Instead, the prick just smiled.

“It’s over,” I said.

“For you, it is.” He paused for a moment, staring at me with a cocksure expression that made me want to shoot him right then and there. But then he uttered one more word. Not to me, but to the airship hovering above us. “Now.”

I watched as a bomb dropped from the airship. I recognised it immediately; it wasn’t a weapon of destruction; it was something far more dangerous: an EMP bomb. I should have acted; I should have killed that fucking commander and anybody else I could get my claws into. Instead, I watched as the EMP bomb fell to the Earth, as if it was falling in slow motion.

And I was frozen.

The last thing I saw before my vision went dead was the EMP hitting the ground. Shit, if I’d had tiger DNA spliced into my eyes, I’d still have had the benefit of night vision. Guess I’m not the only Officer who didn’t think through every eventuality when requisitioning their augmentations.

The gun fell from my hands. I’d have reached down to pick it up, but it wouldn’t have achieved a damn thing: my hands were non-operational, thanks to them being entirely cybernetic. At least I could raise my arms when the enemy soldiers surrounded me.

A wonderful birthday present, indeed, Commander Rull. Just fucking wonderful.

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