Written by: Stephen Brown; Mansfield Grey
Clark was with a bunch of business men in black suits. “Whiskey, Bravo, Charlie is ready and the white dove is light,” was the next thing to come out of Clark’s mouth. He stood there on the other side of the bars with the men, watching our reactions.
My heart began to race. I started to feel my head pound. I felt hot. I began to sweat. What was happening? The implants where gone, and yet this is how each mission starts: with Clark’s voice and that phrase – Whiskey, Bravo, Charlie is ready and the white dove is light.
As I was starting to play that familiar program, which I had come to hate, it hit me! I realized right at that very moment: if the implants are gone, he doesn’t have any control over me. I have the choice to be what they want me to be, or I can be my own real self. The one I always wanted to be, but couldn’t see the forest for the trees.
I joined the army when I was 18. I was running away from life. I had no skills, had dropped out of high school early, and never graduated. I forged my high school diploma to get into the service. I had no confidence about living; I was on my own at such a young age. My dad died when I was 14 years old and my mom had two jobs to make ends meet. I think I joined the army to ease the load for her. I was also looking for a role model. I didn’t find that until I met Clark 10 years later. Now I find out my role model was a scum bag who used me to make himself and a corporation rich.
I looked around the room as I began to feel better. The physical effects where subsiding. The guys were having various reactions. I could see Q, Bronco, and Sticks catching their breath and recovering as I was. I didn’t like what was happening to Pogo and Axe. They were staring into space, sweating, with this weird look in their eyes.
Then Clark turned to the business men and said, “Good! We still have some influence. Get them ready for re-programming. These boys are gonna have the newest and latest bio-hybrid systems on the planet. The perfect soldier – the perfect killing machines. We will be able to control them from our office chairs. Gentlemen, Headlock USA will ensure that every soldier delivered to you will have a money-back guarantee and a 10 year warranty. There are some service and maintenance stipulations, but that is a formality. You know what I mean? It’s like buying a new car!” he laughed and looked back at us.
I feasted on all this new information. I celebrated the idea that I don’t have to be controlled. Not if I can help it! I think it has to do with a willingness to participate fully. If you have any doubts, it doesn’t work. You have to give in. I realize this now. I always wanted to go back and get reprogrammed before, because it was easy. It took less energy to go through a mission then live a civilian life. I had been programmed to be a soldier, so every time they called I would jump at the chance. Being a soldier was all I ever knew as an adult.
As Clark was leaving the jail with the business men, I yelled at the boys “Red Band 1, Colonel on deck! Attention!” with a full military salute.
The boys looked at me with a kind of – what the fuck? – confused look on their face.
I turned my head slightly and winked at them from the side that Clark couldn’t see.
Q looked me right in the eyes. He knew I had a plan. He shot his salute up and said “Red Band 1, present and ready Captain!”
The others responded and raised their hands in a salute to Colonel Clark.
Clark stopped and turned. He saluted back, and said, “We have great plans for you boys. Come tomorrow morning you will all become super heroes for your country. Everyone will worship you. You will become invincible. The first bio-hybrid human beings ever created.” Then he paused, “Oh yeah, I almost forgot, where is the device the Chinese Scientist was smuggling?”
“Sorry sir! It was destroyed sir! The blast in the mouth of the cave! It exploded upon impact of the missile you shot at us sir!” I replied as a good soldier should.
“Good to have you guys back Captain Grey,” he paused, looked at Sara standing at the back of the cell and asked, “Dr. Mann, join me for dinner?”
Sara slowly walked to the cell door without looking at any of us, stepped out, grabbed Clark’s arm and walked away with him.