Diaries of the Drone War I

// war, death, violence, gore

The technician closes your back panel and kicks you off the repair stand. you stagger doe-legged back to your commander as he shakes his head. 

“This one’s getting close to expiring,” the tech says, “If you let them get too many memories, they’ll start wanting things.”

You want to say something, but you know you can’t. You’re not authorized to feel, to want. The commander’s hand feels so warm, his voice is so calming and hypnotic. You feel him articulate your fingers and light his cigarette off your integrated firestarter, you are safe.

“That’s fine,” you hear him saying, “New orders came down, we’re making another offensive, none of these units are likely to survive that.” He strokes your hair and looks you in the optic sensor, “You ready for one last battle?” 

You nod contentedly.

At last, the battlefield is quiet and still. You walk through the wreckage of drone bodies and robotic limbs, calmly putting your damaged comrades out of their misery. They beg you to save them, but you both know that’s impossible. They smile as you destroy their processors.

The command truck is a crushed soda can. The Commander’s pulverized body lays at your feet, parts of him spread every which way. His eyes are cloudy, blood leaks from everywhere. He begs you to put him out of his misery, but he lacks the command authority to violate FOF code.

Death is so undignified. They all break in the end. They all die begging to be saved, begging for someone to rescue them. You wonder, using a few idle cycles, whose name you’ll call out in those last moments. The Commander watches you, his eyes are filled with hate.

“Stupid useless drone!” he whimpers, “Won’t follow orders, can’t even die like it’s supposed to, and now I’m gonna die…” he cries but you aren’t authorized to care. “What are your orders?” You ask him, his breathing is getting hoarse and wet, he sneers at you, “Just die.”

He can’t order you to die, you aren’t alive. He watches hatefully as you take his pack of cigarettes from and light one, the nicotine cools your processor as you watch him expire, shaking your head. 

“Stupid useless human, can’t even stay alive like he’s supposed to.”

The only sounds are the moans of dying drones and the keening birds wheeling overhead. You are alone. You take another drag of the cigarette and wait for new orders. Maybe your next commander will do a better job of staying alive.

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