// war, death

occasionally, i come across a rare and special kind of being. a drone that is not a drone, a drone that still has a human soul. the volunteers. as humans go they’re insane of course, crazy, idiotic and throwing their lives away. they’re some of the bravest drones i’ve ever known. i didn’t and first, and it took me a while, but i think i understand them. humans are so weak after all, who would want to be human? there’s more to it than that of course, there’s too much to ever put in words, there’s so much that can’t ever be said. they were drones, they were one of us, they died for the right to call themselves that, i’d never take that away.

the conversion process for volunteers is less totalizing, they’re still people, legally speaking. they participate in the war by choice and they always have the option of leaving the front. most drones hate them for that reason alone, even if most will never have the balls to admit it to them. If they still have a soul, are they really even drones? if they can just go home and tuck themselves safe into bed after they get sick of the fighting, are they anything more than tourists? 

we had plenty of tourists of course, you can always tell when someone’s just come along to gawp, paying out the nose to get a theme park implant upgrade experience and dangerous adventure to go along with it, eager to treat us like the props to their stories. we usually made sure the annoying ones happened to get caught behind enemy lines. nothing anyone could prove of course, but you know, these things happen.

but we had plenty of the real thing too. call them what you want, naive, idealistic, they were true believers, and some of them stuck it out with us straight through until the end or they went down fighting. strange, dumb, brave beings.

there was this one volunteer drone, a former soldier and excellent fighter. it said what was happening to us drones was wrong and decided that if we had to fight, it would fight with us. we thought it was crazy of course, we always expected it to go back to the humans eventually.

But it never did. It stayed, stayed and died. It went down fighting, protecting other drones during an ambush. I never did quite figure out what to make of it. surely it knew that it was doomed, that there was nothing it could really do but die a pointless death. stupid. i hated that thing…and i loved it. it always got on my nerves but it always managed to make me laugh too. I still remember its strange smile. It was a good drone.

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