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A segment from my novel Gen-Eg

Updated on October 19, 2014

Adult

Adult


The air felt solid, thick, and stagnant. There was no breeze, no comfort or escape from the blazing sun. Several long lines of figures stood at rigid attention in front of a squat, reinforced building. They had been standing there for hours, unmoving. Large salt stains marked the brown camouflaged uniforms they wore as they waited and waited. In the second line 66 stood lost in thought. He had learned a long time ago to suppress his pain and discomfort. To mentally, if only temporarily to escape his situation; it was definitely a learned asset. No one openly questioned the wisdom of making five hundred soldiers wait in the merciless West-Texas sun. No one intelligent would openly question the state.


Finally, a Sergeant walked out of the command bunker carrying a clipboard. The time had come once again, a mission. Slowly, the NCO read off line numbers, names of Gen-Egs pre-selected for the mission. Property didn’t need real names. As each Gen-Eg was called, he or she broke formation and ran toward the briefing bunker located behind the group. Minutes passed until thirty Gen-Egs were called, the remainder moved off to begin their daily training.
Sitting in the cramped briefing bunker, 66 gradually stretched his knotted muscles. In the shade of the bunker’s interior, the temperature wasn’t any better than outside. Time would pass even more slowly as the Gen-Egs had to wait for the briefing to begin. This was 66’s lot in life, what he had been designed for.


The State was called Westfor. It was created from the charred ruins of a failed democracy. Years ago it was decided that the Westfor military needed an edge, a genetic edge.
Amber Dragon was the code name given to the project of creating a race of genetically engineered soldiers. Deep from the bowels of the Westfor’s Special Projects Labs, they emerged. Five thousand men and women created and raised to be living weapons, spawned to kill. Science gave them tremendous strength, stamina, and near invulnerablity. They were truly an advancement of mankind, albeit an artificial, unnatural one. For them, life began in a test tube, with no mother or father, just numerous designed DNA codes. Life was about service to the State, without question or hesitation. The State was the only parents they would know. From the time they could remember, they were schooled and trained in the killing arts. No childhood games for Gen-Egs; everything they did was focused to make them proficient killers. With no families or distractions they excelled in their studies. A few said that they were nothing but slaves to the State. But they knew no other way. The Pack soon became the preferred secret weapon of choice. With no family or friends outside the Pack itself, no one would question if they were used and sometimes lost doing wet work for the State. Unlike regular military, no one would morn or question a fallen super soldier, especially ones that didn’t exist.


The world was a very unstable place. The Westfor government was one of two world super powers. It spanned several continents and commanded 35 percent of the Earth’s landmasses, but only 25 percent of the world’s population. Westfor was made up of dozens of former nations and island nations. After the Great Revolution and the Consolidation War that soon followed, many former nations found themselves under Westfor’s control. These nations became Districts of the State. Some of these Districts produced only agricultural goods for the two billion Westfor citizens. Others became regions of heavy industry; vast cities rose up on top of older ones. There was so much to be done, just about everyone had work, and a place to live. Ever suspicious of its own citizens, the State created an omnipotent entity called the Internal Security Directorate. Citizens were rewarded to spy on their neighbors, family, and friends. Thousands of agents worked and lived among the people to oversee their day-to-day lives. It became an obsession of the Supreme Council to dominate its own citizens. Enemies could come from within as well as without. The population was constantly reminded of their obligation to the state. “We serve the State”! was the party line everyone learned early in their lives. Of course there were thousands, if not millions of people who didn’t go along with the program. The gulags and unmarked cemeteries were full of them. Westfor justice was a bit heavy handed.


“We serve the State!” Roared the thirty assembled Gen-Egs as an operation’s officer brought the mission briefing to order.


The minutes passed, as various norms went over the deep raid that was planned. Within the first few minutes of the briefing, 66 started to drift in thought. He should have been listening, but he knew the mission would be discussed over and over again in the next few days.
The dream came to him once again. It seemed to start whenever 66’s started to daydream or sleep. The dream took place when he was six or seven years old, and it was based on his earliest memories. At one point during the Gen-Egs life it was decided to house the Pack with human families to try to instill a sense of belonging and social teachings. Since no one in Westfor had raised genetic super soldiers before, they wanted to try to ground the children in society as much as it was feasible. 66’s family was named Corwin. Joe, Ruth and little Camille; the parents worked and lived at the secret training facility the Pack was based out of. For three years, 66 lived with the family, who tried as best they could to make him feel like he belonged; it wasn't like the Corwins had any choice. It was the closest to a “normal” family he ever experienced. 66 would live with the Corwins and leave for school just like Camille. The Gen-Egs would learn conventional things like reading, writing, and arithmetic. Then, in the afternoons, the curriculum would change to the killing arts. For 66, it was the closet he had ever felt to being human, like everyone else. Even with the Pack, it wasn't the same. The dream would start with a fond memory and build from that. Soon 66’s subconscious would create alternative endings or take wishful threads. It could be said that he was trying to create a happy family to belong too.


“So basically the mission is a raid on a Bloc Bio Weapons research lab, deep in one of their northern zones.”


66 stared at the operations officer as he continued the briefing. The details of the mission expanded as each staff officer got up to brief their portion of the plan. Soon 66 realized that this was going to be an extreme high-risk mission. Besides the fact that it required the strike team to make a nighttime parachute drop into the Bloc’s homeland, they still had to infiltrate one hundred, twenty miles deeper to reach the target, walk through, one hundred, twenty miles of hostile enemy countryside without being detected. Yeah, right, simple. If they made it that far they then had to attack and destroy a well-defended target, a facility full of deadly viruses and bacteria, a microorganism storehouse of death. The risk involved seemed to be unnecessary and greatly hazardous.

66
66

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