VOICES FROM A COMA: Metalcrank by Dave Fragments

Ghost on stairsWhen they open the crate and walk me out, I am on an orbital platform circling a catalogued sun. I, who was once the clown-prince of the rich, a spoiled and supercilious brat, am a tool of the military. Life blows the big hairy schlong. They load me with ammunition and ship me to the surface of a planet. I kill strange bipedal creatures, lots of strange bipedal creatures. I pour my hate into their deaths.

Five planets, eight wars, and a century pass before I see Tyler again.

It’s between missions. I’m assembling a new invasion force for an assault on Tau Ceti Prime. Tyler commands Squadron Red Alpha. It has the reputation for the highest victory and re-up rate in the army. Tyler is a leader: vital and integrated with his squad in ways that would be impossible had we remained together. His crew is fast, efficient, careful as it replaces his worn treadles, mounts a new cannon, adds new gamma-power energy motors, better armor, x-ray death beams, and the latest telemetry equipment. They do this in record time. He has found respect, valor, and honor.

Silence is the better part of wisdom today. I speak through the radio with a nondescript voice and hide my ID beneath my armor. He thinks I’m dead and I want no one to learn otherwise. I no longer need family, need friends, or confession. MetalCrank made me the ultimate weapon. My accomplishments will be a spectacular list of unexplained deaths that will never be less than Top Secret, Eyes Only. Mine is a centuries-old profession.

In the last great war on Earth they named me, for my type of war. I am RattenKreig. I hide and kill — silent, unseen, unknown. My actions are unexpected. It is my life and your death if you oppose us.

This story can be read in issue one of Voices From a Coma.

You can download it here: Voices From a Coma Issue 1

Or… as an epub file via SMASHWORDS

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