The Fortunate Dead
Chapter 1: First Kill
He crouched there in the menacingly dark shade cast upon him by the tall grass. He remembered all his training, as there was no way to forget. He had committed the correct gripping of a combat knife to memory, and could not break that habit now. He was hiding in the dark shadows, taking advantage of his small stature. He kept cold, unblinking eyes on the enemy before him. He couldn't escape the teachings.
His hands were sweating so profusely, that he could barely grip the handle of his knife. His heart pounded so loudly that he was afraid the noise would give away his position. He swallowed the large amount of saliva that had built up in his mouth, and then slowly began creeping toward his unsuspecting foe. He crept slowly, avoiding every twig and pebble along the way.
Approached the end of the tall grass where his enemy was standing, he caught a glimpse of the encampment that lay ahead. There were guards everywhere. They were all armed with desert eagles, and pineapple grenades. All he had was a knife. He grinned as he thought about the challenge, only to be brought back to the task at hand by the guard in front of his sneazing.
He cut the guard's achilles tendon, and the man dropped with a scream of pain. He cupped his hand over the man's mouth and dragged him into the tall grass, leaving startled guards to wonder what the noise was, while the boy held a black blade against the throat of the man, who was now trying desperately to scream for help. The boy kneeled over the man, poised to sink blade into flesh. The cold look in his however, had turned into trembling child's eyes. His hand shook with fear and angst, and tears soaked his face.
He brought the blade up a little higher, and began to bring it down on the man. His hands moved in fast motion, his eyes had returned to cold and dead, and he was ready to kill. Just seconds before the blade sank into the soldiers throat, the boy heard that all too familiar monotone voice pipe up. "Simulation end." it stated with a certain feigned smugness that the children were all sure was programmed into it.
"Tsk tsk tsk. Why the hesitation Jacob? He was an enemy. He wronged you, wronged all of us. Are you going to show that kind of mercy to your attackers?" Jacob shook his head and looked around. Slowly the new surroundings slid into focus. Lately he had been spending so much time in the program that he had starting seeing that as the real world. The thick jungle environment that was around him a moment ago had now become a dull, headache inducing white room, and the many soldiers that he saw had turned into one man in a long white coat, rectangular glasses, and an obvious combover. To look at him, you'd never guess his profession.
"Are you going to answer me Jacob?" He inquired. Jacob still didn't respond, still thinking about how real the simulation seemed after so long. "No? Fine then." He let out a sharp whistle that damn near bloodied Jacobs ears. At the call of this sound, another young man stepped into the room. He walked slowly, with some kind of reserved dignity, and a permanently cold stare in his eyes. He made his way to the center of the room, and took his place in front of the good doctor, a few feet opposite Jacob. Jacob held the knife in his hand tightly, gripping even tighter to counter the sweat that was forcing his grip to loosen. He knew what was coming. "Now, attack" the doctor shouted. At his command, the other child attacked, lunging at Jacob with his knife, the same make as the one Jacob was holding.
The child cut a gash in Jacob's arm. The wound bled, dripping blood on the floor, staining its clean white tiles red with blood. Jacob ignored it, overwhelmed by the adrenaline rush. The istinct of self preservation took over. Hesitation was no longer an option. The child was behind Jacob now, licking the blood off the blade of his knife, showing just how much the training had warped his mind. Jacob dropped to one knee and spun around with his foot outretched, sweeping the child's legs out from under him. He then stood, and dropped his knee on the child's chest, and slashed the boy's throat without remorse.
"Well done." The doctor stated. "See how easy it is to decide where your life stands opposite another's. It's the human condition son. We all do what we can to say ourselves without even considering another's life. That's the true human spirit. The one that everyone refuses to believe, despite the evidence." His voice began to fade as he walked away from Jacob and the fresh corpse on the ground. Jacob missed a lot of the doctor's speech, but caught the last few words. "Clean this shit up!" Were those words, which lingered as he exited the room, walking out the door with practiced bravado, and a certain swagger, signifying a profound drunkenness. Jacob would've liked to believe alcohol was the reason the doctor displayed the cruelty he did, but he knew that wasn't true. Even the worst drunkards wouldn't go to this extent without planning.