Confusion swirls within the fumes that take me away from reality again. My mind asks what project was I the test dummy for? Does this project have to do with this chip that was clicking next to me? Was I ever in control of my mind when I was in the service? How long have I been a part of this project? Is everything that I’m fighting for and living with a lie? Will I be executed because of the secrets I can think about now? Is my family in danger? Oh no, what are they going to do with my family? Will I still have the love of my life? Is my unborn child going to be a victim of my fate? Are they already in danger?
The tomb of darkness that’s holding my mind burns away as I see my wife running scared down the once welcoming cream hallway in our house. The sun’s rays bleed in through the window of our living room and caste a silhouette of the General holding a pistol pointed at her back. The General’s darkness blackens out his eyes as a bullet fires through her back and sprays what could have been my child. Her life leaks into the cracks of the wooden floor as she crawls with tears showing her wishes for mercy. Her once pure soul looks at the grim reaper as he pulls the trigger again to send her into the afterlife with a flash guiding her away from me. I tremble within my helplessness before I charge at this murderer with everything I am.
I continue kicking the ground to try and catch this motionless man, yet I can’t seem to reach him no matter how hard I try. My screams only echo within my soul as tears give me the salty taste of no return. Eventually, the walls stop expanding so that I can reach him, but every punch that I throw at him goes through him like a ghost. I stand there in a screaming fit as the General gives the demented smirk that I remember from my childhood. He turns away from me and disappears as quickly as he came. I turn back around and rush over to my wife and try grabbing her but end up grabbing a lifeless body. I turn her face to see if she’s still there, but her eyes stare at nothing as a trickle of blood leaves her mouth to form droplets on the ground.
My screams shatter the hallway that I’m in and leave me in another area of black empty space as I hold the body I used to know. I disassociate from myself and watch as my body appears next to a grave with a tombstone that reads, “Here lies Sabrina Jack, the most loving wife and friend anyone could have known.”
Sniffles and pants continue to run from my body as I walk up to see the closed eyes of Sabrina. My head drops as the ground turns into sand and I see that chip again. I look around and see my body next to my feet and the approaching soldiers cautiously entering the room. I pick up the silver device with blood carefully coating it and examine its features. The needle on it is no more than an inch long and could barely be seen by how thin it is. A flashing light shows that this device still has juice as the design of intricate wiring shows how artfully crafted it was. The lines are symmetrical with each other and none of them cross over the other. The green flashing light seems to be pulsing at the beat of the clicks and runs energy into the needle. My curiosity touches the needle and shocks me into the battle field.
Explosions cause my head to whip around in terror as I watch my soldiers being plucked off like game again. I look at the terrorists that were firing at us and see that they’re missing me on purpose but hitting my troops. I feel as though they were trying to trigger this device in some emotional way before I could be fully controlled. I see the back of my head flashing as I watch the slaughter I don’t wish to relive. Blood is the constant shower that I take on as I slash every soul into the afterlife. The burning rage in my eyes matches the creases around my mouth as my teeth show how much I can’t control myself in that moment. I look back down at the device and hold it up in front of the distant explosions accompanied by the light show of bullets until it disintegrates into the air.
A face waves into perspective as I feel myself returning to reality. I see the face of my General as he’s asking something that only sounds like muffled gibberish. My eyes squint as I try to grip my brain before I hear, “Can you hear me son?”
Caution rests in my throat as I reply, “Yes, sir.”
“Good. Then know that you need to get yourself dressed because you’re getting a ride to your plane back home. Do you think you can do that?”
He nods his head as he says, “Good. Then come outside when you’re ready because we’re all waiting on you.”
I nod my head, so he exits the room. I look around and see that my clothes are sitting on the bed next to me. There’s also a cane for me to get around, so I’m glad they were thoughtful enough to give me that. The covers are taken off of me, so I swivel around and use the cane to prop myself up as I grab my clothes. After I carefully get dressed, I make my way out to our vehicle and see Privates Tagger and Locke both in the truck already. I smile at them and say, “Let’s go home.”
The privates smile at me as the General enters the vehicle and says, “I hear that. I’m coming with you boys.”
My eyes flare open as I look at him before I sit across from him to keep a close eye on whatever he may do. The truck takes off down the road with my eyes never leaving the proximity of the General. He smirks and says, “You know Jimmy, you should get two dots on the back of your head to match that smiling scar of yours.” I smirk with disgust, so he says, “Oh come on, relax. We’re all going home now, so we don’t have anything to worry about. I’m personally going to make sure that you boys make it home safely.”
Privates Tagger and Locke reply, “Thank you sir” and smile at me without knowing what I know.
I smirk and remain silent, so the General asks, “What’s wrong son? Something on your mind?”
I reply, “Just can’t believe I’m going home sir. I don’t know what to feel right now.”
“Just enjoy it. You’re fighting is finished now.”
I nod my head and remain silent the rest of the ride as Privates Tagger and Locke talk with each other over the loud sound of the truck.
After miles of sand are left in the past, we arrive at the airport for our final ride home. We walk up the stairway to freedom with our luggage and enter the green military plane. I sit in the back away from the General’s hands, but close enough to watch the other soldiers. I hear the engines fire up and feel the bumping of our take-off until we feel the g-force of flight take us away from the ground. The altitude lightens my breath as my ears begin to pop; but it weighs down my exhausted eyes until I’m back asleep.