Basic Manipulation

Humans are malleable with the right amount of abuse. The right amount, too much and pop, too little and nothing.

Sergeant First Class Robertson prides himself on knowing when the right amount of abuse has been reached. He has a stern face. He’s divorced. His red rimmed eyes are always angry.

Many people wish him dead.

The doctor says he’s in better shape than a man his age has any right to be.

“You’ll probably live forever Robertson.”

“Won’t Christ be disappointed, Captain Peter?”

“Probably.”

They chuckle.

The private wielded bayonet twists and no Christ won’t be disappointed after all.

On an FTX

The boy is a trained killer in woodland-camo, rip-sole jungle boots, a kevlar helmet and a scowl. He digs shovelfuls of wet sucking mud from a hole.

Drenched and miserable, he is sick as fuck of the army and all its machinations.

The hole is for a sixty-caliber machine gun that will be aimed at an empty field. Once dug a soldier will be in this hole ready to provide suppressive fire at an enemy force that may attempt to breach the perimeter.

Fake war bullshit.

The LT arrives to study the boy’s efforts and Leavenworth stops being a deterrent.