the Penal Legions

Eighteen Years. 216 months. Over six thousand days.

The visor was tied into the tac-net, telling him where to go next. Who to shoot and who was just a casualty of time and place. Mathias had given up caring a long time ago. He let off a volley of rounds through the thin sheets of paper that constituted walls in this part of the world and heard three thuds from the other side.

The judge had been efficient. Participation in an organised demonstration. Twenty years. Two years reduced for time served (nobody said the rest of the system had to move quickly). He could spend them on Manhattan Island or join the PL.

Mathias swept the barrel of his weapon around, watching for any remnants of resistance. The bodies lay on the ground, thin streaks of red speckling the holes where tungsten-carbide rounds had punched through paper and into people. Man. Woman. Kid. Eight days for the man, five for the woman but only because she was clutching an antique rifle. The kid would cost him an extra four. Nine days reduced on his sentence.

He’d shipped out with sixty men on that same day. Forty-seven made it through basic. Seven lasted the first winter. He’d lost himself in that winter. The tac-net was there, the last thing he saw at night before the stims wore off and the first thing his gaze met every morning after when it jolted him awake.

He was closing in now. On time and targets. The tac-net didn’t want him to win, it couldn’t allow someone to complete the game lest they be released back into the world. The missions had changed when he passed 365 days. No more long patrols or escorts. He was deep in Charlie-land now.

Climbing the rubble that had been the families home, Mathias looked out at the end game. A score of men. Rifles, mortars and enough smart munitions to take a fortress. He added the numbers up in his head and primed a helix-nade.

He’d need to get them all.

Prompt originally posted by thinker85 on reddit and received 2 upvotes.

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