Gunfire ricocheted off crumbling concrete buildings, pelting packed dirt and cracking audibly into scarce trees. A soldier took cover crouching behind a dilapidated wall, returning the heated fire of semi-automatic M16 rounds. Flanking shots rang out, grazing dangerously close to a shoulder and spraying the soldier with concrete powder as the bullet skipped against the building.
The position was compromised by unforgiving open space and overly confident enemies, but despite the precarious position, the soldier held his ground, confident in his unit’s strategy. He only had to survive until reinforcements moved in, forcing the retreat of straggling enemies too intent on revenge rather than sparing their own lives. It was a folly of humans—to stubbornly die for the sake of vengeance. Crouched low, the soldier bolted for new ground and a more promising position, only to be pinned with a ripping burst of ammo. Hitting the ground hard, heavily threaded fabric smoking, the soldier lay inert. A companion soldier fed a new cartridge into a hand pistol and squeezed a round into an offending rebel with a spattering gargle. The thump of a human carcass still ebbing life from freshly fatal wounds rasped a dying requiem as the comrade crouched hawkishly over the fellow soldier. A final shot rang out in declaration before it was safe enough to check the status of the wounded infantryman.
“You okay Rex?” a woman’s voice contrasted the sharp cracks of previously deployed ammunition. It was a strange humane juxtaposition to the desert of war.
“Sure thing, Commander West,” the fallen soldier replied, sitting up to check himself. “All units intact.” He patted himself as though to make sure he could function properly.
“Good work soldier. Move out.” Commander West didn’t wait for her infantryman to respond before regrouping, collecting the remaining soldiers of her unit.
Rex stood, unnecessarily surveying the damage. The titanium enforced carbon fiber plates significantly reduced potential damage from bullets, not to mention nullified any attempts at hand-to-hand combat. And although his program utilized automatic checks to any external and internal damages as a result of compromising environments, Rex had observed the human logic behind the need to assess one’s state of being during violent exchanges. Rex wasn’t human, despite army fatigues masking the sleek build of an alloy frame; despite the fact Commander West had shown concern for a fellow soldier: a newly battlefield tested android. Taking stock of ammunition, releasing a spent magazine into a plume of dust, he reloaded another with a satisfying snap. Had Commander West not shot down his adversary, he might have relished the thought of rising from the ‘dead’ to gain vengeance. But vengeance was a human tendency, and so he only ducked low with caution and sprinted to where Commander West had last been seen.