[Ahh yes. Time to take my interest in WWII to the next level. WWIII!]
Death. Some would say it has no smell, but Alec would beg to differ. He'd been surrounded in it for two years now. If asked to describe the smell, he would say "Burning bodies, blood, and gunpowder." Most would suggest he get out of this line of work, but it was all he knew. It was all he had.
Dictator Seeth Normacoff had taken his life when he killed had killed his family. Alec was the most promising of the boys, so he was left to live as long as he lived to serve the Fourth Reich. The Fourth Reich was the army controlled by the facioust party, World-Wide Socialist (WWS) [couldnt think of anything better] party.
So here he was, helping the Fourth Reich conquer as much of this corrupted land as possible. If he refused, he was to be shot. If he did any good, he wasnt praised or promoted, his commanders were. They trained him. They made him. He was nothing but a speck of dust under their boot. These were the thoughts drilled into him since that one day years ago.
He ran right out into the cross-fire. It was a technique taught by his commanders. He was to make the enemies use up all the ammunition on him, he would be killed, but he would promote the WWS. The WWS was all that mattered to him.
As he ran out, he tripped almost immediately into a ditch made by his fellow soldiers for cover. He hit his head on a munitions case as he fell and he felt the warmth rush down the side of his face. The last thought that went through his head as he fell into that ever-inviting phase of unconciousness was "I deseve this. I have failed my leaders."
He woke up, and knew nothing of where he was. The Fourth Reich was very strict against teaching religion, so he had no idea what Heaven and Hell was. He opened his eyes and saw to his right, about 50 meters away in the tunnel, the back of a soldier. He almost cried out. That uniform was one of the LS (Liberation Squad) of the enemy.
They were walkking through the line and stabbing all the WWS bodies. Alec guessed the WWS was right, all the LS really did was liberate life from bodies. He made a slight sigh as he saw that the men were heading the opposite way. He reached up to his head and felt the dried blood. So he had survived. But he had failed. He had nothing to live for.
He stood and steadied himself. The world was spinning around him, but he knew it would stop soon. He looked down at his WWS uniform. If he was spotted in that, then he would be killed. There were dead bodies all around him, but one stuck out especially. It was an enemy body, still fully clothed. It stared up at him eerily. He reached down and closed the eyes. He didnt want that man to see what he was about to do.
He stood up, straightening his leg through the caked blood on the knee. He looked odd in the enemies soldiers uniform. A voice in his head screamed "TRAITOR!" The soldiers I.D. papers showed him as an American. He had also carried a picture of his family with him. The dead mans name was Isaac Stoffel. So this was who he was now...Isaac Stoffel: American soldier and traitor to the WWS.
There was only one thing left to be done. If there was blood on the uniform, and no wound, there would be suspicians. He picked up a piece of shrapnel from the ground, gritted his teeth, and plunged it into his knee. Fresh blood oozed from the new hole. He climbed out of the hole with difficulty and fell to the ground screaming "Water!" A fellow Allied soldier came running at him with a canteen. He took a sip of it, and fell into a blissful sleep
A swimming darkness crept into the waking youth's head. The blood loss from first his temple, then his leg had taken a heavy toll. His dilated eyes opened to an abrupt fluorescent suspended on the makeshift ceiling. A nurse quickly took attendance of the moaning man. He jerked away from the blurry Alliance colors, forgetful of the reason he was still alive.
"Isaac?" the girl asked in a soft voice.
"Uh, yes?" lied Alec as he got ahold of his mind. He rubbed the double-vision from his eyes to find an even greater surprise than waking in an enemy medical facility. Alec could see it all over the young woman standing next to his cot: her eyes, her hair, and mostly her nose. He had never been so close to one before, just fired at them from the frontline. She was one of them. It was her race that sparked this war. It was her and all her kind, their greed, their impure genes...
His eyes uncontrollably bulged, wanting to find disgust but frozen from showing it. "You're a Mod," the imposter finally mustered.
The nurse brushed her vivid hair from out her sharp, smiling face. She batted her unnatural, wholly green eyes and whispered back: "And you're not."
"Katherine!" a low, commanding voice sounded. Another soldier of the Liberation Squad, another one of her kind, another Modan, stood, thick arms folded behind his back. Deep, black eyes pieced through pristine skin below two, bony protrusions on either side of the lieutenant's forehead. A large array of medals adorned his olive jacket, seemingly too many for a man that looked so young. Then again, they all looked young. That's the way they were engineered. "What is wrong with this soldier? Is he defective?"
"Not at all," the nurse sweetly responded. "A resistant infection is keeping him from healing as quickly as normal."
"Very well," huffed the giant of a man. "Be sure he makes a full recovery. We respect life, not like those commie dogs that did this to him."
As the hulk turned to take his leave, the panicked Alec took to his dressing to find just how badly he had injured himself.
"You're not infected," quietly mumbled the attendant. She was met with a curious glance from the traitor, staving his hatred for a moment. "It was the best excuse I could think of," she said with a shrug. "A normal Allied soldier -- a Mod soldier -- would have healed a wound like that last night. It's okay, tho'; your secret's safe with me," the nurse said with a wink.
"The name's Kat. I gotta say, I don't know how you got past all the screening the LS army did when they went solely modified, but... that is really brave of you," she spoke in such a way that it tore open Alec's internal torture and self-accusations again. "I mean, you must believe in this cause so much to risk yourself like this. Whenever I think about all of those people, all of those countries that have lost their freedom, all of those Normacoff murdered-"
"Seeth only cleanses the Modans," the youth automatically defended, programmed to such an extent that he did not even consider the consequences of his words. "No one can say the world isn't better off without those genetically altered bourgeois." Once Alec had realized he even spoke at all, his head nervously shifted to the waiting nurse.
"Harsh words," Kat responded, "but then, a lot of people are mad with them. Guess why that's the reason the WWS is so popular with the lower class." Her eyes went distant as she spoke, she planted her elbows on the cot and leaned in closer. "I wasn't born like this," the girl explained, tracing her elongated neck with a slender finger. "My parents were like most of the people's; they didn't have the money to spend on growing their own child. But when I was young, they said I was brilliant. Y'know," she paused, darting her eyes over to the wounded warrior, "for a human. I was reading and writing by age five, but everyone knew it wouldn't get me anywhere. None of the best schools would waste their time on a human.
"So, my parent scrounged up all the money could, took out loans they are still paying off to this day," she with a forced chuckle, "just to get me a cos injection. I wouldn't have the immune system or the reflexes or anything, but I would look like a Modan -- I would fit in." Reality snapped back into her, on her feet in her normal, chipper tone. "No one ever found out, and here I am today."
"You shouldn't have to hide what you are," growled Alec, whose anger was only subsided by the thought of what a beautiful human Kat would have made.
"No, I shouldn't," the nurse flatly agreed, "but Mods shouldn't be lined up in the street and executed, either. They can't help that their parents made them that way. And while I may not always agree with what the upper class does, I have the right to my opinion, which is more than anyone under Axis control has. And that's what's most important to me."
"Hey, Retro!" interrupted a soldier from behind.
"Excuse me?" questioned Alec, turning to an adorned private with large eyes and blue-tinted skin.
"Ya know, Retro! Yer whole cos: brown hair, brown eyes, totally ironic," the Modan explained. Alec delved into his limited communications experience intercepting transmissions.
"Cos" is short for "cosmetic genetic alteration," he thought. The fake Isaac nonchalantly nodded the comment off, testing the limits of his self-restraint after once again being called a Modan.
"So we thought we got all the commies back in yer battle, right? But when we counted the human fatalities and compared 'em with satellite images -- one got away. Didja see anything?"
"Uh, no, I hit my head," quickly thought the imposter. "That's why my super... duper senses didn't see him... run away."
"Ah, well, we think he went into a local village. We were hopin' you could narrow it down, but it looks like the whole place's gotta go."
"Wait, what?" Alec stopped the soldier before he could depart. "You're just going to level the entire town? But, you don't even know if he... this commie dog... is in there."
The private simply shrugged. "It is just there poor," he told. "There'll always be more."
These people, these Allies are going to destroy an entire population without any cause? thought Alec. All life is useful in some form: workers, soldiers, cannon fodder, but simply to waste a human life? That is when he realized... The Allies have no concern for human life. They all must die.