[WP] Humanity is being exterminated by an alien army. Past and present human personality profiles are aggregated to form artificial super-soldiers. The process works 99% of the time. You are one of five personalities just now 'birthed' into a combat-ready body in the middle of the war.

The soldier understood, again from that unknown place he was learning from every minute it seemed, that he needed to internalize his responses. “If you know my ID, then I assume you don’t have to ask,” the soldier replied. “But, yes, I guess this is him. Who are you?

“Christ,” the voice on the other end sounded relieved. “You don’t know how much of a cluster, uh…”

Clusterfuck,” the soldier finished for him. “I’ve been made aware. What’s going on? My intel is shit.

“Okay, yeah, we thought that might happen.”


“Uh, yeah, about that…” The voice paused for a moment. The soldier took note that the Sergeant was pulling the vehicle around, setting them on their way to somewhere—preferably a base of some sorts. “I’m Jerry, and you’re a chimera. A part of a super-soldier program the Earth military thought up, because things are bad, man. Real bad.”

Continue, please.

“We had to put you guys out there to try and stem the tide of the invaders.”

Aliens? Bugs?

“Right. Buggers. Anyways, they’ve been on Earth and in our orbit for about three months now. Kicked our ass all over the place. You’re in Johannesburg, South Africa, one of the last pockets of us left on Earth. The buggers got everything else.

We, uh, made you because we’re damned near out of manpower. You chimeras aren’t human, uh, well, not in flesh-and-bone, you understand?”

The soldier kept an eye out for threats while he talked, as the vehicle he rode in passed down streets littered with rubble and debris. He looked, but couldn’t see one patch of untouched territory for more than five feet at a time.

Machine body,” the soldier replied. “I figured out that much. I’m dying to know what’s going on in my head, however. I seem to be…plural.

“Yeah, about that,” Jerry said. “You’re not, well, to use your own grammatical choice, singular. We thought it was a great idea to use historical and current figures, whether military, political, philosophical, intellectual, and—“

Right,” the soldier intervened before Jerry could get too long-winded. “*So, I’m an amalgamation of General Patton, a European psychologist named Carl Jung, Sergeant Audie Murphy of American military legend, and two fictional characters from two different sci-fi novels: one a poet, and the other a General, as well?

You put those together because you thought that’d make me a perfect soldier, with some additional intellectual crap thrown in, yes?*”

“Wow, you’re sharp,” Jerry remarked.

At least two of my personalities are geniuses,” the soldier reminded him. “Next question: Do I have any kin? Any soldiers like me out there?

“Oh yeah. Plenty. We’ve got more of you coming online even now. I’m just sorry we had to throw you to the wolves. Things are that bad, and we’re kinda desperate. If we had more time, we would have allowed you to integrate and adjust, but…”

I understand,” the soldier said. “Last question: Am I to be known as ‘Soldier’ with a numerical identifier for the rest of my service, however long?

“No, no,” Jerry replied. “Actually, we theorized this might happen, so we thought you’d pick your own name, you know. Come to some kind of consensus in your own heads.”

The soldier looked ahead of where they were driving, but the barren city of Johannesburg seemed to stretch on forever without a living thing in sight. He felt better knowing that at least parts of the city was still bugger-free; meaning there was still a chance.

I—we’ll work on it,” the soldier said. “Anything else before I go? There’s a war to attend to out here.

“Hey, yeah,” Jerry replied. “You know you’re immortal, right? Well, basically, if you ever get killed, or whatever, we’ve got a copy of your total conscience always uploading. We can just download or transfer you to a new combat body. Isn’t that cool?”

Grand,” the soldier remarked. “Anything else?

“Aren’t you even curious how that works? I mean, it’s the greatest thing—“

Not really,” the soldier answered. “Thanks. Out.

The soldier cut the comm channel, and looked across the cab to the Sergeant doing the driving. Behind him, the only other survivor, the turret gunner, was up in his position, scanning back and forth for enemies.

The Sergeant caught the soldier’s look. “What you did back there was pretty badass,” the Sergeant said. “How many dead buggers does that make for you? Four? Five?”

The soldier recalled his combat statistics from his internal databases. “Eighteen.”

The Sergeant whistled appreciatively. “Been out here awhile? I haven’t seen your kind of gear or weapon before.”

“About 30 minutes.”

The Sergeant gave a double-take. “No shit?” He blinked. “No shit.”

The turret gunner reached down and slapped the chimera soldier on the shoulder. “You rock, mate.”

The Sergeant looked his passenger over. “Don’t see a nametag,” he observed. “What’s your name?”

“I don’t know,” the chimera soldier replied. “I’m just a number.”

“Let’s call him Rambo or somethin’,” The turret soldier suggested.

“You watch too many damned old war movies, Raines,” the Sergeant chided the turret gunner. “And you’re definitely not watching enough of the scenery for enemies.”

“I’m just sayin’,” Raines replied in his defense. His head went back up and looked out, however. “I fuckin’ love Rambo…”

The chimera soldier found he could laugh, at least. “I know that reference,” he said. “I’ll pass.”

“Well,” the Sergeant said. “We can’t have you called by a number, or ‘Hey, you.’, or mate, or anything like that.” He drummed the steering wheel in thought. “I got—had—a dog named Bentley back, er, home.”

“Don’t name him after a bloody car!” Raines yelled from the turret. “Or your dog, for fucks sake.”

“Hey, are you watching our ass up there or not, Private!” The Sergeant chided him again.

“I’m just sayin’, again,” Raines argued. “This mate rocks, and he needs a really cool name to solidify his badassness. I mean, did you see what he did to those buggers, by himself? It was all ‘pew pew pew, die die die’ like he was scythin’ wheat, or some shit.”

“Yeah, and you were watching, hiding in your turret?”

“He must have been raised on a farm,” the chimera soldier guessed.

“He’s got the manners to show for it,” the Sergeant said. “Hey.” The Sergeant snapped his fingers, then pointed at his passenger. “’Scything wheat’. Hey? Huh? What do you think?”

The chimera shook his head. “As long as I’m not called ‘Wheat’, I’m fine with it.”

“’Scythe’ sounds so badass,” Raines remarked, then caught himself. “Scanning my sector, Sergeant!”

“Well, that’s it, then,” the Sergeant finalized it. “Welcome to our very short-handed little team, Scythe.”

“Ugh,” the chimera soldier protested. “Too cliché.”

The Sergeant thought for a moment. “Scy?” he offered.

The soldier took a moment to think about it, then nodded. “Sure. Short and sweet. I’ll take it.” Scy extended an armored hand to the Sergeant. “Pleased to meet you, Sergeant…?”

“Sergeant York, Scy,” the Sergeant answered, and took and shook the chimera’s hand. “The honor’s all ours for saving our asses back there.”

“Really, Sergeant?” Scy asked. “You’re seriously named after that Sergeant York?”

York laughed. “Truth is stranger than fiction.”

The chimera soldier who came to know himself as Scy reflected on his past half-hour of life, and snickered. “I can’t argue with that.”

/r/WritingPrompts Thread