Continued from part one, which can be found in Life Matters Journal Volume 5, Issue 4.
A few days after her meeting with The Seven, she was called to C.O. Twintu's office. "495, we need to go over the marching orders for next week; the trainees need to be ready to go. Let's walk to my office.” As they walked, she continued.
“The Leaders are pleased by your support. The first order of business is getting everyone to the Mountain Crater Base. The baby soldiers are to be left out without their feeders. We need bait. Once they go into the dorms, make sure the barracks are unlocked, and hide in the portable bunker down in the crater. Don't utter a sound, just wait until we securely ping you for further instructions. We need you to run tactical from the base and fly some of the crafts into the air. After the attack, our men will fly in and capture the aliens. 495, we've also moved the date of departure up three days, so be prepared."
"Officer Twintu, we'll be ready 72 hours from now." She wasn't sure what she was feeling. After the marching orders sunk in she felt hopeless for the first time. She walked into the instruction room and looked at all the expressionless faces. "Listen up; we move out midnight 72 hours from now. Every one of you little snots needs an overnight pack ready."
"Yes, Lieutenant," each cadet responded in unison.
The next two days were a blur. 495 felt a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach. Her attendant came in with her pill. 495 pretended to swallow the pill, which she placed into a pocket she had created inside her shirt. The pile of pills felt weighty under her shirt, and she wondered if anyone noticed the bulge.
The day of the mission came, and 495 had trouble looking at the young faces waiting for her to speak. Her C.O. spoke:, "495, get the trainees ready for transport. I almost forgot, but I received a longer lasting pill made by Dr. Speck. I'm not sure when we can next get to you, and we need you in tip- top form."
495 was quiet as the trainees walked and attendants pushed the babies into the ten-speed tubes allocated for the mission. Once at the base, she followed the plan to the letter, finally running to her bunker. Pip cried softly; she asked, "Can I let these children die? They have been nothing but loyal to the cause."
A voice in her head spoke up saying, "Yes, you can. Remember the pledge! ‘Hail Leaders, who keep the world at peace. Without you, peace wouldn't exist. I pledge allegiance to you, and my sole mission is to protect you with my life.’ I'm not one of them.” The voice went on: “You will be rewarded, promoted, and maybe one day elected to be a Leader. This mission is what you've trained for all your life."
The pills felt heavy in her pocket, and she touched them with her hands. "Take the damn pills," said the voice. She couldn't.
Pip took a deep breath and opened the door to her mini-bunker a crack. She couldn't be a part of this any longer. She would run away into the dark wilderness and live out her life without any moral uneasiness. She wondered if others had similar qualms about what the government was doing. First, though, she would have to lock the bunkers so no one could get inside until the aliens were captured.
She heard noises and peered carefully through the crack. Pip saw a craft flying overhead. It was one of Headquarters'. "They have changed their mind and have come to rescue the children," she thought to herself. She let out a long sigh of relief. Soon the craft landed and several members of the secret police walked out with guns and knives. They ran over to the bunkers and started to shoot and stab with wild abandon. She heard screams of pain as the children died. Suddenly the secret police jumped back into their craft and were gone.
A deafening silence passed through the base for several minutes as Pip took in the horrific scene. She wept for all the martyred infants and children, for they had no reason to die; their blood flowed out in a river towards her bunker, pooling at its base. She cried violently, not just for the dead but for her years of ignorance.
"The aliens and chimeras are a lie," she screamed between sobs. "I'm sorry, so sorry, I didn't want this. I want no part in this war! What have I done?” She stopped crying for a moment, and the voice of 495 spoke: "Take the pills…You need pills. Regardless of morality, you could not have stopped them. Take the pills and you won't feel a thing.”
She shook violently as she surveyed the scene; she grabbed quickly for all the pills from her pocket. The pills dropped into the pooling blood and began to disintegrate with a hiss. 495 reached into the blood for the pills, staining her hands. Suddenly the realization was too much for Pip. "Oh God, what have I done? Oh God, what have I done?" She ran blindly towards the bunkers between wrenching sobs, splattering her whole body with red.
Pip picked up a gun. As she held it to her head, she heard a familiar voice say, "I don't want them to take you, Pip." She fired.