He knew something was different as soon as he came to. His head felt like a bowling ball which made him think he had been under an anesthetic. In a way, he was right. He had been operated on but he didn’t know the extent until his mind cleared and he could fully take in his situation.
He was strapped to a wall in a small room. The walls were metal and a humming suggested he was in a transport vessel. This was confirmed when he saw stars slowly crawl across a small plasma window. He couldn’t move. His arms and legs were strapped to the wall, but he could turn his head. To either side of him was an armored combat droid. Neither of them were active. He tried looking down at his own body but couldn’t see anything to confirm his fearful suspicion that his consciousness had been uploaded into a war machine, but he didn’t have to wait long.
His suspicions were confirmed when the floor underneath him opened and he fell. Once the straps had released, he looked at his metal body and lamented his past life without even knowing what it had been. He had no memory of who he was. If he’d had anyone who cared for him. If he’d loved anyone. He was acutely aware nonetheless that he was human or at least had been before he was forcefully inserted into this vessel. He didn’t even know what year it was. All he knew was that he was falling in a metal body loaded with every possible weapon he could fathom, and he was falling from orbit. Despite knowing his situation, the dropping sensation made him feel his stomach rise regardless of no longer having a stomach or even a human body.
The planet below slowly filled his visual sensors. It was beige, indicating a desert surface. Smoke trails and dark masses indicated that fighting was already taking place. He fell at a tremendous speed. He’d be in the thick of it within minutes. His new body cycled through weapon functions and he gained control of all movement. The surface was closing in. He feared the impact would kill him, but if he had still been human, he would have burned to nothing in the thin atmosphere already. All around him were other sentinels dropping in. Many were mere specks against the sand making small clouds of dust as they impacted the surface.
He dropped at terminal velocity into the sand. As the impact cloud settled, he dug his lower half out with ease. A missile whizzed past his sensors clarifying the direction of battle. He charged forward, guns firing. He didn’t know what he was fighting. All he knew is he wanted to survive.
On a ship in orbit, General Armond watched the surface barely able to make out any progress being made.
“This had better work,” he said.
“It will,” Dr. Bradley said, “The human mind can only last a definite amount of time within the units, but the basic instincts in all humans, regardless of their previous social relevance, make them perfect soldiers. This stems mainly from a survival instinct, but several have an appetite for destruction. It’s not a trait easily recognizable, but the more we are able to obtain of that variety, the quicker we can advance into enemy territory.”
“And this group is created from the destructive factor?”
“Well, no. Like I said, it is a hard trait to pinpoint. We can say with certainty that approximately sixty percent have the destructive trait.’
“Let’s hope that is enough,” the general said and turned back to watch the battle.
His metal body was riddled with holes but he was still able to function. He couldn’t feel any damage, but a display he noticed after his first injury showed a detailed model of his situation. He’d lost movement of his left weapons array but was able to move and use both the right and main weapons.
The enemy consisted of other robotic units similar to his comrades. He wondered if they were piloted or completely autonomous. Part of him questioned if killing these things made any difference, and part of him didn’t care. He was dropped in the middle of a fight and since he couldn’t get out unscathed, he wanted to get out alive. Whatever alive meant in this form. His goal now was to make it out of this and find a way to get back into his old body.
An explosion obliterated the group to his right and threw his solid metal frame into the air. He landed in the sand, half buried again, and unable to move. The display showed his right side had been completely destroyed. No beneficial functions remained and a self destruction protocol had been triggered. He stared at the foreign sky wondering how he had ended up here, why he was in this place, and if there was anyone he left behind. He wondered if he had lived a good life before this. He wished he had at least known his name.