The Perfect Soldier, A New Life

1. The Evening of Another Day

I got out of the jeep, and approached the camp. It was a dark, and wet day. There was a steady drizzling of rain, and a cold breeze rolled across the trees, ruffled nearby tents, and drove the rain into my face. I walked across the stretch of open ground, towards the command tent. I knocked on the door. A sergeant opened it, and beckoned me inside. He directed me to general Greer's office and then sat back down at his desk with out even a word to me. The generals office was roomy, but not excessively large. There were pictures on the walls. Mostly of groups of uniformed men. On the general's desk there were a few pictures of his wife and family.

"Reporting as ordered sir." I said saluting. He stood up, and returned the salute. He extended his hand to me.

"It's good to meet you in person." He said shaking my hand. "I've seen many of your exploits on TV. Your abilities are quite impressive."

"Thank you sir." I said back.

"First things first. You and I know about your past. That is the way it will stay." He said, sitting back down. "We do not want an issue. You personally will have to be very careful. There are things we can't erase, the scars on your face for example. They are identifying marks that have been in tabloids, and the news all over the country. You'll have to be careful, because if you tell a story about how you got them, you damn well better remember the story word for word. So if you have to tell it again you'll tell the same story."

"Certainly sir." I replied.

"Second, things will not be easy for you here. I don't know what kind of training you got specifically. From what I have seen you concentrated on death, we work in a broader range of things. So you will have to adapt. Then the men, and women in your new unit might show some resentment at first. They have been together from the beginning. They're not going to like having a young boy come in and join them. Do what ever you can to fit in, but don't reveal anything that doesn't need to be mentioned."

"Yes sir." I replied.

"Next, I understand that you have no last name. That you were just given a first name to interact with other kids. You were told that your parents were not known, so your last name couldn't be determined, and since you went into the program, and have no official legal guardian, you did not require a last name, then the truth of your origin was revealed to you, and you still had no last name. Is that correct?"

"That's affirmative sir." I replied.

"We have taken the liberty to give you a last name so your dogtags will be the same as everyone else's. Your name from now on in is Lance Williams. I assume you have no objections?" He asked.

"None sir." I replied.

"Good." He tossed me a set of dogtags. I caught them, and put them on. "Next, we are telling everyone else that you went through basic training, excelled, and have been sent here because your old unit could not accommodate your skill. With this said, the men will be expecting things from you. From what I have seen, you will not disappoint them. I hope you live up to my expectations."

"I will do my best sir." I said.

"I have been told that you are the strong silent type, so I don't foresee any discipline problems. I hope you won't disappoint me."

"Yes sir." I replied.

"Lastly, from what I have seen of your performance, in a combat situation, you are reckless. You fight by the seat of your pants. You are a wild card, an X-factor. You rely on body armor, luck, and your deadly accuracy to survive. Would you concur?"

"Yes sir." I replied.

"Good, then we are in an understanding. You should know that if we do see any kind of action, what ever it is, real or simulated, there will be none of that. Everything will be done by the book. You will be given a field commission of private. This sounds strange, you have had more combat experience than all of my recruits combined. Some of the officers were in the Gulf war, and one colonel was in Vietnam. But we operate differently here. You will find that your leadership skill will only get you so far. You will have to learn from experience. Is that understood?"

"Yes sir." I replied in the same unemotional tone.

"All right then. You can take your personal effects over to your Barracks. Sergeant Hathaway will show you the way, and show you your bunk. Then have him show you around the base. After that report back here. The men are finishing up their evening activities. After that I will call them in, and introduce them to you."

"Yes sir." I said. Picking up the small hand held bag that was all my personal belongings. I opened the door, and walked out of the office.

"Sergeant, show him to the bunk we got ready for him, then show him all the necessary places on the base. When your finished bring him back here so we can introduce him." The general said.

"Yes sir." Sergeant Hathaway said. He stood up, and said. "Follow me." Beckoning me forward. He led me across the base without a further word.

He led me to what looked like a standard barracks. It was a one story tent like building. It had a door at the front and back. It's walls were heavy canvas stretched across poles. Inside there was nothing but rows of bunks.

"This one is yours." Sergeant Hathaway said, standing next to the last bed on the left side. There was a wooden chest in front of it like all the others. "Your uniform, and all other necessary cloths are in the chest. I'll give you a second to change into more appropriate attire, then I'll show you around.

"Thank you." I said. I took off my old cloths. They were normal street cloths. And I assembled into the fatigues in the chest. They were a little bit big for me, but not much. After I was dressed, sergeant Hathaway showed me all the places I would need. The bathrooms, showers, mess hall, training fields, and personal centers. The whole time I was reflecting on what had happened to me in the last couple of days. It was more confusing, and in-depth than the day I started the second program.

I suppose I better explain everything. I was in a top secrete program, funded by the government. They took twenty-four kids aged fourteen to fifteen. They targeted runaways, and kids in foster homes. Then they made it like they disappeared. Records were erased, and all that stuff. We were taken to a compound out in the middle of no where, and trained. We were put through rigorous training in weapons, hand to hand, and working out. We were supposed to train for year and years and years until we were adults. Then we would be super soldiers. But a crisis demanded my unit of six sixteen year old boys to be sent up against a group of terrorists known as the Eclipse.

I had been living under the lie that I was a child abandoned, and taken in by an orphanage. Then when I was fifteen they recruited me for the program. However, that is all a lie. I was abandoned. I was found when I was still an infant on the steps of some orphanage. And I was recruited for a program, but not like you would expect. From that time on, even though I couldn't stand, I was put through training. Training to make me into a killing machine. Because I couldn't do anything but lie down they worked on my mind first, trying to warp me into a mindless automaton. They had to adjust it because I started going insane. They gave me peaceful things like video games to calm my troubled infant mind. Then at the age of fourteen, when I was just coming into my prime ability, I met an accident. I fell from a zipline, and landed on my head. I had amnesia, and had no memory of any of my training. So in order to experiment, they started the second program. The one that took in fifteen year old boys. I was lied to for two years, until fighting brought my past out. And I remembered. From then on I realized I had hidden reserves of strength, speed, and skill. I just had to remember how to tap into them.

But that was all in the past. That had been several events that took place over a course of three years. What happened in the last few days, was the program was suspended. Everyone else was sent to different foster homes to live out the rest of theirs lives as normal kids. We had one last celebration, and I made my decision there. Since I had never been a normal kid, I had a choice. Go with them and live in a foster home, and try to forget what I have done, and what has been done to me. Or stay on, and join the military. I chose the second. I elected to join a unit of Army Rangers. I could bypass basic training, because I had more training than that could give me. So now I was thrown into a unit and hoped I would fit in with them.

Another thought was plaguing my mind. Jody, a girl I had rescued on several occasions. I wondered what has happened to her. After we managed to escape, and just before the unit was suspended, she was moved to a safe house with her family until the Eclipse was taken out. They wanted her for some reason. No one could figure it out, but they did. I hadn't heard any news about her, so I guess that was good. If the safe house was raided, it would be in the news. So at least she was safe.

"You are to report back to the general, and he will announce you to the rest of the squad." Sergeant Hathaway said.

"Yes sir." I replied. He led me back to the command tent. General Greer was standing outside it. At about the same time as we arrived, I saw several squads jogging back in from various of the training fields Sergeant Hathaway had shown me.

"Sergeant, would you run and tell Gung-ho to report here." General Greer said. I chuckled on the inside, but showed no emotion on the outside. Gung-ho was the name of an old GI-Joe. Now it was the name of the squad I would be joining. I fond that amusing, but didn't show it.

"Yes sir." Sergeant Hathaway replied. He jogged off to intercept a squad before they hit the showers. He came back a few minutes later with the squad behind him. It was a pretty normal looking unit. They were in two lines. One of ten, the other of nine. I guess I would be the tenth. There was a man out in front, not lined up, he was leading them in the traditional jogging chants. My guess was that he was the lieutenant of the unit. Then the men in front of both of the lines would be the two sergeants. The rest were probably privates. But it could be different. I didn't know. While I had more combat experience than all of them put together, I wasn't familiar with military regulations, and so on. I knew enough though.

The platoon ran in, and stood at attention in their two lines. I followed suit, standing strait.

"At ease." General Greer said. They all complied. I did as well. "Gentlemen, you have been one man short for a while now. Now you will be complete. This man here will be joining your unit from this day forward. His name is Lance Williams. I hope you will show him respect, and welcome him." He said in an undertone, so only I could hear him. "You can join the men now, Lieutenant Stranus will get you aquatinted with the men."

"Thank you sir." I said saluting. Greer returned the salute, and walked back into his office. Sergeant Hathaway followed him. I walked up to Lieutenant Stranus, he held out his hand.

"It's an honor to meet you." He said, shaking out my hand.

"Likewise." I replied.

"You can join this rank here, they are the one down a man." He said indicating the left one. I nodded, and moved to the end of the line. "All right everyone, dismissed."

Everyone began to wander away in different directions. Some went to the showers, some headed strait back to the barracks, others went off to other places. Seeing how I didn't need a shower, I went right back to the barracks. Four other people were behind me. I sat down on my bunk. Four other guys came in behind me.

"How's it going, my name's Davie Mitchell." Said the first one, extending his hand. He was a well built man, with brown hair, blue eyes, and large biceps. His eyes held a warmth to them, and twinkled when he smiled.

"Pleasure to meet you." I replied. He let go, and walked over to his bunk, and began to look around in his chest.

"Rod Yabin." Said the next guy extending his hand. He was a shorter, stockier man. He had black hair, blue eyes, and a gruff voice.

"Pleasure." I replied.

"Name's Mike Gigere." Said the next guy. He was taller, but still with a muscular build. He had blond hair, blue eyes, and a very powerful grip.

"I'm Scott Weiner, but everybody around here calls me Oddball." Said the last guy who went strait to the Barracks.

"The Oddball from Kelly's Heroes?" I asked.

"Hell yea." He replied with a laugh. "If you find anybody crazier in this base than me, I'll be very surprised."

"Nice." I replied. Oddball was a character in the movie, Kelly's Heroes. He played this goofy tank commander. As far as I could see, the nickname fit.

"Hey faggot!" Came a yell from the door of the barracks. Everyone turned to see who it was. Two men had just entered through the door. The lead one was the one who yelled. He was tall and skinny, but with a wiry look to him. He had dirty blonde hair, and blue eyes.

"You think you can come in here, and replace Matt, then you got a lot coming you son of a Bitch!" He yelled, striding up to me.

"I'm sorry, but what?" I asked.

"You heard me ass, you think you can walk in here, sleep in Matt's bed, stand in his place, and we'll all accept you like that?" He said, jabbing his finger into my chest. I stood firm.

"All right, I just got here, so apparently I missed something." I said.

"Mack, we don't have a problem with him being here." Davie said.

"Hey, am I talking to you?" Barked the blonde guy. I guess his name was Mack.

"No." Davie replied.

"Then shut your fucking mouth! My problem is with this prick right here." He said shoving me backwards. I hit the wall, but remained standing. I didn't show any emotion at all.

"Listen, I just got here a few minutes ago, I haven't been told about anything, so it's obvious you have a problem with me coming here, but I don't know what." I said.

"It's obvious I have a problem with him, I wonder where he gets these things?" Mack said sarcastically. "What the fuck do you think your doing here?"

"I was assigned here, and assigned this bunk. I didn't pick it, so if I'm taking your friends bed then I'm sorry. Maybe we can get something worked out so I can switch with someone you would rather have sleep here." I said back in the same unemotional tone.

"Oh so it's that simple is it?" He said in the same joking voice. He suddenly lashed out, and grabbed me by my collar. He pinned me up against the wall. I didn't even blink, or make a sound at all. "If it was that simple, do you think I'd be stupid enough to miss that? Well do you faggot!"

"No. Obviously there is something else." I said,

"Obviously there is something else, this kid is getting smarter by the second."
He said looked at the rooms other occupants. "Why don't I wipe that stupid look off your face." He said, scowling at me.

"I'm not going to fight you." I replied simply.

"Why not faggot, scared?" He hissed.

"No I..." I began.

"Your what? Your a chicken shit coward that's what you are." He said.

"No I don't feel like being arrested for attempted murder." I said calmly. I placed my hands on his, and pried them away from my collar easily. They trembled under my vise like grip as he tried to keep them in place. His face portrayed his pain. Finally he tried to swing his knee into my groin. But I had faced much faster opponents. I turned aside, and swung him into the wall. So his knee hit nothing but air, and he rebounded off of the wall.

"I'm gonna fuck you up so bad for that!" He yelled. He lunged at me again. I stood stock still. He would have thrown a punch, but the friend that came in behind him grabbed his shoulder, and stopped him before he could reach me. I didn't flinch as his fist came close to my face.

"Easy easy!" Yelled the other guy. "Do you want to be discharged? This'll make three fights this month, and with a newbie, the Captain will skin you alive."

"It's all right, as I said, I'm not going to fight him." I replied, cooly.

"Because your a goddamn coward that's what!" Screamed Mack.

"Calm down!" Yelled the other guy. Mack stopped straining against his grip, and relaxed.

"But if he insists on getting into a pissing contest, then I have a peaceful solution." I said.

"And just what the fuck do you mean?" Mack snapped.

"That obstacle course that was on the right of the barracks as you walk in here." I said.

"What about it." The guy asked.

"I'll race him in it, and who ever wins walks away with the bragging rights, and the respect."

"Respect? What kind of chicken shit bet is that?" Laughed Mack. "I've got twenty bucks that says I get there first."

"Your on." I replied.

"Thirty say's the newbie wins." Said Davie.

"You are so covered." Oddball replied.

"Well then, lets race." Mack said. He led the way out of the barracks door. He walked over to the course.

"Obviously," He said mocking my voice, "You don't know who your dealing with. Joe, enlighten the prick."

"Mack here broke the record for this course, a record that hadn't been broken for fifteen years." Said the guy who held him back in the barracks.

"Well I guess that record will be beaten today." I replied simply.

"Well boys, he can talk the talk, but your going to need more than words to win this race." Mack said.

"Well then, why don't we double the bet?" I asked.

"Your on." He said, pulling another twenty out of his wallet. "Davie, you hold the cash." He said as we got to the course. I gave my forty dollars to Davie, and so did he.

"Oddball, go down to the other end." Davie said.

"Right." Oddball said jogging away.

"First one to the other side wins, Oddball will be the judge." Davie said.

"Works for me." I said.

"Prepare to get your little ass kicked." Was Mack's only reply.

"We'll see." I said simply. I looked at the course. It was a pretty standard course for a military base like this one. It had cargo nets, wall, and rope climbs, barbed wire, mud pits, balance beams, monkey bars, and zip lines.

"I'll say runners set, then go. When I say go you may start, lets keep it clean. Any shoving or anything like that and I'll give the cash to the other guy." Davie said.

"Whatever." Mack said.

"Are you ready?" Davie asked.

"Fuck yea." Mack said.

"Ready." I said simply.

"All righty then, runners set! Go!" Davie screamed. We both took off at top speed.

There was an open stretch of ground before we got to the first obstacle. We were even when we got there. This guy was fast, I'll give him that. The first obstacle was a cargo net. We hit that and began to scale it like there was no tomorrow. We both made it to the platform at the same time. From there we jumped down about ten feet to a puddle of mud. It was knee deep slimy, muddy water. We scrambled out of it, up the steep bank, and back on track. There was about ten feet of open ground before we hit a wall climb. It was one of those things with the ropes hanging down the side, so you can walk up it. Like in that flashback I had of my training, I leapt up the side, ignoring the rope. I threw my weight forward as I hit the top of the wall with my stomach. That pitched my upper body over the wall. I grabbed onto the top with my left hand, and as I toppled over that righted me, and I landed on my feet on the other side.

I sprinted away at top speed. I was ten feet away before the other guys head was even visible above the wall. The next obstacle was a balance beam. There were two of them side by side. I did a flying leap forward. I landed in the middle of the one on the left. I landed with perfect balance, and ran the rest of the way along it. I leapt to the ground. I sprinted across the open space to the next obstacle. It was a barbed wire mud pit. A puddle of mud with meshed barbed wire on top. So you had to go through it on your stomach. I dove head first into the mud, and crawled forward. I was crawling faster than a normal person walks. The mud came up to my shoulders, and it was thicker than the last stuff. I kept my head up, and crawled through.

Once I was sure I was clear of the barbed wire, I leapt to my feet. I sprinted forward yet again. Dripping muddy water off of my cloths. The next obstacle was a rope climb. I leapt up, and began to scale it rapidly, not even bothering to use my legs. It came up to a platform. I grabbed the platform with my feet, and swung over. I ran along it a little ways until I came to one of those rope bridges. The ones where it is a single line for your feet, and two lines at arm height to hold onto to steady yourself.

I made another flying leap. I made it to about the middle of the line, and grabbed onto the top line on the right. I wrapped my legs around it hanging upside-down, and began to move across it rapidly. I flipped over, and landed on my feet at the other side. From there, there was a zip line to the ground. I grabbed that, and slid along it to the ground. There was one of those tire stepping things. I ran across that. The last obstacle before the finish line was monkey bars. I leapt up, and began to swing across them easily. I landed on the ground on the other side, and sprinted across the finish line.

"I don't believe it!" Oddball yelled as he clicked his stopwatch. "The mother fucker beat the record on his first day here."

Mack arrived about thirty full seconds behind me. "Fucking A." He panted. I was hardly winded.

"Holy shit!" Yelled Davie, as he ran up. He ran around everything, so he came in right behind us. "He really beat the record?"

"Right here." Oddball said showing him the watch.

"You gotta be shitting me! He really beat it."

"Nice." I said.

"Well, the money is yours." Davie said, handing me the eighty dollars he was holding. "And I believe you owe me something." Davie said holding his hand out to Oddball.

"Yea yea." Oddball grumbled, as he fished a twenty and two fives out of his pocket.

"Oh yea we gonna party tonight!" Davie yelled. "Shake hands gentlemen, you both raced well."

"Your pretty fast there Mack." I said extending my hand.

He took it in a limp grip. I was betting it wasn't his true strength, he just wasn't really enjoyed to shake my hand.

"I'll get you next time." He said mournfully. He turned and walked away with out another word. The guy who held him back, I think Mack called him Joe, followed.

"You mustn't mind them. Mack's best friend Matt was in this unit. They were good friends. One night on a weekend pass, they went into town, got into several fights, and, got drunk, and ended up ripping off some stuff from a liquor store. The city cops went after them, and caught them. When they were placed in front of the captain, Matt said he did it all, and Mack only ran because he followed him, and was too drunk to realize what was happening. Said he stole the stuff, and Mack had nothing to do with it, he just followed him there. So Mack got a week of the ditch squad, and Matt was discharged. That was a while ago, Matt's bed has been empty till you came, and they gave you his. So he got a tad bit aggravated when he saw you with your stuff on Matt's bed." Davie explained.

"From what I could gather of his yelling at the beginning, I figured it was something like that." I replied.

"Where did you learn to run an obstacle course like that?" He asked, as we began to walk back to the barracks.

"When I was little I dreamed of joining the army. I used to have my friend set up obstacle courses and time me. I had a pretty competitive youth with an older brother as well." I replied, thinking up the lie off of the top of my head.

"Nice." He said. "The way you tackled that wall, it was like you were trained to do that."

"We all strive to do our best." I replied simply.

"Your best? You fucking ripped all of our best's to shreds." He laughed.

"What can I say?" I replied.

"Say you'll teach me how to do that." He said nudging me. "And the way you took his arms off of your collar back in the barracks, it was like you weren't even trying."

"Trade secrete." I said winking.

"That's gotta be one hell of a trade secrete." He said winking back.

"Gotta love the army." Was my only reply. That was half true. Craiger was an army man, and he was the one who turned me into what I am today. Him and his team of scientists, and former military personnel.

It's strange, being used as a guinea pig to a controversial branch of training. But I have no regrets. I am what I am. I have been trained to make a difference, so that's what I did, and what I will continue to do.