I was on the red team.

I was on the red team.

“The Red Team has lost,” the blue team leader called out to his crew. Bullshit, I’m still here, so we’ve certainly not lost. Besides, Sandra’s carrying out the other part of the plan. Just so long as she doesn’t get her arse caught – aw, Christ, there she is. She’s dressed in a blue and black uniform, trying to fit in with the blue team.

“Er, hey guys,” she says, waving. She puts her gun on the ground and then places her hands high in the air. The blue team takes her gun and sits her next to me. I give her the most hurtful look of dissapointment that I could muster. I want her to hate herself for her mistake.

“We still could have won,” I say to her, “He was bluffing. How many times have I told you to never give up?” I place my emphasis on the last three words. The simulation around us fades and the instructor’s voice is heard, stating that the simulation is over due to trainee simulated death, and the next capture the flag simulation will be starting shortly.

We take our positions as the holographic world forms around us. A bell rings to signify the start of the game, and I send Sandra off to capture the blue team’s flag. I stay and guard our flag. While she’s out collecting ammo instead of completing the object of the game, I’m swarmed by blue team sims and taken out.

Sandra returns to share some ammo and guns with me, speaking before looking in my direction. “I grabbed you a few… Oh dear,” she says, and the items she had in her hand cluttered to the floor. I don’t know if the color left her face because she’s staring at her dead partner, or because she knows it’s only simulated death, and she still has to face me when I come to. While she’s fretting over what to do next, a blue team member shoots her, and the simulation ends again.

I get up from the floor without a word. I say nothing to her as the simulation starts again.. The truth is, I’m embarassed about being taken by surprise, but Sandra thinks I’m pissed at her. Once the buzzer rings again, I say to her, “Stay and guard the flag.”

“There’s weapons right down there, can’t I go get some m-”

“No.”

“Will you at least go get them? You can get a pair o-”

“No.” I leave, exiting into the hall opposite the direction toward the enemy flag. I rush down some stairs, picking up various weapons on the way. I hear the blue team soldiers coming my way just as I pick up a RCP120. There was enough ammo back here to power its cloaking device and allow me to fire at them. The soldiers are modelled after real members of the armed forces to which I belonged, so one of the people I’m shooting at looks like Jorenko. This doesn’t stop me, because that would go against the code of conduct.

Sandra hears the shooting and panics. She calls out for me, partly to see if I’m alive, partly to see if I’ll come back and protect her.

The vision breaks. I look in my hands to see a water pistol, and the simulated area is now a subway station.

Sandra calls for me again, and I look. She bounds up next to me and asks, “Amanda, are you alright?” I look around me and see no threatening figures, other than the man with a rather wet face. He walks off, slightly peeved at having been shot with a water pistol.

A voice in my head speaks, “There are no wars, Amanda.”

I respond, “Then why was I trained?”

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