I.P.A.FA Story by theGinganinja41
This story fallows a mercenary in a bleak future and him contemplating about how he lost all that was human within him because of the choices he made to serve his company.
I have held many a profession in my days. But except for a small stint as a delivery man all of them have included killing people… lots of people. My soldiering skills have proved to be one of the greatest in the known universe. But this story begins on a planet called Nabuyai.
The planet had been under the control of the Agyinx Corporation for about six months (common time). The natives of this planet were still loyal to their monarchy and had been waging guerrilla war against the colonists of the barren planet ever since the company settled there. The company had gotten tired of these murders and had hired I.P.A.F to settle their problem.
The good old Interplanetary Private Armed Forces had been founded in 134 S.A.A by a group of billionaire generals who saw the benefit in supplying death to the masses in a cheap and manageable package. Over the years the I.P.A.F recruited a force of over thirty million troops and thousands of aircraft, battleships, and tanks. The company has had involvement in most major armed conflicts in the last fifty years and their profits continue to rise exponentially.
I had been under employment from the I.P.A.F for two years then. The company had many conflicts to fight in and was looking for new men to help fighting in drug wars, keeping down revolutions, helping revolutions, and even ethnic genocide. We had been sent into a small town to be a policing force until Agyinx could hire their own men. I walked around in endless patrols enduring the god awful weather on Nabuyai. The planet had two moons which meant the days had four cycles. Morning, then two or three hours of darkness and the fist moon eclipsed the sun, noon, another eclipse, and then night time. The planet was mostly covered in semi arid plains so the weather jumped from 134 degrees to negative eight or nine constantly throughout the day. Thank god for our battle suits. We could switch the AC on and off inside but it was still almost unbearable.
I leant against the wall of a building in the middle of the desolate town. Most of the people were gone already, either forcefully moved to one of the larger cities or escaped to some rebel settlements. My mask was lifted up over my head so I could smoke and talk freely. My shoulder hurt from the weight of my rifle resting in its sling. Including the air conditioned suit, my backpack, the gun, spare ammo and radio equipment it weighed about 150 pounds all in all. Even the pain killers administered by the company only dulled the aches my back was developing from the constant strain. Out of extreme boredom I surveyed the surroundings for any trouble.
Some Nabuyai boys played soccer around a car with a deflated ball. They all had the dark grey sclera, black iris and reddish brown skin of the Nabuyan race. They were just as human as any other person, but over the years they had evolved darker eyes and dirt colored skin to suit the harsh sun on their planet. New races like this had sprung up all over the galaxy. From the tall, paper white and red eyed races of planets far away from any source of UV to the inexplicably hairy populations of some planets in Andromeda that science still hasn’t figured out. A couple older men bartered over some drugs they had collected in the desert. I looked closer to see it was blade flower, a type of sharp leafy plant that induces fits of ecstatic hallucinations if stuck up the nostril and squeezed into the blood vessels on the inside of the nose. I’d tried it before but thought the synthetics from more civilized planets were better. The men walked behind one of the many cracked Adobe houses to continue their business most likely because I was watching. Finally something of interest came into view.
An urchin, probably about twelve was stealing from a cart filled with fruits from the more fertile Arctic circle of Nabuyai. The boy was malnourished, his ribs were showing on his shirtless chest and his stomach was distended. He took four or five of the melon-like fruits and put them in the pockets of his baggy and ripped jeans. Deep down I knew it was awful to stop this boy from feeding himself when the fruit was probably stolen in the first place, but I had done some really awful things in my day and one starved boy wasn’t going to send me any further into hell. Besides I was extremely bored, with fifteen million starving and poor souls in the empire this boy would have no effect on anything other than how long it took to clean his blood off the street. I pulled up the rifle and flicked the safety off. I put the gun to my shoulder and looked down my sights at the boy.
“Echem…” I said and gestured to the boy to make him notice.
The boy stared at me blankly and dropped the fruits. He waited another couple seconds and then bolted down the street. I stepped into the middle of the dirt road and readied the gun. There were no turns for another hundred feet; the boy stood no chance in getting away.
“You can’t outrun a bullet you damn thief!” I yelled, but the boy continued.
My finger was halfway to the trigger when I hesitated. I thought back to the days when I had a conscience, when I was a fresh faced soldier who had got caught up in a private army thinking he was going to help a humanitarian organization bring help to children in strange and exiting worlds. Maybe find a wife on some planet in the far out stretches of the Empire. Get a new start on a new planet and maybe bring some good to this world. It wasn’t as if I was an angel in those days, I had left earth to escape a drug smuggling charge and needed the money. I thought back to the moment that I realized my conscience was gone. I had become nothing more than a soulless machine of murder.
We had been on some god forsaken planet that was covered in ice at the poles with vast oceans at its equator. It had no name, just an arbitrary number given too it by the mining corporation that owned it. We were supposed to quell a revolution of some of the people who had been slaves in the mines and wanted to take the planet for their own. I was hung-over from some mineral drink the natives had given us and almost threw up when the gunshots started. Apparently some of the revolutionaries had hired our men too. Forty men in I.P.A.F uniforms opened up on the town hall where we were stationed. Three attack helicopters and two tanks also came up the hillside. Not to say we were outmatched. We had plenty of armor in the town and AA guns to boot. Usually when the corporation finds that it’s fighting itself it chooses the more profitable side and supplies it better, in this case the Mining company had a long standing relationship with the I.P.A.F so they were going to win anyway.
I ducked behind a car and prayed that I would hold out long enough for our tanks to come in from the other side of town. Three or four of our men dropped from sniper fire and smoke erupted from a couple bombs thrown by the locals. I tried to fire on the approaching enemy but the rifle was jammed. I pulled out my pistol and charged through the smoke. I saw vague shapes and fired on them. Suddenly I was out of the smoke screen and standing in front of a man with a heavy machine gun.
His troop had advanced in front of him and presumably he was there to provide support. I looked through his frosted over visor and recognized the face. It was Daniel Jacobs, a friend I had known while dealing on earth. He had helped me get into the business from when I dropped out of high school and had been a close friend for many years. He obviously recognized me too and lowered his weapon. We stood there for several seconds, I listened to the battle happening about a hundred feet uphill, heard the screams of my troop being slaughtered. I was in perfect position to help them out here and wasn’t going to let a little nostalgia get in the way of that. I raised my pistol and put a round right between his eyes. It had been a cold calculated decision to kill that man and I hated myself for it. I almost killed myself at the thought of choosing such an inhuman choice of actions. His body thumped down into the snow, dying the perfect white with a blotch of dark red that will forever be imprinted in my being.
Afterwards I picked up his gun and ambushed his troop from behind, killing fourteen men that day. We won that battle because of my decision but It brought me no rejoice. That day I lost all that was human within me, killing a close friend in order to serve a vast bureaucracy that would sooner spend my life than a dollar.
I snapped back the reality of yet another impoverished hellhole of the universe I was hired to make even worse and pulled the trigger on my weapon.
Three bullets escaped the rifle. It was a nasty contraption, with 7.76 hallow points and a fire rate so fast you could barely count the individual rounds, it was murder perfected. It would take a master not to kill anything with it. But years upon years of combat and rigorous training in the I.P.A.F had given me a mastery over any weapon with a trigger and a barrel, I had wanted to I could have put the whole fifty round clip into the boy without missing a shot. The three bullets landed in the boy’s thigh and he collapsed to the sand. Blood spilled onto the street as the boy tried desperately to bring himself up from the ground. The red liquid squirted into the air in a pulsating fashion in tune with his heart, a telltale sign of a severed artery. I walked towards the urchin struggling to stop the blood gushing from his leg wound.
Before I could reach the boy the sound of gunshots had attracted more soldiers and they got to the corner before I could. These men were so excited by the thought of battle that when the boy stood up and started to limp away he was immediately swept up in a wave of bullets shot by men who had nothing better to do. Eight to ten soldiers opened up on the boy and by the time he hit the floor he was so shot up as to be unrecognizable as a human being, just a crumpled mass of torn bone and flesh. The blood started to soak the sand under him.
The men looked my way one of them yelled. “There anymore of ‘em?!”
“Nope, sorry” I replied, somewhat disappointed. I had intended on bringing the boy in to our Headquarters in the town. It was a good excuse to get inside an air conditioned building for several minutes.
The men looked disappointed and walked down the other street leaving the torn and bloodied body of the boy in the street. Blood leaked from countless wounds and flowed down the slant of the street like a small river. At points pooling in bullet holes in the pavement and finally reaching my boots, filling the crevasses in the bottom of the I.P.A.F issue footwear. I raised my boot and looked down chuckling at the imprint in the pavement. The blood had filled the space under the boot except for the insignia imprinted on the soles; this had created the effect of an I.P.A.F logo in blood, written on the cracked and sandy pavement.
“Wow that should be on the god damn commercial.” I laughed to myself and walked into the alley to steal some blade flower from those dealers.
© 2010 theGinganinja41
Added on February 9, 2010
Last Updated on February 9, 2010