The Light Brigade
by Kameron Hurley
The war has turned us into light.
Transforming us into light is the fastest way to travel from one front to another, and
there are many fronts, now. I always wanted to be a hero. I always wanted to be on the side of
light. It's funny how things work out.
But I've been doing this long enough now to know what I really am.
I didn't believe we could turn people into light when I signed up for service after the San
Paulo Blink. When you saw what the aliens did to that city without even sending an army there,
you knew you had to do something, even if it was dangerous. What happened to all those people
doesn't compare to what I have to do. I guess the Blink gave me an idea of the tech involved in
what we were expected to do, as corporate soldiers. But it's hard to understand a thing when all
you know about it is what people say about it. It's like having sex, or getting into a fight. You
don't understand it until you do it.
We jumped first during our six week orientation, which the CO still calls basic training,
even though there hasn't been a public army in almost a century. They inject you with a lot of
stuff in training. They don't even wait to see if you to wash out, because even if you wash out,
they still need you. You don't opt-out of this war anymore, not like you could in the early days.
If you want to eat at the corporate store, you support the war.
Anyway, you don't even know what any of this shit is they're pumping you full of. They
say it makes you faster, smarter, tougher, and who wouldn't want that? You can't say no. Not
that you'd want to. Not if you're a real soldier.
And I am. I'm a real soldier.
A real hero.
I'm made of light.