Author: Majoki

“You’re mad!”

The humming stopped. “Yes, sir! I’m YRMAD.”

“You’re mad.”

“Yes, sir! I’m YRMAD.” The humming returned.

Major Biers turned to his non-com. “Corporal, can we have this thing shot?”

Corporal Khopar frowned. “On what charge, sir?”

“Gross disobedience. Gross negligence. Gross anything, everything. It’s beyond gross. Beyond disgusting.” Major Briers kicked at the innards which festooned brightly from YRMAD’s shredded core, pooling at his feet.

“Sir, respectfully, I don’t think we can charge a soldier for bleeding.”

“Is this thing really a soldier, Corporal? Look at it. It’s creepy beyond belief. Can’t you see that?”

Images from the operation that morning flooded Corporal Khopar’s mind: a sparse and rocky hillside, a make-shift bunker above the shantytown, civilians fleeing down the steep ravine, fighters dug in above, a denuded slope that offered little cover, a blazing sun that promised no mercy.

The scene set for the banal acronyms of battle: RPG, HEIAP, ABM, IED, SPM, EFP, UAV, GPMG, SAW, LRAR. The secret alphabet of carnage. But then an unfamiliar vehicle arrived. YRMAD stepped out. An untested acronym, creating an uncanny valley of suspicion and skepticism among the officers. But there were orders. And those orders were set to establish a new order: YRMAD.

Not until the violence of the day was over did anyone hear a sound from YRMAD other than its precisely calculated gunfire as it strategically advanced up the hillside. Only after routing the enemy, only after noticing that it was losing its innards, YRMAD had begun to quietly hum.

Major Biers had not liked that. Especially what it was humming: Daisy, Daisy give me your answer do. I’m half crazy all for the love of you.

The scene had deeply affected Corporal Khopar, and he couldn’t begin to explain to his commanding officer why he felt so protective of this strange wounded creature who had fought bravely and skillfully with his unit. So, he offered the bare minimum. “YRMAD did its duty, sir. Charged and dislodged the combatants’ position under heavy fire. Definitely saved our outfit some grief.”

Major Biers had no answer. Knew there was no answer. “Dismissed.” He turned and walked away, shaking his fist up at some imagined heavenly HQ. “Insanity. Bio-mech warfare. All of you are mad, mad, mad.”

The humming stopped. “Yes, sir! I’m YRMAD.”

Corporal Khopar smiled. “Yes, you are. Let’s get you cleaned up, soldier.”