From ‘Trust A Few‘ by E.M. Swift-Hook.
“You have no idea what you are letting yourself in for. How can you?”
Commodore Vane shook his head as he spoke, it was beyond understatement and beyond belief. The soldier’s green eyes were fixed on a point some distance behind the Commodore’s left shoulder. Their colour, so brilliant, Vane suspected genetic enhancement and their focus had been unwavering since he entered the room.
“I think I do, sir.”
He stood in a formal parade-ground stance, as ordered by the scowling Legionary Sergeant who had escorted him in and now lurked by the door. Vane had made a conscious choice not to relax him from the rigid posture. He never did with the conscripts. Vane glanced back at the remote screen he had called up, its contents invisible to anyone else. “Amnesia,” he read the word aloud and looked back at the soldier. “Total amnesia?”
“Total retrograde amnesia, sir,”
The Sergeant, a big, broad-shouldered man called Hynas, stood almost a head taller than his charge who was not much more than average height, and the ever-present scowl changed to a sneer at the words. Vane ignored him.
“And do you know why?”
“Due to an unknown trauma immediately prior to my arrest, sir.”
“Prior to, not during?” The way most of his men were brought in to begin their military career in his Legion it would not have surprised him in the slightest to find the injury had been inflicted at that point.
“I see.” Vane wondered if he truly did, the implications here were so disturbing. “You have no knowledge or memory of anything before your arrest?”
“And that means you have no direct knowledge or experience of what life is like outside the Legion?”
“No, sir. I do not.”
“Then how can you know you want to leave us, soldier?”
He noticed a slight hesitation then.
“I have no direct personal knowledge, sir, but I have researched a great deal about it.”
Which, he supposed, explained the hesitation. But the idea of researching the complexities of everyday life with zero experience of it, stretched his credulity. Vane tried to keep that disbelief from his voice. “Researched it?”
“Yes, sir. I have talked to other people in my unit and accessed information through the Lattice.”
Everyday life as filtered through the minds of violent criminals and a military tactical data provider. The Commodore shook his head…