Sunday January 20, 2008
Book 9: The Body Politic — Part V: Collecting


Narrator: The pre-game pep-talk. . .
Colonel DeHaans: We have a long, winding road of hurt before us, and no choice but to walk it barefoot.
Colonel DeHaans: These seventy-two mercenaries be hardened killers with heads full of evil secrets, but they're also living, breathing people with hopes, dreams, and aspirations.
Colonel DeHaans: For now, anyway.
Colonel DeHaans: Over the next thirteen days, you will transform each of these unique sophonts into a quivering bundle of over-stimulated nerve tissue, at the same time bruising your own feet on the stones of "this hurts me more than it hurts you."
Colonel DeHaans: You will empathize. You will care. You will hate yourself for sharpening your empathy and care into surgical instruments, for excising the tumors of treason and treachery. You will weep as intellects are distilled into intel, and your patients reduced to soulless, mostly-organic husks. You will see yourselves through their emptied eyes as monsters.
Colonel DeHaans: And in those darkest introspective moments you will despise yourselves because you will know with a certainty that you enjoy your work.
Colonel DeHaans: I offer no solace. There is no redemption.

We. . . all of us, we are the damned.

Colonel DeHaans: So. . .