The Corporate War

The Corporate War

5 mins 110 5 mins 110

I looked at my left hand. My middle finger was missing. 

Strangely, I felt no pain. That night made me realize my anger's might.


I looked around. Four of my men stood covering me, firing hopelessly at the charging enemy troop.

The strength of the enemy troop was 43. We were 5 in number.


We had been 7 when we had set out from our camp. Two of my men now lay dead at my feet. As I looked at their bodies, my anger amplified. "Why did you have to follow my order?" I cried out, in my head. 


A bullet whizzed past me.

Bullets. Blood. Darkness. Death.

Standing there, I could hear my mother's lullaby. I could hear my lover's laughter and my enemy's hatred. I could hear my conscience shouting that I had wronged my men. 


We were not supposed to be surrounded by the enemy troop at that time. That had not been the plan. But who respects plans? We, at our camp, would occasionally prepare false plans in order to mislead the enemies. Of late, I had started wondering if many of our plans had begun misleading even us. 


The two beautiful souls at my feet were a result of one such erroneous plan.


My commander had called me to his tent two hours earlier. 11:02 PM. "There has been a new development," he had started, "We have received orders from the high command to capture the enemy camp at RM before midnight." I had remained silent. "As per reliable sources, the strength of the enemy troop stationed there is 10 men. It should be a walk in the park for you and your team," he had added. Silence. "Assemble your men in the next 10 minutes," he had ended. Silence.


What could I have said? That my men had had a long day? That my men deserved some rest? That my men were just men?


"For the country," my commander would have replied. 


We had all enlisted ourselves for the same reason during the start of the war - For the country. But we had all reached a point when we no longer understood if we loved it or hated it. 


We had fought and killed so much that in some days, we had lost the need for a reason to it all. We had reached a point wherein every morning, we arose, lifted our rifles, ran into the battlefield, shot down our enemies, and returned to our camp, wounded and exhausted. We had become so accustomed to the killing routine that most of us no longer remembered the dreams we had carried before we had enlisted ourselves. 


I had left my commander's tent without a reply and had walked into the resting unit of my team. 3 of my men had been fast asleep and 3 had been on the verge of it. I had clapped my hands loud enough to get all of them on their feet within the next minute. I had briefed them about the mission and they had immediately begun dressing up, without a hint of a refusal. Watching them ready themselves up for a senseless mission, I had realized my mistake of having narrated them story after story of the victorious, senseless missions I had been a part of. Their respect for me had extended to their want of following a similar path as mine. 


Ten minutes later, my men and I had walked out of the camp, obediently following orders and secretly wishing that our lives would one day matter as much as the country's pride.


A bullet whizzed past me.

Bullets. Blood. Darkness. Death.

Standing there, I could hear my mother's lullaby. I could hear my lover's laughter and my enemy's hatred. I could hear my conscience shouting that I had wronged my men. 


"Stop firing!" I ordered. My men lowered their rifles and turned towards me. "I am sorry," I admitted. A faint smile spread across each of their faces as the enemy's bullets blasted through their flesh and bones. One by one, they all fell beside me. 


I stood there with six beautiful souls resting at my feet. "If only I had not followed my commander's orders and if only they had not followed my orders," I repented. But if it had not been for my men and me, it would have been some other team under some other leader. 


When would this end? Why did man have to bring upon himself this destruction?


A bullet hit my forehead, ending my questions and my anger and my struggle. I slowly fell upon my men to crown a heap of bleeding and lifeless bodies, our heap serving as a symbol of man's stupidity.


Boom!


I snapped out of my dream and returned to the present, at my office.


Two of my team members were ruthlessly keying in commands on their laptops. My laptop screen was blinking with a message from my onsite manager. "How much longer before you deliver the ad hoc reports?" 


I wanted to tell him that we would not be able to deliver the reports. But I remained silent.

What could I have said? That my men had had a long day? That my men deserved some rest? That my men were just men?


“For the organization,” my onsite manager would have replied.


So, I simply asked my team members when they would finish the reports. "Please give us 30 more minutes," one member requested. "No.. 45 minutes would be better," another member replied. I told my onsite manager that we would send out the reports to the clients by an hour. I then checked the time. 01:37 AM.


I rose from my chair and walked to the washroom to freshen up. I closed my eyes and splashed water on my face. As I opened my eyes, I noticed the sink turning red. 


And then I heard it - A feeble gunfire growing louder by the minute. 


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