Eternal Second Chance.
(c) McWolf www.mcwolf.info (2001)

   A white hair, decrepit old man was sitting in an armchair and remembering the time when he was young. How he, once a young and energetic fighter of a special squad, full of power as a bound spring, had met Her. She was so very special to him. She broke into his life as a storm, as a hurricane. She was just so unreal. He remembered until now how She phoned him and said: "let's go away together". And for the first time he said: "I have to think about it." To leave everything - important work, his friends. To leave everything for a new life... He went to the major and told him everything. And the major said... what did he say?.. such a bad memory... A new life... If he would only have known what this new life would have been. When She phoned him the second time, he said: "I agree." And left everything... What for?.. At first he was happy but then... Then he was bored, the magic became common... And then She left him... What did he remember after? A bottle on the table and absolute emptiness. He became such a ruin, that he couldn't even dream of returning back to his squad. He was alone... forever. Forever in this old armchair to live out the rest of his empty life. If he could only have a second chance to live his life again...
   And suddenly, a giant bell rang inside his head and a deep kind voice said: "You are given your second chance!"

   When the memory blocks turned off, he laid for a while without moving, resting. Now he remembered everything again. He went to the major and told him everything. And the major said: "Lets go to the hypnotic radiator. You should know both sides of everything." They made modifications in the program "Love" and he laid under the radiator. He slowly turned his head and looked at a large clock on the wall. Four hours with a maximum power and partly blocked memories. The life is shit. Now he just hated the life. Suddenly, he noticed the major standing near. He stood up fast. The Major gave him a friendly nod.
   "You should know both sides of everything, lieutenant. I see you are sad. What do you think now? Forget about ranks for now."
   "I think that life is shit."
   "A usual reaction. You should have a discharge from it. In the South Sector there are troubles. A crowd of drug addicts. They are under that new crap again. Take your group and go there... It's undesirable to take prisoners." "I'll trample everybody to the asphalt" - said the lieutenant with a hateful voice. Now he hated everybody and everything. - "May I go, sir?" The Major nodded and said, "Go."
   The Lieutenant went in haste. The Major looked how he went away and then went to the technician of the hypnotic radiator. "Give me as usual." The technician took a program "I must use people" and placed it in the input device. "A usual variant, sir?" The Major thought for a minute, "No, with modifications today."

   ...and the major saw how a big tower was slowly falling aside. He knew that the right flank was weak, but he had no reserves, so he had to leave it as it was. And here is the pay. And everything is because he agreed and let that emotional cretin go away. Lieutenant... Elite... Ha... It would be good to ask him now who should hold the right flank in the South Sector... Invented a love for himself... And the worst thing, thought the major, is that he wanted to give to the lieutenant the program for the hypnotic radiator. Now he would hold the right flank... If I could only have a second chance...

   When the phone rang, the lieutenant knew that it was she.
   "So what did you decide? Did you think already?"
   "Yes, I did. And I... can't leave my work. Sorry."
   The Lieutenant hated himself, hated her, because she phoned, hated all the world because there wasn't a gleam in this kingdom of hopeless. Now he wanted only one thing - to sit at a machine gun and see the enemy in front of him. He was looking with hate even on a book, forgotten on a table, though the book was not guilty in anything.

   And the technician was looking at the major, laying under the radiator. He knew that the Major passes this program at least once a month. But now, he probably feels worse than usual because the last time was only a week ago. The technician looked at the drawer of the table where a special box contained a thing he already can't live without - a carefully tuned program "People need my work".

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