Corporal stared through the dark red liquid to the wood below. Fields of ash under black midday skies. Screams through the roar of flames consuming wood. Comfort in the proximity of men melded with machine. He'd been unemployed for twenty-three months now, but he only knew that by the date on his benefits checks.
The bar was warm, but to take off his coat and hat would draw attention. Most establishments refused to serve his kind as they returned from the war. Monsters, murderers, abominations, traitors to their own humanity. Nobody would acknowledge him in the street, much less give him any work. The stillness was a worse enemy than any he'd faced.
Superhuman strength, senses, reflexes, endurance. The epitome of humanity combined with the cutting edge of technology in the most noble of causes. But the mind is slow to accept metal and circuitry as replacements for flesh and nerves. There were sacrifices, failures, accidents. As the country sent them to war, they became the image of art