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By Anonymous

The year is 2028. The Sixth Coalition War for Ukraine has begun. The threat of nuclear annihilation has been nullified by the New Strategic Defense Initiative (a.k.a. the “Star Wars sequels”). A network of satellites detect and destroy any ICBM five seconds after launch, allowing NATO and League of Nations II forces to intervene. A company of American forces now guard the Ukraine-Russia-Jeb! border from their bunker. A recent conscript recounts his last days there…

5:38 A.M. (EET)

I awoke to the sound of screams in the next room. A loud “REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” carried on the howl of chilling Ukrainian wind, blowing through a door ajar. Clearly, I was not the only one awake, if the sounds of hustle and bustle were any indication. Through the door and walls, I could hear a table being cleared, and a page for Doctor Lackland. Shane Lackland, Ed. D, was our most experienced medical officer and was the go-to for wound treatment and vape pens.   

“Bruh, what happened?!” he cried, emerging from his office. 

“Russian shells, doc.” replied another soldier. 

Despite my sleepy stupor, I recognized his voice as that of my friend Ivanovich—or as we called him, Crazy Ivan. One could typically find him wearing his “MAGA Again” hat, in violation of uniform, and explaining to us that the Russians were actually “based” and “red-pilled.”

Crazy Ivan continued, “We were out on patrol when suddenly the bombs started raining down on us. Mel and I were missed, but the shrapnel hit Lib hard. He’s really hurt, doc!”

“THEY’RE really hurt. REEEEEEEE” Screeched Lib. 

Though his their real name was Alex O’Hanrahan, they continually called themself “liberator of Ukraine,” and so they were nicknamed “Lib.”  

“You’re right. Sorry, Alex.” Lib must have been hurt really bad, because usually Crazy Ivan was their biggest bully. 

Ivan continued, “The Russians apologized to us quickly after—turns out they were aiming for Ukrainian civilians to our east. One of their M.D.’s offered to help patch hi- THEM up, but we refused, ’cause we didn’t trust where he got that degree.” 

“Good call.” replied Dr. Lackland, “You can always trust a Buffalo man like me. Now lemme take a look at him.” 

By this point, I had decided to get up and see my friend Lib with my own eyes. When I opened the door, however, I suddenly wished I hadn’t.

“ON GOD! FOR REAL?!” Dr. Lackland sputtered, likely referring to the spaghetti bolognese that had once composed Lib’s right leg and groin. Even I was nauseous at the sight, so I could only imagine what Lib was going through. “WHAT THE FUCK HIT YOU GUYS?!” 

At this, Melvin piped up, “The shells were Big Chunguses, sir. The size of your mom. Came from an M4 Sherman, I bet.” 

“For fuck’s sake, Mel, Russians don’t use that tank! Not even we do, anymore.” Ivan interjected.

I should note that Melvin was the “historian” of our squad, having received his Bachelors in Hearts of Iron 4 and Masters in Christory from my Alma Mater, SUNY Binghamton. He was recruited as a specialist to help navigate the complex border region of our patrol. 

“Umm, who’s the historian here? Uh-me. So shut your pie hole, Ivan.” He turned to me. “Oh hi, Mark!” (My name was not Mark).

The blood, gore, and arguing caused Dr. Lackland to faint. And Lib wasn’t looking too good either. I realized that if either were to survive, I would have to help. Joining Ivan and Mel, I took a scalpel and some rubbing alcohol, and got to work…

8:30 A.M. (EEST)

‘Damnit! I forgot we lose an hour today.’ I thought, looking at my Samsung Watch. After hours of work, Lib was stable (but missing their other leg—don’t ask), and Dr. Lackland was sipping tea in the corner.

‘No rest for the weary.’ I then thought as I stood by my bed, awaiting orders. As I feared, I was to go with Ivan and Mel to continue the patrol where they left off. Each of us turned to look at our waifu pin-ups: Ivan’s was the entire cast of K-On (we didn’t ask about the underage girls); Mel’s was a Rose-chu/Girls und Panzer crossover OC (“W-what?! It’s IRONIC guys!” he’d say); mine was Mommy Misato (again, don’t ask). We each wondered whether we would see them again, before packing a smoke of vapes and setting out. 

The next several hours were occupied by Melvin and Ivan arguing about whether Christianity (formerly Christine, Christian, and Christopher) Weston Chandler was “based” or “degenerate.” Terms such as “dimensional merge” and “love quest” were bandied about to the point of meaninglessness. Ivan’s orange-mango-scented Juul allowed us to blend in with roving Russian forces. By 5–no—6 P.M., we returned to our bunker, sufficiently famished to stomach the rations prepared for us. 



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