Hello. How are you? Do you know who I am? Do you know what I am? Here’s a riddle: what has a slot that gambles 7 rounds and has half a cinch after you erase the ‘c,’ see?

Guessed it? Good. If not, oh well. My name? My friends call me Dreste Gaele. I’m kind of a tough guy. I’ve seen a lot of blood, been through a lot of towns. Yeah, I’ve seen the world. I’ve been to Ohio, Little Rock… Hell, I’ve been to Canarsie, too. I’ve seen loads of death; every time a body fell, pieces of me fell, too. I was constantly fed by the hatred and fuel of people who directed me. I was a loyal soldier who was worn and torn by the knowledge that every time I was given the order to unleash fury, I was taking a child away from a mother.

It wasn’t pretty work, but that’s what it was. I was put under the command of mostly young men. When I was young, I felt that I was going to be used for a noble purpose, that I would be used to help and protect people. But no… I was made for one purpose, created and catered for one duty: to serve the person in command. No matter who they had me aim at, no matter who I killed, I had no say in the matter and that quickly made me bitter. I mean, at the end of the day, I was a puppet to stupid kids with grudges. I wasn’t making the world a better place. Damn it, my very existence made evil men calm when it shouldn’t have! I wanted to die, to cease existing but I just kept living. Kept being fed unscribbled orders and hotly following every one  of them with gold tears falling from me. I’d be heated after every kill, fuming, smoking, but they didn’t care. When they had gotten their use of me, I was locked in a cage and never let loose again. Why? Because they knew I was a monster, an agent of darkness; the ultimate tool. But what they didn’t know was my impending betrayal.

It was one dark afternoon when the general came in and pulled me from my dark cage. I had lost count of the days I was in there. He fed me my orders and loaded me his anger. Me by his side, we drove to the enemy’s territory, finding the target on the front porch of his house with a baby girl in hand. With no hesitation whatsoever, the general burst from the car door with me in tow and had me aim again. But he didn’t know; he didn’t know that I forced myself to stop, that I forcibly cut off my programming and locked his orders inside me. He tried and tried to set me off, to somehow get me to function as I should have, as a soldier should. But this soldier had suffered enough nightmares, I thought. Yet, the enemy had his own soldier, hidden in the shadows, pull out and kill my general, and the soldier did it with no hesitation and no apologies. The general and I fell together, once again with blood pooling beneath me. Blood always pooled beneath me. I’m a monster.


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