Weaponized Ghosts of the 96th Infantry
by James Van Pelt
"Until now, vengeful ghosts have been documented in history but never seen by science," said General Kilborne as he led the Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff into the forward bunker. "The army has known about them for years. We've studied the types of persons and the mindset that produces a violent, motivated spirit. Today you will see our first field test of the technology."
The Secretary of Defense, a large and solidly built man despite his age, looked out the two-inch thick blast windows that revealed a stretch of desert, bookended by a line of trees on the left and the city on the right. Between them, several hundred yards of heat-baked sand without a hint of cover shimmered in the sun. Bullets and mortars scarred the buildings. Broken windows stared blackly onto the waste. He glanced at the men filling the room, a serious, dour crowd. The war had dragged on for years against what the press had dubbed the "perpetual insurgency," an enemy that ambushed and booby-trapped and melted away in the face of superior force. Impossible to engage. Impossible to defeat.
Kilborne, in his startlingly clean uniform and medals and ribbon-covered chest, took a position at the view port. "Today we will demonstrate how we'll end this war."
An undersecretary, a young man, said, "I read the release. Do you expect us to believe that not only are ghosts real, but that the army can create them on demand, and that they will fight for us?"