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The Animal Within

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Jacob Andrew Jensen, Corporal, was not your average Spec Ops soldier. First of all, Jacob Andrew Jensen had jumped into the army at the wonderful age of seventeen. He needed money for his sister, who’d needed the neonatal care after her asshole of a boyfriend up and left without even a text message. She hadn’t wanted to name her baby girl yet, but Jacob had still placed his hand on her swelling belly and been amazed that there was a little person growing in there. His baby girl – okay, not just his, but c’mon, saying ‘the baby girl’ seemed so impersonal – had a bit of trouble with her health, and needed a lot of care, and so hey, Jacob didn’t really need to complete two more years of school to write a long boring paper that wouldn’t guarantee him a job with healthcare for his big sis and his baby girl. The army seemed like the perfect idea. And so much cooler than writing his Master’s thesis, anyhow.

Second of all, Jacob Andrew Jensen had kinda a big problem with authority. Like, a huge problem. Practically the size of a planet or something. He had no difficulty going through Basic, but he did have a problem with pissy COs who thought they needed to bust his balls to get him to respect them. So he got stuck with a desk jockey job, in the tech department, and while he loved the computers, loved stripping them apart and putting them back together to make them better, faster, he needed… more. More movement, more action, more distraction, and that really wasn’t high priority at a desk. The other techies were regularly loaned out to teams that would need tech support of some kind, and while Jacob missed being a part of a team, at least no one was telling him to shut up every other minute. Okay, maybe it was now every five minutes, because apparently it was really difficult for the techs to do anything when he was talking, but it was just so easy to do everything given to him. And if he kept up his Basic training, kept going to the range and god knew from the amount of CAPE he got he kept in shape, well. Just ‘cause the other techs didn’t have the need to didn’t mean that the physical exercise didn’t calm him down sometimes.

And third of all? Spec Ops was so far off Jacob Andrew Jensen’s chart he hadn’t ever thought he’d actually get into the program. But, apparently, someone with the amount of technological genius that Jacob had just couldn’t be left to hack the Pentagon and NORAD and anything else that would take up his copious free time. So now he had better training, a keener mind, and was still bounced from team to team. And he honestly didn’t think it was all his fault! Really. And maybe it was a bit of a rub that no CO could stand him for longer than six months – but really, Jacob was getting a whole new perspective of the world! Liberia, Afghanistan, the Balkans, China…

So he wasn’t really a normal Spec Ops soldier. Which meant that he was not the army’s first choice for the formula.

Ah, yes. The formula.

Jacob could just hear the woo-woo sounds behind that word.

See, there was more than just eco-warfare to hurt the bad guys. There was eco-warfare to better the good guys.

More science fiction than science fact. But hey. If the nice doctors in white coats said this little injection will find his ‘inner animal’ and bring it to the forefront to create the ultimate predator, well, then, who was he to argue? Even if he was the first (perhaps only) volunteer from this sixth wave of recruiting tests.

So he said to himself as he stared up at the bright lights about seven years after he first signed up, the anesthetics hissing through the face-mask.

And then it was lights out Cpl. Jacob Jensen, and soon he’d get to see his inner predator.

He couldn’t wait.