“Papa company, fall in!” Sarge is one of us too, just decanted from the vat two weeks earlier than the squad leaders like me. I’m two weeks older than my squad members. I’ll need the extra training in battle.
“Squad leaders, report!” Sarge yells.
“First squad, all Philips present and accounted for!” I shout.
The squad leader behind me shouts his report next. “Second squad, all Philips present and accounted for!”
Once all the reports are done, Sarge has us fall out to our drop pods. A sea of identical faces – identical Philips – shoulders their rucks and heads to the pods. We strap in. Soon we’ll drop onto the enemy from low orbit.
“Maybe the enemy is named something exotic, like Adam. Or John,” I say to the Philip beside me.
“Philip, once we get there,” Philip says, “their name is going to be mud!”
Philip and I laugh for a moment. The pod detaches from the ship, and all the Philip clones hush for a moment.
And I still wonder what the enemy’s name is.