Soldiers and Spies- ISTJ and ISTP: A Short Story

Soldiers-607494

It’s tough being an ISTJ. So much responsibility, so little time. Everyone around you is constantly making mistakes that you can’t help but see how it affects you so you’re always having to take care of it. Sure, you like to correct others and fix little mechanical doohickeys, but that doesn’t mean you should be the only one to do it.

And you, ISTP. So much skill; with machines, people, and even an expert on yourself- not something many take the time to understand with a mind like yours- so why are you so lazy? I mean, jeez, your life is like if the genie were in the lamp and nobody ever rubbed it. “X-treme sportzz” are supposed to be your thing, but it seems like you mostly just want to do nothing.

But hey, in fiction- you guys are beasts. Let’s see what happens when you guys try to kill each other.

 Be warned- this story is amazing. Minds will be blown.

The ISTP took one last drag on his crooked cigarette before stomping it out. He had one left and would save it for later. A victory smoke.

Time to put on the mask.

The thing always had a weird smell to it. ISTP’s smoky breath didn’t help, but he was used to it. It was like anybody else was going to wear it. And when that cargo door opens and that light blinds you for just a moment and the winds hit you like they might knock you over just to taunt you, all you really think about is what you’re about to do and if this is going to be it.

Yet there was a reason the ISTP was chosen for this mission and he wasn’t going to die here. Here. Somewhere else, definitely.

But none of that matters then. not what you’re wearing. Not your breath. Not even the mission, but what’s happening right then.

Time to go to work.

——-

Two days later

The ISTJ’s day had been a long one. It had been simple, but difficult. The usual. Target practice, maintenance, physical training. The oddest part of the day was the commander’s call to the main deck for a briefing. A briefing is normal, sure. But not at random. They’re supposed to let the ISTJ and his comrades know at least a day in advance. The ISTJ was a little frustrated since dropping his tools and rushing to the deck were going to throw off the rest of his day and he knew it.

Orders are orders.

But this might throw off tomorrow too. A meeting at nine o’ clock? What is this about? Are we ready? Is this war?

No, it couldn’t be. This is urgent, not an emergency. The deck was brightly lit. A hundred other men piled into the same room, hardly any words spoken. There was quiet murmuring but for this number of people, the noise should be overwhelming. But it wasn’t. These were men with purpose. With a job to do. And no one wants to be responsible for dragging everyone else down. Or back. The weak link in the chain should be exposed immediately and either rebuilt or yanked out for a better link to be placed. That’s how it’s always worked here and that’s how it will continue to work.

They were all there now. Every single one of them, lined up, all nice and neat in a row. It was like a new case of .45 ammo. Pristine, lethal, waiting for their user to pluck any out at any given moment to utilize their abilities for a much greater good.

And they were ready for it too. Ready to be used; they were in their magazine, ready to be chambered. There had been talk of a traitor on the island and several of the boys were talking of going off the grid to look for him. But that was a bunch of garbage. There was no traitor or they would’ve known about it by now. And what was an even bigger can of garbage was anybody going “off the grid.” Nobody ever did that and nobody ever would. Too many variables.

So now they waited. They all faced the bulky metallic rafters where floodlights had been conveniently placed behind so as not to be able to clearly see who was speaking to them. And that’s the way it had always been. You only knew who was speaking to you from the higher chain if they wanted you to know.

From what the ISTJ could tell, it was a man in a white lab coat. He walked up from the steps that led even further away from the men and in front of the lights. Each man in the crowd would only get glimpses of what he really looked like. The ISTJ tried to piece it together but he was really just negatively affecting his eyes, as the harder he focused, the more blinded he became.

Suddenly, the man in white spoke. He seemed a little nervous, his voice somewhat shaky. He wasn’t the commander. He was that lab nerd that was always performing the experiments on the men that couldn’t take it in the field. The ISTJ had heard his voice before when he had work done. It was possibly the worst time in his life.

He had already been shot multiple times and he didn’t even remember for what. He was told it was for the mission and that he blacked out and even died for a moment. But all of that was a blur. What the ISTJ remembered was this man in white putting a drill near his body. He remembered jolts of life coming to him as he laid on the table, waiting to be told he was okay and could go lay down in his room, not the infirmary.

Eventually it happened, but rudely, quickly. There was no explanation until later and even then, he wasn’t sure exactly what they had been talking about. It was the closest thing the ISTJ had felt to knowing what an “out of body experience” was.

When the man in white spoke, with his shaky voice, he cleared it first before beginning. The microphone feedback was deafening for a moment. Only the man in white reacted though, as all the soldiers remained vigilant.

Conscript number 0132, please step to the front. Conscript number 0087, please step to the front. Conscript number 0085, please step forward as well. Conscript number 0209, please come forward. and Conscript number 0198, you as well.”

0198, that was ISTJ. He had a name of course. But there was no need for that here. Numbers were more efficient, less personal.

What is this about? What do they want?

It took the ISTJ to register that only five men out of a few hundred had been chosen to come forward. Should he be excited or nervous?

The man in white continued-

You few have been selected for a special project. The rest of you can go about your duties. For the few that I’ve selected, please remain here until the rest of your squadron has left.”

As the soldiers that weren’t chosen made their way through the hydraulic vault-like doors, the few that stayed faced forward. The ISTJ was a bit nervous though he refused to show it, the same as the five he was in a row next to. They were probably all nervous and why wouldn’t they be? Things like this didn’t happen often. Your routine was your routine and there was no need to break from it.

Why now? I didn’t do anything wrong.

The man in white was looking down at the five men. He had to, if he wanted to see them, they were almost directly under them.

You five need to go back your rooms. In ten minutes time and absolutely NO later, you will report to the docking bay. In this bay, there is cargo, and it is of the UTMOST importance that your peers know nothing of it, is that understood.”

SIR, YES SIR!” was the response, of course.

The man in white was already turned around and walking out as he muttered “Carry on then. Ten minutes.” Then it sounded as though the man in white said something about hating what was doing, but the ISTJ couldn’t be sure.

Unprofessional.

The five men slowly begin their trek toward the different doors they initially came through to their respective rooms. At least that’s where they should be going. It’s where they were told.

——–

Several minutes later, all five members met back in the docking bay. It wouldn’t make sense to an outsider why they would have needed to go back to their rooms but that didn’t really matter what an outsider thought.

As the ISTJ and his fellow warriors stood patiently waiting for their next orders, the ISTJ couldn’t help but notice one of the soldiers seemed a bit scragglier than the others. More scruff was on his face than any of the other sentinels in the room. More than anyone he’d seen on the island since he got there, actually. It seemed so out of place. Something so simple, but the ISTJ couldn’t let it go. He seemed a bit out of place altogether. His shape wasn’t as rigid or disciplined as the ISTJ.

This man is a soldier? He went through the same training as me and passed? Look at him. Are these other men seeing what I do? Unprofessional.

The man seemed to be slightly hunched over and frankly, his entire demeanor seemed lazy. After a few moments of hunching over, he straightened up a little, but it seemed more adaption to his environment than training had done that for him.

Was this man called out a few minutes ago? Is he conscript 0087, 0085, 0132, or 0209? I didn’t get a decent look at any of their faces. Damn it.

The ISTJ knew he was being paranoid but sometimes couldn’t help it. It was always creeping around in his mind that an outsider would try to take part in what they were doing. Either to join and muddy down the morale, or infiltrate to steal information. Only the elite should be here.

The man in white appeared, with two soldiers in masks behind him. Gas masks that made them look alien. They walked like the ISTJ, but were somehow different. Bigger. Nothing they wore resembled the outfit he wore at any point during his service. Their M4s weren’t standard issue either. Nothing standard about laser sights and multiple mags on the hip.

Why did these men have guns? We’re always ordered to keep ours away unless we’re on training or duty.

The ISTJ didn’t think of himself as competitive but sometimes a guy can’t help it. The man in white spoke through a voice with no accent, still. Though without the static of the microphone and the thundering of the speakers, he was even less intimidating.

Alright then. I want the few of you here to listen carefully. You understand by now that no one can no about what goes on here. I’m not going to tell you everything because the commander wants it that way, but I will tell you, for your own safety, that you don’t WANT to know what you’re doing exactly. The less you know, the better.”

This confused the ISTJ and evidently, his comrades. What? How are we supposed to something without knowing what it is? What we’re doing can’t be that difficult. The man in white continued-

“So don’t ask me any questions, don’t tell anyone what you do here, no matter how simple. Tell them you loaded new MREs and ammunition in but that it’s being tested for potential faults. Just make something up. If you give anyone outside of this room any real details to your objective, no matter how vague, you will be disciplined accordingly.

There was a pause as if he really wanted that last part to sink in.

And nobody wants that.

Behind the man in white and his guards, the docking bay door opened. It was slow enough that there was time to let the mind run wild with what they could see. For just a moment, the ISTJ looked to his side, something he’s normally never do without turning his entire body, and saw the lazy-looking man look interested, his face as serious as everyone else now. Now he seemed attentive.

The door opened and an eighteen wheeler that did even seem like it should have been on the island began backing up. It was as out of place as a wild animal in the city. The massive shipping container, all black, could be holding God knows what. The ISTJ’s heart seemed to steady though. As excited as he’d been, it suddenly felt like his heartbeat had been regulated. He didn’t go over any sayings or take deep breaths, it just slowed naturally. Still, he couldn’t help think of what was in the container.

A new weapon? What IS this?

When the man in white’s two guards motioned for the driver to stop, they unlocked the back with keys one of the guards had. He almost casually opened the back. As the gates swung open, the ISTJ could see…

Crates.

Suddenly the ISTJ felt like an idiot. He should’ve know whatever was in the container was going to be covered up. Still, if he could examine the boxes, he might be able to get an idea.

The man in white wasted no time. He hopped up in the truck. He didn’t seem like he would have even had it in him to do that. He clapped and pointed to ISTJ and conscript 0087.

Alright, you two, up here.” He looked to the others. “Can we get a handcart over here please?”

He pointed to conscript 0085. “You. can you operate that forklift? Yes?”

Conscript 0085. The lazy man. He shook his head ‘no.’ The man in white looked at conscript 0132. “You?” 0132 nodded.

“Yes, sir!”

“Alright then. Let’s use that. If you would, fetch that one over there. Thank you. He looked to the rest of the group. “Let’s make this as quick as possible. Get this off the truck and through those doors. Our lab geeks will take direct you from there.”

He pointed to the other side of the warehouse to the electronic double doors that the ISTJ had never been through. He’d never heard anybody talk about what was in there. It had been restricted.

Until now. The ISTJ was excited about what could be back there.

——

After a few minutes of loading back and forth, the ISTJ was disappointed to realize that he wouldn’t be going in the back room. 0087 and himself stayed in the unlit shipping container, carefully lifting the boxes that were heavy as hell onto the handcart, rolling them over to the edge, at which point, conscript 0132 would use the forklift to pile them onto another handcart that conscript 0209 and 0085 would push it to the back doors, where ISTJ desperately wanted to go. Of course, they were escorted by one of the men in masks, while the man in white and another body guard stayed with the truck.

But something suddenly said that it wouldn’t be a good idea. It was suddenly as though what was in the back didn’t matter and neither did what was in the crates.

Time to get back to work.

It was a little tedious to bring crates to the edge, only to have to wait on the other men to do their part. But a small break in between wasn’t that bad either. He had to admit to himself that he was jealous of 0085. It’s the one that shouldn’t be the one here that gets to go where no one is supposed to be allowed? It was unfitting.

By the last load, which was the twelfth, with twenty-four crates in all, varying in sizes with no discriminate markings, the ISTJ was ready to be done. He didn’t care about the packages, the room, or what he was doing. He had worked hard enough and was just finished. All he had to do was wait for 0085, 0209, and the guard to come back.

Every time they went through the doors, it was like they disappeared for good. There was no noise, no bustling, no electronic whirs; just silence. But when 0085 came back through the doors the last time with no cart, no guard, no 0209 and his left hand at his side, something was definitely wrong. He was walking fast and the closer he got, the more obvious it was that the red on his face were blood droplets.

The man in white’s eyes begin to match his coat from how wide they became.

What the hell?! What do you want?”

Conscript 0085 raised his left hand that had been at his side to reveal the guard’s M4. Without hesitation, he shot the man in white that immediately dropped backward. The ISTJ and 0087 were still in the truck as they watched their superior gunned down. There was no blood, but surely he was dead. Four shots, all in vital spots of the body. Whoever 0085 was, he knew what he was doing. ISTJ and 0087 looked to the lazy man, whose nickname in the ISTJ’s mind no longer fit him and saw the focused intensity in his face. He really wasn’t one of them.

This is the rumored spy. I’m looking at him now. I’m going to kill him with my bare hands.

The man formerly thought to be 0085 talked out of the side of his mouth.

“You guys understand business, don’t you? Business computes for you. That’s what this is. You won’t feel anything.”

Before ISTJ and 0087 had time to do anything, the lazy man aimed his new, top of the line death maker at them and fired, all three bullets hitting different parts of their body. They really were done.

—–

The real conscript 0085 would be found in his bedroom, within in the next several hours. ISTP knew that while nobody would look there for the rest of the night, roll call would realize something was out of place and find the “man” lifeless in his quarters. Out of commission, so to speak. It was the only opportunity to replace one to get his hands on this precious merchandise…and destroy it all. Semtex should do it, and if it didn’t he had still done his job.

No need to even bring out the big guns to do it. The higher ups on the island were so high and their soldiers so obedient that a little sneaking around would go unnoticed for a while. And it had. Two days to be exact. Handcuffing the driver to handrail in the bay was the only thing he felt somewhat guilty for. The one person the ISTP didn’t shoot and that’s who he felt bad for.

The guy had no idea what was going on, what he was delivering, and who he was delivering it too. Just doing his job, just like everybody else in this place. As soon as he was in the truck, the back locked up and loaded with only two bodies was still attached. ISTP would’ve made it to his pick-up point faster with the shipping crate unattached but there was no way to unhook it in time. Didn’t matter. This was less conspicuous anyway, tinted windows and all.

ISTP’s radio buzzed in.

You on the way?” ISTP responded, “Yeah, ten minutes or less.”

Hurry up, or we’re leaving you.” Jokes like that were funnier to the ISTP when he knew that he was going to make it. As of now, he was pretty sure he was okay. Other than the loud, metal screech he’d heard a moment earlier, everything seemed fine. Seconds after hearing thumping on the shipping container, a fist burst through the sun roof of the cab and reached for ISTP. He slammed on his brakes on the deserted road.

He could see his pick-up point just across a small field. The roads didn’t lead to it, but he could just as easily cut through himself now. The chopper wasn’t there yet, but it would be.

It would be, but that wasn’t the problem right now. What was on the road in front of him was the standing, breathing ISTJ he’d shot in the truck and left dead and the container. How he survived, opened the back and was standing in the road after being thrown off of the truck were all mysteries the ISTP might not live to figure out. He was warned that this “commander’s” troops were somehow different, but no one knew how. The ISTP was only briefed that they could sustain lethal amounts of damage and keep going. The ISTP scoffed at the time and even as he laid several others to rest. The others didn’t get up, why was this one?

The ISTJ stood in the road, with part of his skull exposed. A silver skull. His face was just out of view of the headlights, but his legs were still, rigid as usual. His hands were at his side, balled into fists.

ISTP cringed, just a bit, always keeping cool. Mostly, anyway. The hell, man?

The ISTP suddenly thought he might have to implement his back up plan, using it for the first time in months. Nah. I’m not that desperate yet.

He put the semi in gear and began to pick up speed. Bullets and gravity hadn’t done the trick, but something had to. Maybe an ten ton truck would.

Not only did the ISTJ not move, he actually started running toward the truck. As the truck gained speed, so did the ISTJ. Just before the two collided, the ISTP noticed a glint of green in the ISTJ’s eyes. They were like tinted headlights of their own. The ISTJ hopped just enough before impact to create a cannonball-like effect in the grill. There was a moment of near-silence as the ISTP continued driving, the engine of the truck still going.

But just as soon as the thought ran through the ISTP’s mind, a rustling under the mangled hood began, just before the engine died. The ISTP grabbed his M4 and as fast he could scrambled out of the truck, hitting the road just in time to see the ISTJ’s arm wildly reaching through where the gas pedal was. The ISTP readied his weapon. He might not get a chance to smoke that last cigarette. As the arm continued to tear it’s way through, the ISTP circled his way around to the front, weapon loaded, ready, and aimed.

When he was dead center in front, he unloaded the magazine, hardly seeing if he was hitting the ISTJ. It was in the direction, so he knew most would have to connect. No one would care or know about what was happening here because of what he made sure would happen back at the base. Completing the mission mattered, but ISTP also wanted to live. So he ejected the empty mag, reloaded another that he’d gotten off of the guard and begin firing again just to be safe. Another full mag into his apparently untouchable enemy and his ride hovering toward the pick-up point did the job, set him at ease, if just for a moment.

Because after a moment, reality set in and the ISTJ began moving again. ISTP, knowing when to fight and when to run, would always ignore when to run. He began steadily walking back toward the truck, just as rhythmically pumping rounds into the area the noise was coming from. This would have to be done at close range to put him down, but if he were too close, he might not be able to take him down with his own hands. He must have hit the others in their vitals, or at the very least, taken them down for a while.

Maybe the others weren’t like this one

After another magazine, the ISTP figured the thing was as good as dead. Maybe. Either way, the ISTP was getting to his ride. Taking off across the field, the ISTP could see salvation getting closer and closer, in the form of an Mi-17. It didn’t matter if the thing were done, he couldn’t catch up at this point.

ISTP could see the silhouette of his buddy in the cockpit. The closer he got, the safer he felt.

Damn, I’m ready to get out of here. Two days sneaking and hiding and killing and now fighting some robot bastard.

But like any good thought, it can be ruined by something horrible happening immediately afterward. This was no exception. A soldier in the passenger hold hopped out with his AR-15 and began going to town on something behind the ISTP. Based on the soldier’s shots, it was closing in fast. The ISTP wasn’t even going to look to see what it was. He already knew.

Making it to the chopper, the soldier had run out. The ISTP knew better.

“JUST GET IN, GET IN! WE’VE GOTTA GO! NOW!”

The soldier listened well as the ISTP tried moving him in himself. The ISTJ’s body was in full view despite the dark and from what they could see, he’d looked like a zombie. Most of his skeleton was showing. But when you’re made of metal, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you get out of there. The ISTJ made his way to the chopper at full force.

As it was taking off, the ISTJ made his leap for the men. Falling just short of his destination, he grappled the floor, trying to cling to it with no handles. It didn’t matter either, as he dug his metal fingers into the floor. The unnamed soldier hung to straps as the ISTP told him to buckle in. He knew what this meant and listened immediately.

The ISTP knew it was time. As he felt the energy rushing to his left hand, thoughts of knocking his own chopper out of the sky and killing them all, just as they were performing their victory lap. What a stupid way to die. Whatever humanity that was in this thing was long gone, as he seemed more like an animatronic sideshow on the violent fritz.

For all I know, this thing’s gonna explode on us all.

He’d need to keep this to a minimum. It would be tough to do, with how annoying this thing had become over the past several minutes. Hell, he was annoying when he thought he was a soldier. Kept looking at me. And NOW look at him. chewing through the floor, scraping and clawing at me, with no reason or rhyme. Such a waste.

His fist was fully charged now and it was time to finish things. He reared his clenched hand back and let’er rip, with an explosion of energy that not only clear through the majority of the ISTJ’s body, but much of the floor of the chopper. The heat was nearly unbearable for the soldier but it completely overtook the ISTJ’s metallic body and not much was left to fall into the water. The energy signature that the enemy would get on their computers, even a disturbance this low would still be a spike on their graphs compared to what they’d been seeing. Reason no.1 not to use it.

Reason number two is that even though it was meant to save the few lives on the chopper, it might have killed them all. The force of the ISTP’s punch blew the helicopter nearly completely horizontal and they were having a hard time regaining themselves at such a low altitude above the water. They were going down.

But they would live. There was a raft. HQ would get the SOS and they’d be rescued. The mission was a success for the most part, even with a downed Mi-17. They hadn’t destroyed command control, but they got the R&D division, which was responsible for the majority of their leader’s major weapons.

All was well, relatively. There was still a lot more to be done.

——

The ENTJ commander stepped through much of the rubble. What was once a lab made up of the most brilliant minds he could find, was now just scattered waste. His assistant followed closely behind him, not wanting to get too close for fear of how he might react now that he was standing in the middle of a failure.

He looked around, calmly. “Damage report?” he asked. “Were the shipments, okay, at least?”

Some of them sir. But what isn’t looks like it can be repaired. They were about the only things that survived, strangely enough. We can’t find the doctor either.” She didn’t want to add the bit about the doctor, but he was going to find out sooner or later.

Of course, we can’t.” He smirked. “This was a great opportunity for him” he laughed. “Where are the crates?

“This way, sir.”

As the two stepped over the bodies of a few scientists, a couple guards and the conscripts that helped unload the crates, the most aggravating part of it for the ENTJ was that he knew there was more of this, not just an isolated area. Still, he opened the first crate he came to, ready to see how well his deliveries were and how much damage they’d sustained. When he opened the first crate, it was perfect. Just like the ENTJ had imagined it. No scratches, no marks, no dings.

The explosion destroyed the building, as did the rest of the Semtex in other areas that base. But this did nothing but damage the box. If it hadn’t been for the explosives being placed over a desk that took most of the blast in that building, the boxes would’ve taken more damage to the point of destroying the cargo.

The ENTJ marveled at his new toy as ran his fingers over part of it. A new model ISTJ. The same design as the one that unloaded, ironically. Conscript 0198 may have been gone, but this would be a quicker, even stronger version. He’d be easier to program; difficult if not impossible to excite which could lead to potential irrational choices, curiosity would be tamed.

He’s the perfect human, isn’t he? He’ll fit right in with his brothers.” The ENTJ remarked as he stared at the yet-to-be-programmed machine.

Mm.” his assistant casually stated. “I’ve to to be honest sir. You don’t seem that upset.

“Oh, I’m extremely upset.” He turned from his new son. “Yes, extremely. When I find the man that did this, I’m going to crack his chest open and eat his beating heart. But after I’ve put some things in order first.” He turned to the row of new conscripts that had all been activated but not programmed, creating an eerie feeling to anyone not familiar with them. Creepy still, to many who were familiar with them.

But you said we’ve got an idea who it was, correct?

Yes, sir.

ENTJ stumbled a bit. “You said it was the uh, the…

The ISTP, sir.

Yes, that’s it! Snarky little bastards, aren’t they?

Yes, sir. Definitely.” she responded.

Right, so we’ve got our lead, production has slowed as far as this place is concerned, but we’ve got more things happening to let this slow us down. And our new models are completely untouched. So it seems more like they’ve all just wasted their time. Soon, I want to send a team out to catch this ISTP, can you arrange that?” He didn’t need an answer. “You can contact the ESTP if you think it would work.”

Not the ENTP?

“Hell no. You never know what they’re going to do. The ESTP is much easier to motivate. Give him some freedom and money, they’ll take a continent hostage.”

Then I’ll see to it. Do you want him alive?”

“Of course! I told you, I’m going to eat his heart, didn’t I? That wasn’t figurative.”

“You’re the boss.”

As his assistant began to walk away to make the proper arrangements, the ENTJ stopped her for just a moment. “Oh, and one more thing. Make sure this reproduction of 0198 is a part of the group sent out for the ISTP. I want the irony to sink in to him.”

“Yes, sir.”

The ENTJ laughed to himself just a bit. He’d only seen his competition in the form of another type like himself, he hadn’t thought about this ISTP making any sort of dent. But then again, he was always ready for a challenge, in any form.

spy

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