Checkmate

 

Corporations settle disputes on military reservations, broadcasting the battles to the addicted public.

For the mercenary miltechs who fight the battles, win and get a bonus. Lose and get paid the minimum . . . unless wounded, and the medical fees are deducted from their pay. Die on the field of battle? The United Alliance of Military Workers makes a one-time payoff to the family.

Surrender and lose their union cards, never to work again.

The miltech grunts are mere pawns, shuttled around the reservation in a never-ending attempt to outmaneuver the foe.

Jorge, Tasha, and Isaac are employed by PrimeMil, assigned to a light infantry chasseur company. Cut off from the rest of the platoon, a paycheck is the least of their worries. They need to survive the battle. 

But with someone else pulling the strings, is there anything pawns can to flip the board? Read the story and find out.

"Checkmate" is a novelette of approximately 9,000 words.