Nobody wanted to do it, but in the end we knew there was no choice but to do it. We had been at war for years, grinding their armies into hamburger, blowing their tanks into scrap and their warplanes into fiery kinetic sculptures and their cities into random collections of smashed concrete and twisted rebar where nothing lived but the rats. Still, they refused to surrender, and we had to keep going, pushing towards the mountains and the deserts across the endless steppes. Driving on to wherever their High Command had fled to after we'd obliterated their previous capital.

Even the threat of guerrilla warfare was a thing of the past. Neurotechnology allowed us to crank out millions of biocontrol chips, and we chipped every surviving civilian and POW so they couldn't raise a hand or a weapon or do any kind of sabotage. If they tried, they'd just stand there and get the shakes, and then their stomach would start cramping up, and then they'd have to sit down until the nausea went away. The kids were a problem for a while, but after they figured out we weren't going to rape their moms or beat them senseless, they got with the program.

Then one day the enemy came up with something so diabolical, so vile...the weaponized dog. Their neurotech wasn't as good as ours, but it was good enough to work on a dog. They could rig a dog with a backpack. They could program the chip to tell the dog where to go. They could set the backpack up with sensors and a proximity fuse. It didn't even require a particularly bright dog; something moderately brain-damaged from cloning effects was just fine.

We didn't want to shoot the dogs, but there was no other way to stop them. Increasing numbers of guys fell out as psych casualties, and the offensives began to stall. The only thing that saved us was some bright boy in the rear tinkering with the M441 light recon drone...which soon began filtering back to the front lines as the M441A1 light interdiction tank. Just a couple of 20mm automatic grenade launchers on a lightly armored tracked chassis, a software upgrade, and you had an anti-dog tank. You could operate them remotely as a support weapon, too, but everyone knew they were there for the dogs.

They worked well enough. The failure of the enemy's latest weapon, and the resultant fall of their capital the following month to the 55th Division, finally brought an end to the war. The Army wasted no time in scrapping all the M441A1s, and repurposing the cybernetic brains to other tasks.

I wonder sometimes about the lawn mower, though.

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