It’s pace is slow, but it follows me none the less, heading down familiar paths of well tread snow back to my village. My heart beat is the only thing I can hear as we approach, the people stop their tasks and stare at us, the Amazon hesitates before stepping passed the invisible threshold of the village. Mothers pull their children close as I lead him toward the chief’s tent, though I know someone has already told Diomedes that I’ve returned with the machine in tow. I’m surprised to see that he is not waiting for me, I push aside the flap and step into his hut. “Diomedes-”
“What have you done!” He barely lets me finish his name “Bringing that thing into our camp, you’ve doomed us all!” His rage taints his words, and I know not even Pythia can save me from his wrath right now.
“I found it hiding in a cave-”
“And brought it here like its some kicked puppy!”
“Would you let me-”
“You’ve done enough, Hera.” He snaps and my words die in my throat. His eyes drift from me to the figure looming over me, little beads of the green-yellow fluid still oozing from the cut. “What are you called?”
“I am Alvii.” Its voice is pleasant and even, though I’m sure it is aware of the fear and panic its causing the people. “I do not mean to intrude upon your village, life form.”
“How did you get your name?” He leaves off the implied and disdain filled machine.
“I am Alvii,” he turns and shows the worn designation numbers A1-VII. I almost laugh at the silly miss-reading by the precision machine. “What may I call you, life form?” Everything sounds like a statement, there is no inflection, no emotion. Its voice is just flat and even, almost calming yet I can see how it would be terrifying in the right circumstances.
“Don’t call me anything. Get out of my village. Never return.” The machine nods and turns.
“Ah, wait-” It pauses and Diomedes glares, ready to take my head off “Alvii, tell him what you were hearing. Before in the cave.”
“But he has asked me to leave. Would it not anger him if I stayed?” It quizzes, making me smile.
“He’s always angry, tell his wife what you were saying before.” He nods and turns facing Pythia. She examines the being closely from the safety of her rugs.
“It said ‘Beware. Beware. Beware. The end. Beware. I am-” his eyes widen, the light is more diffused then before, “Fire. Fire. Fire. Loosing altitude. Fire. Fire. Fire. Critical temperature. Fire. Fire. Fi-” The light becomes more defined and Alvii spins before ducking out of the tent. Diomedes glares at me while Pythia pushes herself up and follows the machine.
“Hera what have you brought us.” He demands but I don’t respond. I don’t really have an answer for him.
The warnings are going off- over heating, loosing altitude, critical damage to solar panel. There is no correcting for it, it tumbles carelessly into the atmosphere, fire wicks up around it as it plummets to the surface so far below. Pieces break off and burn away streaking across the sky, lighting up the dimming hemisphere below; finally the flames melt away the protective metal sheeting, the alarms stop as flames destroy wiring, cameras, receivers, and transmitters. The sky is lit up by the falling fire ball as it streaks toward its inevitable destruction.
The male life form’s voice pattern registers as angry as we enter his home, he only addresses the female life form with me, now known as Hera. “What have you done!” His voice is loud, ringing clear in the surrounding area “Bringing that thing into our camp, you’ve doomed us all!” His rage taints his words, a woman sits behind him, staring at us, or more likely, at Hera.
“I found it hiding in a cave-” She starts but the male does not allow her to continue her sentence
“And brought it here like its some kicked puppy!”
“Would you let me-” She attempts again.
“You’ve done enough, Hera.” He snaps, his eyes drift from Hera to me, little beads of the coolant still oozing from my injury. I must stop the leak and replenish soon. “What are you called?”
“I am Alvii.” He regards me silently, dark eyes boring into me. “I do not mean to intrude upon your village, life form.”
“How did you get your name?”
“I am Alvii,” I turn and show the life forms my name, painted onto my arm, the worn desigantion numbers I cannot clearly read. “What may I call you, life form?”
“Don’t call me anything. Get out of my village. Never return.” I nod and turn.
“Ah, wait-” I pause and the male glares at my companion as she addresses me “Alvii, tell him what you were hearing. Before in the cave.”
“But he has asked me to leave. Would it not anger him if I stayed?” I quiz, making Hera smile.
“He’s always angry, tell his wife what you were saying before.”I nod again and turn to face the female behind the angered male. She examines me closely from the safety of her rugs.
“It said ‘Beware. Beware. Beware. The end. Beware. I am-” My thoughts are not my own, something takes over. I know not what I am saying but when control returns to me and the voice is silent in my head for once I know something is wrong. Without explanation I turn and leave, looking to the sky where a great ball of fire plummets from space, breaking apart, then vanishing from sight in the trees. Immediately I calculate how long it will take to hit the surface. Three minutes. Three minutes and it will hit. I watch the horizon, noting the unknown female has come to join me, standing silently behind me watching the fire ball with me. Three minutes later an explosion rings out, the people look to me, or perhaps the woman behind me. Five minutes after first seeing the ball of fire the land shakes violently, toppling some life forms, a few huts and several trees. I turn and look upon the female behind me, she is scared.
“Alvii,” her voice is soft, “What was that?”
“That was the signal of the end.” I know not how I came to that conclusion, it was the most natural explanation I could give. This world was doomed and there was nothing they could do about it. I look to the fire slowly rising through the trees, smoke barely visible against the star. I must protect my life forms, I will not allow their destruction.