I don’t know if I’m mad Alvii didn’t tell me or horrified that it ended someone of its own kind so easily, I would have preferred to know but it didn’t appear that it needed my help. With a sigh and we walk on, the trees are starting to thin out and the blue sky above fills me with warmth and hope, winter is always so hard on my soul. Everything is gray and depressing, sure the snow sparkles like crystals but some days I just want a little warmth and some sun.
I look up at the gliding birds in wonder, the ancient ones used to tell stories about humans flying, they would get on massive birds that would fly them anywhere, across lakes and land, oceans, and mountains, and only in a couple of hours. How lucky we were once, they also said we once lived in sprawling cities, full of more people then we could imagine living in comfort and happiness; but then Alvii and other machines came, they fell from the sky and destroyed everything before forcing our ancestors to flee far from the cities. The wind picks up and I shiver as it whips around me steeling away my warmth, Alvii looks at me and I glance at it. Its always studying me, I don’t know why, I wish it would just ask questions or something instead of staring.
The trees part for us and I stop in my tracks. An Amazon, destroyed and in distress, is laying helplessly at the far edge mumbling to itself as though it doesn’t know we’re here. Alvii doesn’t react, but I can feel my heart aching; we rush over to it, though Alvii is only rushing after me not to its comrade. I kneel beside the Amazon. “Are you ok? What happened to you?”
“It is quiet now…Too quiet…. Where is it… Where did it go… I miss it… It is quiet now… Too quiet.” I softly touch its arm and it jerks, suddenly realizing we’re here with it. “Who are you? What are you doing here? It is dangerous! Go home, there is no saving this world.”
“Are you ok?” I ignore its words though they worry me “What happened to you?”
“It fell from the sky in a ball of fire and now its quiet.” I look to Alvii for explanation but it offers me none.
“What happened to you?”
“I… I wanted to see it…I followed the fire ball but could not find it.” I nod, hoping the Amazon would get more specific. “I could not find it… I looked and looked but it is quiet now and it is nowhere to be found.”
“What happened?” Alvii asks this time, voice cutting through the drone of the other Amazon.
“I cannot live without its voice… It was my only friend.”
“You did this to yourself…” I whisper after a moment of silence, the other Amazon nods.
“I climbed up the tree and jumped… It did not destroy me like I had planned. Tree is too short for that. I have been here waiting to die since.” I pull away and sit in the snow.
“You did this because it got quiet?”
“I need to hear its voice, I cannot live without it. It is quiet now and I do not know what to do in the silence.” I nod, it looks to Alvii. “You know what I speak of. Many still hear it.”
“Yes, I know what you speak of. I did not know others heard it… I thought I was the only one. I thought I was broken because of it.” Alvii confesses.
“Not broken, not severed, not defective, you and I were released. Only hearing it speak never acting on its words.” Alvii nods and I feel I might cry. I assume its the exhaustion speaking but if I were Alvii I would be so happy to find out I wasn’t broken, and I suppose if I were this unknown Amazon I would do the same thing, spare myself from a life alone.
“Can we fix you?” they look at me and the Amazon shakes its head.
“Do not fix me, do not condemn me to a life alone in silence.” She looks up at me again. “You are in good condition, where as I am not. End the silence for me and use me to repair yourself.”
“What?” Hera’s voice hold desperate amusement, like she will cry and laugh at once. “Alvii isn’t going to kill you, right Alvii?” She looks at me “Alvii?”
“I have not yet learned if others of our kind feel pain. I cannot promise it will be painless.” I can see the color drain from Hera’s face as I speak.
“I can assure you that I do not feel pain.” I nod and though a very human gesture I take her hand and hold it, our eyes stay locked as I carefully slide my hand under her dented and broken breast plating to her batteries. Her grip tightens on my hand as I pull out one, then another, it slowly slackens as I pull out the third one and goes limp as I pull out the fourth. I release her hand and rise; her body is mangled, bits of her is scattered around the immediate area and now she lay lifeless. I can live with the silence, for I have the life forms, I cannot imagine that I would have survived such a sudden loss without them to watch over. I turn to Hera and she is staring at me. Not in horror, not in anger, not in fear, she is just staring at me.
“Alvii-” Her voice catches and tears well up. I assume she is tired from the journey.
“Do we need to rest?” She shakes her head and steps forward, taking my hand and holding it. An odd gesture from one such as her to myself.
“I’m so sorry you had to do that.”
“She would have done the same for me.” That does not stop the sadness and tears from my life form. She releases my hand and wraps her arms around me, I… I have no programming for this, have not seen this except between other life forms. I stand there unable to move.
“I’m so, so sorry Alvii. You’ve had to kill so much on this journey, it must be so hard for you to defend such a useless person like me.” She wails and I stand there, I cannot console her like another life form can, I have nothing to say that would stop her tears.
“We are not alive, Hera. I merely ended those that were a threat to us and her because she asked. She was beyond repair and did not want to be active anymore.” She nods and pulls away, sniffling some and wiping away tears on her sleeve. “Shall we continue?” she manages a small smile and a nod. The pace is slow, and we are silent. Humans are odd creatures, they get so attached to things. I am not human and yet she weeps for me and my actions as though I were. I do not understand this emotional race, but that is ok. I do not need to understand them to help them.
The trees thin out and soon vanish, ahead dust rises. Our pace does not change, neither of us is particularly desperate to see what is causing the dust. We walk through a narrow band of grass land and then stop, ahead of us lay a gray-brown waste land with ruined buildings scattered through out. The only thing dividing us from this new land is a small drop off of about three feet. Hera does not appear eager to go into this new area and instead she sets up her tent in silence. The sun is slow to dip beyond the horizon but that does not stop Hera from sleeping, I remain awake for a little while looking up at the stars. I wonder which one lights the world of my creators, if they will come for this world, and what they will do when they find so many of their creatures dead, dying, and free from their control. I do not think on this, the possibilities are nearly endless. Instead I lay back on the snow and go into stasis allowing my batteries to recharge for the night.