Alvii turns off sooner then I thought it would, the cold must be hard on the batteries regardless of how new they are; Theo smiles at me and I feel a twisting in my stomach “What brings you out here?”
“The earth quakes and the fireball.” He offers me a place to sit and I take it, not wanting to be rude.
“Ah I see, yet another one.” I look at him and he smiles “Not to worry many have come, though I know not if they have left.”
“Oh. Did they come from far away?” He turns his back to me, going to a small pantry.
“Oh yes, from north and south, though to the east is the sea and none have crossed it yet. You are the first from the west.”
“I see.” He turns back with some bread and hands it to me.
“And you’re the first with one of them.”
“I figured that much, Alvii was going to come alone but my chief ordered me with it.” Theo sits across from me and gives me a smile.
“Your chief?” I begin to eat.
“Yeah,” I attempt to speak around my mouthful “He doesn’t like me much. I’m sure he’d be happy if I never came back, though his wife would never forgive him for that.”
“Oh I see, your tribe… Is it strong?”
“Very,” I finish my bread slice and yawn. “we are strong together and strong apart. I will complete this mission and make them proud.”
“Very good thinking. Please rest,” He motions to a small bed near the fire.
“I couldn’t take your bed.” I protest but he smiles and shakes his head.
“Worry not, I have another in the attic. I will be warm enough this night, I think.” He rises and pulls a ladder down “Good night, Hera.” I nod in return as he climbs out of sight. I look at the bed before slowly rising and laying down. Its soft, very soft and I don’t really like it, but I close my eyes and hope sleep washes over me. It does, eventually.
A creaking unlike the wind pressing against this hut awakens me, the light turns on in my eyes just barely and I look around me. Theo is appearing from what I can only assume to be the attic, he stares at Hera for a moment then looks at me. I do not think he knows I am awake, he smiles and crouches down before me. “Hey there, Alvii. Can you hear me?” I contemplate answering, but he continues before I can reach a conclusion “I know why you’re here, I know what you came to do even if you don’t know it.” He leans close, internal warnings begin to go off. Theo is a dangerous man. “And I will stop you. I will stop you like I stopped the others. This world is dying and I want to watch it burn.” He straightens and turns to Hera, he stares at her for another minute before once again going to where he came from.
I wait half an hour before rising up, thankfully my joints are quiet, the warmth allowing them to fully lubricate and not grate against each other; I go to Hera, and softly touch her shoulder, she mumbles in her sleep and turns away. “Hera,” My voice is soft yet it seems to carry through the house “Hera you must wake. I do not believe we should stay here any longer.” Her eyes flicker open then shoot wide, before she can say anything I feel a heavy weight slam into me. I brace against the wall, unwilling to crush her and try to shrug off the weight.
“Theo!” Hera scrambles out of the way as I struggle. I can feel the man clawing at me but his fingers keep catching on the plating and thankfully he is unable to grip and tear anything. I manage to fling him onto the floor and step out of the way as Hera jumps atop in, hands wrapping around his throat and squeezing, though he struggles and it is hard for her to hold on. I straighten and cross the room, pulling her off of him and press a foot against his chest. His struggling stops and he glares up at me.
“This world will crumble away! We got what we deserved!” He screams, Hera sighs and pulls out of my grasp.
“This world isn’t going to crumble,” Her voice is soft, soothing “Maybe we did get what we deserved but do we not deserve a second chance?”
“Fuck off.” She blinks, stunned by his coarse language. “I want this world to die!” His struggling starts again, I press against his chest harder.
“Fine, fine. Do what you want. You will NOT stop us.” Hera looks around and spots what she wants. “Alvii, get him up and in a chair.” I cock my head but do as she asks, hauling him up and slamming him hard into a chair, before he catch his breath and escapes Hera is behind him wrapping rope around him and the chair, fastening him to it.
“You can tie me up, but I will still end you.” Hera rolls her eyes and finishes tying him to the chair and straightens.
“Come on Alvii, let’s go.” She shoulders her pack and we leave Theo struggling on his chair. The night is cold but some sun peaks over the horizon, we make quick progress in the hopes of reaching our destination before either of us suffer too much from the cold. As it turns out, we are not far from what I presume to be our destination. Over snow drifts and hills, past a small row of trees is a massive crater, its deep and dark, dust rises from it periodically. Hera looks up at me. “I… Is this it?”
“I can only assume so. It never said what would be triggered or where, just that the world would end.” She nods and looks down again.
“I would not advise it. Perhaps we should make camp and attempt it tomorrow?”
“But why?” She protests.
“I need to recharge, my batteries are nearly dead.” She huffs and nods, setting up her hut while I pick a place and sit down. The wind may be cold but I have no choice, the lights of my eyes dim and the charger kicks on. If I were human I suppose I’d yawn but as I am not, I opt for silence and allow nothingness to take over.