“Hera” Alvii pushes me behind it, our opponents bright eyes find us. “Stay hidden, and use your bow. You are not like me, this thing will be able to kill you easily.” I don’t protest as Alvii turns to face off with the machine. I ready an arrow and watch as they circle each other, Alvii’s shoulders hunched, his body low to the floor while the machine stands tall, its drill arm spinning away, it is clear what will be a weapon during this fight. They have enough of sizing each other up, Alvii strikes first, launching himself at the massive machine, deft hands gripping at tubing and tugging some loose allowing a spray of pressurized liquid to shoot everywhere. Alvii jumps away as that drill arm swing, nearly catching him but instead slamming into a pillar chipping away at the stone supporting the roof to this arena. I pull my bow string back and aim carefully, relying on the glow from Alvii’s and the machine’s eyes to light my target.
Taking a deep breath I aim for the same spot I had when I was facing down Alvii, only this time there was no wind, no sun glaring harshly, just dust and the constant movement making it exceedingly difficult, I release the arrow and it flies, just barely missing Alvii as it sores to its mark, nicking the same tube, sending the same liquid spilling, but causing a much different reaction. While Alvii retreated when he saw what had been done this machine raged, arms swinging, grappling with the much smaller Alvii in an attempt to reach me. I back away from the searching light, hiding in the darkness of the rough stone tunnel. The machine’s attention quickly returns to Alvii and again they fight, though this time Alvii is on the defense with the drill arm swinging and catching part of his plating, digging at the metal but making little headway to the soft tubing and wiring under it.
I step back toward the fight, my light foot steps unheard by either machine; Alvii rolls out of the way as its large arm swings down to crush him, the blow cracking the stone and shaking dust free from the ceiling as Alvii rises only to quickly leap out of the way of yet another blow that chips away more rock from the central pillar. Alvii looks to me, and I nod, nocking and drawing another arrow back, there is no time to waste, I let it fly and strike the machine, cutting through tubes and rendering its drill arm inoperable and slamming into the ground, rooting the machine in place with its considerable weight. Its back is too me, I take aim and let another arrow fly.
Hera’s arrow struck true, rooting this beast of a machine to its spot, drill arm no longer a threat to me. I can see her move just beyond the machine and I move to end this creature’s life. I jump, my hands fall to its shoulders and I fall behind it, giving myself complete access to its soft inner tubes and wires. There is no sound for a brief moment, then I feel it. Something tears into my metal plating, digging through a worn spot I never repaired and tearing at my tubing. Alarms run through my mind and I can feel pressure dropping quickly. I have no time to waste. I tear at the wire, the machine stutters to a stop, I cannot hear anything as I work. It is done, it falls forward, slamming into the pillar and crumbling it. Immediately I feel Hera’s hand on my shoulder, I look to her, her mouth is moving but I hear nothing. Rocks fall but I am having issues moving, I push at Hera but she does not leave. She grabs me and drags me, the arrow snaps off and she moves us from the arena quickly before dragging me down the halls following the arrows then the twine. I can feel my mobility failing, the light from my eyes is not as bright as it once was. I am reminded of my age, she manages to drag me from the labyrinth before collapsing a few feet from the tunnel entrance as it spews dust and debris.
My eyes flicker, it feels like it has been just a moment but when I can see again she is above me, the hut is off to the side and there is a fire beside us. “-vii! Alvii!”
“Yes?” I manage, she smiles and sits back.
“Are you ok?”
“I… No, I am not running at full capacity, major coolant loss, major oil loss, I cannot move very well…” She nods.
“I’m sorry, I was going to take out that monster but then you were just there. It was too late… You caught my arrow in the back.”
“It is alright.” She does not appear to be convinced of this fact. “You act as though I am dying.”
“Because you are Alvii! I don’t have what I need to repair you, everything is leaking out of you, you were out for hours too!”
“Hera,” I shake my head “I am not dying, I will rest. Maybe never awaken, but I will not be dead. If you power me up I will awaken as though nothing has happened.” She sighs and takes my hand, I can see her holding it, but I cannot feel it, nor can I hold it back.
“I’m going to Theo’s. Maybe he’ll have something.” I try to shake my head but as I do my vision blacks out and I am once again gone from her world.