The Machinist Child

Everything gone. Everything lost. The universe never bats an eye when the world of one comes crashing down to oblivion, it just keeps going on as if nothing even happened. He lost his mother, his father, his sister. All his friends, his toys, everything he ever loved, everything that ever let him think he was safe.

He had been wandering for weeks in the city. A charred battlefield lay to waste by the war between Honzor and the Sphoros Confederacy. Massive war bots lay destroyed and deactivated in the streets, they are absolutely littered with the machines.

It’s been quiet for the last couple days, the boy feels it’s alright to be out in the open now, look for something to eat. Light rain begins to fall, chilling the boy to the bone, but he has few options. He tries to fight back the thoughts, the memories of death; his family is never coming back. Nothing is ever going to be the same again. But they always seep in; that’s when the tears fall, the hunger pangs dissipating as his soul is filled with sorrow no 10 year old boy should ever experience.

When they came into the house, his father told him to take his sister and run. He did. He still heard his parents scream as they were gunned down by astral bolt rifles. His sister didn’t want to leave her mommy and daddy. He had to drag her screaming through the streets. She didn’t last long before a war bots Gatling laser had her in its sights while she went out to look for her teddy bear the next day. It just…all happened so quickly.

He kneeled down next to a scrapped warbot crying softly, his tears sliding down the metallic surface of the machine. It wasn’t this war bots fault…The boy thought, it’s people. People tell them what to do. They tell them to kill and they kill. People are the ones who betray, lie and murder for no reason. People…are just born evil.

The boy begins to tear away various wires and gears from the warbot. He goes into the warbot like a lion eating the innards of a carcass. He pulls out a still functioning battery and begins to assemble cogs and circuit boards around it, using it as the core of a new machine. It doesn’t take him long to assemble a small foot tall robot. Crude in design with uneven arms and legs, built from the scrap metal of the warbot but he lacks the proper tools to do a decent job. Powering on the battery the robot stutters forward, walking awkwardly around in a circle. That’s about all it can do, it lacks proper programming and parts, but for 15 minutes of work it pleases the boy. The only problem is it lacks a personality. He wipes his finger into the burnt wreckage of the warbot, covering it with ash. The boy dots the head of his scrap junk creation with two eyes then swooshes in a large smile. Happy just to dance. No one telling him to do bad things He thinks. He smiles back at the grinning bot as he walks in his silly little circle again and again.

Something is wrong though, the boy is being watched. He knows he is being watched. Men from the alleyway shadows. Wearing protective dark blue, chrome gas masks. Honzor soldiers. Special Forces by the look of them. Picking up his new robot friend he begins to run across the rain drenched war zone. The soldiers don’t seem to be in a rush to catch him, the boy realizes. They are however readying a plasma rocket launcher while another lobs concussive grenades at the child. The boy is too weak to run at full speed, a grenade goes off near him sending him spiraling into a concrete wall of a building, opposite side of the street.

The boy winces in pain, bleeding through his teeth, his exposed back torn up from the hit to the wall. He’s not ready to die today as he picks himself up and continues to run, slower this time, hampered by the injury. Another grenade detonates close, sending the boy flying again, this time into a pile of jagged rubble, tearing through the flesh of his head, neck and chest. He struggles to stand; facing his aggressors who close in with their expressionless masks, plasma launcher at the ready. The soldier fires directly at the child. Searing pain hits the boy, burning and concussive force as this time he flies like a ragdoll through the air. He lands against his back, sputtering out blood, blinded by the flames hitting his face. The pain is too much as he slips into unconsciousness.

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