Sky’s breaths were shallow, his chest rising and falling quickly as he stared up at the AI’s with an unguarded expression of anger. His ice-blue eyes melting into a blaze. He pushed himself to a sitting position and slowly brought up his hands to answer. He stared directly at the AI that had asked him the question and held up his hands. His palms rolled into fists, one hand on top of the other crossed at his wrists. Then he brought his fists apart, his eyes never leaving the AI.
The AI’s all chirped a strange sound in unison as they processed his word. “You choose death then.” The AI yanked Sky off the ground and hoisted him into the air. Vale heard a gasp of uneasy breath as the AI wrapped metal fingers around his throat.
No longer blocked, Vale shoved the grate up and rolled out, determined to save him. Sky’s hands were wrapped around the AI’s, struggling for breath. The AI’s all turned to stare at her. “Unidentified human,” they said in a cold unison, their purple eyes boring into her.
“And it’s going to stay that way. Let him go!” Vale shouted running for the AI holding up Sky and shoving her full body weight into it. Sky fell from the AI’s hands and collapsed to the ground, coughing as he took in deep gasping breaths, suddenly able to breathe.
Vale saw stars as a sharp pain hit the side of her head. The ground and sky bled together as everything took on the same color. Spots of ink-black paint splotched her vision. It took several blinks to adjust her sight and the sky and ground broke apart, returning to their original positions. She fell, hitting the ground next to Sky, pain filling her skull, ripping into her thoughts of movement, convincing her that nothing else mattered.
The AI’s eyes grew brighter sending a ray of light across Vale’s body, scanning her. “Vale Vita. Home, Sector 92603. Mother Kriss Vita. Father Destroyed.” Vale gasped, feeling suddenly numb. Destroyed? He’s gone? She had never known him, her parents separating when she was born, but she didn’t know he was dead, gone, impossible to ever see, to talk to, to learn from. In one breath, a part of her shattered, broken, incapable of being restored. My father is dead.
Vale was so lost in the grief that filled her down to her core that she didn’t see the AI reach for her until suddenly a flash of blond moved in front of her. Sky shoved Vale behind him, shielding her from the bright purple eyes that had so coldly declared her father’s death. A moment later, Sky’s head jolted backwards, a loud CRACK echoing across the bridge as the AI’s hand struck him across the face.
He stumbled to the ground, a large purple bruise visible along the left side of his face from temple to jaw as Vale caught him in her arms. “SKY!” she screamed, her entire being suddenly enraged, on fire at the pain plastered across Sky’s face. His calm, gentle face had transformed into a tapestry of agony.
His ocean eyes found hers, reaching for her metal hand, he squeezed it. She couldn’t feel his touch, the metal, lifeless against his strong fingers. He glanced from her arm to her face, his eyes boring into her, giving her an unspoken message. A memory sparked to life in her mind. His final words to her before they were found...
If they find you, use your metal arm to defend yourself. I’ve made some upgrades.
Vale gave him a sharp nod, determination filling her core. Placing Sky gently on the ground, Vale stood up and faced the three AI’s before her. You won’t hurt him again.
The first AI moved, a flash of metal entering her view. Vale brought up her metal arm in front of her face, hoping to block whatever attack came her way. The AI was fast, too fast for her to predict. She heard a clang as the AI’s arm hit hers, her entire body vibrating from the impact. Pulling her arm back, she shoved it forward towards the AI’s face, needing to move before the AI did.
Suddenly, sparks of electricity ripped through the AI’s head as Vale’s fist met its mark, eating up Vale’s arm. The electricity was loud, wild as it wove up Vale’s metal arm. The AI shook, different’ parts of its body flickering under the sudden power surge. A moment later, the AI dropped to the ground, drained of power.
Vale stumbled backwards, staring down at her metal arm, suddenly terrified. What did I do? She had little time to process as the second AI moved to grab her. Scrambling backwards, Vale threw her arm up to defend herself when suddenly, her arm shot out the electricity she had just taken. Her arm acting like her very own Lightning Seeker Harpoon. The blast of electricity shot forward, swallowing the other two AI’s in bright angry light.