Then Chaos Unfolds

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“Our world is divided into four. We are the brave Fighters, the courageous half of the human race who is willing to fight for a place in this world. The Rebels are the cowards of humanity, they wanted to end the war with a truce! They are one of the three durmies you will be trained to fight. The second durmy is made of giants. They are just like us in every aspect, except their size and their technology. They fight like cavemen with boulders and wood since they have no blasters, arrows or bombs. The final enemy, and perhaps the most dangerous, are the robots. The robots were our friends, we lived side by side in harmony until this war started and resources were so scarce that we had to break down robots to use their metal. They turned on us and joined the war.”

And here I am, in the hands of our most vicious enemy. The robot is standing above me with its arm (which is in the form of a blaster) aimed at my face. Its red eyes and metallic body shine giving it a terrifying yet mesmerizing look.

“Hello, human,” it states simply. I’m taken aback by how normal its voice is. Not at all like in cartoons and books, “Am I not talking in your language?” it asks, tilting its head sideways and lowering its blaster slightly. It starts speaking again but it’s not in English and I have no clue what it’s saying.

“Stop talking you’re giving me a headache,” I say, and its eyes instantly turn electric blue and it... smiles?

“Nice to meet you,” it states rather chirpily, lowering its blaster completely and it turns back into a normal arm, “So you speak English!” I’m taken aback by how happy it’s acting that I momentarily forget I’m in enemy territory.

Scowling at it, I raise my fists up- Wait. What happened to my shoulder wound? Didn’t I get shot? It’s not bleeding anymore and it’s much less painful.

“What did you do?!” I ask harshly.

“Oh?” its eyes turn yellow, and it looks a bit confused, “I fixed your shoulder,” it takes a pause, “I treated you.”

“And who asked you to do that?” I spit at it.

“Well, you passed out of pain and blood loss, so you would’ve died if I didn’t treat your wound,” it answers calmly.

I try to get up but I feel extremely dizzy and immediately flop down on the makeshift bed I woke up on. ’Sarn it! This is bad. This is terrible.

“You still lost a lot of blood, be careful. Your body is producing more red blood cells as we talk but it’s still not enough to keep you stable so you need to rest.”

“My bag,” I say realising that it’s not beside me, “Where’s my bag?”

“Right here,” it says handing it to me.

“Why did you bring me here?”

“To fix you.”

“F-fix me?!” I shout at it, “I’m not like you! I can’t be fixed!”

The thing jumps a little and it looks rather embarrassed as it answers, “My apologies, I meant to help you.”

“Stop being nice! Tell me what you want already! Where’s the rest of your army?!”

“I’m here alone, human. I decided war wasn’t for me, so this is my special hiding spot,” it takes a pause looking around, “This is ‘home’.”

Home? This place? What kind of optimistic robot did I end up with? That’s not even the puzzling part. I didn’t know robots could decide they don’t want to fight anymore. Aren’t they programmed to fight? I’m so confused that my brain starts to throb painfully. I clutch my head in agony.

“Here, this should help.”

I look at the robot. It’s holding a bottle of medicine. This wasn’t in my bag. How am I supposed to trust it? What if it poisons me?

“I won’t poison you,” it says with a little giggle, its eyes turning blue once more.

I snatch the medicine and gulp it down.

“Oh no! Not all of it!”

I stop drinking and hand it the bottle. Why does it even have medicine here? It’s not like it needs it.

“I’m C298 but I prefer calling myself Carla, I’m what you humans call a ‘she’.”

“A she? So, you’re female?”

“Well, we robots don’t have any distinctive pr-”

“Whoa! Whoa! Ok, stop there. I got it!” I think about whether I should tell it my name. It’s been nice this whole time and it’s basically a runaway like me, but this could all be an act. “Why did you stop fighting?” I decide to ask instead.

“It’s pointless. I’ll rust and break down before this war ends and there’s so much I want to do. I want to see animals, all types of them! I want to go swimming,” it laughs, “But of course that’s not possible, the water will fry my system. I want to run in the grass and plant a tree and see flowers bloom, real flowers not what you humans call plents,” it sighs looking sadly at its hands.

I don’t get this thing. Why does it think like humans? Why does it do human actions? Are robots supposed to do that? They’re supposed to be “vicious, cold-hearted killing machines”. I’m beginning to feel like everything I was taught in that good-for-nothing orphanage is wrong.

“Do you know where the newest human recruits are kept?” I ask her, formulating a plan of action.

“They landed yesterday at the fledgling fields. They’re probably in the 5th trench right now. They go to the front lines in the morning only for their first month.”

“How far are the fledgling fields?”

“They’re 14,396 metres north-east of here,” it answers pointing to said direction.

“That’s 14 kilometres! I was closer before! ’Sarn it!”

“The average human walking speed is 5 kilometres per hour, if you walk at that pace, you’ll reach the fledgling fields in less than 3 hours however it’s going to be very dangerous walking above ground, so you’ll have to use the trenches-”

“Why are you helping me?” I question, intrigued by how friendly it’s acting.

“It’s my job.”

“Your job is to fight.”

“No, that’s something I have to do for my species, but my job is to help humans. I was created and programmed to come to your aid.”

Come to our aid? This is getting more confusing by the second. And it could still be a trap. How am I to trust this thing?

“You’re lying, aren’t you? How could you be programmed to help us and yet you fight us?”

“I am not lying, human, my programming was altered to allow me to think freely. That’s why I was fighting and why I decided to stop doing it. I don’t blame you for not believing me,” it states in an almost sad voice its eyes slightly dimming.

“Well, I’m leaving,” I say standing up and taking my backpack. I look around for the door and realise there isn’t one, “Errr, how do I leave?”

The robot stands up and walks towards a ladder. I follow her looking around. There’s a metal cupboard with some spare parts and a small refrigerator. What would a robot need a refrigerator for? I also notice some food on a table. Is this robot really helping people? If that’s the case, then where are these people now?

“Here, I opened the hatch for you.”

“What is this place?”

“Sorry? I don’t understand you?”

“I thought you were supposed to be smart,” I sigh, “Before this place was ‘home’, what was it?”

“An underground bunker that was used by humans before this section became too dangerous.”

“Is that why there’s food and medicine?”

The robot’s eyes turn yellow, and it looks at a pantry, “No, I... I borrowed it.”

I wait for it to continue but it doesn’t, instead, it says, “I put some food and painkillers in the bag, it should be enough for the distance you’ll walk.”

I squint my eyes and scowl at it. Why is it helping me? Doesn’t it think I could bring back troops to kill it?

“Human, aren’t you leaving?”

“Stop calling me that.”

“But you haven’t told me your name,” it mutters as I climb the ladder.

“Ellie, that’s my name,” and with that I step back into Planet-E’s dusty air, closing the hatch behind me.

I start looking for the trenches but it’s too dark. At least the fighting decreases at night. I can hear arrows and blasters, but I know it’s far from me. Looking around I spot an incline in the ground and rush over. A trench! Slowly lowering myself into it I scrunch my nose at the smell. This thing reeks of decay. I cover my mouth and nose and walk in the direction the robot pointed to.

It hasn’t even been half an hour of walking and I’m already exhausted. Shit. This is bad. I won’t reach Jack at this rate. The blood loss is slowing me down too much, and this terrible headache isn’t helping. I push myself to walk. I have to reach JC. I can’t stand another day without him. I didn’t know it’d be so hard without him. I didn’t know the world was this miserable.

By the time I reach the fledgling fields, I’m feeling fatigued. It’s too dark to see if anyone is sitting guard but I can make out the silhouette of some tents. I spot some moving shapes. Those must be the guards. That’s when I notice my stomach glowing. No, not my stomach but the glass ball. I totally forgot that was there. How did it not shatter? Pulling it out, I’m blinded by how bright the blue smoke inside it became.

“What the! Dude your hips are glowing!” I hear one of the lookouts shout. He’s right. The other person’s hips seem to be glowing. I almost run out of my hiding place, but then I stop. Is it even Jack? It might just be another person with a glass ball.

“Oh, it’s just a flashlight,” the other figure says and my heart skips a beat. It’s him! It’s Jacklinso! I dash out of the trench and run the few metres between us in a second.

“JACK!” I scream at the top of my lungs. I don’t care that the others might wake up. I don’t care that I might get shot again. He’s here! He’s alive! That’s all I think about as I tackle him with the biggest hug I’ve ever given someone. That’s all I can think when he embraces me back. He’s safe. JC is safe.


Yaaaaay! Jacklinso is back! Who’s excited about this? Also did you guys like Carla? I thought she was really cute. ’Til next chapter. ✨Cya✨

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