I knew the A.I. was planning the final assault on my colony. I knew it was going to move against with the latest design of assassin robots targeting me.
I sat waiting, thinking of the disturbing turn of events that had occurred in the last battle. Why did this robot seem familiar to me? How come the A.I. started sending female body shaped attack robots after my person? Was it assuming I would not fight and destroy a female form? Gnawing at me was this unsettling feeling that I knew whom this was that kept attacking me with such vigor.
I looked down at the old photo I still had of my love Marina. The picture had become warn, faded, several creases had formed but it was still my love. Gently I traced the lines of her body, imagining my hand running along her sexy tattoo one more time. I envisioned my fingers gently brushing her hair to the side. I gazed long into her eyes. Even though the photo was faded her eyes still drew me in.
I softly wept, something I had not done in years.
“I am so sorry Marina for hurting you. All these years later that pain is still real, it is still in my heart. I wish I could look into your eyes and tell you how sorry I am. I wish I could say to you one last time I love you. I pray every day you are safe…even though…”
Tears trickled down my cheeks as my vision blurred. I could feel the inhuman part of my being not understanding what was happening to my body. I held Marina’s photo close to my heart, closing my eyes, “Please…forgive me.”
Moments later there was an explosion, then another and another. The alarm bell sounded as I heard the people rushing about ready to defend to the last.
I stood up, wiping the tears from my eyes. Then I placed Marina’s photo in pouch I had constructed over my heart. Over the years I had learned many creative applications with the nanites merged with my body.
Walking with a steady gait I moved through the door way out into the compound. I was not surprised that the A.I. had not moved swarms at us. It had learned very quickly the ease at which I could take them over or counter them.
Explosions went off all around me as strode to the bridge, the only access point for assassin bots I knew were coming for me. My barrier shield protected my person from the shrapnel that began to fell a few of the remnants of humanity.
I formed my right hand into an eighteen inch blade, drawing a line in the sand. I stood, waiting.
“Assassin bots!” I heard shouted through all the fighting. Starring down the narrow bridge I saw the first shimmering of the bots. Their cloaking field kept them hidden from the normal visual range of humans but I could see the pulsations of the field around them. I noted four at the far end of the bridge however only three came rushing across.
I ready myself for the feverish onslaught as I watched them racing across the bridge. I could see the glint from their metallic combat sword arms. With the knowledge and technology available to the A.I. I had reduced it down to brutal melee attacks.
Just before the first two were in striking range I created a triangle shaped shield on my left arm; something new I had been saving. I had always been able to keep ahead of the A.I. due to my unique creativity.
Both bots dropped their cloaks at the same time, the one on left leapt up into the Air as the one on the right side stepped further to right. I stepped to the right matching that assassin bot’s movement. With one single thrust my blade penetrated that bot through its body, severing all it motor functions.
At the same time I successfully blocked the other bots attack to my left side. I had never used a shield in combat until this moment, a maneuver that caught the bots A.I. off guard. With my blade still embedded in the first bot, I swung it with a baseball bat motion, throwing it into the other bot; knocking it off balance. At this moment the third bot engaged me, thrusting its short dagger like fingers into my lower abdomen.
I stumbled back for a moment, grabbing its arm as I did, pulling it with me. With just a mere thought I shortened my blade and with one swift motion I severed its head. The other bot had recovered rushing straight at me, screaming my name!
“DIE DAVE!!!” Its razor sharp bladed fingers full extended. At that moment I saw that all three had a very recognizable female form! I did not have to time to further examine them as the third bot was on me. I melded my shield and blade back to my hands, grabbing the other bots just as it was about to thrust into my chest.
The two of wrestled around as chaos continued to erupt around us. Now as my nanites healed the wound in my abdomen. I looked into the face of my enemy, the face of rage continuing to scream, ‘Die David! I hate you! I will kill you!” The voice struck deep inside of me…something deeply familiar. The bot continued to squirm in my grip. I looked deep into its human eyes! The rage and hatred was real.
I allowed my guard to slip and the bot knocked me flat on the ground. Straddling my body the bot held both arms together, merging them into one large spike. Looking up at this bot…I saw it was real looking, flesh colored, fully naked aside from the obvious sexual distinctions.
Raising its spike arm up into the hair, looking down at me with a murderous fury it said, in that familiar voice, “I hate you David. You hurt me and now I will hurt your heart!”
In its very real, very human anger the bot failed to notice I had reformed blades in both arms. Just as it began to drop the spike to impale me, I struck, stabbing the bot in both sides. The spike crushed into the ground next to my shoulder.
I watched its eyes, the almost human surprise as it slumped down onto my body. Rolling the body off of me and I stood up, looking down at it with a very strange sense of guilt. I knelt down, touching its shoulder. Then my senses brought me back to the moment. All the combat had stopped. The humans were looking at me, watching my reaction to this dead bot, even the combat bot’s and drones and ceased their attack.
Then all heads turned to the bridge and remaining assassin bot. Very slowly I turned at well, moving to stand in its way as it slowly walked towards me. As it stepped closer and closer to me, the cloaking field began to drop, cascading away from the head down to the feet.
My blood ran cold as for the first time in so many years I was speechless.
As the cloak dropped, it revealed long, black hair blowing in the wind. The field continued dropping, revealing a face…such beautiful face…a face I would never forget. But this was impossible! It could not be. I stood, motionless as the figure continued to reveal itself.
Standing before me was my love, my Marina. Her body was covered in a bright silver skin but her face, her hair…there was no mistaking it. Every fiber of my being could not comprehend this…it…she was an artificial creation but it was her, it was my Marina.
She seemed to hesitate and then stopped just a few feet in front of me. I started to reach out, wanting to touch her face. I needed to touch the face of my love one more time. She knocked my hand aside with surprising little force. I knew there could have been much more force used.
We looked into each other eyes. I kept telling myself it was not her but my eyes and heart needed it to be Marina.
I reached out my hands again, “Marina.”
I watched the reaction in the eyes, one of recognition to my voice.
It…she began to reach out to me in turn. “Dave?”
It was her, the voice, it was my love come back to me. No matter the form it was her.
“My love…you are with me…here.” I stepped towards her. I was hit full force in my chest, blasting me back several feet. I could smell the burnt flesh on my chest and I could feel my body starting to repair the damage. I was stunned, struggling to get back up onto my knees.
Marina was there, standing above me, looking down at me with such anger and pain in her eyes.
“You hurt me Dave! You broke my heart. Why? How could you? I am angry at you. I hate you. You must die!”
I was up on my knees, looking up not at a bot but at my love, my soul mate. I watched as her right arm formed into long blade. I saw emotions in her eyes.
“Marina I am so sorry for hurting you. How…how are you here…now…in this place?”
Slowly she raised her arm. “I am here because of you. It searched your memories…your feelings…for years it searched, it found me, in you, in all the information. It brought me here to you, to cause you pain; to break your heart into millions of pieces.”
I began to weep as I looked up into her eyes. The pain was real, the pain I had caused by my stupidity. It was time. She raised her blade, ready to strike.
With tears in my eyes, I looked up at Marina for one last time.
“Before you strike me down Marina just know I love you. I have always loved you. I will love you in this lifetime and the next. If taking my life is the only way to obtain your forgiveness then strike me down. Your love is all that matters to me. Making things right with you is what I must do. Please be swift…my love and I will see you in the next life.”
I lowered my head, closing my eyes preparing for her strike. It was strange but there was no conflict between my human side and machine side. Every part of my body was at peace, ready for Marina’s punishment and for her forgiveness.
Nothing happened. I waited and waited but she did not strike. I raised my head to find her blade arm shaking, tears running down her face…tears! Real tears.
“I cannot do this Dave…not to you…but I must…the voice tells me you must die. I love you though. Help me.” She struck her blade down inches in front of me, kicking me in my chest, sending me sprawling backwards a few feet.
“Fight me Dave!” She paused, pulling her blade from the ground, very slowly stepping towards me. “You must fight me…there is no other choice.”
I barely got up in time, forming my shield to fend off her next strike. “There is always another choice my love.”
She swung again and again I deflected the blow. “There is no other choice…it is our destiny to fight…to destroy each other.”
Marina slashed at my legs but her swing was met by my blade just inches before striking me. “No my love, I cannot fight you. I promised you long ago I would never fight with you no matter what. You are my love and always will be.”
She lunged at me, the two of us locking blades. Swipe after swipe, pushing me back keeping up a half-hearted assault. I knew the potential of the assassin bots and she was not truly attacking me with all her ability.
“I am not your love…I am an image…I am not her but I feel strangely.”
I lunged at her, making my own half-hearted thrust. She parried me locking her arm with mine. Again we looked into each other’s eyes. “It does not matter what you say to me Marina…you are my Marina. You have come back to me so I can atone for the hurt I caused you long ago.”
Anger flashed across her face pushing me back with true force. “You hurt me! I will kill you!”
She advanced forward, slash after slash murderous fury in her motions. I was on the defensive blocking her with both blade and shield. With each attack she cursed me, cursed my name and kept demanding I fight back.
“I can’t! I won’t! I won’t fight you Marina. I will not hurt you.”
She kept assaulting me with fury and rage, finally stumbling me back against a wall in the courtyard. I was at her mercy. Cocking her arm back I ready myself for the final blow. The backhanded slash came at my throat, crashing into the wall jut a quarter of an inch from my throat.
She moved her face close to mine. “I…love…you Dave. Please stop me. I do not want to hurt you.”
“I can’t stop you Marina.”
“You must Dave…you must kill me. It is the only way.”
“Never! I can never hurt you, never kill you…never Marina!”
She stepped back, lowering her guard. “You must do it Dave. This will continue, this pain will go on.”
There was a slight humming sound from her chest, a compartment appeared where her heart would be. I watched as the metallic skin parted exposing a four by four opening. I beheld a golden light a golden orb. It was the power core of the bot…the heart of Marina.
“I cannot be with you my Dave.”
“And I cannot be without you my Marina.”
At that moment, time appeared to slow down, nearly to a stop. Then I felt a hand, her hand, Marina’s hand touch my cheek.
“My honey…I am your memories…I am all she was…I am not real.”
I began to cry, tears rolling down my cheeks.
“You are wrong Marina. You are everything. You will always be everything to me. You are my soul mate and I promised to never leave you no matter what. I will not leave you now.”
The orb began pulsating, the glow brightened. I knew exactly what this meant, my nanites provided me with that information. She was in self-destruct mode.
“Marina NO! You cannot do this! I will not allow it!”
Gently rubbing my cheek, another tear, a real tear rolled down her cheek, “Then my love you must destroy me. There is no other choice. Our fight will go on and on unless we end it now.”
“No, I cannot hurt you…not again. There is always a way, please believe me, please trust me; just this once.”
“It is your choice Dave, it has always been your choice but you must choose between my self-destruction or you must be the hand that ends this.”
I gave my Marina a loving smile. I smile I had buried deep, kept secret for so many years. I touched her face with my own loving touch. My right hand raised above my head, I formed my blade. The glowing her in chest was becoming brighter. In a few moments she would self-destruct. My love for her grew stronger, deeper than I ever imagined it could.
“There is always another choice.” My body began to glow. At first it surrounded my body then grew surrounding us both. I placed my hand over the place that was where her heart would have been. My hand warmed, growing in brightness.
Marina glanced down at my hand. “Dave what are you doing to me?”
“What I promised you so long ago. I am healing your heart, the heart I broke.”
The opening sealed. Her silver metal skin began to fall off, drifting away in the gently breeze. As it fell away, in its place was the appearance of soft, tender skin.
“I love you Marina. We will be together, forever.”
“Forever…” replied Marina
The glow from David’s body grew brighter and brighter, within a few moments it surrounded them.
Epilogue: (This part is one page, written over the silhouette of two people merged into one...for an ending and powerful image.
The accounts from that moment have varied.
All that is known for sure is that war ended.
Some accounts say that the two of them merged.
Other versions say that they just vanished into a ball of light.
Another narrative speaks that they walked away together.
The only account that is consistent between them all is at the last moment they both had blissful smiles
Their faces were shrouded in pure joy & love.