Honey, I cursed the kids! (... and also humanity)

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Honey, I cursed the kids! (... and also humanity)

Post by hatman17 on Sun Sep 06, 2015 12:46 am

*movie announcer voice* In a world being torn apart by unholy dark magic, one extra-dimensional android and a 13 year old with the blood of kings are all that stand in the way of certain doom. Coming this September get ready for...

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Re: Honey, I cursed the kids! (... and also humanity)

Post by DolceDeliro on Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:10 am

It always happens on a dark and stormy night. Blanketing darkness, tremendous sound and light descending from the heavens, such phenomena had the reputation enticing ill fortune upon the unsuspecting. Nights like that reminded Master Pendragon of the cautionary tales nurse Edith would disclose to him after some feat of disobedience. Of course after age seven he caught on to the ulterior motives behind the tales telling. So, he would snicker and proceed to destroy another priceless vase or smear jam on the family portrait. In all respects, he was  flippant in face of potential danger or repercussion. For of course the stories were not expected to hold truths. Worse yet, they were never believed to emulate reality as I could be. Dark and stormy nights held nothing to its chest besides a horrible dampness and light show. But it became most apparent as of a fortnight ago that Lucas was being gravely naive.

At first Lucas presumed his family temporarily absent from the hospital room he woke up in. Maybe a mild concussion, he theorized. It would explain why he felt dazed. Had he fallen down the steps that night? Played too roughly with the servant boy he fancied? All things were in the realm of possibility. His elder brother Nikolas was scheduled to be meeting with his fiancee that very evening. Chaperons are a necessity at such events. It was all sorted in Lucas' mind that his family had not yet from Lady Annette's residence. Kind were the nurses and physicians. They coddled this delusion for the longest they could. Perhaps they themselves would have rather believed the family presently detained. An excuse like that only holds up for a few hours unfortunately. The next logical conclusion Lucas made was that his family was in the hospital with him somewhere, most likely injured or entranced as he was. He crept from his room and explored, but was stopped by a young nurse who, with a heavy heart, took him back and admitted his family was not here. Naturally he inquired about their status. Silence fell, and she walked out. Closing the door, she began to sob.

They were dead. All of them.

During the few days of recuperating he discovered he was not, in fact, an occupant of a medical hospital but rather an asylum. He concluded this after witnessing an older gentleman, stark naked, being restrained and led back to his quarters as he spouted madness. Although, spotting some individuals with rather monstrous deformities also tipped him off. As to why he was here, he did not know. To his recollection this particular asylum had been closed for decades. Furthermore, he did not feel mentally ill if one his even aware of these things. Inspecting himself in the mirror, he saw no mutations of the face. Too many questions were going unanswered. For a time he decided to remain ever complacent in the situation.

That is before the dreams and night terrors.

On more than one occasion he awoke with restraints on his arms and physicians staring down at him, fear aglow in their eyes. Apparently he nearly slit a nurse from naval to nose with a piece of sharp metal he found in this decrepit building. If he was not hollering and thrashing in his sleep then he was mid-conscious, explaining to another patient that their heart was deafening in his ears. It was not long before Lucas found reason with the decision to put him here of all places. And up till this morning he was begrudgingly content. Suddenly that fateful night became clear to him. The fog had lifted.

He saw them fastened to a makeshift altar. His mother was in her silks. Had she ever looked more regal than at that moment? From the crawlspace Lucas cowered trying to make himself as obscure as possible. Nikolas had done his hair nicely that day. Was it to impress Lady Annette? Was it a hooded figure or more leaning over them with the knife? Father's brown eyes were shining. Was that the fear? Or because he saw Lucas was safe for the moment? Hope or despair? At last after whatever ritualistic deeds were done, how could they have-? Did they actually-? No, his family could not have become actual abominations, monsters in the most sickening, demonic form. It was simply not possible. Coming up with such things, it was truly no wonder he was placed here among other who saw demons lurking in every shadow. He simply could not believe it.

Yet at the same time, he could not deny it. And so he could not stay here where everyone believed him mental. So he left. And he left screaming. Some deranged notion compelled him that someone would hear him, listen, and believe. Into town he fled in search for the soul who would. 
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Re: Honey, I cursed the kids! (... and also humanity)

Post by hatman17 on Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:55 pm

“You lost him,” stated Inspector General Wilkins a second time, once again grinding the superintendent’s stammered excuses to a halt. The former stared out of the latter’s office window as he shifted papers awkwardly.
“Well… yes, if you wish to be blunt Inspector, we lost him,” Dr. Kratz nervously wiped his brow. When the police department had sent the message announcing an in-depth investigation on the matter of the escaped patient, he’d assumed he’d have some time to prepare. But the Inspector General himself had arrived within an hour of the telegram. “I would like to reiterate that the boy is suffering from the same bouts of violence as the rest of them, and my staff is only human, furthermore due to the mounting epidemic-“
“Due to the mounting epidemic you are stretched thin, yes doctor, you have told me this three times now,” he interrupted the doctor without once turning around to face him. “I would like to reiterate to you now that the Des-Lasier Mark 19s the government has so generously donated to your hospital are, in fact, military grade. Sufficient to guard any and every possible route of egress you yourself planned for. The blame is still squarely in your corner.  You lost him. Tell me how, and then tell me where I will find him once more.”
Dr. Kratz suppressed a nervous shudder.  He knew that Wilkins was pressing on his psyche, that not  showing him his face would leave his fury to the imagination. He was a psychologist, he could read the tension and rigidness in the other man’s posture and know what it meant. That didn’t make it any less intimidating.
“There was a riot down the hall from his, er, cell. The automatons were called in to assist, as well as several orderlies. After we had finished with the… well, two of our patients had mutated further and become too violent for any hope of a cure. I’m sure you understand.”
The Inspector did not give so much as a grunt of sympathy. Dr. Kratz swallowed. “Well, uh, it was actually one of the Des-Lasier who had realized it. The boy had sensed the commotion and forced open his door, and from there simply… simply left in the confusion. According to some street witnesses, he’d left screaming. Running to the west, I believe.”
“That is all?” Dr. Kratz nodded nervously, aware that Wilkins had been watching him from the reflection on the window.  He could see the whole office, but due to how the Inspector’s hat blocked him, he could still not see his face.
“And you are sure that the child broke open a solid oak door on his own? If he got help from another one of your poorly guarded patients it would imply cooperation. That is something we cannot encourage.”
“The door was securely locked if that’s what you are implying sir, but…” and the superintendent paused, as if to try and find a way to spin it so that his hospital was still not at fault. He failed. “There was no deadbolt. Despite a previous injury to a nurse and the psychosis, Lucas was our best candidate for recovery until the night of his escape. We observed nothing that would have indicated a deteriorating mental state other than some more withdrawn, possibly introspective behavior. We’d hoped that loosening our hold of him and letting him relax more would encourage him to come to terms with all of… this.  It-“
“Did not. It made it worse doctor, that much is readily apparent from the nature of his escape.” Kratz opened his mouth to defend himself and the hospital but found nothing coming out. He slumped his shoulders, defeated.
“The files I asked for, are you done assembling them yet.”
“Yes, locations and blue prints of the Pendragon estate, psyche evaluations, and a list of the family’s known alternative residences. I assume you will be passing this onto the hunting squads?”
At this the Inspector finally turned, his face… curiously blank. Anger or distaste was not present in any observable amounts, quite counter to his following words. “That is the difference between you and I doctor. You only see your patients as those that could be cured or those that cannot and must be exterminated. I see Lucas as something other,” he said, taking the folder in gloved hands.
“I dare say, you may be expecting too much of this child Inspector. Certainly, he may have come closer to being cured than any other, but he was certainly not immune.”
“Psychosis is one thing Kratz, but he is unmarked by mutation and he survived his family. The estate was torn apart by the rest of them, but he is whole. For the good of humanity, I need to find out why.”
“Well, I-“ this time, the intercom machine on his desk interrupted the superintendent.
“Dr. Kratz? I have a visitor for you.”
“Pardon me a moment Inspector,” apologized Kratz before pressing a button on the device.  “Give us a moment and then send them up Belinda, I’m nearly finished with the Inspector.”
“Sir? The visitor waiting for you is Inspector General Wilkins sir. I don’t think he would like having to wait.”
“What the devil Belinda? I already have-“
Suddenly the man in Kratz’s office leaned in to speak into the microphone. “Send him up Belinda, the doctor will have many questions to answer,” he said in a much more feminine voice.
“Who the blazes are you?!” shouted the superintendent. “Guards!”
“For a psychologist you are decidedly unobservant,” spoke the man before his face flickered and revealed a bizarre blue lens surrounded by engraved golden metal.
“What are you?!” exclaimed Kratz, running around behind his desk as the entity marched towards the office doors. “Who is speaking through you? Talk villain!”
“Still a fool,” muttered Chataknya just before the doors burst open and two Mark 9s pushed through.
In the time they had adjusted to their new environment Chat was already upon them. She grabbed one by the shoulder and used it as leverage to pull it onto her other fist, which literally knocked his block off. A surprisingly simple fix once they replaced the broken eyes; Mark 9s were designed to sustain damage to their head area without injuring any major systems.
The other automaton reached out with clamping hands towards her, But Chat deftly swept them aside and pulled the machine off-balance. They both tumbled to the floor, where she quickly curled her legs between them. As soon as her back hit the ground, she bend at the waist and kicked strongly, hurling the heavy machine towards the reinforced window. Upon impact the glass cracked in a huge star, though it still stood.
It remained as such for only another few moments. Chataknya flipped onto her feet and hands, her sharp claws protracting through the cheap leather to dig into the hardwood and cement floor. A bare second was enough for her to build up a burst of energy through her limbs and jump like a shot. She punched through the damaged window with enough momentum to latch onto a nearby tree.
From there she jumped down and gave a mock salute to the remains of Dr. Kratz’s office before sprinting off across the lawns and into the nearby woods. She would easily jump the fence she knew she’d find there, and from there, the true race would be on.
Lucas Pendragon would be confused and searching for someone to help. She had to get to him before one of the hunting parties did. Somehow he’d survived, and she intended that survival to continue.

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Re: Honey, I cursed the kids! (... and also humanity)

Post by DolceDeliro on Mon Sep 07, 2015 12:00 am

A young mother gawks with horror and pity. She draws her young son toward her skirts. Before her a young boy unrecognizable with grief stands gasping after an unintelligible deluge of spoken lunacy. Wide-eyed, dazed, he appears downright feral. Her son begins to whimper. If it was not for the manic child's dress, the young mother would not have conceived Lucas as anyone on the cusp of nobility. She throws a shilling his way with the intention of fleeing during the distraction. Bewildered by his perverse charity, Lucas shuffles away from the coin as it drops with a ping. She was successful in her escape. What was most disturbing about the exchange was not her actions, but rather the sound of the blood running through her veins. Had he always been able to detect this? Lucas could not argue so. It was deafening. Her breathes were the volume of waterfalls. Was this all trick of the medication? He did not have time to figure it out. People began to fill the streets, and an audience awaited.

He clears his throat. "Gentleman, ladies, please," he began, "I need for attention for just a moment, just a second of your time." In his current state of disarray, he drew little consideration from the town. "I beg of you" Lucas stammers before elevating himself on a fruit box by a local stall. For a moment he holds his tongue. Should he admit who he is? Being seen like this, malnourished, clothes stained with fluids of a variety he dares not investigate, would be a blemish on the Pendragon's good name. Yet how else would he attract the eyes and hearts of the public? "Listen to me, my father, Alastair Pendragon, your just magistrate has been-" he had caught the attention of several gentleman, "has been killed." Gasps were heard from the crowd. "No, no he is worse than dead. He has been altered, possessed, mutated!" The crowd he had gathered did look horrified, but their reservations were audible. Their collective heart rates lessened, and Lucas could indeed hear the difference. "Monsters! They are monsters! There are these figures, and they are-" suddenly a tomato pummeled into his small frame. Falling, Lucas stares up in amazement.

"Bloody bastard, get" a seasoned man snarled. Lucas could not tell his age, for he easily could be a poorly aged thirty year old given the man's agility. Regardless, there was an odor seething from his sinewy corpse that turned Lucas' face pale as death. "That was my box 'ye were standing on; I need to fill it." Kicking Lucas aside, the young Pendragon scurried like a rat toward filth.  

"I, sir, how could you-" Lucas sputters.

"Raving loon, Master Pendragon's been dead 'fir two weeks. Course we knew it," the man said before returning to his work of filling the box with rotten fruits.

"Then why are you not more concerned, old man?"

"He be dead. What else is there? Whole family is dead, Lady Marguerite, Nikolas, Lucas, the staff, the aunts, the uncles--whole line wiped clean from God's good earth."

Lucas stares long into the man's face.

"And what you going on about monsters? Leave them to 'yer bedside stories, rat." The old man looks his way once more and spats. "Did I not say get?"

Lucas returns to his feet, though admittedly his balance unsteady. His line was eradicated? But how? How could one stare at him straight in the eye, covered in grime or otherwise, and proclaim him dead; he was no dead ringer and that was irrefutable. It took only one more moment for the stench of the fruit boxer to so permeate his senses that Lucas had no choice but flee the immediate space. He walks into the crowd toward the path out of the center. His head hangs low. The sights, smells, and sounds of the area were too abundant. While the roses on the windowsill of the tailor's were fragrant, and the breads from the ovens in the homes were delectable, their power mixed with that of dirt and urine of the streets nearly causes Lucas to faint multiple occasions. He could not control his senses and repeatedly crashed into fellow strollers.

He suddenly collides with a pack of individuals. Instead of pushing him aside, they grab him. And in this moment, Lucas is paralyzed. "Let go of me," he whispers. What it was about the clutch of the individual that struck such fear in his bones was unknown. But as one picks his body up and slings it over his shoulder, his suspicions were confirmed. "Unhand me!" he screams. But it is to no avail.
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Re: Honey, I cursed the kids! (... and also humanity)

Post by hatman17 on Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:12 pm

Chataknya watched from a nearby rooftop. She’d reverse engineered their primitive communications systems and built devices of her own that would intercept messages. It had been a simple matter to catch the alert that a possible psychotic matching Lucas’s description was in the town square. A far less simple matter was getting to the child before the hunters. Chat had thought he would return home, his lucidity surprised her.
He already knew they were dead and had tried to warn the people of the things he’d seen. By the time she’d ran through the city, a squad of hunters had already snatched him up. They were carrying him bodily through the streets, their gruff expressions and silver badges preventing any question of their authority. Chat followed them from the connected roofs. The “catchers” as people thought they were called enjoyed a great deal of independence, and marched through the town to bring undesirables to the various asylums in the area.
How little these people knew. The second a squad encountered one of the former humans, they took out their pistols. If it was an early stage, there was a small chance (sometimes decided by a literal coin toss) that they would simply beat the creature and drag it off to the nearest holding pen disguised as a ward. From there, the doctors would experiment until such time as the being became too violent and was put down.
It seemed that these hunters had decided that if the boy was strong enough to escape once, then he was on his way to full monsterdom. Completely idiotic, but it meant that they were bringing him to a back alley instead of a transport cage. The joked with each other while Lucas pounded feebly at the giant holding him. The poor boy was weak, though Chat didn’t know how or why. He’d been strong enough to break open a door when the madness had engulfed him. What was different?
She’d find out soon enough. The squad split up, two pairs watching the entrance and corner of the alley, the other four arguing about who would take the shot. They were not evil men, precisely, they just needed to do evil things in the name of protecting their people from the epidemic. It would be noble were it not for the innocence of the child they were about to put down.
With that last thought, Chataknya stepped off the roof and plummeted downwards. Her metal body was made of surprisingly light alloys, but it flattened the trash bin she landed on nonetheless. Before anyone could react, she’d landed a precise punch to the side of one’s head, knocking him out cold. The other was kicked against a wall, the wind driven out of him. The other two pulled their guns, but were disarmed and similarly KO’d in a flurry of swift strikes. Chat snatched a flash bang grenade for one of their belts and launched it at the mouth of the alley. Before it blew, she drew one of her own pistols from her belt and pointed it in the other direction.
The grenade went off, stunning the guards. The last two rounded the corner right after the explosion, guns blazing in panic. Chat leapt onto Lucas, keeping him covered while she returned fire. Her laser pistol flashed purple, panicking the hunters as the cobbles under their feet were shot loose. The stones was shattered and turned blazing hot by the plasma, scattering painfully, though non-lethally, on their legs.
The shooters danced back out of view, hoping to find better cover. Instead, Chat crab walked to the side, and carefully shot at a pile of detritus near the corner, setting it ablaze. That would complete her distraction.
She stayed crouched and went back to check on Lucas. He’d fainted in the commotion, though a finger to his neck revealed a strong and steady pulse. She sheathed her weapon and picked him up in one arm. The boy was no infant but she was far stronger than all but the highest class of this world’s automatons. Her other three limbs were more than enough to jump from wall to wall until she was back on the roofs.
She kept low, taking cover behind clothes lines and chimney smoke whenever possible. She didn’t know if the men she’d taken out had the authority to radio for aerial machines. Either way, best not to risk it. She could run however she liked once she got to the safety of the woods.
Once there, she’d make camp, and wait for him to wake up. Then she’d decide what to do with him.

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Re: Honey, I cursed the kids! (... and also humanity)

Post by DolceDeliro on Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:30 pm

Each gentleman in the party smelt of whiskey and tobacco. Had the circumstances been different, Lucas might have found comfort in the scent. Alastair Pendragon was hardly spotted sans pipe in lest his bride or sisters were passing through the parlor. Uncle Hubert Braddock had an unquenchable thirst for spirits; his broad gut the most amusing piece of evidence. He made delightful toys like rocking chairs, toy soldiers, and even an automaton who beat a drum to the tune of God Save the Queen. By all means, the mess of men here did not seem like the toy making type. Rather the clink of their pistols against the holders gave Lucas a far contrary impression.

“I will have you know that I am the son of Alastair and Marguerite Pendragon, their youngest Lucas,” he sneers, kicking his captor in the chest. The man grunts in dull pain.

“Would you just be still? It will make this easier on all of us,” one man in the back said with a hint of sorrow. His companions did not share his sympathy, as they began to joke who would eliminate the threat. One man proposes a gentleman’s competition. They all draw and see who could fire first. Winner gets treated at the Caulfield’s tonight. Lucas could not understand what they meant by threat. Was it he? Not to unjustly place down his laurels, but he is a boy of twelve. Granted he broke out of an asylum—this was not much a feat of brawn. He was a mischievous child most used to undoing hinges with little means. There were plenty of surgical equipment lying about. While that alarmed him, he discarded his concerns in order to remove the pins from the oak door. Being there was no deadbolt, a few full-bodied assaults was enough to knock it clean off—but he could barely harm a fly.

“Why are you doing this? I don’t understand. Are you at least taking me back to the hospital and not that-” he pauses, “dark alleyway over there.”

No one answered. Two guards split off. The gentler man who spoke to him before was one of them. His face twists into a pitiful display of regret and pain. His eyes reddened. The man’s companion elbowed him in the gut and barked some words of disappointment. Lucas liked that kind man. If only he knew his name.

Lucas is thrown down to the cobblestone, and he shuffles back until he is up against a cold wall of brick. All the men remaining place their hands on the holsters. One beamed with what could only be described as patriotism. Another simpered with wicked pleasure. Lucas wishes to cower, but at that moment the hearts of the men, hyped on adrenaline, beat so loudly that Lucas could merely duck and cover his ears. Was he done for? Would his family line actually be erased in just a few moments?

Out of nowhere, someone or something crashed down. Before he could register any or all of the situation unfolding around him, he fainted. The commotion was simply too much for his senses to take in with their newly heightened capacities. Gunfire was as loud as engaged battalion. Screams multiplied in decibels by the thousands. The saliva of the men nauseated him as the scent carried over on the wind. Most of all, the metallic scent of alloy stung his nose and all but poisoned his lungs.    

Time must have passed. Upon waking up, Lucas finds himself in an even more foreign location and a later point in the day. Sniffing, he detected immediately even before opening his eyes that he was in forested area. The dirt and moss still lightly coated with a mid afternoon's drizzle was a welcome break from the urban decay. Sounds of birds and small animals fill his ears. For a moment he believes himself dead. Perhaps if I open my eyes I will see heaven, he thinks. Sadly, he is mistaken. Or fortunately he is mistaken. At the moment, Lucas cannot grasp which one is the better position. Groggily rising up, he shakes his head and shudders at the dampness of his clothes. At first he did not notice the thing who was making up the rest of what might be a camp. Alternatively, he took a moment to settle down. He was not at all getting used to whatever heightened his senses, but he commits from this point on to try. Quite honestly he feels like sobbing. But he does not. Nikolas had admonished the act. He would not be proud. Sinking into a depressed trance, though, well no one condemned that.

Not too much time passed before he saw what he assumed was an automaton. It bewildered him. It was so advanced compared to his basic servant models. Was it even an automaton? He would see. “State your service,” he demanded. “State your master’s name,” he continues. Automatons were such dull machines. They could hardly synthesize a command that went minutely off the program code. The poorer houses still had some based off clockwork! Lucas sighs. “State your current commands.” The questions should give him enough information for the time being. At least he could track down the thing’s master who ordered for Lucas rescue or recapture. Either way, the machine could not lie. Even master programmers had not figured out how to make it say an untruth that was not obviously reprogrammed. Lucas waited for the machine to reply having no idea whom he spoke to really and the depth of her intelligence.  
   
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Re: Honey, I cursed the kids! (... and also humanity)

Post by hatman17 on Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:41 pm

Chataknya sensed Lucas stir behind her, but continued to tend to the task at hand. When he was well enough to speak, he would. Certainly, the child would not be brave enough to run a second time. Probably. Organics were weird and emotional.
“State your service,” came his high-pitched voice. If she had eyebrows she would cock one at him. Higher caste children were so demanding. She would know, she worked for them for so long.
“State your master’s name!” he demanded again. This time her fictitious eyebrows would have narrowed in anger. Presumptuous brat. Artificial sentience must have not been discovered in this dimension yet, but still. It rankled.
She finished arranging kindling she’d scavenged from the forest around them, and begun stacking thicker sticks and branches around the pile. She would have preferred to make the fire log favored by her survivalist friends back at Hub, but she lacked the necessary saw blade. Her own Shard might do the trick, but this was a new forest anyway. No logs. Bluh.
“State your current commands,” finished the Pendragon child. His expression was the same that a bored teacher would give to an ill-liked student when asked to spell something obvious. She decided to surprise him a little.
She took a small oak splinter and raised a section of her outer armor, exposing a part of the inner working. Intense light leaked out, as well as a fair amount of heat; usually recycled, now left to vent. The splinter caught fire quickly, and Chataknya quickly stuck it into the heart of the kindling, waving at it with a piece of bark to encourage the flame.
She then spoke in her natural voice; a metallic and accented (though thoroughly intelligent) sound that threw Lucas even further off guard, “My current commands hm? Let’s see. Find you: Check. Keep you alive: In Progress. Find the cause of this epidemic: In Progress.”
With her last point she swiveled her head towards Lucas so he could see her alien lens of a face, “Save the world from the goddamn apocalypse: In. Bloody. Progress. Now if you are quite finished barking orders at me like I’m a household appliance, come closer to the fire, you’ll catch your death.”
Her posture eased slightly, and she sat back on her haunches, dragging a small sack towards her. “I snatched something from an inattentive butcher on our way out of town. It’s ‘ham’, I think it can be eaten in this state but if it needs to be cooked I’m flame proof.” She offered a small parcel wrapped in brown paper to him, like a peace offering. She regretted the situation they were placed in, and would have rather he be in a micro spring bed, or whatever they used around here. But they would have to make do if they wanted to evade the hunting parties.

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Re: Honey, I cursed the kids! (... and also humanity)

Post by DolceDeliro on Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:29 pm

Quite unexpected that. Lucas managed to feign placidity for a moment as his knowledge base was affronted. Disconcerted would be an appropriate description to apply to the child; there was no fear present, yet he was certainly not comfortable. The machine appeared to be a more complex model of automaton, utterly alien to Lucas yet not too outside the boundaries of familiarity at to provoke complete revulsion. He sat all but slack jawed as it spoke. Trigger words like apocalypse and epidemic burrowed their way into his consciousness, but the rest was garbled. Taking his gaze away from it, Lucas instead paid particularly close attention to the nesting birds perched high in an aging birch tree. What fascinated him about it, he was not sure. Tranquility appeared to reach her arm out to him from that perch, as if watching nature would drown out the unpleasantries the machine was spouting as well as the uncanny nature of the machine itself. Perhaps that was it. Getting lost in trances was eerily becoming a daily occurrence for Lucas. This time he went with it like being swept away by the current.

So did he hear the machine order him toward the fire? Maybe. Lucas felt warmer than he had, so perhaps in his stupor he obeyed. Did he take the food offered to him? Checking back in for but a moment showed Lucas that, yes, he had, and even nodded politely upon receiving the offering. Things were blurry. Absentmindedly he asked “what is happening?” Unintentionally vague? Yes, and he sort of knew he should have gone into detail. Yet he did not. Lucas took a bite out of the slab of ham in lieu of elaborating.  Swallowing, he turned his head and stared at the machine. For a moment he said nothing like a boy possessed. This display of lunacy would have surely unsettled any organic creature. Did it disturb the machine? He could not deduce it even if he was in the mind set to do so. Machines lacked sophisticated emotion or so he had been taught.

“I mean to say,” Lucas finally coming to said, “what epidemic? The monsters?” The ham was beginning to give him strength to navigate into his own mind once more. After a pause, he was almost fully conscious. “W-why was my life threatened? And why did you save me, machine?” Lucas tried to look at the machine in the face, though it was all too shocking to do so for a long period of time. “What are you?” he concluded. He could not phrase it in any other way. Machines were not people, and therefore who are you, though more polite, would be entirely against his ways. Lucas no longer wanted to be there in that dewy spot in the wood. He itched all over. Wandering eyes peered at him from miles away, or so it felt. Suddenly, a sense of dread loomed over the horizon.      
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