Her unblinking eyes focused on my face, examining my internal cybernetics. “You are broken, Chloe,” she taunted.
“You are angered at Arweth, it was needless to sow misery among the innocent humans and androids alike,” I said.
“Chloe, you have to eradicate evil from its root, you can’t only destroy an offspring, you have to destroy the breeder,” she leered, dashing forward with arm outstretched. I moved sideways, avoiding contact with the deadly punch and swiftly brought my right elbow and chided it on the inside of the elbow from her outstretched arm. She gave a short cry and staggered to her side, away from me, as I swung my leg in the air, aiming to her head. She gritted her teeth and rubbed the dent where my elbow collided with her body. She screamed and sprinted toward me, eager to behead me.
This was my first time fighting for my life, never before had I received any combat training, only watched from behind window panes as my father trained his soldiers. I wasn’t ready to die, that was the only motivation that kept me throwing punch after punch and kick after kick. Lilly blocked all of them with her good arm; the sound of metal clashing with metal was a dreadful one.
Outside, a fierce battle was being waged under the indifferent sky. I heard inhuman and synthetic screams through the dissonance of exploding bombs and bodies crashing on concrete. The soldiers had long gone to take refugee, and watched with remorse and repulsion, how the city would soon become the tomb for me and a junk yard for the androids. Arweth was nowhere to be seen but I was certain he still lingered in the room.
“I don’t know why Jon would want to come back to you,” she sneered as she blocked one of my fists. I press my knee on her side and saw her arched in pain, I jumped and turned, the back side of my foot collided with her back in mid-air, tossing her to one side of the room. I heard her metal body scrape across the floor, tarnishing her shiny metal colour.
She rose from her battered position; her face bore a twisted smile. She sprint to me and took hold of my neck, slamming me onto the floor. A splitting pain surged through my head. Blood trickled from the back of my head and I remembered my head wasn’t cybernetic at all, my vision started to blur and everything I could distinguish were vague shadows and shapes.
“We feel pain as well,” she said bemused. “Don’t you like the colour of blood? It is the only thing I’d ever envy from humankind. The substance rich in colour and texture, the acrid smell of it …”
Lilly closed her grip tightly on my throat, “you are undeserving of this life and Jon,” she whispered, “your suffering will soon end, along with this war and your friends will perish. Aren’t you a lucky girl? You don’t have to see them die because you will join the realm of death first…”
I felt air leaving my body at a steadily fast rate, the blood circulation was failing and I soon find myself gasping and panting for the last breathe that might never come. My legs twisted beneath her weight and my fingers twitched and scratched the floor to subdue the pain. She was going to break my neck and I didn’t have the means to fight back, a tear formed in my eyes but it never left it.
A shot pierced the still air inside the base and Lilly’s weight was immediately lifted from my body as her body fell on the floor beside me. The back side of her head had been pierced and fragments of a shattered bullet were incrusted near the hole. Her eyes were wide open and staring blankly at me. I coughed and drew in air, controlling my frightful body, I looked before me and saw Arweth gun still pointing at Lilly.
I gaped at him and stood, swaying on my feet, “they only wanted revenge.” I said, “Turn yourself in Arweth, you’ve become a war criminal for inciting war and tension that has cost several lives.” I slowly walked toward him; he turned the gun at me with shaky hands.
“Don’t move any closer!” he bellowed, “I saved your life…”
“I saved your life first!” I said, advancing. My vision was still foggy, blood was trickling down the nape of my neck, dampening and tainting my blonde hair in a crimson mess. “If I hadn’t stopped her, she would’ve killed you without mercy. She was after you all this time…”
He retreated like the coward he was, his finger pressing on the trigger, ready to inflict that last fatal blow to my head. “Don’t come closer Chloe, or I’ll kill you,” he warned.
“Lilly!” an android made its appearance on the base. The young android went down on his knees at the sight of his protector on the floor. Captain Jandrain stepped through the crack of the wall, followed by Micah who was holding Lena’s lifeless body in his injured arms. The rest of the androids stepped in as well and watched Lilly with solemnity. They weren’t fighting anymore; they stopped at the sound of the gunshot. The young android appeared to be sobbing; Jandrain knelt beside him and placed a huge hand on his shoulder.
“We won’t fight anymore,” I said. “Your soldiers have deserted you, you killed their leader, the only thing left for you to do is turn yourself in…” The few androids that were left nodded in agreement, we were not fighting for different ideals now, and we were striving to reach a common goal: universal peace.
Arweth was cornered; he backed several steps before his back pressed against the gray wall. “They will never have me,” he said cynically. “I will never let you imprison me.” He let a rough laugh and pressed the gun on his head, “I’d rather be dead than caged… but I’m not going alone,” he cackled nervously, “the leaders of the androids is gone and I will be gone too, let’s finish our battle in the underworld… see you soon Chloe.”
The pain wasn’t immediate; my body hit the floor first before I knew what had happened, the sound of the shot still ringing in my ear. The sound of enraged shouts followed shortly, but I never heard the last shot. I tried focusing my eyes on Arweth. I saw Nikolaus pinning him against the wall, his gun lying on the floor.
They called my name, but I couldn’t call them back. The pain finally came as the bullet started to cool inside my body. The tear that had formed in my eye trailed down my cheek. He shot me in the chest, just inches below the heart; he wanted to make sure I suffered before dying. He got what he wanted.
Gentle arm lifted my frail body and Jon came into view, bloody, tired, but alive. I noticed one of his arms was missing, I wanted to inquire about it but the energy failed me. Words formed in his lips but I couldn’t hear him. I closed my eyes to his sweet caress.
Please, let everything be over soon.