What was worse than being trapped in the shadow of darkness and misery for eternity? Who to call for help and who will come to aid you when everything is crumbling and falling into the ocean of despair? Nobody. Alone I sat in the island of lingering hope, chilling with every sigh of warmth that escaped my body to join the frigid wind surrounding me. I lay on the ground, huddled like a sick puppy in want of comfort and love, a desire to kill the loneliness.
The constant beating of my heart was the only sign that kept me rooted in my delusional reality. Lightning crossed the sky sporadically, but thunder never came, or in any case, I didn’t hear it. The pain was gone and with it any hopes of getting out and opening my eyes again. I only wished I have had the energy to tell Jon how important he is to me. If only.
I lost him forever and the sole thought was unbearable to the aching heart, my aching heart. I lie on the cool ground and look at the vast ocean surrounding me. It was still and uncaring, indifferent and distant. My vision began to blur and before me appeared the figure of a haggard man lying on the ground next to me. He had a ragged uniform on, his hair was disheveled and covered with blood, he had multiple wounds and long and deep gashes covering his limb, and his face and countenance were wearied and smeared with blood and traces of powder. It was General Brighton.
“Father,” I whispered, as both of us remained unmovable with the sight of the other. “Look at you, what did they do to you?” My voice was broken with the silent streaming of tears down my eyes.
My father reached for my hand and touched it with his icy fingers. “This wasn’t the way I was expecting you to see me, Chloe, tired, defeated, and dead…”
“Am I in heaven?” I asked innocently.
He smiled, “no Chloe, far from that. You still have life in you, look for it and go back to the light.”
“Come back with me,” I pleaded. “I miss you.”
He shook his head, “I don’t belong there anymore,” he pressed my hand, “and you can’t stay here.”
I nodded. If only I could inched closer to him, if only I could feel his warm embrace once more, but none of that happened. A vortex of light appeared in the sky.
“Good bye Chloe,” he said, “I promise to guard you forever, you and the ones you love.” As my body began lifting itself he added, “I would’ve really liked to meet him.”
I knew what he was referring to, and I smiled. “I love you Father.”
“I love you too, Chloe,” a gentle voice whispered in my ear. Slowly, I opened my eyes and found myself lying in a hospital bed, surrounded by the white-washed wall of the Arcadia Hospital. Charles was beside me, holding my hands and checking the monitor next to my bed. I focused my eyes and allowed the soft light from the day stream through the partially open window without attempting to move a muscle.
“What happened?” I asked.
“You’re alive,” Charles said tenderly. My heart wept happily, those words were the ones I wanted to hear ever since I fell on the abyss. “We apprehended Arweth and he is being sent to Gendarnium. Our National Council got into terms with the rebelling androids and promised them that Arweth’s tyranny won’t be repeated again. We, androids, humans, and cyborgs, will join forces once again and strive for peace.”
“My friends,” I said, “are they okay?”
“Lena didn’t survive,” he lowered his voice to a mere whisper. “The rest of them are okay.”
I closed my eyes and prayed for her. “Jon, how about Jon?” My voice sounded almost desperate to know about him, he had been so badly wounded and was still trying to keep me close to him.
“I think you should ask him,” Charles said and walked toward the window. He pulled the curtains slightly apart to reveal Jon sitting in the extruded window sill. Jon looked at me and smiled radiantly. He leaped from the sill and unsteadily walked to me. He knelt and held my hand. Charles exited the room and closed the door behind him.
“Chloe, I’m so glad you opened your eyes,” he whispered.
“What happened to you?” I recalled that last question before falling into the darkness.
“I was the fortunate winner of a new cybernetic arm,” he grinned.
My finger examined my body. Arweth had shot me close to where the cybernetic of my heart was located, it had been replaced. I touched the back of my head and felt cool metal, part of my skull had also been replaced with metal. I pushed myself up with my elbows and Jon sat on the bed, holding my body close to his. Many unspoken words and feelings were communicated with our hearts as we gazed into each other’s eyes.
“I am happy you’re back,” he said, bending his head to me until our foreheads were touching. “I wouldn’t bear to lose you.”
I tilted my head a little bit up and lightly placed my lips against his. He returned my kiss. “I am happy you came back to me,” I whispered, holding his face with both my hands. We kissed again, this time for a longer time. “Jon,” I asked once our lips parted, “when you were holding me in your arm, I didn’t hear what you were saying to me, care to repeat it?” I gave him a playful smile.
He looked at me sheepishly, “I said…”
I love you.