the Crying Construct

Does personification only exist in metaphor?
The boundaries between man and machine are blurred by the infusion of each with ichor.

The wail of metal on metal, the pain of the tool given voice. The noise rings out again, a cry lost in the vastness of the field.

Man and machine stand locked in combat amid tall grasses, golden stalks stained black with blood and oil. Both reflect the light of the sun from their armored hides, both wield weapons wrought of iron.

The construct fakes a retreat as the man's blade cleaves the ground where it had stood mere moments ago. It now dances backwards with an uncanny grace, weapon still trained on the warrior before it. Their separation lasts only an instant, though, as the brute vaults towards the machine. Both bodies lie silent in battle; only the cries of their weapons punctuate the still air.

The rustle and snap of the dry grass weaves a backdrop of sound.

Their silent spar continues through the day, into the evening. Wails and gasps likewise continued, though never issuing from the combatants, ceaseless amidst the darkness falling about them.

As the full, pale moon begins its climb into heaven, the machination advances, making an offensive against the flesh and blood before it.

Gears hum.

Pistons clap.

Both are joined by the jubilant cheers of iron on iron, a harmony realized as the blade bites the flesh. The man cries out, his voice a loud rasp, and collapses to the field, buried in the blood-stained grass.

Other men stream towards the pair, two groups flitting about each individual, flies on carrion. The man is held aloft, cloth tied about his wound, his protective plates removed. He is a man again; soft and mortal and bleeding.

The machine stands silent as it is swarmed, statuesque in its stillness.

The cheering continues, a cacophonic chorus lamenting and praising in a single voice, a single breath. But it is a human voice, not that of the cold metal.

Metal cannot speak.

Constructs cannot bear emotion.

The victor remains idle among the engineers, its purpose fulfilled. Oil seeps from its shell: blood and sweat and tears.

The End

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