The Thoughts that LingerMature

In their world, discretion was a very carefully handled tool, vital in some areas and just plain pointless in others. When it was time to fight, not only was it impossible, but it was also counterproductive. They needed to make a scene, to shout to the world, "Hey, someone's out there for you! Don't give up!" The more people that realized their battle wasn't a hopeless one, the more they'd be willing to join, to dare to hope. And when people hope... attempts to control them tend to become futile.

However, when not in mid-battle with nightmarish hunks of metal, Marny believed her discrepancy in regards to... certain affairs... was quite necessary. Glancing over at Clockwork for probably the eighth time since she had sat down, the older woman sighed and tried once again to focus on her guns, which had been in sore need of cleaning for a while now and she had just found the time to do it. Unfortunately, having cleaned weapons as many times as she had, it did not require much brain power and before long she was drifting back to Clockwork, who was entirely oblivious to all of it.

Or at least, Marny thought she was. Which was why when the girl suddenly put down her materials and turned her head, meeting Marny's gaze with more intensity than she had expected, her instant reaction was to squint her eyes into a glare, her whole demeanor shifting to something more cold than it been but a second ago. Marny didn't know why she did this, only that it seemed safer than any other reaction.

"Can I ask you something Marny?" Clockwork asked, her eyebrows furrowed in a troubled expression.

"Maybe," Marny replied suspiciously.

"Do you think... do you think this is ever going to end?"

"Looks to me like you're almost finished," the woman answered immediately, waving her hand at the semi-completed bomb. She knew that wasn't the answer the younger girl was looking for, but Marny didn't like having to think about that too much. The future was something most of them could only wish for. Very few of them, or maybe none of them, would ever see it. 

But Clockwork was unwilling to let it go. "No, not the bomb. I mean, all of this. They have the advantage on every playing field. They have no mercy. They can create soldiers in weeks, when it takes us years to grow big enough and then months of training after that to even be worth anything other than fodder. Will it ever end? Can we win a war against things that aren't afraid of dying?" Clockwork bit her lip as she finished, knowing she wasn't supposed to admit to having these kind of thoughts. 

Marny remained silent for a while, watching Clockwork's various emotions spill out via her changing expressions. Clockwork wasn't a weakling - she had been through more than anyone should ever have to and came out stronger for it - but this confession left Marny uncomfortable, having no tools to deal with emotions that no one else was willing to voice. She knew though, that she couldn't just ignore this. 

"We'll win, because we are afraid of dying," she said finally, prompting Clockwork to watch her more closely. "Humans have things to protect. We fight harder, and better, because at the end of the day we know what we'll lose if we don't. Besides those traitors," Marny practically spat the word when referring to the few humans who chose to fuse themselves with the machines, and were strong enough to survive the operation, making themselves a terrible, barely human weapon, "We're the only ones who simply aren't willing to lose. And as for them... a traitor never wins in the end anyway. People are just too willing to tear them to shreds."

Clockwork looked down, obviously thinking, and finally nodded before turning back around, her back once again to Marny. Satisfied with her answer, the woman got up and left Clockwork to her bomb, taking her guns with her. Clockwork would never know, but since the day Marny had rescued her, alone and sick and pathetic looking by most standards, Marny had fought harder, and better, than she ever had before.

The End

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