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I Am A Part of It

There were always those who hunkered down in the souls of the trees, those who made sure that when everything was overturned they were not there to be taken over. They could watch as the entire system that was built to work, worked too well and twisted up everything and ruined it. Those who understood, sat above it all, studying the chaos below knowing they were all too well already a part of it. He was not one of those. His father was and so he was birthed onto the dirty ground of an underground world in the forest ruins of the Earth, and that was all he ever knew. The trees the forest, the hunting, the quiet, the loneliness and the nothingness that happened to come along with the leafy ground of his outside world. When his parents passed he lived as he always had, away from anything and anyone. Not bothering to find himself any further contact. For he had been taught that everyone, and everything had turned against humans, turned against the system, making humans turn against each other. All the computers and the science and the technology decided they were better off running everyone else then letting themselves be run by everyone else. The humans no longer ran the systems, but the systems ran the humans. And the son of the hunker-downers ran away from both, until one day he did not have a chance to run and so he stayed and destroyed everything he had ever known.





On the dirty patches of the ground, was where he always attempted to place his feet, digging his shoeless toes into the warm, moist sunlit ground. This was his midday routine. Go outside the underground hole in which he was born in and scavenge and hunt for food. Berries, hanging on big bushy plants red, blue, occasionally violent. Nuts, brown, black, on the floor of the forest. There was plenty to eat; it was just a matter of finding it.









It was today that he was hungrier than normal. On any other day he would have wandered not too far picking at this and that plant for berries, sneaking up on a little rabbit and breaking its little neck before it had time to stumble away. But today was different, meant to be different. For he ate every berry he picked instead of placing his findings into a little pouch he carried on his side. When he caught his first rabbit of the day he ripped it apart, uncooked, tearing at the fur with his yellowed teeth and not bothering to wash the blood from his face.













This hunger that growled in his belly and every muscle in his body, even after the rabbit, drove him outside the normal boundaries that he had set for himself to keep any accidental wandering from happening. But with his mind so concentrated on this abnormal hungry he soon wandered much further from the land that he knew. It was there outside his world, that the screams began echoing against the trees and the skies. As soon as the wailing started he sunk down behind a tree, listening to see how far away the noise was. He had heard the sound before, a metallic blaring that reverberated throughout the surrounding hills. On an ordinary day he would have immediately moved back toward his hole, his hovel, his home, his safety. But today was no ordinary day. He dropped down lower behind his tree, body bent, sunk closer to the ground. He wanted to run away. But he didn’t. He stayed. For one of the first times in his life, curiosity held him, kept the fear at bay.








Heart slamming against his chest, he moved forward, on his hands and knees, elbows out like a dog scourging across the ground for scraps. It was louder now. The scream was getting closer and closer till it sounded barely a hundred meters away, and still he did not run in the opposite direction, but crawl toward the noise. On the other side of a few trees, a small ridge climbed slightly upward toward the empty blue sky. There over that ridge. That’s where it will be. Whatever it is. With courage that his father would have referred to as stupidity, he slid up the ridge barely peeking over the grassy edge, and looked out over a clearing he had never seen before.














There they stood bodies hunkered against the ground, long stringy metallic arms stretching out before them, mouths open letting out the scream that had frightened him away so many times before. These were the monsters that had weaved their way into his father’s fables, that had captivated his nightmares, that had been tangled up in his worst fears since he was old enough to have a fear. And yet he stayed captivated by the sight of the deformed skin plastered human computers, with glaring red eyes that formed a semi-circle in the clearing. He began to feel panic; that their sharp forms were coming up the hill for him, but the way they waggled this way and that, showed that they were cornering something underneath the ridge, outside his field of view. He should have left. Ran as fast and quietly as possible away back to his hole, and only come out again when it was absolute necessary. He didn’t though He stayed and watched as the robots crept closer and closer.









A scream whipped through the woods practically knocking him backwards. This was no scream of the robots; it was that of a skinny, little girl who surged forward into his view, a big fat branch in her small hands. She smacked one of the monsters with her small fingers gripping the tree branch, pretty dark hair flicking this way and that, waggling back and forth. He thought she would miss, that her little form carried no such power, but her movement was so strong so smooth so completely and utterly perfectly angled that it caught the computer right between the eyes. If they red lights attached to the screen with pieces of human skin behind it could even be called eyes. The machine crashed down against the floor of the forest, buzzing and beeping in some sort of manifestation of mechanical pain. Horror and shock overwhelmed him, as he witnessed the little form surge against the other three, dipping and ducking as they unsuccessfully batted their seemly slow mechanical arms at her. She twirled and spun, and slid from step to step in a funny little dance that matched her funny powerful little form.








It seemed like eternity before finally the last monster fell at her feet. She stood like a solider over her dead opponent head slowly turning, scanning the surrounding area for more enemies. He was in such shock that no reaction took over as she turned around and saw him sitting high above her on his ridge. She was moving, toward him. Toward him. In dumb fear he scuttled back falling against the forest leaves, heart again pounding in every part of his body. He could run. He had time. Never mind. She rose over the grassy hill, and looked down at him.











There they stayed. Across from each other. Grass below. Sky above. Trees all around. And the only other thing like him standing just feet away. Say something. Say anything. Jaw locked. Eyes unblinking, not a single word came out. So they stayed in silence, until, finally she laid her hand out in front of him, to pull him from the ground, up to stand with her upon the grass. Take it. He reached up, and took her hand, and she leaned back pulling up and letting go when he had found his feet.




This little child stood before him, and still he could not say a thing. She turned and walked back over the ridge, almost getting to the top. The explosion came much like her powerful scream, echoing through the forest. The blast sent her tiny form hurtling down the hill, arms and legs out like a rag doll dropped from the top stair. He moved forward, rapping his arms around her little frame, as fire ripped down the grassy hill towards them. Burning heat rolling on the ground, giving him barely seconds, to dodge behind a tree, the small one still in his arms, skin burnt to a blacken metallic ash. Wait, metallic? Sunk behind the trees, he ran his fingers over her burnt arm, still blood, big blotchy blood dripping onto her clothes but below that, where a white bone should be shining through, shined a silver, metal attachment, that jutted from her skin. She fell from his hands into the grass. Big baby eyes watching him, as he tripped backwards. Another blast rained down sending exploding shrapnel through the blue sky. He was running now, the unearthly fire burring after him. Had to get home. Had to get back. Get back before whatever had shot her came after him. But the grass below was ripping beneath his feet, and the sky above was closing in, the trees around were falling down. Skin was tearing away from his hands as he smacked them against the thorny plants and bark, sweat riding down his face, feet burning, heart beating against his chest he was so close, almost there, he could see the little stump that housed his home below, so close. So very close. His legs folded beneath him, dragged backwards by an unseen force, fingers out straight he could grab something stop himself from being taken away. He could grab something with his bloody, metal fingers. Metal? Metal fingers beneath the tore skin. Like the metal bone beneath her arm. Like the metal beneath the skin plaster of the computers that had fallen. Like the metal that he had been told to fear. Like the metal force now dragging him backwards into a dark hole.









Months maybe years passed and still he was stuck in the blackness of a metallic hole. A metallic hell. He bent and twisted his silver fingers and dug into his fake skin tearing at it till he could see the metal underneath. The metal that had always been there. It had been a part of him since he was told to be wary of anything and everything that shined as his fingers did now. He ran his unfeeling hands against the metal plaster that encased him and slowly he opened his mouth and whispered to no one in particular.


“I am a part of it.”



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