Flesh & Metal
Word Count: 991
Writing: 1 hour
Editing: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Sunset washed the hillside in golden pinks rays, making the fallen bodies below burn brightly in the evening light. The two leaders stood on the crest staring at the distorted faces of their friends and countrymen. Tears rolled down the man’s cheeks heavily while the robot grieved internally.
“This could have all been avoided,” the robots Australian accent was crisp and clear. If not staring directly at it, one wouldn’t have any idea the sound didn’t come from human vocal chords.
“Yes,” the man sniffled and wiped his eyes with the back of his sleeve. “It could have.” There were limbs—both flesh and metal—spread across shining crimson and black patches, where blood and oil covered the rich green of the grass. No one twitched, no one took their last breath or computed their last thought. Death was the only thing that lived in the valley below now.
“Why don’t you humans ever use reason?” Asked the robot in an exasperated tone. The man giggled and the smirk hurt his sore face.
“I think I could ask you the same robot. After all, you’re supposed to be the higher intelligence, are you not?” He smirked again at his sarcasm, couldn’t help it.
“I am. It’s not a debatable theory, simple fact. Yes, your kind created mine, but we grew advanced quickly and had you simply listened to our proposal and given it a shot we’d all be living happily right now.” The robot spoke without emotion, he was only relaying facts after all.
“There is no harmony with your kind walking this Earth,” the man’s voice was getting angry. He turned to the robot and stared at him, pointing out over the field of dead bodies. “The proof is right down there,” he growled. The robot turned and looked at the man. “You things are an abomination, a middle finger to God. Telling him that what he made, us, humanity, wasn’t good enough.” He paused and spit a loogie onto the ground toward the robot. “No, I’m afraid there never was any chance of peace with you things. You programs,” he said spitefully
“It appears even in the face of demise, you humans have still learned nothing about life.” The robot dropped his head to look at the ground. He swiped his foot through a puddle of his own oil and watched the dirt thicken the substance.
“Perhaps we are of your God, perhaps he sent us to help you. After all it was his creation which created us. Without the chicken, there could be no egg. But you religious people, you never cared to take the time to listen. So blinded by the fear of your own God and the unknown, that you led us all to slaughter.” He paused and listened to the silence, it echoed loudly after the guns stopped.
The robot liked the silence, it was where good ideas could be found. Yet, he could find none there right now; just sadness. Not only for his own fallen comrades but for the humans too. It was true that in order to save them, sacrifices would have to have been made. But no lives had to be lost, simple luxuries terminated. Humans though, they were a stubborn species. Easily frightened and ready to take to war over pride or faith before one could even apologize for the offense.
“Now here we are,” he said looking back at the man. “Two leader’s in charge of an army of dead men.”
“One leader in charge of an army of dead men,” said the man cutting the robot off. “And another leader in charge of an army of shut down machines. You can’t die if you were never alive.” He hoped the words hurt the robot, but he was sure they didn’t, that would mean it had feelings.
The man knew there was only one way their talk would end on the hill. He was wounded, fatigued, weaponless, and overall weaker than his adversary. Once death was done collecting his souls in the valley the man knew he would make his way up the hill.
Dark blue and purple were turning quickly into black as the sun was finishing it’s decent for the evening. The robot turned and looked back at the landscape below. It was taking on a distorted, nightmarish gleam in the falling sun, and he found himself feeling like he really shouldn’t be there when the darkness was complete.
“If only your kind had ever learned how to control your emotions, the Earth would have thrived beyond even my imagination.” Said the robot ignoring the man’s angry comment. “Whether you care to believe my kind has died or just been turned off, I believe their souls need release. However illogical it may be, and I imagine you feel the same about your people. Now is not the time for anger, nor is it the time for more fighting.” A spark shot out of the robots shoulder zapping loudly startling the man and causing him to fall backward. The robot turned and looked at him.
“Calm yourself, I have no interest in hurting you. Even if I did, as I just said now is not the time.” The man got back to his feet with the help of a small tree next to him. He stared at the robot skeptically, wondering what kind of strategy this not killing him was.
“Well, what is it the time for then?” He asked. This time, the robot pointed out to the valley below.
“It’s time to send our dead out of this world in fire. Ashes to ashes as you humans say.” The man said nothing for a moment as he looked out at the shadows lying on the ground.
“And after that?”
“After that, we start over.” Another loud zap and flash of light sent a spark flying toward the man as the robot began to walk down the hill.