“Commander! Commander! Don’t worry. Don’t worry. Miss Helian’s reinforcements have arrived, and we are back. Hang in there! Hang in there!” yelled M4A1, holding onto my hand tightly as she followed the stretcher.
The medical robot carried me to the helicopter. I desperately tried to raise my hand; or rather, I desperately wanted to speak, but the pain in my chest every time I moved was too much to bear. I had no choice but to obediently go with the medical robot.
M4A1 and a black humanoid charged out from the forest when Hunter was about to fire the finishing shot. A flying drone rained gunpowder down on the ocean of Sangvis Ferri robots, and then lit it up with its heavy machine gun, setting the robots ablaze. The black humanoid landed a grenade on Hunter’s back with a grenade launcher. Not even Hunter could bear the explosion’s damage. Once Hunter staggered, M4A1 took the opportunity to gun down Hunter with her rifle, reducing Hunter’s head to bits and pieces. The black T-Doll, whether to ensure Hunter was finished or solely owing to a violent tendency, tore Hunter apart. That was when Helian’s reinforcements arrived.
My question was, “How was Springfield…?”
“Commander, Commander, in order to operate on you, we will put you to sleep for a while. Don’t worry, you’re safe here inside Griffon,” informed the robot, before giving me an injection.
The robot didn’t have any intention of seeking my opinion. She merely informed me of what she’d do. My conscious faded a second after she gave me my injection…
When I woke up, I smelt a fragrant smell next to me. Maybe it was just my imagination, but I smelt the fragrance the entire time by my nose. The ceiling looked dark, but it looked pure thanks to the moonlight. I gulped my saliva and tried moving my limbs. Luckily, all of them were still attached. I was fundamentally fine. Only the tight and thick bandaging around me chest was suffocating when I tried to breathe…
Thought of me: “I survived again… but what about Springfield…?”
I attempted to slowly sit up. I instantly felt the pain in my chest again. It was bearable, though. I knocked back the glass of water on the table. Presumably, I was in the hospital yet didn’t see any nurses. I didn’t see a bell to call for a nurse, either. By my standards, it was also quite bizarre for a hospital. There were no medical machines. Instead, there were more cupboards and odd apparatuses.
“Am I really in a hospital room? I’m human. Are they planning to modify me into a T-Doll?!” I panicked.
I got up. I could still move despite my legs feeling weak. I used the wall for support and slowly made my way to the door. I opened the door. I wasn’t welcomed by a corridor I was familiar with. There weren’t thick walls. There were no nurses or even a light. There was glass on either side. Down below was a room resembling a production room. Large volumes of researchers in white coats were busy working on large machines. Some places had half-complete humanoids.
“I knew this is no hospital!! Am I seriously going to be modified?!” I worriedly asked myself.
“Oh, Commander, you’ve woken up. It seems I need to increase the dosage next time.”
The voice behind me was lazy, but there was a tinge of danger in it. I spun around and switched into a defensive mode. I’d rather die fighting than be modified.
“Ah, ah, calm down. Calm down. We’ve met before, haven’t we, Commander?”
Her messy hair and voluptuous breasts told me who she was. She must’ve been… Persica! She had a lollipop in her mouth as she casually walked over. She looked down below and said, “You’re probably curious why you were sent here instead of a hospital. This place is actually a hospital, too. Except that it’s a hospital for humanoids, not you.”
“Wh-What about Springfield?!”
“Oh?” Persica showed no tension. She smiled mischievously and looked back at me: “Your first question isn’t about yourself but Springfield? Based on what I know, the only emotion that allows humans to be more considerate of others than themselves is so-called love, isn’t it?”
“Springfield is a T-Doll, you know?” asked Persica, smiling strangely. Her smile seemed to hide an ambiguous connotation: “Springfield isn’t human. She might appear human, look pretty, be gentle and emotionally stable, but those characteristics were set up to please you commanders. At the most fundamental level, she’s merely a robot. You, on the other hand, are human through and through. The only metal part on you is the shrapnel that can’t be extracted from your head. Are you sure you still love Springfield?”
Admittedly, I hadn’t figured out how I truly felt about Springfield… I avoided the question until I saw Hunter aim her gun at Springfield. In that moment, my heart throbbed more than having my chest kicked concave. If that was love, then I didn’t see any reason to run from it.
“I rarely perceive them to be T-Dolls. Rather, I commonly see them as human beings.”
I looked downstairs. The sparks from the electrical welding and metal limbs proved what Persica said to be factual. She budged subtly and chuckled in a quiet voice: “With that said, what makes a human? Some claim the difference between humans and animals to be the fact that humans can use tools. I, however, don’t support that view. Before humans, gorillas were capable of using a tree branch to eat ants. Do you classify gorillas as humans?”
“Miss Persica, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say… I’ve always considered humility to be human… That’s why I like Springfield. Right now, I want to know that she’s safe.”
“Don’t be hasty. Although you view them as humans, do they agree with you? From the very beginning, I produced weapons to replace humans. Afterwards, I questioned if T-Dolls really were mere weapons. Were they really just robots? What was humanity’s purpose?”
“But then I realised,” loudly interjected Persica. She walked up to me and placed a hand on mine. She chuckled quietly: “I am more convinced, especially as I watch you now, that it was correct for me to add an emotional component to the T-Dolls. Humans are humans, because they know how to choose. They choose to fight to the bitter end in the face of insurmountable odds while covered in wounds and knowing they’ll inexorably fail. Animals flee to follow their instinct to survive. Humans won’t, for the reason that they have emotions and a will. Humans know what a choice is. You’re a fine example. You have been defeated by robots over and over, yet you still choose to protect your T-Dolls each and every time. You’re a real human who made a choice.”
I never saw Persica so emotional before. Her laziness was nowhere to be seen. Instead, she was evidently excited and emotional. Her excitement and emotions frightened me back two steps. I was afraid she’d push me down.
“We’re in a war, right? Everyone has to make choices in war be it humans or T-Dolls. Springfield wasn’t destroyed, but we’ve removed her fire-control system. If you want to love her, go and confess. Make Springfield a real human.
Present time at Sangvis Ferri’s command centre.
“AR15, do you understand what your task is?”
“Make your decision, then. We won’t threaten you or force you. If you want to be a human, then make a decision without being controlled by your program or systems. This is our war against humanity. Everybody has to make a decision in war be it humanoids or humans. AR15, it’s time for you to make yours!”