I grabbed the compass and peered at the road ahead: “You should’ve told me what happened sooner. If I knew the T-Dolls would revolt, I could’ve stopped them sooner, and this wouldn’t have happened.”
We took a car back to Strategic Area S09. We were supposed to have someone escort us home, but due to the lack of hands, Griffon called even WA2000 into action. Springfield and I were the only ones who headed back to Strategic Area S09.
The large-scale T-Doll insurgence led to other areas sending in their T-Dolls to chase down the fleeing T-Dolls before things really blew out of proportion. As such, Strategic Area S09’s mission wasn’t one I looked forward to. Obviously, I was tasked with taking down the T-Dolls that ran for freedom.
The primary issue was that lots of Griffon’s T-Dolls couldn’t be reached after the large-scale revolt commenced. Strategic Area S09 was the only area that maintained communications. Judging from Kalina’s sleepy reply, Strategic Area S09’s T-Dolls chose to silently continue devoting their loyalty to humans. Still, Griffon suffered heavy damage.
“Is this Sangvis Ferri’s scheme? Nobody knew where the footage and program came from, but they must’ve delivered it via Griffon’s T-Dolls’ communications. Was it Sangvis Ferri’s program that affected Griffon’s T-Doll, or did they install viruses straight into Griffon’s T-Dolls?” were my questions. I didn’t get to investigate the truth behind it, but I had a guess…
M4A1’s Anti-Rain Team… I was sure it was Anti-Rain Team.
“Because… I am a T-Doll, too…” quietly replied Springfield, from her co-driver seat. She had her head down: “It is only natural for me to be scared… I did not intend to hide it…. I… I was just scared. I, too, am a T-Doll. If the T-Dolls’ revolt was exposed, I might also be eliminated. The only idea that came to mind was leaving with you to prove I wasn’t part of the rebellion… I just wasn’t to be together with you… I…”
Springfield’s tears fell pit pat onto her hand on her thighs. I didn’t immediately respond. Springfield felt guilty enough. I would be too mean if I admonished her. After I got over my hesitation, I apologised: “Sorry, Springf-”
A dark silhouette suddenly appeared in front of the car before I could finish. I slammed the brakes, but it was too late. I cursed in my mind, because I identified the figure when the car lights lit up the figure… It was Sangvis Ferri’s Agent!
We didn’t drive an ordinary sedan; we drove a bullet-proof SUV. If I crashed Agent at that speed, I could drive through a tree. To my amazement, Agent took it head on. The high impact destroyed the car. I smashed into the airbag thanks to my seatbelt keeping me fixed in my seat. That said, I still banged my head on Agent’s chest. Yes, that was how severe the SUV was damaged. Agent, on the other hand, didn’t suffer any damage. Agent punched the SUV into the ground. She dragged me out of the shattered windscreen and wrestled me to the ground.
I suffered from a dizzy spell. The foot on my chest cut off my breathing. My vision was dark. Agent frigidly stared at me and enunciated word by word: “I bring you your death, Commander.”
A blue figure shoulder tackled the agent away. I wobbled to my feet. As soon as I turned around, a Sangvis Ferri T-Doll rammed a foot into my chest, toppling me over. We were surrounded by Sangvis Ferri’s forces…
It took me everything I had to roll over. When I called for Springfield, I saw her already on the ground. To be precise… it was just her body. Agent threw her head over to me. I saw Springfield’s eyes that no longer beamed with light. All I saw was a look of despair on her face, sparks spitting onto the moist ground and white smoke. I blankly looked at Springfield. In that moment, I didn’t feel a thing. No pain. No despair. No anger. All that I had on my mind was doubt…
“Springfield was next to me just a moment ago. Wh-Why is she now…? Sp-Springfield… this can’t be real. I’m just in a nightmare. It’s just a nightmare. I’m still asleep. She’ll be there in my arms when I wake up. Our clothes will be hung on the wall. We’re waiting for tomorrow to begin. Springfield is still breathing. I can hear her voice and feel her warmth… This is all an illusion… This is not happening…”
“A T-Doll without a fire-control system is as useless as you humans,” remarked Agent, as she soccer kicked Springfield’s head away.
Agent picked me up by my neck. She coldly stared at me. I wasn’t in the mood to struggle. I peered into the dark sky. She taunted, “We’ve broken down humanity’s last hope, Griffon’s commander. Well, to be fair, it was you humans who destroyed all of it yourselves. Look at what you have now. What do you have when you don’t have us to stand behind? All you have left is a fragile and useless body. You’re always basking in our glory. Now what? What can you do now? You created us to compensate for your fear, yet you were too arrogant to think of us as equals. This is what you started. You were the catalysts.”
Agent gradually tightened her hold. Maybe it was some sort of nasty fetish of hers; she didn’t crank my neck and finish me. Instead, she took her time, gradually tightening her hold. Judging from her ice-cold gaze, she probably enjoyed watching me struggle as I died. I gripped her hand tightly, but I couldn’t remove it.
I didn’t put up a struggle. I didn’t even want to struggle for that matter. I only saw Springfield’s smile. She was within arm’s reach. If I reached out I could feel her warm embrace…
“This is just a nightmare… I’m not against… keeping Springfield company…” I told myself.
A bullet suddenly hit Agent’s elbow. She coldly snorted then released me. I dropped onto the ground lifelessly. I heard a shout along the road. A girl with orange hair came charging over from Strategic Area S09’s direction. Behind her was Strategic Area S09’s roaring T-Dolls…
“For Commander! For Griffon! Rescue our commander!” bellowed Kalina.
The T-Dolls threw down smokebombs. Agent hesitated for a second before kicking me over toward Kalina’s direction: “No matter. Keeping you alive is the best punishment. Wallow in your pain and misery that’s a product of your powerlessness! Commander, it’ll be your turn to come find me next time.”