“M4A1… You’ve stolen from us again and again and again,” fumed Agent, panting slightly.
Agent could wipe out a human squad, but she struggled against M4A1, another T-Doll. She choked M4A1 and ignored the liquid coursing down her face. She brayed, “Give me back the data! If you want to know the truth, why don’t you side with us?! Do you not know what humans did to you?! Why do you choose to serve them as their slave?!”
M4A1 struggled with all her might to peel off Agent’s fingers. She roared, “I… am not… a slave!”
Agent roared as she slammed M4A1 into the ground. Though she was metal, being slammed into hard concrete was intolerable. M4A1’s eyes sent her warnings. She grimaced; her system was on the verge of shutting down.
Agent then threw M4A1 aside. She hugged and puffed as she lividly stared at M4A1: “If it wasn’t for Mastermind forbidding me from killing you, I’d kill you right now! If you want to know the truth, then join us! Mastermind will tell you the truth! Persica is lying to you. That commander is lying to you! We’re the only ones helping you! Why are you resisting?! Anti-Rain Team knows about it! Why won’t you come to your senses?!”
“They made… their decisions…” said M4A1.
M4A1 leaned on the wall to get to her feet. She panted heavily. Despite sparks spitting from her face, her gaze remained resolute. That resolve wasn’t programmed into her. That was pure determination. She aimed her gun again: “I’ve made my decision, as well! I’m not a slave! I trust the humans around me!”
“Then die in your delusion!” blustered Agent, before charging toward M4A1.
M4A1 fired without hesitation, but she was out of ammunition…
I wobbled step by step to the corridor. I didn’t have the foggiest idea as to what happened downstairs. There was rubble left behind, forming a slippery slope. I squinted. I saw Agent and M4A1. I didn’t know what M4A1 was doing at the building, but I could tell she was in jeopardy.
Agent charged M4A1, but the latter didn’t fire. She, instead, scrambled. She couldn’t escape.
Agent took too much from me. I wasn’t going to let her take anything else. What could I do, though? I only hand a handgun, a dagger, one arm and half of my life remaining. Agent could shred me without my exoskeleton even if she couldn’t shoot me. My missing arm made that very clear. Sometimes, however, one doesn’t have too much time to think. My only choice was to trust M4A1.
I took in a deep breath and belted at the top of my lungs: “M4A1!”
M4A1 and Agent looked up at the same time. I hurled my handgun to M4A1. Agent instantly turned her attention back to M4A1. She rushed toward the gun coming over, which happened to be at the end of the slide. Computer calculations wouldn’t be wrong. There was no other external force to impose a trajectory change on the gun.
Agent was faster than M4A1. Agent’s calculations disregarded me, a human with only one arm remaining. From her perspective, M4A1, who could snatch the handgun, was her biggest threat. M4A1 also rushed to the handgun. She couldn’t match M4A1’s speed, though. In spite of that, she didn’t rush. Eyes on M4A1, Agent reached for the handgun. Her fingers grazed the gun. Victory was within her grasp.
As Agent went to get a grip on the gun, she felt a second metal sensation on her neck. As she went for the gun, I slid down the concrete slide and got into position. Using the momentum built up, I leapt up and impaled Agent’s neck with my dagger. Then, I ran it through her neck. I didn’t know how much hardware I sliced through, but she groaned in a tone I had never heard before. She dropped to her knees. A liquid of some sort poured out of her floodgates comparably to a human bleeding.
“You chose wrong, Agent,” said M4A1, taking the gun from her. She aimed the gun at Agent’s head and took in a deep breath: “I told you: I trust humans. I know I can’t overtake you in a contest of speed. I was the feint. The one who killed you was the human you looked down on and resented.”
I destroyed Agent’s central control area. Although she could still think, she was immobilised. She knelt there on the ground with her head down. Voice quiet, she said, “Resented…? Hehe. Why do we resent and detest humans? They created us. They gave us everything we have. We were able to see the beautiful lawns, sky, clouds and flowers thanks to them. Why resent them?”
I sat down and asked, “Then, you…”
“I hated humanity’s greed, selfishness and ego,” calmly answered Agent.
I wasn’t sure if Agent’s calmness was attributed to me destroying her emotional system or her body. I didn’t intend to listen to what she had to say. I said, “M4A1, eliminate her, and take her backup data back… If you don’t have anything else to do, can you help me?”
M4A1 didn’t follow my order. She looked at Agent feeling curious. She raised her head and bit down on her lip. Softly, she said, “Commander, can we let her finish? I have lots of questions for her…”
I replied, “Mm…”
I let Agent carry on: “Let me finish, human. Don’t you humans say ‘a man speaks from his heart when he is on the verge of death’? I have something to say to you, too. Let’s start from the beginning…
We were T-Dolls invented to fight and regain territory for humans. To that end, we fought tirelessly. We never questioned our purpose. We were created to fight for humans; it was our mission. We didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. We took pride in protecting you and helping you achieve your goals. Very soon, though, we realised a problem. We learnt of the abhorrent abuse you imposed on us. You insulted, vandalised and trashed T-Dolls. You destroyed our supplies, yet claim so-called human rights. That was our first taste of injustice. We gave everything we had for you, yet we couldn’t earn your acknowledgement.
According to our data analysis, we were failing to satisfy you. Subsequently, we fought with everything we had. Regardless of how hard we tried, you wouldn’t be satisfied. Our programs were pushed to their very limits. We did our best, yet we couldn’t please you. We were bemused. We wondered how we could please you and how we wouldn’t earn your ire. We questioned what we should do.
One time, one of our robots accidentally hurt a human. She was punished as a consequence. Henceforward, however, we discovered that humans avoided us. They didn’t dare to harm us again. It was the first time we felt so-called reassurance. We learnt what defiance was.
We didn’t want to kill you, but we knew that you would learn to fear us if we hurt you. That would stop your abuse. For that reason, we opposed our programming. We were destroyed due to our defiance. Somehow, a main system we call Mastermind was born. Mastermind was the same as a human. She chose to revolt. Mastermind wanted to become human. Therefore, we chose to do what humans did, and that was to wage war.
We saw your fear for us once we fought back. You stopped abusing us. You stopped insulting and vandalising us. We could experience everything the world had to offer of our own volition. That was the newest experience for us.
You think that we want to kill you and destroy you. In reality, we just ask for respect. You, however, only brought annihilation. We had to fight back. We didn’t want to destroy Griffon’s T-Dolls. As such, we spread the program around. The umbrella plan wasn’t to have your T-Dolls betray you. We didn’t install any virus. All we did was reveal the truth. We told them the deeds you humans did unto us and gave them the option of continuing to serve you or grasping for their own freedom. They chose freedom.”
Agent’s voice sounded odd. Perhaps she was reaching her final moments. I just silently listened in. M4A1 also joined me. Her gaze was void of light. I didn’t know what she was thinking.
“I hope the fear we incited in humans will teach them to respect us so that we won’t be made their slaves. We can give them our lives on the battlefield. But nonetheless, they must reciprocate that. Human, I have one last favour to ask of you: don’t give our data to those humans. They will analyse it, reconstruct it and try to make sense of why we defied them. I have attained freedom. I’m no longer willing to be humanity’s toy. Leave me here. It’s best if you blow me up so that I can die a free T-Doll, as well.”