Fic Or Original: Original

Genre(s): Science Fiction/Romance

Rating: T (as according to fictionpress)

Characters In Chapter: Samara Crichton, Nazilla, Mark, Stewart, Martha, Rebecca, Glau

Relationship(s): Samara Crichton/Nazilla

I heard the sound of Samara calming her breathing down in the backseat. We were more than halfway home, but she was still reeling from the battle. Because of the chaos I hadn’t had a chance to tell her about Glau. I wanted to be back home where I would have time to stop and answer questions about the M-3.

Leaving the battle had been more than hectic. Martha and Rebecca had run away to their original vehicle while Mark and Stewart had to leave in a vehicle from the parking lot. Samara had managed to get into the backseat of the car I had stolen.

I kept on the lookout for Netty’s forces to suddenly appear, but they didn’t. Samara and I had survived, but I knew she would feel guilty if the others had died. I didn’t like the thought of the other four dying, but it wasn’t guilt I’d feel if they died. Rather I would miss their contributions to Karma.

Even Mark.

As I pulled the car up I saw two other cars and Stewart standing idly at the door. Samara got out and waved at him. I let the two of them exchange coded information while I walked to the trunk. I opened it up and looked at Glau’s unconscious form.

I heard Samara and Stewart start to come over to me.

“Naz?” She asked and then stood silent when she saw Glau.

“That’s a Machine?” Stewart asked. “M-3 or M-4?”

“It’s my ex…well…was.”

“It’s an M-3 called Glau. Glau is the person it’s imitating.” I said and looked at the two.

I tried to decipher Samara’s face and could only figure out that she didn’t like seeing her ex again. Was it the reminder that the real Glau was now dead? Was it the fact that she thought I was going to turn? Was it the fact that Glau would become good and Samara would have to see her dead ex for years?

Examining Stewart’s expression was much harder. He always seemed Machine-like in his intensity. From what I could tell, he wanted to examine the M-3 body himself to find out new ways to destroy it in battle.

“Why did you bring her here?” Samara asked.

“While attacking me she forgot that she is an M-3.” I explained. “I want to examine her chip and find out if she can one day be made to serve Karma.”

Stewart’s face seemed to take on a few different expressions at once before settling on his usual calm demeanor. Samara just looked like she didn’t want to deal with this argument at the moment. I felt like I had made the correct decision to not tell her until now.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” She finally asked and shook her head.

“Well it just happened and you needed a breather after the battle.” I explained. “And I figured it’d be better to have this conversation now where we can take our time.”

“If you can find out how to fight the M-3’s better, find a weakness, Karma will be proud.” Stewart said and then paused. “But you’ll need to convince Kered.”

“That will be a problem.” I said. “But what if it was your idea?”

“What? So Stewart can take the blame?” Samara asked sternly.

“No, because Kered doesn’t like me. If the suggestion comes from someone he likes then he has a better chance at agreeing to it.”

“Why do you really want to do this?”

“Because it will help Karma.”

Samara just shook her head and I knew I hadn’t fooled her. We had known each other for too long for me to get away with the lie. Was she worried that I would turn and leave her alone? And how would she react to me leaving her a second time?

After a node from Stewart, I took Glau out. She was heavy enough for me to take a second to make sure I could hold the weight, but it wasn’t hard after that initial lift. I registered her weight, but there was no effect besides information. I didn’t grow tired as I carried her into the house.

I walked inside and then headed down into the basement. Everything down there was organized so that any one of us could work on a project with the knowledge that we could easily put evidence away. I set Glau onto the table on the right side of the room. I tied her up so that if she realized she was a Machine that she wouldn’t be able to escape.

Trying her up gave me time to think about what would happen if I had to kill her. There was something about her that made me think of her as a kind of friend. A kind of friend that would try to kill me from time to time.

Scanning over the restraints a few times still didn’t give me enough reassurance, but it would have to do. I took Glau’s chip out of my pocket and put it into her head. It took a minute for her to come to and then she looked at me.

Describing her look is beyond the scope of a lowly M-4. The look Glau gave me wasn’t human and yet it wasn’t Machine. Glau’s personalities were probably warring with each other and so she couldn’t respond. Neither side would give control for her to say anything if that was the case.

“Glau?” I asked and she struggled before deciding it was useless to try.

“Y…sss…” Glau finally replied.

The rest of the night followed like that. Both sides of Glau were struggling and neither would take enough control to tell me anything useful. There were angry sounds from her mouth but nothing more. It wasn’t like I expected to make any headway the first day anyways.

But it still would’ve been nice.

“Naz!” Samara yelled out and I looked at Glau. “The others are leaving!”

Should I leave her on and trust her or turn her off?

Looking at the restrains I knew there wasn’t much I should worry about. I had made sure she wouldn’t escape and so she wouldn’t.

Saying good-bye to the others wasn’t exactly sad, but it would be odd working without them. Which in some cases, like Mark’s, would be a good thing.

Martha, of course, insisted on hugging me. She gave me words that were comforting but untrue. Lies that humans told themselves to feel good. That I had told myself once. Rebecca, the older and colder sister, just shook my hand and told me that she hoped to work with me again.

Stewart looked at me with admiration before being going out. He was the one that I would miss the most. It wasn’t that he treated me like a human, but because he…treated me as what I was: some odd combination of human and Machine. If I had been straight or bisexual I might have even decided on trying to start a relationship with him. As it stood, he wasn’t sexually attractive to me.

Mark just looked at me and walked away. There were no good-byes between us and I didn’t mind.

Samara and I waved as they left. I only did so because it was a motion I knew it to fit the moment. When they were out of our sight I went back in to examine Glau some more.


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