The city is being too quiet. There were no abnormal sounds on the cool night air. If I focused my sensors hard enough, I could probably make out the soft breathing of my Girl sleeping soundly in her bed a few blocks away. Of course, I could pick up on her anywhere. But she had made me promise to stay close tonight.
"I just have a weird feeling," she'd said, curling her tiny fists into my already torn cape. "Stay."
And here I was, roaming the eerily calm roads. Odd looks from other wanderers stuck to me as they passed and I pulled my collar up with a scowl. Small bits of circuitry were visible, just beneath the blood and skin on my right cheek. That area was always the hardest to mend. It took a lot of sewing and patching that I just didn't have the patience for. Sweet Girl would have to work on it soon with her gentle little fingers before it healed all wrong and I had to tear it again.
That last fight had hardly been worth the time. A puppet had been set loose and was trying to rob a local bar. Hardly anything to rile the military over so I just took on the job myself. Two hard kicks and a good punch right in its sensitive chest had finished it off, but not before it had gotten a swipe at my face with one of its mace-hands. The damned, evil, lanky things were a waste of anyone's time. I was convinced that Dom only sent them out because it amused her to cause anyone discomfort. That's all the things ever caused, too.
I was itching for a good brawl now, though. Anything to heat up my machinery. Nothing had happened that required my assistance in the last two days and I was becoming restless. On its own, my fully mechanical arm bent up, curling its fingers into a fist with an electrical whir. I traced the skin covered fingers of my other hand over its black mechanics. I'd dressed for battle, strapping into my tough leathers and clipping on my scythe.
My Girl wouldn't approve of me randomly shooting off my cannon in the middle of the city. She would also say that flying miles in the sky, though still technically staying in the city limits did not count as staying close. I have no idea why she had me wrapped so tightly around her little finger. Sometimes I thought about just going off and forgetting about her.
And then I remember that I love her with all the human heart I have left in my body. Even though I fought and bled and could never speak to her, she loved me in return. Why else would she stay up and worry about me? Why else would she get her porcelain hands dirty with my blood to stitch me up when I came home? I felt happy when I saw those sparkling brown eyes fill up with laughter only to spill out of her smiling lips. I was most content when she wrapped herself in my cloak to keep warm, her messy blonde locks spilling everywhere.
This girl had saved my life countless times with just her kind heart. I, at least, owed her enough to keep the promises I silently made. Even if that meant having to be completely bored for an entire night more. Perhaps I'd go by the police in the morning and ask for a case to work on... Something I only did when I was completely desperate. They weren't fond of me and they knew I was nowhere near fond of them, but I helped them. Without me, they'd be considered worthless.
I let out a sigh, brushing the overgrown hair back from my face. My Girl had brushed it out last night, making it shiny and actually healthy looking. I preferred it tangled, though. It kept it out of my line of sight, therefore out of mind.
"Machine," a faint voice rang inside my head. My girl was calling to me. Was it really morning already? I focused harder, tuning into her frequency. Maybe she was just having a bad dream. "Machine, I feel really weird. I wish you would come home. I can't sleep anymore."
I sigh again, shaking my head. If I was stuck between those four walls all night I'd lose my mind. Home was her family's abandoned mansion. Her mother and father had been murdered, leaving her to live by herself. She got along just fine most of the time, but I could never imagine her not having someone to talk with and read her books with her. I closed my eyes, listening closer to hear her small heart beating away. There weren't any other noises around her besides the ticking of a clock and the drips from the broken faucet in the kitchen.
She was never one to act afraid. Out of everyone I'd ever met, she was the most brave. She never told me her age, but by her size I guessed that she could only be around ten years old. But she had the maturity of a full grown adult. I drew on her sometimes, to fill my own depleting confidence. Something must really be bothering her. She had probably just been reading too much lately.
Barely audible thumps sounded in my head and I heard Sweet Girl draw in a sharp breath. My body tensed. Please let this just be her getting up from bed. Please.
"Someone's here," she whispered. My fists clenched, teeth grinding together. At my back, the jets of my flying device whined as they began to warm up. I stepped forward, jogging then running in the direction of home.
In my mind, I heard crashes. My Girl's voice rose into a heart stopping scream and I grunted, urging my jets to light, lifting me into the air. This was not the kind of fight I had been hoping for. Why hadn't I listened to her? Why hadn't I stayed with her?
"Machine, help!" she cried. If I were able to curse, I would. But I kept silent, forcing my jets into hyperdrive. They protested with a squeal, but complied, shooting me further up. I angled my body and made a beeline for home.
"Your toy can't help you now." A scratchy mechanical voice sounded with a malicious cackle. I grimaced, activating my eye lenses so I could see through the rushing wind. Puppets. Dom had sent her mechanical minions after the only thing precious to me. Just like her. I should have known. How could I have been so stupid?
It took less than a minute for me to reach the cold gate of Home, but they were already torn apart. The front door looked as if someone had clawed a hole big enough for a person to fit inside. I kicked the rest in rushing in and up the rickety staircase.
She wasn't there. I knew she wasn't because all I could hear when I focused on her was the sound of rushing wind. They were taking her to Dom's cliffs. The craggy rocks of the sky where the evil woman made her base. I gritted my teeth, jumping up the last few steps and jogging to her room.
The white door was hanging off its hinges and her floor was a mess of debris. Either she'd put up quite the fight as I'd flown, or they just decided to rough the place up to make it seem like they'd hurt her. A hole in the ceiling displayed the night sky and bits of roofing and wood were still falling onto the floor. The monsters had destroyed the only thing my Girl had ever called home. If they hurt her too, it would be the last thing they ever did.
With one last sweep of my eyes across the room, I poised to jump and fired my jets, blasting into the air once again. Silently, I vowed that I would never wish for a fight again.
It seemed like ages before the rocks began to shoot past me. I'd been here once before to battle this very same bloodthirsty woman. She carried a human heart wherever she went and her claws were sharp and as hard as steel. She had ripped out my throat the last time we'd been caught in battle, leaving me unable to speak. But that had been long ago. I had been weak. Inexperienced.
Now I was ready.
If she had harmed one hair on my Sweet Girl's head I would end her tonight.
I slowed down now, searching the rough terrain for any signs of life. Right now, all I could make out was the red clay rocks rising and falling as I ducked around them. The jets on my back were starting to smell as they burned into my flesh. If I didn't land soon I would either overheat or blow something up. Neither of the scenarios were favorable at the moment.
A jolt went through my entire body when I spotted the small black masses against one of the large red cliffs. I angled myself immediately, speeding towards them and jerking to a halt in the air above them before gliding down, placing my feet firmly on the hard red earth.
"It's about time you go here," Dom smirked, looking down her nose at me. Her blonde hair whipped around her head in the heavy wind and her gloved, twisted hands were clasping onto a long, double sided scythe. Barely covered, as always, her leather bustier gripped tight to her body to accentuate an overflowing bosom. "I haven't got all night, you know."
"Machine!" a scream tore from My Girl's throat. I spun away from my enemy to find her suspended by her arms between two of Dom's human slaves. They wore black bags over their heads and were hardly clothed anywhere else. My Girl wriggled and kicked against them and one grabbed her hair, yanking it to make her cry out again.
Without thinking, I was moving. Metal rang against metal as I snatched my scythe from its place on my back. Two careful swings caused two bodies to fall to the ground with satisfying dead thumps. I caught My Girl before she was able to reach the ground and he arms wrapped tight around my middle. Her small frame shook with sobs that I couldn't hear because of a terrible screaming going on behind us.
"How dare you, you filthy mechanical monster! Those two were my favorite!"
"I was so scared that they'd gotten to you too. I didn't want this to happen. I told you to stay home with me." My Girl cried, her tears streaking through the dust on her face. I lifted her face upwards, checking it over for signs of damage. There were a few minor cuts here and there and her right eye seemed blackened as if someone had punched her. Every wound would be avenged.
"What are you waiting for then?" Dom mocked, her tall shoes clicking against the ground as she paced, swinging her weapon in wide circles "A lady never starts a fight. Your move." She was cackling madly now.
"I'm fine. I promise." Sweet Girl gave a faltering smile that contradicted with the frightened tears snaking down her cheeks.
"This is all just too sweet." Dom called out in a singsong voice. "But I'd like to murder the both of you now, if you don't mind?"
At this, I turned again, pushing my girl safely behind me. Dom was grinning now, her eyes glowing like fire with pure hatred. I widened my stance, swinging my scythe in an arc through the air, the mechanics of my arm humming blissfully.
"I assume this means you're finally ready?" she raised a penciled eyebrow, positioning her own weapon in front of her, standing tall on those stupid spiked shoes. In answer, I bolted forward with a silent scream, swinging at her with the sharp end of my weapon. She dodged it, returning the swipe to which I easily avoided with a simple hop in the air. "Oh, this is going to be so much fun." She laughed madly before swinging at me again.
The rushing wind disguised the clash of metal on metal as we went back and forth, swinging and blocking and aiming to kill. I'd show her what it meant to screw with the people I loved. People, meaning My Little Sweet Girl.
This would be the last of the evil Dominatrix. Since the last time we'd met I'd become much stronger. She, however, had stayed almost the same. I knew every move she'd make and before I knew it, I had the advantage, making her move backwards along the edge of the cliff. Her evil grin had turned to a grimace long ago and sweat was beading across the forehead.
With one quick blow, I knocked her right shoulder with my blade, drawing a thin line of red blood. She screamed, charging forward with her weapon held in one hand, the other balled into a fist aiming straight towards my face. It connected with my nose with a sickening crunch and I gasped, staggering backwards. The pain shot quickly through my head and hot blood dripped over my lips, making a gulp of air taste of salt and iron.
"Now that the score is evened-"Dom grunted, her blade swinging in my direction again. I swept right back into action and our dance continued. She was grunting now, with every swing at me. The length of our blades clashed together time after time. I swung my scythe lower, aiming for her feet and she jumped upwards, avoiding the blow. I tried again, this time a bit higher and she just barely managed to dodge that as well.
It was when our blades were crossed between us that something exploded behind us, causing a horrible, familiar scream. I turned in time to see my sweet girl being thrown backwards, over the edge of the red cliff"
"Landmines. Aren't they spectacular?" Dom grinned through her pathetic scowl. I pushed against her with everything I had, knocking her off her feet and into the dust as I ran after my girl. My jets screamed in protest as I forced them to maximum power, leaping off the rocks and into the seemingly endless abyss underneath. I fell, listening to the shrieking wind as it cut around my body.
Seconds turned into eternity before I caught up with my Girl, flailing through the air helplessly. I caught onto her loose clothes, swinging her into my arms. Fire shot down my back as I urged us upwards. Sweet Girl's arms wrapped around my shoulders desperately. I cradled her with one arm, stretching out the mechanical arm. It hissed and turned, transforming into the cannon it was meant to be as we flew upwards.
It was time to finish this.
My girl's face pressed hard into my neck as I loomed over the rocky cliffs. Dom was waiting, sneering up at me with her blade poised at her side. My cannon was raised, targeting her. With a blip that signified she was locked in, I tensed and fired.
To see her body falling limply against the red stone was the only reason I hovered there a moment longer.