The sun shone brightly over the Californian desert. Clouds were hazing over the bright, blue sky.
On the ground below was Guy-Manuel, an exile from a nearby town. Humanity had a price, it seemed, and to the townspeople, that price was banishment.
To Guy-Man, however, the price was much higher.
He looked on a few yards ahead of him. His whole body was shaking, and he could feel a burning rush through his veins. Very slowly, he made his way over to that at which he was looking: the shards of his friend, Thomas.
As Guy-Man walked, he felt himself trembling.
Is it…? It can’t….
How is this real?
Guy-Man eventually reached the epicentre of the explosion. There, he looked down and saw the remnants of his friend’s helmet. For a moment, the golden robot could not process what he was seeing. After a moment, though, things began to come to him.
I can’t believe… I… did that, he thought. I… I caused that.
How could I?
One by one, he began gathering up the scattered shards, the pieces of his friend.
I… I had no choice, right? he thought, bringing an armful of metal scraps close to his heart before putting them were Thomas’ visor had melted.
He… he asked me to do it, he thought. I mean, I… I… I had no….
A sudden rush through his body brought him upright. He grabbed a piece of Thomas’ corpse so firmly that he felt as though it might break.
Fuck that! he wanted to scream.
I had a choice! Even then, I had a choice!
And I chose… I chose to kill my best friend.
Guy-Man’s chest tensed up, radiating pain all the way to his back. Gently, he put the piece he was holding onto Thomas’ pile.
Soon, all of the remains had been gathered up. Guy-Man kneeled as he put the final piece of his friend on top of the makeshift monument. He lowered his head while the pain in his body grew stronger still.
I wish this weren’t real, he thought. I wish… I wish this were all some horrible dream.
Some tear ducts sure would be great right now.
He gazed at his friend before him.
Oh, Thomas…. Guy-Man meditated. I would plant every piece of you right here, if I thought that could bring you back. I would cultivate a garden of you, if that could bring you back.
Guy-Man straightened up for a moment.
Did that even make sense? he wondered, before deciding: It doesn’t matter.
Fucking hell, I killed my best friend.
The robot looked upwards. The sun was setting, and the clouds were becoming a stark shade of grey.
I can’t stay here forever, he thought. He looked back down at Thomas’ rubble.
But I can’t take you with me.
Guy-Man was struck still. After a brief moment, he bowed his head all the way down to the ground.
I guess this is where we take our leave, he thought to his friend.
Goodbye, Thomas. I love you.
Guy-Man then got up. He looked at the sun, and he began walking westward. He did not stop his trek until the night had passed, and a new day had dawned. By this point, he was miles away from his former town, and he was miles away from his former friend.
He was alone.
He looked around.
This... doesn’t feel right, he observed. This isn’t right. I should be around….
His chest froze up at that thought while the sun beamed down on him. He knew very well what was wrong.
I fucked up so badly, he finally thought.
How… how can I fix this?
A pain shot up through his neck. He knew.
I can’t, he thought. It is too late.
I… I have gone too far.
That is when he got down on his knees and took off his jacket.
Oh Lord, my God, have mercy on me, a sinner, he prayed silently. As he did this, he lowered his head to the ground and scrambled to find the switch on his back. The switch that would end it all. The switch that would bring peace and justice to the world.
Oh Lord, my God, have mercy on me, a sinner, he repeated internally as he fumbled for the switch. His upper body radiated a sharp, stabbing feeling. With this, the robot got up.
I can’t reach it, he thought. It’s pointless.
He paused for a moment. Still on his knees, he removed his helmet, revealing his motherboard.
Lord God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
With that prayer, he began smashing his helmet onto the ground.
-- have mercy on me –
-- a vile –-
-- foul –-
-- wretched –-
That is when his helmet shattered into many smaller pieces.
What to do now? he wondered. He looked up at the sky, and then he grabbed a piece of his broken visor.
Maybe the sun can help.