So hi. I was originally going to write something far more shippy but it turned out to be more friendship based. 'Gunshow' is what I call Demoman/Soldier and I do hope to write more aside from this short little thing. Concrit is always appreciated, hope you all enjoy.
The production line was neat and organised. Efficient. It had to be to produce the best in robotics. Only the best would do in the conquest of Mann Co.
As such, these robots were based upon the best in their fields; scouting, engineering, espionage and so on. The mercenaries hired by RED and BLU were studied intensely by researchers, the findings passed onto the programmers behind the scenes. Every detail was noted. Every physical and mental trait was to be programmed into the robots with only one modification; unquestioning loyalty to Gray Mann and his ambitions.
The robots were usually deactivated until they were dispatched at their destination, waves of attack and chosen route already implanted into what could be called their minds. But no matter how perfect the machine, there will inevitably be errors. Bugs, human mistakes along the line that may only hinder or completely break the design. It was highly unlikely that two of the machines would power up ahead of schedule. It was extremely unlikely it would be these two in particular.
With a shudder and several loud whirrs and clanks a Demoman bot sat up, eye glowing bright in the dark of the rumbling carrier. All was silent, save the soft humming of the newly awaken robot and the dull roar of the carrier’s engine. He was to be in the fifth wave. As none of the other robots were gone, he was not due out yet. He had some time to himself. And no idea what to do with himself. There was no alcohol to consume as he would normally do before battle.
Thankfully, before he could think about that statement properly, he heard something else. The groan of stiff steel joints stretching. Another light flared into life as a Soldier bot twitched and shook to attention. It jerked upright, twisting it’s torso from side to side to evaluate its surroundings. He was due to attack in the third wave so, upon seeing the others still ‘sleeping’, he grumbled and stood up. Moving past the active Demobot, he clanked over to the weapon’s rack before stopped abruptly, only then registering that the Demoman was there.
‘Why are you awake?’ He demanded, tromping to stand in front of him. Demoman tilted his body to look up to the slit of light emitting from under the Soldier’s helmet.
‘I dunno! Why are you up?’ They looked at each other in silence as Soldier attempted to find some suitable explanation. Failing, he grumbled and clattered back to his seat, looking over his rocket launcher. An awkward silence fell between the two robots.
Being constructed from second-hand information and programmed with slightly altered memories meant that both were aware of their soured friendship. But why was it soured? They both worked for Gray. Yet they weren’t permitted to be friends and were offered weapons to turn against each other. They had fought and didn’t speak to each other as they used to. But it didn’t make sense. The memories were jarring and fuzzy at best, static buzzing over the visuals when either tried to focus on the details.
It was the Demoman who rose first, noisily stepping between the other machines to stand next to the Soldier. ‘I never thought you were a soulless monster.’ He offered, Scottish accent tinged with electricity. The Soldier turned and looked up at him jerkily. Awkwardly sitting beside him, the Demoman continued. ‘I didn’t want to fight you.’
Another hush fell. Both robots were now looking at their knees. The carrier rumbled and bounced on. The Soldier spoke.
‘We should still be friends.’ He had stated it frankly, as a fact. They should still be friends. He couldn’t remember why they shouldn’t be friends and he couldn’t think of what could come between them.
‘You’re right!’ Quite suddenly the cyclops robot swung an arm around the other, ‘Friends forever!’ The Soldier was quick to return the embrace, twisting and rotating both arms around the Demoman. The hug became affectionate roughhousing, the two of them noisily pushing and pulling and grabbing until they finally ended up in a heap on the floor, laughing and still play-fighting.
Neither really knew what hatchet was being buried. Their only guides in this interaction were weak memories; as such they remembered being very happy as friends, utterly hurt and saddened when not friends. It was logical to be friends then, especially since whatever tore them apart evidently wasn’t important enough to be slotted into their minds.
They ended up lying side by side on the floor. Soldier bot casually pushed his arm around Demobot’s shoulders, a move which was reciprocated immediately. There wasn’t much to discuss. Despite being built with the knowledge of hobbies and personal interests, they lacked the means to enjoy them. All the robots from Gray’s production line had one purpose, the war against Mann Co. Anything not connected to work simply wouldn’t be talked about or even thought about in great detail.
So they simply lay, side by side, waiting for the carrier to come to a stop. When it did they would return to their places and pick up their weapons, waiting for the signal of each wave. When the Soldier robot left with his clones he would rotate on his waist to give an angular salute to the Demobot, who would salute back with less military precision. In some far corner of their memory, thoughts of a later would flicker; tours of gravelpits, tickets to gunshows, a trip to Vegas. It was all meaningless. Even in the instance they both survived, their programming would hold such thoughts as only static ideas.
But at this moment they had enough. No words, no plans, no thoughts. Just a casual embrace with their best friend and the feeling of being content as the robot carrier rumbled on, slowly approaching the end of it’s course.
I like it a lot! A nice piece, it made me smile. The only thing that comes close to a complaint is that I spotted a typo or two. Maybe just one, I don't have a terribly reliable memory.
What a wonderful bittersweet piece, I loved it.
D'aww. A perfect moment.
( I put sage i the password and email fields, I hope one of them works or I'm stumped )
Thank you all for your kind words!
If you can point them out to me, I'll be sure to keep them in mind. I wasn't able to spot any when I checked it - it might be because I'm using british english, so there's a few differences between the british and american spellings.