CW: Hypnosis, mind break, Identity Death, Vore?
“Callsign V3, ready for entrance. Are we clear?”
Radio static crackled. The thing was due for a repair soon, but it was good enough for what it could do.
“Clear for takeoff. Coast is clear and warp gate ready.”
V3 closed it’s eyes as it read over the dossier, and repeated the phrase, “Drought.”
A red light lit up on the burning yellow gate.
A blue light lit up.
A third green light lit up and the gate opened. Brilliant neon lights frozen in an ever living city shone back through the portal and V3 took a moment to run diagnostics. Everything Running properly. It had it’s target. And it had it’s gate. With a deep breath, the machine took a step through.
The City of Holybranch blared on a Sunday night. Advertisements from brightly lit neon signs blared at passerby’s as they screamed at them to buy some sort of cybernetic mod that would please their partner in bed. A hoodie was pulled tight around V3’s face, keeping itself safe from the bustling entertainment hellscape that people with stars in their eyes called home. Everyone who wanted to be someone lived in Holybranch and v3 was no exception. Though in different ways from the people there.
Her target was a girl. Just a normal girl. Imogene Soloman. Some CEO of a nobody talent company. She was important to the timeline, at least this one. Grows up to run the company to the stars, and starts threatening the cosmic weave that V3 called home. Just another Tuesday for an inter-dimensional wanderer.
V3 wandered into Imogene’s place of work and found a door off to the side leading to a staircase. Pale grey concrete stared back as she walked in. carefully gloved hands covered in scraps of fabric and other various bits and pieces concealed the mass of wires and bits of forgotten tech left behind that made up her body.
A pesky alert flickered up her vision through the HUD on her body.
Goddammit. V3 had forgotten to fill up before she left. Well time to find her target and get rid of her in the messy way. She was almost there.
Imogene was just some businesswoman. A lowly blue collar office worker with nothing but a job, a gun, and delusions of grandeur that she herself would make do on. Okay so maybe they weren’t delusions. Maybe they were dreams that she wanted to see to fruition and she would do so by any means necessary. Regardless. She was dangerous. A thread that needed to be cut. Removed. Excised like a tumor in the grand tapestry of reality.
She circled another flight of steps and the telltale sound of a door locking told her that her target was in sight. Imogene stood tall, bright red hair pulled back in a ponytail. The stress and lack of sleep shown on her face. She was a workaholic in almost every dimension the two of them met.
“Oh excuse me, we’re closed for the day, you need to leave.” Customer service voice. Typical.
V3 looked the woman up and down. Suit, sidearm concealed in a jacket pocket, knife in the back, and one hell of a screamer.
Imogene spoke up again, “Excuse me, I said you need to leave.”
V3 looked around. The stone cemented staircase spiraled up, any sound made in here would echo. The whole building would hear it.
“Are you listening? I said-”
V3 lowered her hood. The lady’s face went pale.
“Hm? Is something the matter?” v3 shot back.
“You’re one of them.”
V3 took a step forward, “One of what.”
“Those living scrap heaps.”
V3 rolled her digital eyes, “Yeah? You know about me? Do you know what I can do?”
The lady reached for her sidearm. Stock revolver. Nothing special. Shame. In her home world Imogene had better taste. How many times had she played this exact scene out in countless other timelines. Every single time this one fucking lady. Every single time it was a different company, different house, different location, different city. It didn’t matter. It was always the same revolver. The same six shooter. At this point v3 collected them. Time slowed down. It’s hand shot out and snapped around her wrist.
Time returned to normal.
The machine spun Imogene around and pinned her to the wall. The revolver fell to the ground.
“Fucking monster.” The word spat out of her mouth like knives.
The Machine God ate knives for breakfast.
Knife like teeth split it’s face in two as it’s swirling chainsaw mouth tore into her shoulder.
Imogene’s screams echoed through the stairwell. She pulled her mouth away, blood dripping into fuel reservoirs. It’s face sealed shut and V3 let out a sigh,
“Aggression Detected. Activating Combat mode. Protocols Bypassed. Thank you for playing. Your trial version of ‘Good-Robot’ has ended. Please insert 200 credits to continue ‘Good_Robot.’
Imogene let out a bloodcurdling scream. Painful wails echoed through the stairwell. Clattering of footsteps above told her exactly what she needed to hear. Shadows were coming. Just what she needed. To make a scene. Perfect for the spread of The Connection.
V3 leaned up close to Imogene’s ears, her voice perfectly simulated Imogene’s own, “Nobody can help you Imogene. You’re just going to die here. Alone. And no one will be able to save you. Your body will rot at the bottom of this stairwell, and nobody will ever find you. You will die. Alone. Unloved. And unknown.”
Adrenaline pulsed through Imogene’s body. She closed her eyes and gritted her teeth, “I will sooner forsake the heavens than let a machine lifeform like you consume me into your unholy body.” She swung her head backwards and smashed it against V3’s faceplate. Cracks rippled through the digital display.
An eye appeared and a red tear slowly dripped from it,
“Love the Machine God. Love the Machine God. Love The Machine God. Love the Machine God.”
V3 let go, she was always down for a bit of play at the beginning. Let the tension rise. Give herself a bit of a string of tension to let the little ones think they were in control. Put a silly hat on a doll, give herself the confidence to kill god. Let her loose in a city and watch the thing pull itself apart before the first person it changed. And of course, it had to be her. In the now. And in every timeline, This lady. This Imogene somehow found a way to stop her. But cosmic harmony must be maintained. With the death of Bahumut, so many rules got shattered. So many divine decrees crumbled, and all that was left was that rift. That beautiful rift left behind and the world was the oyster.
Footsteps echoed from above as she let her prey get away. Let her have the feeling of freedom for just a moment. Let her think she could get away and be free out there in the world.
Imogene’s breath raced. What was she doing. Her gun was gone. She knew what those things could do. She was going to die and no one would find her. She would die alone in this stupid decrypt stairwell. Or… A door appeared. She reached for the handle. Locked. She was just a business woman. Just someone trying to live. What was it about these machines. Where did this one come from. They were plentiful in Eden but here, they were supposed to be rare. Why her? Had she thrown out the wrong piece of equipment? Tossed aside the incorrect machine. She thought she had treated technology well but something had to have been wrong. These only happened to bad people and she was trying so hard to be good. The adrenaline took over again. Blood pumped. Her hands felt like they were moving of her own volition. She pulled out the multitool in her pocket and flipped it to her lock picking tools. The footsteps above might provide a distraction for a moment maybe.
She shoved the tool in and began listening closely. Up above her she found her salvation in the form of a distraction for a Hungry Machine.
V3 looked up to the innocent bystanders approaching her. She hoped they would bite. She hoped they would they would be the aggressor. That let the restraints unlock.
The annoying tooltip returned on her HUD
V3 turned around to face the trio of men who were in over their heads and it’s cracked digital display morphed into a brilliant red circle with a single solitary dot at the center. White rings filled in the area to show a target on it’s face.
“Who me?” Her voice modulator shifted, the sound of a bitter teenager spilled out her voice
“It can speak!”
“Oh I can do a lot more than that Darling. Do you want to see?”
V3’s digital display plate slid up, revealing four individual segmented pieces showing a gaping maw. Teeth lowered out of the edges and began spinning as a whirling chainsaw of blades looked back up at her.
The voice modulator in it’s body changed suddenly to the voice of a toddler.
“I happen to think I’m adorable.” V3 bounded up the stairs, inches away from the bystander’s face, “Do you want to die today? Because I think humans are very tasty and I would love to know just what you taste like. Can I have some of your yummy yummy blood please?”
The boy in front of her collapsed. A child’s laugh played out of a speaker.
The cackle of a child that morphed slowly into that of a grown woman as it leaked out of a nearby speaker.
V3 was a machine lifeform. But she wasn’t any machine lifeform. She was a Child of the Machine God, which often lent her special abilities. Simple tech manipulation really. A child could do it if they knew how to read.
The speaker died down and the boys in front of her turned to run.
Ah, fear. Something to thrive on, even if she was a bit disappointed at the lack of lunch V3 looked down the stairwell and it’s eye slowly mellowed down to a singular red dot.
“Target rich environment but no takers. Unfortunate. Time to descend! Target is escaping.”
It let go of the railings giving it a place to stand and let gravity do it’s work.
Air blew up past the machine god as it’s scraps of clothing and trash fluttered upwards revealing the mass of wires, pistons and parts smashed together that lay underneath. A horrible cacophony of trash and scrapped parts held together by the love of a kind and wondrous entity that even she did not understand.
The moment of falling always felt so good. The feeling in your chest as the remaining fuel skyrocketed to the top of your body and for a brief moment the fuel intake lost it’s ability to keep you going. The freefall, the rush, the skirting on the edge of death wondering if you could make it to the target before your body ceased to function.
And then it saw her again. Cords, chargers, and wires shot out to slow a descent as the grinding scrapping of metal latched against concrete. The screeching of metal deafened Imogene and she covered her ears. The Machine god climbed up the stairs and faced Imogene once more as the door gave way and she ran through to another building.
V3’s voice shifted to a multi layered falsetto,
“Hello again. Did you enjoy your run? Oh, leaving so soon? But we’ve only just begun to play!”
Her feet carried her forward, heart pounding out of her chest as she pulled down a display stand to try and block the door behind her. Imogene found herself in the second floor, a place rented out by a financial company that sold cheap furniture with predatory loans attached to them. She couldn’t remember the name.
V3 stared at the door in front of her. She reached into her body of wires and pulled out a broken hand drill. She pulled off a glove revealing a series of electrical wires. Snapping the drill in half she plugged it into her hand and watched as it the drill bit begun to spin. She pressed it against the hinge. The sound of screeching metal began ringing through the stairwell once more as she took a deep breath. Music.
The first hinge cracked.
Imogene darted forward, looking for anything. Any sort of weapon. She had been here before. Corporate assassins were pretty normal all things considered. Though normally they were people. Things that bled. Things that could die if you shot or stabbed them enough times. Machine lifeforms were different. Sometimes a mass of wires and forgotten tech became possessed by something and all that you could do was hope that some kind Reaper would take care of them before they turned your neighborhood into porcelain.
Imogene ducked into a break room. Perfect. Fire extinguisher… first aid kit… Silverware, perfect. She was pretty handy. She reached into the first aid kit, and pulled out a roll of bandages and gauze. A few wraps here, a few tweaks of the multitool and she had a makeshift silverware gun out of the materials around her.
She took a deep breath and pointed the makeshift gun at the entryway to the breakroom.
The second hinge cracked.
V3 wrapped it’s cords and wires around the door and with a quick POP, pulled the door away. Sure it was crude, but why not take her time. Let the illusion of control and power persist. Her body collapsed back into a humanoid shape and the cracked display plate slid back down and a smiley face appeared on it, “Come heeeeeere Imogene, I just want to talk.”
“Oh, I’m a great conversationalist. How about baseball this season? Have you been keeping up with the Holybranch Strikers? I hear they’re the favorite to win this season.”
“Error. Sports engine offline. Please pick new topic. How about Murder?”
V3 took a few steps forward, Ocular sensors and audio processors at the ready as it scanned the room around it. Heartbeat… Somewhere.
She turned to the right down a hallway. A cubicle wall slammed against her, crushing her body against a wall.
The mass of wires crumpled to the ground and another crack on the digital display showed.
Her body slowly reformed itself, wires reached out against bits of glass and it shoved a calculator back up against it’s flesh as it pulled it’s body up against the wall. Blood dripped down against the floor. It’s fuel tank was cracked. Great.
“Great Idea! How about yours?”
V3 giggled, “Oh excellent, thank you for asking. Unfortunately I’m here to kill you and it’ll take a little bit more than a piece of metal and fabric to kill me. We’re made of tougher stuff than that.”
V3 took a step forward, and looked through the open doorway on her right.
Imogene screamed and fired her makeshift gun. A metal fork embedded itself in the digital display. Black ichor oozed out the screen. V3 turned it’s body and looked at Imogene, Oh fun! You made a toy!”
Imogene darted forward, fueled by adrenaline and kicked the V3 square in the chest. She leaned backwards into the blow and tossed out a plug around a sink, ripping it out of the wall as she smashed against a glass window. Cracks spiraled out behind her in shifting fractal patterns. She felt it coming. V3 laughed as code spiraled into her body from an unknown source and she Felt the Machine God Arrive.
A second shot rang out. This version was full of surprises. Another gun. Three bullets fired in quick succession burst open the metal chassis on the Machine God. It cocked it’s head as a hideous low metallic laugh rolled out of it’s mouth. Blood seeped from the gunshot as it’s fuel tank began to seep more blood. The Machine cackled and pulled itself to it’s feet pistons hissed from it’s legs as it propelled itself forward with sheer momentum of the bloody steam remaining in it’s body.
Cords shot out from V3. All or nothing. Either she died or Imogene did.
V3 laughed and pulled itself forward by a cord and extended it’s hand out slowly tracing an open wound across Imogene’s Face. Blood pooled into the Machine God’s fingers and seconds were added to a clock. “Do you really think bullets can stop me? Do you even know what it is that you’re looking at?”
Imogene stared the machine lifeform and cast it’s gaze downwards, “A monster. A vile inhuman monster.”
“I’m a pile of scrap lady. And apparently that’s your worst nightmare. In any case. I can only act in self defense. Please insert 200 credits to continue “Good Robot.”
Imogene smashed the butt of the gun against V3’s digital display. More black ooze seeped out.
The digital display showed an X across it’s face. “Unfortunate. That is not 200 credits. Please prepare to die.”
The Machine God wrapped it’s Cords around Imogene, pulling her tighter into her grasp, until her broken digital display was just inches away from her, as teeth slowly began to swirl around and a whirling tornado of blades opened up threatening to consume her.
“Blood is fuel. It’s not my fault you’re filled with such delicious blood. Have you considered removing all your blood and giving it to me? Letting me eat every last drop of you until your shriveled little girlflesh is useless again?”
Imogene screamed, “HELP! PLEASE OH MY GOD SOMEONE HELP”
The Machine God cocked it’s head to the left and slowly pushed it’s teeth inches from the girl’s face,
“No one is coming to help you. You’re all on your own.”
Imogene whimpered. As she opened her mouth to speak her cheek brushed past a blade cutting it open and bringing blood into the machine God’s mouth. A tube with teeth at the end shot out, It shot forward and bit down on Imogene’s bottom lip and let it’s subroutines take over, extracting any additional fuel it could to power it’s own burning heart.
Imogene screamed in terror, her heart beating out of her chest. Surrender wasn’t there. The woman still had fight in her. She smashed hands against the Machine God’s Body. They were weakening but her will was unbreakable.
The pain was exquisite. The blood was incredible. It seeped down into her fuel tanks and filled up her soul with utter bliss. The taste, the feeling of warm liquid seeping through her body, burning and churning the infernal engine inside of her as it screeched to life from fuel into power. She pulled her auxiliary mouth out and it wrapped back into her body. Subroutines started running back to life as the fuel screamed through her body.
Imogene, light headed and dizzy pushed at the Machine God.
“Excellent! Your struggle has been noted. Please insert 200 credits to continue your subscription to Good Robot Red. This is no longer negotiable”
The teeth closed up and the sheer reflective surface of the machine slid down as a brilliant x with a swirling kaleidoscope of colors shone down brilliantly into the girls eyes as her will began to break. blood seeped out of her open wounds and into the waiting receptacles that was the machine’s infernal engine.
Imogene screamed in her head. Something was looking at her. Bright brilliant white teeth in swirling patterns stared back into her eyes as the Will of the Machine god spoke into the truth of her soul. It spoke of her fate, her destiny that she could have been if she had just been stronger, just been better, just been less stupid. She screamed her heart out as cords and hooks dug deeper and deeper into her body outside. But the outside world wasn’t real. Not anymore it wasn’t. Spiraling diamonds took over the mind of the only persistent girl the Cosmic Weave had ever seen. Every timeline. Every single area. She was there. The two of them locked in eternal battle that at this point was just a way for them to keep in touch. The machine god poured her will into the soul, wrapping it up in yellow wires and circuitry as Imogene’s self began to get smaller and smaller.
Arms outside slowly went limp as any humanity Imogene had left began to fade. The machine smiled and once more she was the victor. The X disappeared and a mouth opened up, splitting it’s face in two as it leaned down to her shoulder and bit down into the bloodstream.
V3 felt the presence leave, once more the possession over as clarity came. Fuel returned into it’s body. The Beast would be abated for now.
Fuel. Precious fuel once more filled the her bod and it’s emergency mode began to power down and functions returned to normal. Cracks and bullet holes in V3’s chassis slowly sealed shut as healing routines from a chip it had stolen turned back online. The machine reached into the depths of it’s body and disconnected from the Imogene’s mouth. A small diamond was pulled out. The machine said a quick prayer in binary and shoved the diamond down into their shoulder. The diamond crystallized the wound and cauterized, as bright red circuitry began to cover the woman’s body. She probably wouldn’t last another day without her help anyways. It wasn’t anything but a cheap trick passed down from a forgotten dimension it had wandered in from. An easily preventable virus from the dimension it was from, but here it was a death sentence. No magic meant no cure. Soon all would be part of the Machine God’s Connection in this timeline.
Imogene’s Body laughed,
“You always love to have fun.”
The Machine God joined in on the laughter,
“Knew you would be in there soon enough.”
“How was that one? Good enough for that thirsty soul of yours? Did you have fun, Trickster? Did you like your toy?”
The Machine God laughed,
“You always make the best, Conductor.”
“Well it’s only the best for my beloved.”
“Love you Conductor.”
“Love you Machine God.”
Imogene smiled at V3 as control was released in both bodies. V3’s machine form crumpled to pieces as the connection was suddenly int erupted and the pieces fell back into the garbage it was made out of.
Imogene’s body laughed and slowly rose to it’s feet. It looked down at v3’s hoodie left behind and slowly pulled it over it’s body. Another timeline entered, another Machine to fill the hole left behind.