R-0 was created with the task of being a slave of war, a mindless tool in the midst of a hostile takeover. She had been planned, constructed, and given orders to kill whoever dared to oppose the organization that had essentially created her.
She was the perfect soldier, carrying out her duties without remorse nor human emotion just as she was made to be. At first, she was considered the organization's finest achievement, the emotionless doll who obeyed every order her superiors gave.
Until she began to understand what 'freedom' was...
The researchers of the science facility had planned on giving their newly constructed droid artificial intelligence, but decided against it. After all, who hasn't read those science fiction novels where the robot eventually rebelled against their creators? Never made a pretty sight in make-believe and it certainly wouldn't be good in real life. So in case their newest creation actually learned what 'human' emotion was (slim chance though it may have been), they never activated the A.I. chip that was installed in their creation's 'brain'. She would be nothing else but a mindless doll to their boss anyways, what did they care?
Except some people had other thoughts and one particularly peculiar individual saw fit to take matters into his own hands. So it was no surprise to find this certain individual standing in front of the currently unresponsive android, a wry smile in place. The scientists had always been too paranoid for their own good and had demanded that security cameras be forbidden inside the labs, but that would be their downfall, for that didn't mean that outsiders wouldn't be able to enter at their own leisure.
They think he's dead. He murmured more to himself rather than to the unmoving metal contraption before him. After all, they gave me the order and they know I always succeed.
And here, his smile turned into an almost feral smirk, his hand reaching out to touch one of the android's hands. No response and the metal was cool to the touch. But I know what that man will do now. he continued, fingers running over one of the cold steel digits. I didn't kill him for a reason. He's already gained his own freedom and soon, he'll try to give this city its freedom through what little he can do.
He pulled his hand back and strode over to one of the consoles that monitored the android's statistics and curiously inspected it for a moment. Android R-0. he read before shaking his head slightly. The science department never had been creative with names, he thought, before he lowered his hands down onto the keyboard and with a few keystrokes, accessed their database. A few more taps and he quickly exited out of everything, making it seem as though it had never been touched in the first place before turning back to Android R-0.
There was still no response, but that was alright for he had completed what he had come here for. With another glance at the droid, he turned around and walked out of the labs, smile set in place. And on the screen of the recently used console flashed an alert once, twice, three times, before it returned back to normal.
A.I. chip activated
Now, make things interesting, Android R-0.
The organization known as Legion was no small group. It comprised of many grunts and soldiers, all brainwashed by their leader's false declarations of an even better future for the city of Atlas. Above the lowly insects that comprised the group's main population were the scientists. Though few in number, they were absolutely brilliant in their inventions and ideas, though the mysterious 'disappearance' of their head scientist placed a daunting hit on the rest of the team's morality and support.
She had left without a trace, though rumour had it that she had been executed under the orders of the 'big boss', though most people believed she had left quietly of her own accord.
Either way, what remained of her ideas had been eagerly expanded on by those who wished to please their leader.
And above the slobbering faithful dogs in white coats were the top six. Six individuals who were given orders directly from the boss himself and carried them out with alarming success. They were the best assassins and mercenaries that the Legion had and were pretty much on top of the food chain (and therefore all of Atlas), able to command any force other than the boss himself.
Well, five, now. There HAD originally been six, but one had rebelled against the Legion's motives (for reasons only he knew) and abandoned the organization. But one couldn't simply walk away from the organization that had swiftly and brutally taken over Atlas without being punished...well, with the exception of the head scientist. She had been clever and sneaky to slip away unnoticed, this man, however.
Of course, he was dealt with accordingly, let's just say...
And of course, it was here that android R-0 had been made, the basic blueprints leftover from the notes of the genius who left. It had taken them years to finally be successful, their failures outnumbering the few successes they have had. R-0 was a huge success and immediately gifted to the big wig leader of the Legion, in which she was given orders to destroy all opposition against the organization that had made her.
And to guard a certain something that laid deep within the farthest confines of the Legion's headquarters...
The odds were definitely against them. Multitudes of armed soldiers, impressively sophisticated machinery, and let alone the headquarters itself was a rollercoaster of hallways, managing to find someway to get inside the Legion's top notch highly guarded complex was as easy as finding a needle in a haystack.
Correction, Ellie thought as she ducked in time, a bullet whizzing by her head and barely grazing her cheek. Finding hay in a needlestack. With lasers. And mines.
Hurry up, Ellie! Her partner, Vandal, called out to her, his figure slightly ahead of her due to his greater stamina. If we don't get out of here, we can kiss our life goodbye!
She scowled and didn't bother to retort, instead concentrating on her breathing as they continued to zigzag their way through the confusing building while dodging the soldiers that chased them from behind. The both of them were lucky that the big six (five, she corrected herself) weren't all that inclined to lend a helping hand in chasing after a few rats that managed to sneak in, however impossible it may seem.
But either way, they had their work cut out for them from just staying away from flying bullets. Luck was on their side, for the hallways were too narrow for all of the soldiers to fit in at one time, therefore the grunts weren't all that keen on shooting in case a wayward shot hit a comrad. In fact, they were paying more attention to not tripping each other rather than on the fleeing couple ahead of them, though eventually the two invaders would tire out.
Dangit. Van muttered in between strangled gasps of breath. We should have listened to Rexies and planned this out better. Ellie struggled to keep up with him, opting instead to save what little breath that she had left. I can't believe this is how I might die... she thought sadly, her mind wandering off to a certain someone. I wish I could have at least seen Nuke one last time.
But luck seemed to indeed be on their side, for just when they turned a corner, a series of events which involved a strangled yell, a tangle of feet, and Vandal had somehow managed to topple into Ellie and knocked them both into a closed metal door. Just before they hit it, however, the door slid smoothly open with a small 'whoosh' and they fell through completely. The doors quickly slid shut again and a tiny green light that had signified its 'unlocked' status turned red and a resulting click could be heard.
The two on the floor waited with bated breath as the pounding of footsteps and of shouts moved past the door and into the distance before both eventually relaxed. Neither of them noticed the shadow behind them quietly exit through another door, a small smile placed firmly on the stranger's face.
Ellie laid still on the cold metal floor, the only movement was her chest as it rapidly rose and fell as she attempted to catch her breath. Her companion was in the same state, his arm draped over his eyes and sweat beaded across his brow, mouth wide open as puffs of air slipped out. She weakly scowled as she halfheartedly punched Van in the arm, his small yelp of surprise briefly satisfying her as she struggled to get up, her legs shaking from too much exertion. Ellie straightened up as her shaking died down before stepping forward a few paces to stare at the door they had entered. A keypad was to the side as well as mechanism that required a keycard to activate, something neither she or her useless companion had. The glaring red light penetrated her vision as it stare unwinkingly back, daring her to try in a foolish attempt at unlocking the door. She sighed before turning away from the steel door, ignoring Van's grumblings of "violent girls" and looked around.
There seems to be something down that hallway. She said to Van as she stepped further into the room to peer into the corridor that was in front of her. At first, it was nothing but darkness, but she could make a faint light...could that be an exit?
Van, hurry up and get your butt over here! Ellie snapped at her slowly moving companion. We need to get out of here before the guards find us again.
Van tsked as he hopped up into an upright position before standing up, stumbling slightly at the numb feeling in his legs. Swearing slightly due to his shaking limbs, he promised himself that if they got out of here alive, he would exercise more at a gym or something, before straightening himself and tenderly walking to where Ellie stood.
Another hallway? He groaned as he shifted his weight slightly to accomodate his legs. Hope there's nothing down there, then. he said with a sneer towards his companion.
Shut up. Ellie snapped back as she headed forward, her quiet footsteps creating a small 'thunking' sound against the metallic floor, the heavier steps of her comrad's shoes behind her. They cautiously made their way through the darkness, the light at the end becoming more visible with each passing step until it almost engulfed their vision.
W...what is this? Ellie asked as she stopped before the source of light. Van remained silent by her side, unable to answer the question that even he didn't know.
In front of them was what seemed to be a large circular light of some kind, its core emitting a slowly pulsing blue light. Veins of light seemed to surround it while pipes crisscrossed everywhere, making the area before it almost hazardous to walk on. For awhile, both intruders stood there, almost hypnotized as they gazed at the strange object, before sudden movement and clunk of heels on metal sounded behind them broke their reverie.They quickly turned around, before Van yelped and stumbled a few paces back. Before them was what seemed to be a human woman with long purple hair and garbed in a purple jumpsuit, blue markings glowing on it. She wore odd goggles while her bangs covered her left eye, whereas some kind of odd fin shaped headgear adorned where her ears should have been. But what petrified them were the two laser guns that she held, one pointed at each of them.
You should not be here. She said in a calm yet emotionless voice, her one-eyed gaze never wavering at her prey. This place is forbidden, especially for intruders such as yourself.
Van gulped loudly, for once unable to think of a witty remark. They were going to die here and he would never be able to see his mother again or pick on Ellie some more or have that nice chicken dinner that he had been so looking forward to or...before his jaw dropped slightly as the female in front of them lowered her weapons. From his peripherals, he could tell that even Ellie wore an almost perplexed look upon her face. The strange woman just tilted her head as though in contemplation before raising one of her weapons, this time pointing to the side in the direction of another hallway.
Go this way she said. And if you keep going, you'll be able to exit safely from the complex. At first, neither Ellie or Van could think of anything to say, until Ellie managed to find her voice again.
How do we know we should trust you? Ellie said, trying to sound firm yet her voice cracked on the word 'trust'. The female gave no response at first, instead opting to just stare at them for a few seconds before replying.
You don't. She said simply before turning around and slowly heading back towards the way they had came. But stay here and I'll be forced to kill you.
There was no reaction at first until Van poked Ellie and quickly shoved her towards the supposed 'exit', mumbling a faint 'thank you!' as the scurried down the direction she had pointed them to. The female stopped, only a few feet away from the odd source of light.
You let them go. A voice said from the side as a man stepped forward from the shadows cast by the pipes that surrounded the area, his mouth set in a tiny smile. Why, exactly? She didn't acknowledge him at first, instead turning to look at him straight on.
You were the one to let them in. She coolly stated before turning back towards the light. It was my choice to let them go. The only reply was a soft chuckle before she heard his almost silent presence exit quietly, leaving her alone in solitude.
Her only companion was the core, the AEGIS that she was commanded to guard, as her body was basked in its steady light.
Contrary to popular belief, the city of Atlas was not powered by natural resources. Instead, it was powered by a single core that was buried deep within what was previously known as the government building, now the Legion's headquarters.
It required large sources of nuclear power, making it glow steadily as it continued to power the city's electricity. Though its power source was dangerous, the core itself was harmless as long as proper security methods were installed. The few who knew of this power source feared, however, that one day an accident would happen and the radioactive chemicals that ran through the core would burst in the future and cause a grand disaster to occur within the city.
That was why it was called the AEGIS, for not only was it dangerous but it was a powerful source of energy. It was with this object that the big boss of Legion had built his vast empire on, for with the only actual source of energy in his hands, he was able to control the entire city under his iron fist.
And it was this that R-0 was commanded to guard against any rat or insect that managed sneak past the guards and find their way here.
She had first met him before she had been set as an almost permanent guard of the AEGIS. One day, she had been told to punish a rather infamous prisoner within the Legion's strongest prison. It was, quite simply, a dungeon of sorts where light was at its minimal and the few that found their way here normally didn't live for long.
Of course, this certain prisoner seemed to THRIVE in such circumstances and even managed to get away with killing a guard or a member of the research team once or twice. And it was this prisoner's cell that she had stopped before, her emotionless gaze staring at a canine-like creature whose wicked claws were covered in flecks of blood while its amber glare came from a skull-like helmet. She silently stood there, contemplating as to what she should do to complete her task, when suddenly a wild cackle rose from the beast's throat.
Sooooo, they made a...doll. He hoarsely said in between his wild and high-pitched chuckles. A plaything for such a devious organization, a soulless creation! And here he succumbed to another loud fit of maniacal laughter.
A doll? She replied quietly, her face giving away no emotion at all. The beast slowly calmed down enough to reply.
Why yes, a doll. He said as the corners of his maw stretched into a savage grin. And what's your name, dear doll? At first there was no reply and the silence between the two seemed to stretch on until she responded.
Android R-0. She almost seemed to hesitate, as though realizing for the first time that it wasn't actually a name, just a number that the scientists gave her. The beast had apparently thought the same thing, for he seemed to tsk in disappointment.
To be expected from a group of uncreative egocentric maniacs he responded before he stood up and paced in his cell. Ever since that one left the Legion, they haven't done anything that's worth mentioning! Oh how I miss those conversations with that girl. R-0 tilted her head, as though curious as to what the crazed creature was saying, though her face remained uninterested. The creature stopped in his pacing and chuckled again.
Well, now, little doll he said as he sat down on his haunches and stared at her with his haunted eyes. My name is Cheranjeevi, Cheran for short.
She nodded once, her eyes still not betraying any emotion, though she silently repeated his name to herself. I was told to punish you for murdering another one of the employees from the science department. Cheran laughed once more.
Punish me? He howled in his uncontrollable fits. They wish they could think of a suitable punishment to force me to behave, but I've been here for far too long and have experienced far too much to care anymore. You can do your worst, but it won't stop me from wreaking havoc from this very cell. He smirked at her.
She gave no reply and stood only in silence as she continued to stare at this strange creature before her. After what felt like several minutes, Cheran gave a sigh of what sounded like...boredom.
Qovann. He said. R-0 only gazed at him curiously. How about I call you Qovann? Sounds suitable. R-0 is far too boring for my tastes.
A...name? She asked, her eyes widening slightly before she regained her composure. She had never thought of giving herself a name before, let alone anyone else thinking of a name for her. Cheran only yawned tiredly before laying back down on the floor of the cell.
Leave me be, dear doll. He said as he rolled onto his back and stretched his limbs out. I doubt this will be our last meeting, so until next time, dear Qovann. Cheran yawned again before rolling over, his back now facing the android. She stood there for a few seconds before turning back from whence she came, her digital mind reeling with thoughts she had never though of before.
A name...a name...
R-0 had never had a sense of individuality, mainly because her creators never felt the need to have a self-thinking android.
After all, a soulless contraption made for a merciless mercenary, a perfect being to do their bidding. However, due to the interference of an unknown man, R-0's artificial intelligence chip had been activated without their knowing. They had previously toyed with the idea of using the chip to allow their android to understand the world better, therefore carrying out her orders with absolute success, however, the mere thoughts of possible repercussions caused them to trash the idea. The chip was installed during their planning process, but was never planned to be used.
Of course, they never knew that it had been activated for her 'learning' state was a slow process and she hid her thoughts and whatever feelings she could conjure up well. And because they never knew her true intentions, it was easy for her to carry out her own plans.
And so, Qovann was created from the slow, but growing knowledge of the world around her. Though still a stranger to emotions, there were periods of time where she could actually 'feel' something.
In a sense, Qovann had built a sense of individuality slowly through her interactions with other, though what this would result to, not even the clever prisoner would know. Though he did have a few predictions...
With the new dictatorial regime, it was to the surprise of nobody that rebellions would arise. People who refused to bow down to the rules set by the Legion quickly rioted the streets, demanding for the return of the old government rule. The riots escalated until the streets were reigned by chaos and disorder became the most prominent fiend in the city.
Discord would have continued had it not been for the Legion's quick response. Those that opposed were shown no mercy and those who lead the rebellions were swiftly eliminated in public so as to squash any remaining thoughts of opposition against the new rule.
The cowardly, yet intelligent citizens knew there was no hope and made their own strategic retreat so as to not attract the Legion's attention, though there were still citizens who secretly planned out rebellions. Most were taken care of before they even knew what hit them and the battles against the organization all ended in failure. The new ruler of Atlas seemed to be unstoppable, until one of the top 6 abandoned his position and left the organization that he had once been loyal for. Of course, the leader had no qualms of eliminating former subordinates and so the order was carried out quickly and successfully.
Well, successfully it would have been, had the agent that he sent actually killed the traitor. His cunning demeanor only showed in the smirk on his face as he let his once fellow comrade live, though with a souvenir of sorts in the form of a blossoming red lily that seeped through the man's clothes on his left shoulder, mere inches away from his heart.
It had been raining that day and as the would-be murderer's shadow faded from view, so too did the wounded man's consciousness. The last thing he heard was the pounding of footsteps and distant shouts of outrage before he felt a sudden strike on his leg and a yelp of surprise...
R-0, well, Qovann as she had been 'fondly' named, had continued to visit the prisoner that referred to himself as 'Cheran' more and more often. The conversations to here were interesting, for never had she heard of such things as the sky or other lands. Actually, anything outside of the Legion's headquarters was a mystery to her, a new world so to say.
And Cheran seemed delighted in his new captive audience. She didn't know what exactly he was and when she had pondered the question out loud, he only chuckled and answered that it was best she didn't know. The only thing she had managed to glean while standing guard as researchers regularly sedated the beast and drew blood samples was that he had been an experiment of some kind. They had wished to create a perfect weapon (before her own creation), and though he bore remarkable rates of survival and adaptation towards his environment and a noticeable evolution in strength and speed, it hadn't weakened his resolve to rebel as much as he could against his captors. In fact, if anything else, the experiments and torture methods had only strengthened it and his degrading sanity had only ended with him being forever caged in the deepest dungeons the building had.
Of course, this never stopped Cheran from lashing out and managing to kill one or two people when they attempted to subdue him. He was cunning and plotted out different ways to create whatever havoc he could while in the confines of his cell.
She didn't know why she almost continuously found her way here, but Qovann seemed to almost...enjoy her talks with the barely sane creature. He kept her curiosity piqued with each passing conversation and even when she wasn't supposed to guard the experiment, she still visited the trapped being. Cheran kept her amused with his stories and memories of the outside world, though anything pertaining to his past was kept deeply hidden. But that was fine with her, for Qo was satisfied with what she learned from him everyday, even though most of his stories were highly unbelievable. Nevertheless, she soaked up his words like a sponge and the prisoner kept her entertained.
But then it all changed when she was given new orders. A feeling she had never felt before seemed to pour through the wires that composed her insides caused her to feel heavy as she took the steps down to the dungeon cells, pondering that perhaps this would be the last time her feet would take her here. Cheran immediately sat up when he noted the look on her face, his amber eyes inspecting the little emotion that appeared on her face. He hummed a little.
They gave you orders to go somewhere else, correct? Cheran asked. A nod was the only confirmation he needed before he chuckled a little. I assume this has something to do with the AEGIS?
Her only visible eye immediately snapped to gaze directly into his own, blue meeting deep yellow. How do you know of AEGIS? Qo asked. Cheran only chuckled some more before giving her a toothy canine-like grin.
Dear doll, I've been here for so many years that it should be no surprise as to how I know. He said. She paused, before nodding again, letting the matter drop for Qo knew that the prisoner before her would give no other explanation. This only elicited a wider grin from Cheran as he stood up to stretch, his cracking of joints filling the silence of the dungeons.
You don't need to worry about little ol' me. He said in a sing-song voice as he straightened up, claws tapping against the stone floor as he paced in front of the cell bars. I only ask that you complete your little guard dog task like a good little girl.
She only stared at him, as though unable to comprehend his words. He sighed. I must admit, though I have enjoyed your company, Cheran said as he stopped his pacing to stand in front of the still form of the android. It is time that we must say our 'farewells'. He cackled slightly as he turned around and slowly meandered into the back of the cell, the shadows almost engulfing him as he slumped down with a heavy thump, his back facing Qo.
Go on, little doll. He said in an almost tired voice. I can assure you this won't be our last meeting. And with a loud yawn, he laid his head down onto the damp floor. An apparent dismissal and one she understood well. She gave one last nod towards him, even though he couldn't have been able to see it, before walking back towards the door she had entered and exited through many times.
And from the cells, a quiet chuckle could be heard as a hoarse song could be heard.
A machine is a pawn of war, no heart to call her own. Oh woe to the machine, for she is nothing but a fragile doll