Thursday, November 17, 2016

Once on a cold planet

Arlan's bleeding hands were trembling in the cold as he tried to ignore it and see ahead. The ice cold snow was making it difficult to breath and in general was interfering with everything that he could do effortlessly.

There! Arlan thought savagely. The white snow right ahead of him moved slightly. Having no doubt that it was one of the assassins after him, Arian pulled the trigger.

Arlan was rewarded by a slight slump in the otherwise undisturbed ice cold snow as he breathed a sigh of relief. This insane and extremely uneven battle between himself and the droids had started off with the impossible odds of six to one was now down to three to one. Not the best of odds but better than what it was before.

That was when Arlan noticed something wrong. The white camouflage of the droids. When the droids fell, the camouflage came out to show the machine underneath. But now the surrounding where the droid had fallen was stubbornly white. Almost as if...

Arlan cursed as he dived and fell back hard. It was a trap! The droid had presented itself as a target just to calculate the trajectory of the shot he has fired to know where he was.

Arlan knew that he had less than five minutes as he abandoned the relative warmth of the cave. Now the fight was in the snow where Arlan knew that he was in a severe disadvantage.

The machine droids could not feel cold and he just could not stop shivering. That was when Arlan realized that he had two weapons with him. The energy bolt was a powerful weapon and it shot pure energy decimating anything in it's path. And the other was an equally powerful weapon which Arlan had taken from the remains of the previous droid. The range of the droid weapon was higher than his own energy bolt.

Arlan smiled as he saw three droids coming towards the caves.

"Be careful 765!" The first droid told its helper. The third one - 4378 was hit real bad to do anything other than follow orders. The leader droid 5, one of the first in it's batch wondered whether it should dismantle 4378. 4378 was a liability now. And could bring down their chances of success against the human. 5 did not know the feeling of surprise, but if it could be asked to qualify it's feeling it would be surprise.

The human, from the frail homo sapien species was unlike other species that 5 and its team had hunted down in the past two years in this very planet - this very planet, where countless people from countless species had met their downfall. And it was all because droids did not execute it's prisoners, the prisoners were hunted down in impossible to win circumstances.

"There is an energy source in the cave, 5!" 765 told 5 as 5 stopped.

5 realized that the human was proving very good at setting traps with the tools he had and the human was an excellent marksman. But 5 honestly did not expect the human to part with his weapon. Probably he was too weak to fight.

"Scan the cave for life form!" 5 said. Their scans operated at 50 feet and were powerful.

"None found!"

5 made a quick decision. "Take the weapon! It would incapacitate the human further!"

Droids did not talk back because they were not programmed to, but 765 detected a flaw in 5's logic but it's circuits could not process or completely as 765 went inside the cave. 5 stood outside as it scanned for any life form and found none within 50 feet.

765 brought the weapon out which was beeping slightly.

"What is the noise, 765?" 5 asked.

"The weapon is being discharged!"

At that second 5 realized that the human was indeed a clever man or probably just a desperate one.

"Throw the weapon." 5 said or atleast tried saying.

There was a loud explosion as there was nothing but scrap where 765 was standing. 4378 collapsed as it's last circuits were fried in the explosion. 5 fell back as it felt something rip through it's circuits.

5 knew that it's circuits were irrevocably fried in the explosion. All that 5 could feel was that it had lost.

From it's blurring vision, it saw a shivering human walk towards it, pointing the weapon of the droids which he had in his hand. The human had shot at the energy bolt while discharging the weapon causing maximum damage to the surrounding including itself.

"Kill me, human!" 5 said quietly. "You have won!"

"Where is the transporter shuttle out of the planet?" Arlan asked 5.

"I am not at liberty to tell you that!" 5 said as the human sighed.

"Fine! I will hack into your data bank!" The human said in a dispirited fashion.

"Your extremities are turning blue! You may not make it out of the planet even if your get the transporter shuttle!" 5 said as the human came forward. The human was very thorough as he checked the surrounding and first brought then brought the remains of 765 and 4378.

"Bad odds!" the human said with a lopsided grin. "Always had it!"

"Why do you fight when the odds are not in your favour?" 5 asked out of genuine curiosity. The human was shivering, as he first dismantled 5's self destruct sequence and then the human took off the communication capability of the 5. 5 could not communicate to other machines. said nothing as the human turned his attention to 765 and 4378.

"Because there is someone waiting for me! For her, I would do this!" the human said quietly.

"Do what?" 5 asked, deciding that it could not defeat the human. But the chances of the human making out of the planet alive was less than 0.5%.

"I love one of your kind!" the human said with slight embarrassment.

5 wondered whether its auditory circuits were broken and realized that the internal scans were fine. "Droids cannot feel!" 5 said.

The human almost laughed as his teeth chattered and he gave up the attempt halfway. "You were humans! You just moved your conscious to machines! That does not take away your ability to feel. You just ignore it. And you have ignored it long enough. Atleast she can feel now!" the human said.

"She? You called the droid as a female?" 5 asked wondering whether this was how it was supposed to be feel astounded. Droids were machines. They could not be designated gender.

"What is her number?" 5 demanded.

The human said nothing as he continued working.

"The transporter shuttle is a kilometer due east!" the human said triumphantly after a few seconds.

"You cannot make it alive in this cold!" 5 said stubbornly.

"I would laugh if my teeth would stop chattering!" Arlan said honestly. He was about to walk away, when 5 spoke to the human, in spite of itself. "You really think you can make it there!"

"Yeah! Two things make me sure that I am going to do it!" Arlan said with a slight smile.

"Which is?" 5 asked intrigued. A part of 5 was telling it that its circuits were malfunctioning. It was feeling something which was never programmed to it.

"Hope and..." Arlan said as he shook more pronouncedly in the cold.

"And?" 5 asked as it could feel the last of its circuits, beginning to burn.

"Love!" the human said with a smile. "She will wait for me!" 5 saw the human and for once it realized that the human genuinely believed what he was saying.

"I am going to the shuttle! Do you wish to come with me?" the human asked it.

"I just tried to kill you! Why would you....?" 5 could not longer articulate its sentences as its vocal circuits were fried.

"I am not the smartest guy, but I do know whether a person is my friend or not!" the human said.

"I cannot survive the journey!" 5 said finally, managing to set right its circuits.

The human smiled shaking his head sadly. "I did not ask you whether you wanted to come with me. I asked whether you wished to. That is why you need to understand. We humans feel things. We think them. That is what determines us!" the human said.

5 thought it understood and for a glorious second it felt that that whatever it was that it had always felt missing in its life. 5 wondered whether it was a female, like the one the human liked.

Half an hour later, the transporter shuttle left the planet.

5 watched it from the planet and though it's existence was about to be terminated it felt that it had done the right thing by not overriding the command of the human and not self destructing.

5 could do that but it had not. It seemed right thing to do.

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