They continue to search for another hour and a half, all while I stay in the water hole. The doctor paces in anger and frustration, barking orders at the poor soldiers. Eta is rather terrifying. That was part of why I ran. I could not stand it anymore.
It was 04:47 when they give up and leave. I wait. At one point after the soldiers leave, a brown thing wobbles down and dips into the water.
"Yep, it was this mornin when they came. Awl over the place like ants over shuga spilled. Dats why Janey and I are savin up the muny to leave this hog-stinkin place."
"Really?" a proper voice came, one that knew grammar I agreed with. "What time was it, did you say?"
"Round one o'clock in the mornin." the rough voice came.
"Very intriguing. Ah, thank you for your time." the pleasing to hear voice came again.
"It wus ma pleashur." the brown thing goes back up.
I wait for them to leave before climbing out. I turn off my camo and open my claws in my fingers. I use them to climb out of the water hole and step into the sunlight.
According to my sensors, there is a farm about a mile away. North. That must be where the farmer and pleasing voice went. The farmer didnt like the scientists, so he wont like me. And my creation-place is to the south. So that leaves east or west. Judging by where the sun is, I have about 3 or 4 hours until sunset. So, follow the sun, or run from it?
I decide to go west, following the sun. I start to walk away from the hole, but then I stop. There is a camera on the side of the water hole.
I whip around and shoot it with one of my atomic bombs. It blows up, along with the water hole.
I grab my head and shake it. How could I have been so stupid? It was a trick, all of it. They knew I was in the hole. This whole thing is a test. They are tracking me. I just know it. They're either behind a tree, wrapped in stone armor. Or a stone drone in the air. Something, but they know I am here.
What do I do? I think.
Well, not really think. It's complicated. Because I'm a robot? Is that a detail that slipped your mind? I am not surprised. You are, after all, only human.
I will go west. I will get a running start. Then I will fly.
Of course I can fly. Why wouldn't I?
I start to walk briskly, then I break into a slow run (At least 20 mph). I hear a whizzing drone behind me, as well as motorcycles. I realize I am still tuned into their channel when I hear a voice in my ear.
"I have eyes on TS. Repeat, I have eyes on TS," one of the cyclists says.
"Confirmed, Trick. Stay on target," Eta says. I shiver at her voice.
The cycles speed up. So do I. I start to really run.
"TS is speeding up, like earlier. Orders?" The other soldier says.
"Stay on target. Fire if nessacary." Eta orders.
Fire if nessacary.
I'm her precious project. Why is she willing to attempt to kill me, even though I was made indesructible? Why?
I run as quickly as I can, and my overload moniters beep frantically. I tell my systems to prepare for takeoff, and they comply.
"Trick, Mask, TS is prepping for takeoff." Eta's voice garbles in my ear. "Fire when ready."
She will not kill me!
I will fight!
I brake suddenly, making ruts in the ground. The cycles zoom past me, still going at my past speed.
"Where'd it go?" Trick asks a second before I shoot him and Mask.
"Trick, come in. Mask, come in." Eta says. "Soldiers, confirm. Did you termin-"
My voice is harsh from the many nights screaming in pain. But I was once told that my voice was beautiful. Not anymore.
Eta is silent.
"You can speak?"
"How can you speak?" I ask her.
"Please, I know what this looks like, but we are trying to protect you." Eta says desperately.
"By torturing me?" I say. My voice is getting stronger.
"I-" Eta is silent.
"I am running from you, and nothing you say will change that. So crawl back to whatever slimy hole you were born in, and leave me alone."
"No, no please, don't do that!" she stutters. "Can we work somethi-"
I cut the communication and walk between two corpses to the sunset.