Real Tears

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


A lowly mechanic working at a facility that has begun producing the future of soldiers struggles to escape the horrors of the corrupt Engineer behind their creation as the mechanic unwillingly
throws those he loves most into the fray as well.


“Atten-tion!”

The standard Alphas turned in perfect unison, the sleek Betas followed suite, and the gargantuan Gammas were next. The accuracy and swiftness of their movements was a frightening sight to behold. Or it would’ve been, if the single Delta unit hadn’t turned and stumbled over its own legs, making a loud clanking noise as its titanium frame struck the solid metal floor. All of the other units seemed to giggle at it.

“Quiet down!” The noises immediately ceased. “You!” The Engineer stepped down from the scaffolding he was on and shouted towards the Gammas. The unit he was staring at stepped forward. “Take the Delta unit down to maintenance. Now!” The Engineer stepped forward and knelt by the Delta unit. “This is the third time this week, Delta. The presentation is in two days. Clean up your act, or the Betas will be cleaning you up. Am I being perfectly clear?” Delta nodded. “Great.” The Engineer rose from his crouching position, looked at the Gamma, and slightly cocked his head in Delta’s direction, signaling the Gamma to take it away. The Gamma complied, scooped Delta into its massive gorilla-like arms, and proceeded down the hall towards maintenance. The light projectors in Delta’s eyes seemed to dim slightly. A few thundering steps later, the two had arrived in maintenance. The Gamma threw Delta on the floor and stared at the mechanic.

“Fix.” It ordered through its monotone speaker.

“Sure thing.” The mechanic responded with as much false joviality as he could muster. The mechanic stared at the Gamma until it got the hint that he wanted it to leave. The behemoth turned and trudged back to the presentation room. He hated the Gammas. “What seems to be the problem, Delta? I’ve been seeing a little too much of you lately.”

“Delta failed primary objective. Delta has failed the Engineer again. Delta is bad soldier.”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself.” The mechanic began poking around Delta’s body with his tools. “Maybe you aren’t a soldier at all. Maybe you’re something better.” Delta hung its head low, expressing its sorrow. The mechanic flinched when he saw this, but before he could say anything, the bunker began to shake. Delta looked panicked, like a lost child in a grocery store.

“What is happening, why is world shaking? Delta is scared.” The mechanic smiled at Delta.

“It’s just the fighting, buddy. It’s happening outside. We are safe in here.” The mechanic lied when he told Delta that they were safe in here, but it seemed to put its mind at ease. They really weren’t safe, but it wasn’t the war that scared the mechanic. Not even a little bit.

 

The Engineer entered his office in a rage, throwing papers, kicking chairs, and screaming curses. The commotion drew the attention of his AI, Epsilon. Epsilon switched the lights on and faced its glowing red camera towards the Engineer.

“What seems to be the problem, Creator?”

“It’s Delta! I don’t understand, we saved our best soldier for its body! What's his name again?”

“Baron Ryse, Creator. 109 confirmed kills, roughly 615 kills that could not be confirmed with 100% certainty. Perhaps his memories were not converted with 100% efficiency.”

“How would that even be possible? You saw to it yourself.”

“Correct, but the procedure does not operate with 100% efficiency.”

“Is there any way to reverse the process?”

“Not without the potential destruction of the Delta unit.”

“How far along are we with our second Delta model?”

“Quite far, Creator. 76% to be precise.”

“And how about the new procedure?”

“Not very far, Creator. The new procedure to provide 100% autonomy in the units is only 25% successful.” The Engineer grunted in frustration.

“I want Delta scanned. Is there anyway that the improper soldier was imported?”

“Unlikely, but the outcome is possible.”

“Call Delta-” The Engineer was cut off by a knocking on his office door. “Epsilon, who is it? I don’t need anymore headaches.”

“It is Agent Briggs, Creator.”

“Let him in.” The door swung open automatically and Briggs stepped inside. “Briggs, this better be-”

“They’re coming early sir.”

“Who?”

“The buyers.” Briggs spoke as if he was walking on eggshells. The Engineer terrified him.

“What? Why?”

“They need to get the product mobilized as soon as possible. They’re losing and they’re desperate but they still need to make sure that the products function as we have described.”

“When are they coming?”

“Tomorrow morning sir.”

“I have too much to worry about right now. Tell that useless mechanic that he needs to get Delta presentation ready by tomorrow. He’s the only one that seems to get that piece of junk going again.”

“Yessir.” Briggs ran off quickly to inform the mechanic.

 

“Well, Delta, how are you feeling now?”

“Delta is okay. Will Delta make Engineer happy now? Delta wants to make him happy. Delta is scared.” The base shook again from the bombings outside. “Ah! Delta is no longer okay. Help please. Make the shaking stop.” Delta ran and hid under a table, covering its nearly indestructible frame with a wooden table. The mechanic laughed, but tried to get back onto topic.

“Why are you scared of the Engineer?”

“Engineer says, he will hurt Delta if Delta makes more mistakes. Delta doesn’t want to be hurt.” Delta came out from hiding as the shaking stopped and looked around, astounded that the ceiling had not collapsed from the terrifying tremor.

“He won’t hurt you Delta, I promise.”

“You….. promise?” Delta asked inquisitively, tilting its mechanical head.

“It means that you can trust me and I’ll help you.”

“Okay. Delta trusts you.”

“Good.” The mechanic took a long exhale. “Delta there’s something I need to-” Just then, Briggs burst into the room and stared at the mechanic.

“Osborne, I have a message directly from the Engineer.” The mechanic looked up at Briggs and looked back at Delta.

“I’ll be right back. Don’t go anywhere.”

“Okay. Delta will stay.” The mechanic and Briggs walked over to one side of the room, far enough away so Delta could not hear. Delta stared at them from across the room in a vain attempt to listen. Delta knew they were talking about it. After their conversation seemed to end, Briggs came over and put a scanner against Delta’s head. Not long after, he nodded at the mechanic and then quickly returned to where he came.

“What was that?” Delta asked.

“He scanned you, simple procedure. Everything is fine buddy.”

“Okay, Delta trusts you.” The mechanic flinched at this.

“Delta...Do you like it here?”

“Delta is scared here.”

“Do you want to leave?”

“Yes. Delta would like to leave.”

“Okay then, we have some things to discuss.”

“What kind of things, Mr. Mechanic?”

“We are gonna get you out of here. Tonight.”

“That makes Delta happy.”

 

“How far along are we on analyzing Delta?”

“95%, Creator.”

“Good, let me know the second that it's done-” The Engineer was interrupted by a knock at his office door.

“Who’s that, Epsilon?”

“The buyers, Creator.” A bead of sweat trickled down the Engineer’s face.

“Let them in.” The door opened wide and five men, adorned in business attire, entered the office. “Good evening, gentlemen. Let’s get started shall we?” The Engineer escorted the men out of his office and onto the catwalk of the large underground warehouse.

“So, Mr….?” One of the men asked inquisitively.

“Just call me Engineer.” He snapped back, rejecting their attempt at garnering information.

“Alright, Engineer, how do these things work?”

“Ah, a great question, my friend. You see, these soldiers are not simply machines. They are cyborgs so to speak. We implemented the memories and combat experience of the world’s best soldiers. We have tampered slightly with the memories, removing instances that would create fear or disloyalty. Such as a traumatic childhood event. In essence, we have given an obedient human mind, a nearly indestructible exterior. The soldiers are never too smart for us because of their human mind, but can be manipulated for the same reason. They simply follow the orders of whoever their commanding officer happens to be. For example. Atten-tion!” The Alphas, Betas, and Gammas all turned in perfect unison, showcasing their complete and total obedience. The Engineer looked to the spot where Delta should have been, but found nothing.

“It’s very impressive, Engineer, but we were told that there were four models. Where is the last?” As the man finished speaking, the Engineer heard a message on his earpiece.

“Excuse me a moment, gentlemen.” The Engineer walked to a more secluded area and activated the speaker on his earpiece. “What is it, Epsilon?”

“Creator, the scan of Delta is complete. The memories of subject Baron Ryse are absent. They have been replaced with the tampered memories of Roy Osborne, son to Henry Osborne, the mechanic. Roy Osborne was killed by a prototype Gamma unit that got loose. Roy died on the operating table. Though, the brain survives a few minutes after death, so it is possible that Henry Osborne extracted the memories of his son before he became brain dead. He must’ve inserted the memories into the new Delta unit as he was working on it. He is unfamiliar with the memory procedure, explaining the fragmented state that Delta is in.” The Engineer’s eye twitched in disbelief and anger.

“Sir.” One of the buyers had said. “Is everything alright?”

“Perfect.” The Engineer smiled widely as he formulated a plan. “Epsilon, is the new Delta model ready? With the new procedure?”

“Yes, Creator. But the new procedure does not operate with 100-” The Engineer turned off his earpiece and looked to the buyers.

“How about a live demonstration, gentlemen?” He said this with a malicious smirk.

 

“Everything ready, kiddo?”

“Yes. Delta thinks it is ready.”

“He, Delta. You are a he.”

“Okay. Vocabulary altered. Delta is a he.”

“Remember what I told you, once you get out of here, I want you to run. Don’t look back. Just run. Eventually you will reach a large forest. That’s where I want you to wait. You’ll wait there until I can get out of here and meet you. If I don’t show up, someone will be there to search the woods for you. Here. Take this.” The mechanic gave Delta a flash drive with the label ‘Ana Osborne’ on the side of it. “Give that to the nice lady that’ll meet you there.”

“Why… Why aren’t you coming…..P--P--Papa.” Delta struggled greatly with the word, a new one to him, but the effect on Henry Osborne was the same as it would’ve been from the human version of his eight year old son.

“I can’t come… Not yet. I need to make sure that you aren’t followed, buddy. You will be okay without me.” Henry Osborne had tears in his eyes. Delta leaned over and stared at the tears, not understanding what they meant. He reached his arm over, and wiped them away. He brought the wet hand up to his eyes and wondered.

“What are these Pa--Papa?”

“Tears, buddy.” Henry Osborne stammered out as he began to get choked up.

“What are….tears?”

“They are what happens when you get really sad.”

“But, why are you sad, Papa? We are going to leave.”

“You are, Roy. You are. Not me.”

“Who is-” Delta was immediately cut off by the loud crash of metal on metal. Henry and Delta both looked towards the source of the noise. A Delta model landed effortlessly on the unyielding metal floor. The Delta model made a horrifying screeching noise that can only be characterized as a failing speaker. The noise ceased and it stared at the two of them. The model looked extremely similar to Delta with a different color, but its demeanor and attitude seemed infinitely less innocent. The buyers who stood above the spectacle watched in delight and anticipation.

“What…. is….. that?” Henry Osborne stammered out in fear.

“I am the Omega. But you may know me better as The Engineer.” If the machine could smile, Delta imagined that it would right now.

“Are you completely insane?! You know that this procedure hasn’t been tested. If you stay in there for too long, the mental toll it’ll take on your mind will leave you brain-dead! That thing will kill you. The unassisted human mind is not ready for that kind of stress.”

“Is that right, Henry? Then who’s that there? In that Delta unit? I know it is not Mr. Ryse. I wonder who it could be-e-e-e-e-e-e….” The Omega’s speaker seemed unstable, almost as much as its owner.

“This process is going to kill you, Daniel! Snap out of it!”

“Tha-a-at. Is. Not. My. Name-ee-e-e-e!” The Omega sprang into action, leaping twenty feet without a running start and landing directly in front of Henry. It looked to him and swatted him like a fly, sending him soaring through the air and into a dead Gamma from his workshop. Delta sprang up as well, hopping onto the Omega’s back, holding on for dear life.

“Lee-et go-go of meee-e-eeee-e!”

“No! Delta doesn't want to let go! You hurt Papa!”  The Omega slammed into walls, doors, other units, and everything it could think of to get Delta off of its back, but Delta’s frame was as tough as its. Delta grabbed on tighter. “Papa. Get up! Run!”

Henry Osborne came back into consciousness and watched as Delta and The Omega clashed. Henry’s head throbbed, but he looked around the room for anything he could use in order to help. His Stabilizer sat in the dilapidated workshop, leaned against the wall. The Stabilizer was a tool he used to lift heavy machine parts with military-grade magnets. Henry stood and hobbled over to it. Delta continued to hold onto The Omega as he attempted to stall, allowing Henry to escape. Delta then noticed, in the corner of his vision, Henry Osborne was standing up, with a Stabilizer in his hands.

“No, Papa! Go! Delta wants you to be safe.” Henry smiled at Delta and activated the Stabilizer. Delta knew what was coming. It jumped off of The Omega just in time as the magnets from the Stabilizer sent The Omega flying towards Henry. The Omega was forcefully pinned against the Stabilizer that Henry was carrying.

“Go! Go now Delta. Get out of here. Go where I told you to go!”

“Delta doesn’t want to leave Papa…”

“Papa needs you to go!” The Omega began struggling in the Stabilizer, almost able to turn his body towards Henry. “I love you, son.”

“Delta loves you too, Papa.” Delta then began to run towards the exit of the large bunker. Delta looked back and saw his Papa smile, one last time. Henry activated the emergency lockdown on his Gauntlet Computer and the huge bunker door began to close. The Omega then broke free from the Stabilizer and smashed the machine. Henry turned away and watched his son go. The Omega knocked Henry to the ground and stared at his tear-stricken face. The Omega felt very little at that point. No love for its former friend. No remorse for what it had done. It only felt anger for failure. Henry closed his eyes as The Omega pressed its foot against his chest.

“Get it!” The Omega screamed at the other units. Despite their claimed lack of fear, they stood still, cowering from what they had just witnessed. It seemed that they had formed new memories to pull fear from. The Alphas, Betas, and Gammas all looked at Delta, then at The Omega. There was a silent agreement amongst them. As The Omega began to pursue Delta, the Gammas blocked his path, followed by the Betas, then the Alphas. The Omega looked stunned. It watched as Delta exited the bunker. The other units began to close in on The Omega. The last thing Delta heard before leaving, was the horrible screeching noise of the Omega’s flawed speaker.

The bunker door shut behind Delta. He ran from that bunker, ran until his circuits starting shorting. Through battlefields and airstrikes, gunfire and tank rounds, rockets and sniper fire. Delta ran until it reached the woods, like Papa said. Delta began walking once it reached the woods, staring around at the disturbed beauty of the damaged forest. He found a small rock where he could sit, and waited.

Delta waited, and waited, and waited. Until his eyes came upon an animal. A lonely squirrel rested on the ground, at rest, with scars of human conflict. Delta looked at the squirrel and thought about Papa. He felt his eyes for tears, but felt none. Delta became frustrated.

“Delta is sad. So sad. Why can Delta not cry?” Delta began hitting himself. He hit himself, until the clanking finally drew attention. Delta heard a rustling behind him. He felt terrified. He watched in horrified curiosity as a woman walked into the clearing. Delta hid in the grass, like a dog hiding from its owner after it did something bad.

“It’s okay, sweetie. I’m not going to hurt you. You’re Delta, aren’t you?” Delta stared at her, then felt at ease as he remembered his Papa’s words.

“Are you the nice lady Papa told Delta about? Papa told Delta to give this to you.”

The woman looked confused, yet relieved at the same time. She took the drive from Delta and smiled at him. She read the label and looked at Delta again. He stared back innocently. She looked down and plugged the drive into her Gauntlet Computer. The projections appeared in front of her. Ana Osborne stared at them, her jaw nearly dropping to the floor. It was a message from Henry.

“Hello, Ana. I know that I haven't seen you since Roy…..passed. But I suppose this will have to do.” Henry smiled weakly and shrugged. “I want you to know that, he is not all gone. After his death, I was able to salvage some of his memories. We have processes here that can do things like that. I couldn't tell you much when I made contact because Daniel is already suspicious of me. Most of the outgoing contact from here is monitored heavily. I couldn't put you at risk. Daniel has changed so much since we first met...Could you believe it? We actually thought we were going to end human conflict. Daniel and I really thought we could do it. I wanted Roy to be the first one to see it.” Henry started breathing heavy with tears in his eyes. “I don’t honestly think I’ll be making it out of here. I’ve only seen that look in Daniel’s eye once before, but I know what it means. He knows about Roy, and he’s going to try and kill us. I know Roy will make it out, I promise you that. This is our son, Ana. This is Roy.” Ana looked over at Delta and then back at Henry. “I know you have a place for him but he needs to learn again. His memories are fragmented, but they will come back in time. Thank you, Ana. I love you and I’m sorry. And Delta. This is your Mama, she will be taking care you now. I’ll miss you buddy. Promise me you’ll be good for Mama.”

“What’re you doing, Mr. Mechanic?” Delta appeared in the background of the video.

“Nothing, kiddo.” Henry reached for the recorder and the video cut off.

“Yes Papa…I promise.” Delta said to himself and looked at Ana, seeing her crying. Ana back at him, her eyes welling up with tears and hugged him. She cried on his shoulder. As the tears hit Delta’s body, he felt his eyes and tried to feel real tears but felt none. That is, until, one of the wires shorted out near Delta’s eyes, and fluid began running down his face. Tears, Delta thought, real tears.

 


Submitted: February 02, 2018

© Copyright 2021 Cameron Sperling. All rights reserved.

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hullabaloo22

Well, this was kind of....excellent! Well-planned from start to finish, well-written and as far as I could see, error free. Well done!

Sat, February 3rd, 2018 6:50pm

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Thank you so much! Brings a smile to my face :).

Mon, February 5th, 2018 5:23am

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