The room was clogged with thick dark smoke. It clung to every surface leaving remains of black soot. There she was locked up in the centre of the wreck slowly regaining consciousness, her eyes slowly opening. She had a lot to come to terms with, more than she had yet to realise. A part of the ceiling crashed into the ground, forcing her to become more alert. The blurriness of her eyes gone, she could see the state of the room. This woman was not yet affected by looming smoke and she could finally see why. She lay inside a container of some sorts, her hands extended out feeling the metal and the glass surrounding her. She tried calling for help but it proved useless, her throat croaked with the under use as if fresh from a deep slumber. She looked around the room to see a sign of life, anything that could aid her. Not a thing could be seen only smoke and the light of flames. Before she could act her left arm punched through the glass creating a small enough hole for her squeeze through. Her hand didn’t feel any pain from punching the glass, adrenaline? She thought. This was the least of her problems, however, where she solved one she gained a new. She couldn’t breathe, her chest felt tight and she felt the thick dark coat slither down her throat. What to do? She asked herself. She pulled herself out of the hole she had created, feeling only slight cuts through the fabric of her clothes.
Now standing beside the container she hunched over trying to grasp any wisp of air. Even with the smoke, she was certain she didn’t recognise this place. In the distance, she could make out a faint light. Perhaps a doorway? she thought to herself. She made the decision to climb through the wreckage and ducking through the debris that fell from the ceiling. Her body collapsed, from taking in too much of the smoke her lungs were about to give up. She wasn’t ready to give up. She crawled the rest of the way. Her only way of surviving was moving quickly before the fire could do more damage to the building and before the smoke did any more damage to her lungs. The woman found a new hope as her eyes glistened at the hole in the wall she could now see – but more importantly, she could see outside. Just a little further… She extended her arms and grabbed the cracks in the wall, pulling herself through. Finally, breathing fresh air, she began coughing even louder as her lungs grasped onto any oxygen they could get. She could feel the dust lingering in her mouth as she gasped for life.
She felt something within her changing, her coughing stopped and her breathing stabilised. She pondered on how quickly she was adapting to everything but was willing to take the win at this point. She pulled herself to her feet, however a little shaky at first, her eyes looked out towards the land. Everything was destroyed, everything was gone. The sky that covered our world was grey, all of the buildings that she remembered reaching up to the heavens were gone. Nothing but rubble now. Amidst all the destruction she saw no signs of life or any signs anyone had tried to regain this ground. There she stood – on top of this cliff with what felt like a million questions running through her head. She looked back at the building, she couldn’t place it. Inside her, she felt unexplained anger and loathing at this building which just confused her more. A red glowing light distracted her, she felt warmth against her leg. She looked down seeing the light coming from her left hand, or where her left hand used to be. It was now replaced with metal and inside this metal casing, she could see red glowing tubes. The light grew and felt warmer on her face as she examined it. She pointed her hand towards the building, scared for what it might do. She stared in horror as the hand shot out a red light towards the building, causing one wall to shatter and the roof began caving into itself. Her eyes couldn’t quite believe what she had just witnessed. Her fingers from her right arm tried scratching the arm at the shoulder to rip it off, but it replaced her shoulder blade and there was no chance of removing it. The woman let out a scream in horror at her arm and fell to her knees.
She heard muffled voices of a language very unknown to her. Figures appeared through the smoke, she scrambled backwards and her hand reached the edge of the cliff. The figures ran towards her with guns pointing at her. The woman quickly raised her hands. One was a male, he held tightly onto a small gun and had a bag strapped around his waist. He wore such odd clothes – but that was not what shocked her, stood next to him was the most peculiar companion. For all accounts, his companion looked female. She had lilac coloured skin and short pink hair, this one’s gun was larger but that wasn’t what she was looking at. This figure’s eyes were entirely an emerald green colour, with no pupils, no iris, and she had strange markings on her skin. She wore black clothing and material that looked like it could be leather of some sorts. They began barking what seemed like orders but the woman couldn’t make out a word. Their language felt harsh on her ears as she tried to decipher what was being said. The male one lowered his gun and held his hand out for his companion to lower hers, to which she complied, wryly. He looked in his bag and produced a small syringe that had liquid inside. This liquid was moving as if it were alive. He flicked the liquid and it moved and shimmered at each flick against the glass. He pointed at her and bent down his head, he smiled trying obviously to reassure her. She looked at them both wondering if she should trust them. She didn’t have many options. She sighed and bent her head down, he gave her the shot just at the back of the neck. Instantly she felt funny, she couldn’t quite place it. He was talking again which caused a sharp pain in her head. Her eyes grew blurry but instantly gained focus, a sharper focus than they ever had. Letters and words began flashing before them, so fast, however, she couldn’t quite make them out. She rubbed her head and looked at them both.
“Are you well?” the male said to her, she looked at him her head feeling fuzzy.
“I think so…” She replied,
“I am MIM-55 or Five as some people like to refer to me as and this is Zarri.” He pointed up to the lilac woman. “May we have your name? Is this your name?” He pointed at the numbers that were on her. 896410. She searched in her head for a name but she couldn’t remember what she was called.
“I don’t remember my name.” She replied, Zarri pushed Five out of the way and grabbed her up.
“Who sent you? Dourhan? I won this spot fair and square. This is my scrap!” Zarri shouted.
“Zarri, please. My scanners say she is telling the truth. We could easily go back in that building and find some human databases for her name.” Five pleaded. Zarri laughed, letting go of her and turned to him.
“You really think this is human? They’re all dead Five, let it go.” Zarri laughed again and looked at Five whose expression only showed concern. “Fine, but she’s most likely Tresnan. She looks the part and only they would send people out without translators.” Zarri began walking towards the building.
“Can’t be – she doesn’t have two stomachs or any sign of ever having two stomachs. I wonder miss, did all humans have implants such as yours? They are truly fascinating. What do they do?” Five turned, guiding her back towards the building.
“Implants?” she asked.
“Yes, you have robotic implants. I’ve only seen ones like it in military droids, is that what you were?”
“Sorry, I don’t remember any implants.” She replied.
“Fascinating. Would you allow me to do an extensive scan on board the ship after we get your name?” Five asked.
“Uh… I don’t-“
“No Five, I never agreed to take her with us. I’ll find out what she is out of curiosity, but we’re leaving her here. Mostly so Dourhan can refund me for the translator.” Zarri said climbing through a large hole in the wall. Five took something out his bag, pulled one of his fingers back and put this attachment in its place, he then started to put out the fire.
“Over here,” Five called out he sat before a computer, opened it up and began fixing around with wires and chips, pulling out replacements from his bag. He cut off the plug powering it and attached it to the side of his bag, closed it up and it began booting it up. “Very primitive. Even for humans.” They all stood round the computer and waited. That’s all she could do, she began wondering if there was any point in getting out of that canister. Zarri looked as if she just wanted to kill her and go on with her life.
“You just had all that stuff in your bag ready to go?” The woman asked, dubious of the pair.
“Oh, no Miss, this ‘bag’ is attached me, just like an arm. It is housed with nanobots. I think of what I require and the bots construct it in 0.000007 seconds.” Five smiled at her, “MIM Kit. Not the fanciest of names but not many of us MIM droids have this attachment. I do wonder how they do their job.” He let out a brief chuckle and quickly focused his attention on the computer.
“Ah! A database. I’ll input the markings on your clothes that might give us something…There’s a picture you look different.” Five noted, she looked over and saw her face on the screen. She looked angry, she had long brown hair and some scars on her face and neck. She searched for these with her right hand to find nothing in its place. This face seemed just as foreign to her as these two did. “Emilia ‘Hope’ Richards, born 6th December 2087 in Northern France. Grew up in the heart of London however. Whatever that means. “Hope” was an alias among the Freedom Fighters, one of their leaders apparently. Arrested in 2102 for treason and many acts of violence. Transferred to the medical research centre after being sentenced to death in 2104. Became experiment Hope. There is a brief rundown of your implants here.” Five continued but she didn’t listen to anymore it was all given her a headache. Hope, she said to herself. She felt the anger boil within her once more. Before it could reach her hand however, Zarri broke her train of thought.
“You’re human. You look different but minus the scars and put on badly cut blue hair on that and it is you. What happened to the humans? What happened to you?” Zarri’s face changed from the constant anger to more sympathetic.
“You don’t know?” Emilia replied.
“None of us do, there are theories, but even the collectors are unaware. Which is most unfortunate. They could have saved humanity.” Five replied, “very few of you achieved to get further than your own cluster of planets and those ones died on our space stations from old age. We could only watch from afar hoping you would make it.”
“I’m sorry. I don’t remember,” Emilia told them both. Zarri’s anger returned to her face. She got up close to Emilia
“Then try!” She yelled, before storming out of the ruins.
“Sorry, she gets like that. Best to tune it out. Now, about that scan – I would much appreciate it, I do promise I won’t need to cut anything. In fact, looking at these implants – I can provide you with upgrades, or rather put you in the right direction for upgrades. Not my specialty.” Five began walking out the building and turned to see Emilia not following.
“I don’t understand.” Emilia felt her heart pounding and felt as if she couldn’t catch her breath. Five ran towards her.
“It is ok, breathe. You’re only having a panic attack. They are scary… so I’m told. I’m all metal so I wouldn’t know how they feel, but you’ll get through it. All this… it is a lot to take in.” Five sat her down and the floor.
“The world is gone… I am the last human… I am a prisoner and I don’t remember a thing. I have this stupid arm attached to me that could end up hurting someone. Which might be something I would want to do because I was arrested for acts of violence.” Five put an arm around her.
“It said you were given the name Hope. I doubt people would give you a name like that if you were a bad person – and the fact you’re concerned about hurting someone with your arm means you obviously do not want to. I look human, I can pretend I am if it makes you feel better? I just need a list of your customs, behaviours and any kind of colloquial terms or idioms.” Five tried to reassure her, she laughed half-heartedly and stood up. “What? Would that not be sufficient?”
“Just be you.” She replied.
“Zarri and I will look after you until the Galactic Council decide what shall happen to you. There is no need to worry.” Five reassured her. As she followed him out the building she knew worrying was all she could do. Had she signed herself up to be dissected and looked at in a lab for eternity? Only time would tell.