all my might to keep my mouth closed to stop my teeth
chattering as the vibrations of the ship shook me in
my seat. My body was secure in my harness along with
the rest of my family in theirs, while my dad fought
with the controls, but I felt every single internal
organ shake within my body and was worried there
would soon be nothing left of them other than a
mixture of gut soup.
on!" My father yelled at the top of his voice,
"We're going down!"
ship managed to break through the atmosphere of the
planet below the vigorous vibrations ceased only to
be replaced by intense heat. Our heat shields could
handle it and protect the ship, but from the steep
angle in which we entered the atmosphere there was
still a chance we could boil inside leaving nothing
left of us but poached corpses. I closed my eyes
tightly as beads of sweat already formed around my
forehead dripping down my face.
the retros on?!" My mother screamed out.
My father yelled back.
younger brother Richie remained totally silent, most
likely crying silent tears, as his innocent mind
tried to comprehend the panic and terror around him.
began to wobble from side to side as if the thick
atmosphere was trying to reject it and throw us back
into space, yet at the same time I could feel our
descent and I knew it wouldn't be too long before we
crashed into the ground. I hoped our deaths would be
quick and it was at times like those that I wished we
possessed some kind of suicide pill, for the chances
of our survival were practically nil.
long now!" My father screamed out.
for impact!" Shouted my mother.
was a blur. I remembered an awful noise of metal
tearing as our ship slid along the ground, followed
by what sounded like an explosion, then there was
dust and darkness everywhere causing me to splutter
whilst trying to gain breath. The smell of something
ghastly oozed all around as the ice cold outside air
blew into the ship's cabin.
few moments, as the dust started to settle, I could
see light coming from the control console ahead of me
but I couldn't see clear enough to know whether my
father was still sitting in front of it. I tried to
speak but I knew my tears were on the brink of
flooding out and I wanted so much to remain brave, so
instead remained quiet in the hope that someone else
would speak first and reveal that I wasn't the only
was an eerie silence all around but I was sure I
could hear something else, something outside in the
distance, over the sound of the ringing in my ears. I
wondered if it was an occupied planet and whether
help was already on its way.
was then the unmistakable sound of the side door
being opened letting in light along with more of the
ghastly smell that oozed within the very air of the
planet. I could see the silhouette of my father as he
attempted to take a breath of fresh air but instead
started coughing loudly.
everyone..." he said between loud coughs, "Is
everyone all right?"
okay. I'm okay!" I quickly screamed out making
sure everyone could hear me.
unconscious," my mother said with panic in her
father rushed over and helped my mother unfasten the
harness that held Richie in his seat. My fingers
tingled as I tried to unfasten my own harness as
quickly as possible before rushing over to join my
parents and Richie. Luckily I felt a sense of extreme
relief when Richie started crying, however his tears
where the trigger for my own and it wasn't long
before we were both wailing loudly.
mother picked Richie up and held him tightly in her
arms while I hugged her shoulder. My father then
wrapped his arms around us all and we remained in a
fixed pose of a group hug while listening to both my
own and Richie's cries. He was far too young to
understand what had happened and was crying due to
his own physical discomfort whereas I was crying due
to the emotional relief of surviving such an incident.
I also felt a sense of apprehension as to how we were
going to get back home, for if the planet was
unoccupied then the only way to expect a rescue was
if the communications were still working. The region
of space in which we had been travelling was busy but
even so, space and planets were still extremely large
areas to search.
worry," my father said calmly, "We're all
okay, that's all that matters for now."
words sounded too false and I would have felt better
if he hadn't said anything. I continued crying.
2 - Seeking Help
me quite some time to calm my nerves. I knew it was
imperative to keep composure during survival
situations and I tried so hard to remain brave but I
couldn't help myself. Just the thought of us
remaining on a desolate planet in the tiny hope of a
chance rescue caused my tears to flood out again and
again. By the time my tears stopped flowing my eyes
had grown puffy and they itched badly.
mother and father were at the control console
fiddling with things trying to activate God knows
what in the hope that something would happen. It was
clear there was no chance of us taking off again with
the ship so badly damaged but they appeared frantic
in whatever it was they were attempting to do. I
guessed it must have been something to do with the
started crying again and wanted no one but his mother
forcing her to stop what she was doing and attend to
him. I wished he was old enough to understand. My
mother then picked him up and carried him over to the
control console and continued pressing buttons.
are no human life forms on the local scan," she
said with a sigh, "It appears we're on our own."
the ship's a total right off," my father said,
"All we can hope is that we can get a signal
through to the nearest starbase, but there's a lot of
interference from the solar storm."
within the open doorway of the ship looking down the
steps that led to the sandy surface of the planet.
The cold breeze blew against my hair but luckily the
ghastly smell from earlier had eased off, either that
or I was growing accustomed to it. The sandy ground
reminded me of a desert yet the cold air and the
strange swirl of the clouds made it obvious that it
had been many a year since the planet's surface felt
nearby rocks was a manmade structure containing a
facade of stone pillars around its large entrance. It
reminded me of a temple and I wondered what kind of
people, or aliens, must have once worshipped there.
There may have been items if interest inside.
I go and have a look around?" I said turning to
you stay put young lady!" She snapped, "There's
no telling what dangers there could be lurking around."
then stared ahead at the temple. The sandy ground was
clear near its entrance and I wondered if it was
still in use, yet how could it be if the planet was
deserted, I thought to myself.
My dad yelled out causing me to twitch as I was
startled, "We've gotten through to the starbase."
I jumped to
my feet with excitement as my father began speaking
over the communicator. The conversation was factual,
giving our situation and coordinates, while the
communicator crackled with static along with a long
pause followed by a garbled voice.
again, say again," was the phrase most often
repeated and it was clear it was going to be a very
I let out a
breath disguising my sigh of frustration then
casually took a few tentative steps out of the ship's
door into the open air. Sensing my mother's eyes
staring into my back I made sure to remain on the
3 - Father's Warning
passed awfully slow and while it had only been half
an hour or so since communication with the nearest
starbase began it seemed the broken, clicked filled,
conversation had been going on for hours. When are
they coming to rescue us? Was the question in my head
that begged to scream out.
sitting within the open doorway of the ship I
stretched out my legs ahead of me and wiggled my feet.
Richie was cradled on my lap as he slept totally
exhausted from crying so much. Both mother and father
continued fiddling with the controls at the ship's
console constantly trying to re-establish contact. A
feeling of total exhaustion, boredom, fear,
frustration, anger and a little excitement flashed
through my mind as my stomach winced wishing to leave
this baron cold planet as soon as possible.
father then calmly stepped out of the ship's open
doorway and sat down on the steps beside us while our
mother stood behind. He patted Richie's head.
we've good news and bad," my father said.
and looked up at him as he rubbed his hand against
his smooth chin. No doubt the bad news was going to
be far worse than how pleasing the good news would be.
solar storm that caused the crash is still active and
won't disperse for another three days or so, so we
can't expect a rescue until then," he said,
"Also the damage to our ship's hull means we
have no protection against the weather, and I've been
informed this planet gets well below zero at night,
especially when the winds are strong."
my gaze toward the temple structure wondering how
sturdy the roof would be and whether it would offer
protection against the elements. I then turned back
to my father. It was likely he was pondering the same
we could hide from the wind and cold in there,"
I said, "At least that way we're not too far
from the ship and can still access supplies."
father rubbed his chin again.
could," he said slowly, "But um..."
planet is known as Artemis Three," my mother
began speaking, "We've been informed that it was
once occupied by Artemis Nuns who have since moved on
leaving the planet desolate. But over the years it's
been used as a dumping ground for unused robots and
cyborgs, including war bots. If any of them are still
active then, well..."
I had no
idea what kind of alien race Artemis Nuns were but I
didn't bother asking because I was far more concerned
about the cyborgs.
father heaved himself up and rubbed his shoulders.
The cold weather was already growing more intense and
from the look of the sky it was clear night was
worry," he said, "We've been informed that
if any of the war bots are still active they probably
won't harm humans because they were originally
programmed to destroy other cyborgs, but we can't be
completely certain, so keep your eyes and ears open.
The moment you see one of those things then take no
chances, run as fast as you can. I'm sure they can't
move at speed."
was equipped with weaponry, but there were no
portable hand weapons we could take with us. I was
already having doubts about our safety. My father
heaved himself up then went back inside the ship and
proceeded scavenging for supplies.
be fine," he said over his shoulder, "So
long as we stick together.
4 - Temple Ruins
lucky that we crash landed were we had because it
wasn't until we climbed down the ship steps that we
noticed the temple structure was the only building
within the vicinity. Everywhere was pretty much
desert sand all around leading to rocks and tall
cliffs in the near distance. The sound of a distant
wind intensified the feeling of loneliness on such a
vast desolate planet while my spine tingled with an
eerie feeling as I sensed impending danger. Part of
me imagined an army of crazed cyborgs just beyond the
distant horizon with us already within their sights.
great care we cautiously approached the temple
building and entered through the large stone archway
that led into a great hall that was surrounded by
tall pillars holding up the roof. There were signs of
damage due to wear so it was clear the temple was old
but as to its age I couldn't even fathom a guess.
father placed down a pile of supplies in the middle
of the hall while my mother held Richie. We all
looked around at the building structure wondering who
could have built such a wonder. The walls were plain
with no decorations or art, but the way in which the
stone pillars merged into the rocks was an art form
in itself. It was clear this was built as a meeting
place where people, or aliens, would congregate for
prepare a fire," my father said, "Now we
don't have much to burn so I may not light it just
yet until it gets much colder."
I'm already freezing cold," I whined while
hugging my arms and hunched shoulders.
unless there's wood on this planet, which I seriously
doubt, then we only have what's here," my father
sure there must have been more combustible items
aboard the ship, it was just a matter of having a
good search. But as I thought about it further I
realised most of the ship's contents were probably
flame proof as a safety precaution.
started to howl causing Richie to wake from his
slumber and start whimpering. I was more worried by
the cold carried by the wind rather than its noise,
but I'd be lying if I said the sound didn't bother me
as the thought of crazed cyborgs in the distance
entered my mind once more.
cry," our mother told Richie, "It's just
the noisy wind. It can't hurt you."
wasn't blowing from the stone archway from which we
entered but rather a small passage leading up to
another chamber above. I wondered where it led and
took a few steps closer taking a small peek. I was
sure I could hear running water along with the sound
of the wind.
wander off!" My father said firmly, "We all
need to stick together."
can hear running water," I responded matter-of-factly,
"There could be a stream nearby."
father hurried over to me looking as though he was
about to tell me off but then caught the sound of the
running water himself. He listened intently for a few
moments. He then waved his hand toward mum indicating
for her to come closer.
could be drinkable," he said, "Let's
of us, with my father in front, headed into the small
passage and up a steep incline taking care not to
slip on the shiny stone surface as we entered another
chamber. My mother handed me Richie as she heaved
herself up the sloped ground.
greeted with the magnificent spectacle of a beautiful
waterfall of sparkling clear water that seeped its
way from between the cracks within the rock wall
pouring down into a pool below. Surrounding the pool
were what looked to be plant life with purple berries
encased between green leaves. My mother quickly
rushed closer to the pool and took a look while my
father gazed his eyes around the chamber looking for
unseen dangers. There appeared to be further
passageways beyond the pool itself but they were
inaccessible due to the water.
have to take a sample of the water and berries back
to the ship for analysis," my mother said as she
crouched down for a closer look at them, "But on
initial inspection I think they're edible, but we
need to be certain."
it a strange thing to say, after all we had plenty of
food and water on the ship so why was my mother so
excited at discovering such things.
we already have rations?" I asked as I turned to
my father then back to mother.
silence for a few moments with only the sound of the
waterfall and the wind echoing around the confines of
didn't want to worry you," my mother said.
Richie woke up from his half daze he realised it was
me that was holding him then wiggled himself out of
my arms rushing over to mum. I felt relief as my back
was already starting to ache.
5 - Ice Cold Water
drew in quickly along with a vast drop in temperature.
We sat huddled around a very small fire in the upper
chamber of the temple building next to the pool of
water while feasting upon cold soup made from the
berries. The analysis aboard the ship stated that the
nutrition content was low with a high amount of sugar,
but contained nothing harmful. The water on the other
hand was as pure as water could get and it even
still cold," I said as I sipped some more of the
slimy berry soup.
all are," my father said as he held me tighter.
couldn't huddle any closer than we already were and I
wished there was something else we could burn. I
placed down my soup bowl then blew onto my frozen
hands. There was something about the sound of the
waterfall that made me feel even colder and I wished
we had made our camp further away from it. I was sure
I was getting splashed by tiny drops of moisture that
bounced as it hit the pool below.
need a wee," I said bluntly.
you can't go back to the ship alone especially in the
dark," my mother said, "You'll have to go
in the corner, over there."
pointed to the far side of the chamber.
stay within eyeshot," she added.
toward the far side of the chamber. It was in near
darkness and the shadows caused by the fire gave me
I just wee here?" I asked.
You mean right here?" My father said.
could, um, erm," I said while my eyes warmed
with embarrassed tears, "I could wet myself, on
not!" My mother yelled, "You really are
trying my patience today. You go over in that corner
right now young lady, I'm not having you sitting
there in piss soaked underwear. Now act your age!"
to my feet more out of anger than the urgency to pee,
then very cautiously made my way over to the corner
of the chamber. It was too dark for anyone to see and
the sound from the waterfall would easily cover the
sound of my urine. But I wasn't used to weeing on the
ground and my embarrassment was intensified by the
cold even before I started loosening my clothing. I
couldn't relax and the more I squeezed the less my
urine wanted to flow. I decided to fake it and
pretend I had peed with the intention of holding it
in until the following morning.
up, refastened my clothing, and started making my way
back towards my parents who were still huddled around
the small fire with Richie fast asleep.
sure what happened next. One moment I could feel the
waft of heat coming from the fire and the next an icy
cold chill that ate right through my body and bones
as I struggled to get back to the surface of the
water. I saw flashes of light and the image of both
my parents holding out their arms trying to reach me,
but the pressure from the waterfall above pushed me
down deeper beneath the surface. I was then dragged
further back towards the far side of the pool sliding
down into an adjoining chamber carried by the
constant flow of water. Luckily I managed to regain
my breath as I coughed and spluttered. Eventually the
water pressure subsided and I was sat in a pitch
black passageway as a shallow gentle trickle of water
passed around me. I knew I was lucky to be alive and
quickly clambered to my feet pressing my hands
against the slimy damp stone wall to steady myself.
I screamed, "Dad!"
I heard my father's voice boom back at me.
ghastly smell from earlier that day wafted up my nose
filling my sinuses as I panted with exhaustion. I
okay!" I shouted back between breaths, "I'm
soaking wet but I'm okay. I think I can get back, I
just need to swim!"
come and get you!" My father yelled, "Wait
mother then said something but couldn't quite hear
over the echoed sound of the waterfall.
come here!" I said, "I'll see if I can swim..."
swim back!" I heard my mother's voice, "It's
too dangerous. Is there another way round? There must
be another passage!"
around and faced the darkness in the chamber ahead of
me. There was a dim light coming from the corner and
as I stared at it could just about make out the image
of the rock wall. It was clearly another passageway
but I couldn't tell whether it led up or down. I
wanted to get back to my parents not wander further
is!" I called back, "But I'm not sure if it
will lead to you!"
surprised by my own confidence. I was acting very
brave and even though had just experienced something
that was life threatening I was taking it very calmly.
It must have been my adrenaline kicking in. I could
have a good cry about it later once I was back within
the safety of my parents. I also no longer needed to
chamber you're in is below us!" My father said,
"So if the other one leads up you should be on
the same level at least!"
not sure!" I shouted back, "I'll have to..."
icca canno!" A voice spoke from directly behind
went into overdrive while multiple thoughts rushed
through my brain like thousands of overlapped voices
telling me what to do. My shoulders hunched while
tingles shot down my backbone causing the muscles in
my thighs to throb. The memory of my father's words
rushed through my brain, take no chances, run as fast
as you can!
sound of the waterfall grew silent as I ran directly
through the pitch black chamber as fast as I could
towards the source of light, while my mind dreaded
bumping into whatever it was that spoke those words.
The very instant I entered the small passageway I
noticed further light coming from above. I rushed
towards it, up an incline, which led to another
chamber lit due to the damaged roof letting in
chamber wall contained an archway that led outside. I
ran towards it and straight outside then across a
narrow stone bridge and followed a sandy path that
led further away from the temple.
and ran, not daring to stop, imagining a crazed war
bot chasing me, ready to pounce the moment I slowed
down. On and on I continued, down the sandy path,
into the darkness of night, with the fear of what
could be behind me outweighing what may be lurking
ahead. I had no idea how long I ran. With my mind
acting so much faster than my body I felt I was
moving in slow motion, but knew in fact that I was
running faster that I ever had in my entire life.
eventually collapsed to the ground with total
exhaustion then vomited the berry soup I had eaten
earlier while keeping my eyes firmly fixated upon the
direction in which I came to make sure I wasn't being
followed. The moonlight made it clear that I wasn't.
decided to continue to be as brave as possible and
not give up in a fit of tears. The best option was to
find somewhere to hide for the rest of the night,
then make my way back during the daylight hours. I
was still wearing wet clothes after all in a
temperature that was below zero. Once my adrenaline
rush had worn off I knew I was going to feel it and
it wasn't going to be pleasant.
myself up and leant forward resting my hands against
my knees taking deep breaths before gradually
exhaling. My heartbeat was audible within my head and
my muscles twitched. It was imperative to retain
control of my exhausted body for my very life counted
only led in two directions, the way I had come or
further ahead winding its way out of eyeshot. To my
left the rock face made it impossible to traverse in
that direction while to the right was a cliff. Taking
a few steps closer to its edge seeing how far down it
went something caught my eye. I could see our ship in
the distance outside the temple. I hadn't travelled
as far as I had first thought. If it wasn't for the
sheer drop in front of me I could have simply made my
way over to the ship.
decided to continue further down the path not daring
to turn back with a crazed cyborg on the loose.
Forcing myself to remain calm I casually began
walking, keeping my eyes ahead of me, while
occasionally taking a quick look behind to make sure
I wasn't being followed.
long before the path turned a corner and I found
myself faced with a large pit ahead preventing me
from travelling any further. There was no danger of
falling in due to a gradual sloping of the path,
clearly designed in that manner due to cyborgs having
problems with steps, or so I guessed. It was then I
realised our ship would make the ideal place to hide
from them due to its stair gantry.
moonlight filled the pit ahead of me an eerie white
glow causing me to shudder which intensified the cold
I felt making me to twitch then suddenly start to
shiver. It was clear there were items within the pit
which looked like broken metal, possibly even broken
cyborgs, piled up in a haphazard fashion. I suspected
it was a junk pile.
icca canno!" I heard from some distance behind
even turning to look I ran forward down the slope
into the pit then hid myself among the broken metal
components trying to physically hide beneath them.
6 - Warm Metal
I imagined that I would be less likely to be
discovered if I closed my eyes, so forced them closed
as tightly as I could while covering them with my
hands. My hiding place, underneath a pile of twisted
metal, may have been perfect but I then remembered
that the path led nowhere but directly into the pit.
The cyborg following me would be well aware that I
was around there somewhere and most probably continue
the search without giving up. I hoped it was the sort
of cyborg that had low intelligence and continue the
constant shivering was a giveaway too, no matter how
hard I tried I couldn't keep my body still as my wet
clothing froze to my body.
icca canno!" I heard again from above just at
the rim of the pit.
my breath in the hope to keep my body silent as I
listened as hard as I could. I could hear footfalls
within the frozen sand and they were coming closer.
There was no way I could simply wait until the cyborg
found me, it could kill me on the spot, I needed to
run and hope that it couldn't keep up.
quickly jumped to my feet causing the twisted metal
components I was hiding among to clash while fall to
the ground. However before I got the chance to move I
was distracted by the cyborg's appearance. It was
nothing like I expected and for a moment I thought it
was human. We stared at each other for a few moments
within the dim moonlight. I cursed myself for
hesitating then ran back up the path only to slip on
the loose sand. Before I got my footing back it spoke
icca canno," it said to me calmly.
to face it. The white of the dim moonlight made it
unclear as to what I was seeing but the cyborg's
silhouette looked like a tall naked woman with a bald
head. Humanoid cyborgs were unnerving to most people
yet I felt more at ease with her looking human than
if she resembled anything else.
don't know what that means!" I screeched while
trying to remain calm.
imperative not to antagonise it, for if it did
possess any emotion it may have been angered by my
yell. I raised my palms in a submissive gesture.
sorry I don't know what that means," I said as
calmly as I could muster.
cyborg tilted its head for it was clear it couldn't
understand me either. I began walking backwards up
the sloped path while keeping my eyes firmly fixated
upon the cyborg. My legs wobbled with each step while
the rest of my body shivered with both cold and fear.
don't know what that means," I repeated myself
as my head span with dizziness, "I don't know
what you want."
gave way and I fell backwards against the sandy
ground. The cyborg calmly approached and looked down
at me with its black emotionless eyes. It then
dropped to its knees and leant forward lifting me up
before holding me against its body.
icca canno," it said softly.
ghastly smell from before appeared to ooze from the
pores of the cyborg in the form of an oily liquid
that stank like rotten vegetables, rotten eggs and
engine oil all rolled into one. This nasty cyborg
sweat felt warm as it held my body closer in a tight
embrace. I couldn't tell if it was trying to kill or
comfort me but I remained totally still allowing its
warm metallic skin to touch against my wet cold body.
7 - Bright Sunshine
remained in the same position, with the cyborg
holding me within its arms, for the rest of the night.
I even managed to sleep within the warm haze of its
metallic skin. It was clear that the cyborg held me
no malice and had in fact saved my life but it was
still unclear as to what it intended to do with me.
Was I now its prisoner? I wondered to myself.
bright morning sunshine offered little heat but that
didn't bother me due to the warm oily cyborg sweat
that covered my clothes. I stank something ghastly
but I was becoming accustomed to the smell.
the daylight I could see that the cyborg was a light
shade of gold and its metallic skin was far softer
than I expected it to be. It must have been an
advanced type of soft metal. It even appeared to be
breathing too, and its eyes blinked, making me
realise this was no ordinary cyborg.
noticed me staring then broke our embrace standing up
in front of me. With our position on the sloping path,
me sitting and it standing, the naked cyborg was at
an embarrassing position causing me to quickly jump
to my feet to avoid eye contact with its more
intimate body part.
cyborg then started walking back up the slope back
into the direction of the temple. I quickly followed.
canno mya nicka," it said turning its gaze
sorry, I really don't understand," I responded.
cyborg then continued down the path as I hurried
along beside it. I wondered if it was intentionally
returning me back to the temple or simply going that
way anyway, it wasn't as though the path led anywhere
else after all.
clothing felt damp yet warm, however I wasn't sure if
the wetness was due to the water pool I fell in the
previous night or the cyborg's oily warm sweat. In
either case at least I was no longer shivering.
continued down the path heading back toward the
temple I noticed the crashed ship in the distance
again. I tried to make out any figures in the
distance but didn't see any. I guessed my parents and
younger brother were still inside the temple in a
frantic search for me. I wondered if they thought I
had died, then imagined their excitement once we all
met up again.
the cyborg stopped then crouched down on bended knees.
I wondered what it was doing. Maybe it was low on
power. I stood beside it.
are you okay?" I asked, "Are you damaged?"
its hand in a gesture for me to crouch down too. As I
did so I could hear something but it was difficult to
get a fix on its location. The sound was buzzing yet
it appeared to echo as though moving. The cyborg,
still crouching beside me, gently took hold of my
hand as the buzzing grew louder. It soon dawned on my
that the buzzing was the sound of rotor blades and
there was a flying object nearby.
flash an object resembling a metallic spider on
rotors appeared from the side of the cliff face
heading directly towards us. The cyborg beside me let
go of my hand and jumped to its feet physically
punching its fist at the metallic spider sending it
plunging back down the cliff.
raced and I twitched my head from side to side
wondering if any more of those things were about. I
was so glad this cyborg was on my side.
Thank you," I said while gasping with emotion
while still glancing my head in all directions.
nikya," the cyborg said rubbing its sore fist.
step closer to the cliff and peering at the sheer
drop below I caught a glimpse of the spider crawling
along the ground with its mangled rotors. In the
distance to the right was our crashed spacecraft
while to the left I could see human shaped figures.
For a brief moment I thought they may be my parents
searching for me then realised they weren't human
after all. I initially counted two of them then a
further six in the far distance, as their shiny metal
bodies glistened in the sunlight, however these weren't
the same type of cyborg as my rescuer for they
appeared skeletal in structure. Luckily we were in no
immediate danger but just one turning their gaze
would be enough for them to spot me so I quickly
icca canno," the cyborg repeated.
and proceeded to follow it down the path heading in
the direction of the temple.
8 - Back To Safety
cyborg's skin looked incredibly shiny as the gold
metallic surface reflected in the sunlight. I could
literally see my own reflection and was aware of my
dirty face. I licked my fingers and rubbed them over
my forehead to rub away the dirt, however when I
tried to do repeat the action I tasted the oily sweat
that had transferred from the cyborg onto me and it
tasted similar to how it smelled. I gagged and had to
spit onto the ground which caused the cyborg to look
at me with puzzlement.
sorry if you find that rude," I said knowing
full well that cyborgs had no concept of what was
considered rude or not and that it had no idea of
what I was actually saying.
chuckled with myself. I actually felt comfort with
this mindless machine and wondered if we could keep
it. I had never owned a cyborg before it would be fun
having one around. I was lying to myself. This was
far from a mindless machine and it had twice saved my
life. I wasn't sure how to express how I felt inside
but knew I needed to say something.
at its back and its wobbly bottom as I continued to
walk behind. Surprisingly its bare feet appeared
smooth without a hint of sand stuck to their
underside causing me to wonder if its oily skin
protected it somehow. The cyborg was moving at a
steady pace and I was already quite breathless. I
trotted a few steps to keep up and continued to walk
you," I said turning to face her, "For, you
finish the sentence for I couldn't find the words.
Instead I nodded as though it meant something more.
got closer to the small stone bridge leading to the
temple roof I noticed a smaller pathway leading
around the building in a downward spiral. I wondered
if that was another way down to the ground.
cyborg slowed its walking taking extra care to cross
the bridge as I followed. It then headed right so I
continued to follow as we both traversed the path
around the outside of the temple down to ground level.
In some ways the path reminded me of a helter-skelter.
reached ground level and saw our crashed ship I
immediately ran into the stone archway of the temple
and shouted at the top of my voice causing a large
echo to bounce around the building.
Dad!" I shouted, "I'm here. I'm okay!"
I heard my mum screech as she ran out of the small
passageway in the corner.
moments my mother rushed closer, wrapping her arms
around me, catching a whiff of the ghastly cyborg
sweat that covered my body.
happened?" She asked in a panic with tears in
her eyes, "Where have you been? We've been
searching all night."
peeped out from the small passageway and hurried over
to me carrying Richie in his arms. I could see my
father's clothing was drenched where he must have
been attempting to search for me.
okay one of the cyborgs helped me," I said.
As if on
cue the cyborg entered the temple entrance with the
bright sunshine reflecting against its metallic
golden skin. My mother stared at it bright eyed.
icca canno," it said.
mother placed her hands together and bowed her head
nana cina chino," my mother responded, "Thank
you for looking after our daughter, we are forever
grateful and we'll always be in your debt."
stunned I had no idea my mother could speak the
not a cyborg," my mother whispered to me, "That's
an Artemis Nun."