I had become the protector of a small colony, the last human survivors that I could find within a 1000 mile radius. In that time I had learned of the event that took place, the one that destroyed 99% of humanity and most importantly, took my love from me as far as I knew. In my search of knowledge of the event I pieced together what had happened to my own self.
My first encounter with survivors happened nearly a month after my encounter with the swarm. Looking back it was not by chance I went unnoticed by the A.I. It spent that time observing me and my action. It too was curious as to what I was. I was human but unlike another, it knew before I did that I had become a new species, human blended with machine. It spent that time trying to analyze how powerful I was as I was learning what I was capable of.
After observing me it decided to test my abilities, unknown to me at the time. I was searching through the rubble of small city, the name no longer matter, human history had come to an unknown end. This city was in ruins, evidence of explosions, possibly from bombing, possibly a nuclear weapon. There was enough remaining evidence that this was the scene of battle between humanity and whatever had destroyed them. Again at this time I did not know it was machines, sentient, intelligent machines.
In the distance I heard a low, consistent humming. The humming level slowly increased and I knew it was heading in my direction. Then I heard low, methodical, ‘thud, thud, thud’ coming closer to my location. For a moment, I debated hiding. A voice in the back of my mind said, no, it was time to stand my ground against whatever it was and I wanted answers. Just something in my mind told me that I would get the answers I needed.
Over the top of the rubble I saw two gleaming objects coming in my direction. Both were twelve feet tall, bright metallic silver, bipedal, brandishing two arms that were clearly weapons.
“Target acquired…engaging.” It was a metallic, monotone voice but it did not come from the two mechanisms, I heard it in my mind.
Simultaneously both raised their right arms aiming at me. The arms began to glow a bright green with a subtle crackling in the air. I put my left arm up as if I had a shield in it as I dug my feet in the ground preparing for the impending blast. I felt my body warm up, as well as I could see my skin begin to glow, then hardened a golden metallic color. I said aloud, ‘shield’ just as both mechanisms launched their beam attack.
Their blasts struck me at the same time, the heat was intense and I could see it curl around my body. The beams were continuous, as the mechanisms continued to move toward me. I thought I needed to absorb and redirect the energy. Suddenly, my shield reformed into a scoop, glowing brighter and brighter as the energy from the beams was contained and absorbed.
Both of the machines stopped in their tracks and ceased their attack. I pictured in my mind launching the energy back at one of them. To my shock the energy shield formed into a barrel and all the collected energy was fired back at one of the machines, burning a hole through it, then melting the upper torso.
I turned my attention to the machine. It was just standing there, a beam of red light washed over my body. I knew it was analyzing me, reporting its finding back to whomever or whatever was the mastermind. In the back of my mind I had a flash of a thought. The scanner beam is a two-way road. It was time for me to get some answers.
I could feel my eyes burning, then a soft glowing beam flashed from my eyes turning the red beam golden. I was in. There was a rush of information, images and data pouring into my mind. For a moment I was overwhelmed, my brain felt as though it would explode from all the information. Soon afterwards thought the flood of information became a simple, manageable river of knowledge that I was absorbing and processing.
My eyes widen as I understood the volumes of information and understand the magnitude of what had happened on earth and began to understand what had happened to me. At first, sorrow washed over me, everyone I knew, everyone I had loved was dead. The one word I understood was nanites. I was infected with nanites was my first thought at that moment.
Sensing my distraction the machine raised its weapon arm, pointed it at me and prepared to fire. In my mind I felt ‘danger’. I glanced up just as it fired. ‘Shield’. My shield went up just in time to deflect the beam blast. At the same time the machine raised its other arm, a kinetic weapon.
It rattled off numerous rounds at me. My shield was up melting each projectile as soon as they struck it.
My sorrow transformed into pure rage, rage at a level I never experienced before. I directed my rage at my remaining foe. I raised my arm, nanites poured from my arm, swarming around the war machine. It did not just destroy it. I took it apart one limb at a time making sure the entity was witnessing this moment. Then I had my nanites disassemble each part down to the molecular level and reassembled it into a metal pyramid; in honor of a long gone friend of mine.
My rage increased, my body burned as though it was in the center of the sun. In that moment of rage my body released millions of nanites which consumed the nearby, decrepit building. I rearranged the material into a giant wall, encompassing me where I stood. The nanites returned to my body as I dropped to my knees and wept. I wept over the loss of my beloved.
I had no recollection of how long I knelt in my crypt of sorts. When I could no longer cry I got back up onto my feet. With a wave of my hand I sent nanites forth, melting away a part of the wall to make me a doorway.
I stepped out into the light of the sun and in front of several disheveled humans. They were in just as much shock as I was. In flash they began to scatter into the surrounding dilapidated buildings.