**The story below is a draft **
“You haven’t changed a bit Roloth”
The cyborg or “Traiton”, as they were not so affectionately known by citizens of the HIF (Human Intergalactic Federation), sat across from Roloth, captain of the mercenary vessel “Gunslinger Jazz” who was resting casually back in his bar chair.
“Nothing changes in space Jaron, it only grows colder, you remember that”
Roloth took a swig of the chemical brew in front of him and they both stared into the distance momentarily revisiting memories of their pasts before Jaron snapped them back
“Perhaps, but the war does not go well for your side Roloth, when Humanity finally falls there will be great change and upon all your graves it will be the coldest”
He stared at his old partner for a moment and grit his teeth a little, they’d both been outlaws to the HIF and had lived at it’s fringes, constantly on the run and hunted by their own kind at a time when humans died by the thousands daily. He hated the HIF but ultimately he hated the machines more, especially their leader.
“Don’t count your podlings before they gestate Jaron” he said through gritted teeth as his chair slammed back to 4 legs on the ground “The HIF forces are still killing hundreds of you tin cans every week”
“For the hundreds you kill we build thousands more Roloth, you know this, I have seen it with my own optics, an entire world devoted to the building of sentient mecha designed for the sole purpose of killing your kind…”
“Our kind you mean.”
Jarons brow creased in the middle at the point where his implants met his native flesh as he tensed at Roloths taunt.
“… your kind Roloth. I am now Jaron of the 17th Hive Fleet of of the 4th Binary, I made the decision to choose the side that will win in this conflict and if you had but a quanta of sense you would be wise to do the same.”
Roloth stared back at Jarons cold features and knew that although this thing had the face, mannerisms and voice of his old gunner Jaron that he was not that human creature any more but something else entirely, the broken man that Jaron became was now fused with mecha and then integrated into the hive mind of the enemy, old Jaron was truely dead and this thing, he thought, should be seen now as nothing but a puppet of their accursed leader.
“As much as I love trading pleasantries with you Jaron and reminiscing about the good old times I think you need to get to the reason you called me here before I give the signal to those mercenaries over there I paid earlier to kill you”
Jarons mouth fell at the corners only for it to be quickly be replace by a cold and calculating smirk.
“You were always a cunning one Roloth, it is why our great leader picked you from the many human connections we, what is the phrase you use, ‘Traitons’ isn’t it, from the many connections we Traitons have in our memories from before the great gifting. He reached out to me through the interstellar pathways to extend an offer to you, an offer he is sure you will find most intriguing.”
“If you think I want to become a walking toaster like you then your ‘master’ is sorely mistaken, what’s more you can tell him to kiss my warm human ass and go shang himself.”
“Whatever you may think of me now Roloth I knew you once and I know you still now, I communicated to the great one that you would not be interested in such a gift, but I know Roloth, I know what it is you would have and the great one agrees that it is what we should offer to you.”
Roloth stood up and so did 4 other men from a nearby table.
“It’s been great seeing you again Jaron but I think, in fact I’m certain of it, that I don’t ever want to see you again.”
With that he turned his back on his former shipmate and began to walk away, simultaneously the four men from the nearby table got up and started towards Jaron, large energy weapons ready by their sides that Jaron knew they just itched to use on convert scum such as Jaron.
“You’re wife, Roloth… and child.”
He stopped suddenly and a chill ran up his spine whilst the words seemed to hang in the air, the men in his pay had halted and stood waiting for im to confirm the kill.
“You wish to see them again, do you not?”
Roloth turned around slowly, eyed the larger of the mercenaries and with a shake of his head motioned for them to sit back down, he then walked back to his chair and reclaimed his seat in front of Jaron, looking across at him now with a deadly seriousness.
“My Wife and my Child, are dead.”
“What is death to the great leader Roloth? Your Federation has come close but it has never succeeded in it’s efforts to clone your kind both in body and mind have they? Instabilities in the matrix I believe? You will be most joyous to know then that once more our glorious ruler has succeeded where mankind has failed and so he wishes me to offer you a trade, your family returned to you once more and his word that you may all live out your days on a small planet of no concern to him in peace and tranquillity with everything you want provided to you.”
Roloth said nothing but to Jarons cybernetic eyes and other senses the pulses of electricity in his nervous system, the heat rise in his extremities and the increased perspiration said everything, this was not something Roloth had expected. He was silent for some time until he spoke again, quietly as if lost in a dream and dared not disturb in case it should pass and fade.
“Their DNA was lost. Your mecha swept across our planet like a plague and devoured everything.”
“Yes our world eaters are insatiable aren’t they, but we are not like you flesh constructs Roloth, we are pure and efficient, we record and catalogue everything, your wife and child’s DNA is safely stored in our archives and we can return them to you, with your memories and thoughts we will make them just as they were and you will have your family again.”
He was silent. Jaron was now sitting back relaxed, the mercenaries had returned to their game of batcha and you’d be hard pressed to mark them once again as any different from the many societal dregs in the establishment. Roloth was now a man torn between choices, his brow was furrowed and his clenched fists raised and covering his mouth in contemplation, his gaze was cast down at the table as if he was looking for guidance from the swirls and patterns the lights cast across the alloy surface. He looked up slowly, clearly the answers he sought had come to him, and he stared into Jarons cold cybernetic eyes.
“What do I have to do?”
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