King of the Monsters

Something I noticed during my expedition through the building was the buzzing of weird technology surrounding the walls, beneath my feet the floor seemed to register and recognize movement so to speak. It reflected greyish light with every step I took.

I met more automata as Thoth and Eset led me down the pathways, though they seemed busy and unwilling to communicate. As far as interactions went, most didn notice me or were too busy to say anything. Quite the change of pace for me, it feels nice to not be surrounded all the time.

”Come on, Avery! The command center is not far from here, and there is a vending machine right around this corner! ” Thoth happily tugged my arm.

Hes quite the nice little guy, he almost reminds me of a small animal in the way he behaves. Eset on the other hand is more… crueler, so to speak. I wonder if they were paired together for this purpose in particular.

”Im coming, little one, ” I responded, following him.

His small legs required him to take three steps for every one step I took, so it was a bit difficult to not overcome him in speed. I noticed Eset also had this problem, though to a lesser degree it seemed.

I suppose these Intelligence Units were built to be smaller, and more nimble while Maintenance Units were built to be larger and more durable. Specifying the roles of an Automata is a new idea to me, whenever I constructed a Golem or Automata in the past I would usually make them all-purpose.

Scarab seems to have developed quite the lot over the time Ive been gone.

”See, heres a vending machine! It has all sorts of drinks and snacks, do you want anything? ” Thoth pointed towards a small glass panel with weird glowing symbols atop it, and a small divot in the wall.

I held my hand towards the machine, almost naturally, and felt my body move on its own as knowledge began seeping into my brain.

Iced coffee, please.

No sugar or milk.

Fine. I replied to the souls and tapped on the device.

The glowing symbols translated themselves into a language I could understand, and I went to fulfill the order. The souls are directly pushing information into my mind, I didn know what Coffee was before they began altering my thoughts… but, I suppose this is the price for survival.

The small machine dispensed a cold can of black coffee filled with ice that rattled within the small metal container, I opened the lid and drank the small can of bitter liquid.

For some reason, I both loved and hated its flavor.

Gross… so bitter.

Shut it. Its better this way.

Maybe that is why.

It seems the souls are affecting me somehow, it might have something to do with this Karma they used to rebuild my soul and how its completely different now… but, Im in the firm belief that Im still me.

”Oh! You know how to operate it? I assumed that you wouldn , considering you are from the golden age. ” Thoth told me while ordering his own drink.

I assume you all know something about this, right? I asked the souls.

Mhm! Ive been busy collecting the information and compiling it into your soul. Its not a whole lot but it should be useful for you in general.

Thank you, purple. I replied.

It definitely will help, but it certainly feels weird.

”I find it odd you went for Black Coffee, that is way too bitter for me. ” Thoth made conversation while we sat and drank for a while. Eset seemed displeased at being distracted from our mission, though she relented and got her drink.

Hot cocoa for the both of them it seemed.

”Thoth, tell me more about this place, ” I questioned while sipping this bitter coffee.

”Oh, well, this place is known as The Vault. Its a small space station where Automata live and operate. The Earth has been overrun by Angels and Demons quite a while ago, right after you… uh… died. So, we moved here. ” Thoth drank his hot cocoa and leaned against the wall across from me in the short corridor.

”What happened to the humans, and the monsters? ” I humbly asked, hoping for some good news.

”Well, the monsters disappeared after you were killed. The humans were overrun and killed, only a few remnants of their civilization remain… though, few pockets of humans still remain across the globe. ” Thoth smiled.

I stood shocked for a moment but reassured myself. This was something that I knew would happen should I have failed, and I… did. This is all my fault.

I could only muster an ”I see, ” before turning to a gloomy silence, finishing the bitter drink, and placing the empty cup within a small disposal chute.

”You… are back though! The effects this will have on the world are… astronomical! ” Thoth happily spoke after a long while of silence.

”You are right, ” I began walking once more, then following and eventually overtaking me to lead me to Scarab. ”I am back. ”

I marched my way towards the command center, Thoth swiftly guiding me through the hallways of ivory white material and grey light. This time, for sure, I will defeat the Angels and Demons.

”Here we are, the command center! ” Thoth stated, partially ruining my internal monologue.

We passed through a small door into a large circular room, the walls were lined with computer screens and large sections of the room were dedicated to giant servers. Automata rushed between the sections of monitors and desks, filling the room with a great ambient noise that shut down as they noticed my entrance.

”Avery! ” I heard a familiar voice say.

”Its been a while, Scarab. ” I smiled, looking upwards to a small platform with her looking down upon me.

”Hehe… it really has, is everything ok? Where is Arch? ” She walked down a set of stairs and greeted me with a handshake.

She was still her normal old self, her appearance didn change much at all… maybe she was a little bit taller, though nothing major. Her voice was older though, one more closely resembling an adult rather than a child.

Scarab wore a variation of the other Automatas cloaks, this one lined with black fur and markings across it the whole as a design. Her eyes were a bright silver, same as her hair which almost looked like steel.

”I left Arch behind, the containment pod broke when I was fully revived, ” I answered her while fluffing up her hair a small bit.

Remarkably, it felt like normal hair.

”I see, Im sorry I wasn able to greet you when you were revived, I got a little busy, and…well… ” She apologized.

”Its okay, Scarab. ” I gave a big smile.

”Hehe… oh! Welcome to The Vault! Did Arch explain everything? ” Scarab laughed and asked.

”Nope, but Thoth here did a very good job. ” I motioned towards the retreating Automata, who was trying to sneak away while he could. He seemed to be a bit frightened of Scarab.

”I see, thank you TH-0X. Is that a nickname Avery gave you? ” Scarab remarked with a scary expression on her face like if he answered wrong she would kill him on the spot.

I turned to TH-0X and winked, hoping that should I permit him he would get off scot-free.

”Y-yeah! ” He fearfully replied.

”I see. You may continue to refer to yourself as Thoth around Avery, though please continue to use your serial number around other Automata for identification purposes. ” Scarab retracted her expression and changed it back into a happy one.

”I see you run an iron grip on these Automata! ” I laughed, breaking the serious mood.

”I do what I must, without their serial code its difficult to identify their bodies or backup data here at the Command Center. ” She informed me with a smile.

I see. Using a serial code to keep track of all of these Automata allows her to readily remake them should they be corrupted or fall in combat, or at least thats what I gleaned from that information.

”So. Tell me what I missed. ” I asked, ”And what happened for me to die. ”

”Hehe… of course. ” She smiled.

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