Revised Preface

I originally wrote this story as my first full-length online novel back in 2008, after trying a couple WALL•E short stories, The Connection and Connection 2.

I only had an idea of what I was doing as a novelist back then, and it shows to a degree. But in going back fully eight years later now and "polishing" this work as it's called in the writing trade, I decided to have some respect for my original efforts. Although simpler and shorter, the paragraphs and chapters of this story still have an ability to move even me. Plus my style evolves through the course of this story, particularly around Chapter 6. So aside from reducing some of the ellipses (. . .) and em dashes (—), I've decided to leave the writing pretty much as it originally came.

Once again though, I gladly thank Disney's Pixar Animation Studios for creating the movie WALL•E and the characters of WALL•E and EVE.

This story does contain some spoilers from the movie, so you might want to ensure that you've seen it first. It is also dedicated to all those who commit themselves to the unconditional love and care of others.

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It is theorized though that whenever we encounter a fork in life's road, or a pivotal event happens for us where things could go one way or another — while we think we're going down just one path, another "us" may be going down that other path, in another reality or dimension.

So what happens on that alternate path in time and experience, when EVE spark-kisses WALL•E after rebuilding him, bringing him back from the edge of death, and he doesn't wake up as himself . . .

EVE could sense now that WALL•E had slipped away from her. His body was still there in front of her. She had rebuilt or replaced so much of him in such a hurry to save him. Maybe she had replaced too much of him.

She no longer knew.

EVE leaned her head against his blank stare in despair, after she had caught up with him outside his truck. She sadly hummed WALL•E's favorite romantic tune — the one he had used to try and set the most romantic mood he could in courting her and trying to win, literally, her hand.

She now spark-kissed him. Still nothing. No response.

With great sadness, EVE started to pull away from WALL•E. She had done all she could. Her fingers, intertwined in his hand, remained stuck there for a moment. She wondered if he was keeping them stuck there. But still, there was none of the WALL•E she knew and loved left in the optics of the robot now in front of her. EVE lingered a moment longer . . . hoping, anticipating, expecting, willing him to just wake up, to return to her.

But her fingers were stuck in his hand, she sadly realized, and that was all.

EVE gently pulled her fingers free, and turned away. But where would she go now? What would she do, now that her directive in finding plant life on Earth was fulfilled? In a sense, her old life had ended, seemingly along with WALL•E's old life.

EVE paused and looked for a moment at WALL•E's truck. She saw places now familiar to her, both through her conscious experience, and through the memories her security camera had recorded for her while she was dormant with the plant inside her. EVE found herself replaying those memories now in her head. All those views of WALL•E tending to her while she was dormant, devotedly remaining by her side. Even when he no longer knew what to do for her, EVE now saw WALL•E taking care of her anyway.

EVE tearfully realized that she loved WALL•E. She still loved him. Even if she did not know what to do for him. Even if he was not himself. He never gave up on her. How could she now give up on him?

EVE turned around to find WALL•E had gone back to automatically cubing trash. His optics were still straight, level, and blank — his motions straightforward and repetitive, just as they'd been programmed at the factory over 700 years ago.

She turned her gaze away from him for a moment again, wondering what her life would become if she stayed with him, at his side, but he never got better. Never again became the WALL•E that she truly loved.

EVE looked at her security camera images one more time. There was WALL•E again, doing everything in the world for her, just because he loved her. He was there, for her — seeming even to reach for her across time to where she was now.

EVE decided that she wanted to experience a love like that, even if it was just her giving it. She also wanted to do anything she could for the WALL•E she once knew and loved, even if it was just keeping hope alive for some future she couldn't yet see.

She turned around again. With a new directive now firmly in place within her, EVE went back to WALL•E. Once more she gently stopped WALL•E from what he was doing. He was again confused as to why he'd been interrupted from his directive. EVE took one of his hands with one fin, and with the other fin, she pointed to him, and then to herself.

"Directive . . . WALL•E, EVE's dir-ect-ive," she said slowly and clearly, ensuring he understood.

This new WALL•E didn't comprehend the commitment EVE had just made to him. But he sensed that this probe would now be his guide to the world he found himself in.

This wasn't the love EVE had been striving so hard for just moments ago. But she felt she was in love, and experiencing love nonetheless. She also had hope. EVE decided she would play and replay her security camera images of the WALL•E she loved to sustain that hope, just as WALL•E had once showed her how he played and replayed "Hello Dolly" to sustain his dreams. She resolved she would at least teach this WALL•E about the wonderful consciousness that had preceded him.

EVE put a fin around WALL•E. "End day," she said. "Return, truck," she gently instructed, pointing with her other fin towards the home they would now share.

WALL•E briefly looked at EVE, and then obediently engaged his traction motors, and started rolling towards the truck with her.

The other rogue robots had been gathered near the truck watching all of this respectfully, but also sadly silent. EVE now waived them off with a fin.

"Directive . . . alone," she said, without emotion, and without really looking at them.

As the other robots left, not really knowing where to go, M-O turned back towards EVE.

"R-r-r-r-r-ready h-h-h-help," he said in his high-pitched voice, letting EVE know that they all would be there for her, as she was for WALL•E.