Of The Sun
She knew she didn't have much time left. It had been a miracle that Murdoc had been able to get her operating system running again after her malfunction in the car. With her constant errors and glitches and meltdowns she was barely operational. Even as simple a movement as walking, just putting one leg in front of the other, was beyond her right now and toddlers could do that.
The android was in standby mode now as she recharged, the wires plugged into her skull running far above her into the ceiling. She was surrounded by weaponry; rifles, submachine guns, grenades, rocket launchers, shotguns, handguns, and belts of ammunition were strewn around the room. Closest to her was her trusted sniper rifle, loaded and ready to fire at the first sign Murdoc or herself were in danger.
The cameras in her eyes detected movement in the corner of the darkened room that did not match with the profile of any of the known inhabitants of Plastic Beach, and she reached for her rifle. Her fingers spasmed, and her arm locked into place an inch away from her gun. She grunted in frustration. Trying to move any part of her upper body resulted in an error message. She was at the intruder's mercy.
"I did not come to fight you and I do not intend to," the intruder said in a heavily accented voice.
Her eyes finally switched to night vision, and she saw the intruder's face. Slightly older, slightly scarred, it was still recognized by the software Murdoc had programmed into her.
Noodle, the real flesh and blood Noodle, was standing in front of the android, a white mask on top of her head. She wore a white trapeze dress trimmed with red, white gloves, and black-and-white striped stockings, very different then the black quasi-military unifrom the android was wearing.
"You've come," the android said, the servos moving her mouth grinding in protest. Her operating system was going into a panic. At the rate she was malfunctioning, she wouldn't last much longer before her system crashed again.
The real Noodle nodded. "Yes."
"With you back, he won't need me anymore," said the android, almost sounding sad.
Noodle's gloved hands brushed the synthetic hair out of the android's face. "I'm sorry."
"It's good that you've come to Plastic Beach. I've never worked right and now I'm breaking down."
For a moment, Noodle didn't know what to say. "Can I do anything for you? To help?"
The android made a noise that sounded like a sigh. "No. My operating system is going to crash soon. When it does, everything will be completely wiped." She paused, before adding in a small voice. "I can't be fixed. All my back-ups are corrupted. When I crash this time, I won't be able to reboot. All I can do is wait..."
"I will wait with you, then," said Noodle. She helped the android into a sitting position by bending her knees and lowering the rest of her malfunctioning body to the floor, the wires extending down from the ceiling to keep her plugged in.
"Why?" asked the android as the real Noodle sat beside her on the concrete. She'd lost control over everything below the neck now. It wouldn't be long...
Noodle smiled sadly, grasped the android's hand and gave it a quick squeeze. "I know what it's like to be all alone and afraid, little robot sister."
The android gave what could've been a smile or a muscle spasm.
Noodle sat in the dark room beside the android holding onto her limp hand for a little over an hour before the android's body seized up and her eyes shone brightly. The android's OS had finally crashed, and it was taking all of the other systems in the android's body down with it.
With the last ounce of strength the android possessed, she looked up into the face of the woman she'd been modelled after. She had been an imperfect copy, not meant to last, but she had to make sure her primary function was still carried out. "You will keep Murdoc safe?" the android managed to say before her mouth servos locked up, freezing her lips shut.
Noodle nodded. "You have my word," she said before cupping the android's face in her hands and kissing her forehead. "Now rest, Noodle."
With a sigh, the android's eyes dulled. Oil ran down the android's face as her systems gradually shut down.
Noodle shut the android's eyes and unplugged the wires from the sockets in her skull, leaving them dangling above the android's still body. She reached up to her own head and lowered the white mask over her face before gathering the android in her arms and carrying her out of the room.
Outside in the blinding sun, she laid the broken android in a small wooden boat tied up to the dock. Noodle crossed the android's arms and wetted the android's lips with a drop or two of seawater before untying the boat from the dock and giving it a small shove with her foot.
Noodle watched the little boat slowly sail away from the dock until it was a small brown dot on the horizon. She was not surprised to hear someone approach her from behind, their shoes clacking lightly against the planks of wood, stopping about a foot away from her.
"She could play a guitar and mimic you well enough," said Murdoc's gravelly voice, "But she never was you, love."
Noodle glanced at the bass player over her shoulder through the eyeholes of her mask. Murdoc looked about the same as he had the last time she'd seen him, just greener. "Of course," she said, "You can't make a Noodle out of wire and circuits, Murdoc. I thought you knew better then that."
Closing the distance between himself and Noodle, Murdoc slowly removed the mask from her face. She looked up at him with her damaged eye, the white area now permanently bloodshot. He stared at the purple bruises and scars that were carved into that side of her face, an unreadable expression on his face.
"I'm sorry," he said quietly, giving her the mask back.
Noodle clutched the mask to her chest for a moment but did not put it back over her face. Instead she dropped the mask, threw her arms around Murdoc and hugged him tightly.
2D was here. Murdoc was here. And now she was here and Russel was on his way. They would all be together again soon.