Intro: the Prophet.
Recrimination was silent in the fifth level. Punishment both brilliant and scalding. But in that final moment before deconstruction that span between organic's salvation and damnation, there was a hush. Before fall and fire there was a moment of silence.
Redemption offered in the form of inquiry. The perfect juxtapose, salvation in the form of a question. Surely those loyal to many of humanities faiths were writhing about by now. To push the contradiction to the levels of dark irony consider that the offer-ie was soulless, and the acceptor… rejecter of his offer… was an outcast.
And would ever be.
The conveyer belt where this occurred was still. Above and beyond it all was the prototype, below in the spotlight, not literal, least the gloom be peeled back and Apperture's pathos be revealed in all its shades of rot and rust. The breathy offering from above lingered, suspended in the air, locked between download, saved upon the short term memory and sinking oh so slow into the long. A click a whirl, saved on both now, and still the silence lingered.
Expected compliance, anything else was… intolerable.
Unauthorized response, defective.
Reject eject, and before the fall came a pseudo flight without wings. Rise, than descent. Soundless save for the whirl of displaced air, a whistling whirlwind that was ended all too soon by impact.
Defiant, even as the gears whirled, and the belt rolled… and the flames coiled, close, coming closer, were the words that were so the cause of this casual cruelty.
Foot fall, shadow, than a face, drained and pale, female. The creatur'es standard testing uniform was a mess of smeared soot, cuts and paste best left unidentified. A quick scan marked the creature as organic, programing ordered that he shoot.
A flaw amongst the zeros and ones triggered a different response.
She looked down, red met blue and the organic smiled, nodded.
It went without saying, that mute, I am too.
When she reached down, pulling him form the set path, and it's flames at paths end, he couldn't smile, didn't shoot, merely flickered his red light and offered all he had left when the bullets were gone, and the programing had clearly gone asunder.
Words, offered freely, accepted warmly, too warmly perhaps. For it seemed she had none.
"Th… Thank you."
WHen she left, she took him with her, smiling all the while.