A/N: Honestly? I don't know where this came from. It just sort of... happened. This is the first chapter of either six or seven, so don't run away just because it doesn't make much sense. It will, promise.
There are two mechs in the character filter. The narrator is one of them.
Thank you to Cyanide and Insomnia for beta'ing this for me.
He is in the desert.
And the dead are all around him
There are no buildings here, nor have there ever been. No one has ever traveled to this place, one of a thousand identical patches of hard-packed earth in this barren land. No one has flown above it in the pale sky, to look down and see that he and the dead are here. No one knows that this place exists, should exist, may exist.
It does not exist.
And yet he and the dead are here.
They are in haphazard piles, the dead. Mechs and femmes interlocked and overlapped and smashed together in funeral mounds. The stacks are over his head and meld together across the ground, as if the dead are trying to reach one another. Trying to comfort one another even after they no longer live. He cannot move without stepping on them, and the creak of weathered metal is loud in the stillness of the desert. Some of the bodies are no more than a fragile shell of rust that collapses as soon as he brushes a hand against them. Others are recent, so recent that the paint is still vibrant and new and he could almost believe that they are not dead and merely asleep.
But he cannot lie to himself.
Their faces are twisted into various expressions of agony and hatred and sadness and anger. Some are missing optics or parts of their face. Others are missing limbs. Holes torn into torsos to expose essential equipment and wires and mechanisms. All of the bodies have damage done to them, and thus he cannot lie to himself.
He is surrounded by the dead.
In his hands is a sparkling, still in its grey protoform. He cannot tell if its body is warm or cold. Its optics are shuttered and its mouth is open slightly, a peaceful expression on its tiny face. It appears to be asleep.
It is dead.
The sun overhead is hot and heavy on his shoulders, and the glare off of the dead around him hurts his optics. The small lifeless body in his hands is heavy, heavier than it should be, but he will not put it down. Something is telling him that he is should leave this place, that there is somewhere he should be. He takes a step forward, and the dead underfoot crunch and creak and collapse.
The desert will kill him. He knows this, and yet he takes another step forward. The sun is too hot, too close, and the sands are soft outside of this place. He will overheat, or sink into the ground, never to be seen again. The sparkling in his hands is heavy, but he continues to carry it. He cannot put it down.
Where he is going he is not needed, or even wanted. Where he has left is the same. There is no place for him in this place that does not exist. There is no place for him in the place that does exist. But he has a job to do, or so his spark says, and he must move forward. Whatever happens to him is not important. He is a facilitator, a bridge. He helps the ones that are important, and his personal feelings do not matter.
He is alone, in this place that does not exist. The dead are here, and the sand beneath his pedes, and the hot angry sun overhead. He cannot tell if the sparkling in his hands is hot or cold, and it is dead. The funeral piles are behind him, too far and yet too close, and he sinks a little further into the sand with every step.
Something in the desert is calling him, and he must answer that call. He is not needed or wanted, but he must follow. He is afraid to find out what may happen if he does not.
He is in the desert.
And the desert will kill him.