Ha HA! My new 9 story! I'm sorry for the delay, however, for the past three days I have been going to the fair and I've been dead tired. I hope you'll like this story. I think I'll go into a bit more detail on how the others were like when they awoke. Excepting Nine of course. Anyway, here it is!
I heard something. I focused to hear what it might be. A chair moving across the floor, a voice, it sounded deep. Male? Male, what? What is he saying? I opened my optics, blinking rapidly. Everything seemed blurry, but the picture started to clear the more I blinked. Eventually, my hearing started to clear as well, and I was able to hear that, whoever was speaking, was directing their words to me.
"Are you awake now? My little creation?" Creation? He created me? I looked up at the face of my creator, my vision clear now. He was an old man. Human, now that I think about it. Round glasses settling on his nose, his eyes were a startling green. His hair was white and balding, sticking out at odd angles, like he had been, constantly, running his hands through it. He smiled gently at me, and I felt, caring? A deep affection towards him? Like I wanted to help in any way I could. He untied my hands from where, I just realized, I had been hanging, and held me in one hand. Setting me on a hard surface, a desk, I stood up, looking around me to observe my surroundings.
There was an old record player next to a radio, papers and books were piled together next to a window, where I could make out the booming sound of bombs exploding, and bullets being fired. I blinked in surprise, looking up at my creator in question, I tried to ask him a question. No sound was made from me. Alarmed, I grabbed at my throat and my creator made a sound. Laughter. He was laughing. He grabbed something to my left, and opened the snaps holding together my chest and stomach. Though he was many times my own size, his hands were, surprisingly, gentle. He fiddled with something and I jumped as I felt a spark. Once he had finished, he snapped me closed, and sat back in his chair. "Now try speaking."
I hesitated before asking him, "You created me?"
He nodded, "Yes, you are the first of nine others that I plan to create. You, are Zero, and your purpose is to remember."
"Remember, what, exactly?" I couldn't help but ask and he smiled.
"Everything, Zero. I want you to remember everything," I thought about what he said for a moment and the old man, still smiling, waited for me to process what he'd told me before continuing, "We're at war," I looked up at him, "with the machines. Unfortunately, the start of this war was, partially, my doing. I must stress upon you how important it is that you do not tell the other nine what I am about to tell you. Understood?" I nodded to him, though I couldn't help but wonder why.
His eyes softened as he explained that it was he that had created the BRAIN. A sentient machine that was, as of now, attempting to destroy all life. A deep sadness gripped my soul as he continued to explain that, though the machine was sentient, it was unable to feel the same emotions a human could, because it lacked a soul. I asked him about myself then, unable to wait until he had finished telling me more about the BRAIN. What were the things that I was feeling? Was I like a human?
He smiled widely at me, "Ah, Zero. You are incredibly sharp, and I'm glad you asked. You are able to feel emotions, because you have a soul. Through a process, that I will show you later, I have managed to give you a part of my very own soul. A small part, but a part nonetheless," I smiled at him, happy to know that I was, indeed, alive and had a soul of my very own, and grateful to the man before me for sharing a part of himself with me.
Satisfied that my question had been adequately answered, he continued, explaining how the Chancellor of our government had promised it would not be used for war. As well as, how he had broken that promise. When the BRAIN was unable to cope with the stress of manufacturing so many machines, it had calculated the only way it saw to ending the war: destroying all life. When the machines had turned on the very ones that they had been created by, although my creator was against patronizing the BRAIN in the first place, he was named a traitor, and labeled, "Enemy of the State." A small rebel group, originally against the Chancellor, had hidden him, and he had begun the creation of myself.
Once he had finished, he seemed winded, like the mere action of explaining the war had exhausted him. I frowned in concern, "Are you alright?"
"Yes, I'm fine. The transfer of souls is a tiring process, and I need to rest," I nodded and he gazed at me, in a way a father might his young child. He sighed, "I am going to lie down for a while. You are free to explore the room as you please."
He got up and left the room, but, as soon as he said I could explore, I had been off. Wandering around, flipping through books, viewing the pictures of various animals, and studying the blue prints that he had used to design me. I took extra time to memorize these sheets of paper. He seemed to take his time in drawing them, for they looked very well done, and were, proportionally, perfect.
I took the time to study my own appearance as well. My feet were long, and I found myself walking on the smaller part rather than using the whole foot. I tried using the whole foot to walk, and only succeeded in tripping over them. I decided that the creator had designed me to walk like those animals in his books. What was the term? I walked back to another book, a dictionary, and looked it up. Digitigrade it's called. Upon reading more about it, it seems like walking like I do results in a faster gait than those that walk in a plantigrade motion (using their entire foot). Proud of my new discovery, I moved on, yawning. Shaking my head slightly, I looked at the time. It was half past midnight. Blinking in surprise, I looked around to find something I could use as a bed. A pile of rags, though unconventional, looked promising. I rearranged them in a nest-like structure, and curled up inside it to sleep.
I woke to the sound of a door closing and the Creator walking into the room. I sat up, stretching, as he sat down at the desk and began to draw. I walked up to him and he held a hand out to me. Climbing up on it, he set me down on his shoulder where I sat and watched him draw out a new stitchpunk. This one would be called, "One," and his design differed greatly from my own. He, like the rest of the other nine, was plantigrade in design. Why he made me different in design from the others, I didn't know. So, I asked him.
He paused in designing One, and glanced over at me. The sound of the war growing ever more apparent outside. He responded, "Do you hear the sound of war out there, Zero?" I nodded to him. What did the war have to do with it? "I designed you like you are, so that you would have the best chance at evading enemies, and to survive for as long as possible."
I frowned, "But, what about the others?"
"They each have a different purpose, and those purposes require that they have a greater stability that you to fight back, or explore," I nodded, the dictionary had mentioned that, though plantigrades were slower, they had the advantage of stability.
He continued to draw, both of us remaining silent as the hours ticked by. Finally, he managed to finish. One looked like he was more patched together than my own fleece skin. Instead of snaps, he was designed with buckles, and his hands were thin with three digits on each finger. My own fingers (as I looked down at them) were similar to his own. Both his and my own feet are made of metal, but mine are more simple in design and his requires the use of more metal.
After the Creator had finished drawing, he began working on One, immediately. He worked on his inner clockwork first, and I watched carefully. He did say I was needed to remember, so I was paying complete and total attention so I would remember every detail. He, then, started on the frame; needed to hold up One's body. I helped him with the wiring. He seemed to struggle with it (and with due cause because of his massive size), so I threaded the wire around the body with him directing where they needed to go. He was able to connect them himself. Stating that (if anything were to go wrong) he would rather not risk me being injured. As he started working on One's cloth, I started thinking about what he might be like. How would he react to the world around him? Would he accept his role in life, as I had? What is his role?
I was jerked out of my musings by the creator suddenly moving. I had to grab his shirt to keep my balance, "Oh! I'm sorry, Zero! I forgot you were up there!"
I laughed, "It's OK. I forgot I was up her too!" We both shared a laugh together. I hoped we could spend more days like this. Working together, and having a wonderful time. Despite him having created the BRAIN, he was an amazing person to spend time with. He never meant for it to be used the way it was currently anyway.
The Creator tied One's hands to a frame, and connected a talisman to his insides via a wire. He held his hand out, and I jumped onto it as he lowered me to the desk. I was about to witness the transfer of souls! Although I was excited, I was also a bit worried. Not for me, or One, but for the Creator. I wondered if transferring your soul was a painful process, and I received my answer rather quickly.
As he lifted a strange sign to his face, a green light shone from him, and entered the talisman. I stared at it in fascination. Is this what the soul looks like? A grunt of pain drew my attention to the Creator as the flow of green light stopped. He jerked back as the transfer stopped and I ran up to him, placing my small hands onto his one large one.
"Are you alright?"
He let out a shuddered breath before smiling at me, "Of course, Zero. I'm fine," Though he tried to convince me, I knew otherwise. His smile seemed strained, and his eyes had a level of fatigue that wasn't present a minute ago. But, I let it go and he faced One.
One was awake, and he was struggling emphatically against the ropes. The Creator untied him, and One, immediately, tried to get free of his hands.
Placing him down onto the desk, One tried to run away, but I grabbed his shoulder and spun him around, "Wait a minute, One! You need your voice box!" He nodded in acknowledgment, glaring coldly at our Creator, as I left him to grab his voice box. I turned back to him, his front was already opened, and I began to attach his voice box. He started, much like I did when mine was connected, and tried to speak. I was not as accomplished in mechanics as our creator, so it took a few tries (with the Creators help) to get One's voice working properly.
Once it was (finally) connected, One began to speak, "Thank you. Now who are you?"
"I'm Zero! This is our Creator," I pointed him out to One. Though he smiled pleasantly, One merely scoffed at him.
"Hmm, humans," I didn't really pay attention after that. After the Creator told him about the war between us and the machines, his attitude towards humans took a sharp decline. Though (luckily) the Creator didn't tell him everything he had explained to me, One still didn't like him very much, and he stormed out of the room.
When I attempted to bring him back, the Creator stopped me, "His place, is out there. Though, I do wonder if he will be a good leader for the others." I could only watch on in sorrow as One left us. How I hoped he would be alright. But, there was no time to dwell on it, as the Creator had already started drawing out the design for Two.