Spoilers: Manus Domini, sort of
Summary: You know if you were to walk right up to him, place your muzzle on his temple and pull, you couldn't kill Santiago
Disclaimer: not mine, don't sue
Author's note: another 'why'/cute little idea
"You know that if you were to walk right up to him, place your muzzle on his temple and pull, you couldn't kill Santiago," Pinocchio old Hobbes some time before uManus Domini/u. The later had relieved the former's shift of the night twenty minutes ago and had assumed him to be long asleep.
"Yeah?" he whispered, wishing neither to appear ignorant nor to wake their third companion.
"In the early days of his supremacy," Pinocchio continued, "he gained access to his file. He didn't do much - he couldn't. It's preprogrammed, mostly, and he believes in his ability as a soldier to survive like a religion, but he rewrote one section of his game parameters - Death. The bastard made it much harder to kill him than anyone else in the Realm."
"So how..." Hobbes began when it became apparent the other man wasn't going to continue, but he was cut off.
"Don't look at me."
At that moment Florence rolled fitfully in her dusty sleeping bag and both men resumed a silence that lasted several minutes. Hobbes thought. He thought of knowledge and power. How some knowledge is more powerful the fewer that possess it, some the more. He thought of cheating, of fairness, of self-preservation. He thought of selection, of sacrifice, of code, and how his had already been rewritten. In the dak before he saw a pair of hands.
"So then why..." he began quietly, but quickly stopped. Pinocchio had shifted and was already asleep. He blinked. the hands disappeared. He was alone with his thoughts and the stars.