Note: Until Up shows up, and the robots, all the dialog is in Spanish. Just picture it. I take French at school, so I don't want to have to look up how to say stuff as much as possible.

I own nothing but love it all.


Tazia stood and stared into the mirror in pure horror. She was dressed in a blood red, spaghetti-strapped dress, her eyelids covered in smokey makeup, her black hair shining and curled, her lips a dark crimson. It was her Quinceañera, her fifteenth birthday and passage into being a woman. Her mother clasped her hands together, exclaiming about her beauty. Taz supposed she was lucky. If her mother had had it her way, Taz would have been standing in a gigantic, puffy, pink, frilly dress. Her mother and her had gotten into an argument nearly as large and ugly as that dress, which Taz had finally won with "If I'm going to become a woman, I want to look like a woman, not a little girl." Her mother had relented and they had bought the only non-puffy, pink dress that would fit Taz's tiny frame. Now, her mother had forgotten all about that other, awful dress as she stared at Taz, finally in a dress. Taz couldn't remember the last time she had worn a dress, and couldn't wait to be at the point she could't remember being in a dress again, never knowing that this would be a day that she would never forget.

Taz was about to go out onto the lawn and meet the relatives, family acquaintances, and friends that had shown up to see her, when her mother stopped her with a shriek

"No no no, Tazia! What are you thinking? You can't go out in those!" she squealed, pulling up the hem of the dress to reveal combat boots in the place of the stilettos they had bought.

"No one can see, the dress is too long. Why should I be uncomfortable for no reason at all?" she whined.

"I don't care if you don't like them, you have to wear them. And that's final." Before her mother had a chance to usher her back upstairs, an explosion rocked the house. Screams filled the air like sands filling an hourglass, time ticking down. Taz and her mother ran outside, the skies full of robots and lasers. The robots were chanting something in a monotone, and it took Taz a couple seconds to translate.

"Destroy hu-man enslavers." They repeated it over and over like a sick mantra as they shot down the only people Taz had ever know. Fires raged everywhere, burning her eyes, her hair, her dress. She picked up a broken chair leg and stabbed it through a weak point on the back of one, hoping to stop the destruction somehow. The robot turned around, it's ocular sensors locking onto her like the jaws of a predator. She had missed anything vital, and the lack of nerves meant that she had only triggered its awareness to her presence. It began to move towards her as she backed away, but as the last screams died with the last people she knew, the other robots began to close in on her too. She prayed for a zapper, so she could take revenge, and she prayed to a dead god that her ending was quick and that she took a few with her as they got closer. One grabbed her tiny waist, nearly completely encircling it with a massive claw, and brought her over to the scraggly old apple tree in the yard. She had climbed that tree with her brothers and sisters only yesterday, and now robots were tying her to it with the intestines of her grandmother and some tassels that had decorated to tables. They batted her around, the world's cruelest kittens with the world's angriest ball of yarn. She tugged at stray wires whenever she got close enough, trying to cause them to short-circuit, but with no luck. They laughed their deep, joyless mechanical laughter at her futile attempts to fight back and her unbreakable spirit.


Up was wandering through the remains of a little mexican village. His squad gad been charged with protecting this area when they had been sneak attacked. A few members of his team had made it out alive but badly injured, so he sent them back to the Starship while he went looking for a missing member. He had found the man dead, and had been about to call in when he felt the need to check in on the ruined town nearby. Standing there, he now saw that it had been destroyed recently, how recently, he couldn't saw, at least, not until he heard what sounded like a steady stream of Spanish curses. He ran over to a house at the end of the street and saw one of the strangest sights of his life. A tiny girl in shredded finery and combat boots was hanging from a tree by a mixture of decorative rope and innards, screaming at the robots who were bludgeoning her like she was a piñata. Up raised his zapper and shot each one cleanly through the head or chest in five seconds. He rarely moved so fast, but the adrenaline pumping through his veins caused him to do things even he didn't understand sometimes. He ran over to the girl, untying her, and lowering her to the ground gingerly.

"¿Está, um, bien? Soy, uh, comandante Up, y soy un Starship Ranger," Up said uncertainly. He knew only the basics of Spanish.

"I'm fine. Jou can put me down," the girl said in a heavily accented voice. Up realized he was still holding her, and let go, but quickly grabbed on again as she began to wobble.

"You're sure sure you're fine?" he asked tentatively.

"Sí, estoy bien, no soy un bebé!" she snapped. He didn't quite know what she said, but he got the gist and let her go again. She was more stable this time and turned to look at him expectantly.

"What?"

"So, are jou going to take me to jour Starship or not?" she asked like it was to most obvious thing in the world. Up nodded and stood up, and the two of them walked back to the Starship away from the wreckage that had been the girl's home only hours ago.